JOB Hires Firm to Restore Most Hated Title

1 04 2010

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — On the heals of the Mick Fanning controversy it was announced today Jamie O’Brien has obtained the services of a top shelf public relations firm to regain his status as the most hated man in surfing.

Industry insiders say the professional free surfer and former Pipeline Master has become a distant second to the current ASP World Champion and O’Brien wants to do whatever it takes to restore his universal title as the most hated surfer. A recent focus group held by Stab Magazine found 50 percent of its readers strongly oppose Mick Fanning, while 10 percent had no opinion on the matter. The remaining 40 percent said they did not know what “strongly opposed” means but liked pretty pictures and looking at naughty bits.

Schwartz, Putz and Weinstein is a full service public relations firm, founded recently by Charlie Smith and Derek Rielly. The firm specializes in image overhalls, one-of-a-kind athlete requests and the occasional bris.

“I burned the ASP Rule Book, dressed up like Mormon for my movie…even wore a Chinaman’s hat, but then Mick Fanning calls Chas Smith a ‘fucking Jew’ and it’s like all of a sudden I’m practically invisible,” said a clearly bewildered O’Brien while unhooking his Red Bull dialysis machine “Shootz…What’s up wit dat?”

Smith said he and Rielly will give O’Brien the much-needed guidance to resurrect his ability to cause hatred among surfing’s rank and file. And they will unveil a barrage of print advertisements with the slogan ‘Mickshuggener Fanning is my Homeboy.’

“First, we’ll have Jamie take a crash course we like to call ‘Wiggerology 101.’ It’s kind of like waterboarding except we use malt liquor. Then we force him to listen to Eminem for two days straight and feed him nothing but government cheese, barbeque and menthol cigarettes. It’s early in the process but Jamie appears to be a natural. He’s already showing a strong desire to impregnate multiple women out of wedlock. When he hears police sirens he runs like a gazelle. And he’s seen Scarface 36 times. When we’re done with him he’s going to make ’Lil Wayne look like John Wayne.”

But they didn’t stop there. He recently blinged out his ride by installing a $50,000 sound system and a set 30-inch rims with spinners.

He made it clear he will also change the way he approaches riding waves. Instead of pulling into massive barrels, he’ll dodge them. Airs are out and floaters are in. He’s also spent countless hours in the film room studying skimboarding techniques and Jeremy Flores.

“We’re so excited to be handling J.O.B.,” said Rielly. “He’s obviously taking this seriously and we’re confident Schwartz, Putz and Weinstein will put Jamie back where he belongs…on top. Or should I say the bottom? However he likes it. He’s the client.”





Mick Fanning vs. Stab Magazine

22 03 2010

In December Mick Fanning clinched his second Dream Tour world title. Now he is dealing with a public relations nightmare. Photo: ASP

You have most likely heard about it by now. In its January/February edition Stab Magazine published a story titled “Tales of a Fucking Jew.” In it writer Charlie Smith recounts his altercation with Mick Fanning at a December party in Hawaii to celebrate Fanning’s second world title. Smith stated the newly-crowned ASP World Champion called him a “Fucking Jew” four times. The issue has been subsequently pulled from the newsstands, most likely due to pressure both legally and financially.  

There are a few things I find completely absurd about the situation. First, the statement Mick posted on his web site. I do not know who is advising him, but he should have just apologized unconditionally. End of story. Instead he fires a shot at Stab. He states: “Prior to the exchange with the reporter, I had refused to speak with him because I understood he worked for Stab Magazine and that it had previously published articles which I believed were racist and anti-Semitic.” He continues. “I strongly object to views, statements and comments of that nature.”  

That’s why you felt to need to call Smith a “fucking Jew” four times? Because you “strongly object to views, statements and comments of that nature?” Never mind the fact Smith is not Jewish. But your statements were taken out of context right? It leads me to wonder in what context is it acceptable for a surfing champion to call someone a “fucking Jew?” Fanning stated he was trying to be ironic. Well, congratulations. You succeeded. What’s next? A photo op with a surfing Rabbi?  

Second, for the most part the surf media is not touching the story. The only publications on the story are the Australian newspapers and tabloids. I understand the surf media might view this as a non-story and would rather focus on surfing, not verbal altercations between a journalist and a surfer. I can respect that. But I suspect this is a financial and access driven decision.  

Let’s imagine for a moment if Kobe Bryant or Peyton Manning called a reporter a “fucking Jew.” What would happen? It would be the lead story on ESPN and every single media outlet in America. It would be career suicide. They would be losing endorsements deals, backpedaling and apologizing unconditionally. But this is surfing not the NBA or NFL. And surfing can be so absurd at times. Instead, Stab is being painted as the bad guy here because they had the balls to publish the story and have published so-called racially insensitive stories in the past. 

I am not suggesting Fanning should lose his livelihood for this or I am not going to pretend I am outraged by his comments. What I suspect is Fanning simply had a little bit too much to drink and said something he shouldn’t have.  

Smith told the Australian newspaper on Saturday an inebriated Fanning was upset about an earlier article in which he had criticized the surfer’s “boring” sense of style. Well, one thing is certain. Mick is no longer boring.





The Roundup: Literary Legends Edition

29 01 2010

Two classic books. Rest in peace J.D. and Howard.

The Roundup is a compilation of recommended clicks this week in the world of surfing and beyond. If you have any suggestions, links, tips or want to donate product to support a hungry blogger email me at nugable@gmail.com. I take gov’ment cheese and American Express. 

“That was the biggest thing I’ve seen anyone paddle into, ever.” – Nathan Fletcher on Sion Milosky’s bomb. Daniel Russo was there.
(abstractlines.tv

Why don’t we get drunk and blog? “All these Top 44 sickos do mad shit that is kept behind the scenes and it shouldn’t be.” Dion Agius tells it like it is.
(Globe.tv/dion

Bruce Irons is going to surf the Snapper contest and he might just be my hero after reading this Charlie Smith profile. Excerpt: “Bells? It’s a fucking novelty wave that was ok back in the ’70s on those shitty boards.”
(Stab Magazine

A fantastic interview with a true legend of surfing…David Nuuhiwa.
(Liquid Salt

Remember when Tracks Magazine had balls? Kirk Owers thinks 2010 will be the best ASP World Tour ever. After last year it couldn’t be any worse.
(Tracks

Kelly Slaters’s newest board design is inspired by racing boats?
(Surfer’s Village

Does this look like wild parsley to you? 
(Sanford and Son)





It Was Not A Like Bitchin Day

24 12 2009

I first stumbled upon Likebitchin.com several months ago. I can’t remember exactly when. I knew nothing about it but was immediately drawn to the haphazard yet perfectly congruent style.

It was written by two unique individuals—Chas Smith and Derek Rielly. One American. One Australian. Derek founded Stab Magazine. Chas writes for Stab, along with several other publications.

On Wednesday, December 23 it died. It was a good run. No clear reason was given. Derek Rielly chose not to comment. He said we’ll “let it hang, mysterioso.” Chas Smith did not return my email. Even more mysterioso.

You could call it a surf blog, but you’d be wrong. It was more than that. According to the about us page it was “a place to talk and debate politics, architecture, surfing, destroy and uplift your favorite/most hated airlines and hotels and, should philanthropy be your kick, donate money to get a retard to a music festival or strip show. Likebitchin.com welcomes contributions. Y’don’t get paid but y’get the thrill of being published.”

They even gladly published two of my rants. One was piece called Fantastic Man, profiling the fictional Roger Sterling of Mad Men. The other was a review of Surfer Magazine. You can read that one here.

Producing a web site, although it appears easy, is often a thankless and grueling endeavor. Especially when there are no profits or revenue generated. Running a blog is a cruel mistress. Addicting, yet cruel. At times you feel like you are chained to the laptop.

No chains around my feet
But I’m not free, oh-ooh!
I know I am bound here in captivity

As of today, all content has been removed from Likebitchin. There is one lone post that remains. It is titled “Dead.” It appears the great unfinished surf novel will never see the light of day. Or will it? Those who frequented the site may feel a part of them died when the site went down. And I don’t blame them.

No sun will shine in my day today; (no sun will shine)
The high yellow moon won’t come out to play:
(that high yellow moon won’t come out to play)
I said (darkness) darkness has covered my light,
(and the stage) And has changed my day into night, yeah.
Where is the love to be found? (oo-ooh-ooh)
Won’t someone tell me?
‘Cause my (sweet life) life must be somewhere to be found
(must be somewhere for me)

Rest in Peace. You will be missed.





Nugable Exclusive: The Jed Smith Interview

9 11 2009

Jed Smith

Stab Magazine’s Jed Smith speaks to Nugable about love triangles, titties, lesbians, the time Kelly Slater called him buddy and the life of a young magazine editor trying to find his way in the world.

Give me your vitals…name, rank and serial number.
6’1″, 81 kilos (178 lbs.), Mediterranean descent, dark features, blue eyes, five o’clock shadow, ripped and curious.

What is your background?
Raised by a low-income single mother. Put through a catholic, all boys school by staunchly catholic grandparents. Started surfing at 13 and grew up in Australia’s most famous and dysfunctional beach, Bondi. Never surf here. Hear me? Never. I went to a grimy left wing university. Boston exchange lesbians with pit hair hated me because I surfed and played football. Currently I am a 22, susceptible to wild mood swings and periods of stability followed by periods of violence. I’m in a violent cycle now but pulling hard up on the joystick. You got me at a good time, Nug my man.

When did you become a Stab staffer and what are your daily duties?
Must be almost twelve months now. I need a story a day, maybe two on the web. I do the departments for the mag plus contribute a feature whenever there is space, something good comes up or I am asked. I love it here because I am given complete autonomy. I hate it here because I am given complete autonomy.

Derek Rielly wrote of his days at ASL that he “shat on the office floor during biz hours, introduced eight staff members to ecstasy and made an early mentor eternally regretful that he ever showed me how to use a comma.” What have been some of your achievements at Stab?
Kelly called me “buddy” in an email once. That was pretty neat. I haven’t done anything that I’m particularly proud of yet. I reported Parko’s injury first. Then had Transworld, ASL and every other mag hang shit on me for exaggerating it. Nothing really springs to mind.

Tell me a story about a pro or industry person who was less than pleased about what you wrote.
Nathan Webster said he was gonna slap me after I did an interview with Dion (Agius) in which he fessed up to the anger he once possessed towards Nudes for fucking his ex girlfriend. But I’ve never actually seen him, so it hasn’t come up. That humorless old crank, (Tim) Baker flipped at me pretty hard in South Africa. That was funny. Um, Bobby Martinez came at me with his fists raised in South Africa but that was something Derek wrote. What else? Nothing really. Friendly guys most surfers and surf industry types, I have found.

Has an advertiser ever pulled out or threatened to as a result of something Stab published?
Yeah, heaps of times. Quik pulled out after the first cartoon we ever did. In my first week I wrote a piece about Erin Wasson designing clothes for RVCA and that lost RVCA.

What is Stab’s philosophy on nudity?
We’re a men’s interest magazine with a sway towards surfing. What man doesn’t like a little bit o’ tittie every now and then? I like it best when they do the shoots in the office (see upcoming Stab book. Lots o’ big titties in there). Sometimes we’ll even fuck the models. No shit.

Why are American surf magazines so puritan? What would it take to dislodge the enormous stick they have up their asses, and is Chas Smith the man for the job?
Without having ever been to America it is hard to say. Here’s a wild theory though. Southern California is the epicenter of the American surf media. Southern California is also quite a well to do region. Rich people, not always, but typically equal conservatives. These same people breed the people that run your magazines, do they not? What would the American surf media be like if it were run out of New York? Would it be different? Fuck, what do I know? That could be complete rubbish but it’s the best I can do for you without knowing much about it. It’s changing though. Travis and the guys at Surfing are cool as fuck. I know a cool young cat who writes for Surfer that I met in Tahiti. It will change with the new generation.

Chas Smith told me he has always been curious as to why you don’t wear a mustache. He thinks you would look really good with a mustache goatee combo. Like Lenin. Thoughts?
Yeah I wore a mustache a couple of times. I got told I looked French. I didn’t like that description. Don’t know why. Nothing against the French but when someone tells you that “you look French,” an Australian for instance, who has never been to France, it’s likely your peddling a radically stereotypical French look. The kind that says you should be wearing a sailor suit, walking around a tropical French colony, speaking in pidgeon Fren- wait…

Recently Stab began moderating the comments on the web site. I know one reader who is not happy about this. Does this stifle free speech and the organic bravado of its readers?
We do it on select articles, the ones that are likely to get real defamatory. Blame yourselves anonymous fucks. You ruined it for everyone with your endless cheap shots and miserable lives. We tried to keep it totally unmoderated, and intelligent and incisive criticism will always be passed, but all the conspiracy theories, sexual slander, dick jokes, gay jokes, please. That shit is only funny when it’s about Derek.

Who wins a world title first…Jordy Smith, Owen Wright, Julian Wilson or Dane Reynolds?
Owen. Kid loves comps. Jordy might. Can’t see Dane winning one. Julian? Sure, why the fuck not.

You are on a desert island. You have a laptop as your only means of entertainment. There is a bottle of lube, the new Modern Collective DVD and an instructional video of Alana Blanchard doing a bottom turn. Which do you grab first and why?
I grab the Modern Collective DVD first, and snap it into two shards. I give one half to Alana and I take the other half. I point the computer towards us and turn Skype on, assuming by this point we will have global broadband. We fight to the death and it is relayed back to Stabmag.com to be later played exclusively. I’m assuming I would win although Alana did grow up on Kauai. If I was to win, I would bleed Alana’s neck in a cup and drink it. Then I would carve steaks off her, starting with her rump. Big dog’s gotta eat, ya know.

After that I lube up the gap between the computer and the keyboard, stick my penis in and slam and open and slam and open. I have a powerful mind. That should keep me going for a couple of weeks. At which point a shirtless Shane Dorian and Fred Pawle will arrive by hovercraft with coconuts of pineapple Malibu and a big joint.. My denim jeans will be cut and frayed at the knees. My hair will be curled and blonde tipped and I will be man, a real fucking man, you hear me Baker! I’m coming for you mothafucker! Argh!

What are your prejudices and how does it affect your writing?
I’m prejudiced against douchebags. If someone is a dick to me, I find it hard to write objectively about them. This is wrong because it’s not always relevant when you are writing about athletic performance. I have overcome this since I first started in the job but it was a sobering experience to be thrust into the WCT atmosphere with my recorder and be regularly vibed out. Surfers are still struggling to grasp that without the media they are nothing. They are also struggling to grasp that it is not there interests but rather the public’s interests we are paid to look after. Wait, no, that’s surf writers who are struggling to grasp that one. Wait, no, it’s both. It’s so easy to treat us like shit because they have traditionally never had to deal with the consequences.—Nug





The Beautiful and the Damned: The Chas Smith Interview

26 10 2009

Chas Smith

Chas Smith is a freelance journalist who calls Los Angeles home. He is slim. What some would call a tall drink of water. He is lanky. Not as lanky as Luke Stedman, but lanky nevertheless. His right arm is covered in ink.

Chas has created a buzz with his updates from the European leg of the ASP World Tour. Some loath him. Others love him. His writing has appeared in Vice, Stab and virtually every surf publication on Earth. He may be the best surf journalist working today. The word journalist is used loosely. His writing style is refreshing and breezy. Like a BMW gliding down Pacific Coast Highway with its top down. He has a taste for the finer thinks in life. Think champagne and French linen. He shares the same Christian name, but he is the anti Bukowski.

Currently, he is in Portugal covering the Rip Curl Pro Search for Stab and Surfing Magazine. In between drinking fermented beverages and arm wrestling ASP CEO Brodie Carr he agreed to answer a few questions for Nugable.–Nug

Where did you grow up and what is your background?
I grew up in a backwater town on the Oregon coast. A shithole. I moved to LA as soon as I graduated from high school and studied linguistics. I can’t remember why. I think it was because I wanted to be in the CIA like my uncle. His son surfed well. Now his son is in jail for robbing banks.

When did you develop a love of the written word?
I didn’t know “love” of the written word until I read Derek Rielly’s eponymous “Derek Rielly presents: Erotic love poems.” It was a smaller book that didn’t do well in the mass market, but a copy found its way into my trembling hands. I still remember the lines. “Touch my body. Put me on the floor. Wrestle me around. Play with me some more.”

Your stories at Stab.com and Surfingthemag.com from the European leg are entertaining and refreshing, yet the powers that be are giving you flack for being a little “creative.” It’s not like you are kidnapping the Top 45, taking them to Ibiza and feeding them massive quantities of Ecstasy.
That should be the ASP’s job. I don’t have any sort of budget. But Brodie Carr does. And Dave Mailman has the vocal prowess to do the play by play. “Jordy is now grinding CJ real good and…oh, it looks like Damien is getting jealous. Jordy is looking on-form.” etc. etc.

What is the story with your investment banker that travels with you?
She works for the investment arm of a large international Spanish-based bank. She has a BMW. She leaves for Angola soon where she will sit on the board of a smaller, shadier, but far more interesting financial institution.

I asked Derek Rielly if you are a Beverly Hills Bukowski? He said Charlie is not, in any form, a Bukowski. Charlie is John Horne Burns, is Bret Easton Ellis, is F. Scott Fitzgerald. He is Candace Bushnell. Discuss.
Derek is right. I loathe Bukowski.

I have completed several interviews for Nugable, but have never asked anyone who their sponsors are or to give any shout-outs. Is this proof I am not as retarded as most surf writers?
I love Matt Biolos. He is not my sponsor, nor did you ask me to give a shout-out but I just do. He is on the right wing fringe. He is angry. He shapes beautiful little rocket ships.

You suggested that Kelly Slater is care free and successful because he dates an 11 year old. Is it irresponsible journalism to suggest he is surfing’s Roman Polanski? And will there be a Chinatown II?
Frankly I don’t know if there is such a thing as responsible journalism. And have you seen Kelly’s girl? If she is a day over 12 I am shocked.

You called Mick Fanning boring. What would you call Marlon Lipke?
German.

I would like to see Joel Parkinson win the world title, but his ankle injury might prevent this. Someone suggested you have special powers. If you deep throated Parko’s foot and ankle, would he then be healed and win the title?
Yes. And this is in the works.

How much is too much for a haircut? I heard you found a magnificent salon in Lisbon. Tell me about it.
It was the most magnificent. I think I paid 60 euros for my current cut. Too much? Maybe 300 dollars. Or 70 euros.

Finally, what will be etched on Charlie Smith’s tombstone?
I was your huckleberry.





The Roundup: Rebels, Dane Reynolds, Supertubos, Mundaka Pumping and Jamie O’Brien on Cloud 9

23 10 2009

Supertubes

What is this? Two updates in one day? The Roundup is a compilation of recommended clicks in the world of surfing. The Rip Curl Pro Search Portugal is underway. Round one was completed earlier today at marginal Lagido. Still no Supertubes (pictured above). Round two features some good match-ups highlighted by Kelly Slater vs. Owen Wright. Dave Mailman is providing  the webcast commentary.

Will the South rise again? For now the Rebel Tour looks like a non issue. Shawn Price breaks it down. (Faster Times)

In typical fashion Mother Nature turns on the tap at fickle Munduka just days after the event ended. (Surfing Stoke)

Dane Reynold’s newish, lo-fi blog has an update from Peniche, Portugal set to county music.  (Marine Layer Productions)

Jamie O’Brien’s switch 10-point tube at the Cloud 9 Invitational in the Philippines. (Billibong.com/au)

Chas Smith is persona non grata in Peniche.  Exclusive photos of his investment banker. (Stab.com)

Long-time SURFER publisher Rick Irons jumps ship at the 50-year old magazine to slay the Dragon. (Boardistan)

This blogger has ideas on how the ASP can improve its online presence.
(Digital Surf Media)

A tribute to style featuring Tom Carroll, Richard Cram, Curren, Bob Cooper, Terry Fitzgerald, and Archy, Occy and MP. (Kurungabaa)

Aussie singer and actress Sophie Monk out Alanas Alana Blanchard. (WWTDD)