*This is an unpublished interview with a former Blogger who shall remain nameless, to protect the guilty. I pulled the plug on allowing it be published because I didn’t want too much revealed and I wasn’t all that impressed with my answers. That was then. This is now.
I have found your thoughts on the passing surfing scene to be incredibly at odds with anything I’ve ever seen before. A blend of wit, very dark humor, rage, sarcasm, irony and all formulated into words that have such an eerie draw to them. Through all this, you’ve decided to stay Anonymous. Why is this?
I am a nobody in the miniscule bubble of surfing. Nothingman. I knoweth not a single person employed in any fashion by the Surfing Industrial Complex. Who I am should mean nothing. To anyone. What I have to say, however, should mean something to some people. I have a lot to say. I have a lot of nothing to say.
You realize this interview is all about you though, right?
You must also realize that beyond my Heart of Darkness is where The Wasteland begins.
Where did you grow up that allowed you to surf without being touched by the surfing industry?
Rejected by my biological parents at the feet of The Carpathians, I was adopted by Romanian-American parents. They took me to their home in Astoria, near Pier 39, a small port town near the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon. We lived in several towns between Lincoln City, Heceta Head, Ecola (where a few scenes from Point Break were filmed) and Astoria (where the heretical abomination Cthulhu was filmed recently), as I toddled my way towards adolescence. Surfing in that part of the world exists only in small portholes and I never had the fortitude to take on the larger swells that frequent the area. Hence, my skill level falls somewhere between a palsied sea lion and floating piece of driftwood.
So you are a Goonie’s kid?
That movie came out after I had moved out of Clatsop County thankfully. They film all sorts of movies in that area though. Into the Wild and The Road most recently. Of course I am a Goonies fan for life. Alas, I am a lachrymose cliché of the Northwest.
You have mentioned traveling a lot. What sort of places have you been?
My father’s business interests led us many places, mostly away from the ocean. We lived in Leticia, Colombia for nearly a year where I learned a bit of Ticuna. My initial exposure to constant danger and death begat there. We continued down to Cochabamba, Bolivia and then across the world to various places along Lake Malawi. We hopped and skipped through Turkey and Armenia before scouring all the Baltics. I still make annual journeys to Romania, Croatia and northern Alaska.
How did you get involved in Hollywood?
Hollywood is an easy term to use… but it is not correct. That is a small part of what I do. I really just work in the entertainment industry. I was fortunate to have attended a college that breeds creative writers. I was one of the least creative, yet still able to rummage enough words before stuffing them into pockets of known-people that came to visit the campus. Eventually one such idea found purchase in the soils of an accomplished producer. And from there I rocketed right to the bottom of the overflowing barrel of writers contributing to all mediums of entertainment.
You mention other mediums. What is your main focus and what other mediums, if any, have you been involved in?
I began as a joke writer for comedians while in college. I still do… on occasion. I then swindled someone into a script for a two-buck chuck Horror film, as I mentioned before. And then a few more. Which, I suppose, makes screen writing my main medium of employment at the moment. I contribute to various entertainment magazines and actually wrote a book. I have co-authored as well.
Do you have a favorite Book?
Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.
If you flashed a picture of your real face for just thirty seconds on your blog, would anyone recognize you?
Anyone in the surfing world? Highly doubtful – probably technically and medically impossible. In the nerd world of science fiction and horror? Perhaps. Like I said, I am a poltergeist in the surfing world, and a wart on Stephen King’s ass in the entertainment industry. But the entertainment industry is like the Sun to surfing’s pint-sized ass-teroid. Regardless, I have a face meant for radio or writing… no one needs to see me mug.
Why the Donnie Darko avatar?
I personally believe it to be one of the best movies ever made. It certainly is the best movie I never wrote. This exchange, a cinematic masterpiece, sums up my selection of the avatar: Donnie asks Frank, “Why are you wearing that stupid rabbit suit?” Frank responds, “Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?” I believe this answer corresponds with your first question.
What made you decide to evolve into surf blogging?
Lewis Samuels asked me to do a post or two. Then Nugable did the same. Without them, I would not exist. This wasn’t meant to continue on. It just did. At times I feel a bit nailed to a cross beneath the inscription: “God and Commerce.” Diarrhea of the fingers ensues.
You manage to keep a pretty prolific pace of new posts. How much time do you spend on your average post?
I never write anything ahead of time. Most days I wake up, see what news is cooking, breeze through my email, and skim what people are discussing in the comments threads and on other surfing blogs – then I conjure ideas throughout the day while doing real work. By the time I get home, or finish up a block of real work, I hammer out a post in an hour or so. All together, in an average day where I publish my own thoughts, I probably spend two or three hours thinking and then exercising my fingers. I only sleep about three hours a night so I still have much more time to work on things that really interest me. On days I have no thoughts on surfing, I let other’s talk.
What spurs you to go on with your own blogging?
Seeing the talent of my regular readers come out in their own posts is the thing I am most proud of. They are more entertaining and thoughtful than almost anything you will find in a surf rag these days. I owe a great debt of thanks to Mike Mantalos, Steve Nug & M, Max, Chris, Jam Bag, Cock Ring, Amir, Dumbth, Doug Mac, Mark’s recent contribution, Rusty Steele’s epic Photoshop help, and my muse: Chastity, of course. The voices of real, everyday surf fans… compounded with other humorous voices in the comments by many of the regulars.
If you could sum up Independent Blogging in the surfing world with a few words, what would they be?
Andy Irons. Simple. The handling (or mishandling) of that story by the Established Surf Media represents EVERY SINGLE reason I started commenting at PostSurf and ended up with my own Blog.
What have been the highlights of your blogging career?
The comments thread (see Mark’s comment at 2:51pm) the day Andy Irons died and the subsequent posts regarding that tragedy. The Dropped Ball at Tahiti this year. My Peace Sells But Who’s Buying post from a soldier dripping with venomous irony (missed by some – so it goes). The Baja Chronicles Story. And I probably had the most fun doing blogs from The Motherland. The live commentary in the comments section during contests, an idea pioneered by Nugable, is also something I cherished.
What have been the lowlights?
Buying a couple IP addresses to keep my paranoia at bay. And I suppose the day I walk away will be a lowlight and a highlight at the same time.
When and why would you quit?
I have no idea. My interest in writing about surfing really comes and goes. But I suppose I’ll walk away the moment I personally feel I’ve reached critical mass or terminal velocity. Not sure which. The Prime Directive will let me know.
Have you received any threats or requests to stop a certain story or post?
Nothing the word “idle” wouldn’t handle.
If you had to pick an all-time favorite surfer, who would it be?
Easy. Christian Fletcher.
Not Läird. But he is the most popular surfer in the world… not Kelly Slater. That’s why I started the joke way back at PostSurf: “In Läird We Trust.” He represents a massive disconnect in the perception of what professional surfing is. An hourglass with no middle.
Thoughts on the world of surfing right now?
Professional surfing is a condemned structure loading its cracked foundation on a bed of loose sand facing an incoming tide. Surfing itself is what it has always been: an extremely boring adjective, but an extremely exciting verb.
Who is Blasphemy Rottmouth?
A small hyperlink to the Third Eye.