I’m fully prepared for the L.A. Hater haters to jump on me, but I have lived my life, or at least, the more humorous portions of it, by one credo: with exceptions so rare as to prove it a rule, The Joke is King; All Hail the Joke. (This means you.)
That said, it is with great sadness that I read KungFuMike’s anti-L.A. rant list. Not because I am anti-L.A.-rants–I love a good rant–but because his is lame-lame-bo-bame, banana-fanna-fo-fame lame.
For those of you less familiar with the form, a good list:
1. is useful (e.g. that Trader Joe’s list on your fridge)
2. is concise yet comprehensive
3. contains at least three items (symmetry thing)
A great list:
1. adheres to principles #1 & 2, above
2. is instructive, thought-provoking and/or hilarious
3. may contain less than three items (chiefly limited to McSweeney’s practitioners and other masters of the genre)
With these principles in mind, I can now address KFM’s list.
1. Agreed. Bold and risky maneuver out of the gate, as leg-warmers are not technically L.A.-specific, but pithy, not untrue start. Plus, very hilarious. Kudos. Score: 10.0
2. Again, agreed. Borders on so non-specific to L.A. as to be a “cheat”, but since Hollywood/Beverly Hills/Malibu/etc. are time-honored loci of status-consciousness, a fair entry. Good balance of longish writing after short; also, quite hilarious. (Some might take issue with “retard” or use of profanity; I encourage them, when applied judiciously.) Score: 9.7
3. Agreed in principle.However, this is far too close in spirit to item #1. Repetitive lists violate Rule #2 of simple listmaking. Score: 5.0 (for lazy listmaking)
4. Wrong-ish. What is sad about this entry (apart from the egregious writing) is that there is so much wrong about L.A.’s freeway and transportation system as to merit its own list. Maybe even a list of lists. I don’t know what freeways KFM is frequenting, but on/off ramps are the least of our problems. Besides, this particular issue often has to do with L.A. having been the trailblazer, no pun intended, for freeway construction and planning. Trailblazers blaze; followers refine the system. Score: 6.0, mainly for aforementioned egregious writing (although the letter structure bumped up your score one point, for adding an element of charm and surprise)
5. Wrong. Del Taco is not an L.A. chain. If KFM had felt this way about, say, Tommy Burger, this might have stood. Not with this writing, though, which is sloppy, purple and most inmportantly, non-hilarious. Score: 2.3
6. Wrong. Armenian drivers are not known for being any worse than Korean drivers, Mexican drivers, SUV drivers, cell-phone-using drivers, women drivers, men drivers or any other drivers. Score: 0 (for being racist and non-hilarious)
7. Agreed, but repetitive. Ground covered (#s 1 & 3). Plus, that I’m-a-bad-boy, I-use-Third-Reich-references shtick is embarrassing. As in, I am embarrassed for you. Score: 0
8. Agreed, but poorly written. A sloppy list is a tedious–i.e., non-hilarious–list. Score: 6.0 (because this is an issue near and dear to me)
9. Um, agreed…sort of. As a former smoker, I am appalled by the treatment everywhere, but especially in L.A., of those who choose to do something which is certainly stupid, but in no way illegal. Your imagery and writing, however, are distasteful–which is to say, non-hilarious. So you lose. Loser. Score: 4.9(mainly because the anti-smoking bluestockings nauseate me)
10. Agreed, but a tad vitriolic for barrel fish-shooting. Let’s face it: statistically, you’re right. And anecdotally, you’re pretty right on, too. But when you are mean and non-hilarious, you undermine your genius. Why would you do that, especially when it doesn’t look like you were blessed with much to begin with? Score: 2.0 (I used to be an actor, f*cknut. A successful one, who lived off acting income, not by selling you mall crap or slinging your hash. So bite me.)
BONUS DISCLAIMER REVIEW:
Dude, you can’t slap on a paragraph or two of niceties and think that means you get to skate on the rest. Man up, cowboy! You had it comin’!