Honolulu Lite

by Charles Memminger

Wednesday, August 25, 1999

Nuttiness is organic
at PC Berkeley

SOMETIMES it's hard to figure out which city is more zany: San Francisco or Berkeley.

You could start a game of "Spot the Looney" at either place and up with a lifelong calling.

People in San Francisco are always ready to be agitated about something. One long-running bit of silliness concerns the treatment of animals being kept for food in Chinatown. It's a huge cultural gap to span when one side sees an object as a living, breathing creature with basic rights and the other side views the object as food.

But there hundreds of fairly normal people in San Francisco, so you can't dump on the place because it also happens to be a weirdo habitat.

Berkeley, however, is different. It is the most politically correct place on Earth, which its citizens will thank me for saying but which I actually mean as an insult. The gene pool in Berkeley has been hopelessly polluted by decades of silly thinking, going back to when it was the mother ship for hippies and other assorted crazy people, most of them professors at the University of California at Berkeley.

I could give you hundreds of examples of politically correct nuttiness in "Berserkley" but here's just one recent case. The public school system in Berkeley is about to become the country's largest producer of politically correct, organically grown, pesticide-free garbage. The school board has decided to replace the usual corn dogs, mystery meat and french fries kids have been ingesting for years with "organic food."

It's hard to even write the words "organic food" without summoning forth the taste of sawdust in your mouth.

According to a wire story, the schools will offer such delicacies as pesticide-free baby carrots and sandwiches made with organic bread. (I'm guessing that those sandwiches won't be cheeseburgers.)

I have never met a kid who would eat a baby carrot. Or a mommy carrot for that matter. (It occurs to me that the term "baby carrot" might be politically incorrect since it suggests eating babies. The Berkeley school board better call back those menus from the printers.)

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. Even that would be easier than leading a bunch of school kids to a plate of cooked organic baby carrots.

You've got to assume that most of these kids aren't going to eat this PC junk and so most of it will end up in the garbage can. Which brings us back to the point that Berkeley will soon be creating some of the country's hippest garbage.

Another recent wire story leads me to suggest that Berkeley take a head count of its citizens. I think one of the inmates escaped and went to Canada.

An Ottawa woman recently complained to the broadcasting standards council that a Bugs Bunny cartoon was sexist and offensive. In the cartoon, Bugs says something about "wascully women wabbuts" being witches on the inside.

"This cartoon is offensive not only to women, but it gives a wrong idea of women to impressionable children -- women are evil inside," the easily offended viewer wrote.

The council had a good laugh and tossed out the woman's complaint. I'm sure if the woman brought up her concerns in Berkeley she would have a more receptive audience. Berkeley-ites would be shocked that Sylvester the Cat continually tries to eat Tweety Bird and Tweety isn't organically grown.

Charles Memminger, winner of
National Society of Newspaper Columnists
awards in 1994 and 1992, writes "Honolulu Lite"
Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Write to him at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin,
P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu, 96802

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