This article, however, articulates the exact reason why I think the Ice Bucket Challenge has become a tiresome, obnoxious fad. It has no other purpose other than making people feel good about they did something they normally wouldn't do, and the bonus is that the ALS society gets tons of donations they normally wouldn't.
However, a more honest question would be, other than entertainment value, why are you doing this?
Ask a person who has been recently diagnosed with ALS, then ask a person who is in the late stages of ALS. Put yourself in their shoes. ALS robs people of their ability to write, then to speak, then to eat, and then to breathe.
One such person who has been fortunate to survive ALS is guitarist Jason Becker, who was diagnosed in 1989 at the age of 20. As of today, he is still alive, still composing, and has been surviving 25 years after the initial diagnosis. For many others, ALS unfortunately is still a fatal disease with no cure.
It would help immensely and be far more honest to at least mention the address to make donations (www.alsa.org). Even a quick visit to Wikipedia or WebMD and a short blurb about ALS before loading your bucket informs those you're challenging why you're doing it. And if you don't wish to participate, simply donate.
That's the one thing missing: "we're dumping cold ice water on our heads but we haven't told you where to donate or why we're doing it."
In my family, one of my relatives (not me, because my parents would have killed me if I did) fell into the trap of cocaine addiction. He tried to clean up and failed three times. Only when he was fired, totally broke, and totally broken and was threatened to be thrown into the streets did he finally submit to full rehabilitation. He has since been sober for the past 21 years.
There is a distinct difference between loyalty and cult-like behavior. Loyalty does not mean slavishly defending the activities of your higher-ups, be they minor spats or major quarrels. When you're done for the day, you go home and relax; you do not continuously work just to please the muck-a-mucks.
I have a theory that there's something or someone else behind the "Bring Back Arthur T. (Demoulas)" protests. It is not loyalty, but someone willing to rush in and close the vacuum when this drama is over, and force those who really were loyal out of their jobs.
If you're a well-funded entity who sees monetary gold in the Market Basket drama, you would do everything in your power to whisper in the ears of these employees that if they get behind Arthur T, they will be rewarded with their jobs back plus even more money for their efforts. However, if Arthur T. decides to sell to a new company, the new focus is to confuse and betray.
The second the new business takes over, there will likely be a restocking effort. Market Basket employees will be told to come in, but the second they arrive, they will see new workers filling the shelves. Then they will be escorted to a place where they will be told their job was filled by someone else, and their services will no longer be required. Those new workers are likely union workers transferred from other stores, who will be permanently hired as employees.
If they were part time workers, the new company will bring over their workers to replace them. In effect, the group that seduced Market Basket employees to rally behind Arthur T. will manage to pull off the biggest bait-and-switch in history, with the only winners being the unions (who earn more money and thus can implement by-the-letter rules and strike at any time), Arthur T (who laughs all the way to the bank), and the well-funded entity (who gets a cut from all of this to fund even more schemes).
Thus the almost-blind loyalty Market Basket employees have will be betrayed, and the loss of jobs will be unspeakable. Arthur T. will have indeed sold every employee down the river so he can pocket a profit.
Of course, it is only a theory. But it is a cautionary tale.
The Demoulases have feuded for decades. It is truly a spectacle to watch this family use the MB workers as pawns. Conversely, why would Market Basket employees support a family whose only focus is to battle over money? The smart employees, while loyal, can easily see through this theatre and see that there's something not quite right. The first employee that does, who breaks the ranks of loyalty and questions the protests and the designs of the Demoulas family, may be seen as a traitor. Yet, they also recognize for once and for all this be-all, end-all loyalty has a single, more sinister word: cult.
In my humble opinion, if you wish to go to a camp catering to certain clientele, that's fine by me. I would love to attend Rock and Roll fantasy camp IF i can afford the time and money.
Those who have that time and plenty of money already do so, by taking luxe shopping trips that would bust the pocketbooks of mere mortals. In these days, however, special camps running in the tens of thousands of dollars also raise the jealousy factor from those who can't snap their fingers, get a copter to the Hamptons, ride purebred horses, and have their own bottle service at a swank restaurant - all at the age of 15.
A better camp would be sending these spoiled kids to poorer areas and make them appreciate what they have. Give them a stipend of $200, force them to take low-wage jobs, and then attempt to stretch out a $220 after-tax paycheck for food, rent, and utilities. Force them to see how the other half really lives - hand to mouth, paycheck to paycheck - and you will see a change from asking for Daddy's platinum card to deciding that the Harvard MBA isn't as good as urban planning to prevent such horrors as open prostitution, drug use, and mental illness. Instead of being a junior partner at a hedge firm, there could be good doctors, psychologists, and others who, unlike politicians who pay lip service, actually perform the service rather than raise their noses against them.
Or go to an authentic camp in the woods, with no chances to bury your face in your cellphone, no scripted reality TV shows, no doormen to shield you from the rain, where bottle service is Coke and there are no Twitter feeds, selfish selfies, obnoxious hash tags, and no way of staying out past midnight unless you like chancing it with bears, coyotes, and snakes; and the only long vehicle available is a canoe.
You have to admire the chutzpah and irony of the left-leaning wealthy.
Given that they seriously wish to draft Elizabeth Warren for the 2016 election and her shrill preachings about "millionaires and billionaires" is a sign they want someone clueless enough to keep their wealth rolling in while taking it away from others.
To wit: the people Elizabeth Warren really excoriates aren't ones who are hide-bound ideologues like her, ones who don't spend their bountiful time writing screeds in the newspaper, and ones who work hard for that money, not through some kind of phony transubstansiation like trust funds, redistribution, or patronage.
It's everyone else that deserve her wrath - not her fellow travelers.
The symbiosis is striking: these wealthy activists are her perfect audience, and she's their perfect preacher - and puppet. They want to continue cronyism and power, and no better way than with Warren.
Every time she squawks about "millionaires and billionaires," it quickly becomes an ironic symbol of someone who is enamored of being a scold. She hopes her schoolmarm populism will bring her to higher office, and an army of warp-minded activists, militant unions, and slick, deep-pocketed lobbyists will bring her there.
She will be sadly disappointed to discover that a cant phrase, repeated endlessly, soon is tuned out by those who aren't fellow hypocrites.
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