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This Ocean zoned Residential

November 9, 2013

In Gidget Must Die, I showed how the surf industry destroyed a surf break. in Surf.Com I showed how Silicon Valley destroyed surfers, and in Aliens! Surf! Santa Cruz! I created a comic romp where aliens were ruining a beach town to suck out its stoke to build a perfect beach town on their planet. Yes, I’m waxing my board for the Pulitzer or Nobel, but I’ll wait. And so I go down to Pleasure Point and see how it’s attracted an entire group of boring, perfectly harmless, and cluelessly unwelcoming people.

“It’s all come to pass like you said years ago in Surf.com,” said a surfer to me. “You saw this coming before anyone else did. These people down care abouyt this spopt. They live in a clusterfuck, so they think nothing is wrong with causing a cluster fuck.” He paused. “And the thing is they all have to be seen doing this, they always look around, hoping someone sees them.”

Here they come to the beach, complacently excreted from their residential worlds. There are the endless mount of potbellied girls in boys carrying foam boards they purchased at Costco. People who have nothing invested in the sport so they’re attitude is disposible. This is something they are going to do for a short period in their life and move on. Couples carrying boards. Guys carrying boards and talking about work.   They have discovered the place because of their surf classes. And because there’s a promenade tons of women pushing their baby carriages, along with an equal amount of bicyclists ignoring the bike lanes and going whatever way they wish. Half the guys carrying surfboards look like they should be bouncing a basketball with their free hand. There are families pulling up in vans and everyone has some kind of surfboard or boogie board. There are middle school kids showing up in large groups with instructors after school, while their parents sit on the rocks and drink from fruit boxes spiked with booze. There are instructors showing up with pods of three to five people, charging $75 an hour. Other people row out on SUP boards and try to get waves and look down at longboarders and shortboarders, dismissing them as “crawlers.”

There is nothing wrong with any of these people. But there is everything wrong with them.

I remember surfing Cowells years ago, and this crusty guy resented everyone in the water and got waves by growling profanities and people in the water as he paddled for a wave, “Stupid cunts, dumb clueless mother fuckers.” And it wasn’t an act, his contemptuous growl soaked deep in him. And one thing I know about the C-word, you always look uglier saying it,than the person you’re calling it. Others surfers in the water make a stand, and will shove people off their boards or tell them to leave on the grounds that “someone has to teach them the rules.” But that’s like yelling at an overflowing toilet. Other surfers ignore the crowds and take off screaming down the line scattering clueless surfers, but those people usually wind up getting into collisions and hurting themselves. What happens is most of the clueless are like people driving on the road without a steering wheel, and one of my basic tenets if you leave an asshole alone, they will eventually meet another asshole. And so cluleess people who take off on waves and don’ty look first, eventually get hit by other clueless people who don’t know who to turn, so they end up yelling at each other.

I was down in Santa Barbara talking to a surf shop owner and he said, “Back in the sixties I was down at the hook in Santa Cruz and was real impressed with the surfers. I was up your way a year ago and couldn’t believe what I was seeing at The Hook. Ninety percent of the people didn;t know how to surf.”

These local reactions are countered by people who can’t surf in the water but can catch waves, and they know every sneaky way to do it. And the ones thing they always do when  called on their behavior is justify what they’ve done instead of apologize. Oh, and how they try to engage you in conversations, which if you join, gives them the right to burn you in the water because you have a relationship.

I see these things around me, but after having cancer and almost losing my life, let alone surfing. These sites don’t anger me, I just see it for what it is, adapt, and if I can get some waves fine, and if not, fine. I’ll watch the pelicans, or the orange sherbet sunsets casting an oily glow on the water as the pelicans cruise low along thew undulating surface of the ocean, taking each dip in the wave as a chance to build up speed by gliding down and up without any effort. I don’t swear or growl, I merely stare through them and stay to myself. I don’t want to be a growler. My belief is paddle out smiling and paddle in with a smile and you win. I avoid tight spots where there could be collisions, or tightly competing for waves. I let waves go through, sometime encourage people who haven;t gotten any waves to go in front of me. I’ll paddle harder just to paddle and stay strong. I’ll wait outside for set waves while everyone scrambles and hustles for the others, and if the set wave is ruined by someone, I just ignore them, say nothing and paddle back out. And if I catch a wave and people down the line see me and keep paddling and try to burn me and ruin the wave I ignore them and try to make it through, then paddle out and say, “I’m just trying to get through all the yellow lights at the intersections.”

How can I be disappointed in anything besides myself? The outside world of adversity try to soak into me, but evaporates before it can get a full body emotional rejection. After surviving testicular cancer, I don’t expect anything. And I’m having a great time doing it. Ideally, another book will come out of this. All I can say, is to have Pleasure Point, and the surfing ability to enjoy it, and the friends and the life I made is a globe I travel around, and watch the moon and the sun spin around it while I gaze at the stars of recognition gleaming in the eyes of others at the unfurling wonder of each preciously elusive second.

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