Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Because in the western world, "digital death" is practically the same as actual, "literal death" -- especially for famous people

Wednesday, December 1st was World AIDS Day.
Started on 1st December 1988, World AIDS Day is about raising money, increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. The World AIDS Day theme for 2010 is 'Universal Access and Human Rights'. World AIDS Day is important for reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done.
Try to come up with something cynical to say about those goals. I won't do it. I can't think of anything. I'm not cynical.

However.

As part of World AIDS Day, a group of celebrities in the US and UK "suffered" "digital deaths" for something called Keep a Child Alive, which is trying to raise $1 million "to help save millions of real lives affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India."

Wait a second -- what?
Starting December 1 - World AIDS Day - the world's most followed celebrity Tweeters are sacrificing their digital lives to help save millions of real lives affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India.

That means no more Twitter or Facebook updates from any of them. No more knowing where they are, what they had for dinner, or what interesting things are happening in their lives. From here on out, they're dead. Kaput. Finished.
What kind of psychopath believes that going without updating your Facebook or Twitter account is in any way analogous to actually dying, or suffering from, a terrible disease that causes endless suffering and misery, particularly in countries with poor infrastructure and health care?

"I don't know what Lady GaGa found worthy of retweeting tonight -- now I know how little African children feel when their mommies die of AIDS."

But they don't have to die in vain. And they don't have to stay dead for long. Just watch their Last Tweet and Testaments, and buy their lives back.

Every single dollar helps Keep a Child Alive fight this terrible disease. And when $1,000,000 is reached, everyone will be back online and tweeting in no time.
It will be like they never really died at all (and please note that the words "die" and "dead" do not have quotation marks around them)! Whew!
You can even join the fight yourself by sacrificing your own digital life. If Khloe and Kim can live without Twitter for a few days, maybe you can too.
But wait -- if I sacrifice my own digital life, how will I be able to keep up with the AIDS-related news from around the world? And, more importantly, how will I know when the Kardashians are "back online and tweeting"?

Enough. Why oh why did anyone tell these celebrities that this "digital death" nonsense was not completely insensitive and totally misguided? (We can do something --  by doing literally nothing at all!) Don't these celebrities have publicity and/or public relations people?

I could have told them this was a poor idea. But no one asked me. Well, they should have.
It appears the organizers of a Hollywood campaign to raise money for AIDS in Africa either overestimated the popularity of the celebrities they used -- or what their fans would be willing to donate to get them back on Facebook and Twitter.

The nifty campaign by "Keep a Child Alive," launched Wednesday (World AIDS Day), declared that Hollywood would die "a digital death" until a casket full of cash is raised.
...
Celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Ryan Seacrest, Serena Williams and Elijah Wood all took part in the campaign -- many posing "dead" in caskets for the cause and recording video statements before their figurative demise.

The organizers promised that when fans donate more than $1,000,000, "everyone will be back online and tweeting in no time."

As of 7:00 p.m. ET, however, just $70,000 had been donated -- meaning unless Seacrest's fans come up with $930,000, the "American Idol" host and the rest of the "dead" celebrities won't be tweeting for the foreseeable future.
$70K. Let's say they make it to $100K by the end of December 1. Say they make $100K a day. That means we'll have to do without their tweets for ten whole days. No Facebook updates! They won't be "liking" things for more than a week.

That's a lifetime in Hollywood. And I don't say that for hyperbole. Seriously, those people in Africa and India don't have 100,000 twitter followers with short attention spans who might forget that they've got a new CD "dropping," or a new fragrance coming out, or a new reality show episode, or a new radio show.

They don't know what these celebrities are sacrificing for them! Let them not have "digitally died" in vain!

 Actually, they're up past $100K as of 8:40 PM PST December 1st. But, if it's a $10 minimum donation, why are they at such an odd number -- where did the $0.03 come from?

1 comment:

A.Jaye said...

Good post Sprague.

I usually skip past anything to do with HIV/AIDs because it's usually in defamation of black/African peoples. Gone were the days when homosexuals, whites and/or anyone else had the disease.

Furthermore the charity industry - aka the white man's burden - is populated with reprobates trying (and succeeding) to put themselves over. The cure for any disease that affects people in the developing world has to come from the developing world.

The Western pharmaceutical and charity industries need photosgraphs of dying black babies