GET IN THE SEA: An Apoplectic Guide to Modern Life – from man buns to cat pubs

Get In The Sea (via Get In The Sea)

Get In The Sea (via Get In The Sea)

Ahead of the release of the internet phenomenon inspired book, Getintothis’ Cath Bore talks to the creator of social media sensation Get In The Sea.

We first heard about Get In The Sea on May 8 2015, the day after the General Election. A friend was devastated after the Conservative majority win, she couldn’t stop the tears. Cried herself thirsty, like many of us did. But she had one thing to keep her going, she reckoned. ‘It’s Get In The Sea,’ she said. ‘It’s making me sob with laughter instead.’

On Twitter and Facebook, Get In The Sea creator Andy Dawson takes people and situations he finds ridiculous – clip-on man buns, sleepovers for grownups, beard baubles, cat pubs, adult colouring books and the like – and orders them into the sea.


Social media phenomena are a bit weird. Most of the time there’s no reason for people to latch on; it just works. But Get In The Sea taps into something. It suits 2016. The world seems to be losing its shit right now. The fun’s been sucked out of so much, and we’re too nervous of offending anyone to speak up or take the piss when absurd things happen. People like Get In The Sea because it cuts through that, mocks the ridiculousness of everyday modern life. That, and it’s bloody funny.

I’d been a bit more stressed than usual,” says Andy, about how Get In The Sea started. “And realised that my personal Twitter account had become littered with swearing and fury. It seemed like a good idea to have somewhere else where I could park that rage. The popular phrases ‘get in the bin’ and ‘get in the sea’ seemed appropriate, but as someone had already claimed @getinthebin, I opted for the sea.”

Get In The Sea sounds better than the bin, to me. The Antifascist Network’s “Get in the sea, Nazis” banner was a witty and powerful response to the proposed White Man March in Liverpool last August. There are murky ocean depths that National Action and last weekend’s visitors the North West Infidels could easily get lost in, and never find their way out. “I didn’t come up with the phrase. I’m pretty sure it originated from a Stewart Lee routine about UKIP and fish. But it’s nice that it’s struck a chord with people.”

We used to love the Diana In Heaven Twitter account. It was another of Dawson’s creations, a precursor to Get In The Sea. It featured a wonderfully foul mouthed Lady Di offering a coruscating commentary on the recently departed crowding her space and killing her buzz. It was ace, a refreshing change to “there’s gonna be a great gig in heaven tonight” observations every time a pop star dies.

Andy tells us that he also ghost wrote two books by Monkey from the PG Tips adverts, but we don’t let that spoil things and instead ask him how he chooses who needs to Get In The Sea. We ourselves have a considerable list, and it grows daily. The sea would be full by now, if we had our way. “I usually have a gut feeling about it. The ‘victims’ usually jump out at me, and are really obvious – anything that immediately makes me think, ‘Oh, fuck off…’. There’s a bit of a selection criteria though – I always try to punch up rather than pick on anyone who’s already suffering. People in positions of power or attention-seekers with ridiculous products or projects – they’re all fair game.”

I think that people have identified with (Get In The Sea) targets. There’s so much stupidity and nonsense in the world, and it’s nice that there’s a decent-sized section of society that’s appalled by it. Plus, I think they like all the swearing,” says Andy.

Modern life as a whole – good or bad? Why? “Definitely good. I’ve got a lot of faith in humanity on the whole. The problem is that there’s always a small percentage that spoil things for everyone else. And they need to get in the fucking sea.”

Get In The Sea book

This week, a Get In The Sea book is released. A coffee table book, but one you actually read. It’s a dipping into sort of book. “The book is words, words, words – no pictures. Extended rants about the kind of stuff that gets put in the sea on the social media pages. Possibly hard to read in one go, but hopefully it’ll make a lot of people laugh.”

When announced that he was doing a book, the response by some Get In The Sea followers was intense.

“I think some people thought it would be a cheap and nasty cash-in, with a load of reprinted tweets, but it’s anything but. If it WAS that, it would deserve to go in the sea. Other than that, it’s not for me to speculate – it’s hard to second-guess some people’s motivations sometimes.”

Andy is from Sunderland, and had his home town book launch on Monday night in Pop Recs, the record shop and café/arts space run by Dave Harper and Michael McKnight, drummer and guitarist respectively in Frankie & The Heartstrings. Pop Recs was forced to move out of their original premises over the summer, but after a successful crowdfunding campaign found and renovated a new building. “They’re mates of mine and I thought it would be a good way to support them and put a few quid in their coffers,” he says.

A-ha! You’ve been caught out, Andy Dawson! So you’re not a total grump, after all! Busted. Online you always sound so…angry.

I’m genuinely not all that angry in real life! Maybe Twitter is a nice place to vent spleen. I think people are sometimes wary of me because they think I’m going to bite their head off or something, but I’m harmless really.”

Get in the Sea!: An Apoplectic Guide to Modern Life is out now in ebook and physical formats.   


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