Society likes to caricature surfers as a laid-back, sun-splashed set without a care in the world. But in June 2008, that stereotype was temporarily shattered by a set of brawls that rank among the most pathetic in recent memory. When photographers descended on a Malibu beach to catch a glimpse of golden god Matthew McConaughey, territorial surfers exploded like mother bears guarding their cubs. "We'll fight for the beach," one offers, right before his cohorts unleash a stream of epithets and a flurry of punches. When a paparazzo defends his profession by asking what the surfers do for a living, one proudly declares, "I f------ drink beer and party!" Neither side emerged from the dust-ups victorious; America's dignity was the unequivocal loser.