Ok here it goes, Today’s rant is about entitlement… I don’t like it.
I’ll take it down the line.
1) Newbie Surfers – When I first started surfing, I was afraid to go out where the good guys surfed. And rightly so. I was a danger to them and had no business being out there. It seems like these days there are more and more people out who can’t surf and don’t get that surfing is a dangerous, difficult activity that requires years of patience and humility. The people who screw up the rest of their lives pursuing a harmonious relationship with our fickle and cruel mother ocean should be respected as the ill-fated nuts we are. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that the more people surfing, the better this world be. But they should spend years connecting with the ocean, not mimicking some tv show or billboard. I’m guilty of this to a certain extent. Despite being afraid of the locals, I too paddled out at the main peak prematurely to fulfill some delusional glory quest. During those times, I cheated myself out of a valuable connection with the ocean. That’s why I’m now body surfing in the shore pound more than ever before. The ocean is there to teach us all lessons if we are just open to receiving its gifts, regardless of what level you are at. We are all exactly where we are supposed to be. Pushing the envelope only makes you and those around you suffer. I know from experience.
2) Crusty Locals – I’m an advocate of localism and there needs to be more situations where clueless surfers are put in their place. I’ve also spent a lot of time in localized lineups and the vast majority of locals are cool. They know the wave like the back of their hand, they enjoy surfing with other good surfers and they demand respect. A proper local lineup is the backbone for any positive, organized surfing experience when there’s a crowd. But the “I’ve lived here longer than you…I have birth-rights to these waves ever since I moved here 5 years ago” dorks give locals a bad name and undermine the value of experienced surfers upholding order in the lineup.
3) Rednecks – The simple, no bullshit, family first, tradition-serving, self-sufficient ethos that I associate with the word “redneck” gets fouled when certain members of this stereotype act arrogantly towards others for reasons I’m not going to drag into Korduroy.
4) Hippies – We all dream of building our own utopias and checking out. But like it or not, mainstream society casts a very large shadow and by checking out, we give up our only ability to change things.
5) Self-Righteous Environmentalists – Pretty much anyone who thinks they are the solution is part of the problem in my book. Saving the social and environmental problems we face is going to require inclusive, inspired ideas and there’s no better way to stifle this than with self-righteousness. Arrogance breeds fear and fear stagnates creativity and compassion.
6) Religious Zealots – If religion helps us live better lives and connect with other people who have faith in something greater than themselves then that’s awesome. But if it gives us a pulpit from which to judge others, then that’s lame.
7) Spoiled Perma-kids – I am part of the what they call “the entitlement generation.” I was born a few weeks before 1983 and I belong to a group who grew up in the perfect storm of rampant 80’s consumerism and Dr. Spock spoiled parents who’ve passed it on to us with extra calorie-free sweetness. The result is a bunch of child-like perma-kids who are perpetually pissed that life isn’t the fantasy the media and their parents promised it would be, and who use that to fuel their belief that everything is fucked up and therefore life is not worth giving a shit about.
There’s a little bit of all us in these groups and it’s easy to look at each other and point out what’s not cool like I’ve done in this rant. However its way harder to distill the problems within all these groups and apply them to our own lives. In an age when the vast majority of people are terminally directionless, these groups have the ability to shine truth on the sea over-commodified BS. But when we adopt an attitude of entitlement, we become destructive to ourselves and our surroundings. I feel for everyone these days. We’ve gotten the short end of the stick. We haven’t been prepared for the harsh realities of life. We’ve been disconnected from our ancestry and our natural environment, and we’ve been sold values that are making us sick and tired. It’s my belief that the solution lies in ditching the our resentment and humbly jumping in the deep end, getting our hands dirty, and being apart of this amazing moment in time without feeling the need to control or analyze it. We’ll all become better humans from it, and end up with a way more rad planet.