Friday, May 30, 2014

A Glimmer of Hope

It's already the end of May and I haven't been posting often. I meant to comment on seeing the movie Belle, but as Scandalous Women already reviewed it, that's less work for me. I really enjoyed it, and the movie expanded to new theaters in my area, so I hope it will reach a wider audience.

On Tuesday, the primary runoff elections happened in Texas, though I early voted before then. I was glad that all Democratic races I cared about went the way I wanted, and didn't focus on the Republican races, which I have no control over. It also worries me that Open Carry gun advocates might show up at any random restaurant that I'm dining at. It's unnerving, and I hope they really have decided to stop doing it. Politics is so crazy. I've stopped paying attention to deadly shootings or reading shooter's "manifestos". There's no point in armchair psychoanalyzing them, and it creates a distraction from the fact that we should be enacting better gun laws. Joe the Plumber can go to hell for all I care (and I'm not even Christian).

But in all the reminders of the dystopia we are currently living in, I was glad to read about Levar Burton's Reading Rainbow Kickstarter. It's a reminder of hope and the power of collective actions. I've seen negative commentary that doesn't get the point; the Washington Post article criticized the project for being for-profit and not going to mobile web apps, for poor income families that don't have computers. (Levar did make a video update saying they will try to do that and get into libraries too, now that they have more money than they expected.) But as to the company being for-profit, why shouldn't it be? Aren't all the projects on Kickstarter meant to make some money for the people doing them? I didn't think this was a charity crowdfunding platform. He's trying to make a business that will eventually sustain itself, and he is giving the thing away to needy schools for free. We don't know how many it will be now. If you don't trust Levar Burton, you don't have to personally back it, but why criticize the people who do? It's not your money they're spending. Some people will complain about anything.

I remember people complaining about the Veronica Mars kickstarter last year, saying people shouldn't throw their hard-earned money away on what movie studios should pay for themselves. Well the studio wasn't going to do it, until the crowd showed support. Naysayers also criticized people for funding frivolous entertainment, when they could be donating to charity. So now that people are donating to Reading Rainbow for literacy, that's not altruistic enough? Besides some backers might not care about the literacy aspect and might be in it just for the Star Trek swag. And why not? That's their right if they have the money and consider it as a special treat they budget for. I recently spent a bunch a money to see the Sherlock Holmes play performed in Dallas, way more than I usually spend for a night out, but it was something special. Fandom is what you're passionate about, and it's what led many people to fund Reading Rainbow. Let them enjoy what they've done.

No comments: