Uncensored, uncontained, and thoroughly demented, the memoirs of Paul Krassner are back in an updated and expanded edition. Paul Krassner, “father of the underground press” (People magazine), founder of the Realist, political radical, Yippie, and award-winning stand-up satirist, shares his stark raving adventures with the likes of Lenny Bruce, Abbie Hoffman, Norman Mailer, Ken Kesey, Groucho Marx, and Squeaky Fromme, revealing the patriarch of counterculture’s ultimate, intimate, uproarious life on the fringes of society. Whether he’s writing about his friendship with controversial comic Lenny Bruce, introducing Groucho Marx to LSD, his investigation of Scientology, or John Kennedy’s cadaver, no subject is too sacred to be skewered by Krassner. And yet his stories are soulful and philosophical, always authentic to his iconoclastic brand of personal journalism. As Art Spiegelman said, “Krassner is one of the best minds of his generational to be destroyed by madness, starving, hysterical, naked—but mainly hysterical. His true wacky, wackily true autobiography is the definitive book on the sixties.”
Beloved by both Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady, Lu Anne Henderson’s story has never been told. Lu Anne was a beautiful 15-year-old girl in Denver in 1945 when she met Neal, a fast-talking hurricane of male sexuality and vast promises. The two married, and soon they were hanging out with a group of would-be writers, including Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. But Neal and Jack initially didn’t like each other very much. Lu Anne taught them how to love each other — in effect, making the Beat Generation possible, as well as giving Kerouac material for one of the seminal novels of the 20th century, On the Road. One and Only traces the immense struggles of Lu Anne’s own life, which ranged from the split-up of her family to the ravages of abusive men, lingering illness, and the grief of losing the two most important men in her life. Lu Anne Henderson did not live to see the filming of On the Road by Walter Salles, but One and Only tells how Twilight’s Kristen Stewart, through her work with both Nicosia and Anne Marie Santos (Lu Anne's daughter), came to find the key to playing Lu Anne in the film.
From burning draft cards to staging nude protests, much left-wing political activism in 1960s America was distinguished by deliberate outrageousness. This theatrical activism, aimed at the mass media and practiced by Abbie Hoffman and the Yippies, the Black Panthers, and the Gay Activists Alliance, among others, is often dismissed as naive and out of touch, or criticized for tactics condemned as silly and off-putting to the general public. In Radical Theatrics, however, Craig Peariso argues that these over-the-top antics were far more than just the spontaneous actions of a self-indulgent radical impulse. Instead, he shows, they were well-considered aesthetic and political responses to a jaded cultural climate in which an unreflective “tolerance” masked an unwillingness to engage with challenging ideas. Through innovative analysis that links political protest to the art of contemporaries such as Andy Warhol, Peariso reveals how the “put-on” — the signature activist performance of the radical left — ended up becoming a valuable American political practice, one that continues to influence contemporary radical movements such as Occupy Wall Street.
During a time of unprecedented political, social, and cultural upheaval in U.S. history, one of the fiercest battles was ignited by a comic book. In 1963, the San Francisco Chronicle made 21-year-old Dan O'Neill the youngest syndicated cartoonist in American newspaper history. As O'Neill delved deeper into the emerging counterculture, his strip, Odd Bodkins, became stranger and stranger and more and more provocative, until the papers in the syndicate dropped it and the Chronicle let him go. The lesson that O'Neill drew from this was that what America most needed was the destruction of Walt Disney. O'Neill assembled a band of rogue cartoonists called the Air Pirates (after a group of villains who had bedeviled Mickey Mouse in comic books and cartoons). They lived communally in a San Francisco warehouse owned by Francis Ford Coppola and put out a comic book, Air Pirates Funnies, that featured Disney characters participating in very un-Disneylike behavior, provoking a mammoth lawsuit for copyright and trademark infringements and hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. Disney was represented by one of San Francisco's top corporate law firms and the Pirates by the cream of the counterculture bar. The lawsuit raged for 10 years, from the trial court to the US Supreme Court and back again.
For almost three decades, the Grateful Dead was America's most popular touring band. No Simple Highway is the first book to ask the simple question of why—and attempt to answer it. Drawing on new research, interviews, and a fresh supply of material from the Grateful Dead archives, author Peter Richardson vividly recounts the Dead's colorful history, adding new insight into everything from the Acid Tests to the band's formation of their own record label to their massive late career success, while probing the riddle of the Dead's vast and durable appeal. Arguing that the band successfully tapped three powerful utopian ideals—for ecstasy, mobility, and community—it also shows how the Dead's lived experience with these ideals struck deep chords with two generations of American youth and continues today. Routinely caricatured by the mainstream media, the Grateful Dead are often portrayed as grizzled hippy throwbacks with a cult following of burned-out stoners. No Simple Highway corrects that impression, revealing them to be one of the most popular, versatile, and resilient music ensembles in the second half of the twentieth century. The band's history has been well-documented by insiders, but its unique and sustained appeal has yet to be explored fully. At last, this legendary American musical institution is given the serious and entertaining examination it richly deserves.
This book examines the role of humor in modern American politics. Written by a wide range of authors from the fields of political science and communication, this book is organized according to two general topics: how the modern media present political humor the various ways in which political humor influences politics. Laughing Matters is an excellent text for courses on media and politics, public opinion, and campaigns and elections.
Clifford is a brief slice of a rudderless teenage life. A preponderance of the book takes place on a road trip with Floyd and Marsha. After narrowly missing Clifford with a bucket of chicken bones (hurled from their car) the improbable pair offer Clifford a ride. Clifford is beguiled by an uninhibited Marsha. (Marsha is the first female to treat Clifford with something other than scorn.) The trek ends at Marsha's house. Clifford isn't asked to leave and is delighted to stay. The indelible climax of Clifford takes place at a party.
Examining nearly every conspiracy theory in the public’s consciousness today, this investigation seeks to link seemingly unrelated theories through a cultural studies perspective. While looking at conspiracy theories that range from the moon landing and JFK’s assassination to the Oklahoma City bombing and Freemasonry, this reconstruction reveals newly discovered connections between wide swaths of events. Linking Dracula to George W. Bush, UFOs to strawberry ice cream, and Jesus Christ to robots from outer space, this is truly an all-original discussion of popular conspiracy theories.