Who are “We at the Clog”

If you have ever read a Clog article, you’ve probably encountered the phrase “We at the Clog.” The first time, you might’ve thought it was a little strange. By the 20th time, you may have just assumed it to be a little gimmick that we toss in absentmindedly when we need to avoid talking about our individual selves to adhere to the Clog format. But, you can’t shake the niggling doubt that there’s more to the story than that, can you? Who — or rather, what — are “We at the Clog”?

We at the Clog can begin by telling you what exactly we at the Clog know. We at the Clog know everything, except for our own origins. We know everything about Berkeley students, from what jacket you should wear on any given day to why campus buildings are being renovated. We are simultaneously everywhere and nowhere, for you can never find us in The Daily Californian office or on campus no matter how hard you search, but somehow we are present for almost every major non-news event on campus. So what exactly are we?

One reporter went deep into the archives of the Daily Cal to figure out when the phrase first appeared. What they found was disturbing, to say the least. Previous Clog articles from 2006 all the way through early 2013 use variations of We at the Clog, with phrases such as “those of us at the Clog” and simply “the Clog.” It is during the spring semester of 2013 that we first see the dreaded “We at the Clog” appear. It seems to be June and July of 2013 that “We at the Clog” truly becomes a staple of every Clog article.

We at the Clog know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking something along the lines of, “Good job, you did some searching on the Internet. This isn’t sinister at all.” We always know what you’re thinking.

During the months of June and July in 2013, three things happened that changed the University of California, Berkeley forever. First and foremost, We at the Clog appeared. But why did this happen? The answer lies within the administration, as it so often does. On July 18, 2013, former secretary of homeland security Janet Napolitano was appointed the 20th president of the University of California. Much like We at the Clog, Janet Napolitano is a strange, mythical force wreaking havoc in students’ lives. The third, and perhaps most groundbreaking discovery lies in a second, more important administration appointment. On June 1, 2013, Chancellor Nicholas Dirks took office as the chancellor of UC Berkeley.

Dirks, Napolitano and We at the Clog entered Berkeley’s hemisphere not only within the same year, but within the same two months. We at the Clog, as you, a dedicated Clog reader must know, have published countless pieces ruminating on the state of Dirks’ mustache and unibrow and puzzling over his tiny glasses. Why the obsession with this man? This is reminiscent of a long-forgotten theory thrown around by new Cloggers at the beginning of the year that perhaps We at the Clog are in fact an elite team meant to raise Dirks’ image. But both the plural “we” and the non-coincidence of those two summer appointments implies that perhaps We at the Clog are more than just Dirks’ Oski-worshipping supporters. Perhaps the simplest answer is the right one.

We at the Clog are actually just Dirks and Napolitano sitting in a room writing blog posts about Berkeley life. This is how we know so much about Berkeley life — we have access to every piece of information that’s even somewhat Berkeley related. (Including your Amazon Student account — that was a weird gift for your mom, by the way. We don’t think she’ll like it.) This is how we seem to be always present yet never there — we keep an eye out for any big event via the cameras we had permanently installed on the Campanile. We at the Clog will die once one, or both, Dirks and Napolitano leave. But for now, we rule your lives.

J. Hannah Lee/File

J. Hannah Lee/File