13 Jan

Motherfuckers of Kickstarter and Other Space Vampires

I’m a fan of Chuck Wendig’s blog. His zany profanity in the self service of humanity (inside and outside the writer’s space) resonates with me. He recently posted a short run about Kickstarter bullies beating on YA author Stacey Jay and her Kickstarter asking for an extremely modest amount of money to cover production costs and some income to write and self-publish the next novel in her series (after her publisher folded).

It’s become popular for authors or would be authors to ask for crowdfunding. Men, if the pitch is good, tend to get what they ask for. Women, often they get something different. A bit like rape crowdsourced. And if you think that’s heavy-handed, then read the series. And, if you look further online, you’ll find similar stories in the crowdfunding or authoring space or women in tech space.

I’m interested in crowdfunding–via Kickstarter or another program–for a (non-authoring) personal and a charitable project. I assumed it was fairly safe and simple–you threw your best pitch and people voted with their dollars or ignored you. At 53, I’m no less naive, it seems, than I was at 23.

There are a lot of people out there looking for a reason to spew, bully, or worse. They’re self-styled philosopher kings or privileged or bitter little ass-hats. They hide online because if they made themselves public, someone would make the worst of them disappear. They’re criminals without a law or means to detain or restrain them. Most are men, I suspect, or identify themselves as such. They “have no lives.” (Otherwise, why the fuck would anyone spend their time in such a way, as self-styled creators, enforcers, or reformers for “laws” of crowdfunding, game-related press, and other things irrelevant to surviving and thriving on this planet. Actually, I do know–it’s the universal law discovered by infants that we control what we can, and the more petty the thing the more we want to control it.) No one stopped them when they were merely dysfunctional. And they’re going to cause a backlash that will hurt non-participants as well.

They’re like fucking alien, planet-hopping locusts or the kind of vampires Buffy slew weekly. Mean, dedicated, generally not very bright. But tenacious.

I work in Old Town Portland and walk past similar people every day. Those people have an excuse. They’re mentally ill, high, drunk, or in constant dull shock from their daily lives. But they don’t hide it–quite the opposite. I have hard empathy for them and none for the subjects of this post.

When I started writing this post, my feelings were oh so clear and could be encapsulated in a line or two that involved images of lumberjack boots connecting with heads or hammers on typing fingers. But there are more civilized ways to not put up with that shit.  They do not involve being nice–just the opposite. I don’t think these people can be fixed, but they can be settled down. Unless one of them were attacking my wife or children. Then I’d have to decide at the time.