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The $40K Potato Salad on Kickstarter Is Evil

John Herrman thinks money has drained the project of its whimsy
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2014 1:54 PM CDT
The $40K Potato Salad on Kickstarter Is Evil
A screenshot from the campaign homepage.   (Kickstarter)

(Newser) – By now you have probably heard about Zack Danger Brown's ludicrously successful potato salad Kickstarter. It's at more than $40,000 as of this writing, and headed higher all the time. And as far as John Herrman at the Awl is concerned, it's not just out of control, it's a "science fiction villain … an invader, an awakening of The Old Ones, a Dire Event, or at least a Portent." Yes, it was once funny, but the whimsy is gone; it's just an engine. Because what's funnier than a $40,000 potato salad? A $50,000 one.

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"With every new dollar, it feels more urgent to a viewer that he attach his name and his dollars to the thing … a fee for ensuring you're in on the joke. It's an investment compulsion, and the investment is a scam." It will be only after the dust settles and the checks clear "that we realize what the joke really was, and at whose expense it was told."

(On the other hand, Brian Barrett at Gizmodo thinks Brown is a hero because he's "found a way to skewer Kickstarter in a way that's entertaining, lucrative, and (potentially, depending on how much dill he uses) delicious." Kickstarter recently stopped vetting projects, making this insanity possible. The takeaway? "Assume everything on Kickstarter is a potato salad.")

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