Like a benevolent form of Ebola, the ice bucket challenge has spread to Canada. That’s because almost every single human being in the United States has already done it or risked being purged from the social media herd for being a failed virtual philanthropist. So GSP took a storage bin of water to the head yesterday and called out Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, and someone I have never heard of because I don’t speak French or play Tennis.
The guy who played a part in starting the viral campaign to raise money for his pal with ALS jumped off a Nantucket building on Straight Wharf and died last Friday. They pulled his body out of the icy water at 3 a.m., ironically. In the meantime, the challenge had inspired over $12 million dollars in donations as of two days ago, and people have debated whether a successful fundraiser trumps the allegedly narcissistic act of prancing around on Facebook like Bill Gates in a wet t-shirt contest.
And I’ll be damned. While I was writing this, my brother in law sent me a challenge after his son dribbled a questionable amount of liquid down the side of his head. So I’ve come up against the greatest moral test of my life, torn between my revulsion against collective superficiality and the knowledge that this goofy humanitarian virus might play a real part in changing someone’s life. I really can’t come out with my dignity completely intact here. Thanks, Internet. And thanks, horrible illness.
So I’ve decided to take my cue from Chuck Norris. If he decides to sop up some ice water with his beard, who am I, a mere mortal, to argue? If he doesn’t, well I’ll take that as a sign that a man’s dignity cannot be purchased, even by the prospect of being a superficial link in a very real chain that is designed to fight ALS. But I’m probably screwed. Because even though they say that Chuck Norris doesn’t accept challenges, challenges accept Chuck Norris? In this case, they are probably wrong.