Thursday, November 10, 2011

Stake Your Claim: How To Pitch Your Way to Rich

In yesterday's post, I took a look at how each one of us can grab our own slice of the "artisanal pie." Sure, the economy is terrible, but in case you haven't noticed there's also something of a "bullshit gold rush" going on in our popular culture, and now is the time to stake your claim. And just in case you need some more inspiration, I'd like to introduce you to two Americans who have successfully harnessed the power of the "Artisan's Oath" to make their self-indulgent dreams come true.

First, meet NiCole "COLE" Robbins:

Like many of us, NiCole likes to ride her bike, and so she decided to ride hers from California to Alaska. Now, if you're like most people, when you feel like taking a long ride for no other reason than personal enjoyment, you probably figure that's just something you've got to do on your own time and with your own resources. Wrong! In fact, as you can see above, NiCole raised a cool $775 to fund her dream vacation.

So how did she do it? By taking the "Artisan's Oath" and turning her desire for recreation into a profound narrative:

The evidence of my work is displayed in the language created by the use of my hands: they are rough around the edges, with calloused fingertips and sliced cuticles. The focus of my research will examine the elements and demands, including the physical approach and process of creating art as object and physically navigating a line through space on a routine schedule. Careful attention will be paid to the sense of place and time and what becomes of the observations and notes shoved in between zippered pockets and sketched on studio walls.

See, you probably just tell people you like to ride your bike, but when NiCole rides hers she pays careful attention "to the sense of place and time and what becomes of the observations and notes shoved in between zippered pockets and sketched on studio walls."

Sure, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "None of the above paragraph is in any way even remotely comprehensible." Exactly! Reading this pitch is like staring at one of those "magic eye" pictures and failing to see the hidden image, which is exactly how it's supposed to be:

What conversations between strangers in passing can become the threads of new information and part of the process of creating and telling of the roads less traveled? The route I create will require precision, attention to detail and slowing down the pace – treating the body as machine – immersed in the spaces that seduce and challenge. I intend to investigate the question: what are the physical and psychological connections and processes between the daily activity of creating art while navigating uneven terrain north along the west coast on a bicycle.

Reading ethereal prose like this is like trying to touch a rainbow, or hold air in your hands, or hump the fog. You think maybe you've succeeded, but then--poof!--it's gone. And once you've sufficiently bewildered people, you go in for the kill:

The donations I receive for this project will help to cover the costs of food, accommodations and necessary gear to remain prepared for the expected and unexpected associations with long distance traveling such as: heavy rains, flat tires, first aid supplies.

In other words, she wants money for lunch, a raincoat, a patch kit, and some Band-Aids. So why didn't she just say so? Well, because people want to feel like they're Queen Isabella sponsoring Christopher Columbus. They don't want to buy other people Band-Aids.

Of course, if you're uncomfortable with the "quasi-intellectual obfuscation" approach, you can also use the "world-changing smugness" approach, which is a bit more daring but potentially far more lucrative, as Monica Hunken proves:


Monica raised almost $7,000, and here's here's her video pitch:


As you can see, she hits all the right notes. For example, during her bike trip, she will investigate "new methods of sustainable and renewable energy," such as camels with wind turbines on their backs:

It's estimated that there are as many as 77 million pet dogs in the United States, which means that if every dog owner were to affix a small turbine to their pooch's head we would solve the world's energy crisis overnight. Instead we're too busy feeding them Cheetos and watching Cesar Millan. This is shameful--and shame equals guilt, and guilt equals money for your Kickstarter.

It also helps to have a really good "concern face:"

This "concern face" is nothing short of excellent. In fact, if she were to ditch the helmet, the bike, and the compassion, she'd be a shoe-in for any Republican nomination.

She also may very well be the real-life inspiration for the HBO series "Enlightened" starring Laura Dern:

If the producers haven't already paid her for that, then she should sue. And lawsuits equal--you guessed it--more money!

In any case, there's lots of cash for the taking out there, and you shouldn't let these deft artisans have it all! Start working on your pitch, and in a few short months you could be on the bicycle vacation of your dreams.

Moving on from dream vacations to dream bicycles, yesterday I also mentioned the Überhood, and one reader informs me that the design supposedly dates all the way back to 1881:


Now that is a dream bike:


Just check out the specs:

A. Hoistable sun and rain protector.

B. Adjustable back supporter, umbrella holder, and knapsack with liniment and court plaster compartments.

C. Cowcatcher for preventing "headers" by removing loose obstacles, and switching deaf people and dogs off the track.

D. Adjustable balance to cowcatcher.

E. Inflatable side cushions to prevent lateral falls and running off narrow bridges. These being filled with hydrogen gas will overcome the entire weight of the machine and rider, leaving just enough bearing on the ground to supply the necessary running friction. With these attachments the rider is expected to outstrip the wind, and even ride to Naples via Canandaigua Lake.

F. Electric headlight.

G. Electric reservoir with motor for operating the various attachments, applying automatic brake, and containing also machine oil, crackers and cheese, cigars and benzine.


I've now fitted my Surly Big Dummy with a cowcatcher, and I suggest you do the same.

And while the bicycle umbrella clearly has a proud legacy, few things are prouder than a legacy cockpit (forwarded by another reader):

This impressively lofty cockpit, resembling a frontally-mounted pogo stick, was passed on from father to son, and now it can be yours:

K2 Proflex 4000 - $350 (Stanwood)
Date: 2011-11-09, 3:13PM PST
Reply to: [deleted]

Was my fathers, now it sits unused in my garage. Frame size is k2's "Way Big". Battery controlled electronic variable suspension. Many after market parts. You know you want it. $350.00 or best offer Please include phone number with response.

I do know I want it, but personally I was saddened to see this bike for sale, since my deepest hope is that one day I can hand down to one of my seventeen children a bicycle as fine as this and I would hate to see one of them turn around and sell it. As it is, they may need to fight it out for "dibs" on my Scattante.

Speaking of cockpits, yet another reader sends this fine example from Portland, where the abundant moisture clearly makes wacky cockpits sprout like mushrooms:

I can certainly relate to this rider, because I too never go anyplace without a spare fender and a whisk broom.


Apparently, the woman was as cunning and brave as the thief was stupid:

"I didn't really say much to them. All I said was, 'Oh, this is the bike?" And they said, 'Yes.' And I said, 'Well, can I give it a test ride?' And they said, 'Yeah,'" said Lucas. "So, I started riding it and I knew it was my bike, so I just kept riding it. (I) rode it to my car and then threw it in my car and then drove away."

As it happens, I first came across this story on Bikeradar, where I was less taken by the actual story than I was by the photo they used:


I'm not really sure what's going on in this image, unless it's meant to suggest that thieves like to amuse themselves by making shadow puppets while they work:

Either that, or it's an homage to "Nosferatu:"

Though that still doesn't explain why the thief's head is shaped like Frankenstein's.

95 comments:

Anonymous said...

1st?

Anonymous said...

a friend showed me something totally different at a party last night

Anonymous said...

I like turtles

Anonymous said...

Podium? Woohoo! :-)

Rob said...

Podium! Now to read the damn thing, which i sure is fabulous!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

No Comment.

Perry said...

Top ten?

Anonymous said...

and i read it.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Top ten!

Anonymous said...

The hacksaw is totally redundant in the "shadow puppet bike thief" picture - and a hacksaw wouldn't be of much use anyway unless one was looking for some free exercise.

In reality the culprit would merely loft the whole bike onto their shoulder as it isn't locked to anything and lob it into the back of their ubiquitous "white van".

If the bike was worth a lot and was locked to something solid then out would come the official-looking fluoro jacket and they would then attack the lock with a battery powered disc cutter.

wishiwasmerckx said...

17 minutes to fill out the top ten? Most must have left early for the Veteran's Day weekend.

Anonymous said...

I HAVE A BONER!

Kenny said...

AND WHEN THE WOMBAT COMES, HE WILL FIND ME GONE!

Anonymous said...

I stared at the majic eye picture and I saw Alberto doing Macarena.

Paul Bowen said...

Top 10-15 ish!

Anonymous said...

When the the Bullshit Stampede is heading your way; best to hold onto your wallet.

RB1 said...

Hmm. I can tell campy from shimano at 20 yards, but i'm not so sure about camel vs dromedary.

Buffalo Bill said...

Even though I moved out of the house 30 years ago, my mom still buys band-aids for me.

Jasper said...

I think the thief in the photos was just making off with the Uberhood

Anonymous said...

Frankenstein? Isn't that Dracula?

And check this out: http://pebblepedalers.com/

Smug factor 10. Rich kids get other people to pay for their fly fishing bike trip.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Max Schleck er , Schreck.

Anonymous said...

She identified the bike by some bar tape and a bottle cage? Are serial numbers passé?

JB said...

Anon @ 11:48: Kind of hard to see the SN on craiglist and might raise a flag if you asked the seller for it or checked it before the test ride.

Anonymous said...

Band aids are so yesterday..A artisnal currated aloe vera laef is the band aid of choice.. I am gonna kickstart a project to make a cockpit mount for a living band-aid --cactus plant...and a g4 fon

sent from my cockpit mounted g4 --mr. pissta

Paul Bowen said...

Saw a guy wheeling the bairn's Kona, that had been taken from our hall six weeks previously, out of the petrol station Tesco on Brixton road last month. Took it off him. He gave it up without a fight but don't mind admitting I was still shaking like a leaf as I drove off.

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Anonymous Coward said...

I like how when she is talking about "Men and women sharing their personal stories of liberation" she shows this image. Looks like some interpersonal liberation to me.

FRNKN HED

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:17

"In reality the culprit would merely loft the whole bike onto their shoulder as it isn't locked to anything and lob it into the back of their ubiquitous "white van"."

You've taken Lob's name in vain...

Anonymous said...

Monica sez the name of her second "one woman" play is called "The Wild Finish".
Green dress Monica (not blue?) has surpassed green shorts Uberbabe as my new favorate.

Anonymous said...

NOSF RATU

leroy said...

Boy is my face red.

My dog has been telling me for years that the propeller beanie he says I should wear while riding is a patriotic fashion statement that will wean us from foreign oil.

I just didn't believe him until I saw today's post.

Anonymous said...

Come on, we all know the reason these bicycle vacations are getting funded: Lonely guys with Cheetos-stained fingers give these women money in the hopes of seeing a picture of a nip-slip.
Gender-bias I say!

mikeweb said...

Uh oh. Wait until Julie checks out this post at her next party...

BICH SLAP

So, when is Playboy going to run a 'Women of Kickstarter' pictorial?

Victim said...

Officer, I was so distracted by the waving hand that I didn't see the hacksaw chewing on my U-lock.

Anonymous said...

The Boulder woman from Boulder was indeed cunning and brave, but was she a linguist?

Vesselina Campagnolo Literary Agency said...

NICOLE ROBBINS, thy name is "JACKOFF"

And please, save the creative writing bullshit for your MFA application-- or if you already wasted your time on that scam, save your energy (I'd never say "talent," maybe GALL) on query letters to agents-- I'm certain there's someone out there for you and they, in turn, will find your work the "house" it most deserves.

If, by the way, I'm mistaken and you're not some failed or aspiring to fail writer, my apologies. I will, however, donate a few pieces of wampum to keep your insipid begging ass OFF THE ROAD.

All Best,

crosspalms said...

I'll be posting the video of me reading the blog and typing this comment as soon as I pick the right music for the soundtrack and get some funding.

Hair Jordan said...

Anon @ 12:47;


Did she speal cuni?

Etherhuffer said...

Good Lob, I had to reach for the Dramamine thanks to the fluffy prose. I am so angry with myself for paying for my own tours. I should have the pride to beg on Kickstarter. Even a shower with bleach won't get the smell off that little money grab of a story. ugh...

Nelson said...

Only minor correction to a long run of delightful blogging...

shoo-in
noun
a person or thing that is certain to succeed, esp. someone who is certain to win a competition : he was a shoo-in for reelection.
ORIGIN 1930s: from the earlier use of the term denoting the winner of a rigged horse race.

Anonymous said...

I have an MFA. One of my assignments in grad-school was to write one of those ethereal flowery prose bullshit artists statements. It was for an art history professor who routinely gave us readings that weren't "even remotely comprehensible." Having no idea what to do, I decided the only sensible thing to do was get really really stoned. Then I wrote a bunch of nonsense stream-of conscious crap that basically meant nothing, but had some words in that vaguely related to what I was doing with art. I figured that since I didn't understand the stuff she was giving us to read, that If I wrote something that made no sense to me she would probably love it. I figured it was a 50-50 either I would fail miserably or get an A.

Anyways she loved, and told me she really got what I was saying, and that I was a good writer. HA!

So lessoned learned, when in doubt spew it out.

Anonymous said...

i hate to say it, but i think monica is a prime target for sex slave traffickers. she said she can perform.

here's hoping she buys herself some protection over there.

balls.

dcee604 said...

Someone please pay me to ride my bicycle around!

CAMPIONE CYCLES CALGARY said...

No Joseph Campbell reference today? How many faces does a fred have?

My greatest fear? Stripping away all the bullshit and finding nothing else.

Terre Haute Karl said...

Monica's plays look like they would be very annoying. Although the video doesn't include the audio portion, you can see from her facial expression that she is doing the "gruff old man" voice. Just watching that short clip makes me very angry.

Also, I am pretty sure the antique uberhood is from a Dr Seuss book.

Rachel Madcow said...

Whaddys mean 'In fact, if she were to ditch the helmet, the bike, and the compassion, she'd be a shoe-in for any Republican nomination.' ?

Are you a libtard ?

Anonymous said...

Fucking "artist's mission statement."

"My work is informed by the post industrial landscape, I use the vocabulary of of street signs, and other road way communication to make a statement about the loss of community of blah blah blah blah blah....."

No bucks, no Buck Rogers.

Anonymous said...

I think the shadow is that of one of the evil clown bike doctors from "Pee Wee's Big Adventure."

You can even see his stethoscope.

Anonymous said...

Max Schreck played Dracula; the thieviving get's head silhouette's a bit on the square side.....

Liked the p-far accessory list.

hey nonny mouse

Anonymous said...

Theiviviviving. Check before posting, ya dafty.

hey nonny mouse

Marcel Da Chump said...

At least one of Monica's 94 backers will expect some "back" for those bucks.

Anonymous said...

Arthur, King of the Britons is a bike thief?? Are Sir Gallahad and Lancelot accomplices?

Anonymous said...

And that's how a bull becomes a shaw.

Anonymous said...

Clever of her to not show the audience, probably because there wasn't one...

Anonymous said...

Well, BSNYC, I guess you go for "quantity" not quality. Sorry, for a free blog that is still entertaining, I'm being pretty mean.

I like how you called out that smug b!tch who got backers to fund her vacay. LOL.

g-roc said...

Brilliant post Snob. The BS machine is running full tilt. I never realized that the K in AlasKa was capitalized. I guess Sarah Palin did have the correct pronunciation. I think I'll Kickstart my own trip to Alaska, starting with a 20km bike ride to the Vancouver cruise ship terminal. What's a fancy way of saying "I'm just in it for the filthy lucre"?

yogisurf said...

I suggest she watches one episode of Ice Road Truckers...she'll be smashed by a Semi.

Rex Reed said...

NOSFERATU, directed by F.W Murnau, starred
Max Schreck as Count Orlock, aka the vampire Nosferatu.

JB said...

Anon @ 1:38: No. The lesson was: when it doubt, get stoned.

Kyle said...

this post was hilarious all the way to the end

Quilled and Lugged said...

@ Paul Bowen: "out of the petrol station Tesco on Brixton road last month" - words I never thought I would see on this blog. I used to live about a molotov cocktail throw from there, back in the day

grog said...

Side airbags filled with hydrogen gas. Poof Poof, oh the humanity!

Nebraska bike commuter (non-DWI edition) said...

See the cat? See the cradle?

Anonymous said...

Those grips are like, sword-fighting.. man.

xyxax said...

Monica, I'll chip in if it helps prolong your absence.

Anonymous said...

King of the who?

Anonymous said...

that Monica chick seems annoying and you couldn't pay me $7k to go to one of her one woman performances. I'd like to kickstart her in her head. Not literally of course, that would be wrong.

Anonymous said...

look at me, with my healthy glow of the privileged, tall, blonde and pretty, allowing all of these small poor dark people bask in my light, and even sometimes touching them. Give me some money so I can do it some more. It makes me feel like I'm doing something useful with the $100k my parents sunk into my liberal arts education.

dex said...

That K2 proflex looks pretty special, i see it has been modified fromt he looks of the picture to include front forks that are back to front. Reminds me of the Argos advert selling 99 pound bikes which made the same mistake, except there it was a nation wide advert.

That's MISTER Nosferatu said...

You owe me royalties, Snob.Use my profile without permission,will you?

Vegas said...

I may be mistaken, but it seems you missed the best part of the cAlI to aLaSKa chick's TaintKick page: the UPDATES tab wherein she relates that not only did she not send any donors their promised photo/postcard from the road, but SHE ONLY MADE IT TO Bellingham, WA, 560 miles in 11 days where she got a "severe tension headache" and bailed. Paid vacations are rough, apparently. I wonder how much of that donor $$$ will be returned?

s-sin said...

haha... eric from his own kickstarter, drawing across a-meh-rica is wanting to
meet ms. NiCole. i see them starting a kickstarter for the first wedding-acroos-a-meh-rica-on-a-bike.

Anonymous said...

And what's great about NiCole is that when she did get a headache and give up in Bellingham, somehow she managed to get herself to the emergency room in Anchorage. It's not made clear how this happened. Astral projection? I think so.

Anonymous said...

I mean FUCK! What a stoopid pair of cretin moron retard bitches! A blond traveling on her own on a bike in Egypt? Will she write a play about anal sex rape? And the idiot going to Alaska? She's frozen to death. Fuck, to her hypothermia is some sort of artisanal experience.

And don't kid yourself. No Republican would be this fucking stoopid. You don't get this fucking batshit crazy without the aid of a fucking liberal education. I mean god damn.

Luxe Competition said...

Monica, come on now. You're either daft or utterly naive. Any true artist who's planning on travelling through the Middle East would have at least a passing knowledge of Sharia Law.

Menemist said...

Any ball-busting, male-hating femenist reading today's comments please note that no one voiced a desire to have sex with the women in question. These guys are gentlemen, a bit cynical, goofy, and foul-mouthed-- but gentlemen, nevertheless.

Anonymous said...

Check this 'Artist Statement Generator'

also known as the
Arty Bollocks Generator !

N Kelly said...

Here is a very different kind of Bicycle thief

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/bondi--bicycle-bandit--strikes-again--second-bank-raided-20111111-1nar1.html

Buy-cycle said...

Last? Looks like the Templar knights are at it again.

Anonymous said...

Here's another inspiration for the Uberhood:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Prisoner_sm.jpg

spence said...

Most Impress!

Jasper said...

I'm so glad I cam back for another look - that Arty Bollocks Generator gave me a coffee through the nose moment. Only I was drinking green tea.

fubaru said...

@dex

The fork is correct - the front axle is behind the forks, but they are about 4'' ahead of the head tube on those parallel arms, so the trail geometry works out right. I have the same bike (with a sane riser) in the shed. It's a sweet ride.

Anonymous said...

Snob accept that deep down , you really want to "investigate the question of the physical and psychological connections and processes between the daily activity of poking fun at bikes & people and taking the piss off while navigating uneven terrain from X to Y-.
I.E.
NY to LA: Trails in Snobbishness.;
Touring la France in hauteur..,
il giro con la puzza sotto il naso
Vuelta mas vacilona..


kickstart it , we'll be backing you.and you know it

Jono said...

Nosferatu. But then you knew that yes?

Espana said...

no comment, let the people will judge

Anonymous said...

The new crabon has arrived!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-15788735

Rex H said...

The thief in the picture was just showing off his Jazz Hand

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Lovely shoes ! It's perfect for the summer

http://www.xtraorbit.com/1366.html

Fixie Bikes said...

I'm glad you don't take a liking to all this BS, who are these people wasting their money like this?!

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