100 years from now, history buffs will return to the Paradise Cove beachhead decked in period-appropriate costume, thrilled to recreate that region's legendary battle between the Paps and the Serfs. It was a war that began, like so many others, over the honor of an object of astonishing beauty: In this case, that would be Matthew McConaughey—their flip-flop-misplacing Helen of Troy. The surfing battle wages, having migrated online:
A cyber-rumble has erupted on the Web site of the X17 photo agency, where video of the attack was posted. More than 1,000 angry back-and-forth comments between the lensmen and the surfers have been logged, including one urging paparazzi to "rendezvous next Saturday in the same spot. 50 paps are going to meet u there. Good luck and enjoy the high waves.
A surfer responds, "Bring it on, paps. It will be the end for you on the beach. Saturday is on." [...]
The surfers are mostly white Malibu residents, while many of the paparazzi are immigrants; some speculate that some of the paps are former gang members. But their inside perspective on celebrity culture is priceless: "I'm a pap," writes one. "I've made $94K a year and I'm only four months into it ... because stupid white trash people like your fat mother buy the magazines. We hunt the very people you worship for no reason."
While the surfers appear to have the paps outmatched in sheer brawn and numbers, we'd not count out the triumph of the paparazzo spirit, particularly once their adolescent leader—Austin Visschedyk, Kid Pap—climbs atop atop a sandy embankment to deliver for his comrades a call to arms for the ages: "We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end of PCH. We shall snap Mischa, we shall snap her cottage cheese legs on the seas and the oceans, we shall capture with growing confidence and growing strength the parking lot scene outside Malibu Country Mart, we shall defend our territory outside Social and Green Door, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the private beaches, we shall fight on the sidewalks outside Les Deux, we shall fight on the Urth Cafe terrace and at Teddy's, we shall fight in the Hollywood Hills; we shall never surrender!"