The rising profile of the “Star Wars Kid” video, which has supposedly resulted in millions of downloads from the internet, has also given the opportunity to 2 bloggers, Andy Baio and Jish Mukerji to raise their profiles through a donation drive for the Star Wars Kid, an overweight teenager from Canada.
For those who have not jumped on the bandwagon nor had there inboxes inundated, the video shows a lone, overweight teenager fighting a mock battle with a broomstick lightsaber. In the two-minute video, the teenager twirls the broomstick ever more energetically while generating his own lightsaber sound effects. The video is both amusing and excruciating at the same time.
One site hosting a copy of the video and receiving plenty of traffic was that of Andy Baio. To list his blog posting of April 29:
“If you’re going to videotape your Star Wars fighting skills on a school camera, remember to remove the cassette when you’re done. Watch this embarrassingly good video” with appropriate link. Far from being a charitable contributor to the unfortunate young lad in the clip, Andy Baio was helping spread his misery to a willing audience.
Yet, The Blog Herald now reads that Mr Baio leads a fundraising drive for the Star Wars Kid himself, “Ghyslain”.
The spin goes like this;
“I thought he deserved better. This video was uploaded to humiliate an awkward and overweight computer geek” says Baio on Wired.com, and in the New York Times: “”I personally feel that he is like me and all of my friends,” Baio is quoted as saying.
The Blog Herald asks, is this how you treat your friends? Wired states “Baio claims 1.1 million downloads from his site alone, a total of 2.3 terabytes of data.” Thats 1.1 million people visiting Baio’s site, a sure rise on his previous figures.
And along for the ride in Jish Mukerji, interviewer and front man for the ever guilt ridden Baio. To Mukerji’s credit, the Blog Herald was unable to find any links to the video on the main page of his blog, however, he joins Baio in promoting the supposed fundraising drive.
And it is with the fundraising drive that more questions are raised than answered.
Never one for modesty, Mr Baio has now given interviews to Wired, the New York Times and Wired.com as to how he wants to help buy Ghyslain an iPod, but encourages payments to a personal PayPal account with no 3rd party guarantees that the money will be used in full for the purpose it was given. There is no disclosure of screen shots from his PayPal account showing the actual amount given, despite varying figures in the press and on both involved blogs, there is no indication as to what will occur with extra funds after the iPod is purchased…… there is nothing but a link with a request for money.
If a stranger knocked on the door asking for money with no identification or guarantee that the donation would be receive by the needy would you willingly hand over your cash?
The Blog Herald wishes to believe that this is all innocent fundraising…..
Time will tell if Mr Baio will come clean on the matter.
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