So I was watching the Presidential debate last night and I have to say that I'm very disappointed with both of the candidates. Firstly, it was supposed to be about foreign policy, but nobody spoke about Canada. My state shares a border with these people! I can almost see Canada from my house!!! Are we even still friends with them?!? Are they finally going to give us Ontario back? (That shit is rightfully ours, it was stolen from us by passive-aggressive mounties in the 1950s.) And what about the whole "Pants for Poutine" scandal? (We sent them duty-free blue jeans, they sent us whatever the hell poutine is.) All the candidates talked about were places like Libya, which might as well be in the Middle East as far as I'm concerned. Me, I'm far more worried about the Maple Menace.
Plus, this Obama guy has something against horses and bayonets, which is going to lose him the Amish vote, and the Romney one says he's going to support "small businesses," but is he going to put his money where his tongue hole is by giving incentives to douchebags in Brooklyn who make bayonets in their expensive live/work lofts, or by making Kickstarter profits exempt from federal income tax? Kickstarter is going to make this country great again--it's our economy's business incubator. If Henry Ford were getting started today he'd most certainly have used Kickstarter. "Hi, my name is Henry Ford," he'd say in the video he made with his iPhone in his parents' breakfast nook. "I hate Jews. Now give me money so I can make you a shitload of cars." So, what, are you going to crush Henry Ford with onerous income taxes and lots of nonsense about "equality" and "tolerance?" Sure, maybe if you want to be President...of Canada!
If you don't believe that Kickstarter-born businesses are going to make Apple look like a Mr. Softee truck in terms of sheer revenue, just consider some of the entrepreneurs seeking your investment--like Greta Bell and her bicycle-powered art carousel:
Like most Kickstarter artists, Greta Bell is going to give you something you never knew you wanted:
Just as long as you give her money and do pretty much everything else for her too:
Now, the carousel was perfected in the early 20th century, and unlike most other stuff from that era, such as polio or the music of Al Jolson, kids still love them. Nevertheless, apparently Greta Bell's brilliant idea is to chop one up and hook it up to a bicycle, which is the vintage amusement equivalent of doing a hasty fixie conversion on a classic road bike. Here's her pitch:
That happened to me once. I'd had a few drinks and I was riding home. Before I knew it I got a little too absorbed in my Twitter timeline, and then all of a sudden I crashed into a half-scale replica of Michelangelo's David in a front yard in Carroll Gardens. Good thing I was wearing my helment--and an even better thing that I was wearing it down my pants, because one of the last remaining Italians in the neighborhood kicked me square in the "pants yabbies." (Italians are very hot-blooded, just ask Henry Ford.)
Still, you've got to admit that those old turn-of-the-century carousels just aren't psycho-sexual enough, which is why Greta Bell wants hers to feature pained panels depicting strangers' memories:
As the circus r/evolves I am inviting viewers to submit an image of their cherished object along with a description of why it is meaningful to them. I will then select from these and continually create new paintings to panel the carousel.
I can get behind that. In fact, I plan to furnish Greta Bell with one of my own cherished objects:
This cassette tape is deeply meaningful to me for two reasons. Firstly, it was a mixed tape given to me by a girl in high school who wore lots of black clothing. (Side one has lots of songs by bands like The Cure, The Smiths, and Depeche Mode. Side two is just a straight 90-minute recording of the WLIR radio station broadcast, mostly featuring songs by bands like The Cure, The Smiths, and Depeche Mode.) Secondly, shortly after she gave me the tape, there was "an incident" that I'll never forget:
It might take more than one panel for Greta Bell to tell the complete story of how the tape wound up there, but I can assure you it's perfectly plausible and that it could have happened to anybody. (Provided they weren't wearing pants.)
Oh, and if all that's not convincing enough, keep in mind that the carousel also doesn't work:
re/joice… and disappointment
Our trial run went well. We had an enthusiastic and supportive home town crowd. Shortly after this I was headed to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York to unveil the carousel for its world premier. Unfortunately, the complexity involved in setup was to great and I had to face the real disappointment of failure.
It's easy to face the real disappointment of failure when you haven't paid for it. It's like crashing a rental car.
Incidentally, remember the girl in high school who gave me that tape? Well, she's all grown up now, and she's running her own Kickstarter:
"'Bike Love' is an expression of who I am, how I own who I am, and how I respond to the world that I live in."
In most places this would not warrant a documentary, since this is how things work for most Americans:
--Who I Am: I'm me.
--How I Own Who I Am: I lease myself to a Walmart for 40 hours a week, the rest of the time I "own myself" by mixing prescription drugs with beer and watching porn.
--How I Respond to the World That I Live In: When it makes me angry, I shoot it.
See? Pretty simple.
However, this isn't the United States. This is Portland. There's a different gravitational field in Portland, and because of it even the most mundane act is imbued with significance:
Bike Love is an experiential narrative documentary film about Kara Minnehan's bike riding quest in Portland, Oregon. On December 1, 2011 Kara gave up her car for the purpose of experiencing the city's bike culture firsthand. Throughout the experience of living without a car, Kara is introduced to a new world, along with a range of challenges, allowing for self-exploration and personal growth.
I'm not sure giving up your car counts as a "quest" for "self-exploration and personal growth" when it's just the hand-me-down Volvo you got from your parents:
I bet someone got a sweet deal on a classic automobile. The only problem with it is that there's a Smiths tape stuck in the auto-reverse cassette deck that plays eternally, but all you have to do is turn the volume down and you're free from the plaintive crooning.
Also, you know what goes well together? "Feminism," "comedy," "performance art," and "sustainability:"
Paradoxically, comedy cannot exist in an environment that contains feminism, performance art, and sustainability; however, when you combine feminism, performance art, and sustainability, the results are generally comedic. It's just chemistry.
Speaking of chemistry, if Hollywood has taught us anything, it's that there must be synergy, which is why we need a documentary and a book and a soundtrack and a fashion show:
Bike Love Documentary Project will also create a companion photography book, "Girls on Wheels", which will feature the inside story of the production process and characters in the film, as well as a diverse array of photographs of female cyclists in Portland, Oregon.
Bike Love Documentary will compile a soundtrack for the film featuring local artists such as Tyler Stenson, Naomi Hooley, Luz Mendoza, and the Shook Twins. Following the premier of the film will be a show featuring live performances by a few of our artists.
Bicycle-Themed Fashion Show:
In June 2012, Bike Love hosted a bicycle-themed fashion show at Multnomah County Bike Fair to mark the end of Pedalpalooza - an entire month of daily themed bike rides in Portland, Oregon! On June 8, 2013 (the day of the film premier) Bike Love will host a 2nd Annual Bicycle Fashion Show, featuring local and international designers. Bicycles, bike apparel, bike vintage, and everyday fashion with a bike twist will be featured at the show!
I look forward to the theme ride about the documentary about the book about the soundtrack about the documentary, and to reveling in the triumphant success of an artistic endeavor that has yet to even happen.
Of course, we have our share of documentarians here in New York City, but they eschew the language of liberal arts colleges in favor of eerie voyeuristic earlobe POV:
I was completely riveted by this video since it felt like I was floating around New York City while attached to the side of a floating disembodied head:
As I watched, I also realized that to any onlookers this floating disembodied head probably looked like the Supreme Being from the movie "Time Bandits:"
And I was right!
And speaking of film, a reader tells me it's time for "Bike Smut 6," curated by "Poppy Cox:"
There will be plenty of schwul, a generous helping of lesbisch, and plenty of explizite szenen:
H · Hetero
S · Schwul
L · Lesbisch
T · Transgender
X · Explizite Szenen
NX · Keine expliziten Szenen
FT · Fetisch
A · Animation
F · Filme von Frauen
SW · Sexwork
D · Dokumentation
Though I'm guessing there won't be any of this:
EKM · Eine Kleine Nachtmusic
Nope, not even a little.
Lastly, another reader has forwarded me this campaign ad, in which we're threatened by a horrible future in which Americans are forced to ride bikes:
I agree this is a nightmare scenario. If everyone's riding bikes, who's left to run them over?!"