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Old 11-10-2003, 01:24 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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1960's Berkeley and the "Berkeley Barb" newspaper

While reading Charles Perry's account of Haight Ashbury in the 1960's, I've become curious about the "Berkeley Barb", which he mentions extensively. There is actually this website, which however disclaims any relationship with the old paper. What I'm actually interested in finding out is how long the Barb had been around by the time the late 60's arrived, and what the "Barb" in the title was supposed to mean. I had always assumed that it was supposed to suggest a "prickly" or "stinging" editorial style. But "barb" has also been used as a pejorative term for students who don't belong to Greek letter societies, or "Greeks", and "barb" obviously comes from "barbarian" in this case. I don't know if this type of usage was current at Berkeley at the time. It's actually very old; I learned of it when I read of Herbert Hoover's Stanford days, in the early 1890's.

So are there any Berkeleyites or San Franciscans from that era who can clear any of this up for me?
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Old 11-10-2003, 01:56 PM
Nametag Nametag is offline
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The Barb was founded by Max Scherr in August 1965, and continued publication until 1980. I don't know for certain where it got its name, but I suspect that it's your former assumption, as I doubt that Scherr gave much of a damn what the Frat boys thought. FWIW, in 1978 the Barb spun off its adult advertising and content to the Spectator, which is the only remaining vestige of the old underground rag.
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Old 11-10-2003, 03:00 PM
Spectre of Pithecanthropus Spectre of Pithecanthropus is offline
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Thanks for the info.

All this was a little bit before my time, but if it hadn't been, I think I would have been more of an Oracle type than a Barb type.
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