The Nervous Breakdown Self-Interview with Mike Edison

 “Do you want to get stoned? Huh? I thought this was going to be a serious interview. I just thought that because you had been the publisher of High Times… Did you even read my book I Have Fun Everywhere I Go? The whole High Times experience turned into a pretty bad trip. Kind of put me off pot.” What about your new book, Dirty! Dirty! Dirty! I have read some reviews that aren’t even actual reviews, more like tirades against pornography where the so-called reviewer just uses your book as a trigger point for their argument. They don’t even talk about the story, or the writing… …And that really chaps my ass! Rick Perlstein, whose most recent book is Nixonland, one of the best modern American history books I have ever read, told me that my book was great social history, and funny, and I thought, Wow! Praise from Rick meant everything to me — if I got it past a serious cat like that, then it was definitely an “A” paper. But then when the book came out there was a lot of blowback from some legit and otherwise liberal media venues that said, “Oh, we don’t cover things like that. It’s not for us…” They were confusing the putative topic of my book — pornography — with the book itself, as if the book were somehow filthy in and of itself. People are so fucking dumb. They react without knowledge and are motivated by the fear of coming down on the wrong side of the argument. And what is the argument, anyway? It’s 2012, can we all...

Excerpt from Dirty! Dirty! Dirty!

 “Political speech is generally regarded as ‘the highest form’ of protected speech, and the best example is probably flag burning, which the Supreme Court has very specifically ruled on as being covered by the aegis of the First Amendment. And yet every few election cycles there is always some ill-educated rube who wants to run for office on the platform of adding a constitutional amendment banning it, and a fair amount of yahoos line up behind it in the name of “Freedom.” Obscenity is not protected speech, but pornography is. I have heard it said that pornography is the legal version of obscenity, which is cute, but not entirely accurate. Certainly most of the art and literature that has been deemed obscene over the years is of a sexual nature, but certainly no one would conflate what Lenny was spouting with pornography as such. The working definition of obscenity, set in 1957 by the Supreme court’s decision in Roth v. United States was “whether to the average person applying contemporary community standards, the dominant theme of the material, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest,” which was the Court’s way of saying, ‘Hey, you guys figure it out for yourselves, and quite bugging us every time someone gets their knickers in a twist.'” For the full excerpt,...

Interview with Mike Edison with Mr. Media, Bob Andelman

 “People who try to claim the moral high ground, why is it they’re the first ones wearing silver cufflinks and being hauled off to the hoosegow? Why is it that the guys that scream loudest about morality… Look at Newt Gingrich! Hypocrisy is the default position of the Republican Party.” For the full interview,...