Thursday, August 14, 2003

This interview with Dave Eggers seems to have been around for quite a while, but today was the first time I'd read it. It's very, very worth checking out. In a nutshell, Eggers goes after the alterna-kid taboo against "selling out," saying that if you start discarding writers/musicians/artists/movies when they get too popular (or too mainstream), you're basically being a jackass and depriving yourself of a lot of enjoyment. Making it better, he uses the Flaming Lips as his test case, and, well, the Flaming Lips are awfully cool and it's nice to see them defended.

Actually, I do have to break with Eggers a little; not so much to disagree as to just refine something. I think selling out can be a problem, but it's not necessarily when someone gets popular.... to my mind, someone has sold out in the bad sense when their work starts to suffer because they're bending it to make money. Like, Springsteen's post-superstar albums are generally as good as his early stuff. No sellout. But Ben Affleck started out making quality, intelligent films (you may or may not have liked Good Will Hunting, but there was clearly some thought put into it), and now seems to exist mainly to give his publicist something to do. There, I'd have to say, is a man that's sold out.

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