By Alie Ward, Metromix – March 3rd, 2008

      Call on Greg Proops — he has all the answers. As sage as your elders — or clinical psychologists — might be, sometimes what your toughest quandaries deserve is the flawed and myopic advice of a jaded comedian. We asked Greg Proops to bridge California’s north-south rift for one reader:

Q: “Not to totally generalize, but why do people from San Francisco complain so much about L.A.? And can I do anything to make them shut their squawking pie-holes?”

      A: To answer your two-part question, let us first address your syntax. By not totally generalizing you have, like, totally generalized.

      We Friscans complain about L.A. because you persist in using expressions like “totally” well past your teen years. As for generalizing, you are not. We each and all do complain about L.A. incessantly because SF is prissy, parochial, provincial and convinced of our own superiority. This is based on the fact we are small and quaint and quiet and cosmo. L.A. is vast and scary and has no center. This disturbs our delicate creative sensibilities. San Franciscans are worried about the world and getting high and drinking coffee and dressing in somber black and finally one day writing that book. People in L.A. actually work hard each day to succeed in showbiz. We resent that. Working hard and succeeding are shallow. Complaining and worrying and organizing a march to save the ground squirrel is deep and important.

      I find the whole deal a one-way rivalry. Angelenos tend to love Frissy. That makes you weak in our eyes.

      To answer the second part of your question, first, I am thrilled to hear the term “pie-hole” back in use. The answer of how to shut our squawking pie-holes is: Take us to L.A. for vacation and run us around all the sites and joints and cool stores and beaches and bookshops and the giant Amoeba records, and like a child we will grow wide-eyed, then exhilarated, then pass out in the back seat on the way back from Disneyland, exhausted, with a churro in our hand and visions of moving to Silverlake dancing in our heads. That will shut us up until we get back to our Victorian flat in San Francisco and tell everyone how ugly L.A. is. It is in our nature.

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