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NAKED OUTRAGE! AVERAGE LOOKING PEOPLE GET NAKED IN BERKELEY.

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Nudists never are who they should be. Ideally, nudists would be people you want to see in the buff. We can report that from hard experience (umm, unfortunate choice of words there) that they are not the people you'd like to strip off and cavort pantsless. They also, fortunately, are not the people you would elect not to remove so much as a sock off their body in your presence.


Ladies and gentlemen...Kenny G!

Based on our experience one intrepid afternoon in the early 2000s, nudists come mostly from the soft middle of American demography: middle-aged, middle-tempered, and middle-heavy. They're also exceedingly pleasant, even when you're obviously rubbing sunscreen on your testicles for the awkward first time. Do not, however, walk leisurely into one of their volleyball games. It is a fact universally acknowledged tbat nudists make savage, pitiless volleyballers.

Even in Berkeley, this seems to be true, since the nude protest against the University's plan to raze a grove of oak trees brought out not the troll squad nor the Berkeley Hottz0rz team, but rather average-looking people bent on dropping trou in order to...well, we think in order to save some trees.


Racist hippies allow only naked white flesh in their protest against better football.

The removal of the trees to build a new training center for Cal football remains part of a larger plan to bolster the literally shaky construction of Memorial Stadium, which stands on a fault line and could collapse in event of an earthquake.* The rationale behind the protest, as described by coordinating photographer Jack Gescheidt:

"What I do is show people at the most vulnerable -- naked -- with trees to illustrate the relationship and beauty of nature," he said. "I hope to do a quiet, reverential photo of people and trees. . . . Humans are drawn to trees..."

...for firewood, in order to barbecue animals they've caught and slaughtered...

The people up in those trees are not crazy, they are doing something beautiful and important," Gescheidt said. "They don't need to destroy this grove."

No--but they really, really want to destroy it. The only hold-up to the plan comes via an Alameda Superior Court Ruling claiming Cal did not properly assess the risks of building on a fault line. (Just write "MAY FUCKING FALL DOWN AT ANY INSTANT" on every inch of the structure. Does that cover liability? Um, no.--EDSBS legal. Killjoy.--ed.) Once Cal addresses that small issue, the plans for stadium expansion and the slaughter of the trees will continue apace.

One quote of worth from the SFGate article bears memorization, however:

Shawn Alexander, who came from Fresno to visit her daughter Madison at Cal, was a bit surprised to see naked people in trees.

"I can confirm there is nothing like this going on Fresno," she said with a laugh.

We'll only pay further attention to this story from this point on if and only if hotter people get naked to support the demolition of the trees. Hot naked people with chainsaws and hardhats--just another example of how the universe in our heads leaves the real one in smoking shame in comparison. Trust us on this.

Click here for a video of the protest where absolutely nothing you see or hear will surprise you. (NSFW, technically, but boring as all hell anyway.)


What's Department of Homeland Security head Michael Chertoff doing there?

*Applicable to anything in California except Barry Bonds.