Why I Don’t Care Why You Hate L.A.

Allen Weiner hates L.A. I know this because his post “Why I Hate L.A.” popped up on the one of the L.A. feeds in my RSS reader this morning and caught my eye. I took the time to post a response to what I found to be a lackluster, empty rant, but strangely (and by strangely I mean “stupidly”) my comment magically disappeared right after the author logged in around 2:00MST. While what I had to say wasn’t complimentary, I wouldn’t say it was anti-intellectual or pointless. From memory, it was something along the lines of…

Boy, that sure is a controversial stance you’ve taken there, complaining about the traffic and all the fake people. I’ve never heard that before. To borrow a phrase, you are what you eat. Nothing like journos and insiders that surround themselves exclusively with Silverlake hipsters or industry Westsiders and then complain about how shallow everybody is.

Wake me up when you’ve got an interesting analysis to share, instead of just masturbatory troll-bait.

Since I’m on the subject, and since Mr. Weiner has prevented any of us from continuing the conversation in the comments on his site, allow me to expand. Too all of you who constantly complain about how shitty L.A. is, let me say this….I don’t fucking care. I’ve heard these same four or five arguments a million times. You think everybody is shallow and fake? I’ve got a couple of hundred hard working, down-to-earth, working-class neighbors that spend their days staffing your gas stations and your hotels and your restaurants and your hospitals that would take great umbrage at your boneheaded attempt to paint 12 million people with one brush just because you’ve never been east of downtown except to drive to Vegas.

In fact, I’m glad all of you hate L.A. Do the rest of us a favor and move back to San Francisco or New York and leave this huge, awesome, multi-faceted city to those of us that are willing to take the time to appreciate it. I have a sneaking suspicion that you’re going to find something to complain about anywhere you end up.

ADDENDUM: hexod.us adds brings up another good point in the comments that I forgot I wanted to mention, though I alluded to it a bit. Los Angeles is not Hollywood. If you want to bitch about Hollywood, fine. But be smart enough to know the difference.

ADDENDUM 2: thedaniel points us to another good article on the subject from losanjealous.

23 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Care Why You Hate L.A.”

  1. how appropriate his name is. however, on further inspection of his website it looks like he lives in arizona. you must check out his analysis of the super bowl ads…i think things will make much more sense.

  2. preach on, brothers and sisters! preach on! I am so sick of defending my choice of city to people who either haven’t been here, or have spent a week max in a narrow strip between LAX and H&H.

  3. on further inspection of his website it looks like he lives in arizona.

    Yeah, that’s true. I suppose he’s really just looking for a commentary to go along with his short video. But once I brought the discussion up here it seemed appropriate to broaden it a bit. Likewise, I get even more annoyed at people who’ve never lived here and who think they’ve know LA inside and out. I’ve got lots of friends in Denver who’ve been here once or twice and like to expound at length about why LA sucks. Urgh.

  4. I never heard those arguments until I met people who were not from LA and had never spent much time here. Those who have moved from other cities have given more original arguments (e.g. racial segregation and subtle yet biting racial prejudice).

    In fact, yesterday I saw this on a message board for stereotypes of women in different cities.

    “LA Women – Shallow women with FAKE BREASTS!”

  5. Thanks for all the attention. Who could inagine so much indignation over a harmless minute-plus piece? I suppose everyone is entitled to an opinion as long as it does not differ with yours.
    The comment from a self-absorbed pundit about my name is childish and the response of a simple mind, but as Jim Bouton once said, “Consider the source.” Please, I ask you to worry more about the issues that impact our lives such as hunger and poverty more than where we choose to live.


  6. Who could inagine so much indignation over a harmless minute-plus piece?

    To clarify, my initial comment was more related to the text that accompanied your video piece, since the video itself doesn’t contain any commentary. I feel it necessary to point out again, however, that the indignation I’m expressing here is not intended to single you out. Instead, your short post became the impetus for me to write something directed to a larger group of people that I’ve been considering for some time. A group of people of whom you aren’t necessarily one, I should admit.

    I suppose everyone is entitled to an opinion as long as it does not differ with yours.

    Mighty words from the man who deleted a comment that he didn’t agree with. In your defense, here’s your stated reason for deleting it:

    I deleted your comment because I didn’t like the language. You are entitled to your opinion, but I have the right to excise comments that I feel are inappropriate.
    Feel free to comment all you want; I am interested in all POVs; that can be accomplished with a civil tongue. End of debate.

    I felt very strongly about something you wrote. You feel I was uncivil in communicating that. I suppose we can agree to differ on what makes a “strong” versus an “uncivil” statement.

    Please, I ask you to worry more about the issues that impact our lives such as hunger and poverty more than where we choose to live.

    Ah, the old “don’t you have anything better to worry about” feint. Again, you’re the one that raised the issue Mr. Weiner. Don’t publish an opinion if you’re not interested in starting a discussion about it with people who may feel the issue more acutely than you.

  7. Do the rest of us a favor and move back to San Francisco or New York and leave this huge, awesome, multi-faceted city to those of us that are willing to take the time to appreciate it.

    They must be, because let’s be honest. Most of the people who are moving to LA are from south of the border, not from east of the Mississippi or north of the Central Valley.

  8. I have heard the people are so fake in LA, blah blah blah argument all the time. It doesn’t help that i work in a restaurant in hollywood, where most of these “actors” go straight from their plane to their new home in hollywood, and then never leave a 3 mile radius for many many months.

    It’s just different growing up here, I could never love a city as much as this one.

  9. On the backlash Weiner comments: “Please, I ask you to worry more about the issues that impact our lives such as hunger and poverty more than where we choose to live.”

    Am I missing the sarcasm? He takes a superficial kneejerk, myopic, insipid, bonehead cheapshot at L.A. and then suddenly goes Gandhi!?


  10. I am going to take a perhaps unpopular view..
    I have what I refer to as a film noir romance with Los Angeles. I love LA, but I hate her too. I want to kiss LA and slap her at the same time. I am sure everyone who lives in LA can understand this reaction. We hate things about the city. Yes. But we love it just as much. And because of that, we will let no outsider speak down on her even if we do it all the time.

    So since this guy doesn’t live in LA, all people in LA should run to her rescuse, but if in the next breath we want to complain, we have the right because she is our whore and we love her.

  11. I still maintain that I saw a much higher percentage of fake-boob-ed, fake’n’baked, long fingernailed, frosted hair, perfectly created, platic existing types while i was living in Sacramento than I did over the course of a lifetime growing up in my beloved Los Angeles.

    Sure, if you walk into the right agencies or down the right streets, you’ll find a hotpoint of such wonders of modern science. But as a spread-out, weed-like segment of the population, I think Los Angeles fails compared to some monied ‘burbs elsewhere – in the long run, on the average, etc. . . . .

    Everyone thinks everyone else’s city is shallow.

  12. I was out of LA for 43 years. I couldn’t wait to get back, in the interim I lived in or visited 38 states. Nothing, but nothing compares. I live in the Harbor Area but it’s still LA!!!!!!!
    If people don’t like it then they should go back to where they came from, we need the room!

  13. Spence —

    mind getting the fuck out of here too? I’m 5th generation LA and I hate fucks like you coming from out-of-town, gentrifying the area, and then becoming self-proclaimed experts.

  14. You’re absolutely entitled to your opinion Squidlow, though I absolutely disagree with your characterization of “fucks like me.” It seems like you’re making some pretty large assumptions based on very little evidence. Likewise, I’m not entirely clear what your point is. Can you clarify who exactly is it that you’d prefer to live here? I think it’s obvious that you probably don’t welcome the people I’m talking about, who complain about Los Angeles. And now you’re adding to that list people who move here and like LA? So in the end, your point is that you believe nobody should be allowed to move here? That’s a very salient point, Squidlow.

    If you’d like to talk about migration, I’d be happy to talk about the huge waves of Californians that moved to Colorado and Oregon following the last two major earthquakes and the collapse of the California real estate market.

    BTW, if you’re going to hurl weakly crafted insults my way I’d prefer you not assume that we’re on a casual enough basis to call me Spence. There’s an “r” at the end of my name. I don’t know if you’re too lazy or too stupid to type the whole thing, but if you can work up the energy or mental acuity to figure out where that particular key is on your keyboard I would appreciate it. I’m not expecting much success with that on your part.

  15. The Island of Me

    Why I don?t like Los Angeles?

    Yes,OK. I was born in LA, but nowhere in the US constitution does it say that one must like, be enamored, or even mildly be forced to tolerate the place of one?s birth.
    But why? Why this abhorrence?
    I noticed that isolation reigns over the mantle of the entire spectrum of the LA area, capitalized by the car culture, along with a narcissistic vacuum – the black hole that is the Hollywood movie machine.
    People exist in distinct and isolated clusters; most don’t even know their neighbors. They wouldn’t know whether they are alive or dead. Too busy to share, to help, to feel human.- ?What can you do for me? is the motto. Embedded and contaminated from the Hollywood establishment, the soul of this type of very visible Angelino who is affluent and powerful has become adulterated with unabashed narcissism with nothing more than a tepid veneer of social graces. They say they’re just too busy to meet or to act human. Perhaps they’re not interested in you, but you just don’t know because you’re in LA. If I was back in NY, I would have found out on day one.
    The streets are mostly empty because people are busy living and being in their own universe.

    For someone who has lived in NY for over 10 years, this spectacle is an unimaginable change that most of the time causes volition of reprehension and desire to go somewhere else very quickly but I don?t because this is the city of my birth and my childhood and deep inside I feel sadness for what it has become, also because there are clumps of great, wonderful and soulful people scattered in the social periphery of this metropolis and they make it worth staying..

  16. I hate Los Angeles, but I also love it. I’ve hated it since I was in my early and aborted attempts at college; but, I have loved it for so much longer. Fake tits, attidues, fingernails and all the like are hereby duly noted; and it can be a brutal place if you are something of a rube expecting better.

    Do not expect better; just expect whatever surprise hits your naive radar screen and kind of deal with it.

    This place is shit; we all know that. But, it is kind of a glorious and happy shit– and therein lies the balance we all must strike.

    Like a number of others I suppose, I too have my special idealized places where (in a perfect world) I might rather live. Places where my perception of day to day life was always hand stamped as somehow perfect– with a certain visitor’s nod toward the metaphoric parachute I always carried in case I had to bail out of my own dream.

    In L.A., or wherever you live, there is no such immediate parachute.

    Yeah, L.A. is full of aggressive fakes (cults of personalities, bad tit jobs done in Torrance, etc.); but, so what? Given the ever-shrinking globe, I guarantee you that most every place you might now drive through will have it’s on subset of the very same fakes, and it is all about how you deal with them.

    Rickster666’s line about “being enamored with” the place in which you were born rings most true; as such happenings were all mere accidents of economics, happenstance, and the like. YOU , yourself had nothing to do with where you were born or raised!

    You were just there.

    Yet, there are those who put such effort into misplaced pride in where they live or grew up. I mean, how fucking ridiculous is it that gang members, all across the country, have tattooed across their bodies their area codes, names of their cities or even street names inked forever across their chests and backs– as though the economic circumstances and breaks that led them there were, in any way of their own doing?

    Pride. Bullshit fucking fake pride. The “bullshit” element of said pride comes from being so proud of a place where your ass just happened to land because of where your parents lived at the time– and then taking it and trying to somehow portray it as a badge of honor, as though you had something to do with it all, like it was an achievent of your own doing and motivation.

    It was not. You were simply born there, or moved there at an early age. You “represent” absolutely nothing!

    You just live there.

    Yeah, as native of L.A., I can certainly say that I hate the place quite a bit of the time; and, while I had chances to get out, I never did, as this is where my disdain knows it’s comfort. Unlike those that mostly transplant themselves here from NY, only to complain constantly (there’s no good pizza, people are fake, we can’t sit and talk about how great it was to play stickball on Ma’s stoop in the 60’s, etc.), we ‘natives’ live here because, good AND bad thisn is our home; and you complainers are here only because of a job transfer or the fucking weather.

    So, stop with the comparisons between where you came from and what it is like to be here. Besides, are any of you NYC mooks somehow trying to claim that there is less artifice in New York City than there is here? I can totally understand your possible culinary complaints; but, without a scientific study regarding fake tits and fake chicks and their percentage-based relative infestation in one place versus another, let’s just call it a draw. No way is L.A. any more phony than NYC; and, as far as pizza/food goes, it may take a bit of hunting, but you Noo Yawk transplants here in L.A. shouldn’t expect to wither and become emaciated anytime soon….

    I am sick and tired of the local, national and ethnic pride issue. Period. Anyone of us could’ve been born anywhere, to any of a varying number of ethnic backgrounds, and at any time, as accidents of math, geography, economics, etc.

    So, FUCKING STOP with the pride issue as it relates to locale, personal stripe and all that other crap; as these are tired arguments! I am neither proud nor ashamed of having been born a half-Mexican Angelino, as this was my fate, and I had nothing to do with it. I was born where I was born; and I live where I live– and that is all.

    Same for you.

    I did not make Los Angeles great, nor did I fuck it up; and, if my choice is to remain here, maybe you might call it apathy, but do not call it civic pride. It’s simply where I live; and, for those of you local complainers, it is where you live, as well. It is what it is….

    Fakes, sadness, beauty, good/bad food, a declining indie record store scene (okay, that’s my pet peeve…)and, ultimately, a place from which we are free to come and go.

    Bitch all you want; but, while there may be better places to visit, L.A. isn; the worst place to live…So long as you know where to go, and what to avoid.

    Like everything else in life, where you live is what you make of it; and, if you disagree….

    Well, fuck you.

    As long as I can get good pizza and sandwiches in this town, who gives a shit as far as the fakes are concerned?

    Fuck ’em! As long as Piece O’ Pizza (at the intersection of McLaughlin and Venice in Mar Vista) has their buy one/get another for a dollar special on Mondays, L.A. may be shit, but it ain’t a bad kind of shit….

    chris in l.a.

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