Surf Nazis—I Hate Those Guys

What would we do without the New York Times warning us about the menace of . . .  (checks notes) . . . surf Nazis! From yesterday’s Times:

The first time I saw a swastika in the wild, I happened to be carrying a surfboard. . . At the time, the term “surf Nazi” often got applied to any surfer ferociously committed to the sport and territorial about his local waves. . .

So in other words, a bit like “grammar Nazis.” Anyway, to continue:

I’ve heard all the predictable excuses for this stuff, like that the swastika was an ancient Sanskrit symbol not associated with Nazis when Pacific System Homes built its surfboards. . .

In “The History of Surfing” by Matt Warshaw, Noll, the legendary big-wave rider and filmmaker behind the “Search for Surf” films, shrugged off accusations of latent Nazi sympathy by saying, “We’d paint a swastika on something for no other reason than to piss people off. Which it did. So next time we’d paint two swastikas, just to piss ’em off more.” . . .

So it doesn’t take much imagination to recognize the blue-eyed, blond surfer ideal for what it is: a white racial fantasy rooted, like most such tropes, in spurious claims of authentic connection to land. . . Today, I don’t know how to think about my youthful yearning to become the great blue-eyed, blond surfer. . . A hundred and fifty years of white people like myself have helped make white-supremacist racism as Californian as panning for gold and hanging ten.

Well, one idea might be to just try getting over yourself.

As it happens, b-movie Hollywood was way ahead of the New York Times, though that isn’t hard these days. Way back around 1989, I actually rented the b-movie (which is too kind—it’s more of a D- movie) with the title Surf Nazis Must Die. I have (or had) a high tolerance for camp, but this movie didn’t even rise to the level of bad camp. In that respect I suppose it did prefigure the New York Times rather accurately. Here’s the trailer:


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