Old News: Past Blog Posts

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

#ALSIceBucketChallenge Backlash Backlash


I'll keep this short because people seem to be quickly getting #OverIt.  But I have just a few quick things to say about the #ALSIceBucketChallenge before everyone goes back to watching cat videos and bitching about politics.  

1. If you'd never heard of ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) or Lou Gehrig's disease before this month, you are not a bad person (unless you are a physician. If that's the case, then WTF?)

2.  If you dumped a bucket of ice on your head instead of donating 100 bucks to ALSA, you are not a bad person. 

3.  If you declined to participate, you are not a bad person.

4.  If you only donated a few dollars, you are not a bad person.

5.  If you openly questioned others motives for publicly dousing themselves in frigid water, you are not a bad person.  You're not my favorite person on the planet, but you're not a bad person.

There are bad people out there.  Sure.  There are people who use questionable, excessive and deadly force against others.  There are people who think setting fire to a convenience store and stealing shoes and liquor will bring about justice.  There are people who exploit the tragic death of a beloved celebrity.  There is death and violence and illness all over the world.  And dammit if that doesn't bum me out completely.  But please don't criticize me or anyone else for choosing to participate and perpetuate a cause that is worthy.  Even if it's just that one cause. And just this one week.  

Did I also decide to spend this week donating money to and spreading awareness for Neuroblastoma or Parkinson's Disease, or Multiple Sclerosis, or Spina Bifida, or any other neurological disease process? Did I send money to developing and/or war-torn countries? Did I write my legislators to encourage them to help improve public education or healthcare access in my state?  

No.  

The truth is, what I have done this week was five loads of laundry, took my 2-year-old to his first day of preschool, made an emergency visit to my MFM's office to calm an irritable uterus, and provided approximately 12 hours of skilled physical therapy services to some nice folks at work (none of whom have ALS, but many have equally nasty and debilitating illnesses). I also dumped ice water on my head and sent some money to ALSA.

And no, I don't think dumping ice-cold water on my head and making a meager donation makes me a 'philanthropist'.  But some blogger's criticism doesn't make them anything better.  

Go ahead world, call me and my friends narcissistic, self-serving assholes with short attention spans and questionable motives. I've been called worse (and it's possible so have they).

Or maybe we could just take it easy on each other instead? Can we instead just sit back and enjoy a nice, positive trend that isn't pointless and strange (planking, parcour), actually narcissistic (sexy selfies), potentially illegal or career-ending (sex-ting), psychologically damaging (bullying), or just plain annoying (posting endless pics of your children and blog posts about your boring life...GUILTY!)

I'm sorry, but I just can't get enough of watching my friends and family dump ice-cold water on themselves. I laugh every time. 

And call me crazy, but isn't it nice to laugh?

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