Dangerous Minds pal Deborah Vankin published a terrific interview with the great Robert Crumb on the Los Angeles Times’ Hero Complex blog today. Of particular note, the part where the expat artist discusses coming home and how he feels about American culture these days:
Deborah Vankin: You left the U.S. 19 years ago — how’s life in France?
Crumb: It’s good, life is good here. Good quality of life. All I can say is: You can keep Los Angeles. No, seriously, what’s not to like? You’re not constantly bombarded … there’s some room to breathe from that constant corporate propaganda that America is saturated with. You don’t know how saturated you are with that. Here it’s not to the degree that it is there. They resisted. The French hold onto their traditions. I was always so alienated in America. My work was this constant reaction to that. And I don’t have that here. So it’s different.
Deborah Vankin: That must have some influence on your work.
Crumb: Yeah, probably. I couldn’t characterize exactly how, but I’m sure it has. Maybe I’m less angry. I don’t know. Actually, I’m not less angry. When I go back to America, after a few days I am once again filled with this kind of angry alienation and disgust with this thing there that America has got – you have no idea how pervasive it is there. The public relations and propaganda put out by the corporate mono-culture there is so pervasive. When I’m over here, I look at America and think,‘Why are people not more angry about what’s going on? Why are the people not more up in arms?’ I mean the banks and all that stuff? Good God. How can they stand it? The thing about the corporate approach is it’s smart and it knows how to distract people really well with entertainment. It doesn’t just take, it gives back in this smarmy way… they give you this seemingly McDonald’s version of the good life which is completely phony and fake, from top to bottom. It pacifies the people.
Read more: R. Crumb on greed, senior sex and life in France: ‘I’m a lot less angry’ (Los Angeles Times)