I’ve been giving the side-eye to this “ice bucket challenge” video thing for a few months now, and I’ve had some thinky thoughts on the matter. I’ll just start here, in no particular order.
First, a couple of facts:
- The viral video has added a lot of money in donations and a lot of google searches for the term
- On average, 90% of money given to charities goes to their expenses. So, of the $100 given to ALS charities, $10 goes to whatever that charity focuses on: treatment or cure or both. Bear in mind that a good portion of that 90% goes to advertising, marketing and other service providers that are neither part of the charity’s staff nor the research / treatment organization the charity supports. Donations largely get spent here.
Here’s what is happening:
- People are putting videos of themselves on the Internet
- ALS is spending no money on these videos that include thousands of people and celebrities - without paying a dime for the content or publication or advertising. It’s basically, crowdsourcing the fundraising, bringing in revenue at a low-to-no cost.
Here’s what I’m thinking:
- Maybe I’m a crusty, cynical old bastard. (and maybe “maybe” is not the right word)
- Maybe this is nothing more than a way for first-worlders who are wealthy enough to have the means to feel good about ourselves by making ourselves the center of attention in a prank straight off the sidelines of a college athletic program.
- Maybe this bumper crop of cash that came with very little overhead will be passed directly to the cure and/or treatment centers that these charities raise money for, moving the needle down from 90%.
- Maybe instead, it will go into hiring new staff, advertising, admin expenses and that 90% will stay right where it is.
- Maybe this is another way for US white people to make ourselves feel like we’re capable of rescuing the world from disease, scary black dictators like Kony, saving persecuted Christians, protecting women from brown men and religions other than Christianity and saving all those poor brown people on the planet who somehow live in squalor and we can’t understand how on earth they could live like that when they could live like we do, here in a land we stole from some brown people by killing and raping them with the help of some brown people that we stole from two continents.
- Maybe if we really want to help, we’ll pay someone’s medical bills or fund a research institution directly.
- Maybe if we want to end poverty, we’ll pressure the corporations and banks in our 401k and that we work for - to stop robbing half the world into poverty and keeping them that way for the benefit of this financial quarter.
- Maybe - but only if we could make ourselves the center of attention in the process.
Anyway, I’m done here. Good luck.
Fernando Pessoa (via blackestdespondency)
When we live in a world where you can access free content of naked consenting women in less than 5 seconds, why are people still invading the privacy of non-consenting women for nudes?
Hint: It has something to do with people feeling entitled to making any woman their personal porn, even if it violates or humiliates her in the process.
One might argue that, to many of these bastards, they feel entitled, especially if it violates of humiliates her in the process.
White People: The Middle East is so barbaric. They’ll cut off a person’s hand just for stealing!
White People when an unarmed black kid is murdered by police in America: Yeah, but he shoplifted some cigarillos, so…
R.I.P. The 2976 American people that lost their lives on 9/11 and R.I.P. the 48,644 Afghan and 1,690,903 Iraqi and 35000 Pakistani people that paid the ultimate price for a crime they did not commit.