7) The L.A.P.D. Shocked? Fear not, they also make an appearance on the naughty list, but kudos all around to the Fuzz for tracking down a suspect that stole $100,000 in valuables banked by Skid Row homeless in a Union Rescue Mission safe.
6) Kevin Federline. I can’t believe I’m typing this, but in California Superior Court, he’s what’s known as the “stable parent” who gets the kids.
5) The City of Barstow. Miss Barstow ascends to the Miss California throne following an “accounting error” which initially and falsely crowned Miss Los Angeles. It isn’t often that Barstow takes home an aesthetic prize for anything.
4) Jonathan Gold of L.A. Weekly. Gold won the Pulitzer Prize for his Los Anglophile culinary criticism this year and makes history as the first food critic to win journalism’s highest honor.
3) The Stanford Cardinal Football Team. A 41-point underdog to USC coming into the Coliseum, a season-spoiler coming out.
2) The Writer’s Guild of America (East and West). At long last, the guild finally took their money-grubbing showrunners and producers to task for the utterly pathetic remuneration they’d been receiving, sans most new media and DVD profits, since the last strike in 1988. I am sorry to all of those other Hollywoodites whose lives are collaterally affected by the strike, but let this last as long as it takes to prove that the pen is mightier than the parsimonious producer.
1) The firemen, volunteers and foul-weather friends of the October fires. Amidst the ash, embers and smoke, true heroism and high-pressure organizational skills combined to minimize the effects of what was a devastating course of dark SoCal days.
THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN UNDERACHIEVERS OF 2007:
7) Kobe Bryant. Congratulations. You’re way better than Michael Jordan at making people hate you. Here’s a day in the life of your 2007: score 60, trash everyone who cares about you, repeat.
6) Cardinal Mahoney and the L.A. Archdiocese. Regardless of what else happens on the other 364 days, just one day with a court settlement for $660 million in payment of sexual abuse scandals makes for a pretty rough year.
5) Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton. If, through a remarkable feat of patience and genetic engineering, these two could be combined into one entity with powers of privileged lunacy and overindulgence, anything one snorted up the other could cry out.
4) The L.A.P.D. Who knows what exactly happened during the MacArthur Park May Day immigration rally, but it wasn’t pretty for the rubber-bullet firing Boys in Blue.
3) Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Compared to the marital splitsvilles of ex-mayors Hahn and Riordan, maybe Antonio is an overachiever amongst such peers for forging his “romantic relationship” with a fox like Mirthala Salinas. But it’s a high price to pay for likely losing your shot at the Governor’s mansion.
2) Britney Spears and her so-called “life.” I mean, what else can I possibly say.
1) OJ Simpson. The Champ of the Underachievers, this South L.A. son didn’t give us a single freeway chase this time around, but, in the year’s greatest act of sheer, earth-shattering incomprehensibility, he’s now on trial for trying to steal his own autograph.
So whether you’re an overachiever or an underachiever, a proud Barstowian or an eyeshadowed Britney fan under a blanket, make peace with your year. 2007, we hardly knew ya.