“When the goddamn Jews take over America”: Robert Crumb cartoon strip, introduced by Xanadu
- Robert Crumb, cult cartoonist
The cartoon strip published below — “When the Goddamn Jews take over America” — is not, as its title might suggest, anti-Semitic in intent. On the contrary, it is a highly sophisticated satirical spoof by Judeophile cartoonist Robert Crumb that brings together a number of anti-Semitic “canards” and “stereotypes”. Far from being anti-Semitic, the cartoon strip is therefore an attempt to poke fun at the anti-Semites and their ridiculous “conspiracy theories” about Jews.
It must be remembered that Robert Crumb’s second wife, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, was Jewish. Born into a middle-class Jewish family in New York, the Goldsmiths, Aline was a highly talented underground comics artist in her own right. She was known to collaborate with her husband Robert on many of his assignments. So it is more than likely that Aline collaborated with Crumb on this particular cartoon strip with its tongue-in-cheek anti-Semitism.
When Aline met Robert in 1978, it was love at first sight. She was attracted to the bearded humorist because she thought he was Jewish. This is what she has to say:
“I had read Robert’s work before I met him and I thought he was Jewish because he was so whiny. He’s such a kvetch. When I saw Robert’s comics, I thought: here is Jewish humor at its best. When my grandparents met him, they thought he was a rabbinical student. When we finally told them the truth, they were really disappointed. My grandmother tried to get him to convert [to Judaism] for years. Robert seems to be somewhat of a Jewophile because I’m his second Jewish wife. (See here)
Cartoonist Robert Crumb and his Jewish wife, Aline Kominsky-Crumb
If Crumb’s humor is “Jewish humor at its best”, this does not say much for Jewish humor — however anarchic and irreverent Jewish humor is meant to be. Crumb’s work has elicted harsh comment from many critics. It has been denounced as racist, anti-feminist, and sexually perverted.
Crumb’s contributions, for example, appeared in Nasty Tales, a 1970s British publication that faced obscenity charges at the Old Bailey courthouse in London in 1972. Though the publishers were acquitted on that occasion, the mud stuck to Crumb — and his reputation as an unwholesome influence with sex on the brain has persisted.
R. Crumb’s Sex Obsessions, a collection of the cartoonist’s most explicit sex-oriented drawings and comic strips, was released from TASCHEN in November 2007. This may have boosted Crumb’s reputation among pornophiles, but it diminished his appeal elsewhere.
In August 2001, on Crumb being invited to attend a graphics artist festival in Sydney, Australia, an Australian tabloid labeled him a “self-confessed sex pervert”. The hostile headline asked, Cult genius or filthy weirdo?
Note. A Crumb cartoon depicting a big-breasted female receiving oral sex from a man at a bus stop has been deleted from this point in the text at the request of the writer of this article, after complaints from a few readers. — Editor
As a result of this “unjustified” abuse, Crumb had second thoughts about visiting the rude antipodean Crumbophobes and decided to cancel his trip to Australia in a fit of pique.
Today, Crumb and his Jewish wife Aline reside in a small village near Sauve in the South of France, where they are often visited by their family.
- Soon after completing this cartoon depicting the everyday life of a typical American family, Crumb decided to consecrate his genius to illustrating the Book of Genesis.
Partly because of his Jewish connections and his distinctly Jewish humor—possibly the result of heavy collaboration with his Jewish wife—Crumb’s reputation as a cult figure is guaranteed. He received the world’s ultimate accolade by recognition and publication in the Thanksgiving edition (2004) of The New Yorker, a magazine (as we know) under full Jewish ownership, like the bulk of America’s mass media.
You will note that the above statement is itself an anti-Semitic “canard”, i.e., an allegedly false belief offensive to Jews — but one that happens, nevertheless, to be true!
The mass-media-under-Jewish-ownership “canard”, ironically, is utilized by Crumb himself in Frame 3 of the cartoon strip below: “AND THESE YIDS HAVE SECURED TOTALLY THEIR GREASY HANDS OWNERSHIP OF THE MOST POWERFUL FORCE OF MIND CONTROL IN THE MODERN WORLD — THE MASS MEDIA!”
Knowing all this, it’s amazing to think that so many otherwise intelligent people should regard the cartoon strip below as “anti-Semitic” when it is in fact almost the reverse: a satirical spoof by a philosemite and his Jewish wife.
“Xanadu” is an alternative pen name used by Lasha Darkmoon, usually for online comments and short impromptu pieces.
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