Now this, as George Bailey might say, is a very interesting situation. Here we have a pair of articles, one featuring the typical LA smack talk, and another with a point-by-point rebuttal—together they’re the ultimate Tastes Great-Less Filling for civic pride. In one corner, we have a story from the LA Weekly, which has previously brought us sappy love letters like “Top Ten Reasons to Love Los Angeles and Never, Ever Leave.” And in the other, a story from Vice, which gave us what is perhaps the most legendary of all #LAHaters propaganda, “Reasons Why Los Angeles is the Worst Place Ever.”
The twist? The hatery article I’m posting about today was written by the LA Weekly. The pro-LA one is written by Vice! And what could be weirder than that? The LA Weekly’s new hatery article, and LA Weekly’s older lovey-dovey article I reference above, are written by the SAME PERSON.
It’s not typical for one of our #LAHaters to also be one of our #LALovers but hey, hating is hating is hating. So we’ll examine “The 12 Most Overrated Things in Los Angeles” but you should also read the response, “The 12 Least Overrated Things in Los Angeles,” and you can decide for yourself how much damage has been done. BY ONE OF OUR OWN.
- First of all, can we talk about that photo he chose (which inspired the photo I chose to illustrate this post). Smog? Really? Smog is not overrated, but he’s missed a wonderful opportunity here. Because what’s really overrated is some people’s insistence on calling smog the “marine layer.” +10
12) Living downtown
Just ’cause your neighborhood has tall buildings doesn’t make it the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and just ’cause your apartment building has a rooftop pool doesn’t mean your life is just like Entourage.
- Comparison to New York (yawn) +2
- Entourage reference (double yawn) +3
- Yawn bonus +1
- Pool +1
11) Bike lanes
Hey L.A., if you really care about cyclists, maybe pave the fucking roads once in a while?
- Both myself and Vice are confused about this one. Does he like bikes? Hate bikes? Can our bike lanes really be overrated if so many people don’t use them or know they exist? But zero points awarded, because he acknowledges bike lanes, not freeways. +0
He’s no Biggie.
- Truth. So much for California Love. +0
9) The Magic Castle
Oh, what, you’ve never been? Yeah, you have to know a magician to get in. Or a friend of a magician. It’s basically a country club for nerds. It costs 20 bucks to go in and you have to wait in line for 45 minutes to see anything more magical than a baked potato.
- Okay, but country club for nerds actually sounds awesome +1
- Pretty sure you have to buy an exorbitantly priced dinner, not pay $20 +1
8) Hating on Scientologists
Along with whatever celebrity has fallen out of favor recently (it’s still Bieber, right?), Scientologists are the favorite whipping boys of Angelenos, always good for a cheap laugh. But are they really that much worse than other cult members, like Christians, Jews and Mormons? Last I checked, Scientologists hadn’t started any major wars, genocides or mass slaughters. Yet.
- Scientology bonus +3
- Bieber/Celebrity Name Check +2
- Um, yeah, Vice and I agree: They’re pretty bad +1
- Not reading Going Clear +1
Yogurt is delicious. Ice cream is delicious. Did we really need the twain to meet? Is something being gained here?
- Don’t think LA lays any real claim to inventing/perpetuating froyo, actually +1
- This may have been relevant in 2004 +1
6) Pour-over coffee
Paying six dollars for a cup of coffee? Sounds like income redistribution to me. Thank you very much, President Obama.
- Again, not specifically an LA thing +1
5) Outdoor movie screenings
We’ll admit, the hipsters make this look real good, with their picnic baskets and vintage blankets and general physical attractiveness. But even they can’t change the fact that lying on the lawn is a fundamentally uncomfortable thing to do. Chairs were invented for a reason. So was shelter.
- Hipsters +1
- As Vice and I note, you can bring chairs to these things, so… +2
4) Improv comedy
Bad enough that these things aren’t that funny, but they pack the audiences with friends and other improv comedians, who choke on their own laughter at the slightest provocation. Not sure if they’re being supportive or caught up by some mass delusion.
- Improv comedians are kind of annoying +1
3) Malibu Beach
Malibu remains the go-to beach for nearly anyone living over the poverty line, despite the fact that it is in a different time zone and is no better (or less crowded) than any number of beaches within a reasonable driving distance, including Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach. Even the fine folks at Heal the Bay rate Malibu Pier one of the dirtiest beaches in the state.
- Malibu +1
- Beaches +1
- (Off topic question here: What is the go-to beach for anyone living under the poverty line?)
2) Vin Scully
The L.A. Times channeled what many Angelenos truly believe when it called Vin Scully “the Voice of L.A.” I don’t care if he is the best in the business, or if he’s been doing it since the Crimean War. The man talks. During a sporting event. That lasts for three and a half hours and includes only 18 minutes of action.
- This is also perplexing, and Vice agrees. He’s really going to call a 85-year-old civic treasure overrated? That’s not even hating. That’s just evil. +1
One of the great mysteries of Los Angeles is how the line at Pink’s remains 20, 30 people deep, all hours of the day. Who eats at Pink’s? It can’t be all tourists, can it? Their hot dogs taste like boiled shoe leather.
- Pink’s +1
- Tourists +1
- What is this, BuzzFeed? +0
TOTAL SCORE: 38
Although I appreciate Aron’s native troll attempt, the references and writing here are lazy. Plus he attacks too many elements of general “hipster” culture and not enough actual LA-endemic things that are actually overrated, like Runyon Canyon, driving, Umami Burger, the LA Kings, weed dispensaries, The Grove, palm trees, and the Hollywood Bowl. His traffic-baiting intentions are far too transparent. It’s obvious that he just doesn’t hate LA enough.