Darin Ross is better known to the Internet as “Luckyshirt,” his online handle. He’s casually amassed nearly 50,000 followers on Twitter and I don’t know how many on Tumblr because it won’t tell me and it seems rude to ask. He did this by being a person who said funny things—and that’s all. He started using the sites in the Wild West days of their beginning, when Follow Fridays and retweets and reblogs really meant something because we were all hungry for more people to follow. Back then, if you were funny and a popular friend pimped you out, you were almost sure to gain dozens if not hundreds of followers in a day.
For years, Darin’s use of social media stayed close to its origins of just being original and funny musings into the void, picking up more people and friends as he went—like a snowball or a wordy game of Katamari Damacy. Then last year, he took a break from the Internet and came back with a sprawling, mysterious art project, teasing everyone into taking part. That project was “Find the Starlight.”
I watched “Find the Starlight” roll out as a series of posts of just a photograph with two peoples’ faces blurred out in red blotches. Confused, I would click on the link and be met with cryptic messages, prompting me to be like, “Whaaaaaaaaat?” For weeks this went on. Photograph, link, cryptic thing. Photograph, link, cryptic thing. I had no idea what Darin was up to. Then, after what seemed a lifetime, a Kickstarter campaign for “Find the Starlight” began and it was clear this wasn’t a friend publicly losing his mind—it was a multimedia storytelling project. And it took off. Darin’s fundraising goal was set at $2,500 and with only 190 backers he raised $4,500 instead.
With the success of this came a second Kickstarter project, “SUPERFIGHT!,” a board game billed as Apples to Apples meets Cards Against Humanity. This time Darin’s fundraising goal was a lofty $10,000. With just over a week to go, the project already has 573 backers and has raised $27,885 at the time of this writing. With these two projects, I can’t help but think of Darin as a sort of Internet hometown boy making good. Fascinated by the turn of events, and being a backer of SUPERFIGHT! myself, I asked Darin if he’d be willing to talk to me about how this all came about. Not being a total jerk, he said yes.
1. Decide to go to Las Vegas. Don’t base this decision on careful planning and saving, but on the fact that your little sister has a bomb-ass job that results in her getting you a free hotel room at Mandalay Bay for three nights ($0!).
Hey, fellow young ladies of a certain ilk. Is it just me, or are we all kind of a mess?
I had only gotten a couple blocks away from the Starbucks when a man emerged from the shadows, and, I am not kidding, said, “Do you need a haircut?” It was as if he’d been summoned out of thin air by my thoughts and the god of personal upkeep. He was African American, about six feet tall, wearing skin tight jeans, cowboy boots, a purple vest, and a snakeskin cowboy hat. A snakeskin cowboy hat.
Middle Class Snack Kids were raised without some of the finer things, but with a mindset that life was taken care of in all the important ways. We may not have had that new Walkman, but damnit if there weren’t cookies made by Grandma every day.