Woz 'Ultimate Surfer’ Reality Series Enrages Rottnest Quokka Population
Rottnest Island’s resident Quokkas have expressed outrage at the unveiling of the WSL’s soon-to-be-released 'Ultimate Surfer' reality TV series, claiming they’ve been made complicit by association to an undertaking they didn’t sign up for, and are certainly not on board with.
“Excuse me,” said spokesmarsupial Barry Quokka to Ding Alley this afternoon on a stolen iPhone from his Rottnest burrow, “But what the actual FUCK is this shit?”
Sensing this critter had a bit to say on the matter, Ding Alley urged Baz to speak freely. He didn’t need asking twice.
“Ever since that Starky caarnt came out here and won us over with a sack of carrots four months ago, told us how epic a Woz comp would be here on Rotto, and how we’d be the envy of endemic macropod species the world over, the Quokka community’s been down with the Woz coming to town.
“After all, we’re predisposed to humans who looks slightly beaver-or-chipmunk-or-even-rodent-ish with their gleaming white teeth, so that Elo Caarnt, with his dental profile, he’s like a God to us, and the missus squeals and pretty much creams her jocks whenever that Joe Turpel fella comes on screen.
“We’ve been watching the last three comps, and, you know, they’ve been goin’ alright: Genuine sporting contests at the elite level, optimising what Huey’s thrown at ‘em, all those different cutaway and drone angles of Narra and Merewether were just fascinating to see the topography and bathymetry of a few new spots…
“And the surfing! Holy shit! Seriously fucking mental. I’m not just talking Gabs and Mugatu and their whizzies on demand, I’m talking your Morgs fella’s serious gouging hooks (and I’d kill for those teeth), your Griffs, your Moores, your R-Cals. I mean, that big day at Margies – everything that’s good and noble about professional surfing’s place in the whole scheme of riding waves, right there: skill, daring, ticker.
“Jeez, I was hearing anecdotal reports of athletes spending like half an hour after their heats hanging with the punters, signing autographs for the kiddies, and indulging endless selfies with the fans.
“And speaking of selfies, you just KNOW any pro surfer who’s a slave to their social media hubris – ie: every single one of the caarnts – is gonna be queuing up for selfies with us Quokkas – so basically by agreeing to host this comp next week, and by virtue of appearing in Insta feeds everywhere in selfies with this self-absorbed bunch, as a species, we’re collectively endorsing the Woz’s whole schtick.
“Like I say, we’ve been cool about the Woz up ‘til now. Greater good and all that.
“We’ve been prepared to look past the hissy fits and the temper tantrums of these kids – rich as kings but lacking a fair bit of self-awareness – or the governing body, one minute selling straight-faced solemn gestures of Save-The-Ocean point-scoring, the next seemingly delighting in how many disposable surfboards the Pros chew through and excrete upon the steaming landfill heap of ‘performance’.
“Look, we know life is paradox on paradox, and so we can live with these blatant inconsistencies, so can even live – though barely – with those theatrical end-of-ride claims by that Chinese fella that are demeaning to the claimer, the audience, every inhabitant of the ocean, and the 1.4 billion population of the People’s Republic by association.
And, as macropods – carrying our kidlets around in pouches and what have you – it grinds our gears no end to see our two male Aussie Olympic reps co-opt their unwitting children to sell camping gear and soy milk on those annoying ads. It’s like, you don’t have to do EVERYTHING your manager suggests. Instead of that fourth investment property, how about improving the bank balance on the ol’ dignity account there, fellas?
“You get one shot at this life and do you REALLY want to lie on your death bed regretting how you sold out your poor innocent child for a buck you didn’t need? Stop and think about what you had to tell yourself to justify that call. Jesus.
“Again, however, the Greater Good. Overall, the Pros are nice-enough humans: they may be smug, sheltered, cosseted, complacent, indulged athletes, but they’re OUR smug, sheltered, cosseted, complacent, indulged athletes, so we’d have welcomed them.
But this? THIS..?
THIS is going too far. Just when you thought the Woz was getting an act, stringing a few comps together, lucking into some swells, feeding us enough platitudes about the final five Trestles format as to half-believe it themselves – along comes this vacuous, lowest common-denominator bottom-feeding reality TV lunge for the most eyeballs in the shallowest end of the humanity pool.
And 'Ultimate Surfer' is supposed to deliver … WHAT EXACTLY … to the Woz and to the sport itself?
“Wanna know what it really delivers? It delivers a swift, well-aimed kick in the nuts to something precious. It takes the experience of a lifelong pursuit – of something that gives our lives joy and meaning – and reduces it to half an hour of forgettable bullshit, on par with, what, Love Island, I’m A D-Grade Celebrity, Please Shoot Me In The Head? The Fucking Bachelor?
“And how does this piece of confected shite – where eligibility for inclusion in the cast is clearly reliant on the shallowest criteria of attractiveness – how exactly does that reconcile with the Woz’s wokeness trip?
“Just. Fucking. WHY? What do you hope to achieve with this? Why deliberately take everything that’s noble and natural and good about riding waves and turn it into everything that’s crapulous about media and modern life?
“What’s the goal here exactly? How are more temporary eyeballs going to make anyone’s days better?
“It’s just fucking lame. A fucking embarrassment. And I know a surf comp on the other side of the world is a few stages removed from this god-awful abomination, and those fuckers have been keeping quiet about it, but it’s part of the same machine.
“It’s the true colours of fuckwittery at the highest level showing themselves.
“There are so many deadset legends and hardworking humans in the Woz army, all forced to set their lines at a slightly unnatural orientation, thanks to some poorly-thought-through assumptions at the top.
“I’m sorry. Us Quokkas are generally an easy-going lot, but we can’t stand idly by as a beautiful pursuit that was proud to exist to the left of the mainstream has its heart and soul deliberately poisoned in the name of ‘growth.’
“Feelings are running pretty high here right now, to the point I actually can’t guarantee the Woz’s safety on the island.
“There’s been talk of us making our own reality show here, a cross between Survivor and Lord of the flies, where we hunt and eliminate any Woz personalities directly linked to Ultimate Surfer.
“Mind you, we’re Quokkas, so the gnarliest thing we can manage – apart from the odd scratch or whatever – is the hurling of feces at our enemies. And given our herbivorous diet, this amounts to basically throwing rolled up grass pellets – so it’s more symbolic than anything.
“But you just watch your back, Joe Turpel, you watch your back mate.”
// DING ALLEY
Ding Alley is Illustrator David @maccatoons McArthur, and writer Gra Murdoch. The ol’ Alley’s been a bit quiet of late – been getting smashed by this ‘n’ that.