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Aug-14-2011 12:48printcomments

James Pribram's Eco-Warrior Project: A Corporate Scampaign manipulated by David Vanderveen of Xs Blast Energy Drinks?

An Exposé: How religious right Republicans exploit and subvert the environmental movement through Multi-Level Marketing. “Going Green” just gives them your “green.”

Energy drink or drug?
Energy drink or drug needing regulation?

(LAGUNA BEACH, Calif.) - “The smaller the mind the greater the conceit.” Aesop

“Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity.” Frank Leahy


Your first real encounter or interface with the world’s environment is simple yet refreshingly complex: It’s you.

Your totality, that is you and the health of your body and mind, are integral at that nexus, that crossroads. Your friends, your family and your co-workers are part of that unique, one-of-a-kind metaphorical and physical ecosystem, all inextricably linked within the web that is your life------and its impact upon Earth while alive. So your well-being is the rock upon which you build your own physical and spiritual church, your path and journey through time and space itself.

Me? Though I’ll never be a frothing-at-the-mouth type nutrition freak, I have lost almost 30 lbs. of desk blubber starting in February of this year by eliminating beef and pork from my food groups altogether plus eating lots more high antioxidant fruits and fresh veggies. I lost 22 lbs. 2 years ago but gained it all back because I dropped the weight through starvation, a pitifully poor program.

Those factors, removing the obvious culprits in my daily routine, in addition to more aggressive exercise regime and only ingesting minor amounts of non-fat dairy products, have convinced me that the best core program is focused upon the “75% Nutrition/25% Exercise” regimen ratio, the reverse of what I previously had thought. Whole milk, always advertised as the one absolutely necessary part of our day to baby boomers like me, turns out to be way over-rated and in fact almost tangential to health. We weren’t meant to drink bovine nursing fluids, goat’s milk (and hence goat’s cheese and yoghurt) comes a lot closer.

I started to sample these new age energy drinks we’ll be discussing as caffeine substitutes or boosts to help my own rehab, but soon realized how much misinformation was out there. With some typical diligent research, I know how damaging, how potentially harmful to a vast segment of our society many of them are because they are so poorly analyzed, monitored or regulated by independent members of legitimate medical teams or study groups. I thought that I couldn't be shocked but I am.

This in turn led me to personally reassess my journey's interactions, my responsibilities, even my own societal accountability as both an activist and consultant too. It also helped me stop for a metaphorical moment and re-evaluate a former apprentice, a defrocked Clean Water Now! intern who has in my opinion gone over to the “Dark side of the Force.” I give you James (Jame-o) Pribram. We call him “Lame-o” because he’s a simulacrum, a hollowed mime that talks the talk but has never walked the walk of real activism. Maybe Ego-Warrior” is a better way to describe his antics, he’s a synthetic, low quality inferior enviro-product wrapped in an expensive slick value-add green package by MLM con artists.

A wannabe legend in his own feeble mind, this part-time hack surfing instructor Lame-o Pribram personifies and epitomizes ecological scammers. In my opinion he's a vapidly cancerous, traitorous dude gone wrong.  Those of us who are real activists within the environmental advocacy (“enviro”) movement espouse that we should never feed on our own, never criticize even phonies because it lessens our genuinely passionate effect by arguing among ourselves.

Lame-O Says: "Onward Christian Consumers"
Photo from the Ego-Warrior Project Website

Well, here’s a hot flash: He’s not really one of us anyway, he never was, and the suspicious energy boost drinks manufactured by his religious right neo-con buddy David Vanderveen of Xs Energy Drinks LLC, the ones Lame-o pushes, have been fooling the public long enough. They increasingly fleece the unwary, the naïve and unsuspecting. Especially kids. I mean, who would stoop so low as to exploit children’s understanding of eco-distress, their naiveté and empathy by selling them high concentration Vitamin B12 shots with a caffeine delivery system in a can? Lame-o, that’s who!

This column will expose a dark side of the enviro-movement, drawing back the curtain and unmasking what many have been rightfully cynical and suspicious about for some time: The ecological movement has emerging crypto-leadership that is not primarily focused on bettering our planet but on money via MLM (Multi-Level Marketing). They’re not committed to saving whales but stuffing their personal savings accounts.

There is an intense craving, a hunger in this, our shared modern times. It demands involvement and cross-national engagement regarding planetary ecological issues. The Eco-Warrior Project (E-WP) not only encourages that engagement and awareness, it increases that hunger to assist selfish fiscal gain for a few in what seems Ponzi-like duplicity without conscience.

Just what the thousands of existing “raising public awareness” NGOs need, in this case a profit venture, one that brands that marriage, hooking both short and long term customers. And, mo’ better bro’, the E-WP will sell you the thirst-slacking chaser for that hunger.

Lame-o is the phony corporate puppet I had in mind when I wrote a column about 18 months ago praising a real eco-warrior, David de Rothschild, a young man who shunned that sobriquet.  He was very uncomfortable about the idolatry but fulfilled his creatively original mission back then. Readers might want to refer to it, and please pardon some of the redundancy necessary herein to get my point across. [1]

This bizarre phenomenon is really not a secret but it is poorly understood or low-balled and avoided in public discussions. To admit any flawed players, that is to “Out” the phonies in our midst, is counter-intuitive, putting metaphorical bullets in the chamber of the intransigent naysayers. If you love what this bogus Lame-o does, then keep buying his bosses’ over-priced corporate junk and making them all rich.

I’m guilty of being conned by him, I’ll admit it. He suckered me and the Clean Water Now! Coalition I founded into becoming a board member almost 12 years ago, then after about 7 years of no-shows for meetings and our regular beach cleanups, it dawned on us: He was just padding his résumé, fluffing it up and what was worse knew nothing about the environment---Nor cared to learn.

Back then, as confrontational, high profile activists, we had tons of street credibility and media ink, cachet like no alliance before in South OC because of our broad-based membership: LB Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, the Sierra Club, The Whaleman Foundation, Doheny Longboarders Surfing Association, Clean Aliso Creek Association, RFK’s OC CoastKeeper, et al. His membership, Lame-o being an obscure nobody in either the enviro or the surfing worlds, empowered him tremendously, yet it did nothing for us.

He leveraged that precious, prestigious board seat into getting 2 voluntary appointments to City sub-committees-----As everyone knows, public officials create committees as intentional dead ends, as cul-de-sacs for hot button topics. They are many times burial sites where issues go to die. They look good, make politicos appear responsive, the committee reports go in one ear and out the other during hearings. Plus being severely deficient in the brain category, Lame-o represented zero change, the ideal non-threat to the failed status quo, surfy airhead that he is. And no, before you ask, they refused to appoint any other CWN!C Board member.

He was looking for a sustainable teat by getting a piece of the massive media saturation we experienced in the late 90s---early 2000s. In other words, an extension of his Mumsy’s home larder, an easy trough to lap at and seeing no money (we all serve uncompensated) in CWN!C or any other related NGO endeavors, he wasn’t motivated subsequently to do more than place our group’s name prominently in his various posted bios.

So we gently tossed him around 2006 and he began pitching his Ego-Warrior bunkola ASAP around town in an as yet un-named, nebulous form. It’s only recently that my legal confrontation demands to drop our name from his multiple bio postings and endorsements got him motivated. I had to threaten to sue him for misrepresentation as he continued to use CWN!C as critical to street bona fides.

By the way: If you think that no one like this exists, isn’t already working the margins, is emerging in your community, or already HAS control of a community-oriented group I’ll bet a year’s wages you’re wrong. Con men have existed for thousands of years----That’s what the Devil was doing to Christ on that cross---Trying to convince Him that he’d been forsaken by His Father. Lame-o laid down with the evangelical Pharisees, hooked up with their extreme right capitalist element, and thought that HE had gone to heaven.

 In this case, if he can get you to hit the panic button about the deterioration of our oceans, get you to identify with him as your Lord of Salvation for some planetary protection topic, it’s a hop, skip and a jump to his E-WP website product store link---Where you can hit the PayPal® button, buying back your fear, avert disaster by assuaging your lapsed guilt-ridden conscience: Just purchase a Lame-o E-WP hat. Then YOU become part of the value-add, the marketing strategy, a walking billboard E-WP promoter yourself. [2]

Lame-o Looking Heroic & Godly, Making Sure His Sponsors Keep Up The Dole.
Photo by Ralph Palumbo

Lame-o makes moola two ways: Direct sales and indirectly improved finance spread sheets for his corporate pillars. They give him money or goods/services/junkets, credit cards, he gives them increased exposure==sales revenue. They pile onto a seemingly profitable eco-parade, push him to the microphone at conferences wearing their brand names, nominate him for every award out there, place his name prominently at their websites wearing their logos, that’s always business’ bottom line.

You don’t have to actually BE green, you just need to look it to convince, to cajole your global market buyers and network into thinking so.

The various movie deals and spinoffs they hope to make, piling on in some cases to other’s achievements, will only increase their customer base.

Hopefully this column will be a wakeup clarion call, do what your usually under-budgeted, slothful local media cannot: Create a sense of vigilance, making you rightfully suspicious. Think Red Cross and 9/11….or Hurricane Katrina. The public didn’t find out for a long time just where all of the money disappeared, or where the funds never given the victims went.

Don’t buy products, join memberships or make donations in any form unless you’ve thoroughly investigated and researched first, read the ingredients label carefully.

Wherever there are problems, calamities or crisis issues with a sense of urgency, there are bottom feeders like this who sense advantageous bucks. Earthquakes, fires, tsunamis, all emergencies bring out the carrion-feeding flies. Sometimes these leeches start Astroturf (synthetic/bogus) 501 c 3 non-profits, but check and you’ll discover that they’ve got side money rolling in somehow.

In Lame-o’s case, he and his promoters have been claiming they’re going to be a non-profit any day---For about 5+ years and counting. In the meantime, where is all of that money going, where has it gone? To support Lame-o’s lavish celebrity lifestyle and line sponsor's pockets.

What’s his real goal? To be an eco-star, an enviro-celebrity, I’m not sure why most folks don’t get that. And his public relations hacks make sure that his photo ops always make him look like an idol, a heroic icon, god-awful god-like in those worthy-of-worship poses, so I guess he deserves all of your kids bows before his craven image.

Lame-o Walking On Water, Looking Superior
(But Still Remembering To Flash Logos) Ego-Warrior Website

As humans we are biologically driven to support tribal roles and behaviors, to cooperate, it’s instinctual to guarantee our species’ future survival. That’s part of what has made humans successful thus far. The men in the grey wet suits rely upon, prey upon, literally BANK upon that DNA. They’re mutant strains, the insidious genetic drift and burning smell of warped capitalism.

They offer a sense of salvation via some manufactured messianic figure from their creative ad/marketing think tanks. They need only find a willing accomplice, and Lame-o fit that to a “T”. If caught, they claim that the means ($$$ for them) justifies the results, a better, more aware planet. Consider that slippery moral slope and it’s not too comfy.

For over 5 years the E-WP has been misrepresenting his accomplishments, receiving obscene amounts of media coverage, funds and gratuities, yet no one in his posse has proven that the issues they alleged to have progressed would have turned out any differently if the E-WP never existed. Does George Bush on that aircraft carrier with the banner reading “Mission Accomplished” ring a bell?

Anyone remember the 2nd Season of STAR TREK“The Trouble With Tribbles” episode? Well, wake up you modern boyz and gurlz, like weeds, these new age Elmer Gantry’s are like those tribbles. Warm and fuzzy, they reproduce endlessly, they literally gobble up all of the attention and fiscal resources in proximity.  The Tribbles were meant as a metaphor for human populations out of control and surpassing the biological carrying capacity of Earth, capitalist ventures like this E-WP do the same to a shrinking pool of food ($$$) for ecological non-profits due to global economic downturns.

The Trouble With Tribbles Like Lame-o

For your consideration, I give you the literal poster child for the opposite of the real enviro Monkey Wrench species, a marginal grifter, an eco-opportunist, born lacking the humility gene: The Ego-Warrior. A local surfer some 22 years past his what little prime he had, past his one brief shining moment of waterman fame grasping at marketing straws---down to pimping a never-existent pro surfing career and more disturbing, whoring a questionably safe buzz beverage.

Young people in Iowa may never even see the Pacific Ocean, but they can purchase expensive trendy cool clothes, uniforms basically, that give them the appearance of a surf culture member, actually BE an eco-warrior for $20---They buy what they can’t do. Hysterical too is that Lame-o teaches occasionally for petty cash to fund his alcohol and bar babes habituation, but it’s classic “Those that can, DO, those that can’t, teach.”

Not sure who came up with the epiphany aspect ploy, but ALL of these types of leeches, parasites and ticks allege to have had one: Some made-up, probably non-existent spiritual awakening. In his case he claims to have gotten a form of anti-biotic resistant Staph while surfing at (choose one or all): Doheny in Dana Point, Aliso County Beach or in front of his family mansion on Agate Street beach in Laguna---Except sometimes it happened in 1997, or 1999, or 2006, or several times, sometimes it started in his hand, others on his foot, he can’t seem to get his awakening timeline or location straight.

Get the picture? He just makes stories up or embellishes to justify, sort of reverse engineer and explain his outrage, his hands on (your wallet or purse) commitment and conversion to warrior-hood. He tries to literally assume a Christ-like pose at photo ops, as if he suffers for you and can provide absolution for your eco-sins, so you should in turn give him your money. Now is THAT Christian? Isn’t that part of what Martin Luther objected to, how the Reformation came about?

The videos they’ve posted of him, shot in “cinéma vérité” style, are actually very tightly scripted, disingenuous and have little truthiness---They appear to be authentic and spontaneous, but are thought out well in advance as Lame-o reads off of carefully crafted cue cards.

Understand that the surfing industry only needed a nudge to manufacture one more piece in their clothing line: A celluloid, digital hero. His accomplishments must be real, you know, ‘cause after all he’s visible online in commercials and you know, like, gets awards and stuff as a total eco-warrior. Corky Carroll might have been the first self-promoter in this genre, but he won over 100 contests by 24 years old at retirement, including both the US and World Championship 3 times each.

Like someone cynical once uttered, if there were no God then maybe we would have invented Him anyway. Growing up around here and in this culture myself, everyone was aware of how jealous of his older brother John’s excellent reputation in Laguna Lame-o was, so this type of hype was inevitable I suppose. When you grow up in your brother’s hefty shadow you want to surpass that, it’s typical sibling rivalry stuff. John never sunk to this crass level, when I talk to him he seems embarrassed by Lame-o and is sick of defending him.

The sobriquet, the mantle Eco-Warrior is so generic a category that it wasn’t a stretch to plop that heroic hat (the crown costs $20 retail + shipping to you bro’) down on his own empty head as a deserving honoree. Buy his product line at his online store and YOU are instantly gratified: You’re a warrior too! Americans aren’t too hip about following the money trail. Or buy his sponsors pricey products, it’s all good.

In a sense, the zeitgeist of our era is ecological protectionism, we feel that both we and our spaceship, our lifeboat, are in trouble. We’re uncertain if climatic change is cyclical or aggravated by humans, thus we’re vulnerable, hence hairballs like this get coughed up as saviors.

Lame-o’s a privileged, arrested development beach bum who figured out that, without any noticeable perspiration, he could market himself by selling eco-inspiration on a global MLM scale—Just like Amway, his distribution pimp. He already had contacts within the water world community, simply needed to reinvent and re-pitch himself to potential endorsers, mostly cash cow vendors looking for a shill to wear their logos, endorse their product lines and drop their names often. So of course they reciprocate by carrying outrageously bizarre PR for him on their websites hoping unknowing new customers purchase a piece of their own eco-identities---Cleverly crafted and reproduced in his image.

He is partially believable because he even fools himself about his motives and comes across as sincere by mirroring, which narcissistic personalities often do. He probably thinks that it’s OK to make yourself a global ambassador, a spokesman even though no one asked you to nor did the eco-movement need him. All of that good would outweigh his true path: The road to fiscal comfort without any work ethic effort, a great ambition. Cradle to grave, not one day of real work. A walking, talking, basically functionally illiterate Howdy Doody replicant, a sidewalk sign, an online billboard for MLM.

David Vander-vain & Lame-o: Guess which
one is which? Wikipedia

A mascot, what every team needs. There have been truly humble and effective eco-warriors, a basic online search will divulge many----None was so crass as to take it to this level, to place the gold crown on their own heads, to anoint themselves guardians of deceptively gained loot, benefits and swag. [4]

He over-emphasizes his close relationship with his parents, especially his British Mumsy, to capture that family values demographic---But even this seems almost Oedipal, he doesn’t just venerate or respect, he unnaturally fawns and dotes on his Mom. Then again, maybe THAT’S also a value-add marketing ploy---Hard to tell when the Fecal Warrior spreads so much BS around, but the Oedipal deal might explain why he’s vowed to never marry, he’s kind of androgynous the way these metrosexuals usually are with their manicured (waxed) manscape below.

As the E-WP progressed, there would be no lifestyle or responsibly mature change necessary, little if any accountability, his sponsors would do the heavy lifting: THEY would nominate him for awards, blue ribbon panels, talk shows, magazine interviews and accolades to create street cred and bona fides out of nothing.

THEY would then roll over or leverage those awards and media saturation exponentially, film the ceremonies and platitudes for web postings, keep steam rolling the ruse, this canard until it reached a critical mass of truthiness---As in massive piles of money for their board room wallets.

It’s not really about our Earth’s present, nor it’s future, it’s about his bank account, his expensive lifestyle and the profits he generates for the corporations who prop him up like that movie star cardboard cutout, that cheaply constructed symbolic facade you saw in theater foyers back in the day. It’s about being a chick-magnet with an unlimited credit line, about having your pick of the brain dead androgynous bimbos because of your falsified stardom credentials.

I’ve been asked a lot of questions by local watermen regarding this Laguna-Goes-To-Hollyweird dumbo in the past 6 years. They’ve repeatedly challenged me as to why I don’t write about this hypocrite. He’s laughed at by his childhood acquaintances, some do so right to his face. I didn’t make up Fecal Warrior or Lame-o, I got them from this same peer group. Some even call him the very politically incorrect Gay-mo because of his hairlessness, his trendy 2-week stubble and assorted ofay metrosexual clothes.

I mean, c’mon, this 40-year old with the barely double digit IQ, a non-competitive surfer for over 20 years who has by his own admission a personal trainer. Since he spends all of his days not working but frolicking in physical activity, you know surfing and playing volleyball, what’s up with that?

Lame-o actually composes fluff pieces for a local freebie, you know, the kind your car runs over in the driveway and then winds up on the bottom of the bird cage. He claims that it’s the LA Times in his CV but it’s actually just throwaway local pablum owned by the Tribune, a glorified grammar school level My Weekly Reader. These types of weekly rags are 100% reliant upon ads, the columns in them are basically infomercials, they cross-pollinate so he doesn’t write (as he alleges) for 4 different papers but only for one.

His admitted concept of hard work in one such recent article whined about how exhausting it was to sit down for a few hours with his sponsors brainstorming---Something completely foreign to his brain. Hey Lame-o? First, you’d have to HAVE a brain. He sounds like George W. Bush, who repeatedly referred to any effort by himself as “Work, it’s hard work.”

“I work with a personal trainer twice a week as he puts me through a serious of circuits that leaves me nearly hurling at the end and I work out on my own another three or four days a week. It’s work. Writing a column is work. I write a different one for each of my sponsors. Being involved with marketing meetings with sponsors is also work, as is maintaining three websites, or finishing a book that you have been working on for five years.“ [5]

What do they discuss in these meetings? Find more creative, guileful ways to pluck the public purse, to dupe the consumers embracing this Eco-Warrior Scampaign into drinking their kool-aid (Xs Energy Drinks) and purchasing more of their over-priced, over-hyped and possibly overstocked inventory of items.

If he has been writing a book, maybe the crayon keeps getting dull. And I know for a fact he can barely turn on a light switch let alone manage a website---In fact most of his sites carrying his name are terribly outdated and not current. Those websites he mentioned are blogs like Twitter, Facebook, etc., in other words social media easy to post on to help him hype the public.

His ditties are to writing what finger-painting is to art. I’ve seen the rough drafts forwarded to me years back, his editors must tear their hair out trying to make coherent sentences out of inadequate, nonsensical blather. He admits to waiting until the last second then throws something, anything, together. Such banality, such drivel apparently appeals to Laguna’s fellow mentally challenged dorks, those lowest common denominator imbeciles that increasingly migrate here.

He’s been canned by one weekly paper due to illiteracy and sheer boring ineptitude, fooled and found a home at a competitor, then was canned again only to crawl back to the first one. His appeal is that of a non-threatening commoner, a local Gomer Pyle, an Everyman like Andy Griffith in the movie “A Face in The Crowd.”

He openly blogs about door-to-door limo rides to the airport, ditto about upscale Hollywood mogul parties where he can be photographed with other vacuous celebrities. He posts photos of himself sipping expensive booze in 1st class on planes. Show biz kids making movies of them selves who don’t give a crap about anybody else, hanging with other cardboard cutouts in glamorous places.

David Bowie sang that fame makes a man think things over: All that Lame-o thinks about are primal things embedded in the basic simian lobes of his cranium.

He’s even shamelessly, stupidly posted, blogged and tweeted bragging photos of himself at these promotional venues. “Look at me in adoration mere mortals, I hang with the beautiful people and if you buy my product line, why you’ll be beautiful too!”

In fact, he wants to be internationally famous: Being this dumb meant being a celebutard, that part came naturally. You know, like another Laguna-based vacuum-brain, a spoiled brat of the same ilk, Ms. Lauren Conrad (MTV’s Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County), important for merely existing, for being ABSOLUTELY FABULOUSLY FAMOUS!

Lauren once uttered that replacing guys on your arm was like changing purses: It’s about the trends, about the latest happening look, the accoutrements, the accessories-----not the substance. The environment is Lame-o's purse.

Lame-o is just that, Lame Oh! he doesn’t even see the similarities, he thinks that HE invented beach-blanket-bingo stardom. Now that he’s a celebutard, perhaps Lauren can accept his apology and lend him her make-up kit for those Xs Energy Drink Raves? [6]

Lame-o's Hero Ms. Lauren Conrad @
the 2009 Hollywood Style Awards. Wikipedia

There’s no small irony in this: Lame-o ragged on this MTV series endlessly in his blogs, said that this wasn’t the Laguna where he grew up and lives (lived)….Until he woke up with his small but carefully crafted sponsorship and endorsement funding in an entropic, withering, spiraling down state back in 2005. He was marginal and so his income followed that plummeting arc. He whined a lot about that to me. Now he gets it: Style trumps substance.

Back then, it came to him, so he ripped a page out of Lauren’s book of life. His act, his routine was becoming old to former cronies and donors, and approaching 35 with his looks, his talents and prowess on the wane, lacking any education beyond high school, his options were narrowing, constricted, getting self-limited.

He was briefly hired as the Laguna Beach High School surfing coach around this time but the Kalos Kagathos Foundation (a highly reputable Laguna non-profit) that funded it threatened to stop the money flow. Why? Because Lazy Lame-o basically sat on the strands doing nothing but getting a tan, living off his quickly disappearing reputation and dead laurels.

Thus for once reality actually intruded, undoubtedly he got a headache but managed to ponder that he might have to grow up and find work. Wait, he had zero skills, he’d never held an actual sweat-producing regular job. Like his mind, his CV, his resumé was basically all blanks. Sponging off girlfriends, Mumsy and Da or conning some surfing industry manufacturers into chump change wasn’t sufficient.

An original thought would soon die a lonely death in his brain, and even if that thought crossed his mind it would be a very, very, very short trip. But he did know a lot about stealing other people’s ideas, about co-opting his own surf culture and so he followed that MTV-inspired rainbow to a pot of gold with hopefully his name (what else?) on it.

He must have awoken one morning hung over from one of his vodka binges and panicked. He probably said to himself:

“Damn, I’ve never really worked a day in my life. My 5th grade teacher warned me that I was too lazy and too stupid to ever amount to anything. I was California State Surfing Champion in high school but then I NEVER placed in the money, NEVER finished in the top 100 on the Pro Surfing Association Tour. Mostly because that’s the real world of male competition, and as local homies know I was always too chicken to ride anything over 6 feet. My parents have always coddled me as I’m the dumb baby in the family. I grew up privileged in a humungous ocean front house, my British Mumsy calls me Peter Pan, I don’t ever want to grow up and face the reality of the commoners, the riff-raff, the hoi-polloi, the ones who are the 9-5-ers. I’ll never marry or have kids---Then I’d have to share. Lauren was right all along, I can do what she did, but fake it better. I can pretend that I care about something bigger and more important than myself, I can go out and whore myself too but covered in that green wrapping paper.”

Lame-o, has he ever suffered or learned to get by with less? No, he’s always been an elitist, he expects, not earns, privileges. He rides with great legroom on airlines to exotic places with already in place minor controversies ripe for corporate exploitation, he drinks expensive liquor all the while and stays in tony, pampered, upscale resorts when he gets there---It’s like a lifetime Las Vegas comp card. One of his sponsors is Boost Mobile®, so his cell phone is free.

This I know of personally: We were still on speaking terms back in late October of 2007. He called me from the Osaka Airport and when I expressed concern about the bill he told me that he got the service gratis. One of his false claims is that he was integral in a major confrontation with Japanese dolphin and pilot whale killers at Taiji.

Funny, but that time on the phone he whined, bitched, pissed and moaned about his pitifully small, only symbolic role but said nothing about the slaughter. He said that the more savvy activist veterans intentionally left him behind for the final confrontation before the Japanese government asked them to leave the country. He was invited to the ceremonial paddle out the day before the subsequent violent kill-off.

Lame-o’s life was NEVER in jeopardy, but he makes it sound that way with his selective, convenient memory, coat-tailing real activists.  He told me that they didn’t knock on his door that morning because he was hung over plus they didn’t think that he had the balls to go through with it! Some warrior, huh? Here’s a link to the trailer and media release from the real heroes. It also reveals that 6 people went into harm’s way, 2 of which were young women. Apparently Lame-o was right: The group felt that these women had more guts than him:

His main backer, his Gordon Gekko mentor, the puppeteer and mastermind architect (think Albert Speer) of this cretin’s career the past 6 years is a local energy drink entrepreneur named David Vanderveen, or as we call him to his face David Vander-vain

David was looking to build out, to increase his customer demographic, so what better way than to create a type of ecological fan club, a kind of Paul Winchell—Jerry Mahoney---Knucklehead Smiff Show. Paul Winchell pitched super-sugar laden products back then, one could say EXCESSIVE sugar products. Lame-o would definitely suffice as the knucklehead, check out the similarities on You Tube and you decide.

Jerry Mahoney: Vander-vain's Dummy Inventory. Wikipedia

Lame-o finally dropped his false claim that he lives in Laguna Beach recently after embarrassed locals disowned him and demanded of his editor that he retract that, but he stills calls himself a pro surfer. Mumsy and Da made a good real estate investment and got to help their pitiful little warrior, made the down payment on an expensive place inland, in Laguna Niguel about 10 miles away, some 5+ years back---Which is where he’s ensconsed today, albeit landlocked and dry-docked.

He does drive a very eco-friendly vehicle: A Chevy Yukon! He flies in large fuel-burning jets, takes personal chopper rides over disasters, and of course those limousine rides with his entourage do eat up the petroleum………Oh, I get it, his incredible professional career as a warrior offsets his carbon footprint, right? Hello, Lame-o, Al Gore calling on Line #1…

Months and months after the Gulf oil spill he and his crew flew down, took chopper rides over the area and acted as if it were a breaking story----Yet myself and many other credible media reporters had already picked that subject clean. Just what exactly could some unknowledgeable guy like James with his wangster, wigger posse accomplish with such redundant redundancy? A new perspective culled from others work?

When you see or hear “Eco-warrior” you think of personal sacrifices made, someone living a Spartan life-style, denial of Earthly treasures, exemplary heroism unparalleled, uncompensated (not self-promoted) bravery of the highest, noblest, altruistic order, don’t you? Lame-o almost invented the phrase “It’s All About Me” because almost everything he’s ever done, ever put on paper or tweeted is about where and what he eats and drinks, meanwhile weaving in his restaurant sponsors who, guess what? Comp him.

What he should be wearing is a t-shirt that says: “I’m With Stupid,” with an arrow on it pointing up towards his inflated sense of importance, his weirdly shaped head.

His support and flunky groups, like his corporate bozos bosses, become wealthier and more famous by association with him---As long as their name is mentioned and spelled right, who cares if the guy is a knucklehead? Like a good lie that’s often repeated until it seems true, no one bothered to do the homework, he must be real because he says so.

Sex does sell anything, but is this the Christian way to sell product to our youth?
Joel Vanderveen ( is DV's brother, a friendly dealer here in Laguna.
Keeping it ($$$) all in the family, huh DV?

As a spokesman or ambassador for groups like Surfrider Foundation, is it so amazing to see that they nominate him for their own awards and others, and that he wins? Because when HE wins, Surfrider’s image and his corporate sponsors win. Hypocrite that he is, back years ago he told people NOT to donate to Surfrider, the donation wouldn’t change a thing. Funny how money changes a man’s opinion, doesn’t it?

Recently, what seemed suspiciously like a manufactured dangerous ocean rescue (conveniently right below his parent’s house while he sat sipping tea and crumpets on the veranda with Mumsy, hmmm?) morphed into a circus, a self-promoted media frenzy. Why? Because Lame-o and David V. sent out mass broadcast tweets and press releases touting his efforts as heroic, dangerous…And they sent out media releases faster than a speeding bullet. Emergency responders were overheard telling him that it better not wind up on TV or in the papers because THEY were suspicious themselves about the facts.

Close your eyes and imagine Capt. Sully of Hudson River fame. He was a true hero that exhibited inspiring calm, incredible bravery and fortitude under adverse, pressure-filled conditions. Can you then imagine him doing this? He was the opposite, as truly courageous people are, he humbly said that he was only doing his job. That had to practically drag him into the spotlight. Lame-o has spent his entire adult life seeking that tainted limelight.

If you didn’t know it, like many ocean recreationalists, my self and many others have saved lives while out in rough and hazardous surf. Yeah, we’re kinda nutty---We live for those treacherous conditions because often only the more seasoned are in the water and, no offense to tourists, we as locals also live for these sparsely populated fun scenes where we needn’t share the best rides.

When the red warning flag goes up, we go out. We’ve all probably assisted frightened swimmers stuck in riptides to shore anonymously, without self-promoting fanfare---We’d never think of calling up reporters or TV stations. Our Laguna Beach Lifeguards are among some of the finest in the world, second to none. I don’t think one of them has EVER used this type of potential tragedy for self-aggrandizing, monetary promotional purposes. Quite the opposite, but then James was never humble.

Do you, the reader, personally know of or have met any real heroes? If you do, you probably never heard of one who builds then jumps on his own bandwagon, declares himself gutsy, pins a medal on his own chest, brags and boasts, beats on his chest then even posts videos to bolster, to amplify and enhance his career. The environment is only a modern medium, a glitzy tool for this personality type and his support group.

As a high profile activist turned consultant in the environmental field for almost 15 years, not a week goes by that someone doesn’t ask me my opinion about an eco-strategy or green product. Or maybe would I look at the supporting documents for a proposed development, see if it’s kosher and complies with regulations. Is it good for or does it harm the environs?

Many reach out wanting to know if a project has been thoroughly analyzed for significant adverse impacts; others want to know if certain so-called “eco-friendly” goods really deliver what they claim. Which I guess is why consumer visionaries like Ralph Nader lobbied and litigated for WARNING labels.

So, in this column, I’m addressing another form of rampant but unregulated new consumerism, this thinly disguised celebrity-hood we know as “The Cult of Eco-Personality.”

Why am I doing this? Because these totally bogus pimps, these phonies siphon off funds that should go to non-profits that have legitimate passion, work with underpaid and un-pampered staffs, perform anonymously with real unselfish effort and have long term histories of slaving in the trenches.

Non-profit NGOs have experienced a harsh lessening of donations the past 5 years since the economy flatlined, many estimate at a decrease of at least 20% in that time period. Diminishing fiscal resources in a field that keeps adding more and more 501 c 3 & 4’s each year. More groups, less total money, fewer contributions.

Secondly, gullible followers don’t realize that by pouring money into profit ventures like the E-WP they don’t really help any marine habitat systems under stress either directly or indirectly----Lame-o has for over 5+ years claimed that he’ll make it a 501 c 3 non-profit soon. Don’t hold your breath, he’d have to open up his books and divulge his earnings plus luxurious expenses. The IRS frowns on diverting the gross sums necessary for him to be an employee with such lush benefits, to maintain the lifestyle he’s become rapidly accustomed to recently.

Third, if enviros wish to take and keep the moral high ground, then we should hold ourselves to the purest, the highest moral standards. You can’t scold the far right if your own house isn’t clean and uncontaminated. When someone like Lame-o falsely brags that they are on the front line of eco-defense, taking non-existent risks and are in physical jeopardy to exaggerate their own roles or importance then we need to cull the herd, play Whack-A-Mole and cut this crap out of the body politic.

For products, for mascots like our ego-warrior Lame-o, these ad folks use modern day So Cal types and are really slick in the packaging, they don’t even need to create poster boys or girls to peddle you enviro-salvation: These eco-poseurs are endless in supply, standing in line, willing and able airheads, 3rd rate actors already in love with themselves, so becoming the face of a product, branding oneself as a savior of our planet’s ecosystems is met with the open hearts and empty heads of gullible prospective sycophants (fans).

The image sells the product for companies as everyone knows, the advent of TV and now the internet exploding the demographic, the value-add. Sex has ALWAYS been high on the list, but now wearing the “Gone Green” logo, hypocritically wrapping your poster child in green anything is chic, it’s hip, it’s really cool, it’s phat, it’s phresh---And it sells like all get out.

The formula is really simple: Find good-looking young people that don’t have scars or blemishes, perfect bodies because they spend all of their time exercising at the gym, in some type of fitness regime program. Now get the public to inextricably associate themselves, identify with your product and your poster child, BINGO! Houston, we have liftoff.

Part of the search is easy: Pick a very charismatic species on the verge of extinction here on Planet Earth---Or maybe a place under siege or stress by humans. Hint: Plants on the precipice aren’t very high on this list for obvious reasons. They don’t draw a lot of big bucks, and although our boy Lame-o has the intelligence level of Madagascar’s baobob tree, flora are considered déclassé.

What these corporate greedheads want to champion in their inimitable fake way are the charismatics, those warm and fuzzy fauna like whales, dolphins, seals, turtles, wolves, lions, and the like. These species capture the children, and as these tots grow up they will continue to bring more bucks into the corporate coffers.

As for the long-term, fiscal sustainability consumers, the eco-junkies who actually believe that they’re making a difference by purchasing the product lines of apparel? They’ll buy hats, t-shirts, purses, bags, sweats, hoodies, flip-flops-----now Lame-o plans a coffee table book no less? This isn’t about saving the planet, it’s about stage props, making and saving mo’ money.

Lame-o, or as I pointed out some here in Laguna call him openly “Fecal Warrior” due to his line of BS, turned out to be one-stop shopping: Being dumb as a doorknob (he admittedly almost flunked out his senior year of high school), he’s the perfect empty vessel. Many of his high school class and fellow surfers shun him, are turned off by how he crassly boasts, plus he exploits their home town and surf culture heritage.

Lame-o’s professional surfing career? Yes, people pay him for lessons but he never finished in the money on the Association of Surfing Professional World Tour. Their online records are very exact, in some years go hundreds deep regarding finishes and earnings. During the 10 years immediately following his high school career (1990—1999), arguably in his prime as a surfer, his name does not appear anywhere on their lists.

So he doesn’t even live in Laguna, he’s never suffered or gone without, he’s groomed and pampered by sponsors, his editors and ghostwriters keep him literate to the world outside, and he helps peddle liquid speed to our youth.

Why Is David Laughing?
He's Thinking "Guess How Much
More Money Lame-o's Gonna
Make Me?

Enter Count Drinkula, his primary enabler, his pimp-daddy, his empire builder, his church preacher, his Buffalo Bob, his new nation’s combination Albert Speer and Josef Goebbels, a professed born again Christian named David Vander-vain of XS Energy Drinks. [8]

Like characters George Milton and Lenny Small in Steinbeck’s novella “Of Mice and Men”, this perfect marriage was kismet. Instead of fawning and petting his rabbit, David gave Lame-o oodles of XS corporate leverage to stroke. One clueless, rudderless, lazy, lost dimwit meets his Dr. Frankenstein. David acquired a tabula rasa, a blank canvas he could write ad copy and strategies upon.

David ignores that “Rich men don’t go to heaven” maxim, but seeing himself as privileged aristocracy too, why sweat the petty stuff, huh? To understand the how and why regarding Xs’s current success, one needs to see how they’ve separated themselves, what they tout as the big difference between their line and others. One must also consider that like our Ego-Warrior, all of these energy drinks are basically unregulated. 

XS claims that it has created the ultimate health infusion, a wellness slurpy for that any-time-of-day boost: It’s chock full of Vitamin B12, more like 3 month’s worth in a single can. No, it’s actually amped with it. Xs drinks have 5-8,000% of your MDR. They allege that this is where they X-cel, what gives junkie users their fix, their rush, the one that makes 5’ 7” shortys able to dunk a basketball, acquire almost super-human powers. [9]

Wait a minute: According to numerous physicians at highly prestigious and respected clinics, the human body only needs a smidgen of B12, everybody except strict vegans get adequate doses daily. In fact, as a water-soluble vitamin, anything over that 100% MDR is just flushed out ASAP via your digestive tract. It seems many of these popular, commonly distributed drinks have “Adaptogenic blends,” that is, they contain combinations of numerous natural herbal derivatives from plants plus caffeine as legal speed, as the dosage delivery accelerator. So apparently all that David’s done is tossed in B12 like a high-octane gas additive. [10]

Even so-called super supplements commonly marketed (I take 1 per day because of my 65 year old age group) have only 250% of the MDR. Xs is 32 times that and besides, why isn’t David bothered by the fact that his demographic aren’t necessarily mature enough to just drink one per day, does he even survey or warn them to not (like alcohol) drink to EXCESS?

And, David, since you claim to be such a devout Christian, did you skip this part of the Bible you beat on in your self-serving diatribes and marketing ploys, ever try considering your childhood customers in this light:

"And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!' Matthew 25:40

Xs is readily available at several retail outlets frequented by his primary, under-30 demographic here in Laguna, many kids can just kype some from their own home refridge or parents stash. I bought several 8.4 fluid ounce cans last week @ $2.50 per, including Tropical Blast, Wild Blueberry Blast and Citrus Blast. All 3 are around the 4,900% MDR for B12 concentration levels.

Author’s note: The Citrus Blast looked suspiciously like fizzy urine, and though nobody ever peed in my beer back in college while I was out of the room, this must be what it tastes like. I have no idea why the online endorsers claim it tastes wonderful. Maybe one of their frat brothers pissed in their beer back when and they liked it, or more probably they got compensation---Like never being forced to drink it ever again for a fee, kind of a marketing disincentive.

I couldn’t find the more highly concentrated 8,000% MDR one Xs Gold Energy Plus (XsGEP) I’d discovered online, but here’s an interesting review and suggested warnings from an expert:

“I didn’t experience any bad side effects except for minor stomachaches and I felt a little bloated. The thing that concerned me about XS Gold is its high levels of vitamin B12, 8000% of the daily value to be exact, plus it is synthetic too. My advise is to avoid drinking this energy drink on a regular basis, too much synthetic vitamin B12 may be toxic to the body. The cons of XsGEP: (1) Extremely high in vitamin B12 (2) People with sensitive stomach may experience stomachaches. (3) High in caffeine, 83 milligrams to be exact (4) Energy dies down quickly (5) Contains sucralose, an artificial sweetener that may cause health problems.” [11]

I drank one can on Sunday morning (July 24 th) and one on Monday morning (July 25th) after consecutive evenings of imbibing several drinks----I get minor hangovers from even small alcohol encounters like this at my age (65) these days. They had ZERO effect upon me, I felt no noticeable change in headache reduction nor increased energy. Both cans, by the way, had that metallic aftertaste you get from artificial sweeteners.

Here’s another online resource that has some startling warnings:  “Does XS Energy Drink Cause Health Problems?” It notes anxiety, nausea, dizziness, nerve damage, CNS depression and heartburn as legitimate health concerns for it. [12]

Where is David’s sense of moral responsibility and societal accountability, I thought that greed was one of the 7 deadly sins? The MLM marketing scheme gives him some shelter or security layer as he doesn’t directly distribute it, he can claim that he sold it to an intermediate, the same argument drug dealers have used over the decades. Therefore, the lower tier’s liability to inform, their responsibility to monitor and regulate its use is not his. Kind of a I-wash-my-hands-of-it, Pontius Pilate safe harbor, now isn’t that?

Linus Pauling Institute Recommendation

“A varied diet should provide enough vitamin B12 to prevent deficiency in most individuals 50 years of age and younger. Individuals over the age of 50, strict vegetarians, and women planning to become pregnant should take a multivitamin supplement daily or eat a fortified breakfast cereal, which would ensure a daily intake of 6 to 30 mcg of vitamin B12 in a form that is easily absorbed. Higher doses of vitamin B12 supplements are recommended for patients taking medications that interfere with its absorption.” [13]

It’s distressing to read numerous warnings available online that excessively high doses can actually encourage cancerous cell growth, you have to wonder why David’s greed blinds him to the downside. No one is there to monitor or limit the number of cans minors or the unknowing ingest daily. Homes where parents are part of his pyramid MLM scheme certainly aren’t motivated because of the profit angle.

“The link between high levels of B12 and cancer is easy to explain. Vitamin B12 stimulates cell division and it doesn’t distinguish between healthy and unhealthy cells. The excess vitamin B12 provides the extra energy needed by cancer cells.” [14]

There are more B12 warnings online, and most focus on NOT taking mega-doses unless under a physician’s direct care or supervision. [15]

Many physicians claim that any supplementary surges perceived due to most energy drink consumption are pretty much placebo ones, not actual effects they couldn’t get from a strong, cheap cup of java at home.

One that I also personally tried is FRS®, and this one was the real McCoy. I chomped down on two of the Pomegranate & Blueberry Chews that cost 50 cents each ($1.00 total) and did feel more clear-headed. The chews have ZERO caffeine in them, the powder and liquid concentrates have a trace. I didn’t get any jittery symptoms or unusual bursts of false energy, so no frazzled or jittery side effects. It too uses sucralose but it must be in small concentrations, or maybe it’s the overall ingredients?

From the FRS Website Archive

Nonetheless, go the FRS website or just GOOGLE it and you’ll discover another MAJOR MAJOR difference: There’s tons of clinical studies by reputable professionals online that prove FRS has no downside. They have real MDs as an ongoing oversight mechanism on staff. Plus FRS has TONS of testimonials by successful professional athletes over the entire gamut of extreme sports challenges. XsED has Lame-o, a washed up never was. [16]

FRS donates a portion of its sales to the Live Strong Foundation that fights to help those struggling with cancer. Live Strong and FRS have impressive, very prestigious boards too:

Xs Energy Drinks and E-WP have no such boards to be found, donate nothing to any cause other than themselves, have ZERO such medical support, not even from those usual MDs that got their papers online at non-accredited, obscure universities. Yet Vander-vain claims that his products offer:

“….a healthier approach than the Monsters and Red Bulls of the world.” Healthier approach to what, reducing your weight by reducing the money in your wallet or purse, worse yet your child’s piggybank?

His boosting blasters should have if anything dire warnings and disclaimers written all over them in large bold font. They do have lots of loyal consumers, aka their MLM Amway Distributors, and the testimonials are, like Lame-o, from marginal if not outright bought-off appearances by literally unknown people at free YouTube postings.

Pretty nifty, huh? Your children are already on Ritalin or its equivalent, taking ADD and bipolar chemicals like world class surfer Andy Irons did before he OD, they’re bouncing off the ceiling from their Starbucks® (320 mg of caffeine/cup) fix like the boys on South Park (Harbucks Episode), the sugary junk food and other garbage they eat gets them manic and unfocused, so David’s decided that he can make beaucoup bucks off of selling them yet more hyperactivity, real or imagined buzzes, it’s all good, it all pays the same.

If You’re Curious Here’s Some Additional Info Department:

Comparative chart of caffeine content of food & drugs as provided by the Center for Science In The Public Interest: [17]

Teens Should Stay Off Energy Drinks”[18]

Photo by David Kawai Postmedia News

As for the families of his unwary and under-aged demographic, the parents and their progeny, these naïve customers are ingesting what is arguably the equivalent of a borderline over-the-counter drug that should require a trip to the doctor and a prescription? Slamming down 4-5 of these per day is like 5 cups of coffee mixed with 25,000 times their MDR, quite un-natural. Hey, you’re on your own there kiddies, David doesn’t do fallout, consequences or ramifications, David does distribution networks, that’s why Amway® is his chosen one. [19]

Amway's largest selling brand line is its Nutrilite® range of health and wellness supplements, and David (or maybe those Mormons at AMWAY) has cleverly hidden his questionable line in the midst of these products, using them as disguises, as beards. This qualifies it as a nutritional supplement, because Amway distributes it?

The state of Utah is purportedly the MLM capital of the world. Every Mormon in the state seems to be an Amway distributor—The names seem synonymous, almost interchangeable. And just like the Mormons, David understands what CYA (cover your ass) stands for….or in this case bury your line inside of a slate of legitimate products. Say what you will about Amway, they do have high consumer ratings but maybe that’s from selling to, buying from, and hence screwing each other?

A search of David’s political contributions for 2007-8 Presidency campaign reveals that initially he backed Mormon Mitt Romney---Gee, where’s the surprise there? After Romney lost his bid, he gave bucks to the MCain/Palin ticket.

Back when MTV was revealing Laguna in all of it’s phoniness, David and best bro’ neighbor attorney and jailbird Howard Hills (a Jack Abramoff crony) got interviewed by Comedy Central (Jon Stewart’s program if memory serves). They tried to counter-attack the image of spoiled teenaged snots that MTV so glaringly noted. Instead, they stood around in David’s posh kitchen in his $1+ million home just up from the beach: And ended up looking petty and stupid. Dumb and dumber.

Like David, Amway preaches the gospel, the new covenant of prosperity---And just to prove it several of the founding family’s members are always in the top 10 of Republican Party fiscal contributors and insinuated into the RNC hierarchy. Extremely conservative Christians, many critics liken them to a, (whattayaknow?), religious cult-----So creating an Eco-Warrior Cult wasn’t really such a stretch anyway, now was it?

As one investigator put it:

"The language used in motivational tools for Amway frequently echoes or

Mortimer Snerd, aka Lame-o Pribram, with mouthpiece Vander-vain Wikipedia

directly quotes the Bible, with the unstated assumption of a shared Christian perspective." [20]

What are the clinically-proven health effects of even moderate caffeine doses combined with mega-doses of B12? Hey, when you’re grossing 10s of millions of $$$ each year, who cares?

Being unregulated and no age limit requirement like alcohol, what inhibits young people from buying as much as they want to? They make XsED in a cheap commercial/industrial district, Sante Fe Springs CA----An industrial blight upon the surface of So Cal, wonder if their secret proprietary ingredient is LA River water?

Like ventriloquist Edgar Bergen, David had his empty husk, and his shill was ready for his curtain call: Mortimer Snerd aka dummy Lame-o Pribram. And what better demographic than the under-30, crash test dummy, jackass crowd, even the name’s pronunciation was subliminally thought out for a bigger market share: Excess! Young people love anything that seems excessive: Binge drinking, X-treme Games, etc.

Energy bursts due to ingestion of excessive dosages of B12, David? What people were formerly required to take in as a shot under a physician’s careful guidance, in his/her office, 10-year olds now can waltz in and buy out of the store’s fridge? Here’s a quote from a July 5, 2011 blog interview of Vander-vain:

"XS Energy is really just an acronym for excessive energy."

Yeah, MLM and Xs distributorship is just another way of saying pusher or dealer.

Blastmixers is marketed by Xs to promote their line to over-indulging party-goers (and also to increase and encourage yet more alcohol consumption)….plus ready availability at children and teen venues:

“Blast Premium Energy Mixers—the revolution in mixers for bars, clubs, restaurants, coffee and smoothie shops, sno-cone stands and any other beverage retailer looking to mix up exciting, energy boosted drinks.”

One can only assume that you get your massive B12 infusion to help offset or neutralize the effects of the alcohol---simultaneously, not the usual morning after hangover schtick. [21]

Vander-vain knows that a direct line of evidence blaming his products for any illnesses, side effects, or freakouts resulting in damages or injury is problematic for potential litigators. It would be difficult for a forensics or toxicology expert to determine the effects, synergistic or singular…….. so he won’t be forced to pay for your children’s rehab nor the destructive life-altering results that might occur.

Vander-vain doesn’t do personal accountability anyway, oh no, David does MLM dough. And remember if litigated he’d just file BK and fold the corporation, open using another catchy name.

Here’s some other interesting quotes from the same blog, maybe he’s not so smart after all because he admits to an avoidance of oversight or regulation:

“The thing I like the least is wrestling with all the technical regulations in every market, which can get frustrating. Another thing I really don’t like is spending weeks a year lobbying for our category in Washington D.C. because we’re being, in my opinion, unfairly picked on by energy drink bigots, and people who don’t really understand what type of drink and formulas are in a category.” [22]

Lame-o Uses Sign Language Showing His Double Digit IQ @ Patriot's Day Parade.
Photo by Don Leach

There is historical support for B12 providing some palliative relief for hangovers and delirium tremens (DTs), as in alcohol withdrawal symptoms---Which is right smack dab in the middle of David’s Revenue Model Targeted Demographic Wheelhouse. Young people with the day after blahs---But how in God’s name is reaching for mother’s little helper considered healthy?

Isn’t the message there that you can overindulge (drink alcohol or take other drugs to an excess) and just slam a few of these down in your Range Rover on the way to work or school, you’ll be adjusted by the opening bell once at your desk?

David is the literal embodiment of liquid Dutch courage, has a column in the same kind of local throwaway paper as Lame-o, and wouldn’t you just know it? He pontificates, quotes Christian scripture, hectors disbelievers and acts as if he is the gatekeeper to Laguna’s moral compass. He professes expertise in every community issue, disdains and castigates those who disagree, and the paper lets him pitch and promulgate his sketchy products via his column’s bio each week.

These hacks, flacks and spinmeisters in Lame-o’s corner came up with a real doozy for 2011’s yearly Patriot’s Day Parade held each spring in Laguna: Athlete of the Year. And guess who was its very first recipient? No, not one of our humble, legitimate local athletes, but their corporate flunkey, Lame-o.

He has a personal trainer, he plays volleyball with other trust fund beach bums, he surfs at his leisure (not competitively), he takes jet rides, is pampered to acquire those superior physical skills, and this deserves athleticism accolades?

On another note, who said irony died on 9/11? Lame-o won a “Heart and Soul Award” from O’Connor Mortuaries-----Considering his pro tour career was DOA before it ever even began, now is apropos. Does anyone even need speculate as to who nominated him?

Ripped off from the Communist Party circa 1930, what kind of message does this ad send?
Xs Blast Drinkers of the World Unite? Obviously, those are NOT Lame-o's forearms.
Ad paid for by (who else?) Vander-vain who created the Award, so "Unanimous AOTY" is a lie.

In a recent confrontation over the hazards of extreme skateboarding by children, now rampant and out-of-control in Laguna, David supported these little traffic-stopping monsters jacked up on his juice, both aggressively in his articles and at our City Council hearings. After all, they’re his “pharm” (as in pharmaceutical) system, his present and future clients. Natch.

He’ll sell your kids his snake oil and possibly hazardous substances as human rocket fuel. Maybe he’s more like Hitler’s famous Dr. Josef Mengele, after all he is experimenting with young people’s bodies and brains. Heck, he might not ever get blamed and anyway he’ll be living in the Caymans with those other MLM potentates by the time lawsuits are filed.

Has anyone asked about the long-term social ramifications of such over-the-counter speed or boosts, why our youth need yet more energy, why these drinks are even necessary, why they’re acceptable and embraced today?

I don’t remember needing any such incentives or boosts, maybe a few Cokes® (35 milliliters per can) each day back in my youth---The equivalent of one cup of coffee. Nobody, I mean nobody in my ghetto slammed down 3 Cokes and an entire bottle of B12, each Xs Drink’s equivalence, over and over and over all day long. I didn’t notice any drop off of energy until I was well into my 40s when my significant other finally got me hooked on, you guessed it, coffee! She moved on to cocaine, I moved out and on with my life.

The withdrawal symptoms after becoming only a morning caffeine junkie were headaches, etc., so perhaps that’s part of this whole energy drink ruse: Our youth are hooked on this expensive crap, it has social peer pressure to conform and they have little choice but keep ingesting it. And who is picking up the tab?

My recommendation, one that’s perfectly safe, the known successful combo approved by everyone from Deepak Chopra to Andrew Weil to Adele Davis to Sanjay Gupta to your grandmother to your own local organic grocer: Antioxidants.

A reasonable but constant ingestion of the ones you can find either fresh or dried at a place like Whole Foods® or Trader Joe’s®. I now eat a mixture of them, about 1.5 cups per day. Cranberries, blueberries, boysenberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries and pomegranates. If your local provider only has them frozen, as juice ordried, then although lower in antioxidants totals, try them that way instead.

Stop that all-day coffee drinking and lower your caffeine intake by 50%. Stop drinking these energy drinks, you're blowing bucks you could use for other things. If you have young ones, get this BS out of your home. Now. Spoil yourself with a cup or 2 of coffee if you must to kick-start your morning, but you don’t need nearly as much caffeine if you just gobble a few mouthfuls of these antioxidants subsequently over the course of your day. Don’t risk it, don’t potentially jeopardize your health and that of your family and friends by imbibing these turbo-charged, thinly-disguised drug boosters with their subsequent withdrawal markers.

Stop being suckers. Definitely forego Xs Energy Drinks, don’t play Russian Roulette with such a pitiful product, especially one with no clinical support---Just addicted losers and promotional gimmicks like the Eco-Warrior Project. Take control of your health AND your life, don't let money-mongering entrepreneurs like David control it.

We didn’t invent scam artists out here beyond the perimeter in Hollyweird Land, but we as a sub-culture definitely took it to a whole other ubiquitous level. Like burglars, these perpetrators look for openings and stupid, unsuspecting victims.

Authenticity no longer exists, we seem to reward fakes……and that goes double for the So Cal Stardom Syndrome. An LA Times journalist, Gregory Rodriquez, in his July 14, 2011 op-ed used the recent debate over the “Is it fake or is it real?”  butt of Kim Kardashian to make his satirical point, Lame-o’s ego and that famous keister are both grossly inflated: “It goes so deep that despite all our whining about inauthenticity, it's impossible to separate phoniness from what it means to be American.” (“Land of the free, home of the fake”) [23]

Blurring the lines between the real deal and the surrealistically unreal, who would have thought that the fun, funky sport of my youth, surfing, would de-evolve into such crass rapacious commercialism? Endorsements are one thing, but scamming is just plain immoral.

The entire surf culture has been taken over by slimy worms and bean counters, taken out of the still wet but honest hands of historical water enthusiasts and idealogues---Placed in the hands of poseurs who keep the body alive like vampires while they pilfer, that is daily drain it of it’s last gasps of purity, its spiritual essence to line their own pockets.

"For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world yet forfeit his soul?” Matthew 16:26

Well, David and Lame-o are willing to live in luxury, plus risk the next generation’s health and yours to find out the answer to that eternal question.


FYI: If a project near you has some interesting enviro-aspect(s) that you think is/are worthy of coverage and our readers attention, feel free to contact me with a very brief synopsis. Water-related “Blue Interventions” are my specialty!

Launched in 2010, Odd Man Out is the creation of Roger von Bütow and his OMO columns are written exclusively for Salem-News-com. Born and raised in the LA Harbor area, son of a German immigrant father, he's been in Orange County for 45 years and is a 38-year resident of Laguna Beach, Ca. In 1998, he began his professional career in environmental review processes (CEQA, NEPA, MND, MND and EIR/EIS). He's a rare mix of cross-trained builder, writer and consultant as he brings his extensive construction experiences dating back to 1972 into his eco-endeavors. He has tremendous field and technical expertise in successful watershed restorations, plus wastewater, urban runoff, water quality monitoring/improvements and hydrologic mechanisms. He's built everything from commercial spas to award-winning private residences, and provided peer review and consultant analyses for single homes, subdivisions and upscale resorts.

View articles written by Roger ButowRead Roger's full biography on the Staff Page

His resumé is extensive, try an online GOOGLE search of his personal journey and historical accomplishments. His consultation fees are reasonable and if you've got a major project that alarms you, that needs creative intervention, then he's your man. His credentials and "CV" can be provided upon request.

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Anonymous November 29, 2014 12:16 am (Pacific time)

This article needs to be shared throughout Laguna. Lame-o is such a kook. He's an asshole in the water, hopping every wave like he's the only one in the water. He's a disgrace to the town, real environmentalists and naive rich people that move to Laguna and think they're cool hanging with Lame-o. Hey Vander-douce, I'm a pro surfer - I got $5 and some t-shirts from Dave Skarman at Oak St. Surf Shop back in the day - want to use me for your scams on our kids, you can tell them I'm the new surf pro rep for your fraudulent venture and we can cheat on our wives during out of town "business" trips. At the end of the day, Lame-o and Vander-douce have to live with themselves and look at their falsehoods every time they step into that tanning salon and beauty parlor to get their hair highlighted to look like REAL surfers. By the way, just saw Fecal-Warrior parking his out of town car to visit the Laguna beachs, putting money in the parking meters - cause he don't live here - no chance for resident pass - and, boy did Gay-mo look old and crusty. Probably a good idea for you to move back in Mommy's house since you are her hero for pulling the pseudo rescue of the century. These guys are what's bad about a good town.

Anonymous January 18, 2013 10:34 am (Pacific time)

Way to go! Rip apart another to gain what?

Roger E. Bütow October 12, 2011 5:26 pm (Pacific time)

First, I want people to realize that EVERY movement has its phonies, its false idols....Especially ones who come for the $$$ and not the cause/purpose. I wanted to alert people, shake them up by using a personal example I knew very well. I was taught that a person can't just make generalized, blanket statements: They must have specific examples.

Second, there is a growing concern, and righteous alarm over supplements, energy drinks, boosters, and especially those that young unformed bodies have indescriminate access to.

Just as people need to read the labels, do the research on foods/substances they ingest, the air they breath, the water they drink, they should also research capitalists bilking/using non-profits for illegitimate, hypocritical purposes.

I have received many phone calls and emails from locals who have butted heads with David V., including PTA moms who wanted him banned from school events where he tried to capture new customers and MLM distributors....he usually threatens litigation, I guess we @ got off easy, or maybe he didn't want to openly disclose his scam.

Bill October 10, 2011 11:33 am (Pacific time)

What are you trying to accomplish?

Roger Bütow August 22, 2011 11:16 am (Pacific time)

Billy Rukh:
The only Billy Rukh I can find online is an 18 year old recent graduate of George Bush High School in Texas. So I'm doubtful (if that's you) that you know anything about the surfing world, or the world at large period.
If you go back today, I've added several photos/ads that a fellow enviro from the Sierra Club forwarded me. Notice the Patriot's Day Parade one?
How stupid was the generator of that, Xs Blast? You're from Texas, you hate commies, why did Xs Blast mix communist propaganda with promoting its Golden Boy? Since when does a parade for America deserve to be sullied, to be stained by obvious Marxist symbols and memes (cultural themes)? And what in the hell is "Eco-Athleticism?"
View the lower right corner, if it's blurry I can send you the 3 MB original: They held a post-venue benefit, a raffle and auction hosted by another one of his self-serving corporate sponsors, so tell me where did THAT $$$ go, into who's pocket or bank account? Where HAS all of the $$$ gone so far?
Your naiveté is unfortunately part of the problem: You're young, your demographic is becoming alarmed by the previous generation's ecological errors, and so you see this person Lame-o as "Someone's hero" hence a candidate to yours---Try reading the label, research or dig deeper. Someone associated or affiliated with an NGO in your community is syphoning off attention==$$$ in their pocket.
I can attest to what 3 different emergency responders from two separate departments told me in confidence: They warned Lame-o about exaggerating the rescue, about shouting this out to promote himself.
So the questions remain unanswered: Why did he and DV immediately Tweet this, post it on Facebook, contact the other media and intentionally promote him, get massive attention and exposure within hours?
A bruised and battered young woman, one who was admittedly disoriented might not have such a clear recognition of facts and timelines. Are you also so naive that you believe pictures and/or info on the web reflect reality 100% of the time?
Calm, cool, collected emergency responders smelled something fishy, and moreover some grew up around him and know what he's exploiting: False bravery. I warned readers about his constituents sensing a lazy phony advocate with massaged questionable credentials.
And if you're that Billy Rukh of Texas who asserts that he's a Muslim of Asian descent, how do YOU feel about family values? Does using a provocatively (basically nude) woman to push product seem moral to you? These are evangelical born again Christians tied at the hip to Mormans----Isn't that disturbingly hypocritical?
If you still like taking me to the woodshed, if you are THAT BR (Muslim) then you accept Jesus as a prophet: He BASHED the Pharisees and other rabbis as much as he did Rome.
I agree with Nietzsche: There has ben only one true Christian, Christ himself, I'm not asserting that I'm that pure or on that level. But messengers must deliver the clarion call, we feel compelled to point out the evil in our midst as we see its negative impact.
Evil prevails when men of good will do nothing....I felt that a wolf in sheep's clothing deserved to be outed in perpetuity, as a warning online that will be up there as a cautionary tale in case others are on the verge of getting suckered or influenced by someone like this in their locale. Someone who preys upon their compassion (or eco-passion) for 30 pieces of silver.

Roger Bütow August 22, 2011 10:41 am (Pacific time)

To Luke:
First, I agree that I got pretty chatty cathy on this one. Guilty as charged, you are correct. Mea culpa.
Due to my resurgence in physical fitness and weight loss (I was a 4 sport athlete and a buff 180 lbs. out of college) I started out wanting to write about energy drinks, the emerging legitimate concerns about regulation like those of our government and our neighbors Canada (see hyperlink re Canada). The youth of my home city, Laguna Beach, seem to have become abnormally amped, obnoxious and out of control, I felt these high caffeine content slurpies were part of that provocation.
I also felt guilty (and I thought I fumbled the ball re vividly/clearly expressing it) about helping what I thought was a young man wanting to make a difference for our local environs---Only to see him become corrupted by money and fame. What he initially convinced me as sincerity turned out to be blatant manipulative behavior. So in a sense I was trying to express some remorse, achieve partial contrition by righting a wrong, by exposing his true motivations.
I also have been challenged by many re what constitutes GREEN product, what is bogus, and why are all of these freeking eco-NGOs, aren't they redundant, who ( or what corporation) is actually profiting, etc.
So I ended up cramming TMI into 1 column---There is a nexus, a connection that I discovered while writing this piece. As often happens, one starts out on a journey then oddities and synchronicities, ironies happen. You start out going to one place and end up visiting many.
I didn't think it a "little petty OC drama" because as I challenged readers, I think they need to be vigilant about these types of scammers working their region, draining time and $$$ from legitimate local grass roots NGOs.
It's about legitimacy vs. illegitimacy, authentic vs. inauthentic. I wasn't using space for a personal vendetta, I was trying to right some wrongs, but in your case did not succeed in making that clear, that I was trying to both educate----I always assume that if someone doesn't get it, me, the explainer is responsible, not you, the reader.
As for covering ONLY issues in its immediate neighborhood, I think that Tim and Bonnie have made it clear that they intend to split the magazine into a local/regional newspaper AND an international magazine format. Daily postings for the Northwest, the world by posting a gamut of columns from our virtual online global family.
In my mind, a perusal of the resource known as now already reflects that evolution---The journalists are spread across the planet.
I encourage you and other readers to go back and review the two new photos/ads produced by Xs Energy Drinks Tim just posted Monday am (today)----I was forwarded them by another enviro from the Sierra Club who had some archived info he thought added weight to my arguments and concerns.

Billy "Gutless Wonder" Rukh August 20, 2011 4:07 am (Pacific time)

Honestly, I didn't take the time out of my day to read your whole post, because I'm such a "gutless wonder". I wouldn't waste my time making senseless hang-up calls. Its immature and doesn't accomplish a thing. When I read your article, I also noticed that you called his rescue manufactured. Have you ever met the young lady that he saved? sat down and talked to her? Looked at her scars and bruises? I doubt it. You were right about Laguna lifeguards saving lives everyday, but thats also their duty. James isn't a Laguna lifeguard, but he is someones hero. I don't know if everything you stated in the article was true or not but bashing someone online just makes your character look bad. My advice to you, is to do good on your part, and not worry about others. P.S Don't usually post my last name on web articles, personal preference :)

Luke Harper August 19, 2011 11:10 pm (Pacific time)

You're an out of control, awful, all-over-the map writer. You're way too long winded and this is clearly a personal vendetta. BUT your points make sense. You're right about a lot of things. What the hell is this little petty OC drama doing on a Salem, OR website?

Roger Bütow August 19, 2011 2:27 pm (Pacific time)

First, thanks for not leaving your last name, what you've proved is that you're certainly quite the gutless wonder yourself. You're probably one of my hang up calls.
Moving on, I noticed that you don't disagree with my allegations, that is Lame-o is NOT a real activist which I define as an in-the-trenches, unpaid and unpampered one, a person who gets real eco-work done without massive influxes of corporate funding from questionably motivated companies trying to enhance their image and revenue, who does it out of love for the planet and commitment to principles---Not oodles and gobs of cash hidden from public scrutiny.
Lame-o sold out years ago because he's lazy and clueless. Watching his videos is like watching a mynah bird, a parrot---In fact he IS a parody.
As for proving my credentials or those of my non-profit groups, ones never bought off by the likes of Lame-o's chums, CLEAN WATER NOW! is the ONLY NGO to successfully procure enforcement actions by EPA in the South OC watersheds, all done WITHOUT legal or fiscal assistance.
A demand by CWN! for thorough water quality monitoring in the Aliso Creek Watershed beginning in 2001 is costing the County and upstream cities over $1 million/year---And it has sustained our contention that these agencies are chronic violators of the CWA leading to more enforcement and cleanup actions. This is in Lame-o's back yard yet he never takes on local issues, has had ZERO effect on his own environs, it's always some distant exotic place.
I even got my own City (the same one Lame-o used to live in) fined $240,000 by Cal/EPA for chronic sewage spills back in June of 2000.
Our City Manager, in negotiations with EPA, offered to create the water quality department as mitigation and got off with a $60,000 fine, so CWN! basically forced the creation of that department. Where was Lame-o, he was on our board? Nowhere to be found, probably surfing while we're making real headway.
He epitomizes Coach Wooden's admonition: Never confuse activity with achievement.
We have an unblemished protectionist reputation, have accomplished more than the Sierra Club and Surfrider combined in the Aliso Creek Watershed, we even cost CalTrans over $3 million in stormdrain improvements because the San Joaquin Toll Road was polluting Newport Beach, Laguna Beach and Dana Point.
I've been awarded accolades by the LA Times editorial staff and the OC Grand Jury----Not my sponsors giving me awards but independent reputable entities.
Check my columns at or other articles online, unlike Lame-o I don't crassly charge $$$ for my endeavors or peddle petty products. pocketing the $$$. I drive a 20 year old car, barely make my bills.
I'd challenge you to call up or write Cal/EPA or USEPA, other officials at the County, State or federal level---They never heard of James Pribram.
I'm a known thorn in their side, I write my own extensive and complex legal pleadings, I've beaten these government officials and their attorneys black and blue, prevailed in hearing rooms against their lawyers.
Tim and the rest of our MCAS El Toro gang know of my donated hours regarding that CERCLA cleanup site.
It's almost embarrassing that you'd challenge someone with the right stuff---Why don't you ask Lame-o when he's going to start that non-profit he's been promising for 5+ years, or maybe how much of that Xs poison he drinks or recommends children guzzle daily, then get back to me, ok Billy Boy?

Roger Bütow August 19, 2011 5:52 am (Pacific time)

No can do.....I'm a small businessman running things out of my home. Plus I head up several ecological groups (unpaid, I might add), so blocking calls from unknown/unrecognized parties could be counter-intuitive. That might be $$$ on the line!
Unlike Lame-o, I have to scratch for a living, I'm a single 65 year old with no parachute. Actually, I knew that there'd be some dirty tactics somewhere in the mix. Comes with the turf, you ought to know DJ :+) :+) :+)
This also proves that my facts are seldom if ever challenged, ad hominem arguments abound when people refuse to discuss the truthiness of someone's allegations.
I am in the process of dealing with anonymous posters/commentators via a column on a related topic. Tim knows that I hate the insidious sniping tactic used by many, they hide behind a veil by creating a pseudonym and unlike the journalist refuse to come out and be identified---hence vulnerable and accountable like the reporter.
This leaves the writer exposed as if in a shooting gallery but keeps Mr./Ms Anonymous safe.

Billy August 18, 2011 11:51 pm (Pacific time)

"Those of us who are real activists within the environmental advocacy (“enviro”) movement espouse that we should never feed on our own, never criticize even phonies because it lessens our genuinely passionate effect by arguing among ourselves." You, Roger, just proved that you are not a real activist. Because even if James was a phony, you lessened your so-called "genuinely passionate effect," or whatever that means.

Roger Bütow August 18, 2011 3:20 pm (Pacific time)

FYI to David Vander-vain/Lame-o flunkies:
I've gotten numerous nasty voicemails and hangup calls at my home these past several days, all with blocked phone #s hence untraceable. Some sounded kind of threatening.
David's best bro' Howard Hills is whacko Orange County's US Representative Dana Rohrabacher's PR/lobbyist flack and henchman. GOOGLE HH and you'll discover that it looks like he rolled over on fellow felons in Guam a few years back to save his own ass from multiple graft and corruption felonies, the usual unethical crap that this type does out of the public's view.---Hence avoided jail time by snitching out even his own fellow attorney plus mentor Jack Abramoff.
On a recent FACEBOOK posting these 3 boasted of going surfing together at Trestles (San Onofre), they're best pals.
For those who still think that DV is pro-environment or an eco-protector, Rohrabacher was the subject of a recent debacle when he asserted that to reverse climate change we should clear cut the rain forests, here's the NY Times link from May 26, 2011:
So DV surfs by day with right wing loonies, his best pal next door neighbor HH is a known lobbyist of questionable credentials and ethics (What right wing lobbist isn't?)
'Nuff said, you guys need to either rebut the facts in my posting. Let's have an open debate about these New Age phony green strategists, we'll post the video on YouTube, or just stop harassing me in such cowardly ways.
You guys have no guts and no class.

DJ The thing to do, Roger, is get the feature on your line that does not let unrecognised  calls through, period! 

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