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.

FUCK!

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...


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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.

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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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437 comments
GladIgotOUT
GladIgotOUT

I left my hometown of Yorba Linda when I was 18 , over 20 years ago. While a beautiful place to be a kid, once I hit puberty and realized I was gay, I could not wait to get the F out. Since then I've lived in SF, Oakland, NYC, Brooklyn and now reside in Europe. Orange County represents some of the most delusional out-of-touch and frankly ignorant people on the planet. Being Christian and white is like a hospital card for ugliness. I cringe when I have to go back and see thick relatives and old neighbors. Thank you for making me laugh with your spot on observations. It's sad, however, because the place has the potential to be just so much more...

puromotaman
puromotaman

Last time I flew (last month) it was cheaper to fly out of OC then LAX to guadalajara. Plus I can take twice the luggage. Besides who likes to fly at night? Oh, the staff at JWA have always been polite spoke english fluently unlike LAX. 


ocace
ocace

Lake Forest has three lakes and is foresty.


newyorker
newyorker

i've lived all around the world, just moved here, it is a gorgeous place, nature-wise and weather-wise but yeah everything else the article says seems to be what i've been seeing. it's a shame bc the place is so nice! now just to replace the extremists and self absorbed, entitled population ;)

newyorker
newyorker

i've lived in 6 countries on 5 continents... just moved here, it is a gorgeous place, nature-wise and weather-wise but yeah everything else the article says seems to be what i've been seeing. it's a shame bc the place is so nice! now just to replace the extremists and self absorbed, entitled population with cool and down to earth people and then it would be PERFECT. meh, can't have everything ;)

Joe Allen
Joe Allen

Nice try, Detroit. The hate filled wanna-be hipsters at OCWeekly need more hate drivel this week. So glad the local independent (ha) media is here to remind me why my home town "effing" sucks. I thought it was a nice day too. Good thing they're here.

Patrick Lilley
Patrick Lilley

The writer can always choose to leave. I didn't see any useful suggestions for improving things.

Randolph B Brummett
Randolph B Brummett

There was a lot of people who petitioned for Orange County separation from Los Angeles not just the KKK member

Rotobabe
Rotobabe

...and yet... I'm left wondering what #39 is...

Jeff Maguire
Jeff Maguire

sorry, Houston, TX takes the cake for worst effing place in america

Sean Wanlass
Sean Wanlass

this is retarded. none of those things were reasons to dislike OC

Stress Reduction
Stress Reduction

Haha, lets keep OC like it is... If you can tolerate being financially screwed over and controlled your whole life, your the perfect sheep-le. Thanks!

Brian Simrak
Brian Simrak

Well to be fair, all of California sucks ass haha

dmitch38
dmitch38

Here's my attempt at coherent impute. Growing up in the San Gabriel Valley I can say I love the O.C. In the S.G.V. I watched my leave it to beaver neighborhood with mowed lawns, graffiti less walls, and a "drive by" was  getting mooned to dead lawns, gang graffiti, and a kid I watched grow up get shot and killed on Thanksgiving night. I ended up in Orange County in 1978 thanks to the Marine Corps. I got stationed at the air base that was El Toro, now the Great Park. Old Irvine, orange groves, a sense of clean air, going to Norm's on 17th at 2 am without looking over your shoulder as you got out of your car, and being at the beach in ten minuets, not an hour was perfect. I have lived in Garden Grove, Irvine, Tustin, and ended up buying a home in Lake Forest in 1997. Got married, raised two kids, one went to UNI, and the other to Mission and both received great education and are doing very well thanks in part to the schools and environment of Orange County. Over the years the O.C. looks like a extension of L.A. County specially the northern O.C. even though you can still tell when your getting into Orange County  from L.A. on the I5 when the roads get wider and the potholes disappear. The orange groves are gone now and "Old Irvine" is just a marker sign on Sand Canyon, Orange County is still a great place to live. All the haters, let ask this; if you have a to chose the same exact home in L.A. county or Orange County and it is just given to you, which would you chose?


Funny sad side note: I was getting me hair cut the other day and the young girl cutting hair and I were making small talk. To make it short, the topic of my military service came up and she asked if I was stationed at Camp Pendleton and I said no, El Toro. She replied, where's that? She grew up in the area! 

Josh English
Josh English

I never thought I'd ever say this in my life, but it's to the point, where parts of the Inland Empire are actually starting to become more attractive. :-p

Jay Chen
Jay Chen

The OC is the bestest!!!

Josh English
Josh English

Thanks OC Weekly, for reinforcing what I've already known, for the last twenty seven years. LMFAO :v

Daniel Rokstdy Curtis
Daniel Rokstdy Curtis

LOL thank you for sharing Allot of extremely valid points some undeniably fact that just can not be over looked - Good stuff!

Lisa Blandino McArdle
Lisa Blandino McArdle

Oh and I wouldn't be caught dead residing in Long Beach! Really??? You people are so jealous!

CDC01
CDC01

You make some great points.  However, racism, homophobia and disparate ecomonics are not exclusive to OC.  Not by a long shot.

Lisa Blandino McArdle
Lisa Blandino McArdle

To everyone complaining about OC MOVE and make more room for us who LOVE IT!❤️❤️❤️❤️B'bye!

Lorretta Marie Ceja
Lorretta Marie Ceja

I lived in SOUTH OC for 23 years, and moved back to Long Beach, and now I miss it soooooo much. There truly isn't a place like SOUTH OC. It's beauty, its beaches, restaurants, etc... I LOVE IT and miss it. I will retire in SOUTH OC. It's so kick back, especially Laguna Beach, San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente. Love them so much!

Marsie Wilkinson Chris Cook
Marsie Wilkinson Chris Cook

We get it alright. Some of the reasons why we left HB and Laguna Beach and decided to move to Hawaii.

Tina Cano
Tina Cano

From a couple of aquaintences who applied to work there.

Heidi Lehman
Heidi Lehman

Now since you commented, all your friends will read it. Awesome. Thanks!

Allison Garvin Neighbor
Allison Garvin Neighbor

The exact reason I am so glad I moved to Long Beach a place that accepts diversity. I lived in various cities in OC all of different financial status. I can't be happier that I made the decision to move out of it. Keep it. BTW with Cinco De Mayo coming up I can already envision it. May 5th : white people getting drunk wearing sombreros celebrating Mexico's independence. May 6th ; white people screaming "Go back to your country" . Or the infamous " They took our jobs!". Or bottom line the not so subtle white power groups in the OC .

Rodriguez Liz
Rodriguez Liz

My kids go to a blue ribbon / fundamental school in Santa Ana .. It's a very good school , I went to private school , Growing up and it's comparable .. Most high school students I know graduate knowing calculus here in Santa Ana , I think we are doing ok

Steve Olivares
Steve Olivares

Am the number one reason should be... Because Ryan Heffernan doesn't live there anymore!!

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney

Thanks for mentioning this - it was news to me since I no longer live in CA, but I know the Anaheim Roscoe's was supposed to have opened about a year ago. So, still not open, eh? That really sucks, a LOT of people have been looking forward to it. Just out of curiosity, where did you hear that that was the city's sentiment? (I don't doubt it, I just wonder what the source was...)

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney

I wouldn't go quite THAT far. There are plenty of other nice places to live, both in the US and in the rest of the world.

Joe Pinney
Joe Pinney

If it's that damn bad, why doesn't Gustavo just move somewhere else? Is he legally required to reside in OC?

Kimberly Ito
Kimberly Ito

Great satirical article! Love the OC and its history, present and future.

Amanda Rae
Amanda Rae

We do not have that great of public schools. I've worked at two different schools in Tustin that we're ranked 2/10. The kids can't even write

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