Welcome to California, the Golden State. Here we find the happiest place on earth, rocks that roll, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. It is the greatest state in the Union. In this realm we have sizzling beaches, remote mountainsides, pristine deserts and a total of five active volcanoes. And cradled in the very center of this fine land is a sizzled, remote, desert of a municipality with all the charm and fresh air of Pompeii.

Welcome to Fresno, the mole on America’s otherwise very attractive backside.

Finding itself in the Armpit of California, both in spirit and in geography, this city is by far the worst thing to ever happen to its inhabitants. It has been named the City Addicted to Meth. It is considered the seventh poorest city in the nation. It has the second worst air quality in the nation. It has been declared the drunkest city in these united states. And three hours from either the coast, the mountains or Disneyland, you have to drive through us to get somewhere better.

It’s hot here, it’s foggy here, it's boring and flat here. How do we possibly go on? Well, because its ours, goshdamnit.

Fresno is the world's largest small town.

That’s not a compliment. It’s a crammed Population of over half a million and everybody still seems to know each other. It’s disgusting. But it's also rather charming to recognize the same dreary faces whether you are in hippie Tower District, yuppie Riverpark, or apathetic Fashion Fair.

It’s 105 degrees outside and we hate everything.

While the rest of California gets to surf home from work to their swimsuit-model spouses, Fresno gets to slowly deep fry its citizens in sunstroke and cynicism. Unfortunately, as I complete the previous sentence, Arizona just sent me a package. Enclosed was the world’s smallest violin. Fair enough, I guess.

Fresno is in the unironic middle of nowhere.

It only exists because wild west railway workers got so lost, that they gave up and built themselves a society of self pity of which their descendants have yet to find our way out of. It is a land that is flat and depressingly agricultural. Then again, “rush hour traffic” is some foreign L.A. curse that we remain untroubled by. And there’s something liberating about a city with its own movie theatre and yet no fear of being important enough to bomb in the event of nuclear apocalypse.

The people are just rubbish.

No, I’m serious. We are barking hoodlums who take college football and bulldog-related merchandise way too seriously. We are farmers and walking belt buckles whose sunburnt necks give new meaning to the phrase “red spot in a blue state”. We are coffee shop loitering hipsters, off-brand valley girls, and bored west-coast wastrels. Yet for all that, we are a proud people with proud tough-as-nails attitudes. The city’s rich cultures of Armenian, Hmong, Latino, and Japanese Americans show how people flocked here because there was absolutely nothing better available at the time. We’re basically California’s Australia. That’s pretty B.A.

Finally, we hate this city with every fiber of our being because it's home. Fresno is a black hole; a metropolitan purgatory that we resent the same way a teenager resents its parents' taste in music and their unconditional love. However, it’s our black hole and we love it for no other reason than puerile stubbornness. Which is how the whole world feels about its respective hometowns. And to the whole world I say always remember this old Fresnan proverb: at least we don’t live in Bakersfield.