Thursday, October 12, 2006
My Pet Goat
Look, it's hard enough as it us for us out here in Riverside County. Los Angeles has movie stars and TV studios and sports teams and is the world center of production for English-language pornography. It's got a lot going for it.
Orange County is about 50% coastline, some of the most expensive premier real-estate in the world and, just to rub it in, both a television series and movie named after it. Less porn than LA, but still, quite a public (if less pubic) profile.
Out here in Riverside, it's a struggle. We don't even have the mountains people in SoCal go to ski on in the winter. Those are in crappy neighboring San Bernardino County. They also have a nationally competitive per capita murder rate, so I don't know that I'd trade for the one if I had to take on the other as well, but come on.
We're close enough that people who work in LA, OC or even San Diego can live here, but it's a struggle in terms of perception. You know, you lead the world in private methamphetamine production for a couple of years and all of a sudden there's a stigma. If they did that in Newport, they'd call it "entrepreneurial spirit."
Things were getting better, though. The insane real estate market had driven a few people with money south (from LA), east (from OC) and north (from SD) to cash out and take advantage of our affordable housing.
But the demand has been such that today, compared to national averages, Riverside housing is considerably not affordable! Ha, finally! An unreasonable and unsustainable cost of living! We are somebody!
We've had a Nordstrom for like 15 years and they keep putting in things like PF Chang's and Cheesecake Factory that wouldn't touch us even five years ago. The potential for chain-restaurant-based snobbery have increased ten-fold. The thing about moving up, in terms of economic demographics, is that finally--finally!--we might just get the chance to look down on somebody else.
Fuck you, Bakersfield!
And then... this.
I read the article and I was sickened. It was brought to my attention yesterday by a devoted Bucketeer, the lovely and talented KZ and then reinforced by the GIANT TYPE ABOVE THE FOLD TOP HEADLINE in our local paper.
I mean my God. We try and we try and we try, we make some progress, and all of a sudden something like this comes out and it just devastates you.
No, not the treason. The guy is clearly an asshole. Big deal. I could open my front door right now and within about 30 seconds find five people of comparably self-deluded assholery. The guy across the street from me runs a business from his house and always parks this big-ass truck at the end of our cul-de-sac. It ain't treason, but it's close.
What I'm upset about is this line from the story: "Raised in Southern California on a Riverside goat farm..."
I suppose I could point out that there aren't any actual goat farms in the city of Riverside that I'm aware of. I could also make the clarification that he's from Winchester, which is in the middle of Bumblefuck, Nowhere, but I could still get there in about a 45 minute drive from my house, so that doesn't really help.
No, the damage is done. "Meth lab" at least has a certain cachet. Drugs at least are sort of cosmopolitan. Sure, they're mostly use by people in sleeveless flannel shirts with more fingers than teeth, but at least potentially they could be sold and used by flashy urbanites or bored rich suburban teens looking to flaunt their parents' authority, maybe lose a few pounds or just looking into the new and exciting world of open mouth sores. Who can say? Very exciting.
But "goat farm"... my God. That's a pretty static mental picture, isn't it? I'll be surprised if they don't immediately stop building the Cheesecake Factory and declare Riverside County an upper-middle-class-retailer-quarantine zone. Again.
But I guess this Gadahn fucker is a terrorist and that's how the terrorists work. If they can't get bombs in, well, I guess associating a region with goat farms is the next best thing. For us, today is like 9/11. Except without the planes or the fire or the collapsing buildings or all the death. And it's, you know, October.
OK, so it's not that much like 9/11. It's still a bummer though.
The CBS version of the story even leads with "goat farm". But they place it in Orange County by mistake! Point all your friends there!
Past crappy journalism, all our hopes now rest entirely on the weird, weird shoulders of David Lynch. He's made a movie named after us. Except instead of a fun Jack Black romp, it's more of a three hour fever dream that is (according to early film-festival reviews) narratively incoherent and undermined by nauseating Lynchian self-indulgence. I hear a full third of the film is (and this is true) shot sitcom-style about a family of people with rabbit heads.
I have to move.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.75
PS- I have been informed by a super-secret agent deep inside the Department of the Interior that the DOI computers are now actively blocking the Bucket. While this makes me sad since government employees cannot Bucket-surf instead of working their phoney-baloney government jobs, I am gratified to know that, in internet terms, I've finally made it. I'm finally porn. Way to go, me.