SEPTEMBER 3, 2014
Feeling the cold and feeling the heat

Last week I wrote about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Noting that I had been asked several times if I was participating in the campaign to dump ice on my head, I said that I declined each invitation.

My concern was that all this money was being raised as part of a viral campaign but wondered if the actual meaning getting lost: Is this creating awareness and actually helping people or is it just pulling in more money for an organization whose funds go to its staff? (As of late August, the ALS Association said it had received over $100 million in donations through the campaign.)

It makes scandalous headlines that overpaid executives work at many non-profit organizations and in the case of ALS, one keen Southeast Journal reader shared with me the breakdown of ALS’s finances – which is public knowledge, so we’re not exposing anything here.

For the year ending Jan. 31, 2014, ALS had used 27 per cent ($7.2 million) for research and 32 per cent of its money ($8.5 million) on education. Always an eye-popper: the administration costs were $1.9 million. And somehow “fundraising” cost $3.6 million.

So for the tens of thousands of people who’ve felt the chill of freezing water hit them: you might have raised some money – but, um, now what?

Moving onto the celebrity scandal of all those leaked nude photos of stars. I’m going to open with this line: “I don’t blame the victim, but…”

Not to say stealing or hacking or criminal activity is OK, but we always hear that it’s teenagers who are the dumb ones for taking naked pics of themselves.

I fully agree that grownups should be able to do what they want with their own personal cameras, but when you are storing images on something Internet-related – as is the case in this scandal – can you really blame anybody but yourself for putting yourself out there? (Literally)

Sure we can say to people who use their credit card online, “You deserve what you get when your identity is stolen” but at the same time people do know the risks of such transactions.

I have seen a lot of fellow celebs come to the defence of the “victims” but lots of others are saying, “Don’t get freaky with a camera and you won’t have any issues.”
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