Posts Tagged ‘kickstarter’

What Price Irony? Rich Potato Salad

483170_75337697So…I don’t blame the dude. The dude was just having fun. The dude was hungry.

Kickstarter went viral with the fundraising campaign of Zack Danger Brown who, being an irreverent fella, decided to start a fundraiser to crowd fund ten bucks so he could make some mediocre potato salad. Kickstarter and similar crowd-funding sites (like Indiegogo) are the life’s blood of many creative projects…and this guy has earned (thus far) over $45,000 from 5,571 donors. People jumped on the irony bandwagon, perhaps donation plea exhausted, like we all are, and threw money at this joke project. His total had actually beenĀ about $70K but then dropped 30 thousand to the low/mid forties…not sure what’s up with that–quite possibly people revoking their pledged donations.

The cynicism of this whole thing kind of weirds me out.

I get it. I get that it’s funny to fund potato salad. Having run projects through fundraising obstacle courses and angst pits myself, I wish I’d thought of it and just called a youth education program “Potato Salad” or similar…but that’s just it. Those five- and ten-dollar donations from around the country could make a real difference for some truly world-bettering work. If it is so inconsequential to us that we can toss a twenty at irony, why is it like pulling teeth to get $20 to fund a program for mentoring youth living on Native American reservations (mentorartists.org summer fundraiser for creative arts education for underserved youth–an organization I am proud to work with and support) or educational supplies to displaced kids in Haiti? These are just two examples of funding efforts I have personally undertaken.

I in no way mean to devalue the incredibly generous folks who have supported my efforts and the millions of other worthy causes out there. They truly make a huge difference, no question about it. Cynicism isn’t the guiding principle of most of us…and yet…here we are.

That potato salad thing really puts a burr under my saddle. There are rules that prevent Zac from donating the funds raised to charity, but that’s not his fault. I don’t blame him and have read he is looking for ways to give back and get around the bylaws of Kickstarter (maybe making tons of actual potato salad to donate to homeless shelters, or similar). This will assuage my rankled sensibilities…but that double-edged money is nothing haha vs. money is too tight to give to good causes dynamic has me perplexed and challenged.

Throwing money at a problem doesn’t often solve the problem, but funding worthy causes and tirelessly working service groups to empower them to do great work, essentially on our behalf, means the world to so many cash-strapped charitable and philanthropic organizations who are trying to keep the doors open. I know I’m preaching to the choir with readers of this blog…but isn’t that a little more profound than Russets and mayo and vinegar for a joke?

….annnnnd…now I’m hungry.

“Be Here Now” Help Get Andy Whitfield Biopic Made

Andy Whitfield as Spartacus

A college buddy of mine created this TV show, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, and it exploded into a phenomenon nobody saw coming. The lead actor, Andy Whitfield, flew from obscurity to cult fame to measurable fame in record time for his portrayal of the title character in the bloody, gritty drama…and everyone was pretty much in agreement, he was the nicest guy you’d hope to have on any set. His humor and good nature were mightily challenged when wickedly soon after being cast in the show, he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Andy and his wife, Vashti, doubled down in their fight against cancer, given a 25% chance for Andy’s survival, and symbolized their commitment to never giving up with tattoos that say “Be Here Now” the title of the film documenting the fight. His was a journey cut so short, and this film is not just about fighting for your life, but also about filling and FULfilling your life, no matter how many days you are given.

This is the link to the Kickstarter campaign to finish the film and bring it’s inspiration to audiences…like you and me…who can never hear its message often enough.

Edge of Seven and Awareness of Challenges Facing Nepalese Girls

Hey everyone–support this organization and the great work they are doing trying to open the channels of access to higher education for girls in Nepal. Go to the page at Kickstarter and help get the documentary made, and get the word out…so words can turn into actions.

This is an organization I am genuinely fond of, with whom I hope to travel and work in Nepal soon, and I have a friend who went with them earlier this year and had a life-changing experience. Keep up the great work, Erin and Edge of Seven.