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I’m a freelance interactive content strategist and copywriter in Austin, TX. See my work here.

I post about whatever geeky stuff interests me. Sometimes I post funny stuff that I make up. About once a week I post videos of my cat Yeti ignoring me. I welcome reader suggestions and feedback. I seldom get any.

Oh, yeah. I’m also the recording artist currently known as ManChildATX.

Thursday
Jun192014

Justice inequality: Matt Taibbi’s The Divide, Sarah Stillman’s Get Out of Jail, Inc. 

 

I just read a one-two punch about the unequal dispensation of justice in the U.S. We’ve been hearing a lot about income inequality lately. Justice inequality is income inequality’s bullying little brother who does much of the dirty work that keeps income inequality thriving.

Matt Taibbi’s new book is called The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap. I’d never read Taibbi before, although I’d always heard great things. Still, I wasn’t looking forward to a bitter polemic about how our justice system gives carte blanche to the haves and while putting the screws to the have-nots. But Taibbi’s book doesn’t read like a screed. He tells his stories and for the most part lets them speak for themselves.

Each chapter pairs tales of brazen corporate criminals on one side and some poor down-on-his-luck schnook on the other side. Time after time, the corporate criminals are not charged for their crimes, which harm countless lives and livelihoods by, for instance, bankrupting cities and government pension funds. They get off with fines, which are paid by their parent corporations, with no individual crooks ever held accountable, even when the evidence has them dead to rights. Meanwhile, the schnooks bear the full brunt of the criminal justice system for their trivial offenses, like driving without a license, or even imaginary offenses, like being stopped and frisked for no reason and then being charged for blocking pedestrian traffic on an empty New York sidewalk at 1am.  

What Taibbi gets so right is how we all have come to accept and internalize the sliding scale of equal justice that is based on economic caste. Yeah, we might want to see wealthy crooks get what’s coming to them, but we understand that they have the money to hire lawyers and make any prosecution a costly roll of the dice that might come up snake eyes. Meanwhile, we accept what happens to the poor because, well, we Americans don’t like losers, especially when we know we could become losers ourselves in a heartbeat. So, yeah, we think, it sucks, but better them than us.

Then just as I finish the Taibbi book, the latest New Yorker arrives with Sarah Stillman’s article Get Out of Jail, Inc., (sub req) about the private probation industry. These for-profit companies strike deals with local and state courts who have seen their budgets slashed by state governments. The deal is, they manage the probation of minor offenders, thus keeping the government from having to spend the money to house them in jail. Even better, they shift the cost of administering probation from the courts to the penny-ante offenders themselves. Not only does it make money for the courts and these for-profit businesses, it keeps these minor offenders caught in a Kafka-esque nightmare where they are under the constant threat of incarceration if they don’t cough up cash to pay constantly compounding fees and penalties.

In both Taibbi’s book and Stillman’s article it’s clear that these effects may be driven less by ideology and more by systemic lethargy. It’s hard and often fail-prone to prosecute the rich; it’s easy to prosecute the poor. So justice inequality and income inequality join in a self-reinforcing cycle.

Fun times.

 

Tuesday
Jun172014

Inexplicable Spurs championship knock-off t-shirt for chintzy bandwagoners

So you say you want to jump on the San Antonio Spurs’ NBA championship celebration bandwagon?

But you’re kinda cheap and you don’t wanna spring for officially licensed NBA gear?

Is that what’s bothering you, bunky?

Well, hold your head up high and walk tall, because Walgreens in Austin has just what you need. Just like the stores that sell the real thing, the day after the Spurs’ triumph, Walgreens had their shelves stocked with just-in-time merch made to help them cash in. 

Yes, go forth proudly with your muscles flexed and your chest all puffed out, the better to display this knock-off t-shirt Walgreens let you have for only ten bucks. 

Just be sure to remove the sticker that disclaims any resemblance—unintentional or otherwise—to any officially licensed sports team. 

And have an answer ready for when anyone asks you what the hell your shirt means.

Good luck!

 

Friday
Jun132014

How to Activate the New Facebook Ad Profile Controls

 

 

Facebook has made it easier for you to determine which ads you see and which ads you don’t. In addition, Facebook will now show you the data it knows about you that determines why a particular ad was displayed on your Facebook page.

Accessing these new controls is easy. Here’s all you have to do:

1. Remove all clothing. Discard.

2. Remove all gold jewelry, package it and mail to:

Facebook Privacy Initiative
Gold Jewelry Stockpile
PO Box 19332300223345
Omaha, NE 68101

3. Slather your body with electro-luminescent paint. Perform the rest of this procedure only under ultraviolet light.

4. Simultaneously press the control, alt, delete, function, option, shift, tab, F3, F5, F7 and F11 keys.

5. Oh, wait. We forgot to mention that you should have the Facebook preferences pane open in your browser. The only browser you can use for this process is Opera, which you probably don’t have, so…

6. Go download Opera, install it and open it. Then pull up your Facebook preferences pane. We’ll wait.

7. OK, now repeat steps 1-4.

8. Continue pressing the the control, alt, delete, function, option, shift, tab, F3, F5, F7 and F11 keys as you page through the Facebook preferences pane until you reach the panel titled “Confirmation.”

9. Click “No, I do not wish to confirm.”

10. Repeat steps 1-8.

11. Click “Yes, I most certainly do wish to confirm.”

12. Close your browser.

13. Shut down your computer.

14. Wash off the electroluminescent paint. Do not towel yourself off. Instead…

15. Huddle in the fetal position on the floor of your bathroom while naked and sopping wet for a minimum of 12 minutes.

16. Send a hand written, notarized request by registered mail indicating that you DO want to opt in to the new privacy controls to:

Facebook Privacy Initiative
Written Request Stockpile
PO Box 1304402203304403
Omaha, NE 68122

17. Wait approximately 18 weeks for acknowledgement of your request. If you do not receive an acknowledgement of your request within 18 weeks, repeat steps 1-16.

18. If you receive acknowledgement of your original request after you sent in a duplicate request, send a letter of apology to:

Facebook Privacy Initiative
Duplicate Request Apology Processing
PO Box 1204402203404402159
Omaha, NE 68133

19. Once you have received acknowledgement of your request and have no other requests in process, you can expect to receive confirmation that your request has been approved within approximately 18 weeks after receiving request acknowledgement. This confirmation will include instructions for how to actually use the new privacy controls. Save a copy of these instructions, as they are a bit more complicated than this process, but it’s nothing you shouldn’t be able to handle.

20. Oh, and one more thing: only use the Feldspar brand of electro-luminescent paint. If you used any other brand, please repeat steps 1-19.

AND IT’S JUST THAT EASY!

Happy Facebooking!

 

 

Thursday
Jun122014

Latest unpublished letter to the editors of People Magazine

Dear People (the magazine, not the species):

I’m sorry, but can you please send over here someone to scrape me off the floor? I mean, if you are going to drop bombshells on me like the news of Antorio Bandana and Menalie Griffin’s impending S-P-L-I-T on me, you can’t just expect me to go on with my daily life without some kind of extra support. Like maybe a shot of adrenaline to the heart.

Because, you see, I was one of those who believed that what Antorio and Menalie had was real. I mean, you can just look at Melarie and see she is all about the real, yo. Sister don’t play, am I right?

I will be so disappointed if I find out that Antolio has left her for a younger woman, or for one whose scars don’t show quite as much. Say it ain’t so, Antsy!

So, yeah, until you guys see fit to send someone over to help me recover from the shock, I’ll be lying on the floor in a helpless pile of sadness goo.

Nice pics of Bey’s new look, BTW.

Yrs vry trly, etc., etc.,

Hardric Lamley

 

Wednesday
Jun112014

When the Bear went off his chain

WASHINGTON — The bear was loose again on Tuesday.
Twice in two days, President Obama has veered from his official schedule and shaken off the confines of White House security to get a taste of life on the outside. At one point he left his Secret Service detail, the reporters who cover his every move and even his own staff scrambling to keep up.
“The bear is loose,” Mr. Obama likes to say of these unplanned outings, comparing himself to a circus bear off his chain.
On Monday, it was an impromptu stroll with his chief of staff to a nearby Starbucks, where the president had a venti-size cup of tea, sending reporters and members of his senior staff scurrying around downtown Washington in search of Mr. Obama as he shook hands with passers-by…
Blocks away, another aide who had rushed to intercept the president at a Dunkin’ Donuts stood gazing around on a street corner, cellphone to ear, realizing too late that she was in the wrong place.
On Tuesday, it was lunch at a burger joint in suburban Virginia, FireFlies, with Arne Duncan, the education secretary. Mr. Obama admired babies and shook hands with patrons, but warned that he would not be off his chain long enough for pictures with everyone. “I’ll be here too long,” Mr. Obama said at the restaurant, in Alexandria. “I’ve got to get back to work pretty quick.”
NYT: Obama’s Moments of Freedom Send His Aides Scrambling


10:17
—The Bear enters Murtaugh’s Hardware, approaches several customers and asks, “Hey, do you know where I can get a five-cent screw,” cracking self up repeatedly.

10:22—The Bear visits Aaron’s Sporting Goods, tries on several Speedos and is overheard asking, “Say, does my skinny ass make these trunks look fat?” “Later, bitches,” he says as a parting shot as he exits, cackling.

10:25—The Bear spends several minutes mesmerized by a street mime, drops a 10-dollar bill in the performer’s hat, and says quietly, “You had me at the glass box, dude. You had me at the glass box.”

10:31—A block and a half away, the Bear purchases a set of curtain rod finials at Pottery Barn, exits as he is overheard complaining, “Sold in sets of two only. What a load of horseshit. I just need one goddamn finial, for Christ’s sake. Talk about waste, fraud and abuse.”

10:39—The Bear quickly downs a couple Bud Lights at The Hoop & Pigskin sports bar. Bystanders claim he tells the bartnder, “Hey, I’m off duty for at least another 10 minutes, so I’m not worried about it. Hit me again, good sir.” Leaves a $2 tip, stifles a belch, exits.

10:46—The advance and follow teams finally catch up to the Bear just as he is leaving a fragrance store holding up a small package and exclaiming, “Paco Rabanne—that’s my jam!”

10:49—Bear back on the chain. “Show’s over, folks,” he manages to shout to startled pedestrians, as a member of the Secret Service detail shoves him into the back of his limousine. Damage control commences.

 

Tuesday
Jun102014

Cat gets all open forum-y with it

Monday
Jun092014

10 More Good Reasons to Back My Kickstarter Campaign

Serotonin receptors in action. See reason #10   

There are just 10 days—yikes!—until my Kickstarter campaign deadline. I’m raising funds to release my second ManChildATX album on CD and to promote it. My campaign started off great, but where success once seemed inevitable, well, it no longer does. In fact, at the pace new backers are joining, it ain’t lookin’ too good. I blame myself. I haven’t given you enough good reasons to help. So here are 10 more:

1. My album may be really good. In fact I think it’s great. But unless I reach my goal, we’ll never know. Won’t that be a major sadz? Allow me to answer that: yes, it will.

2. You’ll defy Newton’s Law. Ol’ Isaac said an object at rest tends to remain at rest. My fundraising total has not budged for days. You can counter that inertia.

3. You’ll be helping keep Austin weird. I’m weird. I’ve lived in Austin since the Pleistocene era. You do the math.

4. You’ll get something back. My backers are entitled to some super-groovy rewards, starting at just $5 for a download of my album. $12 gets you a CD. Check it out, homes. 

5. I’ll beam a private mini-concert to you from my bathroom. For just a $100 donation. See, I told you I was weird.

6. You can help a lot by doing just a little. If I don’t make my campaign goal, my Kickstarter doesn’t fund, I don’t get any money, and there will be no backer rewards. The dozens of people who have taken the big step to back my campaign will have done it all for naught. Your small donation can help avoid that travesty.

7. It’s super easy to do. Go to my campaign page. Watch the video, choose your reward, then click the big green button that says, “Back This Campaign.” It’ll be like a rocket sled on greased rails from there on out. You’ll be in and out of there in 5 minutes or so.

8. You’ll feel good, over and over. Through Kickstarter, I’ll keep you informed of the progress of my project. Having backed a number of projects myself, I’ve found that these communiques help bring back the warm feelings I got when I first backed someone’s campaign. They help me feel invested in someone’s creative success. That feels good. Try it.

9. You’ll support a new music business model. You’ve probably heard that the music business is dying. But the big record companies still make money, just not as much. It’s we musicians who are getting squeezed. Kickstarter is one way we can take our music directly to the people who can appreciate it. I believe in this model, but I need your help to make it work for me.

10. You’ll alter my brain chemistry. My highly scientific research shows that making someone happy makes you happy, too. And if I make my campaign goal in the next 10 days, I will be very, very happy. With just a couple of clicks you can help bathe my synapses in that sweet, sweet, serotonin. Hit me!

Thank you so much for your help.

Rich a/k/a ManChildATX

 

 

Thursday
Jun052014

Ask a Pathological Liar: Dominatrix Days

Dear Pathological Liar:

My fiancé has been after me to tell him about my romantic history. He thinks sharing the details of our pasts will bring us closer. I’m reluctant to do that because for several years I made an excellent living as a dominatrix with an exclusive clientele, one of whom was the founder of the startup where my fiancé now works. I’m afraid to tell him that the fancy car I drive is a direct result of spending many hours castigating his boss for being a failure while keeping him chained to my toilet. Any advice?

Signed,
Not a Slave to Convention

Dear Notta:

Why are you afraid to tell your fiancé that you made a lot of money doing exactly what he fantasizes about doing everyday—humiliating his boss? Your situation reminds me of this one time when I was working at my dad’s high-end bordello in Monaco. There was this dominatrix there, Madame Stiletto—she was like a mother to me, albeit a mother who wore mostly latex. In fact, it was Madame Stiletto who staked me the money to buy my first European soccer team, which I used as a front to launder the proceeds from my counterfeit couture company. Ah, memories. Anyway, sorry. To get back to your problem, I think you should go ahead and tell the guy. But maybe chain him to the toilet first, in case he has an adverse reaction.

—-

Dear Pathological Liar:

This may sound like a strange request, but I need help learning how to lie. I am just patently unable to tell a lie to give myself an advantage in my personal and business relationships. It’s like I have a mental block that forces me to tell the truth, even when telling a lie would help me come out on top. To give you an example, the other day I bought a pack of gum and paid with a five dollar bill. The clerk gave me change for a twenty—and I brought the mistake to her attention! I just handed back fifteen bucks that I could’ve kept in my pocket. What the hell is wrong with me, and can you help?

Signed,
Honest to a Fault

Dear Honest:

No, I can’t help you. Help you learn how to lie?! Are you kidding? Who do you think I am, some kind of lying guy who lies all the time? Dude, I NEVER lie, because lying is wrong. Get me? I’m going to say it again slowly so you will understand: Lying. Is. Wrong.

Period.

I’m actually shocked and offended that you would ask me such a thing. You kind of remind me of my dad’s former business partner. He and Dad owned Walt Disney World for a few years, back when Disney couldn’t do anything without royally screwing it up. My dad and his partner were the ones responsible for bringing back Mickey Mouse, Snow White and all of those other characters that Disney misguidedly jettisoned. Also, they were the ones who got the idea to have amusement park style rides and stuff. Anyway, this partner of my dad’s was always trying to get my dad to cut corners and even to tell lies, all just to make a few more bucks.

“Look,” my dad said, “we’re already billionaires several times over. And Disney just offered to buy the theme park back from us for 18 times what we paid for it just three or four years ago. So why would you fib? It’s a sin!”

Eventually that guy really burned my dad, perjuring himself in federal court by testifying that Dad was the one who cut the deal with the South American bird smuggling ring. Our family went from having billions of dollars to being penniless in an afternoon. Literally. I remember a caravan of about 50 armored cars pulling up in front of our house and government men in grey uniforms rolling bricks of thousand dollar bills out in those heavy duty wheelbarrows you see at construction sites. My mom, the Olympic figure skater Peggy Fleming? It just about broke her heart.

So, teach you to lie? No, sir. I’d rather throw this one-of-a-kind million dollar Rolex on my wrist right down the garbage disposal.

 

Tuesday
Jun032014

Tattoo artist specializes in restoring nipples after mastectomies

Breast cancer affects so many women every year. Many of these women get mastectomies, either out of necessity or as a precaution against recurrences. Plastic surgeons can perform breast augmentation to restore a woman’s shape, but as I learned from this surprisingly affecting NYT video, many women don’t feel their surgeons can do an adequate job to restore the appearance of their nipples. The video profiles a woman who visits tattoo artist Vinnie Meyers, of Little Vinnie’s Tattoo in Finksburg MD, to have nipples tattooed on her reconstructed breasts. Meyers says that nipple tattoos have become his accidental specialty. Women from all over the country and overseas visit him to “get a Vinnie.” Beautiful. 

Tuesday
Jun032014

Funny-haha Kickstarter stretch drive video

The Kickstarter campaign for my second ManChildATX album is entering it’s final two weeks, and, well, things have slowed down a bit. ManChildATX himself explains in this video:

  

Monday
Jun022014

My surefire earworm cure: Tommy Roe's "Sweet Pea"

 

According to this really old article on WebMD, almost everyone experiences earworms. This is the sensation of persistently hearing a song in your head that isn’t actually playing. It’s like the song is “stuck.” It can be a song you recently heard on the radio; often it’s a song that you find unbearably catchy, even though subjectively you may hate it. Earworms were a big factor in driving me out of my spin class (along with laziness).

I almost ALWAYS have some kind of song playing in my head. Some of these are songs I heard no more than once or twice when I was a little kid. You might say that my musical memory is uncanny, as long as it’s understood that “uncanny” is a synonym for “not something you can make money from.”

Yesterday, I found myself repeatedly whistling a phrase from a song and when I stopped to think about what it was, I realized it was by the band Chicago, which I loathe. I feel like I’ve subjected myself to enough Chicago for any human lifetime. One of my rules for happy living is to avoid hearing any Chicago music whenever and wherever possible. So I was pretty horrified to find myself earwormed by one of their radio hits, a song I probably haven’t heard in over 20 years! Aaargh!

One tried-and-true way of getting rid of an earworm—in fact, maybe the only way—is to think of another catchy song that you can tolerate having stuck in your head.

So I turned to good ol’ Tommy Roe, and he did the trick. For some reason, singing or whistling Sweet Pea can drive earworms out of my brain without lodging itself in there instead. Or if it does lodge itself, at least it doesn’t bug me. Which is funny, because I could totally see this being the kind of song that might earworm someone else to insanity. Oh, well.  

If you can’t handle Sweet Pea, I encourage you to figure out your own earworm killer and keep it at the ready. And now, heeeeere’s Tommy!

 

 

Thursday
May292014

Cat refuses to confirm or deny acquisition by Facebook

Wednesday
May282014

Check out the Fantastic Fiction of Robert Freeman Wexler

Wexler and daughter Merida (with the French version of The Painting and the City)

I met Robert Wexler when we were both in college. I was in an oh-so-cerebral punk band and he was a writer with the college paper who wrote a nice story about us. We kept in touch for a while, but then Robert moved away to become a “real writer.”

And, wow, did he ever. Robert reconnected with me a few years ago, and recently he’s been kind enough to share his work (two novels and a novella—a third novel is on the way). I’ve still yet to read his first novel, Circus of the Grand Design, but I was knocked out both by the novella, In Springdale Town, and his most recent novel, The Painting and the City.

What do I mean by “knocked out?” I mean that shortly after starting both of these works I had “Holy, shit! This guy can really write!” moments. His massive talent is so evident that professional jealousy would be ridiculous. Yes, I’m a writer, but I’m nowhere near Robert Freeman Wexler’s league. His storytelling is wildly imaginative and his prose is beautiful, smart and eminently readable.

I guess you could call both In Springdale Town and The Painting and the City psychological suspense with tinges of sci-fi (parallel-universe-style sci-fi, not little-green-men-style sci-fi). If I’m honest, I’ll admit that these aren’t the kinds of books that normally leap off the shelves at me. But maybe it’s time to rethink that. Or at least get some reading recommendations from Wexler.

It’s always dicey assessing a friend’s creative work, especially literary fiction. I might approach it worrying, What if I hate it? Or, What if I can’t even get through it? Or, What if it’s a pretentious piece of crap? What I don’t usually think is, What if it’s so good my mouth is hanging open in astonishment by page 3? But Wexler’s done that to me with both of the works I’ve read so far. Circus of the Grand Design is next on my reading list.

Like so many writers, Wexler is struggling to bring a wider audience to his work. Sometimes a talented writer in this position is damned with faint praise as a “writer’s writer.” But I’d call Robert Freeman Wexler a reader’s writer.

If you love to read, do yourself a solid and check out Robert’s work on on Amazon.

 

 

Friday
May232014

Instacart, the Sharing Economy and Modern Peonage

Farhad Manjoo’s column about Instacart in yesterday’s NYT just about made me barf.

Instacart is an app-driven grocery delivery service. You want groceries delivered, you place an order through the app. Then one of Instacart’s “independent contractors” goes to a grocery store, buys your items and delivers them to you.

This, like Uber and Airbnb, is an example of the sharing economy. With Uber, you share your car; with Airbnb your house or apartment. With Instacart, you share your free time.

And therein lies the nauseating rub. Manjoo gets excited about how sharing services like Instacart create new earning opportunities for those increasingly shut out of the economy by a lack of low-skill jobs. Here’s your nut graf:

“Still, Instacart’s success suggests that rather than simply automate workers out of their jobs, technology might create new labor opportunities for people who haven’t acquired formal credentials or skills in an economy where low- and medium-skilled workers face a bleak outlook. Like the ride-sharing service Uber, Instacart creates work by connecting affluent customers who have more money than time with part-time workers who have the opposite problem — lots of time, not enough money.”

I don’t know about you, but what I read there is, “If things get tight, don’t worry—you can always earn a little dough by wiping some rich guy’s ass.”

Manjoo trumpets Instacart’s line that their workers can earn $15-$30 an hour, which he points out is a lot better than flipping burgers. Oh, but you’ll have to buy your own health insurance, not to mention use your own car, which requires money for upkeep, insurance and gas.

But if something goes wrong, Instacart’s got your back, right? Well, no. You’re an independent contractor—it was nice knowin’ ya!

Manjoo gets a gem of a quote from economist-author Tyler Cowen: “‘I wouldn’t want to suggest people will become grocery-delivery millionaires,’ he said, ‘but if you don’t have a college education but you’re smart and responsible, could you make a living doing this and maybe piecing it together with some of these other kinds of jobs? Absolutely.’”

In other words, he wouldn’t want to suggest that someone would be able to afford to use Instacart by working for Instacart. And how about bowing and scraping? Would that be another one of those jobs you could piece this together with to keep the lights on?

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I think these “sharing economy” services are evil per se. I actually like the idea of people being able to earn a little extra money this way. I’ve used both Uber and Airbnb, and I don’t think using Instacart is wrong in and of itself. Hell, probably some of you reading this will want to sign up for it right now. 

It’s the notion that sharing services could be a corrective for increasing income inequality that gets me. I mean, great, if someone can’t find a job, clearly opportunities to “piece together” a living are better than nothing.

But is making trickle down economics more efficient really the best technology can do to create more opportunities for all?

 

Thursday
May222014

ManChildATX Kickstarter video #1 BANNED OUTTAKES

We shot the original video for my Kickstarter back in November. The video came out OK, but I ultimately decided to redo it. This came from that first shoot. 

 

Wednesday
May212014

The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood and more HBO greats now on Amazon Prime

According to the mighty Kottke.org, all the HBO goodness went live on Amazon Prime Instant View today. 

Help support Oblogatory and get Amazon Prime for $99 bucks a year. We’ve had it for a little more than a year and feel it’s been well worth it. 

Wednesday
May212014

Top 10 (funny ha-ha) Reasons to Donate to My Kickstarter Campaign

 

Today is Day 2 of my ManChildATX Kickstarter campaign. I’m raising funds to cover the costs of duplicating and promoting my already completed second CD, My Mouse Finger Is Insured for $10M.

Earlier today, I posted the 10 sincere reasons for donating to my Kickstarter campaign. Just to prove that slight progress towards eventual success hasn’t changed me, here’s the smartass version: 

1. I can’t be rollin’ with these punkass 24s on my Maybach, dawg. I need to upgrade them shits to 26s!

2. Need to resupply my digital recording studio with 1s and 0s.

3. Something, something, something… big piles of cocaine.

4. My wife thinks I still have a job.

5. My psychiatrist advised me to avoid humiliating defeats for the rest of the decade.

6. I promised Yeti that if I made my goal, he could be the hype man in my next video.

7. It will bring me that much closer to my goal of being bigger than Radiohead by the year 2157.

8. My Mouse Finger insurance agent informed me that my premiums are going up again this year thanks to my hangnail claim.

9. Failure makes me all cranky and stabby and stuff.

10. You’d just spend that money on stupid things like food and shelter.

Thanks so much for your help!

 

Wednesday
May212014

Top 10 (sincere) Reasons to Donate to My Kickstarter Campaign

Today is Day 2 of my ManChildATX Kickstarter campaign. I’m raising funds to cover the costs of duplicating and promoting my already completed second CD, My Mouse Finger Is Insured for $10M.

Traditionally the second day of a Kickstarter campaign is deadsville. I’m trying not to let that happen. Here are some reasons why you might consider helping make Day 2 a success. Thank you! (PS: Look for the Top 10 bullshit/funny reasons to donate to my Kickstarter campaign later today.)

1. There’s something in it for you. For just $5 you can get a download of my new album; $12 for a CD. This is not a “potential” or “vaporware” album. It’s already done, and it’s great. I’m really proud of it. And there are lots of other cool rewards at higher donation levels.

2. You’ll be disruptive. The music business is broken, especially for undiscovered talent like me. By discovering my music through Kickstarter, you’ll skip the industry gatekeepers who are looking for the next big thing that sounds exactly like the last big thing.

3. You will make a difference. Every new supporter/fan is precious to me. I am trying to build a following person-by-person. You matter.

4. You are momentum. I need momentum. When people see other people supporting a campaign, they’re more likely to support it, too.

5. I am responsible. I take this campaign very seriously and I’ll work my ass off to fulfill all campaign rewards and responsibly use any leftover funds to promote the CD.

6. I represent the era of “Fun, Fun, Fun.” I started playing in the Austin punk/indie music scene in the early ‘80s. The spirit, edge and creativity of that time are still what drive my music. I know that means something to some people. Maybe you’re one of them.

7. You’re backing passion. My work writing, recording and producing as ManChildATX has been the most incredible, intense and fulfilling creative work I’ve ever done, and that’s especially true for this album. I really want to continue doing this. The success of this campaign will determine how realistic it is for me to keep on keeping on. If I were considering giving someone a few bucks, that would matter to me.

8. You’ll be part of an august group. 16 incredible people backed me on my first day. Among them are artists, writers, publishers, architects, moms, dads, nurse practitioners, comics and musicians. What I’m missing is you!

9. The most important number to me doesn’t have a dollar sign. Do I want and need the money?  Sure, of course. We all do. But the most important total to me is the number of backers I get. Because, again, I’m trying to build a following here. Yes, I need to add to my dollar total in whatever increments I can. But there’s only one way I can add to my backer total, and that is one by one. I need you to be one of them.

10.  You will be appreciated. When I donate to a Kickstarter campaign, it makes me feel good to help someone whose passions and desires are real. It’s incredibly difficult to put into words just how much each new backer means to me. But I’ll send you a note doing my best to let you know.

Again, here’s my Kickstarter campaign page. Thank you so much.

 

Tuesday
May202014

Please check out the Kickstarter for the 2nd ManChildATX album

Photo by George Brainard—click to see my KickstarterDear Readers:
That’s a photo of me as my musical alter ego, ManChildATX. I’ve been keeping it kinda quiet (irony), but for the past several months I’ve been working on launching a Kickstarter campaign to release the second ManChildATX album, My Mouse Finger Is Insured for $10M. (The album is already recorded and mastered—the Kickstarter campaign is to raise funds to manufacture the CDs and packaging, and send out promos.)

BIG NEWS: My Kickstarter is now live

Please check it out. The video is funny and weird like me and I think you’ll enjoy it. And I really hope you will donate to my campaign. Donations of only $5 or $12 get you the album on download or CD, respectively. 

And getting the album in the hands of new listeners is what it is all about for me. I worked my ass off making the album. It was the most thrilling and rewarding creative experience of my life. But as much as I’d like to say that the process is its own reward, I can’t. I’ve got an ego (ask my wife!). I want people to hear my work. I’m smart enough to know it’s not for everyone, but confident enough to believe there is an audience out there for what I’m doing. 

So I need to create my own virtual record label to get the thing out there. And I need you on my board of directors. Please check it out and do what you can. 

Thank you so much.

Rich Malley a/ka/ ManChildATX

Tuesday
May202014

Cat Ambivalent about My Kickstarter Campaign

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