Baby Take It Off!

I am of two minds regarding the dance between pop culture and surf culture. Sometimes I feel only happy to be invited into the larger ballroom. I feel surfers, no matter how cool and awesome and tan and amazing, are cultural retards. Listening to the wrong music, wearing the wrong things, jumping on the right bandwagons but years too late. Like, have you seen the headlong rush to embrace indie café racing motorbike culture? Surfers would have been on trend had they rushed headlong a decade ago. Now it is just embarrassing. And so, when pop culture embraces any part of what we do I feel, "Good on us! Maybe we aren't so retarded after all!"

Sometimes, though, I watch Alana Blanchard star in a Sony cellphone commercial and I feel, "Please leave us alone, pop culture. Please please please leave us alone and in the corner, dancing with ourselves." I also feel, "This is the worst thing I have ever seen in my whole entire life." It really is. Every part of it, from the cheaply taped items onto Alana's surfboard to the way she jumps off the boat into the water to the "Hang ten" reference. It is all wrong and it is all horrible. It is not Alana's fault, to a point. Some geeky agency came up with the concept and rolled it out and it got ok'd down the line and Alana had nothing to do with it. Then again, she stars in it. So it is completely her fault. Alana and Laird are now in a race to the bottom. Winner gets to star in the next Arby's commercial.

On the floors of Tokyo
Down in London town’s a go-go
With the record selection
And the mirror’s reflection
I’m a-dancing with myself.

Oh, when there’s no one else in sight
In the crowded, lonely night
Well, I wait so long for my love vibration
And I’m dancing with myself.

Oh, oh, oh dancing with myself
Oh, oh, oh dancing with myself
Well there’s nothing to lose
And there’s nothing to prove
And I’m dancing with myself
Oh, oh, oh, oh…

—Chas Smith