Two journalists call for “no more ice bucket challenges”
You’ve surely seen it on your Facebook timeline or received a YouTube video of some celebrity dousing themselves in ice water. The ALS Association’s challenge to pour ice water over yourself or donate $100 has certainly gone viral but Will Oremus of Slate and Arielle Pardes of Vice both have a point in suggesting this whole campaign is a lot of hot air (or cold water).
Though Charlie Sheen, instead of dousing himself in ice water, chose to pour $10,000 over his head and announced he’d give it towards the ALS Association’s attempts to find a cure for the neurodegenerative disorder Lou Gehrig’s disease, most partaking have participated purely out of vanity and haven’t given a penny. As Oremus points out, “the charity was an afterthought”.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a disease that affects motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. It ultimately leads to full muscle paralysis, respiratory failure and death. Only about 20% of people with the disease live more than five years. Instead of dousing ourselves in ice water, if we really believe in this cause, we should all simply make a donation.
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Unusually, I don’t agree with you Mathew. Since the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ began, the charity has raised $41 million. If this challenge had not been started by the PR folk from ALS Association, this money would never have been recieved, the figure would of been a tiny fraction. It has succeeded in raising awareness of the illness (I can only assume like myself, most people were unaware of the disease before hand) and also succeeded in massively raising their funding. You claim that MOST people partaking have done so for vanity and not donated a penny….your source for this information? I would hazard a bet that was a poorly thought out mass judgement, which lacks even basic evidence. Once again I assume the folk down at ALSA and the people suffering the disease are over the moon with the response, contribution and the global awareness which has followed. I don’t imagine for a minute that everyone partaking has donated, but for those that have and are doing so as I type, long may it continue.
I just checked out the financials, in the year ending Jan 31, 2013 they made $19.1 million. Since July 29 last month till now it’s as I mentioned before $41 million from an estimated 739,000 new donors. In less that one month they nearly doubled on an entire years donations. A success of the highest order, which should not be stopped nor chastised by anyone.
I am not saying it should be stopped (the two journalists I mention are more critical) but that instead/also people should donate. The figures you mentioned are spectacular and I don’t doubt this challenge has been responsible for that in part.
Someone I spoke with this morning, however, did point out that throwing ice water over ourselves when people are in desperate need of water elsewhere sends the wrong signal. I can sympathise with that point of view too but I agree, all in all, this challenge is not a bad thing.
As I am currently living in Thailand, a place where no one, local or foreign would dare drink a drop of tap water, I had not considered that aspect of the situation. But I think before people judge someone for sending the wrong signal by throwing a bucket of perfectly clean British or American treated water over their head, they should be more concerned about the billions of galleons of water lost each day through shoddy networks (665 million liters lost by thames water each day [http://goo.gl/iVftsz]). But alas, we seem to agree the challenge is not a bad thing.
“The Jack and Jill went up the hill, and children don’t play in the water the old people want to drink it” shit don’t wash anymore. I drink the hard stuff only. Water is for frogs. James Duncan is welcome to all the water in the Thames……