The My Favorite! column is a weekly celebration of all things joyful. The parameters are simple. I asked some creative friends to write a few sentences about something that gives them great joy. Could be anything. An album or painting. Ridiculous public figures. Or in this case, a few kind words.
This one requires a little bit of a setup. Krassner is referring to George Carlin writing the introduction to Krassner’s 2002 book of his collected writings, Murder at the Conspiracy Convention: And Other American Absurdities.
I was thrilled when George wrote this for one of my books:
“Paul’s own writing, in particular, seemed daring and adventurous to me; it took big chances and made important arguments in relentlessly funny ways. I felt, down deep, that maybe I had some of that in me, too; that maybe I could be using my skills to better express my beliefs. The Realist was the inspiration that kept pushing me to the next level; there was no way I could continue reading it and remain the same.”
Paul Krassner published The Realist (1958-2001), but when People magazine labeled him “father of the underground press,” he immediately demanded a paternity test. And when Life magazine published a favorable article about him, the FBI sent a poison-pen letter to the editor calling Krassner “a raving, unconfined nut.” While abortion was illegal, Krassner ran an underground referral service, and as an antiwar activist, he became a co-founder of the Yippies (Youth International Party). Krassner’s one-person show won an award from the L.A. Weekly. He received an ACLU (Upton Sinclair) Award for dedication to freedom of expression. At the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, he was inducted into the Counterculture Hall of Fame — “my ambition,” he claims, “since I was three years old.” He’s won awards from Playboy, the Feminist Party Media Workshop, and in 2010 the Oakland branch of the writers organization PEN honored him with their Lifetime Achievement Award. “I’m very happy to receive this award,” he concluded in his acceptance speech, “and even happier that it wasn’t posthumous.”–
Want to share your joy?
You can participate in the My Favorite! column. Just send me a paragraph or two about something that makes you delightfully happy, a short bio, and a photo of yourself. If you have a photo of the happy-making thing, that would be great to. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org