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Criticizing A Popular Movement Won't Cure Your Ignorance

Last week, Kara Brown of Jezebel posted this: Pouring Water on Your Head Won't Cure ALS Essentially, it says "don't feel good about yourself for dumping ice on your head, awareness of a disease means nothing, stop it". I had to write cause I feel she is incredibly wrong.

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Do you know what I love to do? Hate things. Love to hate. Who doesn't? Well, maybe you don't, but I do. When I hear someone say how they love to do something, I immediately start loading reasons why they're wrong and I'm right.

Like a movie? Here's why it's a rip off of something you've never seen and it's terrible!

Like that song? I guess that's ok if you love napping cause this music is boring.

Basically, I'm a hit at parties.

But even I have limits. And one limit is to "not hate on people doing something for a good cause". That's a line that Jezebel crossed and it is completely unfair and unnecessary.

Just the headline alone "Pouring a Bucket of Ice Water Over Your Head Won't Cure ALS" is a perfect blend of condescension and contempt that runs in the face of a well moving and kindhearted movement like the "Ice Bucket Challenge".

There is not a single person who has dumped a bucket of ice water on their head thinking "welp, that disease is cured, what's next?" Everyone knows that the whole point of the exercise is to raise awareness (more on that later). This campaign is essentially a perfect campaign. It is interactive, visible, easy to execute, and easy to understand. Everyone from my young cousin to my Great Aunt Theresa knows what this is all about.

O, but the article is skeptical of anything that simply "raised awareness". Because there's no direct correlation between the dumping water on your head and curing ALS. For the sake of consistency, I hope there is are articles titled:

"Wearing Yellow Bracelets Won't Cure Cancer"

"Running a 5k Won't Cure M.S."

"Tying A Ribbon Around a Tree Won't Protect the Troops"

"Putting an Equal Sign as your Facebook Picture Won't Bring Equality".

While all of these would be technically true, it would also be incredibly ignorant and completely miss the point.

You can be as cynical as you want, but the point is: awareness matters and means something.

What's "something"? According to Project ALS, it's meant $2.3 Million Dollars towards finding a cure (according to this USA Today Story: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/08/12/ice-bucket-challenge-als-association/13940323/ ). I might be naive, but that's something.

That's an actual dollar amount towards making a difference. That's not just hashtaging something about Kony or "liking" an article; that is an actual amount that the foundation did not have at the beginning of July and now does to help raise a cure.

So to say that raising awareness is not enough is just embarrassing.

The article also includes some toxic lines about how Matt Lauer donated to a charity, but not the right one (what a jerk). Martha Stewart didn't say the phrase "ALS", so the whole thing is worthless. Cause that could have been a challenge to raise awareness for literally anything. Similarly, if you posted #bringbackourgirls, you should really specify which girls and from where or else why bother?

I jest.

Everyone knows what it's for, and that's the whole point. The fact that she doesn't have to say "Hey, Martha here. Doing the ALS challenge. Brrr this water sure is cold..." is a testament to the movement's popularity.

And of course, the article wraps up by pointing a finger at you. Yes you, the people who did these videos really just did it to make themselves feel better! You hear that, millions of participants? You did it just to for self-gratitude and apparently to elicit sympathy for being cold in the summer. You certainly have time to volunteer, extra money to spend, even a chance to (seriously mentioned) go to medical school to really help the cause.

YES, going to medical school was suggested as an alternative.

Unfortunately, I'm pretty busy and not that bright (as you can tell with all of the grammatical errors), so donating and spreading awarness is my only real option. Whether you donate dry or soaking wet should not and does not make a difference.

Will this trend last forever? Probably not.

Will this fall on deaf ears? Everything does.

Have some people missed the message? It wouldn't be a message if people didn't miss it.

Has this clearly been an effective campaign to help raise a lot of money and a lot of awareness to a life threatening disease that effects 30,000 in the US? ABSOLUTELY.

Was the Jezebel article extremely misleading, insulting, and a disgusting example of "click bait" writing? Sure was.

If you feel like donating, please go here: http://www.alsa.org/donate/

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