Paul Krassner: Interview Part II
by Jonah Raskin, September 27, 2017
Readers seemed to enjoy the Q & A I did with Krassner. So, I sent him some more questions and these are his responses. Thanks for all the comments on the AVA website. They helped me frame the second round of questions. I think this is it for the time being...
Q: Where Is the Humor in the Middle East?
A: There are comedians there, not to mention innumerable individuals who make families and friends laugh.
Q: Are you becoming more sentimental as you age?
A: Not really. I live in the present, though I do miss old friends like Tim Leary and Dick Gregory and my first wife Jeanne with whom my current wife Nancy became a fine friend.
Q: Your fans expect you to be brilliantly funny all the time. Does that help or hinder your creativity?
A: I don’t take criticism personally and therefore I don’t take praise personally though of course it’s appreciated. Years ago I quit Facebook when I reached 5000 “Friends” mostly those I never met who might have liked my work, but ironically they distracted me from my work.
Q: What, if anything, do you regret saying or doing?
A: I try to avoid that by soul-searching first. I do regret having watched too much TV and hardly dancing.
Q: What would you do or say if someone made fun of you because you were born into a Jewish family?
A: It’s their problem, not mine.
Q: Someone said that the satirist loves the things and people he/she ridicules. Is that true or false and why?
A: My targets are triggered by hypocrisy, smugness, dishonesty, and my own foibles. I love when others enjoy my books. My favorite is my autobiography, Confessions of a Raving, Unconfined Nut: Misadventures in the Counterculture, available at my website or more inexpensive at Amazon, expanded & updated edition of 2012.
Q: You made fun of the bomb decades ago. Would you make fun of it today in light of North Korea and Trump saber rattling?
A: The competitive insanity of Trump and Kim is provided by their ultra-absurdity and tragedy as two sides of the same coin.
Q: Shouldn’t hurricanes be named after real villains like Mussolini and Idi Amin?
A: More appropriate would be those who deny climate change.
Q: If the U.S. is an Empire do you wish that it would decline and fall already?
A: We can only hope.
Q: Don’t you think that Ken Burns ought to have a sense of humor, especially in light of his Vietnam documentary?
A: He deleted Tom Hayden’s important antiwar role.