Monday, March 09, 2009

Paul Krassner Advice for Bloggers

J gave me a the February 2009 copy of Sun magazine last night insisting that I should know about it. This morning (I need to say it is really hot outside at 8am. In Chiang Mai it cools down at night. In Hanoi it was mostly in the 60’s and low 70s (16˚-22˚ C. But it’s HOT here.)I read the interview of Paul Krassner, who I’m vaguely familiar with, and who is described in Sun as having

been spreading his witty, sometimes snide, and often political brand of humor since the late 1950’s.

He was a violin prodigy who played at Carnegie Hall at 6 and wrote for the Steve Allen show and Mad magazine and edited Lenny Bruce’s autobiography among other things like writing the Realist.

Blogging gives all of us the chance to be social critics, and Krassner, now 76, offers some comments that I think bloggers should consider.

People don’t like to be lectured to, but if you can make them laugh, their defenses come down, and for the time being they’ve accepted whatever truth is embedded in your humor. When a large audience of people are laughing together, no matter how disparate their backgrounds are, it’s a unifying moment. But who’s to say how long that moment of truth or unity lasts and whether it leads to any action? p. 6

The more repression there is the more need there is for irreverence toward those who are responsible for that repression. But too often sarcasm passes for irony, name-calling passes for insight, bleeped-out four-letter-words pass for wit, and lowest-common-denominator jokes pass for analysis. Satire should have a point of view. It doesn’t have to get a belly laught. It does have to present criticism. p. 7

The picture is my computer in the guest house at J&V’s place. The other is the view from the guest house porch.

It's not quite as hot as I thought earlier, it was the effect of coming out of the air conditioning.

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