Rude awakenings are trending in Berkeley CA this year. First the Berkeley Liberals were confronted with tear gas and getting hit with batons, then the street personality known as Ninja Kitty was taking an illegal nap when a policeman kicked him in the groin as a friendly reminder the rules were being broken. After a hearty laugh, the cop proved he was a good sport by helping to get Ninja to the hospital where he received treatment for a bruised gonad and substantiating paper work to serve as the basis for a lawsuit.
The local citizens, who protested the police response to a "Black Lives Matter" demonstration on Telegraph Ave., in early December are not used to being ignored by the city council and became annoyed by a series of hearings on the matter. Homeless young folks are used to being marginalized by police and politicians but the local voters (who protested the war in Viet Nam?) think that living in a Democracy means that protests help form policy decisions might be shocked ("Shocked, Ricky, by this outrage!") to learn that the homeless are routinely harassed and occasionally kicked in the groin by the police.
Coincidentally Valentine's Day and the opening of "Fifty
Shades of Gray," brought up the subject of consent with regard to rough
We noted that there were many examples of people issuing the advice to boycott a film which they had not seen.
It is rather disconcerting to see citizens in the USA, which sent thousands of young men to die fighting the Third Reich, using and promulgating Hitler's philosophy of prior censorship regarding degenerate art. When Hitler held his famous exhibition, that denounced and ridiculed modern art as being Entartete Kunst (AKA degenerate art), American intellectuals deplored the effort as censorship. However now that the righteous indignation that was generated by Hitler's stunt is long forgotten, the self-appointed guardians of public morals see the release of Fifty Shades as a golden shower of opportunities to spank the public for being interested in a kink oriented film.
In a country that values free speech, it would seem to be more logical to see the picture and then analyze the philosophy expressed by the film. It was rather disconcerting (there's that word again in this paragraph) to find that the fanatical religious zealots tasked with teaching others how to conduct their lives were asserting that the film depicted consent by force, when, in fact, the point of "only if you agree to this" is made repeatedly. Oh well, the dummies that rely on a review from a fanatic, who had not seen the film, wouldn't (most likely) have the ability to analyze and comment on the film on their own. Hence they cling to the believe that an uniformed review is better than none at all. Those same ill-informed ditto=heads would vehemently deny that they were endorsing Hitler's idea that the public should not be relied upon to make judgments regarding religion, morals, and art. (Only liberal Democrats [in Berkeley?] believe in that kind of "let the people decide" carp, eh?)
Nazis and Nazi sympathizers might be delighted to learn that, according to the new book "Culture Crash," the internet is slowly killing off Art. The book's main premise is that by providing a way for people to get Art for free (i.e. download music) it makes earning a living much more challenging. Only the big name bands make money when they tour and fill stadiums the beginning bands are forced to play for chicken-feed payments and do work that was previously provided by record companies (such as generating publicity). The plight of freelance writers is depicted being just as bleak.
Only independently wealthy artists can subsist while perfecting their art. Thus the dominance of an art by people who are subsidized by a family and/or friends is just a variation of the old 1 percent phenomenon. Artists who have a trust fund to sustain them during their "starving artist" phase of development will survive, the rest will "sell out to the Establishment" and get a boring job.
"Culture Crash: The Killing of the Creative Class," by Scott Timberg, may merit a full review in a future column, but for this column (mostly) about Berserkeley, we will urge the country club elite in B-town to read page 48 and note this: "The key thing a university town brings is a constantly changing cast of 18 to twenty-two year olds: A few drop out or stick around to become artists themselves, but the rest can provide the audience for whatever weird, cheap stuff is happening 'downtown.'"
In B-town, the high school mascot is a yellow jacket, which brings us to a heavy duty bit of philosophy: what's the difference between a bumble bee, a yellow jacket, and a hornet? Why did B-town high pick a yellow jacket as the mascot? Why not a bumble bee?
The liberals in Berkeley have always been ready to run down to the latest anti-war demonstration but they are a bit reluctant to participate in any political rallies that seem to be critical of Obama.
Should liberals wear patches showing which political causes they support?
To outsiders, it may seem as if Berkeley Liberals believe in the old "one for all; all for one" philosophy of political dissent, but upon closer inspection there seem to be as many different causes in the one liberal congressional district.
The World's Laziest Journalist has encountered activists in Berkeley who protested the execution of Caryl Chessman.
It seems as if the same roster of political activists show up at all the local rallies.