Tag Archives: nontroversy

Outrageous Outrage 2: Lloyd’s Taco Truck

9 Mar

A couple of weeks ago, Lloyd’s Taco Truck began a Kickstarter program in order to raise enough money to make a down payment on a second truck. They have just under 20 days to go, and are about 1/2 the way there. 

But people have denigrated Lloyd for seeking a “handout”, and expressing disapproval over a for-profit company “begging” for money from people without, e.g., offering a share in the business. 

So, here’s a fact-check. 

1. If you don’t want to participate in the Kickstarter, you don’t have to. No one’s making you. 

2. Kickstarter was created precisely so that for-profit entities can raise funding that they can’t come up with themselves, and can’t get a traditional loan for, so that the path from idea to reality is made easier. 

3. If you click on the prominent link at the top of the Kickstarter page, you discover this self-explanatory text: 

Kickstarter is the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. Every week, tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and other creative fields.

A new form of commerce and patronage. This is not about investment or lending. Project creators keep 100% ownership and control over their work. Instead, they offer products and experiences that are unique to each project.

All or nothing funding. On Kickstarter, a project must reach its funding goal before time runs out or no money changes hands. Why? It protects everyone involved. Creators aren’t expected to develop their project without necessary funds, and it allows anyone to test concepts without risk.

Each and every project is the independent creation of someone like you. Projects are big and small, serious and whimsical, traditional and experimental. They’re inspiring, entertaining and unbelievably diverse. We hope you agree… Welcome to Kickstarter!

4. So, it’s specifically for creative projects, including food projects, is completely voluntary, and frankly will enable a very good, very popular local food business to expand by one truck and better serve customers. 

5. If you think Lloyd’s has made a lot of money in its first year, what with legal wrangling over city permitting, limited locations to set up, crappy weather during the winter of ’10 – ’11, and occasional truck problems, you’re wrong. It’s a tough slog, and no one’s getting rich. They need twelve grand to buy a new truck and expand – if you like tacos, you may choose to give them money and get a thank you gift in exchange – it’s win-win, as Lloyd’s gets to go more places, and you get to eat more Lloyd’s.  

6. Thousands of for-profit projects exist on Kickstarter, all of which can be subjected to the same criticism as Lloyds, yet there they are.  I mean, do you need a device that will remotely print stuff people tag on Instagram? Probably not,  but if you’d like one, or like to see one on the market, here you go. $100,000 worth of people have donated. 

7. Everyone just relax. It’s a taco truck. I’m a fan, and I’ve participated in the Kickstarter because I’d like there to be another one to patronize. Because the Lloyd’s guys are friends of mine, their food is good, and they’re pioneers of sorts. Other people have pledged money for their own reasons. If you don’t think it’s fair or right, then don’t participate. What I don’t understand is the outrage and, frankly, hatred I’ve seen in many online comments about this program. Even here at Artvoice, the weekly arrow up/arrow down roundup gave Lloyd’s an arrow down because they have the nerve to use an online funding service in exactly the way it’s intended to be used in order to ask fans for money they can’t raise any other way, at least not now. 

8. Lloyd’s isn’t the first local for-profit food-based business to use Kickstarter to help fund its growth and expansion, yet it’s the first to get a barrage of criticism. 

Losing the Narrative, Always

29 Aug

I don’t understand how or why normal people cede the narrative on cultural issues to the cynical-hysterical ultra-right. I’m thinking specifically about the Park51 non-Ground Zero non-mosque, but it happens all the time. The right wing noise machine starts out with its daily talking points, Drudge, Fox News, which then morphs to talk radio and occasionally blogs. By the time the day is over, many people repeat the lies as fact, and they become the basis of the debate. All normal people are left to do is to try and rebut the lies, but the damage has already been done – the narrative has been set.

That’s why we’re busy rebutting the notion that this is an evil victory mosque set up by an extreme terrorist sympathizing imam who is taking money from al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, and other Muslim terrorist groups that don’t get along at all. It’s why the Republicans who are demagoguing this nontroversy frame it as not so much a question of religious freedom, but one of feelings. Oh, sure it’s legal and they can’t be legally stopped, they argue. But that’s hallowed ground, near the Amish Market deli, the OTB, and the topless bar. That place is sacred! – it’s two blocks from Ground Zero, around the corner from two extant mosques in the neighborhood. It’s not that all Muslims are terrorists, but all the 9/11 terrorists were Muslim!

It’s a load of reverse-political-correctness bullshit. Hell, Carl Paladino – the forwarder of horse porn and emails containing the word “nigger” – the guy who idiotically calls the Governor a “drug addict” – the guy who wants to herd the poor and unemployed into decommissioned penitentiaries – the tea partier who wants to create a nouveau New Deal make-work program – the guy who (also) called Shelly Silver the anti-Christ – the guy who thinks the poors are so dirty that the state should teach them hygiene – the family values bullshit artist who has cheated on his wife, and fathered a child she didn’t give birth to – the candidate who wants to turn “three men in a room” to one man in a room – the guy who likened health care reform to 9/11 (I thought 9/11 was too sacred to sully or politicize).

Aside: Just look at that list – it says a lot that an admitted madman (see Beale, Howard) who has said, done, and advocated the things listed above in just four or five months is gaining traction in the Republican primary race. Then again, Lazio is MIA.

I’m sick and tired of the center-left being on the defensive from the get-go on these types of nontroversies, and it makes me quite depressed about the state of our republic that this kind of bullshit can happen so easily, and with such formulaic regularity. Whatever we’re doing isn’t working.

Meanwhile, a New York cabbie with 15 years’ experience named Ahmed Sharif was slashed by alleged drunken douchebag/asshole/slasher Michael Enright of Brewster, NY. Sharif had answered “yes” when Enright asked him if he was Muslim. It may have been alcohol-fueled, but it was also fueled by hatred and fear. That hatred and fear, in turn, was fueled by vicious demagogues like Carl Paladino, Pamela Geller, and other fascists like the little peasant on WBEN at 9am.

Precious Irony

26 Dec

James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles apparently broke more laws than all of ACORN, ever.

46 separate investigations and inquiries, and ACORN has not been found to have broken a single law – no prosecution, no voter registration manipulation, no nothing.

But what of O’Keefe and Giles, who posed as pimp and ho, respectively, to try and get ACORN workers in various cities to say bad things?

The report also said that a sting-style effort to publicize the group’s allegedly illegal activities, may have broken state laws. Two conservative activists set off a firestorm in September when they posed as a pimp and a prostitute seeking financial advice and secretly videotaped Acorn employees offering advice on how the couple could hide their illicit activities and avoid paying taxes.

Sound & fury, and dollops of irony.