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Tag: Paul Krassner

The Last Hurrah for American Politics: Yippie!

Published exactly 50 years-ago (and, hence, most appropriately titled the LA FP 50-Year Thursday Throwback) is… The Last Hurrah for American Politics: Yippie!
Not a hippie that knew a Yippie? You can find out more about the members of the (Y)outh (I)nternational (P)arty at our last Throwback. AND, as a Special Bonus, you can also find a brand-new (yes, written right now, in 2018) article about Paul Krassner, one of its Founding Fathers by Bruce Fessier in the Desert Sun.
The link to Bruce’ss article is provided at the bottom. Not just an age before beauty thing… once you know the intent of the Paul’s Party, you’ll understand why we all have so much respect for Mr. Krassner. And, too, you’ll gain an important perspective: it’s a look from the point of the good intentions of bringing the Democrats around, to the result of pushing the conservative majority right into the Republican camp – and the election of a Republican President. Certainly something to think about nowadays, isn’t it?.
(And the good news? You’ve got another 5 days to get to that Who concert 🙂


And, just so happens… this Issue has a special interview in it, particularly remarkable in that the subject of the interview – Huey P. Newton – is murdered ‘just a few days ago’ (though nearly 30 later in 1989). It is in his honor that we re-print it today – for his role in the formation of the Black Panthers – a group that is especially remarkable as it was – in comparison to one of the most radical groups of today – INclusive. In fact, we think that if the Alt-Right is kept in mind, and the Black Panthers’ ideals, actions, and oppression were remembered, the issue of white-racism would be more fully understood.
Here, from 50 years-ago, is the lead upto the trial at which Huey, himself, was convicted of murder. (He was later set free; racism has lead us down a long path of trial and error and, apparently, a final judgement has not yet been made.)
(Just so you know, the ‘Venice busts’ article begins as ‘Troops Invade Venice’ – the LAPD’s “major effort to crush the Black Panthers…” – available upon request.)

Note: – ‘Tonight’ you might have to skip Eric and the Animals to catch the Smothers Brothers at the Forum, but then it’s clear sailing to The Turtles, 3 Dog Night and the rest.

Yikes! Will Hippies Become Yippies? And What About Those Grapes?

This week’s 50-Year Throwback is a double-header… one story just beginning, and (?) the other one nearing its end. We choose the first of the two to feature as, without it, you’ll not have context for the BIG story about to unfold (it hits our Front Page 2 Issues from now). So… here it is – the coming of age of
The Youth International Party, the Yippies… and their plan to gather at the up-coming Democratic Convention in Chicago.
They were a youth-oriented counter-cultural group of anti-authoritarian anarchists heading toward a revolution; they were opposed to the Vietnam War and the politicians who advocated fighting till its finish. Like a small number of other protest groups, they used street theater to make fun of the status-quo and, too, pranks. These tactics were generally dis-respected (in today’s parlance – dissed) by the sit-down and march protesters of the day. No doubt, this was to the delight of at least one of the Party’s Founding Members, Paul Krassner, as they were once referred to as the ‘Groucho Marxists’.” {Note to self – Better Call Paul to confirm.]
‘Today’s’ articles – posted below – give you a better idea of who The Yippies were and how they might figure into the Big Bang that was heard in the streets of Chicago, an explosion so loud it reverberated right over to the Republican Convention!

As to that other story – it is significant. While the California Table Grape Boycott had already taken large steps forward, a Federal Court ruling broke its back by halting its efforts to take the strike nationwide. We’ve placed the article in another section for your perusal.. it can be found here:

Grape Boycott Grows

FBI goes after Krassner

Contrasting the current FBI has swung a pendulum from 50 years ago.
Howard Rasmussen was not his real name. Actually, he was an FBI agent working in their New York office. One day in October 1968, he was reading Life magazine. He saw those photos of me – playing basketball in my loft, lying on the floor of an airport – accompanying a complimentary article. Then he sat down at his typewriter, creatively trying to choose every word so carefully that it would reek of credibility, as he composed the following letter to the editor of Life on plain stationery:

Your recent issue which devoted three pages to the aggrandizement of underground editor Paul Krassner, was too, too much. You must be hard up for material. Am I asking the impossible by requesting that Krassner and his ilk be left in the sewers where they belong? That a national magazine of your fine reputation (till now that is) would waste time and effort on the cuckoo editor of an unimportant, smutty little rag is incomprehensible to me.

Gentlemen, you must be aware that The Realist is nothing more than blatant obscenity. Your feature editor would do well to read a few back issues of The Realist. Try the article following the assassination of President Kennedy, which describes disgusting necrophilism on the part of LBJ. To classify Krassner as some sort of “social rebel” is far too cute. He’s a nut, a raving, unconfined nut.

As for any possible intellectual rewards to be gleaned from The Realist – much better prose may be found on lavatory walls. If this article is a portent of things to come in Life, count me out, gentlemen, count me out.

Howard Rasmussen
Brooklyn College
School of General Studies

Before he could be permitted to mail the letter to Life, he was required to send a copy of it to FBI headquarters in Washington, along with this memo:
The 10/4/68 issue of Life magazine contained a three page feature on Paul Krassner, editor of The Realist and self-styled “hippie.” Krassner is carried on the RI [Round-up Index] of the NYO [New York Office].

Bureau authority is requested to send the following letter to the editors of Life on an anonymous basis. It is noted that the Life article was favorable to Krassner.

Rasmussen was merely doing his job, writing that poison pen letter, but is that how taxpayers’ money was supposed to be spent? I had broken no law. The return memo – approved by J. Edgar Hoover’s top two assistants, Kartha DeLoach and William Sullivan – was addressed to Mr. Floyd and Mr. Shackelford at the New York office. It stated:
Authority is granted to send a letter, signed with a fictitious name, to the editors of Life magazine. Furnish the Bureau the results of your action.

NOTE: Krassner is the Editor of The Realist and is one of the moving forces behind the Youth International Party, commonly known as the Yippies. Krassner is a spokesman for the New Left. Life magazine recently ran an article favorable to him.

New York’s proposed letter takes issue with the publishing of this article and points out that the The Realist is obscene and that Krassner is a nut. This letter could, if printed by Life, call attention to the unsavory character of Krassner.

Life magazine never published Rasmussen’s letter to the editor. However, they did publish this letter:
Regarding your article on that filthy-mouthed, dope-taking, pinko-anarchist, pope-baiting, Yippie-lover: cancel my subscription immediately!

Paul Krassner
The Realist

There were Rasmussens all over the place. One memo tried to smear Tom Hayden with the worst possible label they could invoke – “FBI informer.” The FBI distributed a caricature depicting Black Panther leader Huey Newton “as a homosexual,” and ran a fake “Pick the Fag” contest, referring to Dave McReynolds as “Chief White Fag of the lily-white War Resisters League” and “the usual Queer Cats – like Sweet Dave Dellinger and Fruity Rennie Davis.”
The FBI always took pains to instruct agents to “Insure mailing material utilized and paper on which leaflet is prepared cannot be traced to the Bureau.” In that context, “Bureau authority was received for New York to prepare and mail anonymously a letter regarding [an individual’s] sexual liaison with his step-daughter (Age 13) to educational authorities in New Jersey” where he was a teacher.
In 1969, the FBI’s previous attempt at mere character assassination of me escalated to a slightly more literal approach. This was not included in my own Co-Intel-Pro (Counter-Intelligence Program) files but, rather, discovered elsewhere by Sam Leff. At the Chicago convention, Leff had erased the line between anthropologist and activist. Later, as a Yippie archivist, he investigated a separate FBI project calculated to cause rifts between the black and Jewish communities.
The FBI produced a WANTED poster featuring a large swastika. In the four square spaces of the swastika were photos of Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman, Mark Rudd of SDS, and myself. Underneath the swastika was this message:

New York radio station WBAI recently featured programs under the tutelage of black revolutionary Julius Lester of the Guardian and Leslie R. Campbell, sometime teacher at JHS 271, from which it appeared that the only solution to Negro problems in America would be the elimination of the Jews. May we suggest the following order of elimination? (After all, we’ve been this way before.)

*All Jews connected with the Establishment.
*All Jews connected with Jews connected with the Establishment.
*All Jews connected with those immediately above.
*All Jews except those in the Movement.
*All Jews in the Movement except those who dye their skins black.
*All Jews (Look out, Jerry, Abbie, Mark and Paul!)

Once again, this flyer was approved by the FBI director’s top aides:
Authority is granted to prepare and distribute on an anonymous basis to selected individuals and organizations in the New Left the leaflet submitted . . . Assure that all necessary precautions are taken to protect the Bureau as the source of these leaflets.

And, of course, if some overly militant black had obtained that flyer and “eliminate” one of those “New Left leaders who are Jewish,” the FBI’s bureaucratic ass would be covered: “We said it was a facetious suggestion, didn’t we?”

Paul Krassner is the author of 60 Years of Investigative Satire, to be published by Fantagraphics Books in early 2019.