Navel Gazing's Project Un-uncensored

Looking back at 2012 news that was fit to blog but not to print . . . until now

At VidCon 2012, the third-annual such gathering at the Anaheim Convention Center, 6,000 mostly tweens dragged parents around to ogle the stars of video media on the Interwebs June 28 to 30. Wil Wheaton played a board game on the main floor, while a giant yellow bunny gave out hugs nearby. As girls tried to dance with a video-screen image, a creeper who resembles that dancing Six Flags fool from the ads got uncomfortably close to the minors, leaving after being bitched out by one of the parents to generally make an ass of himself elsewhere—to the delight of cellphone videographers, including a Weekly blogger who felt much too old to be there. (MC)

After a seven-year grace period during which the state Legislature hoped there would be a magical advancement in technology to produce foie gras without force-feeding ducks and geese, the fattened liver became illegal to produce or sell in California beginning July 1. Restaurateurs chuckled at the poorly worded law and continue to serve the delicacy anyway, even going so far as to put it on the menu. Police departments, asked if they'll enforce the ban, roger that—just as soon as they finish with all the murders, rapes, assaults and robberies and end the Drug War victoriously. (DL)

Talk about the lack of cultural sense Orange County residents sometimes possess. At an intersection in Huntington Beach, tucked behind a gas station, is a marker some refer to as the Surf City grave. It commemorates the efforts of Frank Lloyd Wright Jr., son of the famed architect and an architect in his own right. Junior designed the strip mall still located on the location, which bears unique hallmarks of his style, including embellishments known as "Wright's Kites." His original plan called for a five-story tower that would pay homage to the area's early oil men. Residents at the time fought the structure as a potential eyesore. So, as a researcher discovered and we told you in July, the developer placed the monument there as a "500-pound, permanent proclamation of the people's will over art." Read the grave's inscription; there's more than a little sarcasm aimed at the neighborhood's efforts. (DL)

We can never get enough Undie Run
Eric Hood
We can never get enough Undie Run
Rest stop in downtown Fullerton
LP Hastings
Rest stop in downtown Fullerton

It's hard to believe Irvine and Santa Ana had a hand in something as cool as the DeLorean. Believe it or not, those cities are where John DeLorean opted for his West Coast operations, as we revealed in July. The gull-winged cars, made immortal in the Back to the Future movies, were manufactured in Ireland, then shipped to a plant in Santa Ana (now a Home Depot) for some extra tweaking before being distributed to dealerships. While investigating this story, we also found an Irvine residence for Mr. DeLorean. No word on the current homeowner finding a stash of coke under the floorboards. (BF)

On Aug. 1, The Orange County Register published probably its stupidest story of the year, which is saying something. It revealed the shocking truth that one of the four sailors who perished when the yacht The Aegean hit rocks during the April 27 Newport-to-Ensenada boat race had—gasp—marijuana in his system. The story noted that toxicology reports showed none of the sailors had been drinking, but somehow suggested that the evidence that one of them, Joseph Lester Stewart, had been smoking weed might have had something to do with the crash. Oh, really? The story failed to say that pot stays in your system for weeks, meaning the headline could just as well have stated, "Dead Sailor Smoked Weed Sometime This Year, Tests Show." Hey, anything's possible, right? (NS)

Covering Orange County is a joy largely because of the bizarre critters (cough, Dana Rohrabacher) that come across our radar. But an August story, which saw us getting the scoop on the passing of a local legend, was bittersweet. Old Bob, a decades-old alligator snapping turtle, who first made headlines in 2004, was revealed to have made his way to the lily pond in the sky. Word got to us after we decided to do a follow-up on the legend of the beast that terrorized ducks in Fullerton's Laguna Lake since at least the 1960s. So long, Old Bob; you'll be missed. (BF)

Hate crimes against gays, lesbians, blacks, Jews and Latinos were up in Orange County in 2011, according to the OC Human Relations Council's 20th annual Hate Crime Report, released Aug. 30. Similar crimes dipped from the previous year against whites, Muslims and Asians/Pacific Islanders, the same survey found. Overall, reported hate crimes rose 14 percent above 2010's totals, the gender of most haters was unknown, and most hating took place in public. "Even as we have made strides in inter-group understanding, the fears brought on by uncertainty in the economy, changing demographics and international turmoil can result in more of this bias-related crime," Carol Turpen, chairwoman of the OC Human Relations Council, explained in the report's introduction. She would later in the year pen a letter to an African-American family—headed by a police officer and his sheriff's deputy wife—who moved with their children to Corona after saying they experienced vandalism, shunning and shouts of "Nigger!" during their time in Yorba Linda, "The Land of Gracious Living." (MC)

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