Thursday, May 03, 2007

No Matter What Arte Moreno Tells You, OC is NOT LA

I had the opportunity to attend a baseball game in Chicago this past weekend between the White Sox and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Even saying that name makes me throw up in my mouth a little. To the game, I wore a bright red T-Shirt with the Angels logo on it proclaiming “We are NOT LA.” And this simple phrase, friends, pretty much sums up Orange County.

The Angels, in case you were unaware, play their games in Anaheim, California. Which is in Orange County. Which is in no way, shape or form, Los Angeles. Unfortunately the current owner, Arte Moreno, imparts the same logic as many of our civic officials here in South Florida and figures that naming the team “Los Angeles” will somehow encourage fans living in that city to drive an hour in traffic to his games in an entirely different area. His theory, of course, is to make more money, but what he effectively did was piss off his local fan base. Because there is nothing anyone living in Orange County hates more than being told they live in LA.

Tell any life-long OC resident that they are from LA and they may very likely launch into a tirade as I am about to do. People there do not take pride so much in being from Orange County, but in NOT being from Los Angeles. LA is a cesspool if filth and crime that has riots and truly awful people around every corner. OC is more or less populated by surfers and real-estate agents.

If you took all the really shitty things about LA out, the entertainment industry, the non-stop traffic, the racial tension and the poverty, you would have Orange County. Picture perfect weather, beautiful beaches and manageable traffic patterns. Life in Orange County is so perfect our biggest problem when I lived there was the fact that they were renaming the baseball team.

Anyone who thinks the two are at all alike need only drive on any freeway that crosses the counties. You can literally tell when you’ve gotten into OC as the ride is smoother and the traffic eases right at Nabisco factory on the County Line. Typically, your blood pressure drops about 30 points as well. Or you can look at the airports. While John Wayne is by far the most hassle-free and simple airport I have encountered in a major city (OC’s population is near 4 million) LAX is a colossal clusterfuck that just emanates stress and confusion. Kind of like comparing MIA to West Palm.

When I used to travel and people would ask me where I was from, I would tell them Orange County. If they were not FOX or MTV Reality fans, they would ask me where that was. I would respond “Between San Diego and LA.” Why? Saying San Deigo first made them think it was closer related to that city than it was to that shithole up north. And that is really the case. Similarly, I made a point of not saying it was a part of Los Angeles, as it clearly is not.

So the next time you talk to someone, and they say they are form Laguna Beach or Mission Viejo, Lake Forest or Santa Ana, Huntington Beach or Garden Grove, do not tell them they are from LA. They are not and it is the equivalent of telling a Korean he is Chinese because he has slanted eyes. And yes, I know people exist who live in OC and tell you they are from LA. They are not REAL Orange Countians. They are either transplants who have yet to learn the difference or, even worse, that pathetic subset who thinks LA is somehow cooler and better to be from than Orange County. Sad, so sad. Because if the Angels and Kristin Cavalleri couldn’t convince the world that Orange County is a world away form Los Angeles, it looks like nobody will.

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At 4:10 PM, Blogger MonkeyPants said...

Frankly, I got the exact opposite impression of people from OC. Unless they were living in a wealthy area of OC, they liked to say they were from LA. It was fun living on Sunset Blvd - when the limos would go by with screaming girls sticking out of the roof -- we'd yell back, "Whoooo! OC!" They'd invariably whoop back at us, not realizing we were making fun of them. Lame.

Kinda like people saying they're from New York City. Oh yeah? Where? "The Jersey side." pffft.

At 4:53 PM, Blogger Dan-E said...

actually, most people who were born and raised in orange county (by the way, NO ONE there calls it "the o.c." unless they're some fucking tool who tries way too hard to be hip) are so laid back that they don't care if people think they're from l.a. i should know, as i was born and raised in l.a.

though there are parts of l.a. that are as bad as you describe, it's not all like that. it may not seem like it but trust me on this.

and yeah, arte moreno can suck a cock. there's only one baseball team in los angeles.

At 5:07 PM, Anonymous Gus said...

I agree with monkeypants. When kids from Fullerton, Anaheim, Tustin, or another cemented over orange field want to party, they've got no problem driving the 50 minutes to LA. Most of the kids I met from Orange County hate living there and can't wait to escape to the bright lights of Hollywood.

At 10:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm, Broward County must be Miami's Orange County...

At 8:57 AM, Anonymous Johnson said...

I was in LA a few days ago and I swear to god, if I see one more punk kid wearing skinny emo pants and Converse, I’m going to punch someone. Like I was telling Klueber, after seeing the younger generation out there in LA and at the Coachella festival, I’m actually really glad that more people under the age of 25 don’t vote.

At 11:43 AM, Blogger White Dade said...

MPants - this is the impression a lot of LA people have becasue they don't venture down to OC. Once you there, everyone rips on LA nonstop and talks about how glad they are they aren't there. If you ever read any of the editorials or letters to the editor in the Register during the name-change fiasco, you'd see what I meant.

Dan-E - I called it "OC" not "the OC." Big difference. One is an abbreviation. The other is gay.

Gus - Kids (on the West Coast, at least) always hate where they grow up. Why I hate Seattle. Not that I loved OC, its just 100 times better than LA.

Anon - Not. Even. Close.

Johnson - Wow! You in LA? I can see you hating just about everyone. How was Rage at Cochella?

At 12:14 PM, Anonymous Johnson said...

Well, beer was $7 a pop at Coachella so I couldn’t get really good and liquored up enough to go hippy stomping. Rage was pretty awesome. I agree with less than 5% of what they have to say politically but they were awesome live. Zach De La Rocha made some ludicrous statement that every president since FDR should’ve been tried as a war criminal, lined up and shot. What did poor Gerald Ford ever do to anybody?

At 1:26 PM, Blogger Moi said...

1st of all: you go to Chicago and write about LA/Orange county?

2nd of all: Kristin from the OC actually grew up in Chicago until her mom booted her out of the house, to her dad's, in Cali.

At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

Johnson, I almost went down there. Damn, I'm probably gonna go next year though, a buddy's in laws have a house just a mile or two from where they hold it every year. My buddy said that Bjork opened and 80% of the people went to watch her then by the end of her set maybe 20% were left at her stage because, well she sucked, as he put it. To be honest with you dade, its hard to tell the difference when I've been down there. Granted, as you know, I agree with the argument. And really, its not really a geography thing as much as it is a lifestyle and people thing. Just like how Bellevue is NOT Seattle. Bellevue eats a dick by the way.

At 1:43 AM, Anonymous Piccadilly said...


Kristin wasn't on The OC. I think you meant the "reality show" Laguna Beach?

At 7:45 AM, Blogger "B" said...

Amen, grew up in orange county before moving for college. . . I don't like orange county but I hate LA. They are different and the point is - changing the name to LA Angels of Anaheim was stupid.

At 11:21 PM, Blogger Ontario Emperor said...

It's ironic, because in some ways the Anaheim Angels have become the new Dodgers, with their emphasis on stability and tradition. So why did Rita Moreno of Arte mess things up and rename the team?

-Ontario Emperor, living near the home of "LA/Ontario International Airport" (but I can't really complain - the city of Los Angeles owns our airport)


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