Your Own Private Idahoon July 12, 2014 at 12:48 pm
So by now, unless you have been living under a rainwater-filled tire with a guy named Three-toed Benny (he’s a nice guy as long as you don’t touch his poncho), you have heard of the national practical joke that is the Potato Salad Kickstarter.
Started by some guy as a lark to raise $10.00 with which to make a potato salad, a spotlight cast on the project by Cnet.com turned this novelty fundraising campaign into the biggest “fuck you” ever conceived pf to those trying to raise money through other crowdfunding platforms to buy a second hand artificial leg. In just nine days the campaign has raised over $47,000, with three weeks left to go.
Could Americans suffering trough a depression really have this much disposable income to squander on a modern day “man-eating chicken” con? Is the money perhaps flowing from the idle rich, a cynical protest against increasing the minimum wage, perhaps?
Let’s not raise a guillotine on the National Mall just yet. The bulk of the money gathered by Potato Salad appears to be coming from people pledging $3.00 or less for the thrill of having their names spoken aloud in a video while a guy named Zack Danger Brown folds mayonnaise into a bowl of potatoes. Ccome to think of it… oil up the guillotine anyway!)
More galling still is the proliferation of imitators hoping to cash in on this gimmick with potato salad schemes of their own. In the past few days, moocher campaigns begun by schmucks hoping to score a year’s income merely by asking for ten dollars to buy produce have sprouted like antlers from a month-old potato. One wishes that evolution had coded for a form of instant, fast-growing stomach cancer that would emerge immediately inside people who try to parasitize a complete fluke in this way.
Here are a few of the campaigns launched by America’s glue-sniffing population, most of whom also share dreams of being the twentieth caller to “The Storm” 105.5’s Bruno Mars ticket giveaway:
And this is but a sliver of what are probably hundreds of such campaigns, each elbowing each other for the right to be the last to get the joke.
These campaigns all promise a better variety of potato salad, or a superior type of salad (“LONG LIVE EGG SALAD!” Travis Kelly Spurn writes beneath the stolen photo of a scrumptious sandwich illustrating his unfunded campaign). Still other drives promise a different class of comestible altogether.
“So I decided I wanted to make ice cream for the first time,” reads the introduction to a Kickstarter by a man named “J” (all these cling-on campaigns imitate the ambivalence of the original, just in case it is ironic detachment and not potato salad itself which hold the keys to the kingdom). J is begging for $100.00 to be dropped in his tin cup over the next 56 days. Better be careful with your credit cards, hipsters ! J’s arm probably has enough track marks to be mistaken for a Seurat.
In 56 days, if Jay isn’t sitting in County for a parole violation, he will probably have forgotten he began a campaign in the first place. The cancellation notice from Kickstarter will go straight to his spam folder. This begs the question: why has Kickstarter permitted these frivolous campaigns at all? Kickstarter, if you’ll remember, was intended to help inventors, film makers and handsome cartoonists scrape up the capital for actual, market-worthy projects. Lately, however, it has become the playground for already monied parties to soak up pity-cash from the public (the admittedly cheeky Bee and Puppycat campaign comes to mind), and now this: a completely unfettered policy of any-crap-goes.
Kickstarter is still a crowd funding platform and not a Kevin Smith movie, right?
UPDATE: The final tally: $55,492! (The egg salad Kickstarter has raised $20.00 to date, exceeding its goal by 18%.)