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xmag.com : September 2002: Media Stalker


Without question, the most exciting media event of the summer was a rare Portland appearance by a rare individual: 60s iconoclast and political gadfly, status-quo annihilator and all-around provocateur, Paul Krassner.

Krassner, of course, is the founder and editor of The Realist (don't worry, I don't know or give a flying care what it is, either), goombah of Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin (they weren't annoying smacked asses and self-promoting charlatans, were they?), and editor of Lenny Bruce's autobiography.

What's that mean? "Let's go with a semicolon here, Len. Len? Lenny? For the love of God, Lenny, wake up!"

He appeared at the "Artichoke" something-or-other and also in the basement of some church. Each venue holds twelve
people, and there wasn't
an empty seat in the house.

The Portland Alliance's Dave "Overeating for Social Justice" Mazza occupied four seats himself. There was an unfortunate incident when a member of WAD (Women Against Dicks) tripped over the wheelbarrow Mazza keeps with him at all times in case he comes across a food co-op.

Food was provided by Cassidy's, a sinister bohemian outpost for political dissidents and the radical fringe. Isn't it interesting that the lovely ladies of the SLA and that former militant broad who turned up in Eugene a few years back would all be involved in chi chi restaurants where "workers" are so welcome? Why does a flip from pipe bombs to place settings not surprise this observer of class, culture, and entitled 60s wackjobs?

I learned of Krassner's appearance in the underground paper The Portland Tribune in a column penned by sixty-something subversive Phil Stanford.

Phil later shared this highlight: "Counter culture icon Paul Krassner was struck by that announcement for arriving passengers at P-town International: 'Please keep forward motion as you exit.'...Contrarian that he is, Paul tried a couple steps backward. 'But it didn't work,' he says."

Oookay. Great story. What do you do for a living?

In the media blip preceding seventy-something Krassner's coming, we also learned that he and Oregon native son Ken Kesey were "lifelong friends."

I think we already knew that. When judging Ken Kesey and histie-dyed company as thinkers, revolutionaries, visionaries, whatevers, I'm afraid we have to take one disturbing fact into consideration: He thought the Grateful Dead made good music.

Sorry to deflate your sacred cows, but the only worthwhile contribution to the culture to ever come out of Oregon is The Kingsmen's version of "Louie Louie." And the studio where they cut it is now a gay bar. There's metaphorical gold in them thar hills.

But I'll second Willamette Week's motion that Sleater-Kinney is "the greatest Portland band EVER!" Prim, painfully arty, humorless, of interest to an elitist few (who happen to own the "alternative press")--perfect.

This same handful of droppable names--don't white intellectuals ever want to just scream?

Like The Portland Tribune pushing a decrepit Krassner due only to the bent of its likeminded (and like-aged) staff while their "new" paper puts the city to sleep and loses a reported ten million dollars a year.

In a recent documentary on Lenny Bruce, no less a social outcast and emissary from the dark underbelly of life than Hugh Hefner said, "He told the truth, so they killed him." If so, "they" weren't exactly The Man. Professional
anti-authoritarian Lenny Bruce was a police informant.

The Media Stalker's opposed to two or more likeminded persons banding together for any reason.

Dig this: when the yupped-out Portland Tribune holds a pep rally, its owner, a filthy-rich industrialist heir and ordained minister, hands out hundred dollar bills to his earnest little reporters and boho-chic "counterculture" devotees.

Thank you, Reverend. I'll use this for some Bukowski and Rimbaud.

Shifty Henry said to Bugs, "For heaven's sake."






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