This week a man named Kyle Morgan was diagnosed with an incurable form of cancer that's so rare only about 120 people worldwide get it, and all treatments for it are considered experimental and so not covered by insurance because we live in a stupid country where people think helping others not die is communism.
Kyle's treatments are aimed at prolonging his life and keeping him as pain-free as he can be while he dies. Consultations alone for the treatment can cost thousands of dollars, so his wife (the couple moved up their wedding so he could marry her before he died) will be burdened with medical debt after her young husband dies, which means that she'll probably have to file bankruptcy, which means we're all paying those costs anyway, which really means that as a society we would rather that a young man's last few months be filled with pain and suffering and that his widow's finances be destroyed and only then will we pay for the treatment. Nice society we live in, isn't it? Aren't we great people? The only way we will spread the burden of paying for that medical care is if you let it destroy your lives first. YAY AMERICA.
If I sound particularly down on society it's because all anyone can talk about the past few days is the Potato Salad Kickstarter, which most people think is amusing but which to me is just the latest example of how terrible people really are.
The Potato Salad Kickstarter, which I won't link to because I don't want to encourage people in this kind of awful behavior, started off apparently as a joke on Kickstarter, a joke in which a guy tried to raise $10 to make some potato salad. A kind of amusing little thing that should have been passed around on Twitter and joked about and then gone away but which instead has now raised nearly $60,000.
Kickstarter, remember, requires that people go find something to give their money to in exchange for nominal gifts back, funding movies or books or projects or, I guess, a bowl of potato salad. And in this case, what is clearly a joke has raised $60,000 so far, as people cannot possibly throw money at this stupid joke fast enough.
So to keep score:
Man who needs help staying alive just a little longer and maybe doesn't want to be in agonizing pain that entire time: 0
Potato salad: 1
The money at present is planned to be for a giant pizza party for the "Internet", because Kickstarter rules (supposedly but not clearly) keep the money from being donated to charity, but Kickstarter rules would not (so far as I can tell) keep Mr Potato Salad from using the funds to cook meals for the homeless, or the elderly, or the needy, and feed them rather than just get pizza to hipster doofuses who think this is funny.
And maybe all the donations are just jokes and nobody's going to follow through on them, although it appears like they're serious, but even if that is the case, the fact remains that I heard one (local) news story about the guy who's dying and needs money just so he's not writhing in pain on his wedding day, and I have heard a jillion stories about Potato Salad Guy, and which should we be talking about?
Rather than helping Potato Salad Guy and his hordes of loser supporters who should rightfully be forced to go live in some other country so we could have a nice society here, perhaps the media could have mentioned Kyle, or that there are four fundraisers currently planned for Kyle Morgan's help. I'll mention them:
July 19 - A kickball tournament at 12 p.m. At Princeton Club East. Those wishing to play can sign up here. July 19 – Silent auction and raffle at Dahmen's Pizza Palace, 6654 Mineral Point Road, Madison, from 4:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. July 19 – Benefit picnic at 12 p.m. at Madison's Demetral Park
August 3 – Kyle's Cut-A-Thon at Be Inspired Salon, 425 S. Yellowstone Drive, Madison, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Maybe tweet this and spread the word or mention it on your blog, even if you don't live in Wisconsin, so that people could possibly take some of their oh-so-precious potato salad money and donate it to a worthy cause?
And if you know someone who pledged a donation to Potato Salad Guy, or see someone promoting it, or a story about it, leave a comment mentioning Kyle -- or any other worthy cause-- because while it won't shame the horrible people who'd rather give their money to a hipster pizza party than to someone who needs it, it might at least get the word to some decent person who will help out.