Maybe it's just me, but without question The Times has crossed the line of decency with its publishing of the self-portrait cartoon by R. Crumb (Commentary, May 16). The cartoon describes the "Seven Chakras" of Crumb, a depiction of this old man with arrows and labels pointing to his crotch describing the conditions ("anal-obsessiveness, sex obsession, perversion, fetishism, sadomasochism") of his mental state.
The once venerable Times appears willing to go to any length to increase its subscriber rate. Certainly this has to be the reason for replacing opinion with cartoons, comics and white space in this section. It can't be due to the fact that its editors have run out of real opinion or have such low opinion of its readers that it publishes this stuff.
The written word and accompanying self-portrait by R. Crumb was great fun. However, my wife Cindy pointed out a curious thing. A couple of months ago we attended a talk by Robert Scheer at Laguna Woods. We agreed with just about nothing he spoke to, but the evening was great fun as well. We enjoy reading his columns as they poke pins in us and cause some heated discussions. What's curious is ... are we the only ones who think there is more than a passing resemblance between Scheer and R. Crumb? Perhaps twins separated at birth?
Re R. Crumb: Normally one would expect the Op-Ed section of a major daily newspaper to be filled with thought-provoking, literate and erudite essays. Not a whining, narcissistic, self-absorbed cartoon. This morning you provided us with the crumbs. And to think that you used God's trees to print it on.
Just when I had been wondering what R. Crumb was up to these days, he appears on your pages. Thank you.
R. D. Gray