Thursday, March 7, 2013

Texan Kids Have African Kickstarter Adventure

I have done a lot of research on the Cameroonian philosopher Achille Mbembe.  I quickly learned that when I google his name another thing comes up, without fail, first: the Mokele-Mbembe, also from Cameroon.

Artist's interpretation
Yes, for some strange reason, the beast has refused thus far to submit itself to camera equipment.  It's an African Loch Ness Monster.

Countless basic cable channels have done specials on it.  One of my former college professors served as a scientist expert to the Discovery channel for an expose on the monster, which did not yield any sightings.

And, also for a strange reason, some young men from Texas raised, through Kickstarter, almost $30,000 cash in order to find the monster:

One person gave them more than $10,000.  

Here's a nice excerpt from their winning pitch: 

Along with my colleagues (who also have a love for Zoology) I'll be launching one of the first expeditions in this century with the goal of categorizing plant and animal species in the vastly unexplored Republic of the Congo. Our hope is to discover a wide variety of new species along the way.

It's worth noting that the language they use remains unchanged from the language used by the Belgians, and their King, who initially declared the Congo "theirs" (and became the very first Europeans, through some of the most idiotic governance ideas, to lose their territory to an independence movement on the Continent).

We're going to discover species!  It'll be an adventure!

Just look how young and spry they are!

Well, it turns out that they forgot a key element of Africa: people live there too.

Also, Africa is not governed by Mokele-Mbembe and a high council of Zebras, Rhinos and Lions.  

You need to establish relationships with people before you travel anywhere with tens of thousands of dollars' worth of film equipment that you just bought.

In a nutshell, their expensive equipment got stolen as soon as they got to Congo, and they had to call it off.

Do their investors want their money back?

I'm looking forward to seeing what they do next!

I feel like sometimes God makes jokes, and maybe there's a message here somewhere.  What do you think it is?