Kickstarter America’s next war!

Pub date June 4, 2013
SectionPolitics Blog

Got an email this morning from the pressing plant down in OC that is stamping a three-song vinyl single I recorded earlier this year. Ready next week–hoo-hah! As I did one of these last year also, the drill begins again–mailers to vinyl specialists and radio and first and foremost, to the backers of this project. “SHE” is the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign that I did last year.

For the 23 San Franciscans whose friends in the arts have not yet put the bite on them for project backing (not to mention the 23 San Franciscans that don’t have such projects brewing themselves), Kickstarter is a “crowd sourced” mechanism of raising capital for an artistic venture. Namely, Kickstarter  handles the logistics of  fund raising for music, art, film, tech and all kinds of other hobbies/dreams over the Net. In a given period of time (usually 30 days) the project’s creator has to raise a certain amount of cash or all of the donations are returned to the donors. Once the cash is raised, Kickstarter (and Amazon) take their cut and then transfer the money into creator’s bank account. Yes, the creator could do this themselves and cut out the middle man, but Kickstarter does confer a level of legitimacy to the process and can spread word on the Net past the circle of family, immediate friends and fans.

I’ve done two of them and they’ve been grand. My goals were modest–5K and 3500.00 respectively. Being a small fish in the great sea, it was better than I expected and nowhere near the level of what must be the most successful of all time, former Dresden Dolls singer, Amanda Palmer, who raised 1.2 million off hers in a month. (and preceded to piss off the music community with some remarkable post-Kickstarter chintziness by trying to get backing musicians to play for free, hugs or for beer. (What she lacks in musical talent, she makes up for in chutzpah)

Around the same time as I was reading my emails, news came over the wire about how Iraq is on the brink of descending into another civil war. 1,000 Iraqis have been killed as the reinvigorated and displaced Sunni are waging war against the Shi’a majority. Which is buried in American news as Americans really don’t want to think about Iraq, arguably the greatest foreign relations blunder and disaster in American history.

No one in the US wants to re-live this madness and certainly none of its avid proponents will ever admit what a catastrophe they brought down on both the US and Iraq with this. An unprovoked, unneeded invasion and occupation of a sovereign state that posed no threat to the US or its neighbors, everything the first Bush feared would happen (when he declined to invade Iraq in 1991) did happen. An unending guerilla war with 4600+ American servicemen killed, over 30,000 wounded and well over a quarter million Iraqis killed or wounded themselves. It is saddening and revolting to hear the justification for this idiocy now from the war’s defenders, who are the hawkish intellectual version of “ten minutes to Wapner” as they blandly recite lie after lie. About how Iraq is “free” and “better off”. And that it was “worth it”. 

If the latter is true in their minds, then I have a novel suggestion. Next time the Neo-Cons and their chickenhawk armchair keyboard commandos want to go to war, be it in Iran or Syria, let them pay for it–via Kickstarter.

Why the hell not? Lest the legions of war-mongers that would happliy have lined up to kiss Don Rumsfeld’s flabby ass in 2003 complain about how “war is a shared sacrifice”, ahem–the last 4 of 5 wars this nation has indulged in–Iraq, Afghanistan, Gulf War1, Vietnam and Korea–were all completely optional. And Afghanistan is a stretch–the state’s military never attacked the US. That would make 5. So, if one truly and really believes in these excursions, you fucking pay for them completely–and not off the books like the last two wars were waged by W.

I believe this would be called “putting your money where your mouth is”. And as any Kickstarter donor or creator knows, part of Kickstarter’s appeal is the “rewards program”–the more you donate, the more you get back (Amanda Palmer may have auctioned off a day or a dinner with her for some phenomenal sum, if memory serves). 

The real reason something like this would never come to pass is that optional war’s real proponents do so because it makes them money. The idea that they’d have to contribute cash for a “holy cause” is ridiculous, their cause is wealth accumulation, not the protection of the American people. That they can stick the bill for these follies on the American taxpayer via crap-spouting bought and paid for mouthpieces in Congress and the White House is more shameful than a million Amanda Palmer’s soaking her star struck Suburbo-Goth fans for a few bucks. And that’s being charitable.