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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Paul Krassner is funny and interesting

Paul Krassner

When I was in college, I had a red, white and blue poster in my dorm room that proclaimed, "Fuck Communism!" I thought it was funny.

Many years later, and I've learned that Paul Krassner was involved in producing the poster. And there's a lot that I think is funny in his memoir, Confessions of a Raving, Unconfined Nut.

There's a section, for example, where Krassner decides to try LSD.

When I told my mother about taking LSD, she was quite concerned.

She warned me, "It could lead to marijuana."

I keep reading sections of the book to my wife, and she just looks at me.

Krassner knew just about every interesting person involved in the culture. His first interview at The Realist was with Alan Watts. He knew Timothy Leary. He was friends with Norman Mailer. And on and on and on. So, reading the book tells you a lot about 1950s hipster culture and the 1960s counterculture.

There's a more direct reason for RAW fans to be interested in Krassner, which I'll get into soon. But his book is interesting on its own merits.


michael said...

Not just friends with Mailer: he married Mailer's daughter.

And did acid with Groucho.

I have all his books, except for that big expensive one that came out last year on Taschen: Psychedelic Sex.

fuzzbuddy said...

A books of cartoons from The Realist is out early Dec:
The Realist Cartoons Hardcover – December 6, 2016
by Paul Krassner.

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

@Michael, I haven't gotten that far yet! I'm just finished the chapter on the alleged missing bits from the Kennedy book.

chas said...

Re the quote about LSD leading to marijuana--I found this line in the Nick Herbert link you provided on November 25, "Nick Meets the Galactic Telepaths": For me legal LSD and peyote acted as gateway drugs to the illegal use of marijuana.

michael said...

Tom: sorry about the spoiler.

Re: Paul's mom warning him LSD could lead to pot. Krassner's line: "She was right."

He actually did LSD before weed. Now his credo - and I have no reason to not believe him - is he refuses to do any drug that isn't illegal.

In the extras for Maybe Logic Krassner labels RAW as "an intellectual." If you go through RAW's work, that term is often used pejoratively. I told RAW he was one of the great intellectuals...

"What? I'm an intellectual?"

(The guys who made the documentary were in the room with me at this point and they all nodded. They agreed with me.)

"Yes. You're one of the best ones we have."

Then RAW discussed a book - I think it was Samuel Ellsworth Huntington's, about the "clash of civilizations" - and an idea in there that there were the "real" intellectuals, which were policy wonks, really, and then...everyone else. RAW thought he must be in that out-group. He said he agreed with a lot of what Chomsky said about intellectuals.