This blog post was inspired by a rather hateful article found here.
It never takes long once something catches on for the naysayers to just start talking about how it’s a bad thing as a way to pick up some cheap clicks for a site. In the article linked above, the author writes up the rules as if they are set in stone ($10 to charity if you ice yourself, $100 if you don’t) when in reality, people can give whatever the hell they want.
He posits a hypothetical “what if it was just children doing it” conundrum to imagine chiding articles, much like the one he is in the middle of writing!
Then there’s something about how mostly good looking people are doing it as a narcissistic exercise to show off their awesome bodies. I’m sorry, but most of the videos I’ve seen are regular schlubs like me taking part in this. A high profile person like Bill Gates is not well known for a solid set of abs, but is pretty well known for his philanthropic attitude toward the world, more so than the author of this piece.
Also, I’ve really enjoyed watching people I know do the challenge, more so than doing it myself. It’s just fun as long as you don’t burn out watching people you don’t know.
The author then brings up the old chestnut about how charity money sometimes is used to advertise to gain more donations and not toward the research itself, as if that was a worthy measurement. If my dollar to a charity can help market to create 20 more dollars, then shit, I’d say that’s a good investment. Use the money as you see fit, charity. I’ve already made my decision and given it to you. My part in this is done. I’m going to have some basic trust in the non-profit using those funds in the best way possible. Don’t take my word for it – this video has been out for more than a year and is well worth watching if you think you should only give to organizations with low administration percentages.
Back to the article, the author then pins the movement as an ALS scheme, when it’s pretty common knowledge at this point that the whole thing grew organically, as it only could have. Try to force something like this on people, and they see it as phony from a mile away.
Then the author comes up with an entirely horrible reason for not liking this campaign – that it potentially takes away from other causes.
A: That’s a bullcrap reason for not doing anything. It’s another version of “Why should the government help the flood victims when there is heart disease research that needs funding.”
B: People doing the challenge can give to whatever cause they want. Again, this is voluntary. I know a guy who’s giving to Planned Parenthood instead. Others are giving to Alzheimer’s research.
The only sentence that works for me is the last one – donate because you want to support the charity. It’s that simple.
Becky and I, even when we were close to homeless, were still donating stuff. Every time the women’s clinic in Fargo got another crap deal from a ND legislative body that is doing its best to hate women, we send them more money to fight it. We keep digging deep into wherever reserves we can find to keep going on. We keep on ticking. We have a great admiration for non-profits that do likewise.
This last week, my employer has been donating $20 per person (in certain departments anyway) who completes the challenge. That alone is worth a quick bucket of ice water, in my opinion. I even got the CEO to agree to raffle off the chance to tip the bucket on his head when he got challenged, and we raised another $100+ toward charity. Because, come on, how often do you get a chance to Ice your CEO?
I’m all for raising money, and in these times, anything that gets one charity a bit of a spotlight for a few weeks, something that breaks through the noise of all the people asking for funding, I gotta admire that. Whatever works, I say. Instead of saying to donate at the link, I’m saying send an extra 5 or 10 bucks to a group that can use it more than you can this week.
So, in the spirit of all this, I humbly submit my own “narcissistic” ice bucket challenge, wherein I Slow Jam the Challenge.