Earlier today, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden appeared on a video screen before a large group of individuals gathered at South by Southwest (SXSW) to discuss civil rights in an era of rampant domestic spying. My intention had been to watch the ACLU’s video of the event this evening, after putting the kids to bed, and write about it here. Apparently, though, when your live interview from Russia is being routed through seven proxies in hopes of keeping government assassins from knowing your exact location, the audio becomes virtually unlistenable. So, instead, I’ve decided to share an update about the Wurst Challenge, the epic “20 feet of meat” sausage face-off we’ve got planned for March 20 to benefit Ypsilanti’s FLY Children’s Art Center.
The Ann Arbor News ran a story about the event today, and it got picked up by the Associated Press. As of right now, it looks as though the story has been reprinted by about 20 different media outlets across the United States, from the CBS affiliate in Grand Rapids and WEMU, to the San Francisco Chronicle and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. One would hope that increased contributions for FLY’s downtown Creativity Lab might follow, but I haven’t seen today’s tally yet. As of last night, though, our nine participants had raised $886, which I think it is a pretty respectable start. (Our Mayor is currently in 5th place, having brought in $76 in pledges, well behind Jason “Knifebeard SausageHawk” Youngs, who leads the pack with $335.)
If you have a few dollars and want to support a worthy cause, just click here, choose your champion, and leave a contribution so that FLY can keep inspiring our kids at their downtown Ypsilanti Creativity Lab. And come to the Wurst Bar on the 20th to see these nine brave, sausage-loving philanthropists wolf down impossible amounts of meat.
Oh, and apparently, when speaking with the Ann Arbor News, I challenged the President of Eastern Michigan University, Susan Martin, to participate…
For what it’s worth, I didn’t mean any disrespect by it. I do think, however, it would be awesome to have a representative from EMU sit alongside our Mayor and the various local luminaries we have joining us for the challenge. And, President Martin, if you’re reading this, you should know that, if you were to join us, you wouldn’t have to consume the entire 20 feet of meat. Even if you could only manage a few inches, we’d appreciate your effort. The important thing, from my perspective, is to help build that bridge between campus and the community, and I can’t imagine a better way than to have your support for FLY’s Creativity Lab. But, if you’re not a sausage fan, I’ve got two other suggestions for you to consider. One, you could appoint someone to eat in your place, like an art professor or regent. Or, two, you could contribute financially. Jesse Kranyak, the owner of the Wurst Bar, will be donating ten cents for every inch of sausage consumed by our nine contestants, and it would be awesome if you could match him. The kids of Ypsilanti would very much appreciate it.
update: It looks as though they’re also talking about it in Colorado.