Berkeley is California’s aborted fetus. A huge educated turd that Oakland just shit out one day. The unshaved, unshowered, hippie armpit of America. Gnoshing on a Blondie’s cockroach special with extra crust grease.
The city’s like a bloated corpse ready to explode. And the Squelch is that seminal fluid leaking out of its orifices, just before the big blow-up. The pre-cum of the apocalypse, if you will.
I was a second-generation Squelch editor back in ’93. Originally, I was attracted to the paper because it was so unbelievably stupid. After reading the first issue, I thought to myself, “Are these people National Merit Scholars on crank?” Never had I seen anything so completely devoid of social consciousness or meaning. At biweekly staff meetings “back in the day,” bisexual girls would show up and make out with each other in the back of the room, staff members would dress in bathrobes, and the editors would get stoned. And then I came to realize, that’s what makes the Squelch great. The truth of the matter is that humor, like the Squelch is naturally anarchic. It’s the kitchen knife we common people have against that fucking machine gun poking us in the ribs.
The paper pisses off everyone in a position of power-the aging hippie bureaucrats of Sproul read: sell-out divorcees who refused to give us money to print (“Your paper’s stupid, and it insults the 60’s” ),the Daily Cal staffers read: future obituary scribblers for the Tulsa Tribune whose limp dick missives were no match for our rapier wits, upper-middle-class ASUC politicians read: fucking brainwashed lunatics running on radical platforms while their parents squeeze the Third World for flyer money .
Personally, the Squelch did two great things for me. (1) As an editor, it got my skinny, ugly ass laid by a number of beautiful hippie-girls, sorority-girls, art-girls, crazy-girls, rich-girls, city-girls, party-girls, and nice-girls. And (2) it got me my first paying job as a writer. But I forgot one thing: I had an awesome time working on the thing. I met the smartest and funniest people in Berkeley. And I wrote things that people actually read and had fun reading. Now I ask you: What could be luckier than that?
Speaking from the mind-coffin of corporate America, I advise you to treasure your sense of humor, your sense of fun, and your sense of sanity. You’ll need them out here once you graduate. Please little children, don’t ever forget how to laugh. They hate that.