Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The First Occasional Kiss My Happy Heinie Foundation Awards

Because I might spend time in another life under another identity encountering occasional clueless nonprofits that are really good at bumbling away money on "initiatives" that no ordinary human actually putting up some cash money will ever understand or see any results from...I started thinking a few years back that if I had a foundation, I could do better.

It gave me something to think about on long runs--If I won the lottery and started my foundation, how would I do it? I actually get paid to think of names and taglines for nonprofits, and that process can take weeks. But my name and tagline took less than a quarter-mile: The Kiss My Happy Heinie Foundation: Giving Money to Folks Maria Thinks Are Cool. Can't you just hear that on NPR?

Once on a women's weekend, a friend suggested I should soften the name to the Ki-My-Ha-He Foundation, to make it a little more accessible and give it some of that NA cachet, but that would be so damn wrong.

Obviously, this fantasy is well-formed. But you have to have something to think about to make you forget how much your knees hurt.

The "business model" is like the MacArthur: Surprise! Have some cash, you cool person, you! Sometimes I run into people or read about folks I wish I could give a Kiss My Happy Heinie Award to, but alas, I have no money. But this evening I thought, screw it, neither does anyone else, so I'm just going to give away imaginary money.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the first occasional KMHH award ceremony. It's all on a blog, so it's virtually free! Which means more imaginary money for you someday, when you win one, too!

From a Washington Post story on Chitown and other web-based micro news services trying to fill the gaps in Chicago, here's the first honoree:

"Megan Cottrell, 26, a former dancer who started last year as a volunteer, is now a full-time staffer assigned to the Chicago Housing Authority. "They despise me," she says. But spokesman Matthew Aguilar says Cottrell has mostly been fair -- and that the Tribune and Sun-Times no longer cover the authority regularly."

Honey, if they hate you, you're doing it right. They can Kiss Your Happy Heinie!

The site is funded by a foundation, which I'm not so sure about. There are Conrad Black types in foundations, too. And Rupert Murdoch types. And unfortunately, this graf is also true: "WMAQ-TV's Carol Marin, a Sun-Times columnist, says sites such as Chitown do "a good job" but don't have the resources to "push back against the powerful." The Sun-Times is helping her fight a subpoena to testify at mob-related trial. "One of the things lost in the stripped-down blogosphere is the ability to fight for your stories," Marin says."

Second, tho MacArthur might get to him first: Ari Roth of Theatre J for staging the readings and discussions of Caryl Churchill's Seven Jewish Children. Some people can open the mind and the mouth and give people a safe place to work out these complex issues, without denying any of their complexity. Heart, balls and everything in between--and people who blast off protests and view any "side" as absolutely faultless can Kiss His Happy Heinie!

The third, in the science category, goes to my Hot Friend E, so she can develop her health-promoting-cum-conceptual-art project, the Hydration Bra. It's a combination pushup bra and Camelback water jugs. You fill the cups with water in the morning, and sip through the tube throughout the day. People could tell by your boob size whether you have been drinking enough water that day, and call your attention to it, so you'll stay hydrated. And everyone would want to attend the morning meetings, right?

By the way, feel free to send a virtual donation. It's tax deductible in my dreams.

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