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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

51 Reasons California Is America's Best State

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 11:19 AM

click to enlarge CALSIDYROSE

First, Gawker started counting down the worst American states in order. (California ranked #46.)

Then the good folks at SF Weekly's sister papers in Minnesota (#45) and Texas (#13) took issue with this, and both dug deep to try to prove that their states are actually America's best.

Both papers mustered lists of 50 reasons, which is impressive, given what they have to work with.

In California, we don't have to work to make a case at all. All you have to do is open a window, and the case for CA supremacy is closed.

S0, it's probably cruel of us share to this list of what is already obvious. But 51 items came to us during an idle moment this morning, as we lay beneath one of this state's many orange trees, feeling a sweet Pacific breeze tease our hair, and listening to Otis Redding sing "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay," the greatest pop song yet penned and performed by an American.

Why 51? Because Cali is above and beyond, y'all.

51. The only facts of American life that Irving Berlin got around to celebrating in "God Bless America" are the mountains, the prairies, and "the ocean white with foam." Start just off the California coast and head east, and chances are you'll hit all three within a hundred miles.

50. Robinson Jeffers, the great poet of the central coast, reminds us that no matter how many ugly houses we throw up, the majesty of Carmel Point is undiminished. (Also, in that poem, "Carmel Point," he pretty much coined the term "spoiler.")

49. You know all those talented writers and performers who used to live in your state? You should come visit them!

click to enlarge MCATALENA

48. The tacos. Sweet Jesus, the tacos.

47. Often, those tacos are brought in what we call "food trucks," long a California staple. Look for a trend piece on them in the local style section of every major-city daily newspaper anytime now.

46. Death Valley National Park is both unspeakably beautiful and a chilling glimpse of America's global-warming future. And all that barrenness is offset by life: In 2009, California had 81,500 farms -- and that's just the ones growing crops legal enough to report.

45. We know it might be upsetting when state border workers take your fruits away upon entry. But, really, you won't need them, because we've got fruit enough for everyone.

44. The Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa houses a collection of over 6,000 Peanuts strips -- most of them not those iffy '80s ones about Spike.

43. We're egalitarian. All ideas, no matter how batshit, wind up on the ballot.

42. California boasts two world-class cities: Los Angeles and San Francisco. No other state can say the same.

41. By the same token, "L.A. face and an Oakland booty" has no out-of-state equivalent. Just try swapping in "Bronx" and "Albany."

40. And those cities are competitive for best in the country, too. Gorgeous, brainy S.F. is like Boston plus porn and minus the racism. Meanwhile, Moe the bartender once observed that L.A. is like "someone stepped on New York and scraped it off on the beach."

39. Speaking of The Simpsons, it doesn't matter where Springfield is. The show -- like almost everything else in our media culture that anyone enjoys -- comes from here.

38. You know how in Steinbeck the Okies had such a miserable time getting here, and then they were disappointed when the reality did not live up to their Edenic dreams? They still stuck around for generations, so this must have been better than heading back.

37. We are the world's breadbasket, just with porn, not bread.

36. Only twelve states are less obese than us, and none of them have a diet named for them.

35. As if to apologize for giving the world McDonalds, we gave the world In-N-Out Burger.

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Alan Scherstuhl

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