Roman Around

combating liberalism and other childish notions


Posted by Andrew Roman on November 18, 2009

Berkeley, California is a special type of place – like ulcerative colitis is a special type of irritable bowel syndrome. 

For any number of reasons, I will simply never be able to show my face in Berkeley, California – not that I’m weeping. Primary among these reasons is the fact that Berkeley is one of those enlightened jurisdictions that has declared itself a “hate-free” zone. At the risk of having some sort of thought-warrant issued against me, I have no choice but to avoid the place.

I am a hater.

I admit it.

As one of those “moral clarity” types who likes to draw distinctions between good and evil, I take the passage from Psalm 97:10 very seriously:

“Ye that love the Lord, hate evil; he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked”

Deuteronomy 17:7 has always been a cherry-on-top “clarifier” for me as well:

“So thou shalt put away the evil from the midst of thee”

Pretty simple stuff, really: God hates evil. God commands us to hate evil. I have faith in God. Berkeley hates hate. I avoid Berkeley.

Last night, however, the Berkeley City Council considered suspending its embargo on hate by hearing proposals to prohibit the release of balloons at city events.

That’s right, balloons.

Hateful, destructive balloons.


Because balloons pose a threat to the environment. And as everyone knows, it is appropriate (or at least understandable) to hate something that poses a threat to the environment.

…Those in the balloon business say any risk is being blown way out of proportion. Workers at Paper Plus Incredible Balloons have been doing business in Berkeley for 25 years. “This is a latex balloon. It is totally biodegradable,” says Michele Schurman, owner of Paper Plus Incredible Balloons.

However, Schurman has been put on the defensive. She says the proposed ordinance could hurt her business. “I think it’s a feel good measure. I think they think ‘Well, we’re doing something great for the environment,'” says Schurman.

Of course, mylar balloons can take up to six whole months to biodegrade. And the strings can choke animals. And they can find their way into their digestive tracks. There are documented cases.

But Berekely isn’t an island. It is a community of the world.

What about those renegade balloons that float out of Berkeley air space into surrounding communities? What then?

Perhaps a bantam missile defense system of some sort (run by migrant workers) can be installed so the offensive balloons can be shot down before they infiltrate the perimeter of neighboring towns (provided a recovery team is dispatched as soon as humanly to retrieve the remains before any animals are killed).

It could actually create jobs. Everyone wins.

Maybe a Helium Czar should be named.

I’m sure they won’t say so publicly, but city staffers probably hate the fact that the City Council did not make a final decision last night. They’ve been advised to bring back more documentation on the matter before a decision can be made.

It’s a good thing Dorothy didn’t land in Berkeley after the twister. How would the Wizard have left town?

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