Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding: (v) the activity or process of raising money from a large number of people, typically through a website

Let us assume it started with a guy named Jim.

Jim was a happy teenager, but his family was very poor. He had two pairs of jeans.

Both of them were old, both showing wear and even some tear.

Jim sat in his room, quietly trying to figure out how he could go to school without looking like he was poverty stricken.

Suddenly he had an idea. Rather than going to school with a pair of jeans that had one little tear in them, he would go ahead and tear them in several different places—and when others in his class laughed at him, he would explain that this was the rage from the West Coast.

Wearing tattered jeans.

At first his friends mocked him—and then one, maybe two—could it have been five? They stepped out from the taunting crowd and asked Jim where he got his jeans because they wanted a pair.

Jim made up some company, and since the teenagers were unable to find it, they went home and cut up their own jeans, which eventually became a fad. And then, all at once, the jeans that didn’t have wear and tear—didn’t have holes—were the cheap ones.

And the ripped ones were expensive.

Likewise, somewhere along the line, someone (maybe his name was Jim, too) anyway, he got tired of begging his family for money for lamebrain projects and having them turn him down because they weren’t gonna put another dime into what he did “until he went out and got a goddamn job.”

Well, this fellow—let’s just call him Jim—was too proud to go out on the street and hold a cardboard sign requesting aid. So Jim wrote a blurb describing what he would do with seed money, put together a website and started something called “crowdfunding,” which is nothing more than a way to beg for money while looking like you might be in the pursuit of a great endeavor.

It is the torn-up jeans of fundraising.

Most of the people who raise their money by crowdfunding don’t necessarily finish what they claimed they were going to do, but for a brief moment, we think the twenty dollars we donated might become the next Star Wars film, or fund a plunger that needs no human effort, but tackles the toilet by itself.

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Bow Tie

Bow tie: (n) a necktie in the form of a bow or a knot with two loops.

I realize it is very intolerant to proclaim something ridiculous, assigning no redeeming qualities to it whatsoever.Dictionary B

Yet we all do it.

And in some cases it is applicable.

If you will allow me a brutish example, I think farting is an absolutely amazing experience, but should never be presented as a community blessing. In other words, it is perfectly all right if people object to farting in public, as long as they don’t insist that farts were meant to stay inside.

Likewise, I am certain there is a place for the bow tie. Matter of fact, we have given it a location of honor for formal events, weddings, and occasions where kings or queens may frequent.

But generally speaking, when in public–just as with the fart–it’s a good idea not to don one of these pieces of neckwear. There is a stigma associated on someone who wears one on a Tuesday afternoon in Schenectady.

I am not going to go into what some of the implications might be, or how this individual might be viewed by the general public, but let us say that it isn’t what you might call a classic turn-on.

For a very brief week or two, I thought bow-ties might be an interesting choice for me, as a fashion statement. But every time I looked in the mirror, the short little bloom around my neck made my fat face appear about three times bigger. I looked like a butcher asking if you wanted to pick up a good deal on cold cuts.

Of course, no one told me. The human race is notorious for informing us how nice we look and then whispering and giggling behind our backs.

Finally, a dear friend of mine, in a moment of clarity and sanity, stepped up and said, “Your bow tie makes you look like you’re wearing a tourniquet that’s swollen your face.”

She was right.

So to all of those who love the bow tie, hat’s off to you.  But for the record, maybe you should consider hats.

 

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Beatnik

Beatnik: (n) a young person in the 1950s and early 1960s belonging to a subculture associated with the beat generation.Dictionary B

Trends and fads have one thing in common: they have a commencement with no graduation, also having a beginning minus destination. For that reason, it’s difficult to assess their genesis, or comprehend their exodus.

But if you take a moment and think about it, every movement goes through three stages:

  1. Purity
  2. Parity
  3. Paltry

Our new ideas often begin with purity.

Like beatniks.

I believe the purpose of such a social awakening was to become more introspective and discover our inner selves and how we relate to the world around us.

Quite noble.

But for an idea to become popular, you have to be able to market it without promoting its more cerebral aspects. So eventually the beatnik generation sought parity by wearing black berets and turtlenecks. It was an easy way to identify a fellow beatnik.

Yes, often our greatest movements are shrunken to a simple fashion statement.

Then, once they became tired of wearing their costumes, they decided to just maintain the angst. Thus, the 1960s and 1970s.

We ended up with a paltry representation of self-realization–actually merely an adolescent temper tantrum to anything our parents did.

After all, there would have been no objection to the war in Vietnam if there weren’t a draft blowing young men into military service.

So how is it possible to keep the purity without insisting on parity and ending up with paltry?

I don’t know.

But I think it is the job of writers, who detour their material through the brain, to insist on considering such idealism.

 

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Amice

dictionary with letter A

Amice: (n) a cap, hood or white linen cloth worn on the neck and shoulders by a priest or member of other religious orders.

Always willing to admit my ignorance, I had absolutely no idea what this word was, nor do I still have much of a vision for the garment described

But I am certainly aware of the inclination of those who wish to express their position, authority, superiority or uniqueness by the type of cloth they use to adorn their bodies.

I guess it’s just a part of being human.

But I must be honest–at times it seems inhuman or unkind, to separate oneself off from others by blaring a fashion statement.

Case in point: I don’t have anything personally against the Amish nor their ilk, but I find it a bit aggravating that secretly, somewhere deep in their souls, they sense a moral and spiritual upliftedness by dressing “plain,” and proving that in so doing, God is smiling more on them than on my sweatpants.

It does not take very long to travel through the Good Book to see that Jesus was quite aggravated himself by the religions leaders, who adorned themselves in elaborate robing to demonstrate their position and heavenly placement.

On the other hand, I suppose it’s essential that military service personnel wear uniforms, to create–well, uniformity. (Yet, when we really are being intelligent in wartime situations, we have our soldiers infiltrate the local populace by dressing normally. It increases the possibility for victory via subterfuge.)

I’ve had ministers tell me that wearing a collar when walking down the halls of a hospital makes it easier for the patients to identify someone who could bring spiritual solace.

As always, for every objection you can make in life, there is someone who can hatch a story to egg you on, to defend why things are the way they are.

But for the record, you will probably never see me wear an amice.

First of all, I don’t look good in hoods. I was raised to believe this is a slang term for “criminal”

Also, if the best shot I have at impressing the world around me of my prowess is to wear a particular doo-dad or a dud, in order to be the cool dude …then I think I would rather blend into the simply-clad masses.