Confessions of a Square and a Zombie

For much of my life, I have been a square though I am sure that many people, including myself, have been fooled by the company I kept and by the gestures I made. They might have been taken to be those of a hipster, a bohemian, a radical. All I really wanted was for people […]

Sexual Harassment At Sonoma State

By the time that I arrived in the English Department at Sonoma State University in 1981 the party was largely over. No more nude encounters between students and faculty in the swimming pool, and no more sex between undergrads and their professors, either. Both had been assumed to be beneficial for both groups. Then they […]

A Modest Proposal For Rebuilding Santa Rosa

As Sonoma County gets ready to rebuild its burned-out neighborhoods I would like to make a modest proposal: that no regulations whatsoever be imposed on builders, contractors, plumbers, electricians, carpenters and the like. My proposal probably is not as strange as it may sound. After all, Santa Rosa’s Coffey Park neighborhood was previously exempt from […]

Danny Mark’s Emporium

Permits from the city for the Emporium—a combination bar and arcade on Divisadero—dragged on and the Chicago-born and raised entrepreneur, Danny Marks began to fret. “I asked a friend if I was supposed to grease the wheels,” he explained in the hollowed-out space of the old Harding Theater that opened in 1926, and that was […]

Joe Munson’s Frontier Justice

This is a story about something that isn’t supposed to happen. It illustrates the strangeness of the world of marijuana, and for that reason no so-called “reputable” newspaper or magazine wants to touch it. It doesn’t fit in with mainstream notions of what happens in the world of marijuana, which is that things are getting […]

‘Fire, Fire,’ I Heard The Cry

Fires are raging all around me in Sonoma County and there’s no end in sight. They’ve been raging for days and nights. The air is thick with smoke and I’ve been breathing through an old, blue bandana. It’s as foul as any air I’ve ever put into my lungs. Facemasks have been sold out for […]

Paul Krassner Interview, Part III

Q: Hugh Hefner lasted a long time, didn’t he? How might history remember him? A: Fun Fact: Hef was one of the first to invest in Viagra stocks. Q: David Brooks in The New York Times called Donald Trump “The Abbie Hoffman of the Right.” What do you think of that? A: Brooks is a professional asshole. […]

Paul Krassner: Interview Part II

Readers seemed to enjoy the Q & A I did with Krassner. So, I sent him some more questions and these are his responses. Thanks for all the comments on the AVA website. They helped me frame the second round of questions. I think this is it for the time being… Q: Where Is the […]

Still Satirical After All These Years

Satirist Paul Krassner made history with his raucous magazine, The Realist, the great-grandfather of “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report.” Like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, he has had no sacred cows. I’ve known Krassner since 1970, when we were both Yippies and members of the Youth International Party. Born in Brooklyn in 1932, Krassner […]

Baseball 2017

It’s that time of year again: time for me to write about the baseball season now exiled to distant outfields as political and meteorological storms grab the headlines. Last July, a bit earlier in the game, I predicted that the Chicago Cubs would beat the Texas Rangers. I was right about the Cubs, wrong about […]

If You’re Tired Of Reading About Cannabis…

If you’re tired of reading about cannabis, don’t expect relief anytime soon. Right now, we’re in the cannabis moment. The media here and around the U.S.A. can’t get enough stories about dope fiends, dabs and dispensaries. In part, the attention is a reflection of media guilt. For years, TV, radio, newspapers and magazines mostly broadcast […]