Deprivation enhances the desired object - every desired object!

Here are my notes from The R. Crumb Handbook.

  • p10 There's only one country in the world where a person could get away with expressin' theirself as freely as I do! ... an' that's right here in th' good ol' U.S.A., and don't choo forget it! So when I tear down dis country an' criticize our society, remember I do it with love!
  • p12 "I want to give you a piece of advice about fame," the master said as we were about to begin the interviews. "You should get down on your knees and thank the baby Jesus every day that you are on your side of the microphone and not on mine. Think about it!"
  • p18 The spread of slums, the hypergrowth and congestion of manufacturing cities, the noise and stench of the industrial process, debased urban life all over the western world and led to a great yearning from escape ... in America, with its superabundance of cheap land, simple property laws, social mobility, mania for profit, zest for practical invention, and bible drunk sense of history, the yearning to escape industrialism expressed itself as a renewed search for Eden. America reinvented that paradise, described so briefly and vaguely in the book of Genesis, called it suburbia, and put it up for sale.
  • p25 My father talked about being a kid on the farm and going out hunting and doing things connected with earth. Real stuff that kids of his generation had to deal with, life and death stuff. We barely had contact with real world. We were silly, wimpy, suburban kids playing games inspired by movies, television, and comic books. For us it was all filtered through the mass media. We were children of the media, the first TV generation.
  • p28 It's strange to think of our fathers going to war. The glory of war is as old as the human race. You prove your manhood by going out and fighting another tribe, being a brave warrior. Get out there and prove yourself - kill somebody!
  • p54 Everybody off camera was sleazy and stressed out.
  • p56 Mass media is a fairly recent development, only as old as the Industrial Revolution, and it is spreading over the whole world and turning the last proud, independent, tribal population into consumers. We are products of this industrial commodity culture. It's hard to make a value judgment about it, but certainly the world wasn't always like this.
  • p132 I was relieved when it was finally over, but I also immediately missed the egoless state of that strange interlude. LSD put me someplace else. I wasn't sure where. All I know is, it was a strange place. Psychedelic drugs broke me out of my social programming. It was a good thing for me, traumatic though, and I may have been permanently damaged by the whole thing, I'm not sure.
  • p142 I see LSD as a positive, important life experience for me, but I certainly wouldn't recommend it to anybody else.
  • p164 I would work at night when the ne'er-do-wells were sleeping, then I could get something done. But that was part of the hippie lifestyle. If you had a house, you couldn't turn people away who needed a place to "crash." And they would stay for six months and just hang out! I didn't have the courage, the nerve, to kick people out. Eventually, the wife had to be the ogre and do the hard thing. I couldn't do it, I was too weak.
  • p180 All the people who work in the commercial culture are part of a conspiracy against the average man to get his money. They are not concerned with what effect their product might ultimately have, physically or spiritually. They are always looking for the lowest common denominator, the broadest possible market. They don't care what that might be. If Jesus movies are putting butts in theater seats, they'll make Jesus movies. If ultraviolence appeals to a certain segment of the population, the butchers are happy to provide it for them. Basically, the commercial media culture is a cold, merciless mechanism that is there to feed money to the people who perpetuate it. Before industrial civilization, local and regional communities made their own music, their own entertainment. The esthetics were based on traditions that went far back in time - i.e. folklore. But part of the con of mass culture is to make you forget history, disconnect you from tradition and the past. Sometimes that can be a good thing. Sometimes it can even be revolutionary. But tradition can also keep culture on an authentic human lavel, the homespun as opposed to the mass produced. Industrial civilization figured out how to manufacture popular culture and sell it back to the people. You have to marvel at the ingenuity of it! The problem is that the longer this buying and selling goes on, the more hollow and bankrupt the culture becomes. It loses its fertility, like worn out, ravaged farmland.
  • p210 I was a fool. There is something in us that us always looking for the hard-to-find ultimate experience. We wade through a lot of shit to get to the fulfilment of our dreams.
  • p217 Deprivation enhances the desired object - every desired object! If heaven meant having everything you desired in life, whenever you wanted it, eventually it would become meaningless. And then what? Where do yo go from there? What do we really want? What is this yearning, this "fire in our bellies?"
  • p217 When my daughter Sophie was born in 1981, I changed. I became more conservative. I believe in law, order, stability! You gotta have it for the protection of the children!
  • p227 "That means you think I'm too emotional, loud, obnoxious, spoiled, insensitive + pushy!" "No I don't sugar! HONEST"
  • p243 Drawing became a way to win admiring oohs and ahhs from adults - mostly women, come to think og it - my mother, various female teachers, etc. My father's praise was always qualified, tempered with little criticisms or suggestions. And then, too, I always and ever had a big ego. Where does that come from? Damned if I know, ..., I think I was born with it... and I was a dreamer, shy, socially awkward, always... an odd ball, even in early childhood... then I was drawn into the comicbook thing by my older brother... He called himself a "failed mystic".
  • p251 It was already obvious to us that comics had been in decline since the early 1950s. In any case, most cartoonists have about a ten year of inspiration or creativity. After that they begin to burn out from the relentlessness of churning out comics on a regular basis. They are totally locked into their contract, their standard living, their family responsibilities. They're forced to keep producing, like it or not.
  • p297 Essentially, you're marketing an illusion. It's much easier to lie to humans and trick them than to tell them the truth, because the way to trick them is to flatter them and tell them what they want to hear, to reinforce their existing illusions. They don't want to know the truth. Truth is a bring-down, a bummer, or it's just too complicated, too much mental work to grasp.
  • p343 Ahh the scum of the earth, those are my people.
  • p363 My generation comes from a world that has been molded by crass TV programs, movies, comic books, popular music, advertisements and commercials. My brain is a huge garbage dump of all this stuff and it is this, mainly, that my works comes out of, for better or for worse.
  • p375 The purpose of human life is to increase awareness. --Carlos Castaneda
  • p394 For me, the most profound confrontation with death I ever experienced took place in 1966 after ingesting a powerful dose of LSD. I don't remember precisely what it was that terrified me, because at that moment I told myself that if I ever wanted to be sane again, I ahd to forget what I saw. I forced amnesia on myself so that I could return to the normal world. Bummer, man ... With LSD, you don't have to kill or be killed ... it all happens on some other plane of existence.
  • p394 My work has a strong negative element. I have my own inner demons to deal with. Drawing is a way for me to articulate things inside mself that I can't otherwise grasp.
  • p394 Isn't it strange that we are such a mystery to ourselves?
  • p396 This world is always going to be bigger and more powerful than you are, but you've got to deal with it. Life is active struggle. As Rocky says, "I know I can't beat this guy, I just wanna go the distance with him. I just wanna still be standing at the end of the fight, that's all..." That's the only victory you can hope for. You've got to figure out a way to stay in shape, and stay alert, to keep standing.
  • p398 There's a wealth of great music recorded in the 78 era, before the onslaught of mass media profoundly changed everything ... forever!