Monday, August 25, 2014

Whatever it is, I'm Against It.

By now, you've no doubt read, seen or even been asked to participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge. 

Yes, another fad has taken over the Internet and the eyes of the world are fixed to it. Like "planking" and the Harlem Shuffle before it, the Ice Bucket Challenge owns the spotlight.

But, unlike those fads, I participated in this one, albeit reluctantly. 

As you can see, Mrs. Blackwell and the boy were the first in our home to partake in this most virulent of viral video outbreaks. 

Being the predictable, helpless contrarian that I am, my reflex is to reject all Internet Phenomena for no other reason than because they are phenomena. 

Seems like a smart approach to life, right?

If something is hugely popular, one should summarily reject it, thus ensuring that you never share fun experiences again. 

Upon seeing a few Challenge videos, my initial reaction was not one of which I'm particularly proud. It's also one that I'm confessing to here so that, when the boy grows up, he'll have yet another example of how not to act. 

First, I was cynical. I immediately thought that most people are just thoughtlessly jumping on another trend, uploading videos of themselves and not making a donation.  

My next thought was "why not just skip the video making and send a donation to or whatever charity you choose?" Of course this line of thinking completely ignores the absolute eruption of ALS awareness the Challenge has created. 

These facts notwithstanding, my thickheadedness is formidable and I determined that, if I was challenged by someone, I'd politely decline and quietly send a donation. 

Even Mrs. Blackwell and the boy's participation couldn't shake my resolve. But, shortly after we shot her video, I saw the one on the right here.

After watching that, the stupidity of my point of view was laid bare for me and within an hour, a friend nominated me for the challenge on Facebook. 

As you can see below, I accepted — happily and somewhat sheepishly. 

As you can also see, the boy is developing quite the appetite for being in front of the camera. That said, he wised up after getting doused by his mother.

So, we all learned something here.

The boy now knows that he can't trust his mother and I re-learned something that everybody except hipsters already knows — just because something is hugely popular doesn't make it bad. And to live your life like that, makes it certain that you'll be missing out on some great experiences, including and especially, the opportunity to help others.  

Few forces can be more destructive than willful ignorance.

As a former reporter, I like to think I have a great appreciation for this but, it was a fact of which I needed to be reminded.   

There's plenty of reasons to give and plenty of ways — I'll only encourage people to not be like I was. 

Some fads are popular for a reason. 

As a digression, I'd like to point out that the boy had a mouthful of delicious cereal bar and was just wandering about, luxuriating in the perfection of his little world when his mother so callously soaked him. 

His grandmothers will be interested to know that he held his pose — one of complete and abject indignation — for a solid five seconds after the camera stopped running. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: A special thanks to my buddy Justin Hines who nominated me for the Ice Bucket Challenge.

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