Orange County's Scariest People!

Hey! It really IS the Year of the Woman!

The horror of the neo-swing craze was brought disturbingly to life a few months back with the unholy nativity of Johnny Pink and the Big Shots, a group fabricated-like the Monkees, but not so campily well-for the OC Fair. It was the manifestation of everything demented about this most unfortunate trend. Taking the lead from such swillmongers as Cherry Poppin' Daddies and Big Bad Doodoo Patty-errr, Voodoo Daddy-Pink and company were a cynical, opportunistic pander machine that sought to cash in on the wagon-jumping swing kids. That their crass brand of Roquefort was hosted under the auspices of the OC Fair and that this middle-class Cab Calloway actually wore a pink zoot suit for the occasion only made their very existence more grotesque. MITIGATING FACTOR: They have the word "big" in their name, but not the more offensive "daddy."

29. Lisa Muehle

Founder of Cambridge Academic Services. For a fee of $2,500, Muehle's company will prepare your child for the all-important, make-or-break, my-life-is-over-and-I-can't-even-drive SAT test. And she takes five years to do it. Five years! We got through college in five years. Well, almost. It's not Muehle who is scary as much as the success of her business; it's been around six years, a symptom of a larger problem, one that views higher education almost exclusively as a training ground for the business world, a place one attends not necessarily to enhance one's mind so much as one's résumé. ITT with ivy. In this atmosphere, frantic parents, worried they will fail their kids or their own reputations as providers, begin to value scores over learning, competition over comprehension. Plus, Muehle's school is yet another piece in an ever-growing and increasingly worrisome puzzle: kids studying for SAT tests coupled with recent surveys that suggest kids are having less sex and taking less drugs. Is this really the world we want to live in? Is this what Jimi Hendrix died for? MITIGATING FACTOR: Kids are soooo stoopid.

30. Darnel Squad

Not a "who" but a "what," the Darnel Squad is a secretive group of womyn [sic] opposed to people opposed to hair on women's legs and arms. At first, the Huntington Beach-based group was so eager for publicity and members that it submitted a Calendar listing in the Weekly. When we attempted to find out more about this effort to find "alternatives to American society's obsession with manmade body chemicals and the removal of body hair," they told us darkly the group was moving underground. Not far enough underground for us! Yikes! MITIGATING FACTOR: Nair sales were up the past two quarters.

31. Harold Ezell

Former Newport Beach resident, Ronald Reagan buddy and snake-oil salesman. There are many prescient reasons to oppose the nation's current immigration policy; Ezell found none of them. While working for Reagan's Immigration and Naturalization Service in the 1980s, Ezell helped revive the 20th century's know-nothing movement against immigrants. Upon leaving his federal-government job, Ezell traded on his influence, helping wealthy immigrants buy their way into the U.S. MITIGATING FACTOR: He's dead.


Dr. Bernard Rappaport

No. 1 last year. While there was some controversy in this year's scary voting-specifically, what will forever be embarrassingly referred to as the Joey Bishop Incident-there were no qualms about making Rappaport our first inductee into the Orange County Scariest People Hall of Fame. As head of the county's Children and Youth Services (CYS), he ignored complaints concerning at least one psychiatrist who gave patients at the Orangewood Children's Home potentially dangerous drug combinations, illegal office drinking parties at one CYS clinic, a supervising psychiatrist who was allegedly making dangerous misdiagnoses, and an Orange County grand jury who described him as "unaccountable." He still works for the county mental-health department. Enough said. MITIGATING FACTOR: He looks like Simpsons cartoon character Mr. Burns.


Several readers have pointed out that the decision tree we've used in past issues seems to ignore Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, especially Nietzsche's critique of the oppressive nature of moralizing agents in society and the possibility that the OC Weekly DataLab functions as one such agent. "Untrue," said DataLab associate director M. Hankey. He pointed out that last year's decision tree allowed for the possibility that a Scary Candidate (SC) ought to be awarded Mitigating Points (MP) for Socially Marginalized Behavior (SMB)-including, but not limited to, stiffing panhandlers, eating meat, smoking in California bars and restaurants, refusing to exercise regularly, using phone-sex services and membership in fringe political parties. "The model we use to analyze each SC excludes from consideration subjects whose MP rating is more than 3," he said. However, Hankey pointed out, the DataLab model is predicated not on Nietzsche's-"which we found cumbersome to render into our Bayes Risk Principle"-but on more recent work by V. Yerushalmy, J. Garland and M. Quinn, especially their use of the Relative Impact (RI) quotient usually regarded as useless in surveys of SCs. Reader J. Luster pointed out that computers such as ours-using the 187, 209 and Proposition 13 computer chips-were likely to yield errors beyond one-ten-thousandth. To which we reply: rankings are totally arbitrary. All decisions are final. Kill television. Steal this book. Danger, Will Robinson. Caution: read backward, this note contains a subliminal message that will encourage you to send us money. Special thanks to DataLab technology team members C. Cunningham, P. Davis, G. Lewis, B. Mott and D. Piangerelli.

Contributors include Matt Coker, Ginger Dank, M. Hankey, Steve Lowery, R. Scott Moxley, Mark Petracca, Anthony Pignataro, Rebecca Schoenkopf, Nick Schou, Will Swaim and Dave Wielenga.

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