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Spark Comic 77
September 16th, 2014
Spark Comic #77 - Ice Bucket

Hello and welome back to Spark Comics. Today we show up a bit late to the party to tackle the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge fad that has dominated the summer social networks.

I know I may stir some controversy with this comic. Look, I'm not saying that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge hasn't accomplished any good or spread awareness about the illness; it certainly has. However, it's quickly seemed to have lost its point. If you've seen a bunch of these Ice Bucket Challenge videos, I challenge you to count how many of them mentioned anything about ALS or where to donate because I count exceedingly few. As much as it was made with good intentions, the point of the stunt seems to have been lost in the mob mentality of people dumping water on themselves instead of doing something actually meaningful. The odd thing about the Ice Bucket Challenge, other than marketing ALS as ALS now instead of Lou Gerig's Disease which is what I previously knew it as, is that it makes charity not only as a bit of a gimmick, but also as a spectacle. It's definitely spread awareness for ALS, which is great, but I find it odd that we have to make an entire event out of privately giving money to a charity as if it's some sort of auction. I often give a little money every now and then to local or major charities throughout the year. I never make a big announcement of it. I don't need a gimmick shared with my friends to think that supporting a good cause is cool. I argue that we shouldn't need one to be charitable.

Now other charities will want to do their own challenge and the Ice Bucket Challenge will probably fade from everyone's memories soon enough. I know charity adverts are manipulative by nature, but I find this trend very weird. That being said, prior to the Ice Bucket Challenge, would you have donated towards ALS research if you knew about it? Will you care enough to donate to a cause such as this once it's not trending anymore? I guess in a year's time, you will have your answer... IF you remember.

See you next comic! :)

ALS Association