Paul Krassner Interview, Part III
by Jonah Raskin, October 4, 2017
Q: Hugh Hefner lasted a long time, didn’t he? How might history remember him?
A: Fun Fact: Hef was one of the first to invest in Viagra stocks.
Q: David Brooks in The New York Times called Donald Trump “The Abbie Hoffman of the Right.” What do you think of that?
A: Brooks is a professional asshole. Abbie and Trump are opposites.
Q: How about the athletes who are going down on one knee to protest police brutality and racism? That seems like a version of symbolic speech, like giving the finger or burning the flag. What’s your take?
A: Several decades ago, the Supreme Court declared that it was not a crime to destroy the American flag for any reason. Period.
Q: I believe you created “fake news” in your day. Would you call it that?
A: Satire is a form of fake news, but I didn't label such pieces as investigative journalism or satire in order not to prevent readers from discerning for themselves what was true news or satirical extensions.
Q: Have you visited the Gaza strip? Do you have a perspective on Israeli settlements there?
A: I didn’t go there. Palestine never said, “Please take our land because America or England wouldn’t.” However, I did go to the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam.
Q: Can you believe it? Marijuana is finally going to be legal in California. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
A: It's a good thing, but it’s a bad thing getting busted for smoking weed. Anybody in prison for such injustice is the cornerstone of a police state.
Q: Californians seem to be obsessed about food: what they eat and where they eat it. As you have aged have your feelings about food changed?
A: I stopped eating red meat long ago and later anti-biotic chicken. My favorites: vegan sandwiches at Native Foods and teriyaki salmon at Domo, a Japanese place.
Q: You have been concerned with obscenity for much of your life. Some say that nowadays you can say anything and not get in trouble. Do you think that’s true?
A: I was concerned every time Lenny Bruce got arrested because district attorneys wanted to boost their careers. That doesn’t happen to comedians now. It doesn’t mean they’re funny, though.
Q: Gossip and rumor play an important role in society, don’t they? You hear the real story through the grapevine and not through the established channels of communication. Yes?
A: I consider the source. I consider Snopes, also known as the Urban Legends Reference Pages, as believable. My favorite lie is when Trump said that Hillary began the Obama birther propaganda and Trump ended it.
Q: Halloween is an underrated occasion in my view and ought to be as big as Easter Sunday. You can put on any costume you want and go trick or treating. Do you have any Halloween memories?
A: I’ve just been burglarized. I'm still in shock. I don’t give a shit about the candy industry Halloween.