Our Crack Tongue & Groove
Kick the bucket
Due to the speed at which the Internet chews up and spits out daft crazes, I realise that writing about the Ice Bucket Challenge now is going to be, by publication date, about as relevant as offering up a comment on the Hindenburg disaster. No matter: I cannot let this wanton display of limelight hoggery disappear entirely without fingering it for the self-serving tripe that it is.
When I first heard about it I assumed it was something to do with that Neknominate nonsense that was all the rage about 10 minutes ago. (“So let me get this straight – instead of being filmed while necking a pint of lager, idiots now have to down a bucket of iced water in one go?” I asked, sounding every one of my 90 years.) “It’s for charity,” someone told me, although for which charity they could not say. And that’s it right there, isn’t it? That’s the rub. These brainless enterprises are just another platform for bawdy show-offs to display their faux-wackiness under the guise of a “good cause”. It’s the same with all these stupid stunts: “Do you want to sponsor me, I’m going to run around a field for a bit dressed as duck?” “Do you want to sponsor me, I’m knitting a scarf you can wrap round the Metrocentre?” “Do you want to sponsor me, I’m Sellotaping dead wasps to my testicles?” Do people have such an existential fear of not receiving attention that they won’t ask anyone to contribute towards their chosen charity until they’ve first ensured that the spotlight is swivelled their way? (And the nebulous disjoint between stunt and cause never fails to bamboozle me, either: I’m climbing Ben Nevis for cancer. I’m bungeeing off an Australian bridge for Aids. I’m fellating Richard Madeley for bird flu… Christ, get off the stage.) Or, are the friends of these people so mean-spirited that they will refuse to toss them a coin unless they’ve first forced them to sit in a bath of tramps’ piss for a week? Is that why people are tipping buckets of water over their heads? Just so their so-called friends will give them a hearing?
But listen up! I’m not one of those sadists! I don’t want you to keep silent for a month, or saw your elbow off for charity; in fact I’ll give you double the amount I would usually give if you promise to do nothing more zany than sit in the house and watch episodes of Bake Off (as long as you don’t upload films of yourself doing so in the company of a gibbon or something).That said, I’m toying with the idea of kick-starting something tentatively called Nail Gun Challenge, and have just nominated Nigel Farage. Who’s in?