A recent spate of tire-slashing incidents in the Stapleton area prompted someone to start a GoFundMe campaign to (somehow) help reimburse those affected by the vandalism. While this seems nice on the surface — and we’re sure the initial impetus was positive — it also seems remarkably insular and insensitive, even coming from Stapleton.
After all, this is effectively the upper middle class “donating” to the upper middle class. Denverites all over the city — and in areas where the average income levels are far more modest — deal with the financial burden of vandalism all the time, and they do it without too much whining, and definitely without any financial relief. In short: By all means, give. But consider giving to someone who really needs it rather than the six-figure family next door.
But there are a lot of misguided and downright dumb ways to spend your money, especially on GoFundMe, which is a lovely concept that is often — as the Stapleton example shows — completely misused. Other examples? Glad you asked. Here are seven more.
7. Getting Kanye Out of Debt
Almost $8,000 has been pledged to supposedly help Kanye West get out of debt, which won’t help much to pay off the $53 million in debt that he’s apparently accumulated. (If you’re wondering how he's going to survive, I have one word for you: Kardashians.) Kanye is on record comparing himself to any number of legendary figures — Andy Warhol, Shakespeare, Jesus Christ — and if any one of those were true, this campaign might be worth more than it actually is.
6. Helping Khadijat Extend Her NYC Vacation
It sucks when you’re having a great time on vacay, and suddenly it’s over, right? So the solution is clear: Start a GoFundMe to beg people for cash to allow you to stay and stretch out that experience. It’s great that this young lady found NYC to be an exciting and provocative place (news to no one else, but okay), but seriously, should we be supporting this? Enough people said yes to that question — her request was fully funded, earning her $350, which should pay for one night in NYC if she’s careful.
5. Buying Dave Grohl
No, not buying something for Dave Growl — yes, the Dave Grohl from Nirvana and the Foo Fighters (who, as Dave Letterman used to say, are the only guys out there these days willing to fight foo). This is about actually purchasing Dave Grohl, who is not only a famous musician, but also a human being. Existing laws about slavery aside, the $35,000 goal probably wouldn’t buy an afternoon with Krist Novoselic. The founder of the campaign recognizes this, and promises that if such a purchase is impossible, he’ll “spend the money on beer, because Dave seems like the kind of person that would want me to drink beer.” The campaign has inexplicably raised over $1,800 so far, which is a lot of beer, and even more important, a significant amount of cultural shame.
4. Sending Two Doofuses to Burning Man
In a crowdsourcing attempt to replace what should clearly be the responsibility of two sets of over-indulgent parents bent on being their sons’ buddies, we’ve all been asked to participate in sending Matt and Thomas to the Burning Man Festival, because “when the Playa calls you, you have to answer.” (Personally, when the Playa calls me, I let it go to voicemail.) No word on whether the $590 campaign scored helped them get there, or what the Playa wanted from them in the first place.
Keep reading for the most galling GoFundMe campaigns.
3. Abby’s Gap Year
Look, no one is denying that it would be great for Abby to have a gap year. The time between high school and college is stressful, and she could really use the mental and emotional space to come into her own and learn what it means to really be on her own in the world, maybe help with some outdoor adventure camps, maybe just backpack around the country (or even the world!) in order to get her head on straight before embarking on her next great entitled adventure. But seriously, we’re not Abby’s grandma, and we shouldn’t be expected to, you know, give a shit. But enough people did: the fund got $5 over the $600 goal. Go, Abby.
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2. The Potato-Salad Guy
Granted, this was a Kickstarter, and (one can hope) more an example of performance art than an actual campaign. That latter thought might help to allay some of the guilt we should feel as Americans in collectively donating over $55,000 to help some dude make potato salad. (He admits that it might not even be very good, because he’s never made it before.) This was one of the progenitors of the ridiculous campaign strategy that gets attention, gets some money because of that attention, and then gets more attention because it got all that money due to the original attention. It’s the rolling stone of Internet charity, and it can gather a whole lot of green…even for sincerely useless pursuits.
1. A Bid to Buy Back Kellyanne Conway’s Soul
C’mon, people, this is just plain silly. After all, she’s proven that she doesn’t have one.