Its the End of the Year the Decade the Millennium Issue

in which we embark on a mission of exhaustive anthropological research, dedicated to excavating and translating the essence of the human race's varied yet collective experience during the past 1,000 years.

Whew!

In another setting, this assignment might be a big pain in the ass, but this is Orange County

and we're going to Disneyland!

Not to mention just about every other amusement park and tourist attraction that has put its spin on the course of human events—from the Mission San Juan Capistrano to the Trinity Broadcasting Network

castle, from the transplanted home of the Queen Mary to the birthplace of

King Richard (Nixon, that is), from the Rainforest Cafť to Tomorrowland.

Because, more and more, living in the here and now means reliving way back when.

Old worlds have been re-created all over the county

for fun, profit, escapism

and, with the help of some well-placed historical revision, not a little emotional security.

In this issue, we canvass places in and around Orange County (which is another way of saying we've included Long Beach) that claim to re-create a bygone locale, era or culture. We explain their version of

history—and try to figure out why those depictions appeal to a certain (usually ticket-buying) segment of

people—and the possible implications for everybody else who's trying to keep a grip on reality.

Perhaps this entire concept comes across as arrogant, manipulative, self-serving and ultimately trivial—yet curiously amusing. If so, consider us humbled. As our final footprint in the sands of the

20th century, all we were trying to do is identify one last time the basic components of civilization,

so they can be better applied to . . .

. . . the future of the human race!

(Who knew we would actually succeed?)

 
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