By now we’re all familiar with those clickbaity WalletHub rankings that come out every 17 minutes or so–best city for singles, best state for retirement, best town to get run out of on a rail and so on. Usually when I get a press release announcing one of these I just quickly glance over it before moving on. But yesterday was different.
“The holidays are here,” stated the Nov. 18 WalletHub press release. “And one thing they’re known for is encouraging indulgence, such as overeating and overspending, which can lead to unfortunate economic consequences. Americans are the fattest people in the world and every year sustain $150 – $210 billion in losses as a result. Plus, Americans began 2019 with over $1 trillion in credit card debt. In light of this dark pattern perpetuated every holiday season, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on the 2019’s Most Sinful Cities in America as well as accompanying videos. To determine the most wicked places in America, WalletHub compared more than 180 U.S. cities based on seven sinful behaviors: anger and hatred, jealousy, excesses and vices, greed, lust, vanity and laziness.”
Overeating Americans? Wicked cities? Now we’re talking!
Of course–OF COURSE–Las Vegas came out as the most sinful city in the U.S. (shockingly, New Orleans ranked 16th, below Miami, Detroit AND Denver). Anyway, only five Orange County cities made the list, and of those, the most wicked and sinful of them was…
Let’s see… Named after a railroad robber baron? Check. Lots of skinheads, fascists and Trump supporters running around? Check. City administration has long history of corruption and scary cops? Check and check!
To be fair, Surf Shitty’s overall ranking is 114 out of 182, which is rather mediocre as far as sinful cities go. But other OC cities fared even worse, with Anaheim ranked at 124, Santa Ana at 136, Garden Grove at 143 and Irvine coming in at 161, which is about as wicked as Grover from Sesame Street.
WalletHub also broke down its rankings by each of the Seven Deadly Sins. Of course all the OC cities did poorly, because this is stupid and meaningless but we have to argue about something so why not this, right? Anyway, here are the most wicked OC cities for each sin, with the highest ranked city included in parentheses for reference:
ANGER: Garden Grove (St. Louis, MO)
JEALOUSY: Anaheim (Atlanta, GA)
GLUTTONY: Santa Ana (St. Louis, MO)
GREED: All OC cities tied at 53 because this OC, man (Jackson, MS)
LUST: Anaheim (Los Angeles, CA)
VANITY: Huntington Beach (Los Angeles, CA)
SLOTH: Santa Ana (Hialeah, FL)
Click here to see the full results.
Anthony Pignataro has been a journalist since 1996. He spent a dozen years as Editor of MauiTime, the last alt weekly in Hawaii. He also wrote three trashy novels about Maui, which were published by Event Horizon Press. But he got his start at OC Weekly, and returned to the paper in 2019 as a Staff Writer.