1. Pissing us off pisses us off.
We’re put off by loud, confrontational behavior. We are passionate people that frown on a loss of composure. Take your anger and channel it towards something productive. Spare us your expletive-laced, brain-dead megaphone.
2. Claim California is dead.
We are very much alive, and there are many of us. At times, we struggle with a rapidly evolving sense of identity, but we have very much to offer. Those of us who have chosen to stay and manage to thrive are certifiable badasses.
3. Complain about the traffic.
California became infatuated with the motor vehicle after World War 2. Owning a car became a symbol of freedom, prosperity, and individuality. Since then, our population has quadrupled. Indeed, our misplaced idealism has backfired. California’s traffic crisis is a monumental knot to untangle. Imagine trying to overhaul the primary means of transit for forty-million people. So, um, yeah Dude, it’s like a sore subject, you know. Proposed solutions abound, including a high-speed rail currently under construction that could potentially connect all of California’s major metropolitan areas.
4. Mention the California surf cliche.
In a populous state plagued by water shortages, economic peril, and commuter gridlock, surfing, albeit extremely fun and worthwhile, is comparatively irrelevant.
5. Mistake Los Angeles for our collective identity.
Northern California folks particularly take offense to this one. Some of us even propose that Northern and Southern California should be two different states. Like it or not, LA is the largest city in California with a population just shy of 4 million — a vast, dynamic urban landscape offering a competitive array of opportunity. Basically, the biggest, loudest kid in the room (San Diego ranks second at approx. 1.4 million). However, California’s identity is culturally and geographically kaleidoscopic. Well over 200 languages are represented in LA, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland combined. Furthermore, the Bear Republic is home to the hottest desert (Death Valley), the highest peak (Mt. Whitney), and biggest tree (General Sherman, Sequoia National Park) in the contiguous United States.
6. Assume our homeless population reveals some sort of collective ethical flaw.
How would you like it if your hometown, blessed with abundant resources and a temperate climate, was overburdened with 21 percent of the US homeless population?
7. Rant belligerent fluff politics in public.
Research your facts, create an informed position, and take it to the ballot box. If you must discuss politics with strangers, try and keep a cool temperament, and show some respect. Present an intelligent, well-informed position based on valid evidence. Remember, REAL LIVE PEOPLE are at stake whose quality of life depends on the aptitude of our elected government officials.
8. “Governator” jokes.
First of all, he’s been out of office since 2011. Enough already. Second of all, maybe Arnold Schwarzenegger’s governorship isn’t so absurd: “In 1849, American California had invented itself as a state through a sheer assertion of will, and so had Arnold Schwarzenegger invented himself through sheer force of will as a bodybuilder, a businessman, an actor, and a viable political candidate strengthened in this process by his astute and equally determined wife, author and television journalist Maria Shriver, and through her the entire Shriver-Kennedy legacy, now translated to California” -Kevin Starr.