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By bt - Last updated: Tuesday, September 9, 2003 - Save & Share - One Comment

Since some of us have taken to extolling the virtues of our current home towns, I thought that I would take a minute to hype my absurd adopted home, Los Angeles.

No, this is not going to be about beaches, earthquakes, or celebrity encounters (although the last two times I went to the local Ben & Jerry’s I met Bruce Springsteen and Chris Rock). This is about one of LA’s less-inspiring (but often fun) exports, stereotypes.

More specifically, this is about those stereotypes affecting residents of LA’s redneck inland backwater, the self-proclaimed Inland Empire (a community consisting of cities such as Fontana and Riverside, but better known to locals as the 909 , Fontucky , a cute bastardization of Fontana and Kentucky, or Rivertucky, a cute bastardization of Riverside and Kentucky). Even more specifically, this is about how a somehwat mindless show on Fox has managed to piss off the residents of the Inland Empire.

In case you have not seen The OC, it is about an poor (but unusually pale) dude from Chino who gets taken in by a rich Newport Beach family. The show, pokes fun of the Inland Empire as the home of Raiders fans and Coors-Light-swilling wife-beaters. Apparently, residents of the Empire are fighting back, and just ain’t gonna take it anymore.

The problem, though, is that everyone in LA and Orange County makes fun of the 909. Trying to put a cork in this one is like trying to convince New Yorkers not to make fun of New Jersey, Germans not to make fun of the French, Texans not to make fun of Oklahoma, or high-school grads not to make fun of mullets. You really cannot do anything about it, and any attempts to stop it will only bring further attention to the stereotypes.

Some lines from the show about this topic are pretty funny. One character, who is deeply ashamed of her Rivertucky roots, says at one point, “He basically called me white trash. He said I was from Riverside!”

Her husband retorts, “Honey, you are from Riverside.”

What I love about this whole thing is the fact that some people in the 909 have become convinced that a fox TV show (or, even worse, a radio program) will greatly affect how their community is perceived. Maybe if they got off the couch and away from the tube, they might realize that the best way to change perceptions is by becoming involved with their community, rather than by bitching about some show that no one (and I mean no one) takes seriously.

Still, this whole thing has brought me some laughs. And that is all that I ever ask of TV shows.

Posted in Entertainment • • Top Of Page

One Response to “So SOCAL”

Comment from cynsmith
Time September 9, 2003 at 9:04 pm

I just finished watching my boyfriend, Adam Brody, on The OC, and I assure you that I take it seriously.

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