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.
One thing I find so annoying about so many Liberals: They never tire of flattering themselves about how loving, caring, generous and intelligent they are. And that anyone who disagrees with them on political issues lacks these sterling qualities that they, themselves, possess.
One thing I find so annoying about so many Conservatives: So many of them seem to think they invented patriotism. And if you disagree with them on political issues they will accuse you of being an anti-American traitor.
One thing I find so annoying about so many Moderates: So many of them seem to fancy themselves as the voice of reason because they don’t take extreme positions. When usually it’s because they’re so goddamn bland and wishy-washy that they just want to play it safe by staying in the middle-of-the-road.
PS: If I really give it some thought, I might even come up with two things about these sorts that annoys me.
I enjoy having political opinions. It’s a great way to make new enemies. And it’s great for weeding out people who we’d both probably be better off not having in our lives.
So it’s frustrating to me when there are certain “hot button” issues that a lot of people get all excited about, but that I have a hard time coming up with opinions on. I feel like I’m missing out on the action or something. For instance:
1.) GUN CONTROL: I’m all for keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally-unstable, but I have no idea how to do that.
2.) ABORTION: If you want an abortion, have one. If you don’t, then don’t. Aside from that, I can’t think of anything else to say.
3.) BALANCE THE BUDGET: When I can wrap my head around a figure like “100 trillion dollars” I’ll get back to you on this one.
4.) IRAN’S NUCLEAR PROGRAM: The nuclear tooth paste is out of the tube. Getting it back into the tube poses certain logistical problems beyond my ken.
5.) OBAMA-CARE: I spent 40 years where I almost never went to a doctor. So I have no idea what our current health care system is all about, aside from the fact that it seems like a mess. So I have no idea whether Obama-care is an improvement or not. Generally speaking, I’m not in favor of the government taking over about 10% of our economy in one fell swoop, considering their general level of incompetency, as well as all the greedhead/whores at every level of the bureaucracy. But who the hell knows.
6.) DRUGS: No matter what anybody says, the prices keep going up.
If anybody wants to know what my political position is — and I admit it’s not a particularly sophisticated political position but — my position is this:
I’ve never been able to decide who is more of a threat to my civil liberties and general well-being: the assholes on the left, or the assholes on the right. And the people in the middle, well, they’re probably assholes, too.
Politics. Sheesh. Oh well, at least its occasionally good for a laugh.