Patty Hearst and the Twinkie Murders on the Denver ExaminerBy Zack Kopp
June 18th, 2015
Rating: 5 Stars
Patty Hearst and the Twinkie Murders is an account by investigative satirist Paul Krassner of two of the most famous cases in modern history: the kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst and the shocking assassinations of San Francisco mayor George Moscone and gay leader Harvey Milk combined with a more recent example ideological topheaviness: the “Taliban” wing of the gay movement’s merciless attacks on anti-folk star, Michelle Shocked, because of an apparent failure to grasp conversational rhetoric, a sign of the current media modality where sound bytes are binding, misinterpreted or not, and speaking publicly is tantamount to selling yourself to the kill-hungry media maw. This whole nation has PTSD.
Also featured is an interview with the author by independent San Francisco publishers, PM Press, founded at the end of 2007 by a small collection of people with decades of publishing, media, and organizing experience to deliver political and challenging ideas to all walks of life. The interview with Krassner, who once took acid with Groucho Marx, is described as “an irreverent and fascinating romp through the secret history of America’s radical underground” by virtue of the multiple connections accrued through being at the right place and the right time Said George Carlin of Paul Krassner, “The FBI was right—this man is dangerous—and funny, and necessary.”
As perhaps the first zinester (not counting Jonathan Swift) and one of the pioneering Gonzo journalists, Paul Krassner’s insertion of self as sardonic witness is crucial to his winning style. Creator of The Realist, the legendary underground magazine many credit as the beginning of the radical “new journalism” which flourished in the 1960s, Krassner is an icon of modern American humor. Founder of the Youth Internatonal Party (the “yippies”), Krassner also has several associations with Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters, though he was never on the bus himself in a physical sense. He now lives near Palm Springs disguised as an old man.