At its rawest and best, Clark’s work reveals a Lord of the Flies vision of being young in America—parentless kids fending for themselves, doing what they can to deny their own existences—one that’s often a few steps ahead of the news cycle. Nothing seems to make Clark prouder. “I don’t want to toot my own horn, because that’s stupid, but I’m just saying that I got there early,” he says. “When I did Tulsa, people thought that drugs couldn’t be happening with crew-cut kids in Oklahoma. Look now! Meth is the scourge of the Southwest! And when Kids came out, they said it was all about Larry, that it was the fantasies of an old man. Then suddenly the news was filled with school shootings, sex, AIDS—all the headlines were what you saw in the movie!”.
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