Think Small, Dream Big, Fund Local, Bake Sale

“Join us on the first Sunday of each month for a public soup dinner! Pay $5. Learn about creative projects happening in Detroit. Vote on which project to fund with the money raised from the meal that night.”

I first heard about Detroit Soup a couple of months ago. It’s a project with all the trappings of genius that follows a simple format:

  1. Buy soup. Your money goes into the pot.
  2. Listen to pitches or share your own.
  3. Vote for what you think is the best pitch.
  4. Pitch with the most votes gets the pot.

While there’s nothing new about open fora, town hall meetings, or benefit dinners, this is the type of format that forces you to seriously consider a very crucial question with regard to future prospects:

“What would you do if you came across a windfall of money to realize your dream?”

Continue reading “Think Small, Dream Big, Fund Local, Bake Sale”

The Art of the Quotidian

aka Stop Pretending to be a Ditz when you clearly aren’t one

Unspoken rule of thumb: Your peers–especially the ones you don’t like–should want to be you.

You should drive around in your Expedition with Bitches Brew blasting from your obscenely expensive customized sound system. “Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot to turn it down as I rolled past you. I didn’t realize you’d just…be…standing there on the driveway. Waiting for a cab or something. Silly me!” Offer to call a cab for your colleague. Whip out your iPhone/Blackberry/Nokia that looks like a Blackberry but isn’t and start fiddle-faddling with the damn thing until a cab comes beaming down from outer space. Tell your colleague there’s no need to thank you, then zip away, knowing fully well you’ve left your window down with the volume untouched, leaving a trail of “I’m better than you” in your wake. Pretend you’re going broke in your efforts to sustain this ridiculous lifestyle. Don’t blatantly admit that it might be true.

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Hello, You Are Alive!

That’s the title of an essay from a book I have about Superflat. Hello, you are alive. It’s nice to know that the bomb has not obliterated you.

As I type this, I am half-drunk, half talked-out, and in complete recovery from what should have been the end of the world for the paranoid. Paranoia is a good remedy for a lack of ambition…or let me rephrase that, fear is a good replacement for ambition. Nothing motivates you the way fear does, isn’t ambition after all fueled by the fear of “not getting anywhere”? Where did that term even come from–“not getting anywhere”? If you don’t know where you’re going, save your energy and stay put. Then again, this is the same logic used by the mooch.

One of the most vivid images in my mind is a picture from Life or was it Time magazine of a family prepared beyond everything in the fucking world for Y2K. “Our biggest investment was the waterbed,” said someone in that family. The picture had a shaggy blonde middle-aged wife perched on what might have been the said waterbed. Surrounded by her family (standard-sized, two kids, a husband of classic midwestern stock), stacks of canned goods, and emergency lights, she just sat there staring defiantly into the face of impending doom, causing wonder at the notion of whether we replace ambition with fear or allow our fears to fuel our ambition. And if ambition is to stay alive while all of society has perished, then where on this spectrum do our own individual dreams lie?

Continue reading “Hello, You Are Alive!”