A guy from Columbus launched a crowdfunding campaign for potato salad. People like it so much that they've given him more than $9,000 so far. And he's starting to get called out for it.
Have you heard about Zack Danger Brown and his potato salad Kickstarter? Yeah. Zack, who lives and works and is enjoying his 15 minutes in Columbus, launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign a few days ago with a stated goal of raising $10 to make his first-ever batch of potato salad. The pitch is deadpan hilarious--Zack is a pretty good writer. Under "Risks and Challenges," he writes, "It might not be that good. It's my first potato salad." He lists elaborate thank-you gifts for donors of varying levels. He even has a hilarious FAQ section that includes questions like, "What type of potato salad? Mustard/mayo based? Vinegar? German?" and a follow-up: "Umm yes, what KIND of potatoes will you be using? I only support Idaho potatoes."
This is all well and good, a fun poke and prod at earnest and honest Kickstarter campaigns that fund things like books (see Nick Dekker's "Breakfast with Nick: Columbus") and a food incubator called The Commissary (three days to go, 185 backers, more than $29,000 raised toward a $40,000 goal). But Zack still has 25 days left on his Kickstarter and, no thanks to media types like me, will get more exposure and more backers. What in the hell is he going to do with all that money?
The AV Club, The Onion's non-satirical website for music, movies and culture, posted an article this afternoon with the kicker "Great Job, Internet!" The story discourages people from contributing to Zack's potato salad Kickstarter, writing, "Reward options include a 'potato-salad themed' hat, Brown saying your name out loud as he makes the potato salad, and bathing in the sweet, sweet tears of artists whose dreams will never become a reality because the Internet spent all of its money on a dumb joke about potato salad." Zing!
The Twitterverse is clucking, too. A selection:
Guy raises over $8,000 to make a potato salad https://t.co/OqUDWurk1r And thousands of unfunded music album / film school Kickstarters wept.- David Chen (@davechensky) July 7, 2014
I have woken up to serious arguing on my feed about the potato salad KS's broader implications about the value of work. Going back to sleep.- Scott Is Adventure (@bombsfall) July 7, 2014
Fairly certain the potato salad kickstarter was started by journalists because we haven't had many kickstarter thinkpieces lately.- Scott Is Adventure (@bombsfall) July 7, 2014
Do you really think the potato salad Kickstarter is charming or do you just not have any real joy in your life?- Susie ?(??)? Cagle (@susie_c) July 7, 2014
Instead, I wish someone had launched a Kickstarter to make a mountain, and that we had gotten a game called Potato Salad.- Ian Bogost (@ibogost) July 7, 2014
Stay tuned for the continuation of Zack's possibly unintentionally high-stakes adventures.