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Here at VICE, it’s not uncommon for us to write disparagingly about the city of Los Angeles. We actually do it pretty often. Probably because most of us are sitting in the rarefied air that is the borough of Brooklyn. Not I, sir. No, I live smack in the middle of the City of Angels. I consider myself grateful for the spectacular weather, plethora of career opportunities, and crippling body image issues this town has given me. Yes, I actually like it here. Some people happen not to see things my way though.
LA Weekly, home to some of the best back-page advertisements for medical marijuana I’ve ever seen, posted a venomous screed about the “12 Most Overrated Things in Los Angeles” written by an impetuous young lad by the name of Hillel Aron. One can forgive VICE its predilection for prodding LA since it’s really just some far-off Xanadu for the vast majority of our staff. Conversely, one would assume that a publication called “LA Weekly” would be more amenable to their ever-dwindling readership that makes a home in Los Angeles.
According to his website, Hillel is actually an LA native who attended USC film school and “successfully petitioned Encyclopedia Britannica to make their entry on Los Angeles less negative.” For the foreseeable future, he’ll now be known as “the guy Dave Schilling wrote the article about.”
Wait… I mean he’ll be known as “the guy who took a huge dump on LA and got his article to go viral.” Let’s assume Mr. Aron isn’t being cynical and trolling purely for attention. I mean, that’s crazy. No internet writer does that, ever, especially not for a miniscule list spread over three pages just for the sake of extra clicks. Instead, let us suppose that he is serious about all of this so that I might indulge in a rebuttal that will end up being twice as long as the article I am referencing.
Here are the 12 most overrated things in Los Angeles, according to LA Weekly, and my well-reasoned, passionate response to each one:
Photo by Flickr User alohavictoria
12) Living downtown
Downtown Los Angeles is a wacky place where young urban professionals rub shoulders with smelly hobos, but it’s also home to the most pre-war movie houses in the world, soon to have two of the nation’s top art museums, an architecturally significant concert hall, and a Hooters. Tell me how that’s overrated.
11) Bike lanes
“Hey L.A., if you really care about cyclists, maybe pave the fucking roads once in a while?” So, does this mean you don’t want bike lanes? Are you saying they’re stupid or that you want them? I don’t follow this logic at all. Please help.
Mr. Aron astutely states that Tupac is “no Biggie.” Oh, a delicious pun! It’s such a good pun that I can totally forgive him for sacrificing making a coherent point on the subject! It’s nice that we can agree on one thing though, and that’s that Tupac is, in fact, not Notorious B.I.G. They were actually two different people the whole time.
9) The Magic Castle
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8) Hating on Scientologists
“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.” I can cite numerous reasons why Scientology deserves our scorn, and I just did.
“Yogurt is delicious. Ice cream is delicious. Did we really need the twain to meet? Is something being gained here?” Yes, in fact much is being gained. For starters, people love froyo. I love froyo. What? Carriages were great, as were locomotives. Does that mean the personal automobile is a stupid idea? Obviously, the multi-million dollar frozen yogurt industry would beg to differ. I mean, what you said was literally moronic.
6) Pour-over coffee
“Paying six dollars for a cup of coffee? Sounds like income redistribution to me. Thank you very much, President Obama.” It’s about time we got some “topical humor” in this article. Watch out, Joel Stein, Hillel Something Something is coming for you!
Photo by Flickr User ebbandflowphotography
5) Outdoor movie screenings
“Lying on the lawn is a fundamentally uncomfortable thing to do. Chairs were invented for a reason.” People bring chairs to these screenings! Also, since when is actual human contact “overrated”? Perhaps a better path for critique could have been pointing out how these outdoor movie screenings take place in a cemetery. That’s, like, actually weirder than lying down.
4) Improv comedy
OK, he has a point here…
3) Malibu Beach
"Malibu remains the go-to beach for nearly anyone living over the poverty line." Sounds awesome, bro.
Photo by Flickr User anniemack
2) Vin Scully
Ol’ Hilly claims that the Dodgers’ play-by-play announcer, “however charming, is still only slightly more captivating than the sound of a broken humidifier.” I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite games is “Kick the 85 year-old man in the dick before he dies,” so this statement appeals to me.
“Their hot dogs taste like boiled shoe leather.” Sure, maybe that’s true, but put enough ketchup, mustard, relish, and onions on shoe leather and you’ve got yourself a meal.
For more on Los Angeles being the best place ever: