10 So Cal Stereotypes
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There are Apples, Cocos, Maddoxes, there's a even Blanket.
On the cover:
Rachel Sarah Bilson, born August 25, 1981, is an American actress. Bilson grew up in a California show business family, and made her television debut in 2003, subsequently becoming well known for playing Summer Roberts on the prime time drama series The O.C. ©2017 Archives
That are completely accurate
Southern Californians have a very specific dialect, one that you will not find anywhere else in the world, and one that you could spend hours and hours mocking--but never quite getting right. They start out their sentences with "OK, so" all the time. They really do say "like," for, like, every other word; and they like totally over-enunciate their "Rs"-especially when asking a question. Though, really, everything they say, like, sounds like a question? Like, it goes up at the end? Oh, and don't be offended if your hard-earned title of Dr. So-and-so is quickly shortened to "bro," "dude," or some combination of the two.
2. Southern Californians May Be All Zen and Laid Back--But When They Get Behind The Wheel, They'll Freakin' Kill You, Brah
You know those Goofy Motormania videos they have you watch in defensive driving courses, warning you of the dangers of road rage? No? Well, then you must not drive in L.A. After all, the term "road rage" was born in Los Angeles in the late '80s when a rash of highway shootings occurred on the 405, 110, and the 10. So thanks, for that, L.A. You guys really are nuts. And speaking of being nuts.
3. They Spend Almost As Much Time Talking About How to Get Somewhere As They Do Getting There
OK, so, this is understandable. Sort of. I mean, everyone knows how bad traffic is in SoCal (hence the previous point), so discussing the best ways to get around might be useful. But sometimes it's just plain ridiculous. (This is what you sound like.) The funny thing is, even when you spend five minutes telling people how you took the third right onto Sunset, then a left on La Cienga Blvd., then a right onto Santa Monica, and totally got stuck at a light for, like, 10 minutes, in order to avoid the traffic on Melrose? Well, it still doesn't help, because...
4. Everyone In SoCal Is Two Hours Late. All. The. Time.
Welcome to SoCal, the land where 2:00 p.m. means more like 3:00 p.m. or 4:00 p.m. and meeting times are more like loose suggestions. I'd love to tell you it's because everyone is so laid back and the whole region is on surfer time--which may be part of it for some--but mostly, it's the traffic. And that's just with normal weather.
5. And If It Starts To Even Sprinkle, You Can Just Forget About It
Southern Californians and rain are like cats and, well, rain. They don't mix well. In fact, they don't really mix at all, because as soon as it starts to sprinkle, the whole city shuts down. People stay home, cars are abandoned on the sides of roads, and reporters wearing galoshes appear on television, warning people hysterically "It's raining don't drive!" like it's acid pouring from the sky instead of water. It is utter madness (how poorly you people drive in the rain).
6. If You Live In SoCal You Better Be Blonde, Tan, And Toned...
If you're going to live in SoCal, there are lots of things you should know. You may want to pick up some obscure or New Age spiritual practices; you'll need to become familiar with the terms "juicing" and "cleansing" almost immediately, and you're certainly going to want to find a good colorist, join a gym, and get yourself a nice summer glow going (I don't care if it is January), because more important than anything else here, is the need to be blonde, tan, and toned. They, like, won't let you in if you're not.
7. ...And Fake, Fake, Fake
Since it's awfully difficult for those Southern Californians who are not naturally blonde, tan, nor toned (see No. 6)--the only option is get busy faking it! After all, you can dye your hair, you can bronze your skin, and you can get your body sucked, plumped, wrapped, injected, and enhanced until you start looking like one of those women from the "Hunger Games." Or worse, "The Real Housewives."
8. The Only Thing Southern Californians Are More Obsessed with Than Being Fit...Is Food
There are foodies and then there are SoCal foodies. The SoCal Foodie is not just obsessed with delicious cuisine, because here in SoCal it is all about the diet crazes, the newest, and weirdest concoctions. Who cares if it tastes like week-old grass trimmings, so long as it's guaranteed to make your hair and skin shinier, like Purina for humans, or something. Not only do they love to talk about the new diet but they love to tell you where they got it--especially if it involved going someplace new, serving a "fusion" of raw or vegan or organic ingredients.
9. But They Are All Secretly Scarfing Down Fast Food...
Note, I said "fast food," not junk food. In SoCal, there is a difference. That's because you can get gourmet dishes within moments at one of L.A.'s hundreds of food trucks--the homeland of the food truck craze, in fact. There's the Pacman Burger at Kogi BBQ, red velvet chocolate chip pancakes at the Buttermilk Truck, and oh my god, the Molly Hatchet at Grill 'Em All will make you wonder why you ever thought going vegetarian was a good idea in the first place.
10. And Then Naming Their Children After A Favorite Dish
It really wouldn't surprise me to know that somewhere in SoCal, a child is being born with the name "Pacman" or "Red Velvet." After all, there are Apples, Cocos, Maddoxes, there's a even Blanket, and it's not just the celebs punishing the next generation with "creative" names. Among my little, SoCal cousin's friends alone, there is a Talon, Dax, Breeze, Ocean, Kale, Tofer and Cola. Cola. So yes, Southern Californians are a weird bunch--but in the best way imaginable. And if you don't like it? Well, at least now you'll see 'em coming from a mile away. They'll be the ones saying, "OK, brah, my name's Pancake. It's a pleasurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre to meet you." Righhhhhhhhhht?
Jason Aardiman, Contributor: Jason is an Italian author, social activist, and filmmaker known for political analyses and criticism of corporate globalization and of corporate capitalism. He was born and raised in an Italian-American working class family in New York City. After high school he worked for a number of years then returned to school, eventually earning a B.A. from City College of New York, an M.A. from Brown University, and a Ph.D. in political science from Yale University. Mr. Aardiman has lectured far and wide... (more...)