Tell us what you really think: the letters section throughout the surfing ages

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Digging In The Crates

The online comments section. Is there any greater leveller in the surfing world? 

Where industry barons rub shoulders with commoners, while pros snoop anonymously, seeking that one true test of public sentiment. 

It’s the place where everybody is afforded an equal pedestal. Surfers of the world are allowed their say. 

And what do they deliver? Griping and gloating, sure, but stacks of real insight too. Unbridled ignorance mixed in with flashes of genius. The best and worst of humanity. No matter the topic, the themes are a universal constant. 

But never before have comments been so pervasive, or so persuasive. Just look at their dominance here on Swellnet. In many cases the article is only an appetiser for the mains below the fold. It’s the democratisation enabled by the internet, where everybody has a voice. Love it or hate it. 

It’s a stark difference to the days of the print media. In surfing mags the letters were an exercise in curation and moderation. Editors would choose what ran, and when, and how. They’d have weeks to formulate responses. Feedback on articles was rare at best. 

It was a forum, yes, but with a much tighter leash. Nothing like the free for all enabled by the instantaneous publish button.

But the letters section was still wild in its own way.

Sexism and homophobia were big hits, as was casual racism such as this mid-80s Tracks offering:

Racism is obviously not cool, whichever way you cut it. But this article isn’t meant to be a revisionist hack job on surf publications. We can denounce all we like now with the benefit of hindsight, but these types of letters were only holding a mirror up to societal norms at the time, no matter how dangerous and ill-informed they may have been.

But I am keen to know, what was it like holding the megaphone for surfing’s grassroots consciousness?

For that I spoke to former editor of Australia’s Surfing Life , Derek Rielly. ASL’s letter section in the mid ‘90s was as lively as any, and it was Reilly’s job to sort the wheat from the chaff. 

“We’d get thirty or so letters a month, running between eight and ten, from memory,” said Rielly.

“I’d edit to isolate the one great moment from letters that could span pages. I’d only leave in misspellings, bad grammar etc if it added to the impact of the letter.” 

Though surfing culture had matured (somewhat) by the mid '90s, there was obviously some still not-so-politically-correct content that ran. Was there any gatekeeping employed at the time?

“I had no moral judgement, then as now,” said Rielly. 

“Entertainment value always won. Libel was occasionally a problem, but only rarely.”

By then the main targets were bodyboarders, goatboaters, politicians etc. But even then the tone was generally tongue in cheek. 

And if some of the letters appeared too good to be true, they probably were. 

“I can’t remember making up letters, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen,” said Rielly.

“I was in thrall to Viz magazine and National Lampoon at the time, mags that made an art form out of fake reader’s letters, so maybe I aped them.”

But for all the fun, Rielly reckons the letters pages were small fry compared today’s comment model.

“The dialogue between reader and writer now is what makes the game funner and sharper than it’s ever been. Immediate feedback is something you dreamed about in print. Often, there was a three-month wait between story being written and it being read.“

“If you were lucky, you might get one letter in response or a “nice story” at a party.”

Compare that to today, where an article could have comments running into the hundreds within hours of being published.

“Readers have never been so engaged, never so involved in the process,” says Rielly.

“They add bulk to stories that might be a little thin; they skewer stories that should never have been written; they praise when it’s warranted. If the readers are uniformly against you, it’s safe to suggest you’re doing something wrong.”

“Comments are the only form of true engagement, I think. You can fake Facebook shares, Instagram likes, YouTube views, but you can’t create an artificial online community.”

So, what do you reckon? Is the culture better off for having the comments section, and a genuine two way conversation?

And what do you miss, if anything, about the old letters section?

Well shit, go ahead and let us know!

Comments

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 10:30am

It's amazing some of the shit that you remember in life..........

I wouldn't know what I had for dinner 2 nights ago but can still remember a couple of those letters to the editor from decades ago.

Fucken classic relics of a bygone era!

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 10:38am

Excerpt from Surfer Magazine - not sure what year, late 80's I guess. Early stage of the Surfers Union?

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 1:46pm

FFS,
Those little bitches..........

razzle.minor's picture
razzle.minor's picture
razzle.minor commented Monday, 2 Dec 2019 at 6:13am

So, they did wanna be (a) tennis tour.

helmet-not-hose's picture
helmet-not-hose's picture
helmet-not-hose commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 10:44am

Reilly is talking out of his arse. He and Tim Baker made those letters up.

Eugene Green's picture
Eugene Green's picture
Eugene Green commented Wednesday, 27 Nov 2019 at 8:44am

And the hit/shit section

Derrick's picture
Derrick's picture
Derrick commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 10:58am

Well I miss the old newspaper style Tracks mag with Captain Goodvibes and Tales of the Owl

Graeme Murdoch's picture
Graeme Murdoch's picture
Graeme Murdoch commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 11:12am

Rielly didn't make the ASL letters up, but he and the ed crew did write most of the v popular 'What's Hot/Not' column entries, and attribute 'em to pretendy readers.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 3:46pm

Dwayne Harris wrote lots of nice letters to Derek though...didn't he !?! W T F .....

Graeme Murdoch's picture
Graeme Murdoch's picture
Graeme Murdoch commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 3:54pm

Haha it was mostly verbal greetings and salutations during lunchtime laps of the Point... I remember their 'sit down' in the lil shed at Burls, dictaphone between 'em, like Gorbachev and Reagan or something...

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 3:57pm

I assume that's the interview that appeared in Deep?

Graeme Murdoch's picture
Graeme Murdoch's picture
Graeme Murdoch commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 4:00pm

I woulda thought it was before Deep (Rielly came up with that name BTW) but probs was now come to think of it.

Surf Ads's picture
Surf Ads's picture
Surf Ads commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 4:10pm

Yes they the best! Can still recite them off by heart today.

kneepete's picture
kneepete's picture
kneepete commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 11:26am

I wrote a letter to one of the above magazines, probably early 90s, about an exposure trip they did to the coast here and got the most smarmy reply back a month or two later, trying to make me look like a dumb yokel. I fumed for months and months at that.

The internet has brought lots of shit things but at least the "dumb yokels" also get a say.

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo commented Friday, 29 Nov 2019 at 9:58pm

I feel an .... amen!

Threeup's picture
Threeup's picture
Threeup commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 12:04pm

Letters sections were the highlight of most mags. It's an indictment on how soft the world has become. Lifes pleasures have been forced into extinction. I understand it's not even acceptable to throw shit at a grom, warn chicks out of the water in case menstrual blood attracts sharks or do "milk money" runs on the way to the beach for a "Dawn Fraser".
Surf Culture is now an overcrowded beige replica of a proud heritage.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 1:51pm

There was one surfer I saw taped naked with clear tape to a pole at beach in the early nineties.
Hows that for proud heritage....
Fooken brutal, you won't find that on surf breaks.

jayet-010's picture
jayet-010's picture
jayet-010 commented Thursday, 28 Nov 2019 at 11:18am

And then there's the comments section over at Beach Grit ... a refreshing bastion of unprincipled piss taking.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 12:06pm

Boobies

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo commented Friday, 29 Nov 2019 at 10:04pm

Where have the boobies gone ???...

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 2:41pm

Their distribution tends to favour the warmer water. Down here where the water is cooler, we are more likely to see Australasian Gannets.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 3:33pm

Well played

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 12:32pm

Some old faves:

garyg1412's picture
garyg1412's picture
garyg1412 commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 12:49pm

When I was about 12 I thought I be a smart arse and wrote a letter to a magazine called Zig Zag in Sth Africa. From memory it was about taking hallucinogenic drugs and going surfing with a lot of choice language thrown in for fun. Unbeknown to me they printed it and my old man bought a copy of that mag that month, saw the letter and belted my arse to kingdom come.

boxright's picture
boxright's picture
boxright commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 1:09pm

You used your real name???

barrel_pig's picture
barrel_pig's picture
barrel_pig commented Wednesday, 27 Nov 2019 at 5:13am

How else would he know it was his letter?

johnruciak's picture
johnruciak's picture
johnruciak commented Wednesday, 27 Nov 2019 at 4:04pm

...

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 12:54pm

Tell us what you really think?

OK I think it was embarrassing enough at the time to have surfing associated with racism, sexism and the kind of adolescent bullshit recorded here. Going over it now is like a dog going back to its vomit.

boxright's picture
boxright's picture
boxright commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 1:13pm

BB,
Surfing is something people do, no-one is excluded, anyone from any political persuasion can do it, and it's always been the case. Never was that more evident thatn in letters pages, which in a way are the opposite of todays echo chambers. No wonder you're opposed.

daisy duke kahanamoku's picture
daisy duke kahanamoku's picture
daisy duke kaha... commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 1:15pm

The sanctimony, it stings my eyes!

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 1:50pm

Dear Mr & Mrs swellnet:
'Can you can catch a Wog just by reading their greasy letters?'
Love the site...Sandy Woody (Go For it!)

[The Original Sin]
Xmas 1926 - PSEUDO SURF-BOARDERS by 'Fair Play' { tbb's dementor }

[ LOCALS ONLY ]
Rusted on Surfer sprays the new breed of Surf-Boarderz

"Primitive imbecilic grown up babies playing with their Mothers Ironing Boards!"

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/21116267?searchTerm=surfboard...

(Letter resulted in these primitive Boarders-trapping & spearing Surfers in sea pens.)
All of Oz basherz now know to not to say a word & are happy with the duck'n'cover.

Huey kindly instructs Skegz to reject endangered bodybasherz from Bikini Bottom...
(Ok! So tbb made that up to save his own heavily bruised, leaky moulding carcass!)

Basherz share waves xx#x |>... ~~~^~~~~/(`~~~~/(C........./(C`...[skegz) ...<| x#xx

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 1:30pm

So it's OK to publish racist and sexist material because ..... what: it's post-modern irony? A reflection of the lowest level of the subculture? We should all be free to denigrate any group we choose? Nah, this material is as grossly offensive now as it was then. The publication of this type of material reflects on anyone who identifies as a surfer. If you were happy then, or happy now, to identify as some sort of racist sexist Neanderthal, good luck, you will need it.

Threeup's picture
Threeup's picture
Threeup commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 2:11pm

Nah, I don't identify as a surfer, it's just what I am - identify is a verb used in police line-ups and looking for UFOs - Wow - there's still baby seals that you can club even in the woke age - I'm wrapped.

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 3:07pm

So I take it you weren't a fan of that iconic 80's fad of spitting the winkle either?

Stu, you must have the picture on file from Tracks back in the day depicting the act.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 2:16pm

BB,

The only thing reprinted on this page that's remotely controversial is the word "wog". Why not stage a protest outside Nick Giannopoulos' next play if you feel so strongly about it?

Me? I think reprinting it is harmless; that most everyone here can see it for what it is, or was, and its appearance here is nothing more than a time capsule into the past.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 2:53pm

"Why not stage a protest outside Nick Giannopoulos' next play"
It is generally accepted that the subjects of racist and sexist terms have the right to use them. More to the point I am surprised that you are so relaxed about the letter referencing Cronulla given the local history. For me the issue is that this material, apart from being mind-numbingly juvenile, encourages the attitudes it expresses, attitudes that are still very much present amongst surfers ,at much the same rate as in the broader community. If you consider the impact trivial, I disagree.

Surf Ads's picture
Surf Ads's picture
Surf Ads commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 4:08pm

Seems odd that we would shy away from such things, while even at the same time denouncing them.

History would be rather boring if you took out all the disagreeable bits - not to mention entirely inaccurate.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Wednesday, 27 Nov 2019 at 8:30am

"History would be rather boring if you took out all the disagreeable bits - not to mention entirely inaccurate."

Fair enough but why, at a time when every other sport is doing its best to prevent giving a voice to the racists amongst its fans, surfing via this article, is seeking to do the opposite. I mean that's what this is. Let's look back and celebrate a time when "political correctness" didn't prevent us being blatantly racist. It's a dog whistle to every closet racist.
If you are really interested in history then what about connecting this behaviour to surfing's long and disgraceful association with racism; Micky Dora, Nazi symbolism of the '60s, through to the Cronulla riots. What about exploring the process of publication? What percentage of these letters were fakes? Were letters selected on the basis of their racism? What role did surfing publications play in the attitudes that led to the Cronulla riots? If you want history don't trivialise it by keeping your head in the bubble.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Wednesday, 27 Nov 2019 at 7:51pm

Nah mate, I’m not with you on this one. You’re overthinking it. There are much more important issues to get riled up about anyway.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 4:28pm

The impact is trivial and the fact is evidenced by the statement that Australia is perhaps the most harmonious and safe multicultural society in the world , to the extent that people are literally waiting years to become a citizen .

Christ I’m getting sick of the outrage expressed on other behalf of people by the ultimate wokesters out there.

wax-on-danielson's picture
wax-on-danielson's picture
wax-on-danielson commented Wednesday, 27 Nov 2019 at 2:20pm

Wokesters is racist and sexist #newagefuckwit

davetherave's picture
davetherave's picture
davetherave commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 2:24pm

I won a pair of bolle sunglasses for a letter that tracks published. I got stuck into surf rider foundation because I went to the age in Newcastle and they couldn't show where they had spent the members money. I still have an issue paying money to a central administration where no percentage of my money comes back to the local chapter to help on the ground stuff straight away. Has this changed Seano? $ 25, I reckon $15 to administration costs and $10 back to local group. Anyway I donated those sunnies to a raffle when we planted trees at d-baht and I still remember the excited look on sheeny's sister when she won. Thanks Tracks, I love letters to the editor.

davetherave

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 2:49pm

We could whitewash it, as we we do with Aboriginal Massacres.
No! It's not pretty...but redacting text books, Joh style is much more damaging.

We Qldurrz lived thru both & prefer brutal honesty, canetoad warts'n'all.
World is full of Cut'n'Paste in modern era & 1970's tales are 99.9% censored Gloss.
Qldurr tbb is trained to believe these letters will be banned sooner than later.

Bloody Bonza huge leap for History if we could share rare & honest Surfing tales.
That's too impossible to dream in rewritten Sticker Era.

Read between the lines for ultra rare & treasured gold mine of surf culture.
Redact every 2nd offensive word & it's still the best Surf History hands down.
Never seen so much uncensored 70's Surf Culture Good or Bad...
We don't all read Playboy for the Articles, mostly us Qldurr Gromz never soiled one!

At my local of 50 years- Yanks & Asian Skegz swear at tbb to get outta their Line-up?

In saying that...tbb never bashed anyone but is not shocked to hear the word Wog...
Last week the Manager said he had the Wog...(tbb threw that in as a harsh reminder.)

bipola's picture
bipola's picture
bipola commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 3:11pm

me too davetherave

Graeme Murdoch's picture
Graeme Murdoch's picture
Graeme Murdoch commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 3:57pm

I once wrote a letter to tracks telling 'em to keep up the fucked work and they told me to keep up the fucked letters. Call it a draw.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 4:00pm

I once wrote a letter to Tracks and they sent me a CD by a band called Junkhouse.

davetherave's picture
davetherave's picture
davetherave commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 5:07pm

They had obviously seen you in the mosh pit stu. They were just looking out for your well being in that if you kept on dancing with so much vigorous head shaking you would join the old rave in the junk house doghouse, Argo uh, werewolves of swellnet, argon ugh.

davetherave

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 3:58pm

Surfing World Commemorated Duke Kahanamoku 100yr / Oz Tour.
But again we can only see the Whitewash that our Boss Stickermen allow!

Qld Press & surfers of the day held a different view about The Duke's Tour! (Shh!)

GC #1 Bodybasher Jim Cavill reckons sheep need a refund after booning a no show.
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/20049589?searchTerm=duke%20ka...|||l-decade=191|||l-year=1915|||sortby=dateAsc

Editor joins in & says the Pollies smuggled these thieving aliens into the country.
Reckons these Kanakas never lived up to the Hype!
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/79749913?searchTerm=duke%20ka...|||l-decade=191|||l-year=1915|||sortby=dateAsc

Pretty sure that's redacted in all fake Duke Books littering World Library Shelves..
Example of cutting edge accounts tarnishing The Duke. (Truth's not relevant, or is it?)
Well today @ swellnet it is...a rare treat for the crew indeed!

chook's picture
chook's picture
chook commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 4:47pm

are things as tribal for youngsters today?

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 8:50pm

How does it go BB?

"Much to the horror of fascist morals crusaders, the choice remains the individual's"

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 11:05pm

I for one enjoyed this nostalgic look back on pre social media times , without feeling compelled to be anymore racist or sexist than I already am. There was a broad range of shit in that .. wheres your'e outrage on westy bullying , Mcoy lazer zaps , bloody tri fin surfers, shoulder hoppers and contest clowns...

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Tuesday, 26 Nov 2019 at 11:25pm

After an all-time all-day mission up the coast with one of the old blokes while on a Mum-imposed surfing ban, we had a letter published in Tracks about discovering the real Dork Dog (see Lash Clone by the inimitable DC Green...?). Occy on the cover. 1984 or 85 I think....that was about as high as you could fly for 15 year-olds.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Wednesday, 27 Nov 2019 at 8:39am

Best ever letter was by S. Doohan from Jan Juc and published in ASL in the late 90s:
"I was at the Gash factory picking up a new custom stick when I was caught short. I rushed off to the bathroom to punch one out and was confronted with this (Photo of world's filthiest toilet located at the factory). Looks like the Gash factory could use a women's touch"
The funny thing was, the actual author was the Vic sales rep from ASL and it won letter of the month and a new surfboard. The sales rep had to fess up when head office asked him to track down S. Doohan's address for prize delivery!!

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

pcrisp's picture
pcrisp's picture
pcrisp commented Wednesday, 27 Nov 2019 at 11:30am

Surfing culture has changed a lot- our hero Peter Garrett peddling fake news climate crap- whats next? Will the WSL cave to the trannies wanting that equal prize money?

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Wednesday, 27 Nov 2019 at 12:17pm

Hey pcisp. Do you use the phrases "PC gone mad", "virtue signalling", "I'm not a racist but..." and "cultural marxism" often?

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

pcrisp's picture
pcrisp's picture
pcrisp commented Wednesday, 27 Nov 2019 at 3:06pm

You sound overly educated - I just focus on hunting pedophiles when I’m not surfing

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Wednesday, 27 Nov 2019 at 7:54pm

Good trolling skills. I like what you did there.

surfingbymyself's picture
surfingbymyself's picture
surfingbymyself commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 2:29pm

Wish I could upvote this

wax-on-danielson's picture
wax-on-danielson's picture
wax-on-danielson commented Wednesday, 27 Nov 2019 at 2:24pm

The main take away from this article is that the 90s ruled. This century sux.

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Wednesday, 27 Nov 2019 at 2:36pm

Humor has become more subversive and secret?? Shhhh.... It's like living in a Stasi wet dream.

arnie's picture
arnie's picture
arnie commented Friday, 29 Nov 2019 at 3:59pm

Nah mate, 70's ruled, Track's letters were laugh out loud hilarious before PC was even thought of.

Arnie

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Wednesday, 27 Nov 2019 at 2:44pm

So, one can walk into the original Nazi-era "re-education"/political assassination turned concentration camps and view a full history of government-run violence, terror, oppression, degradation and assassinations to provide context, direction and humility to ones actions, but posting some snippets out surfing magazines about 'saggy brown tits' is wrong? No.

All information must be freely available to all people in the context of these information giants collecting everyone's private information, charging for the privileged and then selling it to the highest bidder; at the same time as disseminating none of it to any of the individuals who effectively hand over our right to privacy for a tiny amount of gratification.

Swellnet, thank you for sharing history.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Thursday, 28 Nov 2019 at 10:48am

Ape, try a bit of context. Any reference to Nazi atrocties has to be in a carefully considered context so that it does not offend. Try reposting some straight out Nazi propaganda for people's amusement and see how you go.
In the case of the material posted here the implicit context was to celebrate a time when it was OK to be explicitly racist and sexist. To me that is offensive and trivialises the serious racism in the surfing community that led to the Cronulla riots which brought shame on all of us. There is also a clear hypothesis that links this type of material to those events. Try
" Did the publication of explicitly racist and sexist language and attitudes in specialist sporting magazines with large youth followings play a part in later racist violence?"
Now I don't know that is true but it is definitely worth considering. There is probably a PhD in it. Dismiss it if you like. Call me "woke" or sanctimonious but I have yet to see any attempt to rationally explain why it should be published now beyond the bland assertion that it is OK or I am being too sensitive. The reality is that the material is sexist, racist and its humour is the kind of juvenile bullshit most kids are over by 15. Its presence in the surfing media at the time played a large part in me abandoning surfing magazines and movies for the entire period. Even if it hadn't been offensive it was still catatonically boring.

Surf Ads's picture
Surf Ads's picture
Surf Ads commented Thursday, 28 Nov 2019 at 1:17pm

Ah so it wasn't the racist dog whistling of Alan Jones and his talkback cohort, The Daily Telegraph etc that was responsible for the Cronulla riots, but instead it was the 1980s letters section in Tracks what done it.

Entire bodies of study have been devoted to the media's roles in those riots; try looking up and then directing your anger in the right direction. In that context I'd suggest starting with the moral panics around Asian gangs in the '80s and work back from there.

Was the publication of a racist letter in an otherwise overwhelmingly left-leaning surfing magazine a contributing factor? Sure, probably helped to reinforce a few already solidified mind sets. But it was a drop in the ocean compared to the overt campaigns waged by the Murdoch press.

In regards to my decision to include the letters: I wasn't celebrating racism. it was a conscious decision to highlight how much attitudes have (hopefully) changed since then, which is what you will find I also said in the article.

But this ain't a critical media studies journal which is why it's not the focus. And nor would 99% of Swellnet's readers expect it to be.

Oh and thanks for the PhD suggestion but I'll stick with my lowly degree in communication and media studies for now; unless you'd like to sponsor me?

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Thursday, 28 Nov 2019 at 2:34pm

Ouch! Sounds like I hit a sore spot. Would you like me to provide the soap and water so you can wash the minor stains off your hands? I mean every little bit helps and nothing has changed. Alan Jones is still there (by his fingernails) the Murdoch media is still in full cry. Does the fact that this is not a media studies journal somehow allow you to use racist language without any analysis of its context? I never studied media at all but I have a pretty good handle on the history of racism and that suggests it should never be given a pass because "times were different" or "this is not the place for the discussion." And as for Tracks being a "left leaning journal" sorry but by that time it was just tabloid trash whose closest relatives were British tabloids. Tits and bullshit? A guaranteed boost to circulation. Maybe you should think about that PhD. Couldn't do any harm could it?

Scott laurenson's picture
Scott laurenson's picture
Scott laurenson commented Thursday, 28 Nov 2019 at 6:43pm

you suck so hard

scott

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Thursday, 28 Nov 2019 at 8:47pm

Whaddya reckon BB, ban any books, any movies with a hint of anything objectionable?
I mean, any bit of media with an incorrect pronoun?

Rewrite history, censor the shit out of it?

One final thing - you're in a significant minority.

"More than two-thirds of Australians believe that political correctness has "gone too far" and that their fellow citizens are too easily offended.
This disapproval of political correctness is a majority view across all age groups.
It is also a majority view for all income brackets, for both men and women, across white and non-white Australians and in all states and territories."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-11-28/australia-talks-annabel-crabb-pol...

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Friday, 29 Nov 2019 at 4:45pm

Andy I am quite happy with the current laws in place around the publication of racist material as shown below. I suspect that the lead letter in the article skates pretty close to that. So the issue is not about political correctness but about the law and community standards. If, for some reason, I had wanted to publish this article, I would definitely have sought legal advice first.

Racial Vilification Law

it is unlawful
for a person to do an act, otherwise than in private, if:
(a) the act is reasonably likely in all the circumstances to offend,
insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or group of people,
and
(b) the act is done because of the race, colour or national or ethnic
origin of the other person or some or all of the people in the group.

The legislation requires
that the act be done "otherwise than in private". Words, sounds,
images or writing communicated to the public are acts done 'otherwise
than in private'. [5] As the Internet is one means by
which words, sounds, images and writing are communicated to the public,
the legislation clearly applies to this medium.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Friday, 29 Nov 2019 at 8:31pm

So you'd advocate banning Huckleberry Finn and To Kill A Mockingbird?

The Satanic Verses?

Genuinely interested.

blindboy's picture
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blindboy commented Friday, 29 Nov 2019 at 11:05pm

No, since the books are all freely available I assume they do not breach the Racial Vilification Act. Not having read any of them recently I can't comment beyond that on their content. What I will say is that in considering issues around literary works there needs to be a very careful judgement made as to the intentions of the author and the impact on the reader. If the intention was to denigrate people on the basis of their race and the impact on the reader was likely to increase racist behaviour, then there is a case to be made against the book in terms of the act. On the other hand, in cases where the material has no literary merit it is much easier to reach a conclusion about the intentions of the author and the likely impact on the reader.

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 12:06pm

"there needs to be a very careful judgement made as to the intentions of the author and the impact on the reader"

By that definition it sounds like Huck Finn and TKAM are off the hook but Rushdie's effort would fail your test - Rushdie is a self-confessed antagonist, including having previously taken aim at Pakistan, its culture and religion.

Rushdie's publisher warned that The Satanic Verses would cause significant offence, so it's not as if he can plead ignorance.

Rushdie's book falls under your category of to "denigrate people on the basis of their race and the impact on the reader was likely to increase racist behaviour".

I'd say that the main reason TSV wasn't banned in Australia was that despite recent ugly politicking by the Right, Australia still supports basic liberal values including free speech.

In other words, and as I've said before, I see quite a few of your beliefs veering away from liberal ideals and being regressive by definition.

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blindboy commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 1:19pm

I read The Satanic Verses a long time ago and thought it was pretty toxic. In terms of the law I think there seems to be less protection for religion and, as the current debate shows, there is no broad consensus on how to deal with material that offends believers. There is a fundamental point though that religion is a choice. Race is not.

Beyond the law there are questions of judgement and taste, A lot of offensive material that would no professional publisher would touch based on those grounds now appears on the internet. They are my grounds for criticising Swellnet over this article. Yep it almost certainly comes in below the legal requirement (though as I said before, I would have got a legal opinion) but, in my opinion, it represents bad taste and poor judgement. Most people here disagree but I stand by my position,

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AndyM commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 1:46pm

"I would have got a legal opinion"

It'll be a sad, sad day in this country when this is truly necessary in order to reprint a 30 year old letter written by some boofhead, originally published in a little-read magazine and republished in a relatively humble surf website.

Out.

blindboy's picture
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blindboy commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 2:09pm

....... and an even sadder one should we revert to the standards of 30 years ago when people could publish racist insults without a thought.

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 2:24pm

Haha, ok, some final thoughts

1. Who does the censoring - the government?
2. Censorship is a false security - nothing will protect us from the darkest recesses of the internet or the mind
3. Sunlight is the best disinfectant
4. I may disagree with what you say but, unlike you, I defend your right *blah, blah, blah*

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blindboy commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 3:05pm

So you are good with; holocaust denial? material promoting paedophilia as natural and safe? incitement to terrorism? repeal of all defamation laws?

...and of course the great delusion of libertarians that insults and threats against those who disagree with them are not limiting their opponents right to free speech.

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AndyM commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 3:12pm

"So you are good with; holocaust denial? material promoting paedophilia as natural and safe? incitement to terrorism?"

See no.s 2 and 3.

I'm not sure where your final paragraph fits in.

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Blowin commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 3:44pm

You know the ones you’ve got to watch Andy ?

The ones who like to think they’re measured and rational and that they alone can make the decisions which dictate how everyone is allowed to act and think.

Too bad that bubbling away just below the surface is a complete nut job who thinks their fascist impulse is eradicated by a veneer of polite speech. They’ll take their ability to compel other people into a behaviour they see fit using any means at hand.

The latest fashionable technique amongst them is using false moral authority to alter the world around them. Best to tell them outright to get fucked before they get up a head of steam .

blindboy's picture
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blindboy commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 3:46pm

If you think that sort of material should be unrestricted you are way out of line with community opinion. Good luck with that, probably best to stck to the theoretical side of things! My point in the last paragraph is that laws are not the only restriction on free speech. The effect, if not the intent, of insults, threats and intimidation is to deny the other person a voice ........ to infringe their right to free speech. This is a point in my experience that libertarians struggle to understand. Ultimately you cannot have entirely free speech because some kinds of speech inhibit free speech .... so any idea of totally free speech is a contradiction in terms.

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blindboy commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 3:50pm

Perfect example of my point above! Really the best way to defend free speech is to tell people to get fucked before they get their opinion out.........ha ha ha ha ha. You really couldn't script some of the nonsense that gets spouted here!

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Blowin commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 3:57pm

Im not talking about people expressing opinions. I’m referring to putting a stop to the fascists out there who wish to impose their opinions on others.

You’ve got no moral authority here , BB. Tell your story walking.

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 4:01pm

I would definitely agree with the illegality of child pornography but I still have grave reservations about Holocaust denial being illegal. No sane person believes in that stuff and freaks are always going to exist.

And in my experience with stuff like drugs and also the Anarchist's Handbook, nothing attracts like the forbidden.

Get it out in the open and tear it down with discussion and mockery.

I think your point above reinforces my argument and also takes us back to comments on the Jodie Cooper/Carcass story - people are potentially kept in line more by public sentiment than the fear of legal repercussions.

What did The Clash say, something like you have the right to free speech but you wouldn't be dumb enough to actually try it. We all know there's no such thing as totally free speech.
I think censorship is generally counter productive and also I don't want restrictions to be dictated by politicians

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 4:12pm

It’s not dictated by politicians. Censorship is dictated by the overwhelming wailing of a very vocal minority. The politicians are chasing votes and that vocal minority makes itself seem more representative than it is through sheer tenacity.

Look at these comments for a perfect example, but the fact is that the fascists will probably end up getting their way and we will be back to the same beginning that led to such enjoyable periods of history as pogroms , Spanish Inquisition etc.

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 4:29pm

Bugger this, see you down the bottom of the page.

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Ape Anonymous commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2019 at 12:57pm

The irony is that the Law you've mentioned is inherently racist?? It doesn't view all humans as equal in that it defines a distinct difference between people. This is what divides us / provides a foundation for discrimination. How can we be offended by the stupidity (discrimination) of others if we focus on the similarities in each other? But here's the catch, we all discriminate. Let me prove it to you: there is an I and a you; there is black and there is white; there is right and there is wrong. The irony: discrimination does not discriminate. Roman adage: divisum emporum - divide and conquer.

RE: nazis. Firstly, everyone should be offended by nazis / large-scale-centralised and privately run governments. Fuck the discrimination between who is and is not offended by genocide. Fuck the discrimination about who is and who isn't a nazi. If we commit and endorse genocide, ITS WRONG!

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truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 27 Nov 2019 at 4:09pm

Swellnet Surf column unlocks a New Chapter in Oz Surf History...read on!

(above) tbb saluted swellnet for reopening pandora's box of ugly surf terminology.
tbb added some early 1900's Letters availing early Surf Speak...
Wondering how far could you backtrack ownership of Oz Surfing Terminology.
1839 to be precise! (In a strictly Commercial sense!)

Ok! So tbb has unlocked modern surfing well back beyond that...indeed...
1791 Convict Escapees Surfing the Governer's LTD 'round Cape Moreton.
1819 Bogey Hole Convict Bodybasherz
1829 Gold Coast Convict Raft Surfers

As you can read ...all were reluctant Pro Surfers..
Yes! Some were paid to construct & Surf their exported Surf Craft.
But as their ankles were shackled to said Surf Raft...hardly stoked about it!

So tell us tbb...what's this New Surfing breakthru that swellnet spurred on...

Small ocean Boats : Cutters,Keel,Open,Life,Long,Whale,Smugglers...etc
Small river Boats : Ferry-Punts,Line,Jolly,Small...etc
River Mouth Boats : Guard,Water Master, Pilot...etc

When Surf is running, high or Heavy ALL above boats steer clear.
Not one of these boats can handle the surf as well as a Saltwater canoe.

1839 This Ad appears in a host of Sydney / NSW Newspapers...
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/32164975?searchTerm=surf%20-%...

"To Ship & Boat Builders"
A SURF BOAT + (Plan) being required by the Illawarra Steam Packet Company

(Freakout! As neither of said ocean boats or Comp' existed up until this point of time!)
tbb was perplexed by the 1st use of the word 'Surf Boat' without any explanation.
Took a lot lateral thinking to suss out who was Surfing what,how,when,where & why?

IIIawarra / Comp was short lived so that helped out big time.
Company ran services from Morpeth to Wollongong (Long route didn't help)
Too early for Ship's Photos...(Bummer)
tbb focused on original intent of Surf Craft (No need to surf a Port?)
(Has to be an additional beach stop + that would need to shoulder a Port)
Produce was selling at high price so...yes a beach stop outside a Port...(Still Too Slow)
Company promised the 1st Shipping from Wollongong to Sydney in "quick time".

tbb backdated his thoughts to that early era...(Kicked himself...FFS !)
Wollongong was not a Port in Aug 1839 - when 1st Service began.

This AD was tendering for a fast Intercity Surf Taxi Transit link...No Joke!
People Mover Surf Craft needed to Surf Passengers & City Goods thru the lineup.
[ Disclaimer ] Don't surf ! Sorry no Sydney...back door to Green Room > this way!
https://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1021&context=ihsbulletin
https://www.illawarra-heritage-trail.com.au/belmore/

swellnet moves in mysterious ways...tbb credits crew for Oz/World surf breakthru!
Wave of the Day ~~~^~~~~/(`~~~~/C......./(C`..[swellnet)

ilikelamb's picture
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ilikelamb commented Wednesday, 27 Nov 2019 at 7:21pm

Times haven’t really changed...... I love surfing but loathe surfers.
Read into that how you will.
Peace.

frog's picture
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frog commented Thursday, 28 Nov 2019 at 9:39am

Back in the 70's I loved the tribe and thought we were something special. Being a surf journalist or a pro seemed like some sort of dream job.

These days the idea of hanging out with pro surfers on the world tour or spending 10 days of a boat trip with full on rabid groms or being a surf journalist have to write about the pro tour and its personalities is very unappealing. Talking surf all day, everyday is torture and dulls the experience.

But, in my world, surfers are scarce (4 inhabit my 5 floor work environment of hundreds of staff). So when I come across them (usually the variant of the species that is a bit older and with varied interests) at work it is a pleasure to have that link and talk surf. These days I don't like the tribe but usually like surfers as individuals.

Frogg

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Thursday, 28 Nov 2019 at 8:43pm

"These days I don't like the tribe but usually like surfers as individuals."

For sure Frog, having that common ground creates something special.

I work with a fundamentalist Christian so in theory we should have very little in common.
But he's a lifelong surfer and has been out in the water with MP, Wayne Lynch and the like - it's more than enough for us to have some great chats and to establish the basis for a healthy relationship.

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garyg1412 commented Friday, 29 Nov 2019 at 11:40am

AndyM I wonder what it is that makes that common ground so interesting and engaging. Is the lifestyle and experiences we have more intense and memorable than other recreational pursuits - who knows!!! I can count the number of close friends I have on one hand and we are all surfers and our lives revolve around surfing. Yes I have other friends, mainly from my wife's side, but I could never sit with any of those friends in a car for 4 hours talking shit about surf, surfboards, weather systems and looking for surf. Maybe someone needs to do a psychological study on this phenomenon.

Spuddups's picture
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Spuddups commented Wednesday, 27 Nov 2019 at 7:58pm

I once wrote a letter to a surf mag and enclosed Rp1000 as a bribe to publish the letter. The letter had no content to speak of really but they were obviously impressed by all the zeros and they published it.

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Lanky Dean commented Thursday, 28 Nov 2019 at 7:41pm

Blue jeans ......

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher commented Thursday, 28 Nov 2019 at 9:27pm

tbb exampled old school but what if the past comes back to haunt you.
No word of a lie Gold Coast Bulletin [ Letter of the day ] (Today!)

Readers may not agree with writer but it is an open letter addressed to us Surfers..
Letter is by Ken Wade aged 81...(Ken is a respected long term Goldie letter writer!)
tbb wouldn't dare edit out the Old School cliches that flow like oil thru Ken's veins.
Ken's poison pen is putting all surfers on notice...the system ain't broke!

Classic Print Edition ink leaked thru the key pad directly onto this swellnet page

[ Mick should stop Fanning the flames of protesting ]

"As if there is not enough unrest in Australia with the Greens on their insane crusade to have all our coal mines and power stations closed down, and the vocal uprising of this current generation, who are simply too naive and immature, to comprehend what this phony climate change is all about.
Yet now we have Gold Coast big names in the surfing fraternity uniting together in an attempt to stop the proposed oil drilling in the Great Australian Bight, which they say should be classed as a marine park.
For Gods sake, have we not had enough of these protesting pest groups, that have existed in Queensland, since the Palaszczuk Labor Government came to power in 2015, without the surfing fraternity causing more chaos.
Surely these surfers must know this country needs our own oil supply that will reward us with cheaper fuel costs at the bowser, rather than the high cost of importing it from the Middle East, and will generate plenty of jobs.
Being a fan of Mick Fanning myself at the age of 81, I strongly urge Mick to give this oil drilling protesting some very serious consideration, owing to the fact he is highly respected by many Australians including an army of kids (fans) who look up to him as a hero and a mentor.
Don't let these kids down Mick, teach them the art of surfing that you excel in, not the ugly protesting." KEN WADE, TWEED HEADS.

swellnet crew welcome & respect any aged surf fans of any school of thought.
Happy to relay an open letter from an old Surf fan addressed to Mick & all surfers.

This letter was worth the $1.90 tbb paid for the newspaper... All say Aye! Pretty please...

Greg Cruse's picture
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Greg Cruse commented Friday, 29 Nov 2019 at 9:56am

Oh the good old days of free thought, right or wrong, before the mind police of the fascist right started to tell us what to write and how to think and how to be. It's all quite illegal now. Days of Pearly Spencer are gone.

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Friday, 29 Nov 2019 at 9:58am

Are you saying Blindboy is of the fascist right?

blindboy's picture
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blindboy commented Friday, 29 Nov 2019 at 10:08am

"........mind police of the fascist right started to tell us what to write and how to think"

I can only assume this is a reference to Murdoch media and their allies, correct me if I am wrong.

In terms of free speech you can't beat the hypocrisy of the libertarians who constantly appeal for it to be established while howling down those who suggest that it should not include the right to racist and sexist insult. The campaign from the racist right on this issue has been comparable to the climate denial campaign and is run by the same people for slightly different reasons. Climate denial is about preserving wealth. Racism is about preserving power. Dog whistling up the racists gets you what? A 10% head start in every election? 20% at times. Maybe more if you can find an issue to ramp up the fear factor.

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bipola commented Friday, 29 Nov 2019 at 3:12pm

so true

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher commented Friday, 29 Nov 2019 at 3:50pm

Pays to remind all that opposing views can chop & change with the tide.
Princes & Priests are now front page: [Commandments are not set in stone]

Qldurr Gromz were denied sex education but Sun newspaper had topless girls.
The beach was an eyeful of White Pointers (Top bit) + Fur Burgers (Below bit).
Each decade since,Topless & cheeky were banned from beaches,newspapers,TV.

All 1970-2000 beach culture newsreels are now wedged down the censor's couch.
Any who dare show surf of that era must first sweep for any rogue white pointers...
One nip slip will cost your broadcasting licence...a crochet bikini = 10 year ban.
Pixelated Boobies or frustrating SBS subtitles may buy you a Heritage Council Doco.

[ NEWS of the DAY ]
No surprise to 70's Grom tbb that everyone in 2019 is now a Bikini Inspector.
[f] Have Billions of them...in fact more than half the World are on 24/7 Bikini vigil.

Swimwear Standards- Min' OZ Swimwear = Max' French Swimwear
Pretty much OZ bans Cheeky / G-Strings (vs) France bans Burkinis & Boardies in Pools
https://scontent.fbne5-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-0/p526x296/71912569_101573...

WSL swear they're sick of dirty old men pervin' on their surfer babes in cheeky bikinis
We set high standards- Rad bikini chix in classifieds & Covered chix in centrefolds
2018/19 WSL Chix surf scores dropped & now earn more money per heat than men.
https://www.whimn.com.au/talk/news/why-you-wont-see-photos-like-this-any...

Here's a perfect example of WSL politicizing Swimwear to corner the market.
WSL 100% Wave Pool Arena...Winner is a married christian banging a G-String.
The only woman wearing a G String in the event just so happened to win the event.
https://www.surfertoday.com/surfing/gabriel-medina-and-lakey-peterson-wi...
Either chix surf better in G-Strings or WSL perverted the xxx Olympic QF event?
All agree WSL were desperate to add some girly flavour to The Ranch Scrap Yard.
The whole arena was confined & made to watch that WSL G-string on newly-wed?

Corporations only wind up this old argument when it suits them...so to capitalize.
WSL fraternity just signed a cosy 10 year deal...every kiddie gets a prize...No losers!
Just do as they say, when they ask & you too might just win a title.

Just in case you didn't catch on...lets watch that again in a new rival Mall Wave Pool
Here we see the only ever Chick surfing a new Wave Pool...with cheeky ass shots.
Can't wear that in public mall-pool but sold out G-strings from the Mall surf shop!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6KK58v3sm8

WSL + Surf industry + Mega Malls now 'own exploitation' of Surf Chix swimwear.
By owning the media of swimwear WSL now rule G-Strings market trends & prices.
WSL decide which surfer, contest for which season.(1000's of WSL # 1 beaches)
WSL trawl trailer park trash luring Weet Bix Groms to fill WSL Cereal Bowls.

Surf culture is censored, airbrushed, pixelated & resold as stickers by corporations.
swellnet snippets are viewed as contraband in a relentless tide of censorship.
That invitation is to good to refuse...tbb salutes the Milk Bar window.
"Chiko Roll" ...Over here thanx!

[Disclaimer] tbb was first a Grom Skeg & jumped camps to being an arch rival Punk.
tbb salutes all Chix, Skegz, Punkz & Bandz that stoke our sordid crew.

Soon we'll all be whiteboarded but they'll never wipeout our rough'n'ready culture.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_LXa3WFGhg

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Friday, 29 Nov 2019 at 5:24pm

Free speech for the idiot right is very easy to understand. Punching down on minorities is their absolute right. When people try to hold our shithouse government or nutter tabloid journalists / radio announces to account, they cry like fucking hungry and tired two year olds.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

D-Rex's picture
D-Rex's picture
D-Rex commented Friday, 29 Nov 2019 at 8:59pm

VL (as a fellow Victorian) reading your moronic whingeing almost makes me feel ashamed to be from the same state. Suggest you change your moniker lest all Victorians be regarded as idiots by association (suggest Flog, Dipshit, Misguided or Ignorant as alternatives).

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 6:24pm

D-Rex, bit touchy there mate. Your abusive response (with zero discussion of the issue) pretty much shows I had a point.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Friday, 29 Nov 2019 at 9:17pm

This one's for you D-Rex.

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher commented Friday, 29 Nov 2019 at 10:03pm

Racism, Left vs Right, Religious Discrimination, Ageism, Fat, Sexism, Dumb Blondes.
(Insert 1000 more 'isms' here...)

Examples of Racist chants...(re: Gympie Muster) Deep south Qld Rednecks
https://www.qm.qld.gov.au/microsites/collecting-queensland-festivals/fes...
Epicentre of OZ Racism (AMAMOOR racist Hate Jokes are a town Attraction)
These are not Public Notices but vile hardcore Racist hate Jokes...No sissy stuff!
No surprise this town sits outside Gympie in redneck muster grounds..
https://thm.arosoftware.com/aro-au-prod-storage.s3-ap-southeast-2.amazon...
https://live.staticflickr.com/7177/6851268249_b439a5519f_b.jpg
Choose any Joke & you'll instantly see they don't want your type near their town.

Interstate Rivalry of Qld vs NSW vs Vic (Canetoads vs Cockroaches & Mexicans)
See also Joh era + 2019 Federal Election resulting in Qld being excised from Oz.

S.A. vs VIC (Parmi vs Parma) Footy Wars
WA run their own delayed elections & threaten to rejoin Oz.

Capital City clash of Sydney vs Melbourne (That's some real nasty shit that is!)
This rivalry actually resulted in Oz having to build a new unneeded Capital City.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_regional_rivalries

Intercity Rivalry
Sydney (right wing Toffs) v Newcastle (Left wing workers)
North Qld threaten to cut off SEQ & go it alone. (see also: DLS)
Ballarat vs Bendigo (Won't ever stop fighting over the biggest gold nugget)
North (Boags)# [42nd Parallel] # South Tasmania (Cascade)[ Prisoners are Divided ]

*Localism (Swellnet column) Local tags being the driver of angst + varied undertones.

Examples of "Surf Region Localism" (Note late edition + Bogans as new westies)

(Qld -Border)(GC skegz Plastics) vs Brizzos / Ferals + Rubbernecks as Blowins.

(NSW) (Local Surfers-Waxies) vs Westies / Bushpigz + Wogz as Blowins

tbb would love to hear of other regional banter, only if we're allowed to share...

Inter urban City Clashes
Hobart's North bogan's (Flannelette Curtain) vs Southern Lattes

Oz Towns vs The State
Canberra North Unis vs South Parliament
SEQ Logan (Bogans) vs Centrelink
Nimbin (Ferals) are sick at the sight of Police
Hutt River Principality believes it is a sovereign state

Ye Olde Youth Cult clashes
Rockers,Sharps,Skegz,Clubbies,Punks,Boofs,Bikers,Hoons,Mods,Skins,Hippies,Ferals.

Line-Up Angst
Pros v Skegz v Boogerz v [L] v Clubbies v Basherz v logz v Supz v Towies v Drones

Swellnet crew...(No angst here!)

*tbb judged swellnet letters on a low-medium level or common regional angst .
Be stoked if Tracy read 'em out on ACA...who are we kidding...this is minor league.
Feel free to dial up the hate level as high as you like, just be honest about it!

Reasoning:
tbb visited AMAMOOR store & couldn't stomach the hate (Truthful)
Both tbb's older & younger brother wanted to read & photo snap every vile joke.
These surf mag letters might just pass as piss weak toilet paper in AMAMOOR.
In other words ..they're too sissy for the Shop Window Gallery.

Another reason being the good & the bad were flip sides of same coin...
tbb has no desire or energy to exorcise common worldly demons.
Medieval England & Aboriginal tribes gave no such warning to neighbours.
Whole world is guilty of the same & can't sit & pass judgement.
All know our PM is more bigoted than all of us combined...

Goodvibes will head up Royal Commission into Tracks Letters!
No! tbb is not laughing as we all know it's gonna happen.

Liney's picture
Liney's picture
Liney commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 9:26am

My first post
How did this thread degenerate to this?

Backyard Shaper,Glasser and unfortunately Sander

icandig's picture
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icandig commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 8:24pm

.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 4:04pm

Let’s be honest here. This is exactly what is being demanded .

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/brief-history-book-burning-printi...

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 4:36pm

Blowin, censorship is very much dictated by politicians and I'd be incredibly hesitant to give them any leeway.

We're already fighting a massive anti-censorship battle on different fronts

"The Australian Government have announced the introduction of a new Bill aimed at imposing criminal liability on executives of social media platforms if they fail to remove “abhorrent violent content.” The hastily drafted legislation could have serious unintended consequences for human rights in Australia.
The rushed and secretive approach, the lack of proper open, democratic debate, and the placement of far-reaching and unclear regulatory measures on internet speech in the the criminal code are all matters of grave concern for digital rights groups, including Access Now and Digital Rights Watch."

The following sums it up for me.

"“This knee-jerk reaction will not make us safer or address the way that hatred circulates and grows in our society. We need to face up to the cause of this behaviour, and not look for quick fixes and authoritarian approaches to legislating over it,” "

https://digitalrightswatch.org.au/2019/04/03/changes-to-australias-crimi...

Statler's picture
Statler's picture
Statler commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 8:01pm

Gees, some of the older boomer crew must be harbouring some sort of past guilt that they cannot scrub off.
Been reading Jack London's Books about the Pacific lately free at Project Guttenberg, If you cannot handle some letters which were always about humour in Tracks ...fucken do not download these books the kittens produced would further destroy our native animal population and would leave some gibbering with conniptions and self flagellation

If i was Writing a letter to tracks today I would change the wog to murfer or hipster.
"Well, the Murfers and Hipsters have finally got to xxxx. My friend was down there the other day when some hipster murfers rolled up in a restored Kombi and.......

See nothing has changed except the target...Hang on is this sexist or racist or is it acceptable to hate murfers and hipsters when they arrive in the carpark. I don't know anymore
I don't care i do, like I hated westies as a grom, like they hated us and would steal shit from our cars or bags whilst we surfed.
If the boxes of old mags were not in storage I could find some solid gold. Spit The winkle, vaginas not allowed squirting arseholes yes? Santas coming baby ? Sexist. The pope saying the rights were better down the beach, trivalising religion?

The world is heading into a sad place. Can we not take the piss out of each other now or is the victim mentality so set in that our culture will become further bland.

Glad I kept all the old mags the missus never understood, well its become clear now. My Grom's can gather under candlelight and taste the forbidden fruit of humour at anyone's expense.
The first rule of old surfing magazine club is you do not speak about old surfing magazine club.
2nd rule of old surfing magazine club is you will find and upload snippets to piss off boomers the left and the right.
3rd rule of old surfing magazine club drop in on every boomer, hipster and murfer you come across regardless of race, gender, creed or religion. In this instance its OK to discriminate

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 8:07pm

Nice work

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 8:30pm

+100
and can I add that for your Groms, get a copy of all the 'Gonad Man' comix, my groms loved it and developed an intuition to irony and hypocrisy as presented through the storyline; not to mention seeing the protagonist curl his nutsack into a giant pink sea turtle. Further, let them watch Peter Jackson's "Meet the Feebles", lol!
Nice about the Jack London, bought Ms a copy of DH Lawrence's "Lady Chatterley's Lover" intending to show her a love story which was also great literature, and she got right into it as it descended into heaps of use of "f" and "c". The book is redpilled as fuck.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 11:01pm

All say Aye...but we still get to dob each other in...right!

Just saying that...velocityjohnno's filth is on 'The List'.
Not nice Mr Gonad Man but that depraved f'n'c book.

http://blogs.slq.qld.gov.au/jol/files/2016/09/Ronas-Death-List-2-from-Se...

-100 social credits & salt licks for velocityjohnno

Seasons Greetings Comrade VJ...thank tbb later!

+100 gold stars for tbb (add Jerry can & matches)
(bonus 50 credits) tbb celebrates xmas @ Chernobyl

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2019 at 10:35am

Perhaps one day we can surf the Gulag Archipelago together tbb

While I'm in the sin-bin, I'll recommend Conn and Hal Iggulden's "Dangerous Book for Boys" for the groms - a book full of adventure, logic and wonder developed as an antidote to PC for children. I believe there's a girl's version as well.

Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2019 at 6:56pm

Good job Statler.

"Can we not take the piss out of each other now or is the victim mentality so set in that our culture will become further bland."

Let's hope not.

bipola's picture
bipola's picture
bipola commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 8:50pm

too many big words

Statler's picture
Statler's picture
Statler commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2019 at 9:59pm

AHH yes velocity johnno yes i really need to buy the compendium of gonad man, You are correct irony and hypocrisy, nothing more needs to be said hopefully its still available. Got a link ?
Rather than selected works on Wednesday night under the pub (Butcher or fruit shop) for old surf magazine club meetings as i feel our members will grow and we may be able to start a religion and we could do readings and discuss why Gonad Man felt the need to curl his nutsack into a giant pink sea turtle

Not for profit, registered religion, tax free, tax payer funded training courses on how to have more balls like our god

meet the feebles will happen age not right yet

Dh Lawrnece should have given Anaïs Nin chicks love it, well the educated ones... That said i need to read that tome been sitting on the book shelf for years missus has read it just never had the time too many other things that catch my interest

Jack londons books on the pacific are quite good, worth taking on a surf trip on your kobo/kindle, and free they are Racist etc etc etc. Obviously not for the light hearted

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2019 at 11:07am

Good luck finding a complete Gonad Man online Statler, I bought my copies back in the 90's as I realised the cultural importance of it at that time ;)

Anais Nin... yeah wow

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2019 at 9:15am

All bbar one,

The literary skills of swellnet crew is vastly impressive compared to days of old it seems.

Lotsa A+

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2019 at 3:28pm

Kid Rock was asked to write 5 nice things about Oprah to appear on her show?
Years on a more settled Master Rock finds plenty of nice things to say about Oprah...
You'd have trouble finding them buried deep beneath the 4 letter words.

Boyz from the bush gotta new Bulls-eye for the Gympie Muster Dart Board.
You can read the xxx version on AMAMOOR Store Front Window.

tbb won't be posting it here...re: Hate tirade + Staged US Election click bait!
Read between the lines crew:
Rock Star gets booted out of own night club (AFTER) saying what he thinks! ('Outrage!')
'Can't even say D..k or F..k (100x) in a night club...('Screw Oprah/Screw Democrats')

They're baiting up the Democrats...We all see where this nasty shit ends up...
Democrats now say we can't swear in our own House or Car or Work!
Goddamn American Persecution that is...Go fetch Pa's Lasso boys...
Pretty hard for tbb to censor a political machine mouthpiece that's just warming up!

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2019 at 4:25pm

Yeh I'm really startin' to get the feel, how to be fuckin' cool and libertarian and just generally not give a shit. So I think I need to kinda change the way I express myself 'cos I really fucken' hate fuckwits and smartarse put down merchants trying to boost their tiny pathetic egos by attacking any available out-group, westies, hipsters (enter selection of racist insults). You know, the type of loud mouth arseholes I'm talking about always tryin' to find some poor bastards to sling off against 'cos they are so fucken weak and insecure that the only way they can feel good about themselves is to put others down.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2019 at 5:32pm

The irony being that you’re top 3 most insulting and offensive people I’ve seen on here. But it’s all good cause you’re rational and reasonable and you only punch up and there’s symmetry of power and you’re silencing voices that don’t deserve to be heard and and and . wank wank wank

You come across like Israel Folau ......thinking that you’re fighting the good fight and doing God’s work by writing off everyone around you due to a strict adhesion to a set of rules that only you value and that you’ve arrived at through a misinterpretation of how a good person is supposed to behave.

You’re basically writing off everyone on this thread and the vast majority of Australian society , when they are essentially good people who have created what is arguably the most enviable and sought after community in the world. No one wants your narrow world view imposed on them. That doesn’t make them ignorant or evil.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2019 at 5:44pm

"so fucken weak and insecure that the only way they can feel good about themselves is to put others down."

Says one of this site's chief name-callers and dummy-spitters.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2019 at 5:52pm

So remind me Andy. Where are they? You can ignore the ones aimed at blowfly ...... insults directed at trolls don't count.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2019 at 6:43pm

You’ve just referred to virtually every participant on this thread as fucken weak and insecure.....how’s that for a start ?

AndyM's picture
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AndyM commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2019 at 6:31pm

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Swellnet's night of nights, the 2019 Dummy Spit Awards.

We've had many fine efforts in the past; who could ever forget some of Blowin's more objectionable midnight adventures leading to deletions and threats of being banned, and of course until recently, Hercylift was always in the running.

But without further ado, let's announce this year's winner.

This year's winner is all the more notable for his eye-watering levels of sanctimony and hypocrisy, and his regular abandonment of logic and reason. In fact, his claim that "unlimited immigration will be good for Australia's environment" is an odds-on favourite in our "Most Egregious Bullshit" category.

That's right ladies and gents, this year's winner is Blindboy aka Laurie McGuinness for his immortal spray which included the classic abuse-hurl of "Smug self-righteous prats with no real interest beyond self-interest. See ya boys, 'cos that's what you are, a bunch of overgrown fucking adolescents."

This bit of emotional vomit even moved one of this site's most measured and well-considered contributors, Freeride, to chime in with a characteristically understated "Epic tantrum BB".

Congratulations Blindboy, well done and everyone here at Swellnet wishes you all the best and we expect to see you back on the stage next year.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Monday, 2 Dec 2019 at 9:55am

....and I stand by every word! Glad to see that you are so focused on my contributions though you might at least try to get my name right.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Monday, 2 Dec 2019 at 11:34am

Yeah last night I lost sleep over whether or not I had your name right.

And the point of this little discussion remains - you're a hypocrite with zero self-awareness.

factotum's picture
factotum's picture
factotum commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2019 at 4:58pm

Statler's picture
Statler's picture
Statler commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2019 at 7:29pm

"So I think I need to kinda change the way I express myself '

Good Idea

"cos I really fucken' hate fuckwits and smartarse put down merchants trying to boost their tiny pathetic egos by attacking any available out-group, westies, hipsters (enter selection of racist insults). You know, the type of loud mouth arseholes I'm talking about always tryin' to find some poor bastards to sling off against 'cos they are so fucken weak and insecure that the only way they can feel good about themselves is to put others down. "

"You can ignore the ones aimed at blowfly ...... insults directed at trolls don't count. "

A Troll am I, Mate Gees i rekon you had a few too many Sherry's before that spray. I only started posting because of your toxic responses to thread i was interested in.. how is that trolling... Sorry i dont agree with your strange view of the world, i did mention in my post how people think they are a victim you have a bad case of it,

feel free to respond the only response you will get is....OK BOOMER....

Reading your posts is like being an aged care worker on arse cleaning duty.

Now for some good news

Gonad Man found on ebay "The Complete Adventures of Gonad Man: 1993-1999, Vol Vol 1 by Mark Sutherland" $20 delivered 4 left.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2019 at 7:43pm

Great news on the Gonadman Mr Statler, he's the surf comic hero of our generation, still relevant today :) Look out for the 'chocowheel'.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2019 at 8:53pm

He’s referring to me.

Blowin = blowfly .....get it ? Yep, he hates it when crew act like juveniles.....and then he calls people names.

Anyway. That shit is boring .

Some of those letters were classic. Definitely some of the best parts of those old magazines was in the letters sections.

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2019 at 10:15pm

Reading letters section of any magazine or paper is always a 'can't wait to get to the page moment' for me.

Reading the far above letters of tracks mag has me thinking back to my favourites 20 odd years ago, letters found in people and picture mags. ( purchased picture mag about a year ago and...nothing changed)

The biggest fucking thing that offends me is this; no topless skimpies in Kalgoorlie? I mean what the fuck. If one does not like tits out on display, how hard is it to spin on one foot and head back out the door to another bar. Bar maids love it, get paid well and are not offended. So????

There I said... my peak literary skills on display for all here to see.

Ok....any chance of other stories of writing to editors of original article. I enjoy them more than stickered nipples :)

Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2019 at 10:57pm

From 2000

troppo dichotomy's picture
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troppo dichotomy commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2019 at 1:28pm

Awesome article!Epic demonstration of a different era,different world back then.

The fascism of the politically correct brave new world no longer tolerates derogatory comments.If you step out of line you will be verbally assaulted
with a barrage of derogatory insults!Ironic??

I hope you guys start giving out prizes for letter of the month?I'd like to nominate the hilarious AndyM's "Dummy spit awards".

grahamwalker2's picture
grahamwalker2's picture
grahamwalker2 commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2019 at 4:23pm

The snake at Hookipa would surely have been Dave McCauley. Biggest snake at the time.

factotum's picture
factotum's picture
factotum commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2019 at 5:40pm

Jeezus Wept!

It's PC* GONE MAD, I tells ya!

To paraphrase Stephen Patrick Morrissey:

FREEDOM WARRIORS OF THE WORLD, UNITE AND TAKE OVER!

*Um, what is PC again? Patriotic Correctness? Pork Choppery? Could be...

I thought it was just Polite Common-sense??

factotum's picture
factotum's picture
factotum commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2019 at 5:53pm
sypkan's picture
sypkan's picture
sypkan commented Wednesday, 4 Dec 2019 at 6:27pm

"I thought it was just Polite Common-sense??"

sounds like the mantra of your average guardianista

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 4 Dec 2019 at 6:22pm

Racist Oz Joke of the Week backfires on LNP Schoolie Party
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-03/young-liberal-national-party-pres...

'Gotta stop celebrating a culture that couldn't invent the bloody wheel for God's sake!'

Howard's LNP killed off Oz made Wheels & Cars. (Can't blame Aborigines for GST!)

2002 Vic/SA Tyre makers employed 6,500 by 2010 (Zero) re: Howard's GST.
https://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2010/s2887391.htm

2004 - 400,000 Oz made cars by 2017 (Zero) re: Howard's GST

Saltwater crew ain't holding Oz back Lads...take a look in the mirror for biggest losers.

Saltwater discovered South Pole > South America (Without badges!)
Long rafting an export trade with China over 5,000 year back.(Shh!)

Oz had 500 nations sharing coastal canoes on creeks & traversing common ridges.
What good barrowing excessive goods over swamps & up/down Mountain Ranges?
Counter productive + dreaming trails were revered cultural landscapes (Not for sale)

Aboriginal kids invented plenty of ball & rolling disc games...that we all play now.
Gyro games & Aqua vorticing games well beyond today's youth + Boomerang!
Smoke ring messaging of Rolling Ring shapes + loops & discs all just as common.

Over 2,000 checkpoints you'd need an army to acquire a wheel compliant corridor.
Then a nation of slave labour to retain & bridge a road for a wheel to be of any use.
Spoke to soon... I think someone heard you! ...

"Did you chaps order a Colonisation!"

250 years on & the jokes on the LNP that banned the wheel/cars/roads/bridges/trains.
All imprisoned 2 hrs am/pm paying off foreign owned wheels (Next bright idea kids!)

factotum's picture
factotum's picture
factotum commented Wednesday, 4 Dec 2019 at 5:24pm

"sounds like the manta of your average guardianista"

Manta rays??

Woop! Woop! Use of the word 'Guardianista' has set off the 'dickhead signalling' alert.

Again.

factotum's picture
factotum's picture
factotum commented Wednesday, 4 Dec 2019 at 5:55pm

Yes, TBB, how was that 'orrible Young Lib nitwit?

"Bit of a leftie"?!

Hahahahaha! Dumber than a bag of hammers.

sypkan's picture
sypkan's picture
sypkan commented Wednesday, 4 Dec 2019 at 6:19pm

dickhead is as a dickhead does...

just as a guardianista is as a guardianista does...

thanks, that was mantra

and it is the mantra of your average guardian commenter, and has been for some years now

you're usually much more cutting edge with your cliche than that facto, that's why I threw it in there

sypkan's picture
sypkan's picture
sypkan commented Wednesday, 4 Dec 2019 at 6:17pm

sorry I've gotta say, there's a certain irony to a certain kind of folk claiming "...its all just polite common sense...",

when they are the ones who've grumbled vehemently, for decades now, about a public pleading for a scherical semblance of 'common sense'...

sypkan's picture
sypkan's picture
sypkan commented Wednesday, 4 Dec 2019 at 6:24pm

on a lighter note, I didn't realise how much I missed the term busgpig until i read those letters

that's gotta be one of the gem of gems in the (once lively) australian vernacular

wingnut2443's picture
wingnut2443's picture
wingnut2443 commented Wednesday, 4 Dec 2019 at 6:34pm

Anyone remember the 'letters' sent into Tracks, etc. by "Slater Hater"?

Anyone got a copy of any old editions with some of them?

Surfboard Design and Construction Kook. Evidence is here: www.ffwsurfboards.com.au
*FFW - Few Fun Waves ... that's what it's all about for me.

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 4 Dec 2019 at 7:01pm

Qldurr denies his State rewards homophobes.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_TzttYczjLtw/TLkZZ5BEJWI/AAAAAAAAJIY/VB7AJSZG6c...

(God) or Rugby Australia showered Folau with $ millions to vindicate #1 closet case.
https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/folau-vindicated-after-calling-...

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 4 Dec 2019 at 10:42pm

Australian Out of Court settlements...(1) Hell + (2) Medivac
(1)Rugby Australia (Crying!) National Security: "There is no Secret $Gazillion Deal!"
https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/folau-settlement-saga-over-but-...
(2)Senator Lambie (Crying!) National Security: "There is no secret $Gazillion Deal!"
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-04/medevac-jacqui-lambie-coalition-r...
Move along ..."Nothing to see here!" (Ouch! That taser hurts!)

Courtroom Drama
Courtroom 1 (Day one Transcript)
"Pedo Guy" vs " Pissweak Trucker"
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/12/03/media/elon-musk-testifies/index.html

Musk: "I thought he was a random creepy Guy, Pedo Guy tweet was meant to be an insult, not a statement of fact, Pedo Guy just means creepy!"

"I did not think he meant that I should literally sodomize myself with a submarine!"
"Just as I did not literally mean he was a pedophile!"

Judge: Mr Musk! If this Pedo Sub works..I suggest you start pedalling to Mars...54321

Courtroom 2
Qld Sexist MP sues his Boss Lady for "ugly enough" reverse sexism news grab.
https://www.9news.com.au/national/lnp-suspends-young-qld-members-over-vi...

Courtroom 3 (Ear muffs required)
All mine Clive counter sues Twisted Sister for listening to his Twisted Sample
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsXjIRCtWw4 https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-04/clive-palmer-copyright-case-with-...

Courtroom 4 (Interpreters Please)
Mountains of Plastic Bottles vs Evil Save the Pllennnit (Sodastream Chick)...Boo! Hiss!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv9IydULWLY

Courtroom 5 (Interpreters are free to use ear muffs)
Queen's English vs Noyce Netballers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reclfW4Ph1I