EppsNet Archive: Berkeley

It’s Hard to Tell the Violent, Intolerant Fascists Without a Scorecard

2 Feb 2017 /

Sometimes it’s hard to remember which side the violent, intolerant fascists are on. 🙂

Mario Savio is spinning in his grave (I hope) . . .


Shake it Off (aka Haters Gonna Hate)

6 Oct 2016 /

A Chinese woman tells me that being around white guys inhibits her ability to make edgy (i.e., racist) comments about white guys . . .

I reply, “White guys didn’t get to be what we are by peeing in our pants and crying for our mamas every time someone calls us a name. Haters gonna hate. That has been amply demonstrated. We’re just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake it off.”

 

Some people are offended by absolutely everything, some people are offended by nothing, and everyone else is somewhere in between.

The people at the easily offended end of the spectrum get most of the attention. People who hear a trigger word or a dog whistle that wouldn’t bother a normal person and they’re bleeding out all over the place like hemophiliacs. That’s where most of the focus is, it seems to me. It’s a distorted view of reality.

My son went to college at Berkeley. I’ve been there a lot and I can tell you that if 100 people are blocking Sather Gate to protest a microaggression, when you watch the news that night, you see the 100 people, as though that’s the totality of what was happening.

If you weren’t there, you might think “Wow, the whole campus is in an uproar!” but what you don’t see are 25,000 other people ignoring the 100 protestors, going to class and trying to get on with their day.

If you weren’t there, what you see is not really what was happening.

Sather Gate protest

 

Ten years ago, my son’s junior high school had a co-ed pickleball tournament. The results were posted on the school web site. If a team name contained any sort of cultural reference, the P.E. teacher in charge of the tournament wouldn’t put the name on the web site without deliberately misspelling some of the words.

For example, 3 White Guys and a Hindu became 3 Wite Gus and a Hidu, because identifying someone as white, male or Hindu would be unacceptable.

The team name 3 Blondes and a Brunette came through untouched for some reason. Why people allowed to self-identify as white girls (i.e., blondes), but not as white guys or Hindus I don’t know.

The weirdest one to me was 4 Asians and an Idiot, which came out as 4 Ans and an Idiot.

I asked my son, “Who’s the idiot?”

“Some white guy,” he said.

“Why is it okay to call someone an idiot but not an Asian?”

“It’s not racial.”

True . . . there are idiots of all races.

 

Those kids are all in their early 20s now. They’re just coming into the real world, the next generation, and I’m optimistic about the fact that despite schools and others telling them that they should be offended by absolutely everything, they’re not offended by anything.

They have a sense of perspective, a sense of humor, and I think they’re going to be okay.


2015 Cal Graduation Video

15 May 2016 /

I have a short video from the Haas Business School graduation last year, I don’t think I ever posted it . . .


Chillin’ With the Chancellor

16 Apr 2016 /
Me and Chancellor Dirks

I was walking west on Durant crossing Telegraph a block south of the UC Berkeley campus (see map below) when I saw a couple of good-looking yellow labs, probably less than a year old, crossing in the other direction.

I was so focused on the dogs that I didn’t notice until I had passed them that they were being walked by none other than the chancellor of the university, Nicholas B. Dirks, and his wife.

Gee, I wish I had gotten a photo with him but rather than run back across the street after him like a nut, I walked north to Bancroft and turned right to parallel the way he was walking on Durant. At the next street, Bowditch, I turned right again toward Durant to see if I could intercept him, which I did.

I’m staying at the Berkeley Lab Guest House, a university facility . . . when I got back to the place, I showed my Dirks photo to the guy at the front desk.

“Recognize this guy?” I asked. “Not me, the other guy.”

“No.”

“It’s Chancellor Dirks.”

“I’ll have to Google him.”

He reminded me of the guys asking Jack Nicklaus for his security badge at the Masters.


Admit One

24 May 2015 /
/
/

Berkeley Commencement 2015 (Photos)

22 May 2015 /

Goodbye Berkeley

20 May 2015 /

Oh to be young and strong and accomplish a longtime goal! Goodbye Berkeley, it’s been a great four years …

graduation: casey and andrew


Now What?

15 May 2015 /
Sather Tower (the Campanile) looking out over ...

We’re in Berkeley for Casey’s graduation tomorrow . . . we got a text from him earlier this week saying “I just took my last two college exams.” Thus ends a journey that began 17 years ago on the first day of kindergarten, which I feel like I remember too vividly for it to have been 17 years ago, but it was.

Now what? I don’t mean for him . . . he’s got a job lined up in San Francisco. I mean for me. I’ve had the milestone birthdays — the ones where your age ends in zero — that seem to depress a lot of people . . . they didn’t bother me at all. But my boy becoming an independent person in the world is really disorienting me . . .


Shattuck and Durant, Outside Pegasus Books

15 May 2015 /

Shattuck and Durant


Pre-Graduation Photos

11 May 2015 /

The Graduate

Graduates


California Sky

23 Jan 2015 /

California sky


One of Those Things That You Never Forget

14 Oct 2014 /
Doe Library and Memorial Glade

Doe Library and Memorial Glade

We were walking north from Doe Library toward Hearst Ave, where we parked the car. Four girls were throwing Frisbees around on the lawn. I raised my hand in the universally understood “throw it to me” gesture and soon found myself in possession of one of the Frisbees.

I flipped it behind my back toward one of the girls, and as the disc sailed majestically over Memorial Glade I reflected that there are some things in life you never forget, and one of those things is how to whip a Frisbee throw behind your back.


Nobody Reads Books Anymore

11 Oct 2014 /

Me and Mark Twain


Descending Kroeber Hall

27 Jun 2014 /


Rainy Day on Center Street, Berkeley, CA

27 Apr 2014 /


Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, CA

17 Feb 2014 /

This grinning nitwit is standing on the deck of the Stadium Club:

/

Berkeley Voters Leave Something to be Desired as Parents

29 Nov 2012 /

According to a new survey, just over 10 percent of Berkeley High ninth and 11th graders reported carrying a weapon onto school property, while about 35 percent of 11th graders reported attending class drunk or high.

If I had a kid at Berkeley High, I’d be moving out of town yesterday, but I’m reading in the Daily Californian that this news has been “met with surprise and joy from administrators,” the reason being that a similar survey two years ago reported about 17 percent of ninth graders and 16 percent of 11th graders carrying weapons onto campus, and 48 percent of 11th graders attending class drunk or high.

Progress!

“We’re very pleased with the survey results all around,” said Director of Student Services Susan Craig, “and at the same time we’re not at all complacent.”

If by “pleased” she means “horrified,” I couldn’t agree more.

In other news, Barack Obama got more than 90 percent of the Berkeley vote in the recent presidential election, while Mitt Romney got 4.6 percent and Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, got 3.2 percent.

The liberal voter looks to government to solve problems that many people prefer to take on themselves, like raising their children.

Berkeley High School


No Surprises in Berkeley

23 Nov 2012 /
Third-party! Stein, Johnson, Anderson and Good...

(Photo credit: ironypoisoning)

Final election counts are in for Berkeley, CA, the most liberal city in America. Let’s start with the presidential election, where Mitt Romney was able to edge out Jill Stein for second place:

  • Barack Obama, Democrat – 90.3%
  • Mitt Romney, Republican – 4.6%
  • Jill Stein, Green Party – 3.2%

California ballot proposition results included:

  • Proposition 30, a measure to increase state income tax rates for the wealthy – 90.7% Yes (passed statewide at 54.6%)
  • Proposition 34, to abolish the death penalty in California – 86% Yes (lost statewide 52% to 48%)
  • Proposition 37, requiring labeling of genetically engineered food – 92.4% Yes (lost statewide 52% to 48%)

Lodi

10 Oct 2012 /

We stopped for gas in Lodi a couple of days ago on the way back from Berkeley and I can’t get the damn song out of my head . . .

If I only had a dollar for every song I’ve sung
For every tiiiime I had to plaaaay while people sat there drunk . . .


Card Stunts

7 Oct 2012 /
The Cal student section at California Memorial...

Card stunt

We’re in Berkeley for Parents Weekend, watching Cal and UCLA battle it out on the gridiron.

One of the halftime highlights at Cal football games is card stunts. I know, welcome to the 1920s, right?

Everyone held up their cards, which were either blue or gold. The cards on the opposite side of the stadium from us spelled out “Memorial Stadium” but we couldn’t see what our own cards spelled.

“I hope they say ‘UCLA Sucks,'” I said to my wife standing next to me, but unfortunately loud enough for a nearby husband-and-wife team of Bruin fans to hear me.

“Did you really just say that?” the woman asked. “We’re helping.” Meaning that they were holding up their cards to support the card stunt and didn’t deserve to be insulted.

When you venture into enemy territory, you have to expect some derision.


Next Page »