Thursday, July 24, 2008

If You Get Caught Between the Moon and New York City

I have to admit I'd been procrastinating getting this blog up and rolling, what with the beautiful summer weather, hanging out at the Glow Festival and Little Radio Summer Camp, and starring in the latest Fatty Arbuckle film, but this article really got me going. It's just an overflowing cornocopia of anti-Los Angeles-isms (and from someone who should know better, too), perfect for our first post, kind of like a grand opening number with singing, dancing, fireworks, and poodles jumping through flaming hoops. Quoteth Jay Babcock, editor of formerly LA-based Arthur Magazine and fresh New York transplant:

New York is just a more hospitable environment than L.A. ever has been or will be. L.A. is devolving quickly, and I think I got out in the nick of time. The L.A. Times is imploding, our public radio is terrible, the [L.A.] Weekly’s been devolving for years. Local media’s being run into the ground and I don’t think anybody cares. The public’s dumbed down and poorly educated. L.A. is a psychic death hole to me, and I don’t want a part of that. There are so many impending crises — the political structure, the traffic, the educational system. L.A. is failing worse than ever, and I felt that if I can get out, I should. I found a way out. For a long time now I’ve been going back and forth between L.A. and New York, and every time I got off the plane in L.A. I felt dumber.
Of course, who wouldn't want to head off to New York, a city known for its lack of traffic, squeaky clean political structure, and excellent radio stations? But one whiny failed 'zine editor isn't really the best part of this. It's the blog comments, people. (And, by the way, please leave us some. We're new and feel lonely.)

The Times article was re-posted on Gawker, where commenters left the expected fair share of antipathy toward LA and California in general, even wafting over to San Francisco. But not so at the Times! Our coast rose up with a swell of civic pride that left me proud. Like these three posters:

"Here we go again, a holier than thou hipster wannabe cultural elitist attempts to tell us the true value of our society. Just because your preconceived nation of what Los Angeles is or was didn’t work out doesn’t mean Los Angeles isn’t real in any sense of your retarded reality. Seriously, grow up. I’m glad you’re leaving. The irony is that you’re only contributing to the cultural decay of New York City by pushing the original inhabitants out of their neighborhoods. You’re the reason Los Angeles is the way it is, thank god you’re gone."

"I lived in NYC for 12 years and now teach at a university near Baltimore. If I could find the job I want I’d take this guy’s place in a minute.Everything he says about LA is true for NYC and he’s trafficking in stupid cliched cultural criticism."

"Never heard of this clown but I’m glad he’s getting out of my hometown. Anyone else who bad mouthes LA on a daily basis is welcome to turn around. In fact, we should probably kick out all the midwest/east coast transplants who come here for a tan and end up Clipper fans."

129 comments as of this posting. About 120 of them are along the lines of the above, about 7 agree with Babcock, and 2 are from a chastened Babcock himself, backpedaling and listing things about LA he loves. You people are bringing a tear to our eyes, seriously. Come, come with us.

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