Ed. note- It’s been a long time since I’ve written one of these! As the holiday season approaches, I started thinking about greed on this Black Friday, which naturally led me to this piece. I’d started it several months back, but everything I’d written then still held relevant. And sadly, still does.- P.F.
As a rather large despot who loves to swing a war hammer and conquer realms, Shao Kahn goes and takes what he wants. He has never gone to Earthrealm or Edenia or any other realm in a Mortal Kombat game with his hand out asking for scraps. Some weak, pathetic fools, on the other hand, have taken this as a tactic through crowdfunding. Their complicity in doing so suggests they find this acceptable behavior. Shao Kahn does not. And neither do I.
A short time ago, I came across a debate among horror fans on the internet. It doesn’t take much to get the horror community to vocalize, and most times I tune out because so much of it is blathering nonsense. But this time, the debate caught my mind. At the crux of it was Linnea Quigley.
Yes, Linnea Quigley.
Now Linnea hasn’t been relevant for at least two decades outside of being a nostalgia act on the convention circuit. She occasionally still shows up in film, but it’s not like she’s appearing in INSIDIOUS 2 or the latest PARANORMAL ACTIVITY. Or for that matter, anything significant. So to find her the subject of great debate was just… odd.
Dig a little further and I found the debate wasn’t really about Linnea. It was about Linnea’s hand, and how she’d put it out on the internet and gone crowdfunding for money.
From what I gathered, Linnea has fallen on hard times. She states that she put her career on hold to move in with her parents and take care of them, as well as her rescue dogs. Back in April, she had her parents’ roof estimated for repairs, the high end of which would cost $18,000. That’s a pretty penny for an out-of-work scream queen with infirm parents and pets to feed. She needed the money, and quick. But how would she get such a sizable amount of cash, given she’s been relegated to glorious cameos in the gay flicks of David Decoteau?
Ask you and me to cover the bill. And pray for the best.
Yes, poor old Linnea started a page on Go Fund Me, titled it “Save My Family Home,” and asked her fans to give her $18K for her roof repairs. And from the looks of it, she had no moral dilemma in doing so.
This is just more proof that the world is getting more insane by the day. Not because she needs help. Hey, people fall on hard times and need help to get themselves, their families and their dogs through. That’s normal. It’s what she didn’t do that I find so bizarre.
She didn’t go back to acting. If she put her career on hold, she could’ve taken it off hold. There are a hundred low budget “filmmakers” with a camcorder who would probably pay her a grand a pop for a five minute cameo she could shoot in one day. Don’t believe me? Go to Netflix and see just how many mini-budget horror flicks are sporting your favorite faded stars from 30 years ago.
She also didn’t up her convention schedule. Yes, people actually pay Linnea to sign stuff, and I know she’s charged fans to take pictures with her in the past. Promoters will fly her in and give her a free room (and in certain parts of the country, the room won’t even need $18K in roof repairs!). If she ups her con schedule and ends up at the right cons, she could take care of at least part of the bill pretty quickly.
Related to the last idea, she could have offered fans signed stuff in return for their “donations.” People who open up pages on Kickstarter to fund their art offer perks. It’s a nicety, and it’ll entice people to contribute. What does Linnea offer for fans’ kindness? An open hand, and the hope for cash.
But hey, at least Linnea had a real issue. Several other people in the horror community have resorted to lowbrowing it with frivolous requests on crowdfunding sites, and they have no excuse but they want us to foot the bill for their follies. And that’s disgusting.
There was a guy several months back with his hand out for thousands of dollars to fund his trip to a convention so he could Robert Englund in Freddy makeup. The dude hoped we’d be hornswaggled into paying for his airfare, convention ticket, hotel and Englund’s autograph fee. His plea wasn’t even quality. If you have the audacity to ask me to pay my hard earned money for your convention folly, you had damn well better make one Hell of a presentation.
The most recent, and indeed most heinous example of this crowdfunding folly blew my mind. Just when I thought people couldn’t get any more shameful, I came across one from a convention promoter. His first show, from what I gathered, had been a miserable exercise in failure, and had buried his finances in a hole so deep a journey to the center of the Earth would have had a hard time digging them out. Instead of taking his losses like a man and conceding defeat, he did what any shameful peasant would do: he asked convention going horror fans for $25K. But oh, it gets better. Though he admitted his steep financial losses, he then tried to convince the fans they should bail him out so the next convention he ran would be EVEN BETTER.
Is there no shame in this world anymore? This fool’s brazenness left me asking myself just that. I would never blindly ask people I didn’t even know for so much as a dime. There’s dignity in suffering, and as the cliché goes, it builds character. If my roof is caving in, I work more hours. If I can’t go to a convention, I pass on it. If I take a financial risk and fail, I move on. What I won’t do is what these fools have unconscionably done, and that’s put my hand out to anyone. The kids these days call it “crowdfunding,” but in my day they had a different word for it, “begging.” Linnea and the two guys I used as examples are now no different from the bums I see with their “NEED FOOD” signs and torn, ratty hoodies I see every day on my way to work. Begging is an old profession, and the internet has just provided a new venue for it. It’s even more disgusting when the goal isn’t a dollar to buy a hot coffee, but tens of thousands of dollars to cover the losses a dude just incurred by getting in over his head and running a failed horror con.
If there’s any kind of poetic justice in this, I just found it on Linnea’s Go Fund Me page. It’s seven months on since she started begging, and she’s only got $6,790 of the $18K she originally sought, roughly one-third of her asking price. Fans have voiced with their wallets that she’ll have to seek elsewhere to save her family home, even if mom and dad and the dogs can’t watch her in HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS without getting rained on.
Like Shao Kahn, I don’t beg for what I want or need in this world, or any other. I also don’t give my money away to those who beg. So to all you crowdfunders with your frivolous requests of those of us who bust our backs for a living… IT’S OFFICIAL! YOU SUCK!