There’ll Always Be a Berkeley

If we didn't hate Animal House so much, we're sure we'd come up with a line here.

Person the barricades! Berkeley students take over campus building! Copy editors on strike!

“We decided it was necessary to take action,” said Walden, a Middle Eastern studies and political science major. “A lot of people have been saying, ‘Who’s university? Our university.’ So we decided to put that into action.”

Mind you, that “who’s” required three bylined reporters.

So, what’s the ruckus about? California faces a gazillion-dollar deficit, and among the many unpleasant consequences, tuition’s going up 32 percent. So of course blockading a building is the rational response — “rational” here meaning they brought in enough food and water to last through four days of moral preening.

“Freshman Magali Flores, and ethnic studies major” (our j-school prof would murder us), explains what’s at stake:

“It’s horrible, how could they possibly do this?” she said of the fee increases.

Flores acknowledged the increase would not affect her because her family earns less than $70,000, and tuition remains free. However, she said that she’s already in debt from cost of living, registration fees, and books, totaling $10,000.

Which comes to — hold on a sec — $833 a month. Including rent.

We’re staunch supporters of accessible higher education (which was a lot more accessible when we were in college), and as a transplanted Californian, we think the tax system here is a fucking joke, going back a generation. But if you’re going to attend the state’s flagship university, is it too much to ask that you be a tad more intelligent about your protests?

UC Berkeley students take over building [SF Chronicle]

UCB Protest [Twitter]


Must we relive the 60s? As if it wasn’t bad enough the first time.

@redmanlaw: I think I’ve made out so far: “Peace. Love. Fuck the Man. Free the Berkley ( add number of your choice ) Smoke Weed. Hendrix!!!!!”.

@Benedick: I did this kind of thing in the late 60s. Can’t really remember why now. Possibly to meet girls.

Meanwhile, a bunch of kids at UCLA took over a building, named it after a couple of shot Black Panthers, and promptly forgot what the fuck they were doing.

The decision to take over Campbell Hall was not the only point of contention in the occupiers’ plan.

According to a student who was inside Campbell Hall during the occupation but declined to be named for privacy concerns, there was confusion and paranoia inside the building, as well as a clear lack of leadership.

“It didn’t seem like a cohesive group,” she said. “They didn’t seem to have a plan or an agenda, and there were some students in there that were not even aware of what [some tutoring program based in the building] is about and what the building really does.”

As for UC Berkeley, as you well know, saying anything more than “Fuck Cal” would dignify those hippie freaks more than is necessary and so I shall leave it at that. This is Big Game week, kids.

(If the LSJUMB brings this up tomorrow, I will be soooo happy.)

I’m sure they see themselves as the equivalent of the students in the streets of Tehran. Fucking posers.

If you can remember the Aughties, you weren’t there, man.

@Mistress Cynica: Di-fucking-to.

@Just Nabisco: When are they gonna bring back ‘ludes? I missed out on the qualudes, and now I want my ludes, dammit.

Not really a TJ: SF Mayor McDreamy, coming off his failed gubernatorial campaign, has been engaged in increasingly bizarre behavior the past two weeks. He’s skipping all of his public events, and then popping up at neighborhood libraries. Gavin screams at the press, and half of his staff has resigned. He takes off to Hawaii for a week without telling any of his staff or designating a member of the Board of Supes to be in charge when he’s gone.

And then he sat down for an interview with a local political reporter, and apparently his body was possessed by George W. Bush.

How else do you explain the bizarre Texas drawl (by a native San Franciscan), the evasive answers, the Hillary-esque hyena laugh, the head jerking, the surreal adherence to talking points (take a drink every time Mayor McDreamy says “working my tail off” or “I have been to 69 events in two weeks.”)

Make sure to watch to the end. The reporter finally asks him about our County/City budget deficit of $500 million, which Gavin said through the entire interview that he wanted to talk about, and he suddenly pulls a Prejean and storms off and flips off the reporter and yells at him.

Watch the breakdown here.

@chicago bureau: I’m going to go tomorrow to see if there are any tickets available at the gate for the Big Game.

Just about finished painting the living room tonight. Party over here! This time, I’ll paint the baseboards, unlike the last time I painted five years ago.

Check this shit out. Been quite the story around here these past couple of days:

“Nearly 40 Taos Pueblo tribal members were held in contempt Thursday evening (Nov. 19) after an apparent commotion in the courtroom following District Judge Sam Sanchéz’ refusal to reduce the sentence of a Pueblo man . . . the judge ordered them all in contempt and sent to jail.”

State Supreme Court ordered their release this afternoon:

Economic Collapse + Education Costs Jacked Sky High So No One Can Get Ahead ***OR INSTEAD*** Face A Lifetime Of Student Loan Indentured Servitude = Permanent Underclass, QED.

Are there no late night stinquers tonight? I am alone, my spouse has been away in Vegas since Monday, not to return till tomorrow night, I am a bereft corporate husband, I have nothing but you all.

Oh wow, what happens when we all hit “Submit” at the same time?

Do we flash forward?

$833 a month in Berkeley?!? Does that girl know how lucky she is to be that subsidized?

And why is it that you never see the Engineering or Biology or Journalism majors doing sit ins?

@Promnight: Swing by and it’s martini time after I’m done painting. I’m leavin the metal on, though.

@Original Andrew: There is no economy in the US for young people to go to work in. There is no economy for us olds to get work in, we are holding on to our jobs desperately until the time we are all outsourced overseas.

Clinton sold the deliberate destruction of our manufacturing base with the promise that we would remain the information and technical center of power. But no, it was a false premise, intellectual, information, and technological industries are 10 times more portable than bricks and mortar and foundry and assembly line industries, and that much easier to export overseas. Whatever it is that our best and brightest manage to invent and innovate, its that much easier to move the production of it overseas to indian and east asia, where they are simply amazing at immediately copying and undercutting.

I simply fail to see how we are not completely fucked, as a country, its all over, we are simply clinging to the wreckage right now, ladies and gentlemen, who among us feels that there is no danger to their job, their entire industry, from having the production aspect of it outsourced to somewehere in asia.


The information superhighway, means that the information industries, can use that superhighway to transport the work part of things anywhere in the world, and then back here, taking yet another job away from someone in this country, just because call center people in india work for 1/10th as much as they do here.

We are like the Romans in the 5th century, our empire is in inevitable decline, and we are helpless to stop it, and all just so desperate to keep what work we have, until such time as they find a way to allow indonesians to do it remotely.

We be truly fucked, this dynamic transcends anything in our politics, we invented this information technology that allows our greatest assets, pure intellectual inventive information technology, to be instantly and without cost, outsourced to any place where they can find bright, poor, desperate people willing to ape our innovations for one tenth the price.

We fucked. thats what we be.


If it’s any consolation, they tried to ship my job to India, but the work we got back was a hot mess–mostly written in British English, which I discovered is what they primarily learn there–so mgmt had to bring my work back to me.

@Original Andrew: So, you have some time left, only until they find people in india who know american english.


And did anyone think that all those laid-off auto workers were gonna become website designers or whatever?

People lately are going on and on about what’s wrong with Detroit? What happened to Detroit? Nothing unusual has happened at all, Detroit’s functioning exactly as designed–the unions and the middle class have been crushed successfully, and wealth is now flowing in the only acceptable direction: to the top 1%.

You might think the joke’s on them in an economy that’s 70% based on consumer spending, but the business analysts and economists–the real ones, not the showbiz assholes that end up on teevee–are telling us that US consumers are finished and that companies now have to market all their shiz to the emerging middle classes in the BRICs.

So now Russian housewives are gonna fill their houses with SkyMall shit that no one needs.

@Promnight: @Original Andrew:

Dude, where’s my Ark?

/and people interrogate me as to why I don’t breed? I’m doing my eggs a favor.

@Original Andrew: You are right.

Lets buy a big boat and establish a floating commune.

50 family units, 200 people. A small old cruise ship would have all the space and infrastructure needed.

50 families, 50 average US houses would cost what, $250,000 each? so for what you are paying for your house, combined with 49 others, combined we have $11 million in capital. We can buy a 500 foot cruise ship in operating condition for $5 million.

What I do not know is what costs would be to provide us with water and electrcity and sewage treatment and all that. But assume it would be within an order of magnitude of what it costs us in taxes and utility costs to live as we do, also, assume we would be using all available green tech, solar and wind and such.

Now, can we develop an economy? Growing pot is obviously a winner, but I fear the government would put a stop to that. But how about growing shitake mushrooms? Of course, many of us are skilled in IT, there could be that, but the possibilities are endless, what are the things that 100 people like us could do, thats a lot of talent and energy, that could make money?

And then, of course, could that income provide for the upkeep, maintenance, and running of that ship?

These are questions that are answerable.

@Original Andrew: Clinton did in fact give speaches in which he told the laid off manufacturing workers that they just needed to be trained to work in tech and IT. I hate him for that lie.


It might be more pragmatic to simply invest in a lifetime supply of opium and call it good. I smoked opium at a college party once and–swear to the FSM–a plane coulda crashed behind me and I wouldn’t have noticed nor cared. How intelligent, sane people in this country get by without opium is one of life’s mysteries.

One thing that I don’t get is that even modest houses in Seattle are still selling for half a million dollars or more. So somebody must be making Serious Bank, yeah?

@Original Andrew: I’d be happy if I could just lay my hands on some weed, but I know not a soul who can hook me up, and it simply cannot be had on the streets, anymore, at least not by a 50 year old preppy dude.

we were informed by the ringed face clerk at the hard rock cafe in orlando, that the place to get weed is valet. (at a friends son’s wedding) you pay him, and he brings your car with weed in the glove compartment. i was with all 4 of my college roomies, the first time we were all together since college.
weed was called for.
overshare: the priest kept calling the groom the wrong name. we were laughing so hard, i left the church and sat in the back of the car, in the middle, aiming the air vent so i could dry the crotch on my pants.

and i’m still in on the ARK. i’m free as a bird, we are renting our house. just tell me how much and where to board. ratbastard can conduct his business anywhere with a computer, scanner, and phone.
and he’s up for the ARK concept!

@chicago bureau: I was a student at UCLA when those shootings happened. The shooters were also black and not, so far as I know, associated with the cops. Not exactly Angela Davis material.

They wanted to raise the tuition here in fromage land to 12 euros a year, and there were RIOTS.

UH. That was 1200. But they’d still riot even if it was 12 euro.

@Promnight: How’d you miss that? Ludes were easily two, maybe semesters of college for me. It was fun loading up and walking into shit, only to realize how much damage you had done the next day when you’re body was no longer made of rubber.

ADD: self reflection and overshare: seeing how another three semesters were given over to lysergic, one wonders exactly when I did that thing called “studying” necessary to graduate. There must have been some overlapping, ludes and cubes and all that stuff. Ah yes, youth.

@Just Nabisco: I saved most of that for postgraduate studies. Except for getting stoned in the student-newspaper darkroom.

@Jamie Sommers: Yep, I definitely think so given the twitchiness. Plus he’s dealing with the crushing realization that he’s reached his peak politically. Pelosi’s seat isn’t opening up until she’s dead or decides to retire, and Mayor McDreamy would have to challenge the beloved gheyz representing SF in the Assembly and state Senate. Homeboy is at the end of the line.

@chicago bureau: Wow. Some things never change. At my alma mater, back in the early 90s, some students took over the main administrative building during a protest about need-blind admissions (we didn’t have it at the time), demanding to talk to the president. They scared the shit out of the staff that were in the building at the time. Several kids got arrested (including a friend of mine) when they refused to leave after the local police showed up.

The irony of the situation was that, while those kids were sitting on their asses having a sit-in bitching about the absence of the president, he was in New York raising funds for the school.

@Jamie Sommers:
ah, yes, ridin’ that train……..
i hate cocaine. when i met the RB he was having 8 ball weekends—every weekend. see i have this little mental illness. when i’m not depressed, my brain is naturally on cocaine, so when i sniff a line, i fly around the room like a baloon you blew up and let go.
prommie, how in the world did you miss quaaludes? the greatest drug ever invented? we were swimming in them at UM, what? none made it north past ft. lauderdale to UF???

oh, and the obvious other mental illness i have is thinking a guy doing 8 balls every weekend was a good idea. hey! he had horses!

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