I just came across this idiotic website proposing that Fresno change its name in order to, somehow, suddenly have a better image. To somehow be less of a punchline. The Fresnan has a great rundown of why this is probably the lamest revitalization idea ever, so I refer you there for background info and details. But I feel I need to contribute to the dialogue the way I know best: with mockery.

Here are some sample conversations that would occur after the name change.


EXT. After the UC Irvine graduation ceremonies, two graduates converse.

NATHAN: What are you plans now?

BETH: I’ve got a job lined up in Great Valley.1

NATHAN: Fresno? I saw the story on CNN about them changing their name. Yeah, ‘Great Valley’ makes the smog smell like tulips. Losers. Anyway, good luck.



INT. San Francisco cocktail party overlooking the Bay Bridge. SUSAN and ANNIE chat over cosmos.

SUSAN: …So that’s why I moved out here from Chicago. Where are you from originally?

ANNIE: I grew up in Central California.

SUSAN: Really? What part?

ANNIE: Um, Rancho Sierra.

SUSAN: Hm. Is that near Sacramento?

ANNIE: Well, it’s more south. It’s actually bigger than Sacramento.

SUSAN: Oh, I can’t believe I haven’t heard of it. Are you sure?

ANNIE: Yeah. Well, it used to be called Fresno.

SUSAN: Ohhh. That’s odd.



INT. Car driving up 99 towards Yosimite.

WIFE: I’m hungry. Let’s get something to eat in Fresno.

HUSBAND: You know they changed the name, right?

WIFE: Name of what?

HUSBAND: Fresno. It’s called Muir now.

WIFE: Why?

HUSBAND: They thought it would give them a better image or something. It’s ironic; the city went into massive debt just to change all the government letterhead and repaint police cars, not to mention the university and the businesses.

WIFE: Why would it give them a better image?

HUSBAND: I guess because people think of ‘Fresno’ as uncool.

WIFE: They think a new name will fix that?

HUSBAND: I guess.

WIFE: That’s the most retarded thing I’ve ever heard. Look, Kingsburg. Let’s eat here.



INT. High school gymnasium in Phoenix, Arizona. A college fair. Booths are set up and students mill around.

MALE STUDENT (approaching booth): CSUBT? Where’s that?

RECRUITER: In beautiful Blossom Trail, California. Most of the time we call it Blossom Trail State. Let me show you some–

MALE STUDENT: I’m a football player. I’m sure as shit not going to play for ‘Blossom Trail State’. See you in hell.

(Student walks off, another walks up.)

RECRUITER: Hello, there. Thinking about college in California?

FEMALE STUDENT: Blossom Trail? Isn’t that the city that changed its name because it sucked so much?

RECRUITER: Well, not exactly. But we’ve changed more than our name. Since then the city of Blossom Trail has reduced crime by almost 40%. And we’ve got a thriving downtown entertainment district where, by the way, our fantastic new BTSU satellite campus is located.

FEMALE STUDENT: What was it called before?

RECRUITER: The city? It was named Fresno, but let me tell you about the job opportunities that have been created for our graduates. Nearly 80 percent of–

FEMALE STUDENT: Frez-no. Why’d you change it?

RECRUITER: Um, well, it wasn’t really up to us. I just represent the university. Did you know our business program, in conjunction with the Blossom Trail City government, provides opportunities to–

FEMALE STUDENT: That seems… dumb.

RECRUITER: Yes, but–

FEMALE STUDENT: Don’t you guys have pride in your history?

RECRUITER: Funny you should say that, because–

FEMALE STUDENT: It’s kind of disgusting, if you think about it. If a student writes a shitty essay at your college, can they improve their grade by just changing the title?

RECRUITER: Of course n–


(She walks away.)



CLOSEUP of TV screen. Opening titles of late night show play.

ANNOUNCER: It’s the Conan O’Brien Show! Only on Fox! And now, here’s Conan O’Brien!

CONAN: Thank you, thank you. We’ve got a great show for you tonight. But first, did you hear about Dakota Fanning? Seems this time she’s really screwed up. Meth, orgies, dead puppies. Yikes. Hollywood insiders are saying this might be the end of her career; her reputation is ruined. Although… she could always try…. changing her name to Vineyard, California!

(Audience erupts with laughter)



  1. Actual possible proposed names. []

Blogger Olympics are so last month.

I haven’t been able yet to right up my experiences at the Second Annual Blogger Olympics, which took place on Saturday, April 25. The Games pitted Fresno-area bloggers against each other in a no-holds-barred, no-bars-held-unless-you-count-a-minigolf-putter-as-a-bar duel to the death in mini-golf, skee-ball, air hockey, arcade basketball, and Wii bowling. The Games were unofficially sponsored by The Beehive, which has the unofficial recap here.

The participants were, no particular order, as follows.

  1. Brodiemash of Dumb Drum.
  2. Kathy of The Beehive.
  3. Mike Oz of The Beehive.
  4. Adam of Gustav’s Groupie.
  5. Michael of Weird Fresno.
  6. Mikey of The Fresnan.
  7. Me of here and there.
  8. James of Taste Fresno/South of Sunnyside.
  9. Marisa of It’s Worth Recording.
  10. Roopam of CBS47.

Weird Fresno has some additional photos. A lot of other lazy bloggers have video and stuff but haven’t posted it yet.

What no one has mentioned, however, is the spontaneous act of blogger generosity (or bloggerosity) that occurred at Blackbeards. This may be because bloggers are, by our nature, humble and unassuming individuals, never ones to toot our own horn. However, as you know, I’m a maverick, so I toot often. Especially in bed, because no one’s around and I’m not ashamed anyway. It’s natural. Even Jesus did it.

So anyway. At Blackbeards, because we are all expert skee-ballers, this event left us with a stockpile of prize tickets (not to mention a few leftover tokens). We briefly considered trading them in for the rubber dead-rat-in-a-trap, but ultimately decided that it would be best to select one lucky child at random and present him or her with our valuable collection. This was nice enough, but what really made it a Christmas miracle was this: while we were standing around, I dropped one of my extra tokens into one of those dome things with the lights that go around and you have to hit the button when the light gets to you and it’s really pretty stupid if you think about it.

So I hit the button. Needless to say, but I will anyway, my expert eagle eye hit the light on the nose, causing the machine to spew forth up to and including 100 tickets to add to our loot! Next, we spotted a nerdy-looking kid in glasses who seemed like the type who’d grow up to be a lonely, self-loathing nerd who would of course start a blog. He was perfect. We chased him down through the arcade and cornered him on the upper level. He was confused and frightened.

“This is from Fresno bloggers!” we yelled, throwing the tickets and tokens at his feet. “Tell your friends!”

I think The Fresnan may have popped him one in the chin (just a light jab, not a knock-out blow) before we turned and left the kid crying onto the controls of Street Fighter.

We felt pretty good about ourselves after that. Pretty good, indeed.

The Fresnan

The Fresnan is a cool blog with a bunch of weird Fresno stuff. But what I like most about it is, I can find out what the hell is going on. The Starline website hasn’t been updated in months; I could try to become MySpace friends with a hundred different venues and promoters, and then sift through the cluster-eff of bulletins and updates; the Beehive makes me glance over a bunch of stuff I’m not interested in to get to what I want. But The Fresnan just gives it to me straight: what’s happening where, with just enough background info to get it done. Then I can go party. Which is what I do.

Slightly related: I saw these guys play twice. They sum up our city pretty well.