I recently moved from London to Los Angeles. Despite the fact that LA is the undisputed worst place in the entire world, I've been trying super hard to like it. Mainly because I like being that guy who likes the thing everyone else hates just to annoy people (which reminds me, people I know in real life: I never really liked Skrillex or Twilight. You should've seen your faces though).
Liking LA also seems to be "a thing" lately. I've seen a bunch of articles about it, like this one by Joseph Gordon Levitt that people keep sending me. In it, he talks about how LA is superior to New York because you can sing in the car when you're stuck in traffic, and also he once saw the movie Swingers here.
Anyway, below are the main things that have been annoying me since moving to LA.
THERE IS DANGER EVERYWHERE
In London, the worst that can happen while you're out walking around is maybe stepping in a puddle or getting happy slapped. Here, I have to worry about drive-bys and forest fires and mountain lions and "The Big One" and rattlesnakes and brain-eating parasites and home invasions and fucking TSUNAMIS! Why did someone think it would be a good idea to build a city here?
IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE A NORMAL NIGHT OUT
In London, or New York, or Paris, or any other city on Earth, going out means either walking/taking public transportation to a bar or club, then maybe walking to another place after that, then taking a cab home. This becomes problematic in Los Angeles, because public transportation does not exist. And I'm pretty sure cabs don't exist, either. This means everyone drinks and drives, and I'm not sure if you've seen those ads about it on TV, but drinking and driving is really, really, really not OK. Then, you have to find somewhere to park or pay a bunch of money to valet, and then line up to get in, and then before you know it you just paid $30 to get into a "yoga rave" that's ten minutes from ending, you've forgotten where you parked and, oh shit, you got a ticket. Fun times.
THERE IS HIPPIE BULLSHIT ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE
Every time I think I've met a normal person, I find out they're extremely into some kind of new-age nonsense. Did you know that Mercury is in retrograde right now? Me too, and I really, really shouldn't know that.
THERE ARE TOO MANY DIFFERENT EXTREME SPORTS
Fully grown adult people take skateboarding very seriously almost everywhere I go. As embarrassing and awful as that is, I've come to accept it as a part of my life. HOWEVER, in LA, not only do people take skateboarding super seriously, there's like 60 other alternate modes of transportation people are into, too. Like those teeny tiny little plastic skateboards, or those bikes where you stand up on them and run, or whatever the fuck those people are doing in that video up there.
THERE ARE BROKEN DREAMS EVERYWHERE YOU LOOK
About 90 percent of the people you encounter here are aspiring (i.e. "failed") actors.
Nothing bums me out harder than a person with an unfulfilled dream. The only two times I've ever cried at the movies was the part in Jumping Jack Flash when Whoopi gets stood up by her date, and the part in True Lies where Jamie Lee Curtis looks in the mirror and realizes she's not a babe anymore. I seriously just cannot stand to see someone disappointed.
There's a guy who lives near my apartment in a literal pile of garbage, and he staples photocopies of his headshot around the neighborhood (pictured above), and his website is listed as "YouTube.com," and I googled him and his only friends in the entire world were some pigeons, but then animal control came and killed them and fuckckkkkkk I'm crying again :( :(
THE RESTAURANTS ARE SO PRETENTIOUS IT'S LIKE A JOKE FROM A REALLY UNFUNNY MOVIE MAKING FUN OF LA
"Urban taco fabricator"? Cunts.
This is the menu at a place called Cafe Gratitude. All of their dishes have "positive affirmations" rather than "names," so when you order you're supposed to be like "I am beautiful" to the waiter, and then the waiter will look at you all sincere and go "you ARE beautiful!" *shudder*
When I've told friends from back home about Cafe Gratitude they've been like, "ew, are you fucking kidding me? That place sounds like the worst thing ever," but here, people are all "I don't see what your problem is, dude. Try not being so negative all the time."
Oh, and up on the wall with all the food hygiene certificates and stuff, they have this piece of shit:
"On behalf of the present moment, thanks for filling it up consciously"
DAVID SPADE HAS A STAR ON THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME
Which, essentially, means that David Spade is one of the city's most celebrated residents. David. Spade.
PEOPLE THINK IMPROV COMEDY IS FUNNY
I can't think of any other point in my life where a person has told me that I should go to see an improv comedy show. Because, obviously, improv comedy is utterly crap. Since moving to LA, it's something that is recommended to me on an almost daily basis. Specifically, The Groundlings. Which you can see in the video above. Am I missing something? I don't… They're just… What?
NOBODY WILL EVER TELL YOU WHAT THEIR JOB IS
Nobody can ever just admit what it is they do for a job. People think there's some kind of shame in not being mega-succesful. So you'll meet someone and they'll say, "I'm a makeup artist on True Blood," and you'll grill them on it for like 20 minutes, but they'll be really vague and you'll still have no idea what it is they do. So when you get home, you google them, and it turns out "makeup artist on True Blood" actually means "I'm a bartender, but one time I did some work in the building where they make the prosthetics for True Blood."
EVERYONE IS SCARED OF SCIENTOLOGY
On multiple occasions I have started talking about Scientology in a public space and the person I'm talking to will go all wide-eyed and start looking around frantically and whisper-yelling "SHHHHH!" before saying something vague about "black listed forever" and "SUVs with tinted windows running my friend off the road." At first, this was pretty hilarious. But now I've started doing it too. While I was writing this, I actually found myself thinking "wait, is it OK for me to mention Scientology in a blog? Should I use a pseudonym?" But now I just want to find out if people have a real reason to be so paranoid or if they're just being idiots, so: Scientology sucks.
More of Jamie Taete's Los Angeles:
Follow Jamie on Twitter - @JLCT