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It's Time to Chill on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Because Celebrities
By: Shawn Paul Wood
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We just can't be trusted with new things, can we? Someone gets a new toy and everyone has to have it, like, now. Things go viral for that reason, which can be a good thing. A video, a speech, a tweet — one and all make people react and give in to the compulsion to share. Unless, of course, what they are sharing sucks, and then it's just Internet trolling. 

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge went viral a couple of months ago because the premise was admirable — raise awareness and money for a disease most people don't recognize unless Lou Gehrig is mentioned. And while no one is really sure from whence this thing came, one thing is so very clear ... it's time to take the ice bucket out back and turn it into glue. Thanks a lot, Hollywood. 

It began with a pure heart and transparent intent. The idea was to create buzz about something that hasn't seen buzz since a New York Yankees game in the late 1930s. Today, the challenge has raised millions of views, hundreds of stories, and close to $80 million in just over two months. That part is America at its finest. When we are all selfless and cast aside agendas for one cause, anything can happen. From 9/11 to Katrina, Hurricane Sandy to an Ebola outbreak, this country knows how to unite and contribute. And while the collective rolling-up of sleeves is a welcomed sight, if for anything to see the USMC tattoo on America's forearm, things have begun to jump the shark. 

Some people just can't handle the shiny new toy, so they go outside and figure how that spotlight can illuminate their world once again. There is no more luster on the challenge. Now, it's up to the famous person to figure out what kind of shtick to add to the mix and gather 15 minutes more of fame. Dolts like Pamela Anderson have refused it for their own selfish whims. Egomaniacs like Cristiano Rolando and David Beckham didn't think the challenge was sexy enough, so they did it in their skivvies. (Maybe it's a soccer thing.)  Robert Downey, Jr. did it, but had to fun it up by being in a pool already. 

Whatever the case, it's clear America is tired of it (and a little jealous from the beautiful people section). Even the journalists are looking for the unfortunate secondary stories, such as Fortune's recent headline "Why the Ice Bucket Challenge Can Kill." Thank you for that wet blanket, business media guy. Stay classy. 

America needs the next big thing, and prayerfully, it will happen to another charity that deserves the next pinkwash, decorative lapel ribbon, or red carpet text campaign. Whenever it happens, we will all be there to tweet, post, or even Vine. And hopefully it will last — as long as the selfish folks don't screw it up to use it for their own platform. We get it, people. Slow down with the ice cubes and just write a check. Like this guy. At least he was classy. Or maybe it's the bald head. Alopecia challenge, anyone?


   

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About the Author
Shawn Paul Wood is a hack-turned-flack with more than 20 years of collective journalism, copywriting and marketing communications experience. Shawn Paul is founder of Woodworks Communications in Dallas, Texas. If you need him, ping him here or follow him on Twitter @ShawnPaulWood
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