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Who's to Say What's Obscene?: Politics, Culture, and Comedy in America Today
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Who's to Say What's Obscene?: Politics, Culture, and Comedy in America Today

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  45 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Fans of The Daily Show and will appreciate this timely collection of satirical essays by counterculture icon Paul Krassner.With irreverence and an often X-rated wit, Krassner writes with a unique perspective on comedy and obscenity in politics and culture, from "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banners to scenes cut out of recent movies, including Borat and Milk.

In his essay "Don Imus M
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by City Lights Publishers
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City Lights Booksellers & Publishers
[Krassner reminds:] his readers that politics without humor is boring and that laughter without a moral compass is lame."
— Danny Goldberg, The Nation

"For readers unfamiliar with Krassner, his credentials--author, journalist, editor, talk show guest--seem fairly safe. But combine those with his role as a co-founder of the Yippie movement, his membership in Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters, and his X-rated standup comedy routine and those initial credentials sound downright dangerous. Krassner is a sa
Sep 29, 2010 Angela rated it liked it
I picked this book up in a bookstore in San Francisco. But that was after I had an Irish coffee in one cafe, and a few drinks in another bar in the middle of the afternoon, and that was after I convinced myself I was a lot smarter than I was.

This book makes me feel dumb. It rambles on and on, and I occasionally understood an intelligent political joke, but it was rare. I even started the book over again a few months later. And it still wasn't that great.

I'm keeping it more as a souvenir of my dr
Apr 25, 2011 Theresa rated it it was ok
What a meandering windbag. Same old, "Bush sucked and the criminalization of weed is akin to living in Nazi Germany, Lenny Bruce was a god; I was big news in the 60's, let me remind you over and OVER." blah, blah, blaaaaaah. Yawn.
Michele Bolay
Oct 18, 2010 Michele Bolay rated it did not like it
This was a book group selection, and should generate a good discussion, if nothing else.

Krassner is obviously intelligent, well-informed, and passionate, but he's all over the place. It comes off as just one anecdote after another, with not enough commentary and focus to link it all together. It felt disjointed and it lacked the focus I wanted. He started off with a thesis of anti-hypocrisy (which I am fully behind), but lost it along the way. I also felt like, at times, he got into the dangerou
Delta Q
Feb 15, 2012 Delta Q rated it really liked it
"Who's to Say What's Obscene?: Politics, Culture, and Comedy in America Today" is a book of satirical comedy. And the funniest part about it are the trust bits. "Trashing the right to read" is one such chapter. Books are routinely censored in prisons all over the world, and fairly rigorously in Japan as well. Krassner's article let me have laughs about how real such inane behavior is by Justice authorities.

Many of Krassner's books are already out of print. I could not find a copy of "The Best o
Aug 03, 2009 James rated it really liked it
In an attempt to stay relevant, Krassner's otherwise enjoyable and funny tome about modern censorship and hypocrisy, quickly deconstructs into self-mythologizing and ego stroking.

The first half is excellent, filled with keen observations, deleted scenes from Borat, and amusing anecdotes.

The second half is a vanity project. Mr. Krassner, I would just like to say: Yippies was a horrible name. Horrible.

If there is one thing I can learn from you, it is to not name my generation.
Jun 23, 2009 John rated it really liked it
A collection of short essays from Krassner that covers the first decade of the new century (with a lot of looking back at the 60s). A very quick read on how the government and culture are out of control. Perfect for the conspiracy theorist and left-leaning socialist who wants affirmation on fighting the good fight. Not sure those who need to read this ever will.
Kw Estes
Mar 16, 2010 Kw Estes rated it liked it
A fairly enjoyable collection of stories both from Krassner's time in the early counterculture and observations on events of a more recent vintage. Nothing mindblowing, but then I didn't expect it to be.
Jason Payne
Jul 10, 2014 Jason Payne rated it liked it
Interesting if self-congratulatory. Not quite what I expected it to be, which was disappointing. Laughs throughout, though too many too rueful.
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"What is truly obscene...?" 1 8 Mar 16, 2010 04:48PM  

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