January 21, 2007

"I am a Situationist... I am an adventurer of the present."

It's time to pay attention to the Crumbs again. Aline has another book, and we're supposed to think this represents something new. But she's been doing autobiographical comics for years, as have many female artists, so it's actually not new at all. But anyone with a book coming out is entitled to seek publicity, and if she has a famous husband to leverage her fame, am I going to object? Well, yeah, I am. A little. I like to see women succeed, but the ones who do it through men irk me a bit. It's not their fault they're married, and using one's marriage to get ahead is a long tradition. But it irks me. It irks me in Hillary. It irks me in Padma. If you take the benefits, you also have to pay the costs. Including Althousian irkage.

To its credit, the NYT buries the information about Aline's new book. Unless you click on the slide show in the sidebar, you won't notice much about it in the article. The Times took advantage of the access to R. Crumb, who really is a great artist and someone who made his own way in the world. I love the movie "Crumb." As you can see in my profile, it's on my list of favorite movies. I watch it about one a year, and when I saw it originally in the theater, I went back and saw it again the next day. It's a movie I impose on other people. I don't accept everything about Crumb (the man), and neither does the movie. But, clearly, he's a worthy artist and a fascinating human being.

Speaking of the marriage between Robert and Aline, there's this juicy material:
Another village newcomer is Christian Coudurès, a printmaker, who moved from Paris. When he was depressed after breaking up with a girlfriend, Ms. Crumb decided he was a project she wanted to take on.

“When I first met him, he was in bad shape, drinking a lot,” she said. “I decided I needed to save this worthy person.” Mr. Coudurès eventually became what Ms. Crumb calls her “second husband.”

The Crumbs have long had an open marriage, that brave (and largely discarded) institution of the 1960s. Mr. Crumb travels to Oregon once a year to rekindle a relationship with an old girlfriend.

Speaking of Mr. Coudurès, Mr. Crumb said, “Between the two of us, we kind of make an ideal husband, because he can do all the masculine things I can’t do.” He cited Mr. Coudurès’s talents for wiring, plumbing, engaging in shouting matches with the highly energetic Ms. Crumb and driving a car.

“If she ever started making comparisons about our lovemaking technique, I might get jealous,” Mr. Crumb added.

Their daughter, Sophie, is not so sure about the arrangement. She called the idea of her mother’s having a second husband “gross.”

Nonetheless, the strong-jawed Mr. Coudurès, 61, has become a part of the support system that frees Mr. Crumb to focus on work. The Frenchman, who has a thick mane of black hair, does handyman chores. His daughter Agathe McCamy, 35, helps Ms. Crumb color her comics.

“I am a Situationist,” Mr. Coudurès explained in French after sharing a dinner with the Crumbs next to a gently crackling fireplace in his kitchen. He was referring to a European avant-garde philosophy born in 1957 and championed by Guy Debord. “I am an adventurer of the present.”
Hey, they are artists. Deal with it.


Tim said...

Because they are artists, I don't have to deal with it, no more than I have to deal with the promiscuity of the neighbors' cats, dogs, or other instinctual creatures. It is that meaningful.

Cedarford said...

I dislike nepotism.

But don't see it applying to Padma Lakshmi, who probably had lots more money than Rushdie when they got married a few years ago.

Anonymous said...

Aline is a deeply untalented barnacle who ran Weirdo into the ground.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

If you take the benefits, you also have to pay the costs. Including Althousian irkage.

What does Althousian irkage run these days? Is it less than an egg salad sandwich?

Palladian said...

"Hey, they are artists. Deal with it."

It's this kind of thinking that has degraded the visual arts to the level of Jimmy Gronin, the second grader we all knew who smeared boogers in Lisa Stimson's hair just to make her scream. Being an artist doesn't necessarily give someone license to be a degenerate, nor does it require the viewer to accept an artist's degenerate behavior. I greatly appreciate Picasso's work, but I despise him as the bourgeois communist and hateful misogynist he was.

I wonder what Bob Wright would have to say about the evolutionary and anthropological viability of two males sharing a female. Nothing positive, I would suspect. These people are hardly role models, but perhaps that's implied in the use of "deal with it" rather than "accept it".

Pat Patterson said...

I always thought Situationists didn't do anything? Mr. Coudures seems to do everything.

Todd said...

I wonder how many people followed Ruth Anne's link.

Tell you what: for twenty bucks and an egg salad sandwich I'll use the word 'irkage' in a conversation once per day and blog about the reactions I get. Okay?