Good grief everyone. Good grief.
Debate Kickstarter all you like but at the end of the day it is a decent tool to get money to a creative type from those who want to help them create their art, craft, or food. We can debate all day whether Zach Braff was a little cheeky asking for fans to fund his latest film but this pales in comparison to the gluttony of spam that is currently clogging the arteries of the crowdfunding site.
On 3rd July 2014 a Ohioan going by the name Zack Danger Brown started a Kickstarter project to make himself a potato salad. Yes, you read that correctly; a potato salad. Zack was only looking for $10 and his humourous project somehow caught the imagination of thousands of backers who have given him well above his most target. The widget below shows you just how bizarre things have gotten and unsurprisingly other people are keen to cash in on this hopefully short-lived phenomenon.
I daren’t even look at the American side of the equation but at the time of writing there are dozens of UK imitators hoping to make it rich by boiling an egg or making a cup of tea. The full list of current UK rip-offs is as follows; lemonade, more potato salad, egg salad, frying a frozen egg, boiling an egg, cookies, chocolate chip cookies, curry, a mega pizza, a regular pizza, another regular pizza, yet more pizza, random pizza(!), an oreo milkshake, evil cream pie, couscous, cake, another cake, the ultimate cake, a really nice cake, pie, potato brownies, “a dinner”, peanut dessert, hotdogs, pimped out pasta, crumpets, punk burgers, porridge fingers, steak, coleslaw, cheese on toast, a sandwich, secret fudge, and a £100 cup of tea.
To clarify none of these are people setting up a business, creating art, pursuing a dream, or doing anything other than trying to get money for a making some food for themselves. What is most annoying is that they have simply seen someone make a joke and are now producing poor imitations in the hope of getting reflected glory. I realise that this is what the internet is largely made up of but… it really annoys me.
Anyone with a genuine food based project is currently lost in an avalanche of secondhand jokes and stock photos of food. I don’t know why Kickstarter has become such an issue with me, perhaps it is because I am fond of the site and have happily backed over a dozen projects including comics, films, and podcasts and even helped a man his own pasta stall in exchange from some delicious samples of his produce. On the other hand it might just be that I hate seeing people being so lazy as to simply repeat the same joke they have seen and not come out with their own way to be ironic online.
And if I need to get particularly righteous here is the first of Kickstarter’s three rules:
Let’s just wait and see how easy it is to share out a pizza funded by thousands.
Long live Kickstarter! And may the “hilarious” faux projects be short-lived.