Slaughtering Cows and Popping Cherries
How the Realist popped America’s cherry
By Paul Krassner
His new biweekly column, "Zen Bastard," debuts in next week’s New York Press
How it All Began
Late one extremely hot night in the spring of 1958, alone and naked, I was sitting at my desk in Lyle Stuart’s office, preparing final copy for the first issue of the Realist. I had served my journalistic apprenticeship at Stuart’s anticensorship paper, the Independent, and now I was launching my own satirical magazine. The 60s counterculture was in its embryonic stage, almost ready to burst out of the blandness, repression and piety of the Eisenhower-Nixon administration, Reverend Norman Vincent Peale’s positive thinking and Snooky Lanson singing "It’s a Marshmallow World" on Lucky Strike Hit Parade.
posted by Cyndy
I was supposed to have everything ready for the printer the next morning. I was exhausted, but there were two final pieces to write. My bare buttocks stuck to the leather chair as I created an imaginary dialogue about clean and dirty bombs. Then I borrowed a form from Mad and composed "A Child’s Primer on Telethons." Our office was on the same floor as Mad, in what became known as the Mad building—225 Lafayette St. I had sold a few freelance articles to them, but other submissions were turned down because they were "too adult." [ read on! ]