It’s a good sign

Berkeley is full of people who have strong opinions, and thus, full of various types of signs. First off, if your car does not have an Obama sticker, it is understood that you’re either a) sceptical of Obama because he’s so moderate he’s basically a crypto-fascist or b) somewhat of a crypto-fascist yourself. (Exception: If you drive a Prius or a Subaru, you’re not required to use any additional stickers, it’s already clear you’re a Lib’rul or worse.) Further stickers that are beloved by Berkeleyans: the COEXIST, the KPFA, and the Darwin Fish. If you have collected lots of political opinions over the decades, your car will slowly turn into this – a common sight on Berkeley parking lots. (Up in the hills, one bumper is still telling us to “END APARTHEID NOW”). There’s lots of lawn signs, murals, and signs in windows. Signs on bikes declaring “NO WAR FOR OIL – BIKE FOR PEACE”.

And then, there’s the “YOU’RE PERFECT” guy:

(Note the North Face fleece vest – the Berkeley uniform!)

Some see this annoying abundance of signage as a signal to fight back. My favorite meta-stickers adorn our neighbor’s Honda: “BRUSH YOUR TEETH, IT’S THE LAW” and “Vote YES on NO and NO on YES”. The most incendiary and controversial sign in Berkeley at the moment, however, must be this:

4 Responses to “It’s a good sign”

  1. T.M. Says:

    Wat? Echtes Kruschowitzer da bei Ihnen? Ich glaub’s ja nicht! das wird wohl auch so eine Art Bud light sein. Ein echtes, schwarzes Bier würde einen Amerikaner ja auf der Stelle umbringen.

  2. cohu Says:

    In Berkeley gibt es mehr Bierauswahl als in München…mit Schwarzbier ist da niemand zu schocken. Außer vielleicht ein paar Europeans, die ihre langgehegten Ami-Vorurteile widerlegt sehen 😉

  3. moni Says:

    “In Berkeley gibt es mehr Bierauswahl als in München”

    See that’s the kind of information the Loney Planet guides should always include! 😉

    I don’t know about München but have sometimes trouble finding Krusovice in Berlin, or even any schwarzbier, not as many places serve it as they serve the usual pils (especially on tap, not just in bottles!). Funny though this was a problem even in Scotland, in pubs, sure you do get Guinness mostly everywhere, at least, but considering the impressive choice of delicious dark (or red) stouts you get even in the average supermarkets there, when you go to the pub you do wonder why the hell is everyone drinking Tennants instead. Mysteries of beer distribution…

    Anyhow, just stumbled on your blog through metafilter and was browsing through the archives, very much enjoying your writing, and your bilingual (bicultural?) humour.

    (ps – that video of the you’re perfect guy – I was so curious I went and watched a couple of his videos and well, for all the zaniness, I have to admit he sounds a lot funnier and smarter and saner than I’d have imagined anyone sitting all day holding a ‘you’re perfect’ sign on the side of the road could be… damn hippies!)

  4. cohu Says:

    Thanks! Btw, Berkeley also has a refreshing antidote to the “You’re Perfect” guy – Hate Man, who lives in People’s Park and greets everyone he meets with “Fuck You, I hate you!”:
    “Despite his name and appearance, Hate isn’t what you might expect from a homeless person — especially one that greets others with “fuck you” and eats out of garbage cans. He is kind, and his gentle eyes belie the hardened life of decades spent on the streets. He is also thoughtful and clearly educated — not to mention quite a talker.”

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