Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Daughter of “Real Housewife of Orange County” responds

By kbender
Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008 at 4:29 pm in Uncategorized.

Earlier this week I told you about Kara Keough, a 19-year old University of California, Berkeley student, and the daughter of  Jeana Keough, one of the women on “The Real  Housewives of Orange County,” a reality TV show on Bravo.

On an episode that aired last week, but was filmed in an OC swimming pool during the summer, Kara bashed Berkeley with a one-minute rant about how people in Berkeley either live in trees, smoke trees (she said she meant grass) or eat food from a trash can.


Call me crazy, but I encouraged people to watch the “Housewives” clip for a good “belly laugh.” 


Come on now, I thought, there’s more to Berkeley than that, Kara.



What about all the panhandling by the starving, homeless youth down on Telegraph and the swarms of rats in People’s Park? What about the slowly dying commercial districts that have sparked the ouster of independent bookstores and mom and pop stores.


And let’s not forget that special City Council that insulted the the nation by calling the U.S. Marines “uninvited and unwelcome intruders?”


Isn’t that worth mentioning in a description of the People’s Republic of Berkeley?


In case you’ve been busy and aren’t caught up on your reality TV, “Housewives” features five women living in a gated community in Orange County who get Botox injections and boob jobs like us regular folk change our underwear. 



I have a sneaking suspicion the women don’t know that UC Berkeley awards 900 Ph.Ds annually and ranks 35 of 36 of Berkeley’s graduate programs in the top 10 in their respective field. 


Something is also tellnig me that they don’t know that Berkeley is known world-wide as a melting pot of cultures, the place where the Free Speech Movement launched and the campus where 11 lab researchers have been awarded the Nobel Prize.




Well, today I was surprised to see that Kara had posted a short comment on the Outtakes site.  

“I’m glad you got a belly laugh… because that was my intention. I’m well aware of the stereotypes about Berkeley and I like to poke fun when I can. And clearly you like making jokes stereotyping the people from my area. Looks like we’re not that different, GASP!”



I was happy to hear from Kara and sent her a message telling her she’d made my day. She promptly wrote back, encouraging me to check out her Bravo blog from Dec. 1 (posted two hours after the Outtakes post).


I did and found this:  


“During my first semester at Berkeley, I struggled with the transition. I was really bitter and lonely, and this hostility was obvious in my interviews and conversations about school. After attending for nearly a year now, I have opened up a lot to the little world of Berkeley. I appreciate the small things about the city that I never even knew existed last year. I grew up living on my own and in the process, I was exposed to a lot of the really special things about the Bay Area and Berkeley. I admit I was pretty sassy about Cal during the summer when the show was filmed. It was a really tough time for me – I felt really far away from everyone and everything I really loved, and sometimes I still feel that way. But now I’ve found the truly great things about the little city I like to call “Berk-town.”



“I apologize for offending people in the process, but for me, learning to love Berkeley was a love/hate journey. I’ve opened up a LOT to Berkeley. I’ve learned to love the things Berkeley offers that no other place does. I didn’t vote for Obama, but I felt the passion and pride of my fellow Berkelians when he was elected. I ALMOST joined the parades and mobs on the streets of Telegraph and Shattuck when the news was announced. I cried with my peers when Prop 8 was passed. So yes, I’m a Republican at Berkeley, but dammit, I’m heading more towards the middle everyday.”



Good for you Kara.  Also, you’re not alone on the political right. The Berkeley College Republicans is one of the largest and most active student run organizations on campus. And I don’t think they live in trees or eat from the trash cans.

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