Earlier today I participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge. Yup, I’m one of those people. If it makes you feel any better, please know that I also donated $100 while my hair was still wet. So, you know, I did the wacky bucket thing and it was fun, but before you lecture me about how the challenge doesn’t really help anybody raise cash, I refer you to my previous sentence.
And normally I wouldn’t feel it necessary to tell you I donated money. But, I can see from how concerned you are in your posts over on Slate and your Facebook walls that you are very concerned that people are missing the point and you wish they’d just stop participating because…something, something…well, to be honest, I’m unclear what your issue is, but I can tell you are pissed off and I very much don’t want to further offend you or get in the way of your outrage.
But in exchange for my giving you a wide berth, I’m wondering if you might do me a favor. Might you propose some alternate noise to fill the gap? I can assure you that I am keeping up with what is going on in the world domestically and internationally, and can I tell you something? I’ll whisper it so neither of us gets embarrassed by anybody hearing me—I actually don’t mind a moment or two of levity in my day. If people want to spend their time dumping buckets of ice water on their head, I guess I’ll grant them their 15 seconds of fame. The shrieks of momentary uncomfortableness are greatly preferred to the wailing of parents having to worry about burying their children.
I’ve heard your protests—some (a lot) (most) (pick your quantity, it’s your argument after all) of the people participating don’t even know what ALS is!, this wasn’t even originally about ALS!, people aren’t even giving money!, these people are just one more link in an endless chain of jackasses striving for attention on Youtube!—and you’re right. You are totally and fully right.
But I’m willing to bet some of those people, clueless and unaware as they may be, are approaching the challenge with the idea that they are helping. And you know what? That’s a pretty contagious feeling. It’s a self-starter. Even if dumping a bucket of ice on their head is at best a placebo right now, what will it lead to tomorrow? Would you rather we encourage these kids to go back to their videogames? Or send them off to troll in the comments of some other Youtube video where a kid jams his nuts into a rail and doesn’t even mention charity?
For fuck’s sake, get over yourself. If you want to turn this into a competition about who does the most and who volunteers and donates with the Eye of the Fucking Tiger, then issue your own challenge to me and we can go all Enter the Dragon with that shit.
According to the ALS Association –
As of Tuesday, August 19, The ALS Association has received $22.9 million in donations compared to $1.9 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 19). These donations have come from existing donors and 453,210 new donors to The Association.
Washington, D.C. (August 29, 2014) —Today, The ALS Association has topped $100 million in donations from people all over the globe who were moved to action by this summer’s Ice Bucket Challenge. As of August 29, the Association has received $100.9 million in donations compared to $2.8 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 29). Three million donors.
If it takes some wacky viral trend to make that happen, so be it. If not everybody participating is making a real difference, that’s ok. Look at all of the people who are. Let’s not throw out their efforts in the name of charitable purity.
Lastly, I will donate $25 to the first four charities mentioned in the comments. Just say where and give a why if you want.