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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Kid President IS the Awesome Party

"On behalf of kids everywhere, Be Awesome.
Every day when you wake up,
you have a chance to be a party!
So, give somebody a reason to dance."

-Kid President, "Guide to Being a Party," SoulPancake on Youtube

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SoulPancake is a new media company that seeks to provide platforms to explore "big think" topics such as spirituality, creativity, religion, arts, and philosophy. With a tag line of "Chew on Life's Big Questions," SoulPancake offers feature-length articles, exclusive videos, creative challenges, and interviews across its platforms. SoulPancake is not affiliated with any one religious or spiritual organization

The SoulPancake was officially launched in January 2010. By November 2010, the community had 50,000 active registered members and 1 million page views per month. SoulPancake was originally founded by actor Rainn Wilson of NBC's The Office and his friends Joshua Homnick and Devon Gundry in 2007. The original concept was a video series called "Metaphysical Milkshake." The founders deemed that the idea was too narrow and expanded it into a multi-platform media company. offers discussions, blog posts, questions, creative activities, writing exercises, polls, interviews, columns, videos, and original art by up-and-coming artists. Discussions are open to all registered members, regardless of gender, sexuality, religion, etc. SoulPancake's internal content creators post one or two new pieces of content each day called "Perspectives." In addition, there is a user-generated "Conversations" post that features questions posed by community members.

On July 23, 2012, SoulPancake launched a YouTube channel to complement the content on the website.

Who Is "Kid President"?

Kid President calls himself the "self-appointed voice of a generation." The eight-year-old leader of the free world, Robbie (his mother asked that his last name be withheld) is the Tennessee kid whose YouTube gag as Kid President has policy makers acting like children. His wit and candor make his words memorable and thought-provoking.

Robbie is an elementary school student whose days revolve around third grade arithmetic and social sciences. He leaves school every afternoon so that he can transform into Kid President—the break- dancing, black-suit wearing commander in chief whose entire mantra since July 2012 has been "Don't be in a party. Be a party."

"This just started as a silly thing that we wanted to do," said KP handler and right-hand man, brother-in-law Brad Montague, who has a history helping kids "change the world" as an organizer of Henderson, Tenn.'s GO! Camp.

Montague said,"We'd done some goofy stuff in the past making funny videos and songs together, and we just decided to make it because we thought some friends might like it. It kept going." (Chase Hoffberger, "Be a Party: Kid President's Campaign for Capital Fun," The Daily Dot, October 22 2012)

Robbie and Montague have made Kid President videos, with topics ranging from naming his vice president and tackling issues like diabetes to speaking with an Israeli news network.

"It generally starts with a basic idea, and then we talk about it," Montague said. "We're always a little surprised with how it turns out."

According to Montague the idea for the "Guide To Being a Party" video began this way:
 "... we decided to have him answer questions from readers, and one of the things everybody wanted to know was what political party he supported.

"I sat him down and explained everything to him, the political process and everything, and he just goes 'I'm not in a party. I am the party.'

"That was way more funny than anything I could have thought up."
The show was recently picked up by Rainn Wilson's SoulPancake network. It's a huge break for a kid who still has to find time for his homework every night.

Is Robbie grounded and refreshingly humble? You decide. "You know, I'm just a kid with some videos," Robbie announced during his SoulPancake induction. "Rainn Wilson, apparently he's famous but I've never heard of him. He invited me to be a guest star on this channel. I said 'Rainn Wilson, if you want me, you've got to get some pancakes.'"

Kid President got his pancakes, the sweet contractual consideration for his deal. When asked after consuming the treat about what he would do to change Washington, Kid President deliberately replied, "I don't trust any grownups. I trust kids. Kids should be in charge."

It seems on YouTube, one kid is already making that far-reaching dream a reality. And, in doing so, he is thoughtfully reminding us adults of the great promise in the simple wisdom derived from children. Sometimes, simplicity and naive candor in the face of chaos cut through the complexity of resistance to reaching workable solutions. Kid President would have political combatants share some cupcakes, dance, and take a simple pledge to "be awesome."

Maybe more of us should listen
to this simple advice
and follow the lead of Kid President:
"I'm not in a party. I am the party."

Most definitely, adults should simply do more to "be awesome." That timely advice puts the burden on those in charge now. Kid President certainly believes grownups can improve themselves and, in doing so, improve the state of the nation. He makes me feel very confident that his generation will work hard to do so. And, that reassurance is simply AWESOME.

Here are some examples of simple wisdom written by children and posted on the Internet. Enjoy these quotes as food for thought.

* "The best place to be when you are sad is in your grandma's lap."

Jeannie, age 7

* "You're never too old for a teddy bear."

Katie, age 11

* "The world is a wonderful place and everyone should shut up and enjoy it every once in a while."

Sarah, age 12

* "You should never jump off your top bunk and expect to fly."

Becky, age 8

* "Cheap goldfish live longer than expensive angelfish."

Rebecca, age 11

* "Moving is one way of getting my room clean."

Russell, age 10

* "You should never mess with a kid that beat you up once already."

Dannie, age 10

* "No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats!"

Laura, age 13

* "When your mom says, 'Try it, you'll like it,' you probably won't like it."

Emily, age 10

* "You should never order seafood at a hamburger joint in Nebraska."

Chad, age 11

* "You should never wear a red shirt with black polka dots because your friends will call you a lady bug."

Stefanie, age 8

* "When your mom is mad at your dad, don't let her brush your hair."

Morgan, age 11

* "Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."

Tommy, age 9
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