March 29, 2010

"Here, it's tie-dye and marijuana. It's just like the 1960s, with the Vietnam War still to protest."


John Yoo, back at Berkeley, endures his environs.

"I think of myself as being West Berlin during the Cold War, a shining beacon of capitalism and democracy surrounded by a sea of Marxism," Yoo observes, sipping iced tea in the faculty club lounge, a wan smile registering the discomfort of colleagues walking by en route to the bar.

He sees his neighbors as the human figures of "a natural history museum of the 1960s," the Telegraph Avenue tableau of a graying, long-haired, pot-smoking counterculture stuck in the ideology's half-century-old heyday.
He's happy in Berkeley, he says, and that's something I understand.

27 comments:

ironrailsironweights said...

I'll bet the hippie chicks in Berkeley still look like women did back in the 1960's, if you catch my drift. Yum!

Peter

former law student said...

I can see Yoo's in Berlin, but the Fuehrerbunker seems a more appropriate metaphor. The same mind who redefined waterboarding as not-torture could well come up with the slogan "Labor liberates."

garage mahal said...

At least we don't have crazy religious militia groups running around in our liberal enclaves. Maybe that's why conservative elites like to live in them.

wv - bullit

JAL said...

Heh. Sort of like an "anthropologist from Mars" type experience.

My husband and I periodically do a reunion thing with a group made up primarily of people who are still demonstrating (in their heads) against the Vietnam War.

When we do go (much less in recent years) we always walk away asking ourselves "Why did we do that?"

So we're not. Life is too short for any serious forays into the parallel universe of the 60s and 70s.

JAL said...

"Conservative elites" condemn things like what you are talking about GM.

Your fringe drops sand bags off highway bridges onto cars and throws bricks at busses with Republican Convention delegates and all we hear is


{crickets}

Hoosier Daddy said...

At least we don't have crazy religious militia groups running around in our liberal enclaves.

Wait...didn't Michigan, Ohio and Indiana vote for Obama?

Julius "Ray-the-Raghead" Hoffman said...

You know, pot smoking and Leftist culture only go hand-in-hand for you of the older Woodstock-y generation.

Plenty of young, and not so young, anti-Leftist libertarians smoke pot.

Plenty of young, and not so young, capitalists smoke pot.

Young, and not so young, neo-imperialists and neo-federalists smoke pot.

Even, dare I say it, a conservative or two has been known to smoke pot.

People of all sorts smoke pot!

Teh Marijuana does not belong to Teh Berkeley.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Conservative elites" condemn things like what you are talking about GM.

That's the irony. I don't know of many conservatives out there rooting for those who want to kill law enforcement officers. On the other hand there are no shortage of liberals who chant FREE MUMIA!! you know, the guy who did kill a law enforcement officer.

Andre said...

Tasteless though he may be, GM has a point. They make terrible countries, but man can lefties make a nice urban enclave. You know after the price out the poor people and turn that oh so gauche industrial factory into some (admittedly awesome) artist lofts.

It's amazing what you can do when you're not seriously interested in economic growth.

Hoosier Daddy said...

That's the thing, I don't hear any conservatives condemning it. Oh well.

Well garage, conservatives are solidly on record supportng law enforcement and generally being complete hardasses on prosecuting criminals so it goes without saying.

On the other hand, liberals are solidly on record hindering efforts of law enforcement in monitoring, tracking down and eliminating terrorist plots and bending over backwards to free or prevent murdering thugs from being executed.

Nice try though.

Robert Cook said...

John Yoo: facilitator and apologist for war crimes, and self-serving ass.

edutcher said...

I'm not surprised Berkeley hasn't changed much (wasn't it Alpha who said for some people (meaning Conservatives), it's 1969? I guess these people didn't get the memo). Ironically, if you look at the science departments, they actually do some good academic work. A lot of companies like Cisco were born out of projects at Berkeley.

ironrailsironweights said...

I'll bet the hippie chicks in Berkeley still look like women did back in the 1960's, if you catch my drift. Yum!

Blech!! You mean the ones who looked like a bag of dirty laundry?

garage mahal said...

If conservatives were such stalwarts on law enforcement, you would think this would be the first thing they would want to condemn. Instead, on some conservative blogs, you see the opposite. War against the United States? Sedition? Wow.

The Zero and his friends aren't the United States, although people like you wish they were. Which, of course, is funny since your friends are constantly talking about this country not being "the United States I know".

Blogs are talking "sedition" (ever hear of John Adams and the Alien and Sedition Acts? Remember how that worked out?) about an administration and Congress which seems to have forgotten who "We The People" are. You know, all that icky, "When in the course of human events", stuff that guy Jefferson wrote.

You know, the one the Demos pay lip service to once in a while.

traditionalguy said...

Garage...It is Big News that shaped-charge IEDs are now standard issue Christian equiptment. The Moslems are actually frightened of that news, because they would not hesitate to do it themselves. At this rate we Christians will become as feared as apartment builders in a Jewish neighborhood.

Alex said...

They make terrible countries, but man can lefties make a nice urban enclave. You know after the price out the poor people and turn that oh so gauche industrial factory into some (admittedly awesome) artist lofts.

Yeah "new urban gentrification", aka getting rid of all those icky minorities to make room for progressive white hipster types with money from daddy!

Michael said...

GM: Why would you conflate the whacked out religious militias with conservatives? Because they claim to be Christians? Or do you draw the conclusion that they are tea party people at an advanced stage of derangement? Frankly from what I have read they sound like a bunch of crazy lefties to me. Who else in our history has a habit of planning to and actually killing police?

Synova said...

I enjoyed Berkeley... at least the city itself. It's colorful and fun.

The college students are insufferable... princes of creation they are... and generally mistaken of their wonderfulness... privileged children.

They might get over it eventually. Maybe.

John Stodder said...

How could you not be happy in Berkeley?

1) The weather is almost as good as LA's, and much better than SF's. When I went there, the weather virtually tracked LA's but, say, three degrees cooler.

2) As others have said, leftist politics might fall apart under logical scrutiny, but they also leads to fine food, great coffee and excellent used book stores. The foodie revolution started there with Chez Panisse, which started out as sort of a vegetables-for-the-people-cult, but evolved into the first true American haute cuisine.

3) I was there before political-correctness had really formed into a set of codes and enforcement mechanisms. In those days, arguments could be quite heady because non-leftist students felt just as free to pursue their ideas as the stereotypical Berkelyite. I suspect that's still true, albeit not so much in the lecture halls.

4) If you pay attention to local politics, you get the fun of watching elected officials to the left of Obama be derided as right-wing tools.

I'll think of more later. But it never surprised me for a moment that John Yoo emerged out of the Berkeley environs. It's a place where ideas are taken to their logical extremes.

John Stodder said...

What has harmed Berkeley most of all is strict rent control, instituted in the early 80s. Basically, the student body extant at that moment has hung onto its great apartments even as they climbed the income ladder, leaving actual students to find housing in Oakland, Albany or the East Bay 'burbs. There are nowhere near enough dorm rooms for even the undergraduates, but the only way you can get an apartment like the ones I had, walking distance from the campus, is via the kind of maneuvering typical in Manhattan -- bribes, and reading the obits.

Kirby Olson said...

Yahoo for Yoo!

mariner said...

On the other hand, liberals are solidly on record hindering efforts of law enforcement in monitoring, tracking down and eliminating terrorist plots and bending over backwards to free or prevent murdering thugs from being executed.

While at the same time, they're solidly on board with using government and criminal force to silence people who don't agree with them.

mariner said...

re: Berkeley

It's a place where ideas are taken to their illogical extremes.

Fixed that for ya.

cathy said...

I live pretty near Berkeley. I think Telegraph has some corners where if one guy leaves, another that looks like him has to come and take his place. How can they have such a plan for 40 years? It's beyond real. Like maybe a ghost just takes over the new guy.

Blue@9 said...

I'll bet the hippie chicks in Berkeley still look like women did back in the 1960's, if you catch my drift. Yum!

No, but they smell the same.

The problem with hippie chicks (apart from the smell) is that most are overweight and they carry their weight in the most unfortunate places.

The problem with hippies in general is problem with any group of people who feel they've attained some moral superiority: They treat other people like crap. Hippies love humanity; humans, not so much. Nowhere will you find a more despicable group people than Berkeley hippies. Just try shopping at the Berkeley Bowl (a grocery store). I dare you.

William said...

I saw Yoo on John Stewart. He has an equable disposition and a civilized sense of humor. He deflected Stewart's jibes with reason and courtesy. This man is patently not a monster. If he were a Democrat, there would be discussion of his compelling back story, but no scholarship achievied nor hardship endured can make up for the fact that he is a Republican......Liberals who expect the electorate to fund their institutions would be wise to tolerate a few conservatives in their midst. Beserkley might have cause to have someone like John Yoo speak up on their behalf.

Paul said...

Berkley has good weather? You're crazy. It's famous for being directly across the bay from the Golden Gate and gets slammed by the fog and cold wind even before the protected parts of SF like the Mission District. Oakland can be warm and sunny while you freeze your butt off in Berzerkely.

It is filled with unattractive people and is as depressing as Oakland is. Yuck. I go there when I must but there are few places in the Bay Area less appealing as far as I'm concerned.

And I was born in Berkeley too.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I go there when I must but there are few places in the Bay Area less appealing as far as I'm concerned.


Ditto that. I grew up in the Bay Area and the East Bay, Berkeley in particular is dismal....> weather wise. Prevailing winds and all.

Pretty dismal in most other respects as well.

Underneath the veneer of Bezerkly elitists asshole hippiedom lies a layer of people just trying to get along. Painting contractors in tired pickup trucks. Landscape workers grubbing in the dirt. Waitresses standing on their bunioned feet. Fry cooks in the corner restaurant.

These people don't deserve the tar and feathers that Berkely has earned.

Yoo needs to get out a bit beyond the time warp of Berkely academia and meet some real people

Gabriel Hanna said...

I've been to Berkely twice in the last year to do experiments at ALS. My professor got his Ph.D. there; he grew up in Montana and said at Berkely he always wanted to punch people.

First thing we saw on the way from the airport: a sign proclaiming "Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd" and underneath it "Nuclear-free zone".


Only place I've been where that have parking reserved for Noble laureates. And the best food I've had anywhere.

Still, there's a lot of hippies. We had got there just after the riots. The grad student with us had been a conscript in Eritrea's war with Ethiopia. When he and his fellow college students tried to protest their government they were arrested, beaten, starved, and kept in jail for months. Eritrea did not allow him to leave the country, since they have compulsory military service until the age of 40. So to go to school in the US he first had to escape Eritrea, on foot, to Sudan; which is why, he said, he was late for orientation. He can never go home.

I wonder what he made of the rioting hippies.