Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Question For The Peanut Gallery

Anyone who has not been buried under a rock in the deepest bowels of the earth for the last couple of weeks has doubtless heard of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which is intended to raise both awareness and research funds for a truly terrible disease.

Videos of people having buckets of freezing water dumped on their heads have taken over my Facebook feed.  I understand that this viral fundraising effort has been wildly successful, and God knows that the poor souls who suffer from this miserable affliction need all the help they can get.  But am I the only person who cringes a little bit every time I think about this campaign??

I have a good-sized cantankerous and contrary streak.  I know it.  Those who know me definitely know it.  I was sincerely hoping not to be nominated for this challenge, since the thought of having the public force of social media (about which I am ambivalent at the best of times) pressuring me into choosing between

a) donating $100 to a cause I might not otherwise have chosen for my donation dollars (even though it is undoubtedly worthwhile and then some) or
b) having ice water dumped on my head and posting a video of it on the selfsame public social media platform

gives my "don't-tell-me-what-I have-to-do" side hives.  Even for the aforementioned very good cause.

A friend nominated me this morning.  I decided that the response that sat best with me was donating $100 (which I have just done) toward research into another terrible, grossly underfunded disease: pancreatic cancer.  My friend responded that she thinks the challenge is fun and goofy and that basically I am being a big perverse annoying PITA, which is of course entirely possible.

So I ask.  My response to the challenge: appropriate or not?  You won't hurt my feelings either way: just curious.


  1. Your response is just fine. And it would have been just fine to not donate any money to anything in response to the challenge. It's more than just "don't tell me what to do." It's also "don't tell me what to do with my money." To me, your friend sounds like the PITA. Partly for nominating you but mostly for taking an attitude over your decision on how to respond.

    Thank goodness I'm not a big enough presence on facebook for anyone to nominate me. (All I ever post are mild comments on other people's posts.) It the unlikely event that someone does nominate me, I will likely ignore it.

    Best wishes.


  2. Oh, this whole ice-bucket-challenge thing is a bunch of self-congratulatory people bragging about HOW MUCH THEY CAAAAAAARE. And look! look! look how BRAVE I am, dumping ice water on my head and making damn sure somebody's video-ing it for facebook, because why on earth would I dump ice water on my head unless I can get a bunch of facebook likes out of it. All the COOL KIDS are doing the ice water challenge, doncha know.

    meh. I mean, good for ALS research, or whatever, but I don't need some facebook "friend"'s challenge to remind me to donate money to THE CHARITY OF MY CHOICE, THANKYOUVERYMUCH.

    I'm on your side. Ha.

    Oh, and I'm with Julia, there. It's your friend who's the PITA. Tell her to go dump some more ice water on her head. God.

  3. You ladies ROCK. Thanks so much for the reassurance that the entire universe has not gone completely mad without me! To look at Facebook, you'd never know.


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