Where Is The Hate?
An enlightened lineup is killing our grooviness and oiling our stress levels, writes Lewis Samuels… Where has all our hatred gone? As the years pass on, and surfers become ever more enlightened, our thick, dark lifeblood – hate – has trickled away from hardened surf communities, leaving them flaccid and friendly. Once, we were kings: […]
An enlightened lineup is killing our grooviness and oiling our stress levels, writes Lewis Samuels…
Where has all our hatred gone? As the years pass on, and surfers become ever more enlightened, our thick, dark lifeblood – hate – has trickled away from hardened surf communities, leaving them flaccid and friendly. Once, we were kings: proud, defiant, angry. Once, we stood resolute, salty middle-fingers held high as a sea of squares frowned down on our sick little surf culture. They hated us, but we hated them even more passionately, and with more style and panache. And our hatred was not just reserved for Mr. Jones and his brethren in suits and uniforms. We also hated each other.
Locals hated transplants. Shortboarders hated longboarders. Longboarders hated kneeboarders. Kneeboarders hated boogieboarders. Boogieboarders hated kooks, and even kooks had enough common sense to hate Brazilians. But times have changed. Hatred has been replaced by acceptance. Violence by litigation. Small-minded order by open-minded chaos. Even pro surfers, some of the most petty, self-absorbed, unenlightened beings in the universe, have settled into a culture of mutual admiration and respect. Blame Machado, for extending his hand to Slater for that vile high-five as they met in Pipeline’s previously unfriendly channel.
Now, once-proud haters lead cloistered lives, their vile, bilious thoughts restricted to comments sections and twitter feeds. Meanwhile, our lineups are increasingly homogenised, sickly sweet bastions of brotherhood and acceptance. Anything goes: mid-level managers on alaias, hipsters with hand-planes, mums on SUPs… we are all a tribe, united by one love. It’s sickening.
So where does our hatred go? It can’t simply evaporate. Hatred is a fixed commodity in the dynamics of human interaction, the dark matter in our simpleton universe. Instead of dissipating in the lineup, it’s being bottled up, concentrated, condensed. Where once steam was let off in the berating of kooks, it’s now forced to boil over in other places.
Office skirmishes with micro-managing stakeholders. Road rage against entitled green cyclists. Subtle swipes at the sagging reality of ageing wives. The casual bullying of spoiled neighbourhood children, followed by the occasional belittlement of our own ungrateful offspring.
Compassion and acceptance in the lineup inevitably give rise to short-tempered buffoonery on dry land.
So what to do? Perhaps it’s time to bring back some of the ol hate. Burn a kook. Bark at that transplant who invaded your home break. Tell that alaia-riding Frenchmen to “fucking beat it.” If he responds with the usual “Mellow out, bro, we’re all part of the same tribe,” offer him a free history lesson. If he wants to be retro, he better start hating.
Remind him that Tom Blake added a skeg to his wooden board for a reason, and that the French sunk their own navy soon afterward in World War II. If Frenchy still doesn’t get the picture, let him know that your “tribe” includes your family and excludes white Euro-rastafarians with BO and Pura Vida tramp stamps.
When you return home, you’ll find yourself hate-free for the first time since being a surfer became synonymous with being a pussy. In closing: Save your love for the bedroom, and spread your hate in the water, where it belongs.
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