Last night I watched Chris Broad (an ex-cricketer) and a local TV news presenter empty buckets of ice water over their own heads. This was apparently part of a nationwide craze to ‘raise awareness’ of the disease Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Quite how emptying cold water over your head helped sufferers of ALS was not explained. I suppose it raises awareness and you can ask your friends and family to sponsor you as a way of raising money for the ALS charity. But then again you could simply ask your friends and family to donate to the cause without emptying water over your head, running a marathon, parachuting from a plane or cycling across France. So raising awareness must therefore be ‘the point’, if indeed there is one.
Of course, once everyone’s awareness has been raised to all the diseases in the world we will have completed a full circle and arrived back where we started. After all, raising awareness of one illness inevitably means dimming our consciousness of others – unless you want to spend all your waking hours thinking about illnesses. It’s analogous to the way some people insist on standing up at football matches. Once one person stands up, the person behind him is forced to stand up so he can see, then the person behind him stands up and so on. Finally everyone in the stadium is standing and things are exactly as they were before, sight-wise.
I personally would like to raise people’s consciousness regarding the dangers of Islamic radicalisation and the tendency towards Cultural Marxism in our schools, universities and the media. So perhaps I too should empty a bucket of ice water over my head as a way of raising awareness about these things? Maybe Benjamin Netanyahu should empty ice water over himself to highlight the problems in the Middle East, or Michael Gove to draw attention to Britain’s poor education system? Maybe we should all simply do away with reasoned debate and purposeful action and just post videos on Youtube of ourselves tipping buckets of cold water over our heads?