Hot water on cold: ice bucket challenge

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Sunday, August 31, 2014


CRITICISMS against the Ice Bucket Challenge (IBC) are not really persuasive enough to work up public sentiment against it:

* Critics say celebrities, public officials and others who submit to it don’t care about Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS. They just want to draw public esteem.

But isn’t motive similarly tainted in other donations? And doesn’t ALS promotion also help other charities, not just donors? Talk against donors’ narcissism is silly. The gimmick precisely exploits that streak.

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* There are more worthy causes that benefit more people: poverty, abused children, TB, Aids and malaria victims. ALS victimizes only two in every 100,000 people.

Critics know that IBC, not copyrighted or franchised, may be used for other causes, there’s no bar to changing beneficiaries. Read about rice bowl challenge, in which grains of rice aren’t dumped on the donor’s head, as ice water is poured in IBC, but given to a family that doesn’t know where its next meal comes from.

* They rap IBC, saying it whips up distaste for giving as it stresses on the excuse, by having one’s head drenched.

Most of those who were game didn’t just give cash, they also yielded to water dousing. Sense of sharing prevails: water pouring is just for the cameras.

Killing fun

Don’t let the critics kill the fun—while it lasts. IBC, like other viral phenomena, soon will spend its own force and become cliche. When media watchers tire of it, A-listers and lesser mortals will shun it too.

And campaigners will find other ways that people will talk about and step up the flow of donors’ cash.

[paseares@gmail.com]

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 01, 2014.

Opinion

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