Ice Bucket Challenge

A phenomenon is sweeping the world right now. Kids, adults, politicians, celebrities, baristas, judges, landscapers – hell, just about everyone – is dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads. After doing so, they nominate some friends to also dump ice water buckets over their heads (typically within 24 hours). All of this bucket dumping is for a good cause – it is to raise funds for ALS. The “rules” are if you didn’t dump a bucket you have to donate money instead. Most are donating AND dumping water. There are Instagrams, videos on Facebook, twitter – all over. Everywhere except Blaugust.

To date it has raised almost 90 million dollars. Not bad at all.

The story here is great – and it’s time to bring it to Blaugust.

First off – what is ALS?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.

I watched a YouTube video of someone recently diagnosed and it runs in his family. He shared how scared he was because typically you live 2-6 years after diagnosis. Here is that video – it is very powerful because it comes from someone with ALS. (You HAVE to watch past the 2 min mark. Skip past the male-bikini car wash if you must.)

There have been a lot of fun and interesting ones. Here is Leonardo DiCaprio (compliments of David Beckham) who adds in a social justice twist and challenges the CEOs of major gas companies AND the Prime Minister of Canada.

Patrick Stewart declines in the most fitting, sophisticated way that you would expect him to. At least he wrote a cheque (probably big!)

There have been a lot of “ice bucket fails” as they call them, but really, as long as the money is being donated who is to judge at a person’s skill of dumping ice cold water (or getting dumped on). They add some humor.

And some Epic ones – check out Paul Bisonette from the Phoenix Coyotes!

So I am even going to depart from my norm here. I am a pretty private when mixing my private life and my blogging life. I have always had a level of discomfort with my career and my hobby and in “my generation” it was (is) often unfairly looked down upon. So while I talk about my family here often I do post under a gaming name and tend to keep things as my “other life”. Anyway – I was challenged four or five times through my social circles and work, and even my entire family was challenged so we did it together (and had some fun with it).

That isn’t my normal hair – or outfit!

I challenge:

Wilhelm – The Ancient Gaming Noob

Bhagpuss – Inventory Full

Izlain – Me vs Myself and I


Belghast, father of Blaugust!

Remember – you don’t have to dump a bucket of ice water over your head if you choose to donate!

8 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Hi Bhagpuss – completely understood. I originally had a “completely appreciate if it isn’t your thing” line in my article but took it out as was hoping that would be “understood”. I hope you know that my intention of tagging you was from a good place – not to inconvenience!

    For the record there has been a lot of pushback from many sources about the campaign. The good part is it has definitely raised money (and awareness) about ALS, and I am ok with that.

    Completely respect your viewpoint as well though!

  2. Just to clarify, I have now donated to the British version as detailed here

    (near the end of the article), which is for Motor Neurone Disease – I think it’s a similar condition. I kind of felt I had to donate to “buy” the right to say why I think this type of campaign is flawed. That in itself exemplifies part of my problem with the whole concept.

    What I won’t be doing is passing the challenge on in chain-letter fashion to anyone else. There are two fundamental reasons for that:

    Firstly there’s issue of the psychological or emotional (or even financial) state of the person who’s being challenged, which may be, most likely will be, entirely unknown to the person making the challenge. I don’t want to be responsible for using peer group pressure to create anxiety in someone who may feel obligated to do something they’d rather not do, support a cause they would otherwise not choose to support or pay out money they might not be able to spare.

    Secondly, there’s the snowball effect – how many of these challenges do you want to be faced with doing? How many good causes do you want to support? If it becomes seen as a successful way of raising money you could get one of these in your Twitter feed every week – every day, even. I have ambivalent feelings on the concept of charitable giving to begin with. I believe that, in the UK at least, we should all be taxed much more heavily and Government should be responsible for most aspects of health and social care. When I do choose to support a charity, however, I’d prefer it to be one I have sound, personal reasons for choosing, not whichever one can shout loudest.

    It’s fine that you challenged me – this is the first one I’ve had although obviously I was aware of the general concept. I’ve idly wondered how I might react if challenged and now I know! I just wanted to put down my marker on how I feel about this as a fundraising method. If I get asked again in future campaigns I can just link to my comment here 😛

  3. I am in no way opposed to supporting charity that helps support people with a crippling disease. I have donated to St. Jude’s many times over the years. I am not in a financial state at the moment to donate, but were I, I’d do so gladly.

    I do think that this is a stupid idea though. I mean raising awareness is great, but the whole bucket challenge bit is silly, and it’s sad that something like this has to take hold on the internet for people to care about others. I agree with Bhagpuss on most points otherwise.

  4. @Bhagpuss – thanks – my friends did the same thing. She has a rare disease that isn’t in the spotlight so they did the ALS challenge for the awareness and participatory aspect but put their money towards their charity.

    @Zyngor – strategy, even on bucket dumping!

    @Izlain – I think the money part is getting in the way a bit – and that is fair. I think the awareness is actually having more impact for people suffering with ALS because it has put a spotlight on their struggles. Not many celebrities, causes, etc. have brought their disease into the spotlight. I could be wrong though.

    @all – The bucket part, being silly, is the part I actually thought was brilliant! If you don’t have the means (or desire) to put cash to it, by dumping that bucket and passing it on you are still creating awareness. Most people aren’t announcing if they are donating or not (or any sort of amounts if they do) but they do it and pass it on.

    Larger issues and possibilities aside (As discussed by Bhag) are there in the background but its the *spirit* of the act I was trying to build into here. GRANTED, and very unfairly to you gents – I don’t really know you outside of blogging or podcasting unlike the other people I tagged – so I don’t know personal views on these things like I did for my real life friends.

    I just thought the idea of seeing some bloggers dump water on their heads in real life would be chuckleworthy and community growing for some reason =) That was the part I was most looking forward to seeing!

    My next post talks about some of my history and I went through a 6 month period of my life where Doctors were telling me I was dying of Cancer – and that feeling, and that experience really shaped my openness to helping others. It was a long 6 months.

    For example, and crazily, I was at a conference and my entire staff and partner/supplier network were there – and at a bar at 1am someone decided to try to auction off my hair for the local Boys and Girls club. The amount ended up being pretty silly (high) but that’s not the point. There I was, getting my head shaved at a bar and people gave money to charity at 1:30am. It’s only hair – it will grow back. My personal struggles with health makes me predisposed to lean to the “good views” of these sorts of campaigns.

    Sorry for the too long reply. I really respect you guys and genuinely appreciate your viewpoints – and I want that final thought to be the one you walk away with!

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