Still Satirical After All These Years
by Jonah Raskin, September 20, 2017
Satirist Paul Krassner made history with his raucous magazine, The Realist, the great-grandfather of “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report.” Like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, he has had no sacred cows. I’ve known Krassner since 1970, when we were both Yippies and members of the Youth International Party. Born in Brooklyn in 1932, Krassner celebrated his 85th birthday earlier this year in Dessert Hot Spring where he lives year-round. When I emailed him ten questions and asked for short answers he emailed back with ten pithy responses.
Q: How did it feel to turn 85 this year?
A: 85 is the new 84.
Q: What’s the funniest thing you can say about Donald Trump?
A: Hillary would have him locked up.
Q: Why do you live on the edge of a desert?
A: Found a fine inexpensive home.
Q: Would you like to return to Brooklyn, New York your hometown?
A: Nope, I like California way better, from Santa Cruz to San Francisco to Venice Beach to Desert Hot Springs and to the Anderson Valley.
Q: We’ve seen everything this year, including a biography of our former whipping boy, Jerry Rubin. What’s the world coming to?
A: Insanity, cruelty, lack of compassion, stupidity, climate change, greed, dishonesty and yet optimism.
Q: Of all your buddies over the years who do you miss the most?
A: Ken Kesey, Abbie Hoffman, Phil Ochs, Lenny Bruce and George Carlin.
Q: Is there good sex at 85?
Q: Is women’s liberation overrated?
A: Misogyny must be stopped.
Q: How do you feel about the alt-right? Is it neo-Nazi?
A: It sucks horribly. Still, I’m a fanatic about freedom of speech.
Q: In hindsight, how does Obama look do you?
A: I would vote for him again both times.