When Will People Stop Being So Ridiculous?

I’m the first to admit that I’m hard on people. I judge. I’m a judger! I can’t help it though. I’m a writer. It’s my job to make judgements, formulate funny sentences about them, and relay it to you readers. Writers should always have an eyebrow raised at all times. If they don’t, they’re not doing their job.

“People are ridiculous!” is something I say almost daily because it’s true. They are. And you know where the most ridiculous of the bunch go to congregate and bask in their mutual ridiculousness? Los Angeles, duh! I’ve been here for almost three weeks because of the holidays and for other reasons that aren’t even that clear to me. I don’t mind it too much though because it means I get front row tickets to the Douchebag Show every day. It’s like the surreal gift that keeps on giving.

If Los Angeles is a Douchebag Show, then Malibu is essentially the stage where all the action goes down. I know this because that’s where my father, my stepmom, and little brother have lived for the past ten years. I grew up in the blue collar beach town of Ventura, California (sup meth and surfboards!) but when I was fifteen, my dad remarried a lovely woman who happened to live in Malibu and moved there shortly after getting hitched. For a few minutes, I entertained the idea of going to Malibu High but quickly decided against it because I wanted to avoid freebasing and Marc by Marc Jacobs at such an early age. (Well, maybe not Marc by Marc.) My little ten-year-old brother, however, has been born and raised in the ‘bu and even though he is as delightful as a ten-year-old can be, he’s still very much a product of his bizarre surroundings.

Last summer, I accompanied he and his eight-year-old friend on a play date and got to be witness to a few hilarious gems. The first one occurred on the car ride over to Hollywood where my brother’s friend told me, in his pipsqueak voice, “I’m fat. I used to be 94 pounds but now I’m 98.” I looked back at him and thought two things: 1. You’re gay, so have fun experiencing that revelation in the shower a few years from now and 2. ????!!!! I mean, I know people are body conscious here but to be complaining about your weight when you are actually just skin and bones is terrifying.

After I washed away that disturbing moment with a swig of my iced tea (California has the best iced tea, you guys. It’s basically the only thing keeping me here), we arrived at a taping of my stepmom’s television show. The experience was fun and largely occurred without incident. As members of the audience, we laughed on cue and heard funny jokes and stuff. What transpired afterwards, however, was on a Shia LeBeouf level of Disturbia. After prancing around on set, my brother’s body dysmorphic friend approached my stepmom in her office and, like a professional, handed her his headshots and gave her his agent’s information. “Let me know if a part on your show ever comes up. I would love to work with you.” My stepmom excused herself for a moment to pull her jaw up from the floor and then said, “Thanks! I’ll let you know!”

My brother’s others friends are just as strange. Two of them are actually named Lestat and Basquiat. Can you even deal with that? No. With names like that, your only career option is to become a psychic, an artist with a drug problem, a vampire, or a professional YouTube performer.

Outside of Malibu, things can be just as weird. Just the other day I was at my “office,” which is also known as Buzz Coffee, when a woman came in looking stressed but sedated.

Girl #1: OMG, hey babe. So good seeing you here.

Girl # 2: You too! What’s up.

Girl # 1: NM. Just going to rehab tomorrow…

Girl # 2: Really?

Girl # 1: Yeah, I’ve just been spiraling lately. I’m going to Cirgue Lodge in Utah — the one the Olsen Twins go to.

Girl # 2: Sounds great! (Let it be noted that this friend doesn’t feign any concern for her friend. She treats this information as normal and expected.)

Girl # 1: Yeah. But it’s the poorer one, like down the mountain, but it should be nice. I’m super excited to do Equestrian Therapy. (This is just like horseback riding……)

Girl # 2: Sounds really restorative.

Girl # 1: It will be. There’s no internet though!

Girl # 2: Are you kidding? (This is the most shocked this friend ever got.)

Girl # 1: No, and I’m like ADDICTED to the Internet.

Girl # 2: I know.

Um, so is she going to rehab for an Internet addiction? Unclear. What was clear, however, was that her friend didn’t bat an eyelash at the mention of rehab. If one of my friends — even a casual one — told me they were going into treatment, I would freak out and ask them a million questions. Not this dynamic duo though. Rehab is basically just a really expensive vacay.

So, yeah, don’t these people make you want to barf? Me too. I hate them but I’m also kind of obsessed with them because they’re just so delusional. When people do ridiculous things, it makes me lose faith in humanity but it also has the ability to make me laugh really hard, so whatever? Whatever. TC mark

image – David Shankbone

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • http://www.facebook.com/meleowyn Melanie Carriere

    I feel like you and I would be best friends. Hahah, you’re awesome.

  • http://unthoughtfulthoughts.wordpress.com/ Samurai

    I wish I could afford horse therapy for my Internet addiction

  • yy2k

    my eyes are watering i laughed so hard

  • db

    ‘I looked back at him and thought two things: 1. You’re gay, so have fun
    experiencing that revelation in the shower a few years from now and 2.
    ????!!!!’ – that is brilliant.

  • http://www.robbtodd.com/ Robb Todd


  • Asdf

    Two things:

    1. “judgements” should be “judgments”  

    No problem. This one is free. Just glad to be of service.

    2. “So, yeah, don’t these people make you want to barf?” 

    Totes. Can’t you see this is my vom face?

    • Anonymous

      Judgements/judgments can be written either way.  Just glad to be of service.

      • Asdf

        I believe you missed the point. I wasn’t saying “judgement” was invalid.It’s a British vs American thing, right? Since there’s no other indication of British English, the assumption would default to American usage. More of a stylistic suggestion than anything.

      • Anonymous

        I’m British and never been taught to specifically use the spelling with the ‘e’.   I think they’re interchangeable now, but maybe you’re right.

  • Laura

    Ryan, this post is what’s ridiculous (and amusing)… except I feel the same way about LA.  It’s nuts.  Malibu even more. Compare dinner conversations in the Hills vs. Greenwich Village … yeah, I had nothing to contribute to the one about so-and-so director casting so-and-so actor for so-and-so film being shot at the Warner Bros lot … and Oscar parties? (AKA frustrated actors gathering at home to watch the Oscars and then cry) … not my thing.  Anyway, LA has some interesting people but after a little less than two years, decided it wasn’t for me.  But, living in West Hollywood was nice.  And I, too, loved Buzz Coffee :)
    Now I’m in Bogotá.  People here aren’t ridiculous.  Only their driving.  Que viva Colombia!

    • Laura

      Also, I will say (at the risk of the super-intellectual-deep-LA person getting upset), I realize my comment is a sweeping generalization and LA has some awesome gems but nobody can deny that this is a huge chunk of what goes on.  Ryan is on point.

  • http://twitter.com/caitlinstewart caitlin stewart

    oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, i’m dying, this is so funny

  • AwesomeTown

    I try to stay away from Malibu.. it’s frightening.

  • Kareng

    hmm i usually likes what he writes.  not so much this piece.  it’s not real writing… more like just bitching.   

    • Kareng


    • guest

      it’s actually always bitching about the same thing

  • Aaron

    yahhhh ventura, ca!

  • ..well

    are gay people attracted 2 themselves?

  • chanman

    Hahaha!! Funniest piece on Thought Catalogue so far. Amazing. 

  • Rishtopher

    “Um, so is she going to rehab for an Internet addiction?”
    I literally burst out laughing!

  • http://www.facebook.com/grc15r Gregory Costa

    Oh, Ryan, you not ridiculous, you redunculous. 


    Hahaha! Exactly what I imagine SoCal to be like and why as a born-and-raised Chicagoian I’m scared to go there. Lestat and Basquiat… Lits can’t get over it.

  • Jessica

    I live right next to ventura have family that are raised malibuians and all my friends live in Hollywood and oddly enough this article is totally dead on. However, for all the people who aren’t californians that are shocked; I guess you just get used to it or something. Once you come and here and live here for a while nothing really shocks you anymore

  • Vanters

    I believe the South is known to hold the title for Best Iced Tea.  It’s like the only thing we have going for us.

    • ..well

      yeah..because the south dumps a cup of sugar into it. fat asses!

  • Chelseafc19

    I’m visiting my sister in Miami. This city is full of ridiculousness, especially  shopping at Bal Harbor mall is very similar. My mom wanted to get something to eat at the mall and we sat down to eat and behind us were two women with a child. One woman had two hermes bracelets on, a huge goyard bag, and a massive ring on her hand. The other woman was also draped in luxury, but the most shocking was that their daughter about 6 years old was wearing all burberry clothing. I suspected it was drug money, but who knows. We ate and then went to look around. I went into Tods to see if anything was on sale, and a 8 year old boy was complaining to his dad they didn’t have his size. I was like what the fuck, why isn’t that me. On our way home, we passed by probably 6 rolls royces and 5 bentlys in maybe 10 minutes. On the side of the highways, people will live in crappy houses and have like s500 mercedes parked in their driveways. Its really weird. 

    • beatrice

      ok that’s scary. People are too obsessed with branding and status, seriously, they should get over themselves

  • beatrice

    Spot an olsen twins photo and know it’s a ryan o’connell article

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

      yo, don’t hate on mary-kate

  • Jb

    Don’t take advice on what writers should or should not do from Ryan O’Connell. He’s barely a writer.

    I wish he’d take his stupid iced-tea and leave California forever. All he does is hate on it. If you hate it so much, do the world a favor and stop going there.

    All his posts rag on these vapid people around him. There IS a reason that vain and shallow bimbos orbit around him (and it doesn’t have much to do with Los Angeles or anywhere else). Does he ever consider that birds of a feather flock together? Of course not.

    • The queen of Venice

      Darling, I think you missed the point. O’Connell’s writing is funny because it’s self-aware without being just another vomit-inducing self-discovery journal entry. Of course he resembles these people, but this is what writers do: we separate ourselves from those we don’t want to become but are very close to becoming by observing the shit out of them. Take the ending, for example: “So, whatever? Whatever,” discounts everything he’s said in the above essay, leaving readers laughing at his OWN vapidity. It’s a joke at his own expense, and it’s (…I hope) intentional. In this context, even the overuse of the word “ridiculous” is brilliant and hilarious; it’s ubiquitous among our generation to the point of having lost meaning, and O’Connell gives it a modern definition. And JB, your post is actually hilarious. Sadly for you, you probably don’t recognize the irony in it, and you’ll never discover your true potential… heh

    • http://www.facebook.com/kismet137 Fanchon Chance

      I love how your post embodies the very tone and style of vapidity that you claim to detest so much in O’Connell’s writing, except the difference between you and O’Connell is that he’s actually doing it on purpose and in a tasteful way that’s actually hilarious, and you’re just being wretchedly hypocritical. Funny how that works.

  • chloe

    was laughing out loud very loudly and woke my sister – hilarious. I can totally relate, people are ridiculous and really it sucks/is sad (as in their lives are sad – depressing small towns etc) but what the hell we might as well laugh about it/at them

    • chloe

      also what show is your step mom on, because i would LOVE to google that

  • sweetpea

    That’s sad and hillarious.

  • Anonymous

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    • Anonymous

      Me: OMG, hey babe. So good seeing you try to help meYou: NBD, love!Me :GTFO!

  • likerain

    You are a writer. Yes.

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