Matt Damon does the stupid ALS ice bucket challenge, but in a good way
Basically, I think the ALS ice bucket challenge is fucking stupid. I'm all for fighting this awful disease, but surely there are better ways to raise awareness, and, what's more, it pretty clear that many, and probably at this point most, of the people doing it are only doing it because it's gone viral and trendy, not because they have any idea about, let alone actually care about, what it's actually all about. And then there is, to me, the problem that lies at the heart of the matter: this whole challenge involves wasting clean water at a time when clean water is in short supply and drought is wreaking havoc. Not those dumping cold water over themselves seem to give a shit, but I think it's important that we do.
And so it was refreshing to see Matt Damon, whom I generally admire a lot for his activism, find a suitable alternative (see video below):
"It posed kind of a problem for me, not only because there's a drought here in California," Damon explained in the video, uploaded to the organization's YouTube channel. "But because I co-founded , and we envision the day when everybody has access to a clean drink of water -- and there are about 800 million people in the world who don't -- and so dumping a clean bucket of water on my head seemed a little crazy."
The actor -- who nominated George Clooney, Bono and NFL quarterback Tom Brady to do the challenge next -- said swapping clean H2O from the faucet for toilet water seemed fitting for the causes near and dear to his heart, as about 2.4 billion people across the globe still lack access to clean sanitation systems. Toilet water in westernized nations, Damon added, is still cleaner than the drinking water in many underserved communities in developing countries.
Does this mean I'll now do this myself? No, it just means I'll applaud those celebrities who do. Even if I continue to think this whole thing is ridiculous, at least in its viral, trendy form.