Brain-Dead in Berkeley
By Robin of Berkeley
A week in the life of an ex-leftist:
Disneyland may be the happiest place on earth, but Berkeley is the looniest. Imagine commingling with people who act like Keith Olbermann on steroids. Not a day goes by where I don't scratch my head in utter disbelief -- not just because of the insanity, but because two years ago, I was one of them!
So here is an actual week in the life. I hope that you enjoy this snapshot of living at ground zero, the birthplace of such peace-loving groups as the Black Panthers. All of the following events are true. The names have been changed to prevent my tires from being slashed.
I am in Whole Foods examining some (non-organic) strawberries. Out of nowhere, a woman charges at me like a mad bull. She launches into an impassioned and very scary tirade about nasty pesticides and poisoned farm workers. I feel lucky to get out of there in one piece (but without strawberries).
I spend fifty minutes staring at Obama -- well not Barack in the flesh, but his likeness on my young client's t-shirt. Fantasize about closing up shop and hanging up my shingle in Texas. But does anyone in those red states actually need a shrink?
Head over to my local holistic pharmacy for some personal hygiene products. After handing over the cash to the cashier, she stares at me blankly. I look at her, she looks at me, I look at her, she looks at me...until finally I break the stalemate.
I utter the five most scandalous words in Berkeley: "May I have a bag?" What I actually want to say is, "Do you expect me to carry my intimate female products on my head like they do in the third world?!" -- but instead, I simply glare. Upon exiting the store, I am certain I hear snickering.
Over at my local independent bookstore (which, incidentally, isn't so independent that it would deign to carry a single conservative book), I stop in to pick up a Wall Street Journal. The line is long, and I'm in a rush. Though I'm not in a pissy mood, I might be sending out a serious, no-nonsense vibe.
A woman fondling a Noam Chomsky book sprints over to me and asks, all fake and syrupy-like, "Are you okay?" Befuddled, I respond, "Why do you ask?" (After thirty years in Berkeley, I've learned never to answer a stranger's question directly.)
She answers, "Your energy tells me that something is wrong." (Honestly, I could not make this stuff up.)
I say I'm fine; I shed the Wall Street Journal and race back to my office to foil Berkeley's thought police.