Monday, August 25, 2014

Don't Be an ALShole

Unless your hermit hut doesn’t have a DSL connection, then you know about the #ALSIceBucketChallenge. When you get challeneged, you say who nominated you, You nominate two to three people, and then you dump a bucket of ice water on your head. If you do not do this within 24 hours, you donate to the ALS Association to fund research and treatment of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. I did the challenge last week. It wasn’t the worst thing I’ve done to myself, but unless I move to Arizona, I don’t see myself doing it again.

Not surprisingly, there has been some backlash. People say that pouring ice over your head will not cure anything. Others say that the dynamic of the challenge won’t raise any money, because if you DO the challenge, you don’t have to send money to ALSA. Another thing I hear is that we should be giving regardless and shouldn’t have to get people to donate money, that people should do it out of the kindness of their hearts. My favourite saying of nay is this: There are people in Africa and India who don’t have clean drinking water, and we in North America and Europe are just dumping it all over our heads.

“There are dying kids in Africa…”

Your horse must be named Cheech, because it's so high.
Let me ponder my favourite naysay first: you must have given your horse a full pound of marijuana to make him so high when you got on him. Seriously, you MUST be joking. Yes, the world water crisis IS serious. It’s been serious for generations, and now all of a sudden you care so much that you refuse to dump a bucket of ice on your head, because it’s a waste of good water? I’m about to do a mile walk in high heels to earn money for for a group that helps victims of sexual abuse. Perhaps I shouldn’t do it, because the heels I will buy will likely be made by an underpaid Indonesian orphan with gout...WHO HAS NO SHOES. How dare I not think of that, even though it’s likely nearly all the clothes we’re wearing are made this way?

I hope the people using this to make themselves holier that the rest of us are clocking their shower times and metering the water they use to wash dishes. We waste more water sprinkling our lawns in the Mid-Atlantic than a bunch of people dumping ice on them for charity. And let’s face it: those bags of ice were likely just going to go in coolers to chill crappy soda-beers anyway. THOSE LITTLE INDIAN KIDS CAN’T HAVE COORS LIGHT! The horror!

If you really care about brown kids’ survival, give to WATERisLIFE. While you’re at it, lobby the CDC to speed up the experimental treatments they gave to two US people to successfully treat their Ebola, and expedite it to the regions of Africa where it’s currently running rampant. Do something besides acting like people dumping water on their heads is the greatest ill of the world right now.

“That’s stupid. Pouring ice over your head won’t cure anything.”

People who say this MUST believe in magic. Either that, or they are the same people who say, “We have a black president. That means racism is over!” Either way, they completely miss the point. Of COURSE dumping ice on my head will not cure anything. Me walking in heels for a mile will not eradicate misogyny. I protest the anti-gay bigots at pride parades with humourous counter-signs. For all my efforts, homophobia still exists. The whole point is awareness! The money goes to RESEARCH. If doing something silly would solve the world’s issues, then we’d be in utopia, because people do silly stuff all the time, and for no good reason!

“If you are dumping ice water over your head, then you’re getting out of donating, so that means ALSA gets nothing.”

There are 79.7 million reasons (and counting) why that is an untrue statement. Last year this time, ALSA only earned about $2 million. The truth is that whether people do the challenge or not, they donate. Obviously, it’s working. NEXT!

“You shouldn’t need the threat of dumping ice water on yourself to donate money to a worthy cause. You should just do it!”

If that were true, people would be giving their money to every worthy cause all the time without incentive. No one would accept a Nina Totin’ Bag for donating to NPR. We wouldn't have pub crawls for breast cancer research, and we wouldn’t have need of a pink Kitchen Aid. Doing the Bucket Challenge is FUN. Fun is a good incentive. Perhaps people would have donated regardless, but why not make a game of it? Putting joy in a task is a what we naked apes do. If we didn't, there would be no runs for cancer, or bike rides for peace, or walks for equality. If you don’t make the things you know you should do fun, you’ll be miserable. Even people in dire straits attempt to find joy in their predicaments. I doubt that there would be many stand-up comedians were it not for that. Even other mammals play with their food before they eat it! Perhaps the people who make this statement deliberately make all things not fun for anyone. Grey balloons for birthday parties. Cupcakes that taste like wheat flour and orphan tears. Rice cakes for breakfast,lunch, and dinner.

“What’s the point?”

ALSA is advertising the Ice Bucket Challenge. They’ve made almost $80 million thanks to participants, so naysay all you want, the campaign is doing its job and then some. Perhaps these people are all just jealous because no one nominated them.

Is that it?

You jelly?

Do it on your own then, and stop complaining.

Oh, and Rush Limbaugh isn’t doing the challenge. Do you want to be like Rush Limbaugh?

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