THE NEW RADICALS

Who says America’s lost its edge? Raise a glass to the year’s most notable rogues, renegades, and rule-breakers

In 1917, Marcel Duchamp took a urinal, flipped it over, signed it r. mutt, and submitted it to an exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists. His simple act set off a conflagration over the nature of creativity that would alter the course of art forever. It takes more than a desecrated commode to rattle the world’s cage these days, but those who make an effort—thumbing their noses at the status quo, forging their own paths, and, from time to time, dealing the mainstream a much-needed knee to the groin—deserve our undying gratitude.

Hence, the New Radicals*, Radar‘s first annual salute to the fanatics, freaks, and fire-starters who, through a combination of raw talent, wit, bravery, and bravado, make wading through this country’s pop cultural wasteland tolerable and even worthwhile. To each, we present the Raddy, a golden replica of Duchamp’s iconic pissoir. That they were all willing to accept such a tribute is testament enough to their renegade spirits.

* Not to be confused with the late-’90s one-hit wonder, which, while never particularly new or radical, did manage to make “You Get What You Give” a pretty damn catchy tune.


 

WHO SHE IS: The blisteringly funny star of Bravo’s Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List who subjects the culture of Hollywood to a comedic full-body cavity search.

WHY SHE’S RADICAL: After years of Griffin cracking wise at the industry’s expense, her colleagues finally got the funny and awarded her an Emmy. (“Such a beautiful ‘fuck you’ to all the places that have fired me,” she says.) Telling Jesus to “suck it” during her acceptance speech was particularly inspired. The resulting brouhaha has been “a joy and hilarious,” if also, in Griffin’s estimation, a sign of cultural malaise. “I don’t think I would have gotten in this trouble 10 years ago,” she says. Then again, there’s plenty of blame to go around: “I’m contributing to the dumbing down of America. Congratulations to me, I am not part of the solution, I am part of the problem.”

WHERE YOU’LL SEE HER NEXT: Dissing Beyoncé’s extensions in stand-up shows across the country and, possibly, in a fourth season of My Life.

WHAT IT MEANS TO BE D-LIST: “I’m not saying I don’t have my toes in the water of the celebrity world. I’m just saying I’m not allowed in the deep end of the pool. I can give you a little insider scoop because I do occasionally get to go to these parties. But those aren’t my peeps and I’m never going to be fully accepted by that crowd. It’s just like high school.”