Berkeley’s Ugly Underbelly

by | Nov 19, 2004

Berkeley is a wonderful place. It’s pretty. It smells good. There’s no better place for espresso anywhere in North America. I could go on.

Then there’s the down side. Due to the town’s progressive history and the locals’ tolerant attitudes (and perhaps the mild climate), an inordinate number of nut jobs call Berkeley home. Scratch that. They’re not crazy, they’re crazy about politics, particularly of the leftist variety. I know. For a short time I worked as a development officer for the Bay Area Green Party, and it was a scarring experience. Here’s but one example. I had written a letter to the local Whole Foods Market–arguably one of the most progressive companies in America–asking them for support. As it turns out, this outraged the head of the East Bay Greens, for the store was not unionized.

Tonight, I came across this wonderfully apt image from the “How Berkeley Can You Be?” parade and it brought back a flood of memories.