There’s apparently some controversy and he said/he said confusion surrounding David Cross’ appearance in Alvin and the Chipmunks. I googled through a bit of it to understand the background. It bored me quickly. I’m not interested in what’s hip or what side I’m supposed to be on. Do what makes you happy, for whatever reason(s) it makes you happy.
Still, David Cross’ explanation for why he took the role is awesome. The entire essay is worth reading, but this part made me happy. He’s describing the cottage in Upstate new York he wanted to buy:
MITIGATING FACTOR #4a
… It was a little more than I had budgeted for but it was definitely worth it. I asked the owner if he’d take some of my credibility as payment. He looked at me as if I was an alien with A.I.D.S. speaking some intergalactic gobbledy-goo. I had to patiently explain to this country bumpkin about my indie hipster cred, and I would now like to cash it in. This rural rube was so backwards and ignorant that he couldn’t even conceive of how financial markets work and simple free market capitalism. I tried again to explain the concept of the value of “credibility” and “artistic integrity” but he refused to take it in exchange for the house. This guy was a fucking idiot! But what could I do? He wouldn’t take no for an answer. If I wanted that cottage I would have to pay him money. Sigh. So I used my “Alvin and the Chipmunks” money to pay for the down payment. Seriously, I totally did.
Say what you will about art and how credible or trashy it can be. There is no honor in poverty¹ for the sake of the good opinion of others. Of course buying a second home can’t be considered poverty. Consider poverty here to be a simple substitute for larger concepts, among them sacrifice and/or self-denial. Refraining from buying something you want solely to avoid keeping up with the Joneses is as ridiculous as buying something you don’t want to keep up with them. That holds whether it involves upgrading from your old 5-Series BMW to a new 7-Series or passing on Alvin and the Chipmunks to appear in indie film people will pretend to like because it’s indecipherable and/or coma-inducing.
Link via Pop Candy.