Saturday, September 05, 2009

Mister Rogers, Pop Candy & Me

Wow, what a week.

In December, I travelled to Washington, D.C., to cover President Obama's Inauguration for MTV News. I was managing the operation, for the most part, but broke ranks one afternoon to interview one of my artistic heroes, Shepard Fairey.

USA Today's Pop Candy Blog linked to the resulting article. So I sent its editor, Whitney Matheson, a thank you email. We talked about our mutual love of R.E.M., and agreed to grab beers sometime, then got sucked up into the cycle of our respective lives.

Fast forward to two week ago. I sent Whitney an email about our "Mister Rogers & Me" fundraising efforts over at I had a hunch she'd get it based on a) my experience with her appreciation of Mister Rogers in general and b) her support of my buddy Brian Linder's Save MIster Rogers' Neighborhood campaign.

When I didn't hear from her, though, I figured she was either busy, not interested or both. Then I got an email from her. "This is so great," she said of the film. "I just wrote about it. Good luck, and please keep me posted!

Wow! I clicked on over to her blog to read her piece, "How Many Lives Were Changed By Mister Rogers?" and got goosebumps. Sure, I figured it would be good for our fundraising efforts, but moreover, it made our super-indie little film feel real! Suddenly, I thought, more people would know about the film and -- if even just one second -- consider its thesis: "Deep and simple is far more essential than shallow and complex." So I sent her another thank you note.

Sure enough, Whitney's post led to Sadie's over at Jezebel ("Deep & Simple"), and Larry's's over at The Fire Wiew ("Mister Rogers & Me"), and even Gene Mahon's Nantucket Newsletter. In the last 72 hours, 3500 people have watched the "Mister Rogers' & Me" trailer -- almost as many as had seen it in the two years prior!

And in the last three weeks, we've raised nearly eight thousand dollars. Of course, we have to hit our $10,000 goal by September 19th to collect anything at all, but I think we'll be fine. Just as I suspected all along, there are plenty of like-minded, deep and simple people out there. It's pretty darned exciting.


Magnus said...

Of course there are forces beyond any of us that are bringing this all into being. What wonderful news! All the best!!!!

Benjamin said...

Thanks, Magnus; you've never lost faith!