It's been more than a year now since my “50 Reasons Why Orange County is the Worst Effing Place in America” listicle scandalized so many, and I still get crap for it. I'll always stand by it, because everything in it was true. But to the haters, I offer this olive branch: at least we're not Los Angeles.
LA: land of self-important aggrandizers since the days that Iowans were invading the parks of Long Beach and Okies were beating up all the native minorities. Place of perpetually clogged freeways, of eternally vain people who must always look down upon us, their former colony, as a place of no culture, no diversity, and no good places to eat—otherwise known as Silver Lake. Or is it Venice? Or Los Feliz? Or Reseda? It's all one formless, bearded blob of pendejos.
Okay, we kid. We like LA—Thai Town is not without its charms. And I did graduate from UCLA, so there's that. But OC will always kick LA's ass, in matters historical and political, aesthetic and hot chicks, so behold 25 scientific reasons—in no particular order—why we rule and BEAT LA! BEAT LA! BEAT LA! Enjoy, and pass it on!
- Ten OC Girls You've Probably Dated
- Ten OC Guys You've Probably Dated
- 50 Reasons why OC is the Worst Effen' Place in America
25. Accessible Beaches
Sure, we don't have water as clear as Hawaii, but virtually all of our shore—give or take a couple of Emerald Bay and Headlands assholes—is available to the public, with amazing waves in Huntington Beach, pretty coves in Laguna, beach bunnies in Balboa, jarheads down in San Clemente, and relative serenity in Seal Beach. Los Angeles, on the other hand, can count on toxic waters from Long Beach through Pedro, class warfare from Malibu through Pacific Palisades and the entirety of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. What's left, from Redondo Beach through Santa Monica, is bro-tastic/tourist hell that makes HB seem as bucolic as Thousand Steps.
24. We Love Long Beach More
Whereas LA barely bothers with the port city, we have colonized the LBC for ourselves, showing LA doesn't appreciate a good thing. Also: see Artesia, Cerritos, Diamond Bar, and Whittier.
23. LA's Arbiters of Musical and Food Tastes are OC Boys
Two men who fundamentally changed the way Los Angeles thinks about itself in terms of food and music—Roy Choi with his Kogi BBQ luxe lonchera, and
Zach Zack de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine—spent their formative years in Orange County: Choi graduated from Villa Park High, de la Rocha from University High in Irvine. Yeah, they ran kicking and screaming away from us the minute they could (and Gwen Stefani, too, so don't bother pointing that out), but they wouldn't have been the pioneers they are today without us disgusting them so much that they vowed to change the world.
22. LA's Ultimate Sports Heroes Live in OC
And two other men who have defined success for Los Angeles' premier sports teams—Tommy Lasorda for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kobe Bryant for the Los Angeles Lakers—have lived almost the entirety of their Southern California lives in OC; Lasorda in the Sunny Hills neighborhood of Fullerton (where he's a legendary asshole), and Kobe in Newport Coast. Even Magic Johnson has a home in Dana Point. And don't bother pointing out that Anaheim Angels skipper Mike Scioscia lives in the San Fernando Valley; we know that, and also know he's a Dodgers first and foremost, so y'all can keep him.
21. Better Freeways
You know that moment of relief when you pass Valley View on the south 5 and it opens up into a wide, modern freeway? Yeah, that.
20. Better Mexicans
While Los Angeles can claim to be the heart of the Chicano movement, little of it would've been possible without behind-the-scenes legal victories that happened in Orange County. Doss vs. Bernal was one of the first court cases in the United States that whittled away at housing covenants. The lawyer in that case, David C. Marcus, went on to represent the plaintiffs in Mendez, et al, vs. Westminster, which served as a precursor to Brown vs. Board of Education that, of course, outlawed school segregation. And little-known fact: the first three League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) chapters in California were established in SanTana, Placentia, and El Modena.
19. No César Chavez Without Us or Carey McWilliams
Speaking of civil rights pioneers: two influential progressives, Fred Ross and Carey McWilliams, got their start in OC. Ross helped organize voters in El Modena and Placentia before leaving to help Mexican-Americans in East Los Angeles and then San Jose, where he'd go on to influence Cesar Chavez. And McWilliams, the premier chronicler of Southern California and godfather of Chicano Studies, freely admitted that he became radicalized because of Orange County's retrograde ways.
18. We're Closer to Mexico
It'll matter once the Reconquista is complete—TRUST US..
17. We're More Sexually Liberated
Forget that conservative reputation people always try to throw on us. Some of the oldest remaining swinger communities in the country exist in OC, as well as some of the largest. LA County has made condom use on porn shoots mandatory; we, on the other hand, don't bother with such nanny-state idiocies, which makes sense because we're America's porn paradise.
16. Better College Students
More nerds per capita at UC Irvine than UCLA (Cal Tech is Pasadena, suckers), hotter chicks at Chapman University than USC, wackier religious kids at Soka University than Loyola Marymount, better Christian education at Vanguard University than Biola, nicer campus at Cal State Fullerton than Cal State LA/Dominguez Hills/Northridge. And no one beats Fullerton's Southern California College of Optometry in anything—NO ONE.
15. Better Undie Run
I still remember when UCLA undergrads debuted their Undie Run, which Chapman University students summarily copied. But whereas Bruins don't bother with it anymore, Panthers had made it into a county tradition as beloved as the swallows returning to Capistrano.
14. We're the Future of Urbanism
LA was always a city, then had residents spill out into suburbs as a result of white flight, and is now filling in its abandoned urban core. SNORE…OC, on the other hand, went from being a case study for suburbia's pros and cons to being a case study for post-surburbia's pros and cons, to being THE case study for post-post-suburbia, or whatever the hell you call a region that went from a patchwork of 33 cities into a metropolitan area of over 3 million that is forming a new regional identity. In other words: we're the future, while LA is a hoary, past-her-prime biddy.
13. Anthill Pub
Our UC campus has a craft beer bar in the student center. What's that, UCLA? Can't hear you!
12. Better Churches
You can keep your Aimee Semple McPherson and Angelus Temple: OC has influenced American Christianity far more (for better or for worse), from Calvary Chapel to the Crystal Cathedral to TBN and Rick Warren, Sarang, Newsong, and so many more. And while Biola and the Fuller Theological Seminary might be in La Mirada and Pasadena, respectively, don't forget that each college's founder, Charles E. Fuller, became rich by exploiting Mexican pickers at his orange groves in Placentia and lived in Newport Beach. Go, God!
11. Better President
LA gave America Ronald Reagan, whose destructive legacy continues to burden us; OC gave America Richard Nixon, whose administration's reputation (save that whole Watergate nastiness, of course) continues to improve with every passing year. Um, yay?
10. Better Theme Parks
Knott's Berry Farm was the first amusement park in the country; Disneyland is, well, Disneyland. Universal Studios Hollywood and Six Flags Magic Mountain? What are they again?
9. Fast-Food Central
LA food snobs can turn their nose at Taco Bell, In-n-Out, El Pollo Loco, and Del Taco, all located in OC, but we know what they eat come sunset. Oh, and Doritos? Invented at Disneyland, and its first factory was in Anaheim.
8. Action-Sports Heaven
Keep your American Apparel: When LA's losers go to the pool or hit the slopes in Mammoth, they're wearing OC clothing, from Billabong to Hurley to Vans. And while LA may be too hip to engage in these activities, it just shows what wimps they are.
7. Arrested Development
The show that every LA hipster swears by? About Orange County. What does LA have? Shahs of Sunset? Vanderpump Rules? WEAK SALSA…
6. The Best Place for LGBTQ Fighters
Continuing on the civil rights track from above: while LA can boast of West Hollywood (whose current councilmember, John Duran, was an OC guy who worked in Disneyland) and the Mattachine Society, we've been fighting the LGBT battle better and braver than most everyone in the past 20 years, given the fierce homophobia our folks have had to fight. Especially our high schoolers: From Fountain Valley High to El Modena to Dana Hills and the recent election of transgendered teen Cassidy Lynn Campbell as homecoming queen at Marina High, our kids have been national pioneers in the struggle for equality.
5. Poo Water
While LA had to rely on stealing water from the Owens Valley, we're a bit more resourceful. As Southern California slips further into drought, our poo water filtration system just might save us all.
4. We're Not Afraid of Spanish
Unlike Angelenos' horrific pronunciation of Spanish-named cities—San PEEdro, Los FEHliz, the whole Los AnJeles fiasco—we're not ashamed of pronouncing the remnants of our Spanish fantasy heritage correctly, from San Clemente to Laguna Niguel to Yorba Linda and especially SanTana. Sure, we have a propensity to use Spanglish in our cities—Buena Park, Mission Viejo, Laguna Beach—but that just means we're forward-thinking, not like word-butchering El Lay.
3. Corruption Galore!
It's a reporter's paradise! The nether cities between Los Angeles and Orange County—Bell, Cudahy, South Gate, Lynwood—notwithstanding, LA is one giant Lala Land of political happiness. Oooh, your sheriff Lee Baca runs shoddy jails? Our sheriff bought his way into office, palled around with mobsters AND banged Russian chicks while on duty. Wacky congresspeople? Dana Rohrabacher alone outcrazies all of Los Angeles.
2. MILFs Central
AND THE #1 REASON WHY OC WILL ALWAYS KICK LA'S ASS…
1. Always Side with the Underdog
Because LA will look at this list, snicker, and go on with its self-aggrandizing ways. We're David; you're Goliath. Beware our slingshot, cabrones.