There comes a time in every cynic's life where it becomes meaningless to rail against the wrongs men do in the world, be they artistic, political, cultural or what have you. Whenever I come across something like the new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie and can barely muster up the motivation to articulate why it's wrong, I realize that so much of me that was once vital has long since died. There is something to be said for being so removed from modern pop culture that large chunks of it, even its most perverse offenses, can be rendered as surreal and meaningless abstractions; I credit a high-speed internet connection my freshman year at college and the subsequent realization that I didn't need to own a TV to occasionally watch TV shows as the first and most important step in becoming so sheltered that the only way I even find out about stuff like the Alvin and the Chipmunks is by rare accident.
And on those rare accidents, when something horrid slips through, I am at first horrified. When I was first made aware of My Super Sweet 16 (or whatever the show with the wealthy bitchy teenage girls yelling at their parents and friends is called), I was apoplectic that they were featuring these terrible, spoiled, and mean-spirited people as entertainment figures, but then my sister informed me that there were scads of shows pretty much just like it, and everyone agrees they're terrible and yet they're still hugely popular so what are you going to do?
It's sort of humbling, in a way.
So I don't really even have the energy to make myself care about Alvin and the Chipmunks anymore; after the initial flash of outrage in the taste centers of my brain, it's sunk into that dull blue-gray "that's just stupid/it's so weird they decided to make that/oh well, what are you gonna do" area of perception. Beyond the obvious fact that it's a children's movie and thus not intended for me (I am neither a child nor do I have children), there is a lot to hate here. There have GOT to be better opportunities out there for Jason Lee to make a big dumb Hollywood blockbuster borderline-career killer, for one. And the trailer I stumbled upon repurposes footage of a riot in which nearly 100 people died for comedic effect (it also features Alvin sucking on a piece of Theodore's shit... hey, it's a kid's movie!). And Hollywood remake necrophilia is a bummer and a half, especially when applied to a franchise as pointless (not to mention pointlessly remade) as Alvin and the Chipmunks.
But for the most part, I'd much rather save my ire for when something that ought to be good isn't (the last Arcade Fire album, f'rinstance... they're fantastic live, and Funeral matched the hyperbole for me, but Neon Bible just plain didn't bring the songs), rather than for shit that pops through my self-imposed isolation bubble and briefly spooks me by exposing the true values of the lowest common denominator. So I'm pretentious, and I'm a snob, and I'm giving up, but what am I gonna do?
It's Alvin and the Chipmunks. They were singing "Funkytown."