Sometimes the stars align perfectly.

Actor/smirking chimp Zach Braff has brought renewed attention to the practice of wealthy celebrity assholes using Kickstarter to fund their for-profit endeavors by soliciting donations to film a sequel to the unbearable Garden State. Braff, who makes over $350,000 per episode (!!!) on his sitcom and netted over $36 million in box office revenue alone for Garden State, admits that he has traditional funding offers for the sequel. But why spend your own money when you can spend someone else's? Braff claims to want "artistic control" over casting and editing, hence avoiding studio funding. And then he offers speaking roles to anyone who donates $10,000.

Palmer, whose own Kickstarter crimes are extensive – claiming that she needed $100,000 to record an album, raising $1.1 million, and then soliciting unpaid volunteer musicians (to play shows people would pay to get into) because she claimed she could not afford to pay them. Wow, you'd think a successful recording artist with a multimillionaire author spouse could afford to pay a couple of touring musicians! But you just don't understand the music biz.

Now, Palmer is back in the headlines with her latest desperate grab for attention, a "poem" called "A Poem for Dzhokhar," about the Boston Marathon suspect. She shared this masterpiece on her website, closing with a donation button "for her time and effort" despite admitting that it took "about 9 minutes" to write.

Since Ms. Palmer is such a fan of crowdsourcing and brazen internet attention grabs, I'm sure she'll be the first to donate to my experimental documentary film project, The Slapping of Amanda Palmer.

What it is: A short film documenting the planning and execution of a journey across the country wherein I locate Amanda Palmer and slap her across the face with a glove. As a contingency plan only, I may slap her with an open hand if the glove fails.

Fundraising goal: $100,000

+$15,000 for first class travel and luxury hotel accommodations
+$35,000 for high end cameras (operated by volunteers)
+$10,000 for handmade artisanal calfskin slapping glove
+$20,000 for six months of slap training with certified masters in slapkido and Advanced Combat Slapping (ACS)
+$20,000 for my time and creative efforts

Reward levels (the Kickstarter page is still being verified)
$100: A signed photo of Ed plotting to slap Amanda Palmer.
$500: A non-slapping role in the film. Donor must pay for own travel costs.
$1000: Donor will receive the opportunity to pose for pictures behind the slapped poetess/artist/musician after I subject her to slapping.
$5000: A private dinner and one-on-one slapping session with the director/star/producer of this documentary. Donors are guaranteed at least one clean, unobstructed slap.
$10,000: Six weeks of intensive training in Slap-kido and Advanced Combat Slapping (ACS) with master practitioners at their desert retreat near Kingman, AZ. The music of Enya plays over loudspeakers at all times throughout the experience.

Thanks in advance for your support! I'll send you a link as soon as the Kickstarter is processed and approved. In the meantime, buy some artwork or a bumper sticker! No matter what, just keep sending money. People like Amanda and I are important and we deserve it.



I tried the polite version of this argument last week – reminding everyone that, all things considered, the terrorist attack in Boston was handled well and did minimal damage – but a few days in airports, standing among CNN-blaring monitors, broke me. Why are we still talking about this? Let me qualify that; why are we still talking about this 24 hours per day?

Is it a story? Certainly. But jesus tap-dancing christ, watch a half-hour of CNN and witness the raw banality, the extent of the overkill being inflicted upon us at this point. It's a strange combination of wild speculation, Grief Porn, and countless interviews with individuals of no importance who do little more than idly chat about things already reported in the preceding weeks. Oh yes, let's hear from another of the attacker's college classmates. Another Marathon spectator and was kinda-vaguely near the bombing. Another important guest who will make blanket statements of dubious utility about Chechnya. Just shut up. For fuck's sake, even Fox News has moved on to something else at this point.

Look, I and the rest of the world are terribly sorry for the families of the three dead victims and the many survivors whose lives were changed forever. But my god, things of this magnitude happen every day. Here and abroad. When three people die in a freeway accident, we don't devote three weeks to it. When three people are gunned down in Chicago's South Shore, it's a blip on the screen. We pay almost no attention, here in 2013, to people who come back from Afghanistan or Iraq with a missing leg or disfiguring wound. Three people died, and for that we are all sad. But it was nearly three weeks ago, and the "manhunt" portion of the show is long over. Let it go.

What is CNN even going for here? Are they drawing out the coverage to overcompensate (and do penance) for how horribly they botched the real-time reporting? Are they trying to flank Fox News on the right, baiting viewers with more Islamophobia and Keifer Sutherland-like tales of clandestine terror, Enhanced Interrogation, and Russian secret agents? This has turned into a D-list Tom Clancy novel, and it's approximately as entertaining.

At this point it is almost interesting to see how long they can hold out before they stop doing 24-hour Boston coverage. Almost.