The Tragic Hubris of Crowdfunding.

Few will truly know the existential pain of failed crowdfunding. This is for the better, for it is truly a vexing and damnable experience. Hard experience. Not chopping wood, or designing the better mousetrap, or carving a replica galleon. No, crowdfunding is like throwing a javelin at the base of a rainbow, hoping to murder a leprechaun. Crowdfunding is eating a shit sandwich hoping to find a tooth with gold in it. Crowdfunding is begging naked in the global marketplace, and being shunned by every stranger, friend, and relative you thought you knew. It is a place of loneliness, despair, and confusion. I have been crowdfunding for five years.

Over the past 5 years, I have created $16,028,755 in 13 Kickstarter projects. Of those, 6 have been approved but not funded, 2 have been denied, 1 is pending denial, 1 is unlaunched, and 2 have been funded. One is running. A certain one I would very much like to see funded, but it does not look good. Not good at all. Hubris is a word that gets thrown around a lot, without any real scrutiny. My working definition of hubris is an excess of pride, leading to failure. Aristotle was writing about this shit 3,000 years ago, and people didn’t care even then. Because no one could read. Unless you were willing to get fucked in the thighs by Aristotle. It’s all very sad, and tragic, and yet comedic?

That’s the thing, with smaller amounts of failure. You can leverage your own failures, you know? Laugh them off. Because when the door slams in your face, you are given a choice, none of which will ever lead to that door opening again. You can pound on it, and cry about it, and curse out the people who slammed it, and vow to light the whole damned thing on fire, and maybe even you do burn it all down. Even so, that door remains closed. Or? OR? You can feel the air move past your face in a door-shaped gust, breathe deep, and laugh about it. Accept that it is not actually your loss, but theirs. Whoever those assholes are. Because there are a lot of them out there.

I saw an article recently about a door-to-door vacuum cleaner sales person who was getting complaints for being too aggressive. Something about how their methods bordered on harassment and abuse. Well, of course. Who the hell tries to sell vacuum cleaners door-to-door in 2018? Willie Loman would have gotten a different job by now, if he didn’t suicide in fiction back in ‘49. The coward. No no, if you are somehow still trying to sell vacuum cleaners door-to-door today, you must be ready to slit baby throats for your profession. You get boots of iron, and you get them in that door. Then you explain the need to buy a vacuum, using whatever methods are mostly legal. If you’re going to suck for a living, at least excel at it.

There are a lot of differences between that person, and my work. Our products are different; theirs being vacuums they’ve stolen, and mine being jokes I’ve regurgitated. Because you can’t own jokes. It is still a little-known law. They let comedians police themselves, and they consistently do a fucking awful job. I think about the many times I’ve done nice things for people, instead of masturbating on them, or a houseplant near them, and it hurts my heart that Louis CK still has a career a billion times more endowed than my own. That that sick fuck could wake up some morning and get a movie deal while I beg online like a digital leper is one of many injustices of our doomed age.

But I also get it, you know? Whatever. I am not being bombed, or gassed to death. So boo-hoo my kickstarters don’t get funded. Thank heavens we’ve all managed to set the bar so miserably low for ourselves. It’s just sad, is all. To think that Arthur Miller didn’t have to go through this stupid bullshit to get his work produced. “But you’re no Arthur Miller!” Yeah, I know, I’m a trillion times more entertaining than him. I wouldn’t want to be Arthur Miller if you gave me the timeclonepositor. Miller let Kennedy murder Monroe. Look that shit up. I know you won’t.

This is not a pity party. No, this is the captain’s log on a doomed voyage. This is for posterity, damn it. This is so future generations can read something with some relevance, among the trash being churned out and burned. I wouldn’t keep doing this weird shit, if I didn’t know it was worth something. I wish I could make other people see the worth of my art. But, we are living in a material world, and I am a material girl. Living in the body of a sexy man. So, I’ll be fine. But, will you? Because I feel like you could use a laugh? Am I wrong? Does the prospect of a tight hour and a half of one-Jeremiah theater not sound worth throwing bucks at? Few bucks? Ah. Well. Poops.

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