Thursday, August 28, 2014

People in Hell Have A Difficult Time Doing the ASL Challenge

On the off chance that you've been significantly out of the loop lately,* there's this thing called the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that is currently eating the Internet.

*like, living in a Yurt in the middle of an uncharted island with your fingers in your ears shouting LALALALALALALA as loud as you can

ALS - Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - is more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, named such for the most famous sufferer from it.  You can learn more about ALS here at their official website.

Short version - For reasons that aren't entirely clear it causes your nervous system to say , 'Ah, screw it.' and very slowly shut down your ability to control any and all of your muscles.

In an effort to increase awareness - and more importantly, money - of/for ALS research, Lately there has been a fad wherein people are dumping buckets of ice water over their heads and compulsively posting video of the event on Facebook.*

*OK, there's slightly more of a through-line than that.  If you're challenged to do this you have the choice of either donating $100 to ALS research or filming your own video of you dumping ice water over your head and donating only $10 to ALS research.**  You then challenge a few other friends to make this same choice, and the whole thing continues perpetuating itself beyond the point of all reason, much like racism or the Duggars.

**Your third option of course is to do neither and just ignore the whole thing, although that may well lead to everyone you know on Facebook silently judging you.***

***But let's be honest, they're probably doing that anyway.

 If it hasn't already become clear, I have tremendously mixed feelings about this whole thing.  And so, in the interest of sorting out the pros and cons of the issue and once and for all figuring out how we feel about it, I will now sort out the pros and cons and figure out once and for all how we all feel about it.

You're welcome, Universe.

PRO-  It's pleasant to see the Internet be used for something besides people being total dicks to each other for a change.

It really does make a nice change from the usual usage of Facebook (e.g. telling people when you're not at home so they can burgle you and posting articles specifically designed to piss off half of the people who read them), but it's probably just a matter of time before it reverts to being the usual Shrieking Narcissistic Indignation Machine that we've come to know and love.  So all the more reason to enjoy watching people actually try to use it to help others.  Right?

CON - At this point your Facebook newsfeed is literally nothing but Soggy shivering people with poor sound quality.

Seriously, how's anybody supposed to pimp they're super-awesome blog when the posts are instantly buried beneath hundreds of gallons of ice water that the good people of California would actually quite like to be drinking and bathing in right at the moment.

oh yeah - CON - California's going through the worst drought in a good fair while at the moment.  

Endless videos of drinking water being poured onto lush green lawns is probably notthe highlight of their day.

PRO - There's a legitimate subset of your Facebook friends that you would genuinely like to see in a wet T-shirt.

Come on, admit it.  We're all adults here.

CON - There's a significant component of ALS research that involves animal testing.

This is a serious issue for a lot of people.  Many folks are just flat out refusing to do the whole ice bucket thing because they can't support cruelty to animals.

In full disclosure, while I get and respect their point of view (and live in fear that Grant Morrison will one day read this and thus rule out all chance of he and I getting matching BFF tattoos), I actually feel that there is a time and circumstance where Animal Testing is morally justified. 

PRO - It's actually causing people to discuss the ethics of Animal Testing 

Typically this is one of those topics that most 'nice' people just pretend doesn't exist, so this is a good thing.

So...  where does this leave us.

More confused than ever, that's where.

See, this is why it's a mistake to try to address your feelings.  That's all I'm saying.

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