Carlos Monsiváis is esteemed and feared as a cultural conscience for Mexico. He succeeds, in a unique manner, in combining intellectual and ethical analysis with an uncompromising, vitriolic and humorous approach. He continuously and inescapably turns his critical attention to all matters relating to the current cultural and social situation in his country and beyond. His oeuvre may be seen as a blueprint for his country; his sharp comments cover an amazing range of subjects and issues, from politics to literature, from society to music, from cultural behaviour to film, from history to TV, from vernacular culture to the cultural industry, from religion to AIDS. Carlos Monsiváis is concerned mainly with the local context of the issues which he addresses. He discusses local subjects and analyses themes of wider relevance from a local perspective. He legitimises many aspects of ‘low’, vernacular culture and has succeeded in changing many existing, more conservative views on culture.