50 Reasons Why Orange County is The Worst Effing Place in America

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Henry W. Head: OC godfather, proud Klansman. And he only ranks #19 on this list.
It was gay rights icon Harvey Milk who described Orange County best, in response to California State Senator John Briggs describing San Francisco as "the moral garbage dump of homosexuality in this country."

"Nobody likes garbage 'cause it smells," Milk told reporters. "Yet eight million tourists visited San Francisco last year. I wonder how many visited Fullerton."

Actually, Harvey, hundreds of thousands of people visit that nice town. And then they promptly vomit on Harbor Boulevard.

Fact is, we suck--big time. Oh, you won't find a better acolyte for all that is amazing about OC than this infernal rag--in a couple of weeks, we're going to publish our annual Best Of issue, our wonderful celebration of all that is great and wonderful and right here. We do love OC and all of its glory, but let's admit it: Orange County is the worst place in America.

This is not hyperbole. No one loves OC more than us--and no one hates OC more than us. We've covered the good and bad of our corner of Hell for nearly 17 years, and about the only reason I can give why we're still around and haven't left screaming for civilization is because we suffer from Stockholm syndrome. Year after year, we try to improve us with an exposé, a great review of a small restaurant or a band, and just when you think Orange County has entered the 21st century, something will occur--be it a white supremacist who massacres Sikhs, an uprooted orange grove, a corrupt politician who gets elected again and again, another vapid trophy wife blaming her Mexican help for stealing her purse and having them deported for the crime when said trophy wife had actually left said purse at a McDonald's--to put you into a depression, to make you curse God that he couldn't curse Orange County's wackjob mentality to, say, Phoenix. Oh, wait: it happened, and Orange County remains ridiculous.


We can write a whole book about why Orange County is so horrid--and I did! It's called Orange County: A Personal History!--but we'd rather argue our case with that ultimate digital-age proof: the listicle. Following in the footsteps of our sister papers, who proclaim Los Angeles the best city in America and Texas the best state, behold 50 reasons why Orange County is the worst place in America. Take that, Mississippi! Pound sand, Colton! Suck an egg, Stanton!

Oh, wait...

Tricky Dick: No. 50...
50. Richard Nixon was born here.

49. Out of the 25 most populous metropolitan areas in the United States, we're the only one with an African-American population of less than 5 percent of the total--and we clock in at an abysmal 2.2 percent. Then again, that's an improvement from the 2000 census, where we clocked in at 2 percent. Go progress!

48. Hundreds of millions of dollars spent on a Great Park that its founders still claim would rival Central Park, and all they have to show for it is an ugly-ass balloon that's shaped like a--yep!--orange...

47. ...And despite our supposed love affair with the fruit, we have less than 100 acres of orange groves left--and those are being torn out at the rate of one grove a year. And one of the biggest orange groves left is a vanity plot owned by mega-developer William Lyon, who probably tore up more orange groves than any man not named Walt Disney.

No. 46: Robert Schuller, crying for God to bail him out of bankruptcy...
46. Our noxious brand of Christianity--from the prosperity gospel of Trinity Broadcasting Network and Benny Hinn to the radio empire and theological seminary built by Charles Fuller on the cheap labor of the Mexicans who worked his orange groves, from the possibility-thinking bullshit of the Crystal Cathedral, to the hippies-turned haters at Calvary Chapel, from the homo-haters at Mariners Church to the general wackiness of Saddleback Church, from the millions donated by philanthropist Howard F. Ahmanson, Jr. to creationism causes to the pedophile-protecting racket that is the Catholic Diocese of Orange and so many, many more--has poisoned American Christians for decades.

45. Adam Gadahn--aka the American Taliban aka Goat Boy--got radicalized by an Al Qaeda cell based at the Islamic Society of Orange County in Garden Grove.

44. Height of summertime fashion for guys is an Afflicted T-shirt, loose camo cargo shorts and flip flops, the least-manly outfit ever.

43. Ticket pricesfrom John Wayne Airport are always higher so Back Bay rich people don't have to install double-panes windows. And no planes can leave before 7 a.m.

42. The Santa Ana City Council. Orange County's county seat made history last decade by becoming the largest in the country with an all-Latino city council, and what happened? City's the most corrupt in la naranja. Before, it was whites gentrifying Latinos; now it's Latinos doing it to themselves. That's progress, right?
41. Botox was born here.

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