Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pat says Stumpjack Coffee Sucks!

Ok, Pat MacDonald did not really say that (my other friend Pat Sheehan did, but he was giving me the business). I hope that everyone, at least everyone who was at AcousticFest during MacDonald's and Dorothy Scott's set, could tell I was engaged in a little bit of sarcasm and exaggeration in the previous post where I mentioned Pat MacDonald's comments on Stumpjack Coffee. He did say that stuff, but he didn't really sob and I "exaggerated" when I said he gave us an enthusiastic endorsement.

Dorothy and Pat at AcousticFest, image by Eric from Pat's MySpace site (click on the image to go there).

In reality he was dissing Stumpjack Coffee because, as I gathered, he was peeved that a sponsoring coffee shop didn't have coffee available for him. I wonder if he also felt that Lakeshore Cigar Company ought to have cigars available for him, or that Health Reach should have had a booth set up with massage tables, or if Cher-Make should've had some sausages on hand, or First National Bank a desk set up so he could open an account while there. Well, even though I don't believe that that is what he really meant, there is an argument to be made for that very arrangement with sponsors. I wish we would have had some coffee there for Pat and anyone else that desired it. Next year...

You can also get Dorothy Scott's music here (click on her image above)

But the one thing that Pat said that I did find curious was his statement to the effect that sponsor banners ought to be "made fun of." I believe what he said was "I just think that sponsor banners...deserve to be made fun of" or words to that effect. My question would be, why? Tell us why you feel that way, Pat; don't just say it and then make fun of a sponsor without telling us why that's important to you. It struck me as disingenuous; making a statement in order to have it be perceived, hopefully, as having some sort of intellectual or "artistic" merit; trying to appear as the subversive and anti-corporate/anti-commercial artist. If Pat was sincere then it only reveals naiveté and a disconnect from folks/entrepreneurs with small businesses who work hard to create something. Sponsors of small-town events like AcousticFest are generally not the corporate or commercial behemoths that I think Pat would rail against...they're people just wanting to help their communities do some fun stuff, and also help their businesses/livelihoods stay afloat in the process. Andy Warhol once made the comment that "business art" is the highest art form (and as an art historian and artist I think I might agree with Andy on that).

The response to Pat's comments was interesting too, as I walked around the park and several friends/Stumpjack customers made a point to tell me that he was way out of bounds with his comments. And I've got a few emails since then saying the same thing. People getting ticked off when someone is perceived as attacking their place, Stumpjack Coffee...man, that is just so amazingly cool and I am just so very grateful that people feel that way about the place.

So, do I take offense at what Pat had to say in calling us out? Not really. Because I also have to acknowledge that Pat did us a favor in singling us out and talking about us. While I don't necessarily agree with the old adage that says that any press is good press, in this case I do think it was good press. And also, I really like Pat MacDonald's music...the guy is an artist, and he puts out some really great stuff. So I'm cool with him saying whatever he wants to say about us...they're not the first dumb statements I've heard, believe me...it's all good.

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