Presenting The Most Berkeley Photo Ever Seen (Caution: Nudity)
July 19 / Rick Chandler / SportsGrid
As you all know, I'm a big fan of trees -- just look where I live. And I'm an even bigger fan of nudity. But this most Berkeley protest of all Berkeley protests rubs me the wrong way (sorry), because it's so misguided.
Before we get into that, however, let's just sit back and marvel a bit at this photograph, below. Has there ever been anything more Berkeley? I suppose that the protesters could all be wearing Birkenstocks and amusing themselves by tossing Joan Baez albums like Frisbees, but even that wouldn't make it any more cliche.
According to this, there were about 75 protesters on the campus of UC Berkeley, and they were trying to stop a proposed FEMA-funded tree-clearing program in the East Bay hills. That's the area that was famously burned to a crisp in the 1991 fire that destroyed 3,000 homes and killed 25 people. So now the government wants to clear-cut the eucalyptus groves that are all over the East Bay, including the Cal-Berkeley campus, to mitigate potential fire threats.
Here's the thing about eucalyptus trees -- they are giant weeds. They provide no food or cover for birds or animals -- we had a few just beyond our backyard at the house where I grew up, and I never saw an animal anywhere near one. They're not native to North America -- an invasive species brought from Australia in the 19th century for mysterious reasons, crowding out native trees, blocking their sunlight and rendering the landscape drab and awful.
I say cut them all down.
The good thing is that there will be few tree sitters, because unless you're a koala, they are very hard to climb. And the substantial, load-bearing limbs are WAY up there, making it hard to see you should you succeed.
In other words, pick your battles, naked Berkeley protesters. And a note to the woman in the blue pants, above -- you're not even nude. Step up your commitment there, Doris.
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