Manhattan Beach a 'Bubble?' Say It Ain't So

By Dave Fratello | February 25th, 2016

A little over one year ago, some random dude popped up online and labeled Manhattan Beach "The Bubble."

In a series of posts, this crazy cat began skewering new and emerging tends, attitudes and residents. The author of "The Bubble" oozed attitude – intolerance even.

And gosh darnit, people liked it.

The Bubble's topics include beach life, the bar scene, entitled parents & children, snooty attitudes and, of course, Manhattan Beach real estate.

(To be fair, The Bubble is supposed to be about the whole South Bay, but MB obviously has the starring role – the author was born and raised here.)

To find "The Bubble," to date, you have had to be on Instagram to see the single-panel cartoons (Instagram @the.bubble). Even in that somewhat limited forum, The Bubble has drawn more than 9,000 online followers. Individual posts get 1,000 "likes" or more.

In a bid to expand audience, The Bubble shall soon expand to other online media.

What that means is: Watch out, Manhattan Beach. You're about to be shaken from your comfortable position.

To know The Bubble is to know author Ian Freshman's voice. He's playful, but sometimes his razor cuts deep. It's often the new people in town bearing the brunt.

New to Stand-Up Paddling? You'll be zinged for being trendy and for goofing it up.

Drive a little electric GEM car around town? Freshman labels your vehicle a "Yupcart" and hints at its inherent danger. Zing! (Yikes, says your blog author here.)

You just endured a long wait to sip pricey beers in tight proximity to others downtown? "The Bubble" makes you wonder if it's really all that.

Is Freshman sometimes a bit too mean for his own good?

Who's to say?

Freshman was raised in MB and has watched the town change. "People that grew up here," Freshman says, "it's tough for people to stay here." Things have gotten "to the point of ridiculousness," he told an interviewer last year.

So he takes on the powerful and mocks them as, perhaps, only a native son could. He challenges people's cherished new pursuits and possessions.

And if that's sometimes taken as harsh, that's the risk one takes in laying it all out.

Should you find yourself mad at one of The Bubble's Instagram posts, it is to be hoped that you might then look in the mirror and say, "oh, sheez, really?"

Right now, we'll just toss a virtual pat on the back to The Bubble, and hope for the best for this hyperlocal cartoon as it moves to the big(ger) time.


Note: All cartoons "reprinted" here on MB Confidential with the consent of The Bubble's Ian Freshman.

Please see our blog disclaimer.

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