It might have came as a surprise to some of my WideShut Facebook followers that I did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge last week – what with being alternative and all that – and many of them have raised some very interesting points about why they didn’t or won’t be taking part in the viral wetness.
I nominated my mate Tom Secker who many of you will know from InvestigatingTheTerror.com and SpyCulture.com, knowing full well he probably wouldn’t be up for it. However I was genuinely interested in what he had to say about the phenomenon, and he responded on his new Humnarachy.net website.
He pointed out the narcissism of the celebrities involved, the attention seeking nature of most of the videos – perhaps this post itself is narcissistic – and some of the criticisms of the ALS Association itself, who are on the receiving end of most of the donations.
Indeed Stuart Dow commented on the Facebook post with a lengthy list of ALSA employee salaries and other info. I have no idea if said info was legit, but it’s not a massive revelation that charities spend a whopping chunk of their donations on paying the hierarchy, marketing, and other less charitable expenses. This is the precise reason I tend to turn down shaky tub people in the street. If I don’t know the charity and where the money is going I’m not interested.
So why did I do the challenge and why did I donate?
For me personally it wasn’t about charity, or ALS. It was about friendship and fun. Two of the key things that make life worth living. If it did help somebody with the disease, that’s a bonus, if it didn’t, so what?
Did it waste water? Do you take baths? Do you regularly send water to Africa?As somebody who has been thoroughly immersed in alternative media (for the lack of a better term) for most of my late teens/ early 20s, there have been times when I have been an utterly miserable human being. War, corruption and conspiracy is not a healthy mindset to be stuck in. I could have easily researched the ALSA and its flaws, bitterly derided those doing the challenge, and moved on to something else, but I’m not entirely sure what affect if any that would have had. Instead I laughed at my friends, I got wet and they laughed at me, and I had fun. It doesn’t have to be anything more complex than that!
I can dwell on the fact that my $5 went nowhere, but then the taxes I pay every year go to questionable causes as well. I can also get annoyed with myself for displaying “herd mentality”, but if I’m aware of “the herd” and consciously got iced for different reasons, does that really make it “herd mentality”? And what of “the herd” that went the opposite way? That poo pooed the “challenge” just because they reject anything and everything that’s mainstream?
For the most part those against the concept have logical and valid points that I accept, and on another day I would probably have rejected the benighted bucket too, but for that moment in time having a laugh was much more valuable to me than taking a stance against any number of possible things.
After all I wasn’t killing kittens by accepting the challenge, and not doing the challenge wasn’t going to save kittens from being killed either.