Tuesday, September 1, 2015
No, I Don't Want to Help Fund Your Vacation
I don't get up on my soapbox all that often here on the interwebs, but this has been festering with me for a while and I need to just put it out there:
THE CROWDFUNDING MADNESS NEEDS TO STOP.
Every time I open my email, or login to my social networking accounts, I'm assaulted by yet another Kickstarter or Indiegogo link asking me to donate just "a dollar or two" to make a big difference. I am all about donating to a good cause, and I love involving my kids in charity work, but there is a big distinction between raising money to dig a well in a remote African village, and what I'm being asked to contribute to on Facebook.
Last week alone, I was presented with five Go Fund Me accounts for the following causes:
Help paying an able-bodied individual's rent (for the third time in a year). I've been broke. There was a long period in my life when we both worked three jobs and we literally scraped together spare change to pay our rent. It was horrible, especially because I couldn't even afford alcohol to dull the pain of my brokeness. If you have the time to post lots of articles on Facebook, create stupid memes, and set up a Go Fund Me page, then you have plenty of time to get a second (or third) job to make money for rent. Maybe Go Fund Me is hiring?!
One couple's trip to Tahiti. I am so glad that you're in love and that you want to celebrate that fact by taking a vacation to a tropical island where you will have lots of sex and drink rum cocktails. I think it's great that you want to spend alone time with your spouse to reconnect. I personally haven't taken a vacation in over four years, and I would love to travel to the South Pacific, but since I can't afford to do that, the closest I'm going to get is sitting on my deck sipping a MaiTai while looking at pictures of Bora Bora on my iPhone. So no, I won't be contributing any of my hard earned shekels to the "worthy cause" of your tropical vacation, because I''m too busy saving money for my own island getaway.
Moving expenses for a family of seven. Moving across the country and discovering that you hate where you've ended up really sucks (I know - I live in LA, after all). I'm sure it must doubly suck if you've dragged your spouse and your four offspring along with you. Hey, we've all made crappy decisions in our lives, and part of maturing is accepting that you made a mistake and figuring out the best way to either fix it or make the best of it. The only people I'm willing to help move are my relatives, and in their cases they only ask for assistance unpacking a few boxes.
The cost of a home birth. I completely support your decision to have the type of birth that you desire, but I'm sure as Hell not going to pay for it. If you want to give birth in your backyard under your fig tree while being supported by a shaman and your psychic, that's your choice, but it's my choice to not help you pay for that when your insurance will cover the cost of using a birthing center or a hospital. I totally agree that health insurance is a racket, but I need all of the money I'm currently making to continue paying off the pile of medical bills from the births of my two kids. Maybe instead of raising money for your home birth, you should do something really worthwhile like getting involved in making prenatal care free for all women?! Now that's a cause to which I might contribute.
Buying a car for a teenage son. You know what kind of car I had at 16? A beater Chevy that broke down so often I knew all of the tow truck drivers in the Bay Area. That car was such a piece of crap not even I wanted to get laid in the backseat, but it was a car and I was grateful to have one. Your teenager does not need a new, fully-loaded Audi to drive himself to-and-from school, and even if he did, it is not my job to help you purchase one. If I wanted to buy a new car for someone, it would be for myself, since I'm currently rolling in a Toyota that's older than most of the actors starring in shows on Nickelodeon.
Or maybe I'm just old and out-of-touch and the wave of the future is asking other people to help fund your lifestyle. If that's the case, then I better figure out how this crowdfunding shit works, because I really "need" a pair of Chloe boots for the fall.