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A view of the Detroit skyline is seen looking south up Woodward Avenue. (REBECCA COOK/REUTERS)
A view of the Detroit skyline is seen looking south up Woodward Avenue. (REBECCA COOK/REUTERS)


Kickstart this: Detroit, Oprah and Anthony Weiner need some crowd-funding Add to ...

Crowdsourcing – or relying on other people, as it may also be known – is entirely awesome. I’m particularly smitten with Kickstarter, a brilliant enterprise that adds the naked ambition of a pyramid scheme to the entitlement of a spoiled wedding couple. If you have some fantastic, creative idea but lack funding – as we all do – you can take it to the public by posting your dream on Kickstarter and hope that the money comes pouring in. As nobody can invest in one of these projects to make a profit, people seeking Kickstarter funding usually compensate donors by offering rewards, often eccentric, for their contributions.

I’ve been on this bandwagon from the start, and I’d like to share with you the opportunity to participate in a number of my current Kickstarter projects:

Funding to buy Oprah Winfrey a Tom Ford-designed crocodile-skin Jennifer handbag

Everybody now knows that Oprah Winfrey was recently denied the opportunity to purchase a $38,000 handbag while visiting Zurich. Despite the fact that Oprah Winfrey is one of the wealthiest, most powerful, charismatic, persuasive, articulate and self-obsessed people on the planet, some shopgirl in Switzerland took one look at her and decided she wasn’t of the right class to own a handbag that was actually designed for Jennifer Aniston.

It was rightfully made an international incident that resulted in mass, cultish delirium and culminated in a public apology from the Swiss tourism office. As a gesture of thanks for putting the spotlight on the very serious issue of racism through her conspicuous consumption, I would like to raise funds to buy Oprah the handbag she deserves. If it’s good enough for Jennifer Aniston, it’s probably not good enough for Oprah, but that doesn’t matter, this is about civil rights, people!

Backers: 2,480,322

Amount pledged of $38,000 goal: $7,084,500

Days to go: 21


Donors who pledge in excess of $25 will receive a copy of O magazine.

Donors who pledge in excess of $50 will receive a scented (pumpkin) candle.

Funding for the purchase of Detroit

Ever since my wife and I went to Detroit to see a k.d. lang concert we’ve been in love with the place. We had something to eat at the casino we stayed at, too, so we weren’t just tourists. And just so you know, I always choose a Motown song when performing karaoke, so Detroit really is in my blood.

Anyway, if we raise enough money we should be able to buy the now-bankrupt metropolis from the U.S. government and incorporate it into the Greater Toronto Area. Once we do this, Toronto’s sports teams will improve by a magnitude of a million, the real-estate market will achieve a kind of balance, and Torontonians can try to blame their mayor on apathetic U.S. voter turnout. With the proper marketing, the historic ruins with their tense, postapocalyptic aesthetic we’ve now annexed will become a global tourist destination.

“The Tiger,” as Detroit will be rebranded, will become a high-stakes, survivalist version of Las Vegas, serving as a gritty destination for conventions and bachelor parties. This job-creation initiative will help employ the people who live there and serve as a kind of theme park where tourists and adventure seekers could blow off a little steam by acting out their fantasies from The Walking Dead or A Clockwork Orange.

Motto: “The Tiger: Taking paintball up a notch.”

Backers: 17

Amount pledged of $1.25-billion goal: $137.00

Days to Go: 2


If you donate $25 or more, you will receive a bumper sticker that reads, “Come visit the ruins in the greatest comeback city in the world!”

If you donate $300 or more, you will receive a starter home in the new “Tiger” region of Toronto.

Funding for the Carlos Danger novels for young adults

Who is Carlos Danger? He is not just the nom-de-plume employed by New York politician Anthony Weiner during his more colourful text-message adventures. No, Carlos Danger is the central character of my work-in-progress series of novels for young and curious adults.

Employing the best of the action genre and sexual-education textbooks, this series will follow the young Carlos Danger as he both fights and commits crime. This brassy young exhibitionist will embark on myriad adventures, including situations in which he finds himself fighting mysterious sea creatures, spying on girl terrorists and battling for and against homophobia in Russia, all the while exploring his nascent sexuality through a series of erotic and educational encounters. These serial novels will be written with an eye to film or TV adaptation, and I am looking for $70,000 to help get this project off the ground, as I will need to sequester myself in Barbados in order to complete the first novel, tentatively titled Carlos Danger: The Secret of the Poncho.

Backers: 2

Amount Pledged of $70,000 goal: $46

Days to Go: 11


If you donate $50 or more, you will be sexted by embarrassing U.S. politician Anthony Weiner.

If you donate $500 or more, you will be written into a Carlos Danger novel.

Michael Murray is a Toronto-based writer.

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