Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Paul Krassner Is A Very Bad Boy


 Tony R. Rodriguez

"To classify Krassner as a social rebel is far too cute. He's a nut, a raving, unconfined nut."

Federal Bureau of Investigation


In his insanely rambunctious manner of journalism, Paul Krassner continues to craft his art in the similar custom of Hunter S. Thompson. But Krassner heroically goes deeper into the foul depths of shock-and-awe journalism than Thompson could have ever dreamed. In Krassner's latest and most disconcerting book, In Praise of Indecency, readers will not find him at the forefront of a political-social war against our nation's hypocrisy. Rather, people will find him banging directly on the front door of his opposing forces. And what more can readers expect from Paul Krassner, a man who's been roaring his counterculture views since the 1960s.


In Praise of Indecency opens with an interview between Susie Bright and Krassner. Bright, without much effort at all, gets Krassner to discuss his thoughts about drug use and his personal sexual exploits. From there until the book's closing, Krassner takes his readers on an energetic ride through thought-provoking essays and often-humorous interviews.


After reading In Praise of Indecency, readers may come to agree: No one should ever let Paul Krassner seek public office. Never invite this guy to speak at your college. Never offer to have him over for dinner or buy him a drink at a bar. And most importantly, never let him babysit your offspring.



But don't let the aforementioned opinions scare you away from Krassner's work.


The man's brilliant.


Like Hunter S. Thompson, Paul Krassner offers a certain unorthodox style of literary mayhem in his work. It's a greater call that serves a higher purpose for those who seek to rattle the cage of any alleged civil society. Considering Krassner's literary history stretching far back to the counterculture movement of the 1960s, one quickly finds that Krassner is a writer with more well-deserved success than many within the literary world. Krassner proudly edited Lenny Bruce's ferocious autobiography How to Talk Dirty and Influence People. Krassner is also the founder and editor of The Realist, a self-proclaimed "free-thought" magazine catering to counterculture views. In addition, he writes for High Times magazine, the controversial publication in support of the legalization of marijuana. And in 2004, Krassner won the prestigious ACLU Upton Sinclair Award for his thorough commitment to freedom of speech and expression.


Not convinced yet? Well, here's a bit of what other like-minded people have said about Krassner: George Carlin commented that Krassner is "dangerous—and funny, and necessary." Tom Robbins referred to Krassner as the "lobster claw in the tuna casserole of modern-day America." And the New York Times stated that Krassner is "an expert at ferreting out hypocrisy and absurdism from the more solemn crannies of American culture."


Generally speaking, people shouldn't be indecent. But Krassner's In Praise of Indecency shows us how being indecent is not only a form of art, it can also be a form of revolution.


In Praise of Indecency  by Paul Krassner

Cleis Press, May 19th 2009, 110 pages, paper trade

ISBN 978-1-57344-350-0, $12.95 (USA)




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