Monday, August 18, 2014

A Bucket of Ice and a Camera: A Good Start.

In response to the sayers of nay about the frivolous, slightly narcissistic, but ultimately altruistic #icebucketchallenge here's a couple things to think about:

The ALS Association was founded in 1985. In the past 30 years, how many of those who say "just donate instead" have actually done so?

Yes, we absolutely are in a drought, but how many have protested our multiple golf courses or water parks or even the thousands of pounds of ice that get dumped each weekend out of coolers at the lake and at barbecues.

Yes, the premise is absurd.

Yes, we as a species should most certainly act philanthropically completely selflessly and unprovoked.

...and yes, the very thought of that happening is even more asinine than this, the most recent in a long line of "do-something-stupid-for-charity" themed contests.

We're a jaded, distracted, cynical, and egotistical generation and it takes idiocy and spectacle to garner our oh so precious attention. Hours upon hours of imbecilic content is uploaded to social media every day. I for one don't mind piggybacking a charitable intent to whatever purposeless nonsense as a proverbial Trojan horse. A hilarious and easily socially viral "spoonful of sugar" to help this medicinal "charity" go down easier if you prefer that analogy. Imagine if we could tie a charitable dollar amount to everyone's #selfies or dumb ass cat videos? We could fund cancer research for decades.

A couple key statistics:

People have shared more than 1.2 million videos on Facebook between June 1 and Aug. 13 and mentioned the phenomenon more than 2.2 million times on Twitter since July 29, according to those sites. Donations to the ALS Association have spiked. As of Sunday, the association said it had received $13.3 million in donations since July 29, compared with $1.7 million during the same period last year. It said there were about 260,000 new donors.
"The story right now goes: You’ve got ALS, have it for a little while, a long while, but either way, the end is always the same. ALS always wins. So in order to rewrite the end of it, we need to raise awareness, money."

- Pete Frates (credited with starting the trend.)
(More Info: NY Times: ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ Has Raised Millions for ALS Association)

A brief description of ALS:

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. Fatality rate is 100%

Ask yourself this, what did you know about ALS before this viral campaign?

So by all means, if you don't want to make a silly video or waste water... don't... click below and donate. Otherwise, spread the word, and spread the positivity and let me know what's the next ridiculous thing I can do that can make the world a slightly better place.

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