Tag Archives: Charity

My Vitriolic Defence of the #icebucketchallenge

Getting mad at people raising money because they are using water is like getting mad at Live Aid because they were using electricity, like getting mad at an AIDS awareness campaign because condoms are made of rubber or like getting angry at gay marriage because legalising the nuptials of same-sex couples would lead to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions from all of the extra cars driving to and from weddings. In other words, it’s a wonderfully ignorant and ill-informed way of missing the larger point. A toilet flush uses anywhere between 1 and 7 gallons of water, (which is anywhere between 4 and 32 litres of water) so unless you plan on shitting and pissing in your back garden and burying the remains, in order to conserve the environment, I suggest you take your environmental anger elsewhere. Pouring water over your head is about as dangerous to the environment as it sounds. In other words, it’s not very dangerous at all.

'No... You'll kill us all!'

‘No… You’ll kill us all!’

The other argument is that throwing water over your head is an arrogant slap in the face to the millions of people without water. Still, I think that if those people living without water were to get angry at our wanton waste of resources, the #icebucketchallenge would not be the place to start. Would these same people not be as, if not more, angry at the Great British Bake-Off for its hedonistic and luxurious displays of excess cakes and pastries? And the Great British Bake-Off dares to do all of this without raising a penny for charity.

Pictured: a group of souless monsters.

Pictured: a group of soulless monsters.

The world is full of bad news, happening 24 hours a day a day, but for once humanity won. We poured water over our heads – thousands if not millions of us – in order to raise money for Lou Gehrig’s Disease, a life-threatening disorder usually associated with Stephen Hawking. And then, because humans are wonderful, people branched out. They began pouring water over their heads to raise money for cancer, for Palestine, or for Bristolian hospitals (as in my case). We poured water over our heads and we altruistically gave our money away. That’s fantastic. That’s amazing. That’s the kind of shit John Lennon would have written about.

So please, please, do not try to tell me that this is somehow a bad thing. Lots of people are doing it, and I’m sure there’s an element of narcissism to it as well, but that does not make it a bad thing. Gandhi, Mandela, Luther-King were all great men – but I can imagine that they all had a bit of a personality complex too. Gandhi beat his wife, but that does not mean that India shouldn’t have gained independence. Nothing is simple; life is a complex series of selfless and selfish events which sometimes resembles structure. If you were to criticise the #icebucketchallenge, criticise its self-indulgence, its self-congratulation, its self-righteousness, but after all of that criticism, the fact still remains that immeasurable amounts of money has been raised for organisations that are legally obliged not to make profit.

I am a cynical man; I believe that nationalism, religion and ‘culture’ are all hypnotic opiates used to distract us, take our money and then send us to an early grave. I believe this because I am insane but, also, because I read a lot of different things. And yet, despite my cynicism, I support the #icebucketchallenge, I have completed an #icebucketchallenge, and I know that the #icebucketchallenge is an inherently good thing. And this, all of this, is coming from a man who hates hashtags more than an arachnophobe hates Spider Stompin’.

If we'd have used the all the money wasted on this game, we could probably cure Lou Gehrig's Disease...

It’s like ‘Dance, Dance Revolution’ – with murder.

Perhaps we could do better – perhaps we could find a way to raise money for non-profit organisations without using water. But don’t piss all over everything that has already been accomplished here. Don’t try and tell us that our fundraising is evil because we utilised 2 litres of water to do it. Have a look at your car, you food, your clothes, your house – your whole life depends on the use of water. Enter your details here, find out how much water you use very day, and get yourself some well needed perspective. The #icebucketchallenge may be crude in its means but, at its heart, is a very simple and awesome kind of humanity.


‘I love the way you hate’: My Job Application to the Daily Mail

As an avid writer, and a man who is soon to be without a job, I thought I would send an application to write for the Daily Mail. I’ve given them a week and they have yet to reply. I can’t understand it. Below is my e-mail and, quite frankly, it was perfect…

To whom it may concern,

My name is Richard Labiav; I am an English graduate from Bristol, amateur blogger and full-time teacher currently residing in Oman. I am writing to apply for a position in your paper as I have always loved the Daily Mail. Though the style of my blog is somewhat different from that of your paper, I feel it can easily be adapted as the Daily Mail’s writing has always been very particular. That is to say, you hate better than any other newspaper; I love the way you hate.

Your hatred for the academics, the poor, homosexuals, females, ethnic minorities and academic, poor, homosexual females from an ethnic minority is so absolute and so pure that I can’t but not admire it. I also love your ability to hate so clearly the things you hate despite radical inconsistencies in your argument. To hate beyond logic, in the way that you do, when all others doubt you, is truly incredible. I believe Rudyard Kipling said something along those lines. And now, with the founder of the Hillsboro Baptist church dead, the Daily Mail has the chance to take the mantle for reaching the absolute apex of illogical hatred, and I would love to write for your paper when that day comes. For I too can learn to hate as illogically as you do.

My father is half-Polish, making me quarter-Polish, and so I am very excited about taking on the challenge of both hating myself, and my father, whilst at the same time being completely in love with myself in the way Daily Mail writers clearly are. I am also excited about the challenge of learning how to hate myself despite another glaring contradiction. On the one hand, so you say, the Polish are stealing all our jobs. On the other hand, so you say, they are stealing our unemployment benefits. The fact that you manage to take both of these stances, at the same time, is the hatred equivalent of being able to tap your head whilst rubbing your belly, and I heartily salute you for it.

I feel I would be a great writer because I am a child of your hatred. You see, you once wrote an article naming my high school as one of the worse five in the UK. My sister cried, several of the teachers who work there now have a massive black mark on their CV, and it did absolutely nothing to improve the funding of the struggling state school. All it did was make the situation worse, cause people to hate a school and all the students from it, and I was one of those students. I was once one of the lucky few who you deemed worthy enough to hate. As a result, I believe my 22 year work experience as being the receiver of Daily Mail hate has trained me perfectly in being the future generator of Daily Mail hate. Thank you for telling the world that the state school I went to was one of the worst in the UK. It, in no way, left me with an educational chip on my shoulder that I have the last 6 years of my life trying to rid myself of. No sir. Not this guy.

I also love your ability to hate even against irrefutable evidence that you are completely fucking wrong. I adore your completely disproportional and aggressive coverage of benefit cheats despite the fact that unpaid taxes from the rich, a story you have not chosen to cover at all, costs the taxpayer at least thirty times more. To convince the nation that it is in fact the poor of this country who are taking all the money, hiding it under the mattresses that they don’t have (because they’re too poor) or in their cupboards (which are empty because they are poor), and that it is the poor who caused the recession (despite having absolutely no power and thus no influence on the economy because that is pretty much the dictionary definition of poor) is a bluff that no other paper could pull off. If you’ll forgive me for using another comparison, it is the hatred equivalent of looking your wife in the eye and telling her you’re on a business trip while she is watching get a blowjob from her sister.

I have loved the Daily Mail for a long time, but the reason I chose to submit my application this week was because of your stellar coverage of the food charity. You managed to sell a story (arguing that we shouldn’t give to the charity because manipulative wankers like  yourselves are able lie and cheat the system they have in place in order to steal the food the charity gives away) to a nation that gives more money to charity per head than any other. Not only did your hatred deny logic, moral or any kind of reason but it also went against the very idea of what it is to be British. Thus the Daily Mail attempted to redefine the British people as greedy cunts. And you succeeded because people actually bought the fucking paper. If you’ll allow me one more comparison, it is the hatred equivalent of selling shit to a man who makes a living shovelling horse-crap. You know who else we could steal from to prove how easy it is? The poor. Ha, ha! Seriously, fuck those guys. Am I right? And, once again, I applaud you.

I have not bothered to attach my CV. All that you need to know is that I am a middle-class, white, rich tosser who is from the South of England. I may live in Oman, which in an Islamic country, but I start everyday by walking to my local mosque and telling the Omani Muslims to go back to their own country and to stop stealing jobs from hard British workers who have lived and worked here their whole life. This, of course, is completely fucking illogical but it is the fact that I practice this illogical hatred every-day that would make me the perfect candidate for this position.

Kind Regards,

Richard Labiav