In 2012, a Chicago man named John Campbell created a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a book he wrote and illustrated called “Sad Pictures for Children.”
He hoped to raise $US8,000, but quickly raised $US51,615.
In a strange turn of events, Campbell took to Kickstarter and told his fans “It’s Over” and published a video of himself burning 127 copies of his book in a dumpster behind his apartment, “Sad Pictures for Children” because, he says, he ran out of money to ship the books (via DNAinfo).
He then wrote a 4,500 word rant to accompany the video, a diatribe that some found concerning. Campbell has posted to Kickstarter about his battle with depression in the past.
You can read the full rant here, but here’s an excerpt:
I am making the loudest sound I know how to make. I know that some people will be personally offended that I am doing this, but I am doing this in large part because our culture has developed in such a way that some of the intelligent, empathetic people who follow me will believe they feel more psychological pain because of books being burnt, their money and my attitude about them than because of the destruction of the natural world, the continuation of classist, racist, abusive patterns of behaviour and representation, etc.
I will not be responsible for the manufacture of any more unnecessary physical objects. The natural world is being destroyed by unnecessary production.
You wouldn’t be reading this now if I hadn’t supported and participated in these values.
Campbell says he burned the books in response to more than 100 emails he received from backers wanting the books they had helped fund in early 2012.
The video is about 3 minutes of burning books, which you can spot within the flames:
Comments on the Kickstarter page range from frustration and confusion…
To understanding and compassion:
Regardless, Campbell writes,
I shipped about 75% of kickstarter rewards to backers. I will not be shipping any more. I will not be issuing any refunds. For every message I receive about this book through email, social media or any other means, I will burn another book.