Home > Life in General > The “Other Operation” (crossposted at Crooked Timber)

The “Other Operation” (crossposted at Crooked Timber)

August 27th, 2014

Like others, I’m mystified by the “ice bucket challenge” in which, as I understand it, people agree to have a bucket of ice water dumped over their heads, rather than giving money to charity. This is reminiscent of the famous Piranha Brothers’ “Other Operation”, in which they threatened not to beat their victims up if they did not pay them the so-called “protection money”.

Still, it seems as if there is some interest in variants on the standard fundraising challenge in which you pay money to charity to encourage friends, bloggers, C-list celebrities to do difficult, painful or humiliating things. It’s struck me that my upcoming participation in the Sunshine Coast 70.3 Triathlon provides a nice twist on the ice bucket challenge.

My target time is 7 hours, which would imply doing the run leg (21.1 k) around midday. As the name implies, the Sunshine coast weather is likely to be sunny and warm, even in early spring. So, when I’m finished I will be positively glad to have a bucket of ice water tipped over me. It will take a bit of effort to arrange this though, so here’s the challenge:

Donate as much or as little as you like to the charity or cause of your choice and record it in comments (honor system). If the total exceeds 1000[^1], I’ll do my best to organize the icebucket and a photo.

[^1]: I’m just going to add $A and $US, pounds and euros without conversion. If you want to give in other currencies a round $A equivalent would be helfpul.

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  1. Megan
    August 27th, 2014 at 11:21 | #1

    Good for you. That is roughly what the NBN Sunshine Coast newsreader was talking about in his critique of the ice-bucket challenge (it’s on youtube and a good watch).

    I find these things cynical and more about corporatized charity than charity itself.

    For more, I recommend people watch “Pink Ribbons Inc.”

  2. bjb
    August 27th, 2014 at 15:30 | #2

    Megan :
    I find these things cynical and more about corporatized charity than charity itself.

    More than anything, it shows how sheep like most people are. Admittedly, politicians and others in the public eye can look a bit heartless if they refuse, but they should just come out and say it’s stupid. I believe Christopher Pyne nominated Sarah Hanson-Young. She should have just said Pyne’s an idiot.

  3. frankis
    August 27th, 2014 at 16:07 | #3

    Love the cause-neutrality which easily wins my moral sympathy!

    I won’t contribute to the cause of the smarties who came up with this undeniably cool ‘n fun novelty fundraiser but for you:
    $75 to Avaaz
    $75 to Amnesty International Australia
    $75 to Australian Red Cross

    So count me in for $225 thank you very kindly.
    Also – I think we need smartphone video not just a snapshot 🙂

  4. Cambo
    August 27th, 2014 at 16:45 | #4

    Reminds me of this Onion article

  5. Fran Barlow
    August 27th, 2014 at 16:52 | #5

    I understand that there’s a rubble bucket challenge, aimed at raising awareness of the criminal assault in Gaza.

    Perhaps we could have a dry-ice bucket challenge to raise awareness of global warming and funds for mitigation.

    Maybe there’s scope for a tampon and prescribed medication and barbed wire bucket challenge to raise awareness of vulnerable people being held without trial on Manus Island and Nauru. Why not a tear gas canister bucket challenge to raise awareness of the racist and elitist militarisation of police and perhaps a toilet bucket challenge to remind us of the nearly 1% of the US population in gaol.

    This whole bucket fad opens a way for us to tip a bucket on the brutal class system, surely?

  6. Megan
    August 27th, 2014 at 17:01 | #6

    A few days after it came to prominence people were already questioning it (mostly online – the establishment media are still peddling it happily).

    Then I saw, a few days ago, the first riposte against the party-poopers when someone was labeled an “ice-bucket hater”!

  7. Nevil Kingston-Brown
    August 28th, 2014 at 09:50 | #7

    Prof Quiggin, the linked site for the Piranha Bucket skit is (apart from that skit) full of violent anti-Muslim bigotry.

  8. Nevil Kingston-Brown
    August 28th, 2014 at 09:53 | #8

    Piranha Brothers not Piranha Bucket. Though filling the ice water bucket with Piranhas could add an interesting twist. (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0416.html)

  9. frankis
    August 28th, 2014 at 13:00 | #9

    That Onion article’s brilliant and here’s the Onion today – different topic, same brilliance. Sorry (derailing thread).

  10. John
    August 29th, 2014 at 05:14 | #10

    Hey man, did you bang that chick Britney?

  11. zoot
    August 29th, 2014 at 14:28 | #11

    @Nevil Kingston-Brown
    Language Log is “full of violent anti-Muslim bigotry.”???

  12. Nevil Kingston-Brown
    August 30th, 2014 at 21:30 | #12

    Prof Q has now changed the link.

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