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Robert Tamayo

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What Happened to California?

California used to be cool. What happened? It used to be a state people admired. People wanted to move to California for the weather and for countless other reasons described in dozens of popular songs, from "California Dreaming" to "California Girls".

Now, people are afraid of Californians moving to their states. Aside from politics, what are the reasons for California's decline?

1. Hollywood is Not Cool


Hollywood used to be cool. People will say there are other reasons for why "the movies" aren't enjoyed by people like they used to be, but I think there are two main reasons why Hollywood is no longer cool. The main one is that they don't make good movies. The stories and characters are not of the quality they used to be, and this is hurting them badly. The second reason is that Hollywood is not producing actors that people want to be. The great actors and cool actors and funny actors are all in the past. The new, popular actors replacing them lack the charisma and looks to fill their shoes. For this reason, Hollywood ends up shooting itself in the foot by casting the aging actors in the same handsome and beautiful roles they've been playing for 20 years.

The worst mistake Hollywood made was focusing on comic book movies for the past 15 years. Superheroes are fun and all, but they are nerdy. And nerds are not cool. So, Hollywood will never be cool as long as it keeps making superhero movies.

2. Nerd Culture is Not Cool


Nerds are, by definition, not cool. They will never be cool. That's why they're nerds. Their interests are too technical and specific to be enjoyed by the mainstream. The casual, laid back California culture known for surfing, skating, and beautiful women has been replaced by Silicon Valley tech culture. Somehow, tech culture started to become mainstream, or at least it tried. To understand how tech culture is not mainstream, consider what is popular among the userbases of all the major startups that emerged during the last 15 years. Almost none of it glorifies the technology and engineering powering the like-button apps.

As Silicon Valley grew, the northern parts of California started to become a new focus of state migration. Nerds came from all over the country to work in the Bay area. No longer did we have a dominant migrating class filled with handsome, beautiful, and talented people coming here for fame, glory, and fashion, but instead a growing influx of socially inept nerds.


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