The Ice Bucket Challenge is supposed to be an awareness and fundraising campaign for the fight against ALS where people either donate $100 to the ALS Association, or dump an ice cold bucket of water on their heads and then donate $10 to the ALS Association. Then they get to challenge three other people to do one of those two things.
Many uninformed people are just dumping a bucket of ice on their heads and then challenging other people to do the same, which doesn’t do a whole hell of a lot of good for anybody. Likes, favorites, and re-tweets don’t fund ALS research. Donations do. (People argue that it still raises awareness, but if you’re aware of something but not doing anything to help the fight against it, that’s still not really a big deal. Like, everyone is aware that breast cancer exists and is frighteningly prevalent, but just knowing of it is of no value to victims or cure research.)
Still, though, it has been wildly successful as a fundraising campaign. And it’s showing brands and charities what most of us already know to be true: narcissism runs rampant as social media becomes more commonplace, and that we will do anything if people will look at us, especially if we feel like we’re doing something for the greater good. (Muckrack has written on why it’s successful.)
Soon we will see many imitations. I’ve taken the liberty of coming up with a few ideas for what we might soon be challenged to do:
- Dump a bucket of ranch dressing on your head to raise awareness of high cholesterol levels (the silent killer).
- Every 10 seconds, something alcohol-related kills a person. Do a 10-second keg-stand video to raise awareness of the dangers of alcoholism and that you can still do college kid things.
- Dump a bucket of Cheetos and/or Funions on your head to fight for marijuana decriminalization, and to raise awareness about how the munchies from pot smoking could contribute negatively to the obesity epidemic.
- Film yourself heckling one of the people who hang out in major cities trying to get others to sign petitions decriminalizing marijuana as you list for them a few of the thousands of things they could be better spending their time on, like helping out ill people who need marijuana for comfort and pain relief reasons, for example.
- Eat 20 chicken McNuggets in one minute to raise awareness about childhood obesity.
- Vomit 20 chicken McNuggets up in a McDonald’s parking lot moments after consuming them to raise awareness about bulimia and other eating disorders.
- Use dial-up Internet for one week to raise awareness of society’s dependence on fast technology, the Internet and social networking.
- If you’re a man, burn the difference of a week’s worth of cash cash that you make over a female coworker in the same position to raise awareness about wage and salary inequality.
- Sing the entirety of Michael Jackson’s song from Free Willy to raise awareness about pedophilia and the way that people in positions of power and/or popularity often get away with it, which is completely f**king bonkers. And also to raise awareness about Japanese people who kill whales for sport and profit.
- Film yourself doing a bunch of vaguely sexual and very inviting poses to raise awareness that you are single and ready to mingle.
- Read an entire chapter of The Great Gatsby out loud on video to raise awareness that many Americans and people all over the world are completely illiterate. (This includes Floyd Mayweather, apparently.)
- Film yourself flopping intentionally in a very public place to raise awareness for how M. Night Shyamalan must feel all of the time. And to raise awareness that flopping is a serious issue in both soccer and basketball.
- Dump cheese fondue all over yourself to raise awareness that cheese fondue is f**king fantastic.
- Eat a can of Spam in less than a minute to raise awareness about maintaining a healthy blood pressure level.
- Film yourself throwing tomatoes at Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, etc. to raise awareness that many celebrities are horrible people. I will donate my next paycheck to the charity of your choice if you hit West in the dome or Kardashian in the ass. (Shouldn’t be too hard on either account. Both are large.)
- Lie in the fetal position in the middle of a mall and kick and scream until you’re hoarse and exhausted to raise awareness that parents should take care of their kids and make them shut the hell up sometimes, especially when they’re annoying other people in a crowded public place.
- Film yourself wildly tearing open gifts and being super jovial about it to raise awareness re: what Christmas is REALLY about.
- Film yourself doing curls with free weights to raise awareness that you totally lift bro.
- Film yourself seriously concentrating on staring at a list on a clipboard and tell people they aren’t allowed to watch your video, to spread awareness that Greek life is still for assholes.
- Film yourself giving an expensive diamond ring to a woman to raise awareness that you asked AND SHE SAID YES!!!!