It would be easy to ridicule Donatella Versachi, a Monet if ever there were one, I'm tempted to apply mezzotint pixelate filter to drive the point but she maintains a distance and cleverly distracts attention from herself. Difficult to resist ridicule as she does say "ASL" and not "ALS," two entirely different afflictions.
Since Donatella mentioned ASL -- how's that for segue? -- here is how you say "ice + bucket + challenge" in American Sign Language.
"Ice" is pantomime for your hands and arms freezing. This is more relevant to ALS. It bears on why a bucket of ice water was carefully chosen for the challenge in the first place. Being doused with ice water does come very close to what ALS sufferers feel. It is what having ALS feels like to some afflicted when they lose control of their nerves. They are frozen out of control of their motor nerves similar to the way one loses muscular control by being doused with ice water. That is the point of the challenge. So, being doused is more than merely acting out for attention. If you ask, "why bother, why not just write a check?" The answer is to attempt to convey what the disease is like while still making a donation.
I met a gentleman with ALS and we hit it off real fine. Long story shortened, he invited me to his home the same day. I was expecting a dump but it turned out to be a very nice and expensive well appointed high rise condominium. While there he invited another of his friends for me to meet and the three of us ended up having dinner there at his place. I could hardly understand a word the man said and I kept asking him to repeat. His version affected his speech. His friend, a linebacker type guy, a huge man, could understand him a lot better than I. It was a bit embarrassing. A few weeks later when I called back he could not recall me or our encounter. Apparently I didn't leave much of an impression, or maybe that is part of his problem.
The word "bucket" is also a pantomime motion of carrying a bucket by its handle.
The word "challenge" is a two-handed sign that depicts two thumbs rising up from the sides for a face off.
But just to complicate things, some signs look similar to each other and comprehension comes by way of context. Some people say the word "bucket the same way they say the word purse. This person changes hands, but how would you know that? You would have to know that "ice bucket challenge" is trending or you would be likely to mistake the word for purse, and there is no "ice purse challenge," and that is why translators wait until the sentence is finished and not translate word for word as they go. It gives the appearance of being behind, or slow on the uptake, but one must wait for the end for the meaning to complete.
This gentleman's sign for "purse," is a common way to pantomime the word. It closely resembles the pantomime sign of walking a dog on a leash.
There is another way to say "purse" that uses one hand to depict the shape of a bag under the opposite arm.
There is also another way to sign "bucket" by describing its shape with two hands.
I've been reading online much disgust with this whole fad. Why not just write a check and shut up? Why all the attention drawn to oneself? Why all the self-promotion? Why all the bandwagon hopping? Commenters have their own answers, and it is not at all nice. Other questions about the challenge are more thoughtful.
Michael Hiltzik writing for the L.A. Times has a few (impolite) questions about the ice bucket challenge. He contends:
- Is the ice bucket challenge the best way to decide where to put your charitable donations? No.
- Despite the ice bucket challenge, ALS is not our leading health concern
- The ice bucket challenge may be diverting needed dollars from worthier causes
Anthony Corbohal is a photographer. He responds to these challenges.
Cofounder of the ALS ice bucket challenge, Corey Griffin, and close friend of teammate and ALS sufferer Pete Frates, has died August 19 of drowning in Nantucket. He jumped off the roof of a local business into the harbor.