|Pop Culture Gadabout|
Wednesday, March 09, 2005 |
( 3/09/2005 10:21:00 AM ) Bill S.
"MOST OF MY ADULT LIFE I HAD THIS TOWERING CONTEMPT FOR AMERICA" – Though my favorite material remains his purely underground comix, I remain a huge fan of R. Crumb – and have been enjoying the series of articles and appreciations appearing this week in the Guardian Unlimited. Today's offering features a series of the expatriate artist’s statements about his abandoned homeland. Some of it'll be familiar to anyone who recalls his Arcade diatribe, "Let's Talk Sense About This Here Modern America" (which seems crankily prescient these days, especially in its global warming jeremiad). But though he says he doesn't consider himself an explicitly "political" artist, I'd respectfully beg to differ: Crumb's not an agitpropper (too independent a cuss for that), but I can recall several strips over the years that had an explicitly political PoV, if not a more general satiric take on the American scene. (He was also, during its most excessive moments, one of the sharpest critics of seventies era New Left radicalism, too.) For all that the media – and Crumb himself, for that matter – like to focus on his sexually explicit fantasy strips, the man has long been a telling observer of much that is crass, phony and just-plain-ugly in This Here Modern America. And more power to him. . .