147126
146025

World  

Yippies prankster dead

Paul Krassner, the publisher, author and radical political activist on the front lines of 1960s counterculture who helped tie together his loose-knit prankster group by naming them the Yippies, died Sunday in Southern California, his daughter said.

Krassner died at his home in Desert Hot Springs, Holly Krassner Dawson told The Associated Press. He was 87 and had recently transitioned to hospice care after an illness, Dawson said. She didn't say what the illness was.

The Yippies, who included Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman and were otherwise known as the Youth International Party, briefly became notorious for such stunts as running a pig for president and throwing dollar bills onto the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Hoffman and Rubin, but not Krassner, were among the so-called "Chicago 7" charged with inciting riots at 1968's chaotic Democratic National Convention.

By the end of the decade, most of the group's members had faded into obscurity. But not Krassner, who constantly reinvented himself, becoming a public speaker, freelance writer, stand-up comedian, celebrity interviewer and author of nearly a dozen books.

"He doesn't waste time," longtime friend and fellow counterculture personality Wavy Gravy once said of him. "People who waste time get buried in it. He keeps doing one thing after another."

He interviewed such celebrity acquaintances as authors Norman Mailer and Joseph Heller and the late conservative pundit Andrew Breitbart. The latter, like other conservatives, said that although he disagreed with everything Krassner stood for, he admired his sense of humour.

An advocate of unmitigated free speech, recreational drug use and personal pornography, Krassner's books included such titles as "Pot Stories For The Soul" and "Psychedelic Trips for the Mind," and he claimed to have taken LSD with numerous celebrities, including comedian Groucho Marx, LSD guru Timothy Leary and author Ken Kesey.

He also published several books on obscenity, some with names that can't be listed here. Two that can are "In Praise of Indecency: Dispatches From the Valley of Porn" and "Who's to Say What's Obscene: Politics, Culture & Comedy in America Today."

For his autobiography, Krassner chose the title, "Confessions of a Raving, Unconfined Nut: Misadventures in the Counterculture," using a phrase taken from an angry letter to the editor of a magazine that had once published a favourable profile of him.

"To classify Krassner as a social rebel is far too cute," the letter writer said. "He's a nut, a raving, unconfined nut."

What he really was, Krassner told The Associated Press in 2013, was a guy who enjoyed making people laugh, although one who brought a political activist's conscience to the effort.

He noted proudly that in the early 1960s, when abortion was illegal in almost every state, he ran an underground abortion referral service for women.

"That really was a turning point in my life because I had morphed from a satirist into an activist," he said.



More World News

World
146382
London Webcam
Webcam provided by webcams.travel
145991
Recent Trending
143594
Soft 103.9
143585
Castanet Proud Member of RTNDA Canada
138886



138647
145963