E no meio disso tudo…

Foto: Mondo Il Magnifico Contra a Sacola de Supermercado Gigante, no Lost Vegas, evento organizado todo ano pelo Chicken. A sacola ganhou.

…a campanha continua. Chicken já arrecadou $17.000, de $2 em $2… Eis aqui o que a Lera, que é professora em Stanford, tem a dizer sobre o Chicken:

greetings friends –

i am writing with a strange but interesting request. one of my bestest long-time friends – chicken john – is running for mayor of san francisco. but don’t worry, he can’t win. we’re safe there. he’d make a terrible mayor. so you won’t get any pleas from me to vote for him. instead, i am writing to ask you to donate to his campaign.

why on earth would you donate to a political campaign of a candidate who can’t win, isn’t good for the job anyway, and whose name more importantly is “chicken john”?

well, chicken is his name – we can’t do anything about that. but here are some reasons why you may want to make a contribution. (www.voteforchicken.com)

chicken isn’t running to win. his campaign is an art project, a performance, an opportunity to communicate a message, and it’s a good message.

the idea is to open up a conversation about two topics dear to chicken and to many of us: public art and the environment. chicken wants san francisco to be a city of art and innovation. he is hoping to use his campaign to draw the mayor’s office attention to the great good that comes from art (wouldn’t it be great to have more funding for art for all to enjoy? to live in a city that supports its artists rather than driving them away?), and to push the city to be more innovative in environmental policy.

why is chicken doing this, and why does he need your money?

1. why is it chicken doing this, and not someone else? well, first, chicken had the idea to do it, so it’s his show. second, he is a great person for the job. he lives his ideal of art and innovation. and he is a born provocateur.

chicken has spent all of his life creating interesting and unusual performances, experiences, and events, and he does it all with no resources whatsoever, all made entirely out of junk, re-imagined by chicken into cultural treasure (see, art & innovation). i could spend many pages listing all chicken’s many spectacular accomplishments and terrific failures (ask me if you’re interested or go see his terrible website http://www.chickenjohn.com), but here are some recent things:

chicken converted his pick-up truck to run on used coffee-grounds, with zero emissions (his girlfriend runs ritual roasters, so the used coffee-grounds are free). the new york times wrote about it. for more info see: http://www.caferacercrew.com/

he built a biodiesel raft out of junk that floated down the missisippi, spreading culture and chaos. the new york times wrote it about it several times. as they described it: “Imagine if Don Quixote, Salvador Dalí and Che Guevara collaborated on a floating medicine show.”: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/09/arts/09arma.html?ei=5088&en=91dedd4ba9963741&ex=1312776000&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&pagewanted=all

when chicken owned the odeon bar on mission street, every night you could go see some unlikely and sublime performance chicken had conjured up. there you might find a pancake juggler (someone chicken took in off the street), a monsters of tuba all-tuba tuba-thon (with all 40 band members staying at chicken’s house), a pirate puppet rock opera, or thai shadow performers (that chicken had met on a trip to thailand and then brought back with him to san francisco).

importantly, chicken is a borne provocateur. he has a knack for attracting attention and getting publicity. he is constantly featured in the local papers and is the cover image of the weekly or the guardian about once a year. more impressively his picture ends up in the new york times 3-4 times a year. and in different sections. sometimes it’s in the arts section. other times it’s about technology, or the environment, or politics. for a guy who dropped out of school in 7th grade and has never had a real job, it’s pretty darned impressive. he knows how do the thing that matters, that captures the imagination and gets noticed, how to say the thing that gets heard. and that’s exactly his job here. to get noticed. to start a conversation. to stir the pot.

this campaign for mayor, like all of chicken’s projects, has a guarantee of failure, but a very interesting process of arriving at that failure. like with all of chicken’s projects, i am very skeptical about it, i think it’s a bad idea and a waste of time, and at the same time i know that something wonderful will happen as a result of the experiment and i can’t wait to see what it will be.

2. why does chicken need your money?

chicken is trying to raise $25,000 for his campaign. if he manages to do so, he will qualify for 2:1 matching funds from the city of san francisco, so his campaign will have $75,000 to work with. if he makes it past this hurdle, his campaign for art and innovation can really take off.

amazingly, chicken is really close. he has raised $17,000 already. unfortunately, he only has a week left to raise the rest. so he really needs help in this final push. any small amount donated adds to the pot. this is definitely a populist effort, so any small amount is very valuable. the city will match up to $100 each sf resident donates to chicken’s campaign.

gavin newsome is running essentially unopposed this time around, so we the voters don’t get to voice any of our policy preferences at the voting booth. but this is another way to make your opinion heard. if you’d like the mayor’s office to spend more time thinking about art and innovation, then help chicken’s campaign by making a contribution. then let’s see what comes of it. i’m going to donate some money to chicken. it’s an interesting experiment.

finally, here are some words from chicken:

“There is no doubt that Gavin Newsome will be our next Mayor. But there is value in fighting the good fight even if ‘winning’ isn’t your main objective. I have engineered my entire life around the embrace of the amateur. To live life as art. Mediocrity is not an option. Samuel Beckett’s quote fills me with possibility and adventure: “Fail again. Fail better.” I honestly feel that right now San Francisco, the city of Art and Innovation, lacks whimsy. It lacks a decision making body that results in the manufacture of ‘Units of Interesting’. We need there to be more Units of Interesting. The acronym sucks, or it would be the new catch-phraze. UoI.”

you can donate at http://www.voteforchicken.com, or write a check to “vote for chicken”. if you donate using paypal, please also provide your address, occupation & place of work in the message field (this way the ethics committee knows that the money is coming from SF residents).


see you tonight….. chicken


7 comments so far

  1. Lifeform on

    Maybe Chicken John can’t win, but just about anybody else can. This bastard, Craven Newscum, is looting and plundering San Francisco, and rewarding his fascist corporate backers with whatever they ask for from the city’s tax funds. How mamy evictions have there been since he’s been in office? Hundreds? Thousands? How many ugly luxury condoms have been built? How many more 60 or 70 story office blocks like the one on Harrison Street will go up, blocking out views and pushing out small businesses?


  2. Dr. Fiasco on

    Right, right. Say, did you forget to take your medication?

  3. ronas on

    Você tá mandando bem, já estou pensando em votar no Chicken, mesmo que não possa ajudá-lo financeiramente. Agora me diz, você, vai nesse papo da professora? O que você escreve aqui é parte da camapnha? Ele vai de fato investir a grana na SF da arte underground? SF já nao é uma cidade assim? Quem matou Odete Roitmann?

  4. Dr. Fiasco on

    O que eu escrevo aqui são as observações de uma parte relativamente desinteressada, uma vez que eu não voto nem posso doar dinheiro para a campanha. Achei que no Brasil alguém se interessaria pela campanha/performance de uma figuraça dessas. Mas o Chicken está levando a coisa a sério, bati um papo com ele hoje de manhã antes de ir trabalhar e ele está meio estressado.

    Se o Chicken levar essa bolada, o que ele fará? Provavelmente vai torrar tudo num busto de Hunter S. Thompson de 50 m de altura feito inteiramente de palitos de sorvete reciclados. E com o que sobrar ele vai comprar a tequila mais ordinária que ele encontrar e servir margaritas de graça para os amigos misturadas num liquidificador movido a motor V8 com lança-chamas acoplado. Enquanto uma orquestra de tubas toca os grandes sucessos de Elvis em ritmo de mariachi.

    Ou algo assim.

  5. Tuca on

    Maior força pro Chicken, pro busto do Hunter S. Thompson, pras margueritas e pro liquidificador movido a motor v8, mas, quem matou Odete Roitmann foi a Leila.

  6. Graciele on

    Eu e minha amiga continuamos acompanhando as agruras da campanha. Ficou estabelecido: não tem diversão maior do que essa em 2007!:)

  7. Dr. Fiasco on

    Ora, pois.

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