Monday, February 23, 2009

Do you take off your wooden leg before you make love to your wife?

I like the part of the counterculture that was offensive, funny and nutty. People like George Carlin, Robert Crumb - and Paul Krassner.

Krassner was editor of The Realist, a satirical underground magazine best known for the 1967 hoax The Parts That Were Left Out of The Kennedy Book, a supposedly censored excerpt from a Kennedy biography where Lyndon Johnson is caught fucking the bullet-hole in the neck of Kennedy's corpse. I think that's pretty funny. I think the aftermath is funnier: Some people, including Daniel Ellsberg, seriously considered that the story might be true. (The same issue contained the equally famous Disneyland Memorial Orgy cartoon.)

Confessions of a Raving, Unconfined Nut collects these and other stories from Krassner's life: about his friendship with Lenny Bruce, how he introduced Groucho Marx to LSD, his bizarre time as editor of Hustler, and his career with the Yippies.

Once, as an experiment, he decided to stop laughing, which triggered an onset of P. K. Dickian paranoia, and he spent a year in a world of cosmic conspiracies.

Well, maybe the drugs played a role too. Anyway, he got over it, (the paranoia and the not laughing, that is) - and he still performs stand-up comedy.

The book also contains my all-time favourite opening line of an autobiography: "I first woke up at the age of six." When did you wake up?



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