Announcing National Cynicism Awareness Day

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As I'm sure one of your smart friends has told you, everyone who has participated in the ALS #IceBucketChallenge is either a narcissist or a sheep. 

The idiots don't know what ALS stands for or who Lou Gehrig was. 

It makes me cry to think about the clean water being wasted or the amount of energy it took to produce all of that ice, contributing—boom, ironically!—to global warming. 

It's stupid when you really think about it: Shouldn't people be challenged to give $100 rather than dousing themselves with water for only $10? (Duh, really.)

Frankly, I'd write a check for $100 right now if I didn't have to see another one of those insipid videos in my Facebook feed.

As a well-respected expert has noted, the campaign is going to contribute to so much donor fatigue that every other charity in the world will suffer. Is that even fair? And do you think any of those numbskulls—boom, literally!—will ever give to ALS again. Then you're an idiot, too.

Frankly, this is such a classic example of the WRONG way to fundraise that I'm planning on using #TheIceBucketChallenge as a case study in every strategic communications class I ever teach again. 

And yet... as of this morning... the phenomenon has generated more than $31.5 million in donations over a few weeks, including gifts from 637,527 new donors. 

That's nearly $30 million more than the ALS Association raised a year ago during the same period. And $30 million (against virtually no expense) that ALSA can invest in research to combat an insidious disease that has no cure, no means of prevention, no drugs to halt or reverse, and always ends in death.

Maybe it's time to recognize cynicism as a national disease—one that is spread all too quickly via snarky social media posts. 

That's why I'm officially naming August 20 National Cynicism Awareness Day. 

WHAT'S WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE? (8/21/14) Evidently, social-media sheep still haven't gotten the message that ALSA is fundraising the wrong way, since contributions have now climbed to $41.8 million this morning, including gifts from 739,275 new donors. 

PLEASE, MAKE IT STOP (8/23/14) Is clogging my Facebook feed with banal videos really worth the $62.5 million in donations that the ALSA has now raised through this phenomenon? Ugggggh. 

$100 MILLION, REALLY? (8/29/14) ALS tops $100 million in 30 days...and that's remarkable...no matter how cynical you are.