Death by Marketability

This would fall into the “as if we needed another reason” series, but it is more subtle and therefore requires a bit more comment:

FOUR SOULS:

Four Friends Embark on a Worldwide Odyssey in Search of the Epic Life (via myvalentine)

Disclaimer: I am not commenting on the authors of this book, their intentions in its publication, or its contents! I have not even read it, and may never. I DO very much like the fact that the entire thing is online for free (every few chapters they ask Tired of reading from your computer screen? {hell yeah I am!} Visit www.foursoulsthebook.com today! $10.00 on the website - a savings of $4.99 off cover price! Free shipping for 3 or more copies! {well let me just find my Visa card!}). I am also not judging their intentions for their journey in the first place. And I DO very much like the shirt.

Here is the gist of the book, from the homepage of the site:<blockquote>Hungry for adventure and a purpose that would endure, four young men ventured out on an odyssey around the globe. They returned convinced that the very thing they sought - what they called the epic life - was not to be found “out there” but only in abandon to Jesus Christ in the ordinary minutes of everyday life…

They sought what they called epic life . . .

Who hasn’t dreamed of it? Setting out on the open road. Traveling with your closest friends. Experiencing the world. The call of adventure pulls with Herculean force on the daring soul.

But this wasn’t just high adrenaline travel. These four young men–Matt, Jedd, Mike, and Trey–stepped off the path of graduate school and careers to search for something bigger. Something epic.</blockquote> Great, right? Well…

Why write a book about it? Why plug your speaking engagments from your site? Why use the e-van language? Why talk in that special xian hushtone all the time?

Why not? Well, yeah you got me there, but then plenty of people have traveled and written about it and not turned it into a marketable thing or a career or anything.

They just go back to their regular lives and back to their regular jobs and back to their regular friends and regular haunts. They go on living their epic artistic life. Yeah they might do a book, they might speak somewhere, but that would be incidental to the experience itself. They share out of a need to share, not out of a need for a living.

Is ambition wrong? Is finding sustainability in something meaningful wrong? No and no. Christian marketing/marketing to Christians just sucks is all. Sucks worse than the RIAA or M$ or Big Oil. Sucks more because it’s just so damn campy.

It’s like Mark Pilgrim said today: Pretty soon we’ll have a privacy policy and a mission statement, and it’s all downhill from there.