Hate Boy

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There were several different “Hate Boys” over the years. Guys that were Hate Man’s primary side-kick and second-in-command. Sancho Panchez to Hate Man’s Don Quixote…. But Hate Boy was the first.
Hate Boy was an enigmatic fellow. He hit the Telegraph street scene around 1992 and hung around for a couple of years before he got run out of town.

Tall, lanky, and athletic, fairly handsome, I’d guess in his mid-20s when this photo was taken (but who knows, just about everything about him was a mystery). Hate Boy talked very little. Sat there with his Cheshire Cat grin. He mostly presented himself to the public by his ever-changing colorful costumes, and by his peculiar movements and mannerisms. Somewhat of an exhibitionist, he reminded me of a mime (he would sometimes wear white pancake make-up), or a slightly malicious court jester or joker. With a strangely aristocratic manner, like a rich kid on a lark. Often had a sly, mischievous smile on his face, like he was enjoying some secret inside joke. Possibly at your expense.

He adopted some of the Hate Man’s look, as well as some of Hate Man’s philosophy. So for awhile they were like a matching set. Hate Man and Hate Boy.

Hate Boy wasn’t a verbal person. The few times I tried to engage him in conversation he responded with terse, one-sentence answers. He never talked about his background (and to this day I don’t know anything about him, where he came from, what his real name was, what he had been doing before he became Hate Boy, and what he did afterwards). He never explained himself, or what he was aspiring to be, or what it all meant to him. He just presented himself as a living, breathing piece of performance art. This inscrutible work of avant-garde that people could project any meaning onto, or no meaning. As he danced across Telegraph like a zany ballerina (I have a set of photos of him spinning and piruetting and posing down the Ave).

When the Naked Guy started walking around naked, Hate Boy would often strip and join him on his romps, penis dangling in the breeze, his smile slier than ever. Hate Boy liked to shock and push the envelope. And eventually that got him in trouble. After a series of episodes where he grabbed at different co-eds crotches, he was banned from the area. And left town suddenly one day — possibly one step ahead of the law — never to return. And that was the end of Hate Boy. One more legend of Telegraph

Generally I enjoyed Hate Boy. He added some color and life to the scene. Projected this attitude that life was just a game, and there was nothing better to do than to play all day long, if you could get away with it

It’s weird how something that seemed so light-hearted at the time ended up turning out so grim

 
This photo of the Naked Guy popped up on the internet the other day. Probably around 1993. And it gives you some idea of what the Naked Guy’s life was like back then . For several years (before he got crunched by the authorities) he went around naked just about everywhere he went — to his college classes, to the store, to the park, whatever.

It was a surreal sight to see the Naked Guy suddenly go walking by the streets of Berkeley. And you can bet he inspired a wide range of reactions: shock, disbelief, laughter, outrage, as well as sexual attraction (for he was a really good-looking guy and his body was regularly compared to a Greek statue). And later, after he had garnered large amounts of media attention (including the TV talk shows and PLAYBOY magazine) he got the “celebrity” reaction (“Look Ethel, it’s the famous Naked Guy!!”).

But the beaming smiles on the two women’s faces in this photo shows how most of Berkeley reacted to the Naked Guy. Like the whole thing was an outrageous joke. But a GOOD joke. And we were mostly laughing WITH the Naked Guy, not AT him. Berkeley always prided itself on it’s hip streak of rebelliousness, thumbing our noses at conventional mores and values. Berkeley was ahead of the curve on many things — we had black mayors, decriminalized pot, supported gay rights, etc., long before things like that were accepted by mainstream America. And maybe the Naked Guy’s crusade to liberate the American penis was another one of those things.

But mostly we enjoyed the Naked Guy for the sheer zaniness and wackiness of the whole thing. It was hysterically funny.

It was only later in retrospect that we realized it wasn’t funny to the Naked Guy. In fact he was dead serious about the whole thing. It was a righteous crusade to him. And in his head he had this whole crazy manifesto where the naked thing was just a part of this life-or-death struggle to overthrow the “fascist racist patriarchal Judeo-Christian system” that led all the way to violent revolution and overthrow of the American government. He was THAT serious.

I don’t think hardly any of us were aware of that aspect of the Naked Guy as we were enjoying his shtick. And we mostly watched with sadness and surprise as his life played out to its grim conclusion.

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Berkeley weirdos

This one is right on the money.  Brilliantly written by  Sarah Median & Wendy Steiner, and illustrated by Jayde A. Cardinalli.

 

Berkeley’s Most Lovable Weirdos

May 10, 2013 at 6am
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Berkeley eccentrics are not like SF eccentrics. The most unconventional residents of this East Bay city tend to have a lot more political gusto, are more concentrated in a particular area (near the UC Berkeley campus), and probably did a lot more drugs. Still, these characters are cherished by the community, kinda like how you still love your weird, smelly uncle. Since The Bold Italic and San Francisco are home to so many proud Bears (Cal Bears, gay bears, and gay Cal Bears), we present a list of Berkeley’s most notable eccentrics.
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Known to generations of Cal students as “Patches” for the colorful embroidered patches he sells along Telegraph Ave., the lovable street vendor – Berkeley’s “last hippie” – Robert Meister has also made himself famous by allegedly selling special cookies to eager freshmen.
The Happy Happy Happy guy repeatedly yells “Happy, Happy, Happy!” He’s known for standing at the entrance of Sproul Plaza on a bucket while wearing a straw hat (or two), big glasses, and at least three vaguely political, anti-imperialist handwritten posters at a time. Sometimes he yells sarcastic things or points at people who disagree with him and changes his tune to “CIA! CIA! CIA!”
Triangle Man got his name from his very buff upper body that happens to be shaped like a triangle. His stomping grounds included the Recreational Sports Facility (RSF), Crossroads, and the Asian food ghetto. If his arm weights don’t give him away, his shirts are tight enough to clue you in to homeboy’s hard-core workout regime.
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Arguably the most intellectual hobo in Berkeley, Hate Man, aka Mark Hawthorne, used to be a New York Times journalist, a Peace Corps volunteer, and an Air Force vet before he abandoned it all to live in People’s Park. For the past 25 years he has established his own philosophy based on hate and “oppositionality.” No one is sure yet if the dress he usually wears is a necessary part of the philosophy. To start a conversation with Hate Man make sure you start with “Fuck you.”
Not since the Free Speech Movement has UC Berkeley become so well known in the national media than for the infamous Berkeley tree sitters who began their lofted protest in 2006. Zachary RunningWolf was the leader of the tree-huggers, who sat for days in an allegedly sacred grove protesting the construction of a new football stadium. Eventually, in 2008, the trees and the sitters came down. In 2012, RunningWolf ran for mayor of Berkeley, which didn’t quite work out either.
Korean religious leader Sun Myung Moon became famous as the founder of the Unification Church, and his mass weddings involved hundreds of his followers who were known as Moonies. The cult had a strong presence in the hippie town throughout the 1970s and continues to be active on Berkeley’s campus today, with members often carrying posters of the blessed Moon’s face near the entrance to Sproul Plaza.
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The Rawr man roams the streets of South Berkeley roaring at passersby. Kinda like the Bush Man in SF, he has been known to jump out with a ferocious growl and scare the bejeebies out of innocent walkers, much to the enjoyment of anyone nearby. Or you can engage in a Wu-Tang inspired call-and-response and ask the onomatopoeia-loving man, “How do you like it?” I think you know what the response might be.
Cal’s lovable and semi-creepy mascot has been an eccentric at UC Berkeley since 1941, when Oski took the place of live bear mascots. Oski can be seen at pep rallies and games dancing awkwardly and taking pictures with sorority girls. Plus, he’s in a secret society – Order of the Golden Bear – with ex-chancellors and ex–Rally Committee presidents.
The Yoshua guy is named after the T-shirt he is always wearing that says “Yoshua” (Jesus’ name in Hebrew) on it. He’s known for making bullshit predictions about when the world will end and writing them on a standing chalkboard he sets up at the entrance to Sproul. He also carries a Bible and flyers that nobody wants, and will talk your ear off about why he wasn’t totally wrong about the Armageddons of past that he had predicted.
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A Cal student in the 1990s, Andrew Martinez made a name for himself as a nudist – he went to class, parties, and even the dining hall completely naked. Even though he was a media favorite and made appearances on numerous TV shows, the Naked Guy was expelled from the university in 1992 after a new rule passed requiring clothing in public. Things went south after that. The Naked Guy wandered around Berkeley pushing a shopping cart full of rocks until he was arrested and spent the remainder of his years between jail and mental institutions. In 2006 he suffocated himself in his cell at Santa Clara jail.
Through the ’80s and ’90s, Rick Starr could be spotted singing Big Band–era hits on UC Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza. Wearing a tacky suit and hat, he carried a microphone that wasn’t plugged into anything, and, like a true lounge singer, was known for interjecting commentary mid-song to passersby (“You’re beautiful!”). He was charged with malicious disturbance of the peace in 1992 for singing too loudly, but if singing Sinatra terribly is so wrong, who would want to be right? He faded from the Berkeley scene in the early 2000s saying he felt unappreciated, but his fans can find him on Facebook and occasionally performing in Oakland.
Stoney Burke, aka the old political guy who hangs out in front of Dwinelle Hall, makes you question your life choices. He has blue hair and a bagful of props: a rubber chicken, American flag pants, and a bullhorn, to start. His best material is making fun of people wearing suits, or students with majors he thinks are useless. He satirically pretends to be a Republican conservative to get kids to engage with him, and he upsets freshmen in the name of free speech and lulz.
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The Naked Guy

 

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1993 was a magical year for me.  And whenever I think of that year I think of the Naked Guy.

The Naked Guy — aka Andrew Martinez  — was a 20 year-old UC Berkeley student who decided he had the right to go around naked in public.  For an entire year he went to all of his classes completely naked.  Turned out there wasn’t even a law against it — apparently because nobody had ever done it before.   So it took a year before the authorities could find a legal way to force clothes on the dude.  Still, the Naked Guy persisted with his nakedness until UC finally expelled him and the Berkeley cops started arresting him.  In between he became a cause celeb and an “only-in-Berkeley” national news story.  He was featured in countless newspaper and magazine articles, appeared in Playboy, and even got on several afternoon TV talk shows to expound on his “cause” before his 15 minutes ran out.

“Our purpose is to prove that people define normalcy in their own terms,” the Naked Guy announced at a Berkeley “nude-in” attended by dozens of naked supporters.  Which hit the perfect note for Berkeley; a town that prided itself on its  eccentricities and thumbing its nose at the “cultural norms” of mainstream American.

Telegraph Avenue had a “carnival” atmosphere back then.  And the Naked Guy, strolling naked down the Ave, was just the most famous of the many side-show attractions.  The Berkeley campus was Ground Zero for the festivities.  Every day there would be street performers and street crazies and street theatre and soap box orators.  And huge crowds would gather on the Student Union steps to enjoy the show.

Berkeley was at the peak of it’s self-belief and self-pride back then.  1993.  And maybe it’s self-delusions, too.  It wasn’t uncommon for people in my circle to say stuff like: “Berkeley is the center of the universe.”  And nobody laughed or scoffed when they said it.  There was a belief that Berkeley was on the cutting-edge,  years ahead of the cultural curve.  And there was some truth to that. Just look at things like the Obama presidency, gay marriage and legal marijuana — things that have only reached mainstream acceptance recently — but were commonly accepted in Berkeley 40 years earlier.  It was from this vantage point that the Naked Guy, and his public nudity cause, was celebrated as a Berkeley icon.  Plus, he was incredibly good-looking.  He had a body that was regularly compared to one of those classic Greek statues.  And seeing him walk by was like looking at an incredible beautiful animal.  It was not only startling, but it was somehow aesthetically pleasing.  And there was something inherently hilarious and surreal about the whole spectacle, too.

img_20170513_183254.jpgI had co-published four issues of the Telegraph Avenue Street Calendar by that point.   And was starting to think we were beginning to repeat ourselves and maybe the project had run it’s course.  But when I saw the joyous ruckus that ensued whenever the Naked Guy hit the scene, I knew he’d be the perfect feature for the next issue.  My partner B. N. Duncan was initially dead-set against the idea:  “What does a naked person have to do with a calendar about the homeless street scene?” said Duncan.  Because that’s how the calendar was primarily viewed back then:  “the homeless calendar.”

“Well, ‘street’ is a fairly flexible term,” I said.  “Street also encompasses street performers and street vendors and street theatre.”

And once Duncan got over his initial resistance,  he jumped into the project with incredible enthusiasm and ended up taking many of the classic photos of that era.

When the calendar came out, Cody’s Books dumped a huge pile  on a table.  And we ended up selling 2,000 copies in a couple of weeks just in Berkeley at 10 bucks a pop (if you think that’s easy to do, take a blank piece of paper, put something on it, and try it yourself).  Andy Ross, the owner of Cody’s Books, even said in one of the AP newspaper articles that “the calendar had that je ne sais quoi.”    (I’m still not exactly sure what that means, but I’m pretty sure it means something good)  It was especially gratifying, because we had scored a hit with an earlier calendar, but this silenced the nay-sayers that said we were just  one-hit wonders.  In fact, Duncan and I were an artistic force to be reckoned with.

 

 

img_20170513_190648.jpgBefore we took the calendar to the printer I had a little chat with the Naked Guy.   We always  liked to ask people for their permission before we took their picture, and made sure they had no problems with us publishing their picture.  We didn’t have to do this.  Contrary to what many people believe, if you’re in a public place, anyone can take your picture and they can publish it anywhere they want, whether you like it or not.  And your only recourse is to punch the photographer in the face and smash their camera.  In which case, you’re the one who will end up in jail.  But Duncan and I considered the calendar an artistic collaboration with the subjects. So out of respect  we always tried to make sure we were all on the same page.  The only thing the Naked Guy asked was that we didn’t put him on the cover.  So instead, I put him as the centerfold — the “Tele-mate of the Month” — along with a couple of other shots

So when the calendar came out, I was surprised to hear grumblings from the Naked Guy that we had “over-exposed” him.  An ironic accusation coming from a guy who walked around buck naked.

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It was the first indication that I had misread the Naked Guy’s basic personality.  Like most people, I considered the whole Naked Guy thing “zany” and “whacky.”  Berkeley considered him a joke.  But a good joke.  And we were basically laughing with him.  Thumbing our noses at convention.  But I was beginning to realize that the Naked Guy was serious.  With all of his talk about “social control” and “the CIA”  and “revolution.”

During the course of doing the calendar, I had become a magnet for every extroverted exhibitionist, publicity-seeking, attention-getting, self-styled “Berkeley character,” all of who would sort of audition their act for me and plead with me to put them in the calendar.  And I had assumed the Naked Guy was just another one of them, considering all the media exposure he had garnered.  And I had assumed he had sort of a wink-wink aspect to his act.  Turned out there was no wink.  He was dead serious.

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After that, the newspaper articles about the Naked Guy started to take on a decidedly un-zany flavor.  He began leaving big piles of rocks on various street corners.  “To be used as ammunition against the cops when the revolution comes down,” he explained.  And then he ended up getting arrested for throwing rocks at the cops from the roof of the Chateau.  Then there were stories about him getting locked up in the nut house.

The last time I saw the Naked Guy was around 1995.  I was sitting at the steps on the foot of the campus by Bancroft when the Naked Guy sauntered towards me.  He was wearing a big, tan sombrero and sandals and a bandana, and he looked like a character out of a Spaghetti Western.  Or maybe the star of that “Kung Fu” TV show.  He started in on this crazy spiel.  Muttering at me, ominously.    “You and your fascist, white, European, patriarchal, Judeo-Christian, colonial, imperialist culture will one day soon collapse from the toxic poisons you’ve been spewing across the environment.”  And etc.  etc.  It was like a caricature of every  low-level Berkeley “radical chic” cliché that I’d ever heard.  I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.  Because it was so sad in a way.  The Naked Guy could have had the town of Berkeley on a string if he had played his cards right.  But here he was before me, in this obvious state of defeat and despair.  I guess I mostly just looked at the Naked Guy as a walking, talking piece of performance art. And appreciated him on that level.

Finally he turned and walked off down the street.  And it was like a scene in a movie, where the lonely hero walks off into the sunset.

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Well, the Berkeley scene continued to sputter along.  But by 1999 the newspaper articles were no longer about “those whacky Telegraph Avenue characters” but “What’s Gone Wrong With Telegraph?”  Everything began “contracting.”  And that was exactly the word that described.  All the things that once worked were getting snuffed out, one by one.  Duncan and I stopped publishing the Telegraph Avenue Street Calendar in 2004 because we felt “the scene was no longer worthy of being celebrated.”

Everything came to a head for me in one terrible week, practically on the same day,  in the summer of 2006.  It was like a triple whammy:  1.)  Cody’s Books (my main hang-out and social scene) closed.  2.)  Loompanics (my main publisher) went out of business.  3.) And the office building (where I had lived for the last 9 years) got sold and all the tenants got evicted.  I always wondered what my astrological chart looked like at that point.  I’m sure it looked bad. Black black black.   Then, a couple weeks later I got in a fight with some asshole at my vending table and he hit me over the head with a chair and perforated my ear-drum, and for 6 months I was afraid I had gone deaf in that ear.  So everything was going from bad to worse.  But at least I had my memories of my past glories.

Then I picked up the newspaper and the headline was:  “Andrew Martinez, the Naked Guy, Dies in Jail.”  He committed suicide, age 33, by putting a plastic bag over his head.  So it was if, not only was my present life being stripped from me.  They were even taking away my past.

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The last days of the Duncan

 

 

I was thinking of one of my last interactions with Duncan.  Must have been  the summer of 2009.  This guy was working on a documentary about the Naked Guy and he had used a bunch of the photos Duncan and I had taken in 1993.  So Duncan was screening a rough edit upstairs at Christeen’s apartment.  Duncan was in terrible health by this point.  It was agonizing watching him creaking up and down Telegraph. His body had betrayed him.  He was locked into that descending spiral that I had seen some of my other elderly friends get locked into:  his stays at the hospital kept getting longer, and his stays out of the hospital kept getting shorter.

Anyways, it was night time. I was across the street working my vending table on Haste and Telegraph.  The spot of so many past triumphs for Duncan and me over the years.  Could it have really been 30 years?  Remembering when Duncan had lived across the street at the Berkeley Inn.  Before it burned to the ground in an arson fire in 1986.  The barren, vacant lot being sort of a sad symbol of what had once been, and what our lives were becoming.

Duncan came out of Christeen’s apartment building and waited for a cab.  He had been living in a motel for the last week.  Some welfare agency had set him up with an apartment in downtown Oakland, but it was on the second floor and his legs were so bad he could no longer climb the stairs.  So they had temporarily set him up in a Berkeley motel.  And his life was like that now.  Like a relentless regression.  His situation getting narrower and narrower.

 

 

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I could tell he was in bad shape, so I went across the street to see if there’s anything I could do.  Duncan  had his back to the apartment building as he waited for the taxi, leaning against the wall for support.  The dark shadows and shifting street lights played across his face adding an eerie and urgent intensity to his facial expression.  As Duncan broke down for one  of the few times that I knew him, broke through his usual stoney reserve and English stoicism.  “I’m scared!”  he blurted out in a jumble of words  Almost on the verge of panic.  “I’m really scared that I’m not going to be able to make it!”  He seemed almost hysterical.  Like he was being driven to madness by his suffering. And I could tell it wasn’t just the fear of death (which is heavy enough) that really scared him. But the fear of dying.  The fear of losing control of his life, and all the terrifying uncertainty that went with that.

I ran across the street and fetched an extra folding chair for Duncan to sit on while he waited.   The taxi drove by and I ran out into the street to flag it down.  As Duncan was staggering into the backseat of the cab I slipped him a $20 in case he needed anything.  My attempts at “help” seemed so futile in the face of the hopelessness of Duncan’s situation.

It’s weird how my memory works when I think back on it now.  I remember  things like a vivid snapshot in my mind.  Duncan leaning against the wall of that apartment building.  The look on his face.  I can still see it clearly in my mind.fb_img_1490224731571.jpg

Duncan’s dead now, of course. And even the apartment building he was leaning against is gone.  Burned to the ground in another fire. And it seems now like the whole thing wasn’t even real. It was just a hallucination.  Nothing is left of the whole episode aside from my fading memory.  And soon, I’ll be dead, too, and even that fleeting memory will be gone.  And it’ll be as if it had never even happened in the first place. . . .  I suppose  you could take a nihilistic message from all this. “Everything ends up as dust in the end.” But there’s a strangely up-lifting message, too.  Like, no matter how bad life gets, no matter how bad the suffering, it’ll all be over soon.  And it’ll be as if it had never even happened in the first place.   Its like nothing is solid or real.  Not even the buildings.  Its all just a hallucination.

But there was an amusing epilogue to the story.  The next morning I was still worrying like crazy about Duncan. Had he made it to his motel room in one piece?  Was he dead or alive?  What new and terrible crisis was he in the midst of?  So I popped my head into the Café Med to see if he was around.  And there he was, sitting at a table with his friend Richard, heartily eating away at this huge breakfast.  A typical Duncan breakfast.  Ten sausages, four eggs, toast, orange juice, plenty of coffee.  Not a care in the world. Or at least temporarily oblivious. As if the whole scene last night had just been a bad dream.  It was so Duncan.  That was one of the last times I saw him on Telegraph.  And that’s how I like to remember him.

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The Naked Guy

 
Telegraph Avenue Street Calendar 1994
Andrew and some fellow activists demonstrate for the right of nonsexual public nudity.

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Andrew is earning some extra money by selling bumper stickers.

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Andrew, again, relaxing a bit while selling bumper stickers.
You can read the slogan better in this photo.

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Photos on this page copyright © 1994 Ace Backwords.

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