• Push Me, Pull You, Nobody’s Happy Sitting Next to Anybody These Days

    by Debra DeAngelo

    So, 13 southern California counties want to become the 51st state and carve out their own Republican Shangri-la where it’s just hunky-dory to portray the President of the United States as a watermelon-chomping chimpanzee or support Michelle Bachmann for President. Oh, but that we could just lop off this contingent like a gangrened limb and let the healing begin.

    If it was up to me (and it’s a damned shame it isn’t, because I’ve come to the conclusion that we’d all be better off), I’d say let ‘em go. But here’s the catch, SoCal: You keep Hell-A, or the deal’s off. Us northerners will gladly keep our San Francisco values, our Birkenstocks, Pride parades and single-stream recycling, and you southerners keep your LA values, whatever that means… lipo or Botox… Atkins or South Beach… Jimmy Choo or Prada…

    “LA values? OMG, is there a sale at Bebe?”

    Yes. I’m evil. Deal with it. And no. NorCal doesn’t want that either.

    Seriously. Los Angeles is the deal-breaker. LA is the spoiled, smelly, obese, English bulldog that craps on the carpet and has breath like three-day old roadkill on an August afternoon. It’s a divorce, and we’re not fighting over who GETS to keep him. We’re fighting over who HAS to keep him. And possession is nine-tenths of the law.

    Yes, maybe it’s time we Californians faced our irreconcilable differences and parted ways. We all identify as NorCal or SoCal already anyway (except the poor souls in San Luis Obispo who are neither here nor there), so why not make it official. Maybe it’d be less stressful to stop all the bickering and create a new state where Redneck Right Wing Republicans can exist in a happy little Red bubble. They won’t have to strain their little brain cells with conflicting viewpoints, and we can stop patiently trying to explain to them why the quotation marks on Fox “News” are there.

    But if the goal it to create one homogenous state unfettered by diversity in thought, color and culture, why stop at California? Why not draw the lines around Arizona and Texas too? I give you: “Calizonas.” The 51st state. And I hereby nominate the supremely befitting Ted Nugent as your first governor.

    Upon further reflection, why stop at mere statehood? Why not just let Calizonas secede from the Union? Texas likes to hint that it isn’t really part of the United States anyway. It was a republic once, let it be a republic again, bigger and better than before: The Republic of Calizonas. Or Texizornia. Or Ariforxas. Whatever. Happy Trails. I’ll miss Willie Nelson, but this is the price we must pay so we can all get along.

    Honestly, would we miss Texas that much? All that “Don’t Mess With Texas” outlaw shtick is just tired and boring. Word to Texas: nobody really wants to mess with you. We’re kind of over you. We’ve seen your best and brightest in the 43rd president, and we’re not that impressed. He totaled the family car, threw us the keys and walked away grinning. So, Texas, you’ve done quite enough. Thanks for playing. But you do get Arizona and South California as these lovely parting gifts.

    But, good old-fashioned NorCal liberal fantasies aside, what if we really did part ways with South California. Would it be all that bad? Not all. For one thing, North California’s financial problems would be over. One word: water. We have it, they don’t. You know that big blue aqueduct that stripes the state? Once it crosses into SoCal, that water turns into pure gold for NorCal. Which, by the way, means that the “Golden State” nickname stays with NorCal. SoCal, I don’t know what that makes you. The Gridlock State maybe? Smog State? How about Red State? No one’s grabbed that golden ring yet.

    Yes, all in all, it’s for the best. Chop it in half, I say. Queen Solomon has spoken.

    Having solved our state’s problems, let’s zoom in to local touch-me-not issues – the redistricting of Yolo County. Our county supervisors have the final say on this, and early reports indicate that it’s not looking good for the Fifth District in its current configuration. The Fifth District is like South California. We don’t really view ourselves as part of the rest of the county. We’re not like Those People Over There. But we better get used to them, because I predict that Winters will become the new West Davis.

    Remember how I used to joke about life down here on Far West Russell Boulevard? Not so funny now, is it. Unless you’re living on Far East Grant Avenue.

    Some Winters folks are horrified over the prospect of being absorbed into the Davis Second District, akin to the seventh level of hell. But all this animosity toward Davis is more of a Winters meme than anything based on reality. It’s like people who hate broccoli. They haven’t actually tried it. They just know they do.

    Come on, broccoli’s quite tasty. Just try one bite. Let’s pretend it’s an airplane… here it comes! Zoom zoom! Into the hangar!

    And it gets spit back into my face every time.

    While Winters is balking and clinging for dear life to the Capay Valley, Davis is lobbying hard to have us. You can’t blame them, really. Their other option is to absorb part of West Sacramento. And we all know which one of those girls is cuter. Who would YOU rather go to the prom with?

    So, state or county — what’s the common psychological denominator? Simple social psychology. When resources are limited and life becomes precarious, humans band together with those wearing the same animal skin. Or kilt. Or uniform. Or bumper sticker. And bash the ones who aren’t.

    It’s true. There really is nothing new under the sun.

      • Peggy

      • July 17, 2011 at 10:52 am
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      Loved your article and couldn’t agree more!

      • Kelvin

      • July 17, 2011 at 11:25 am
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      It’s funny how people from out of state think of us as “Californians.” If only they knew the real score. You’re either NorCal or SoCal. (Incidentally, if you go up north and I mean really up north, you’ll encounter small towns that time forgot. It’s great.) The only time I go to Southern California is to get on a cruise ship and leave it.

    • Yeah… there should be SoCal, NorCal and WayNorCal!

      • Jesse

      • July 17, 2011 at 11:57 am
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      So Cal- They have Botox and Detox. We have silicon valley and they are Silicone valley. I say draw the line at Santa Barbara, everything below can go.

      • David Lacy

      • July 17, 2011 at 12:24 pm
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      I actually think everything between Stockton and Bakersfield should become it’s own state. I love Joshua Tree, San Diego, San Juan Capistrano, Laguna Beach.

    • Come on now. So we are the land of the nuts and chews but we are worth it. We offer great weather, very little fog, no major storms, no real rivers to overflow and so much diversity. I would stack our restaurants and dives against yours any day. You think you are the intellectuals but I beg to differ. Now Riverside we don’t want them either. We can cut off everything East of the 10 and just keep up all the coast down to Mexico. All inland empires can go on their own with their foreclosed housing, meth labs and no jobs. But let us relish in all the parts that make SOCAL such a great place. I will even include SF but I was going to leave out Sacramento and all things north but now that I know all of you from Winters I will include that with us. Now sure about Sacramento except for Tracy Thomas.

    • Jesse – love it!
      David – that’s the sequel column.
      Madge… There is no SoCal food on earth that can compare with San Francisco or the Napa Valley. And… remember, LA is the Bulldog, not the Red part!

      • I will match you food for food and I know we will come out ahead. When do we start?

        • LA is known for expensive food. San Francisco/Napa are known for GOOD food. You can throw a stone in any direction in nearly any part of San Francisco and hit a good restaurant, even if it’s a hole in the wall. Chinese/Japanese/Thai/Italian in particular…. it’s the real deal, from the real people.

      • Tracy

      • July 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm
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      @Madge: You can leave out Sacramento since I live in “West Sacramento” which is its own separate incorporated city. And besides we are across the river and that much closer to that jewel called “Davis” and the Napa Valley…Great column Debra 🙂

    • Yes, I know what you mean about Davis, and Winters becoming part of it. At one time Winters used to be West of Railroad Avenue and our police radio would not reach the City of Davis. I’m going to the city council meeting and suggest that we build a Great Winters Wall. That way we can’t see Davis or Texas. We should probably include Alaska with this group because what’s her name can see Russia from her kitchen window. Thanks for letting me know about Texas, I’ve been worrying about them a lot lately.

      • jenifer divine

      • July 18, 2011 at 7:14 pm
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      omg how seriously right on (until you got into the county squabbles… do even people in Yolo county care about all that??? just kidding, much rather LA-bash) i was born 6-gen SF BayArea, survived 26 hellish years in LA (the horrors, the horrors!!!)so i have experienced life on both sides…
      i say good riddance to bad rubbish, split the state s. of Santa Barbara, although San Diego & Laguna Beach would be missed, i suppose the tradeoff is OK… Calizonas sounds ok (although it sounds like a pizza place offering) and your description of Texas is spot-on, i noticed you didn’t lump New Mexico into the new republic… good thing- i’ve lived there too, and its a wonderful place…
      great article, had me smiling & nodding my head… F— La/SoCal

    • Donald – build a wall so we can’t see Davis or Texas… LOL!

      Jenifer, thanks for the feedback! And yes, New Mexico doesn’t belong in the big red bubble!

    • Madge – LA is known for expensive food. San Francisco/Napa are known for GOOD food.

      • Kate

      • July 22, 2011 at 1:02 am
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      Great column, Debra! And your proposed state names are deliciously odd and sound either like medication names or vaguely naughty, with “Ariforxas” taking the cake in all categories. (I was reaching for an Area 51/State 51 bundle of repartee, but can’t quite get it to ripen. Ah, well.)

      As I was reading the first two-thirds, my brain kept sparking over to the Yolo Co. redistricting kerfuffle—and then BOOM (to quote John Madden) there it was! Yolo Co. redistricting kerfuffle writ large!

      As much as a significant portion of my Northern Californian soul (“northern California” just doesn’t read right) wants to cackle with glee about parts of Southern California exiting stage very-far-to-the-right, I’m brought up short when I think of what it would mean nationally if those very conservative counties set up house-keeping on their own. Statehood gets you two senators–in this case, likely two senate seats that would be held by the far right in perpetuity. I have no idea how many Electoral College votes a stand-alone State of Southern California would have, but I’m pretty sure that the Republican National Committee would be delighted with carving those out of the rest of California’s Electoral College votes.

    • Isn’t Humboldt county in NORCAL? Indeed they seem to be big meth users.

    • Debra, we have great food and not all is expensive.:)

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