Now you know the rest of the story

Published on November 2nd, 2022

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
Among the correspondence that comes to Scuttlebutt HQ is occasionally an email which needs additional information. Such as this from Quentin Leo:

“What really bothers me is the lipsticked version of Donald Trump in my face when I try to read Scuttlebutt. Touché, you got me to respond. If you’re trying to piss off readers, it worked. So, what’s your point?”

When asked for more detail, Leo offered clarity a day later. His comments had to do with an admittedly curious image I used to link a story regarding my disdain for the system used to select the 2022 Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards.

Quentin is now one of my favorites… here’s his reply:
My note was a response to this image’s “it’s all about me” message. Scroll a page, I see it and I cringe — scroll again and I cringe again — and I’m reminded over and over of an unworthy former US president’s craven craving for attention…

Never mind. I’m being a crank. Thanks for asking.

Had I actually looked into why the annoying image is there? No. I should have, because after reading your comments I agree with your criticism of social media and any system of cravenly commercial influence over who gets an achievement award.

Be it for having a swell sailing season, acting in a movie, loudly donating some inherited wealth, or throwing one’s own surprise 40th birthday gala, these shams hit the reality screen as recipients begin to perform the ritual humble brag-thanks to the spouse and to the academy schtick — reading from a teleprompter.

That kind of system is nakedly at odds with sailing’s essential values. Essential values (just the good ones) that are a north star for a few special sailors. Some I’ve observed in close quarters, some at a distance. None are perfect, but they are real.

We’ll leave for another time the awkward discussion of how big events; America’s Cup, Olympics, etc., are funded and what is expected from athletes in return for being allowed the privilege of performing in the big show.

I like Scuttlebutt even more now upon seeing that the annoying “Am I Pretty?” image is intended to bite a system whose hand deserves to be bitten hard now and then, just to keep things real.

Thanks for sending us Scuttlebutt every day!

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