Paul Krassner (paulkrassner) Sat 7 Dec 02 10:02
about 5 weeks ago I wrote a lengthy review of the book about Lenny Bruce's trials for the L.A. Sunday Times Book Review, which I'm sure can be found on the Internet.
bj castleman - the cousin (bluecat-sings) Sat 7 Dec 02 10:44
Actually I'm Barry's cousin in Portland, but I'll pass on to him that you said hi. How does an investigative satrist spend his days? What matinee did he go to? How was it? I've been watching that UFO The Government is keeping secrets and killing innocent citizens Taken mini-series. What a concept! personally, I like the conspiracy theory that says that Cheney is actually being controlled by a race of reptilian aliens that want to take over the planet and control the population, killing off most of us and leaving 30% as slaves and food. now *there's* a routine for Lenny. by the way ... you know the catchword "Yada Yada" that became so popular when used in a Seinfeld episode? didn't that first come from a Bruce routine about jail movies? "Yada yada, warden, yada yada!" cousin from the northlands, blue
Dan Levy (danlevy) Sat 7 Dec 02 10:45
It's interesting to hear you say about Lenny, Paul, that events come up and you wonder what he would have made of them. That's very much been the experience of Terence McKenna's close friends, who muse among ourselves about what Terence would have made of 9/11 and everything since then. My guess: he'd be appalled, of course, but secretly quite excited that there were even bitter enemies who seemed to be trying to hasten some grand cosmic reckoning. Terence didn't like to admit it, but he took a lot of his cues from the science fiction he read as a kid.
RUSirius (rusirius) Sat 7 Dec 02 11:51
Hi Paul! Congrats on the new book. I was just talking to a very politically hip young fellow the other day for whom Lenny Bruce was a name mentioned in a popular REM song. I did my best to inform him... So what do you think of the whole Wynona thing? I remember when shoplifting was hip...
Paul Krassner (paulkrassner) Sat 7 Dec 02 12:27
The matinee was a Mexican film about a priest's affair with a young virgin...ah, yes, ripped right out of today's headlines... speaking of reptilian angels, the title piece in Murder At the Conspiracy Convention includes long quotes from British er uh researcher David Icke, who seems to really believe that crapola... and yes, Lenny was the pioneer in yada-yad-ism.
Paul Krassner (paulkrassner) Sat 7 Dec 02 12:35
Hey, Dan--it's fun to see old friends popping up out of t he Well...speaking of Terence McKenna, I dedicated an upcoming anthology to him--Magic Mushrooms and Other Highs: From Toad Slime to Ecstasy--now in the hands of a N.Y. agent.
Paul Krassner (paulkrassner) Sat 7 Dec 02 12:40
Hi, Sirius--there's an aspect of the Winona Ryder trial that's interesting to me, namely that because I know her parents [as you probably know, her dad is Tim Leary's archivist, and Tim was Winona's godfather], I identify with her case in a way I otherwise wouldn't, just as because I knew Robert Blake I identify with his case in a different way, and just as my daughter's former boyfriend is a network news correspondent in Bagdad I watch that particular network's evening news rather than the others.
Infradibulated Gratility (ssol) Sat 7 Dec 02 14:24
Interesting about the media stuff and relations. Back when the Chinese troops rolled over the kids in Bejing's Teinnamen (sp?) Sq, I saw my former intern Bruce, the videographer, and slight acquainence, Mike, send out the final pictures from a supposedly turned off camera sitting on a night table in a hotel room above the square. You could see Bruce sitting on the bed across from the night table. Next to him was a window illuminated by the fires down below. I realized at that point that I knew these guys coming over the cable via Earth-orbiting relays to my living room from the other side of the planet... but I didn't know my own neighbor's last name, he being right across the hall. Any thoughts on how such tech and global media bring us together and take us apart?
Michael Simmons (michaelsimmons) Sat 7 Dec 02 15:04
Wondering how Lenny and Terence would be reacting to current events made me chuckle when I realized that the concept is similar to "What Would Jesus Do?" Maybe we should make bumper stickers that read "What Would Lenny Say?". During one of the last one-on-one conversations I had with Terence, he was musing that if we could make rebellion cool amongst youth again, we could kickstart mass revolt, the kind we saw globally in 1968. Of course, a year or so later, we had the Battle of Seattle. I wrote Terence's obit for High Times the same weekend in April 2000 that young people were attempting to shut down the IMF/World Bank meetings in D.C. I felt as if Terence's wish had come true. I think that within current twenty-somethings are some very savvy, committed activists. Paul, what are your thoughts on the anti-global capitalist movement? Are you as encouraged as I am?
David Gans (tnf) Sat 7 Dec 02 15:15
I am encouraged to hear you say you're encouraged, Michael I left home for a northwest tour the morning after the election, and for the first time in m adult life I avoided the news -- for days. I have never been as depressed, dejected and fearful for my own safety as I am now. Remind me why we should be hopeful?
Paul Krassner (paulkrassner) Sat 7 Dec 02 15:20
Further thought about Winona Ryder. It's not her fault for being privileged, but the celebrity/class/race aspects of her sentence are disturbingly present in view of all the shoplifters spending years behind bars; life sentences for 3-strikers.
Paul Krassner (paulkrassner) Sat 7 Dec 02 15:25
Well, Infradibulated, the global media soitanly serve to bring people together, but the technology is a tool, not a boss; I didn't know my neighbor's last name before I had a computer and I still don't it. Maybe I could find out his e-mail address, though.
Paul Krassner (paulkrassner) Sat 7 Dec 02 15:33
Michael, it's wonderful how in the space of 24 hours you've gone from being demoralized to feeling encouraged. The global justice movement and students against sweatshops and students for a sensible drug policy and the myriads of other causes inspire me and give me rays of optimism as I waver between despair and hope. What would Pollyanna say?
Michael Simmons (michaelsimmons) Sat 7 Dec 02 19:07
<<Michael, it's wonderful how in the space of 24 hours you've gone from being demoralized to feeling encouraged.>> Hah! Yeah, well, these days it's minute to minute. Someone once said that the definition of intelligence is the ability to hold two disparate opinions in your head simultaneously (or something like that), in which case I must be a fucking genius because I've never been so despairing (yes, David, I understand) and so hopeful at the same time. I remember during Clinton feeling like we were in a purgatory and when I voted for Nader and was warned of the McFascism that a Bush victory would bring, my reaction was "then let's bring it on." Now that it's here, I'm not feeling so bold but I do think the egregiousness of what I hope is the end stage of capitalism is radicalizing many young people. I agree with Paul that there is a powerful youth movement afoot, one that hasn't been equaled since the '60s. I know a lot of these young people, I've worked with them in various causes from the Zapatistas to drug reform, and they may be hipper than many post-'60s rads because they have an all-encompassing analysis of the interconnectedness of everything. They are seeing beyond single-issue campaigns. They see that logo branding and environmental degradation and labor injustice and consciousness freedoms are part of the same organism. So David, if you can, turn your despair into anger and your anger into action. Zack de la Rocha sings "Your anger is a gift". Back to Krass, that's why I asked you earlier how you've been able to stand the world getting worse as opposed to us living in Woodstock Nation like some of us, including myself, however foolishly, thought we were headed towards. I know you have a Zen perspective and obviously a fine sense of humor. Are these survival tools for you? Any others? Can you dispense advice to the despairing -- me, Gans, and millions, maybe billions, of others?
Michael Simmons (michaelsimmons) Sat 7 Dec 02 19:39
Message to Gans: You're a singer/songwriter and a fine one. Turn your despair into song. Politics and music are sometimes like oil and water, but they can be oil and vinegar and make a delicious salad dressing. Have you heard "Jerusalem", Steve Earle's new album? It addresses the current Battle of the Fundamentalist Bullies that has the entire planet held hostage and it rocks and hums and screams and contains some killer guitar playing. But then that is what Krassner has always done and that it is to find catharsis in the face of misery through art. His media are satire and journalism and stand-up. And he's a stand-up guy as well. Sorry. Paulsie, one of my favorite recent Krass stories is when Dan Castellaneta, the voice of Homer Simpson, introduced you before you recorded your most recent comedy album, "Irony Lives!"(Artemis), and the Fox lawyers who own Homer's voice wouldn't allow you to use it on the CD. What reason did they give you?
Paul Krassner (paulkrassner) Sat 7 Dec 02 20:25
Zen and humor (if I'm not being redundant) are definitely tools of survival. I guess I take sort of a non-alcoholic Alcoholics Anonymous approach, trying to discern those things I can do something about and those things I can't, and then within that spectrum, to choose which battles to fight and, in the process, to try not to take myself as seriously as I take my causes. Simmons is right, young people do see the bigger picture. They are way better informed than we were in the '60s, much thanks to the World Wide Web, they have less innocence to lose and therefore less energy to spend deconditioning themselves from mainstream (still brainwashed after all these years) values.
Paul Krassner (paulkrassner) Sat 7 Dec 02 20:30
About the voice of Homer Simpson introducing my performance at the taping of Irony Lives!: Fox TV lawyers gave no reason, but I figure they didn't want to be associated with an album that has such tracks as Terrorist Attacks, In the Guise of Security, Concepts of God, and My Cannabis Cup Runneth Over. Anyone who's interested in reading the text or hearing Homer's intro can check my Web site, paulkrassner.com
Paul Krassner (paulkrassner) Sat 7 Dec 02 20:33
P.S. Since George Carlin wrote the introduction for Murder At the Conspiracy Convention, and it was published, whereas Homer Simpson spoke the intro for Irony Lives!, and it was banned, the moral of this story is: Burn CDs, not books.
Michael Simmons (michaelsimmons) Sat 7 Dec 02 22:31
While this following news item may not be "ironic", it definitely borders on revealing self-parody. Evidently our new Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott was paying tribute to Senator Strom Thurmond at a bash on the occasion of his 100th birthday (some people just don't know when to call it a night). Trent recalled how he'd voted for Strom when he ran for President on the segregationist Dixiecrat ticket in 1948. He went on to note "And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years either." According to the news source, there was an audible gasp -- even from these dinosaurs -- when they realized the problem ol' Trent was referring to is the Negro Problem (and I don't mean my favorite band -- Stew, you there?). Of course, he'll get away with this but what a faux pas. It ranks up there with "Barney Fag". When I read it, I immediately flapped my arms like wings, a trick I learned from Krassner. Paul, care to explain the arm-flapping test?
Infradibulated Gratility (ssol) Sun 8 Dec 02 08:14
The uncontained arrogance of the current crew is breath-taking. Even Nixon knew when to keep his racist yap shut in public. Fwiw, the AP had a piece on Thurmond's birthday yesterday. They mistakenly put a picture of Jessee Helms in the piece, instead of Thurmond. I know a little about the past photo editing practices of the AP and the fact that they have made such a goof, and that local papers who carried the story didn't catch it, is a testament, one among many, to what goes wrong when the news business is run like any other business.
Paul Krassner (paulkrassner) Sun 8 Dec 02 09:57
Ah, yes, the arm-flapping test. As events became more bizarre, I resorted to a childhood method of determining whether I was dreaming or not. If I flapped my arms and could fly, then it was a dream, and I could just surrender to what was happening. If I flapped my arms and couldn't fly, then it was a reality I had to confront and act upon. The only problem was that I would sometimes flap my arms and fly, but accept it as a reality, which of course often happens in dreams.
David Gans (tnf) Sun 8 Dec 02 14:00
> So David, if you can, turn your despair into anger and your anger into ac- > tion. Zack de la Rocha sings "Your anger is a gift". Thanks, Michael. I'm working on it.
David Gans (tnf) Sun 8 Dec 02 14:47
> Message to Gans: You're a singer/songwriter and a fine one. Turn your > despair into song. Politics and music are sometimes like oil and water, > but they can be oil and vinegar and make a delicious salad dressing. And thanks for that, too. I am working on this, too.
David Gans (tnf) Sun 8 Dec 02 14:50
I need to find me some more of these politically aware activist kids to hang out with, 'cause an awful lot of the music lovers I run into on tour seem pretty apathetic.
Michael Simmons (michaelsimmons) Sun 8 Dec 02 16:10
<I need to find me some more of these politically aware activist kids to hang out with, 'cause an awful lot of the music lovers I run into on tour seem pretty apathetic.> Paul, excuse me, but I'm going to digress for a moment in order to address David because I want to say something that's been bothering me for thirty years or more. Im fact, if you have anything to add, please hop in. I love the Grateful Dead and I, when pressed, still refer to myself as a hippie, although I'm really more of a Yippie, thank you very much Paul Krassner! Although my hair is still occasionally long, I smoke dope, I share many social characteristics of what society refers to as a "hippie", I am appalled by most hippie's -- and in particular the Grateful Dead's -- political apathy. Even now, when I read old Garcia interviews and he starts whining about politics, I wanna grab the fat fuck (even tho he's dead, even tho I loved him dearly) and scream at him "If you hadn't been burning yourself up with Persian and floating this tie-dyed corporate commodity known as the Grateful Dead and just ever so tentatively realized that your basic bohemian values were being trampled by an organized right-wing and your fans are targeted by the DEA and you had done SOMETHING to fight back -- well maybe Jerry -- just maybe -- you'd still be alive today!!!!!" I say this, David, because I assume most of your fans are Deadheads -- I may be wrong. But whoever they are, if they're apathetic, then do what you can to raise their consciousness. The Grateful Dead were brilliant at raising consciousness altho again completely apolitically. Your fans will stay your fans. I once wrote that the kids in the streets at the Battle of Seattle were the children of Ani DiFranco and Rage Against the Machine. Now Krass, you were one of political hippies who recognized the need for an entity that represented heads 'n' freaks who also demanded justice and peace, and you co-founded and named the Yippies (Youth International Party). In their sense of humor, anarchic style, love of loud music (punk and hip-hop), etc., I see today's young activists as being a manifestation -- even if they aren't conscious of it -- of YIP. Do you agree?
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