Monday, August 25, 2014

There's no credibility in throwing cold water on the Ice Bucket Challenge

Lakeshore Bantam AAA football Cougars take the Ice Bucket Challenge to honor coach Mike Soles, who's been battling ALS since 2005.

While there's a case to be made for the Ice Bucket Challenge as a passing cultural phenomenon that's got more to do with social media bandwagon-jumping than it is about fundraising for ALS research and awareness, the results speak for themselves.  At last count, the amount of money raised since people started dousing themselves and each other with buckets, pails, coolers and even backhoe scoops full of ice water was up twenty-fold over the same period last year, from 2 million to 40 million dollars.  Yet the naysayers cling stubbornly to the discredited notion that it's little more than misguided narcissism run amok.  I counted myself among the cynics in the first few days of the mania, but in the face of overwhelming evidence, better to recognize and acknowledge that something very special is happening than to come across as a half-baked contrarian.
Relative calm has returned to the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, two-plus weeks after white police officer Darren Wilson fatally shot unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. A grand jury is expected to decide later this fall whether to charge Wilson, which would almost certainly head off another, even more violent round of rioting because it would represent justice for the black man, like the time O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murder.

I'm not sure how part-time environmentalist and fulltime silver screen heartthrob Leo DiCaprio got from Hollywood to his anti-oilsands photo op in Alberta last week, but I assume it was by para-sail or unicycle since using any form of transportation powered by fossil fuels would make him a hypocrite.
I was talking with an old friend on the phone yesterday and the conversation got around to Israel and Gaza. It quickly became clear that we're on opposite sides of the debate, so we agreed to change the subject. That didn't change anything in Gaza, but it prevented a longstanding friendship from potentially being fractured to no one's benefit.
Speaking of First World problems, the most widely-disseminated photographs on social media from the weekend earthquake in northern California were of damaged wine cellars. When the irretrievable loss of a 2011 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon is what passes for catastrophe, it's time to say a prayer of gratitude and thanksgiving.

1 comment:

  1. Good arguments, Ted, for the ice bucket thing. The very fact is gets capital letters says something about today's scramble to get people's attention, even for serious fundraising efforts. Alas, after a couple of weeks of people throwing ice water on themselves, I just can't bring myself to think of it as "special."