Satire: Behind the curtain: searching for the ‘Wizard of Oc’


I was one with the yellow brick road, the streets of gold, and the highway to hell (or as one indigenous to the left coast would say, the ‘freeway’ to hell), and now I have arrived. 3300 miles and I have arrived where exactly? Who the hell knows? Everything looks the same! When we still lived in New England she used to say, ‘Why should I have to go south to go north? It’s so confusing!’ But alas, with only a few interstates running through Boston, it’s actually much more confusing to navigate the uniformly unidentifiable sprawl and desert toll roads of ‘The OC’ than it is the four or so tree-lined interstates of the northeastern-most corner of our country. In the Land of Oc, you know you’re home when you have no idea where you are, let alone where you’re going, figuratively of course, but also quite literally.

This is the part where you say, ‘oh, but we thought we weren’t supposed to call it The OC because of that stupid TV show!’ Well, recently the Board of Supervisors here voted to change the county’s official branding to match the trendiness of its recent exposure, so now I’m told that it’s OK. In a move showcasing its fashion sense, wasting money still being very much in style here in our magical world of opulance, repression, and ‘Bizneyland,’ the Supes decided to update all county logos and letterhead at a cost of… well who cares, it’s a waste of money and a shallow gesture regardless… but it’s so typically OC! Here in the Land of Oc, you know you’re home when you’re so fake that you don’t know who you are anymore.

Why do they (still) call it Orange County anyway? I don’t see any orange groves! Hey Board of Supes: why not change the name of this wannabe utopia to something more appropriate like Anhourtogetanywhere County as an homage to the county planners’ apparent inability to build up instead of out, and their consumeristic drive to build more roads for those Beemers and Benzes instead of a real transit system, (I swear) intentionally creating the concept of the all-day rush hour? I love my Scion, but I don’t love it that much. And on the subject of cars, why do people here think that buying a $150,000 sports car with the windfall from selling junk bonds is just a-ok? For a place with so much God, it has so woefully little soul.

Why do we live in a conservative stronghold and yet our taxes and rates for government services continue to rise, all while the significance of liberty continues to diminish? No taxation without representation, right? Here in the Land of Oc, you know you’re home when you don’t know why you continue to work so hard to make someone else rich, but you do it anyway for that carrot dangling from that stick, until you realize that there is no finish line to move.

What do our politicans here do about our problems? I suspect the same thing they do every night Pinky: try to take over the world. Not fix it mind you, just take it over. What can we do about it? Umm…

You know you’re in the Land of Oc when you don’t know what to do. So it’s off to see the wizard.

How can he help you? He can give you a heart, or maybe some courage, perhaps even a brain, but he can never send you home, even if you wear the rubiest of ruby slippers, for the Land of Oc is La-La Land Lite, Room 666 of the Hotel Calilfornia. You can run screaming back down the yellow brick road, but you’ll never get far or away for long. You’ll be tainted, twisted even, and scratching the walls as your brain explodes at the mere prospect of another moment in the shallow end of the intellectual pool… but it will all be in vain. ‘You will be assimilated…’

How did it end up like this? Maybe we should change the name of our county for real. I think we should call it Lynn County. You see, back in the Boston area, ‘Lynn, Lynn, is the city of sin, and you’ll never come out the way you went in.’ Ironically, Lynn tried to change its name to the more Oc-propriate Ocean Park. The measure failed, thankfully. But hey, sorry, I happen to be particularly fond of the limerick!

You know you’re in the Land of Oc when you spend a majority of your time trying to figure out how to escape from it… but there is no escape – no matter how good your intentions. All you can do is try to make it a better place, but in the end, the harder you work, the brighter you shine, although it does nothing for you because even the brightest light gets sucked into a black hole.

How to cope? Get off the carousel. Stop and smell the roses, be lazy once in a while, ignore the class war, and most importantly, keep it real in ‘The Real OC’ people, because the reality is, when our systems soon collapse under the strain of the massive, wasteful, destructive, and sometimes outright deceitful market pressures of the last 30 years, that neighbor’s Ferrari won’t look so hot anymore. After all, he can’t eat it.