I'm so close to my target now! Just another push or two, please! https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Martin-Palmer5
I was just thinking back to Friday and how much I really really really wanted a drink [I'm fine now, by the way. Feel ok, and yesterday I happily watched a frantic Liverpool game with only my Beck's Blue [and a pie... But no-one needs to know about that...]]. I had even considered, for a semi-second, buying a Golden Ticket. For those of you that don't want to click on the link I've just provided, Macmillan's Golden Ticket involves buying time off being off the booze for a minimum donation of £15. Isn't that a great idea? What a great way to raise that little bit extra! How innovative, proactive and flexible!
Guess what. I don't like it.
I was going to write a different post [posts, in fact] on why I was opposed to the 'Sober for October' campaign, but this is a good opportunity to hopefully do it more succinctly. I only decided [a couple of days before the event] to do it purely because I wanted to do something in memory of mum, but even that didn't erase the rankling annoyances that had built up.
Golden Tickets are obviously a bit of a cop-out. If you've decided to do a challenge, then surely you want to be honourable and complete it, I mean, if you've decided to embark on this process, what exactly would be the situation where you have to have that drink? A friend's birthday party? If they're a friend, I'm sure they'll understand what you're doing and why, so I think you can manage. A funeral? Well, yes, grief obviously affects us all differently, and if someone wanted to reach for a drink in a tough time I'd empathise, but it would be hoped that the participant would be able to see that this month is an opportunity to not do that, to see how you fare on rough seas without the rum tot. I've been reading a few articles about the links between sleep, depression and drink, and I'm finding it intriguing how I feel I'm doing in this sober month [given that I have a problem with depression and sleeping at the best of times]. First date nerves? Nah, use the campaign as a point of conversation, maybe big up your resilience and maturity, if that's your bag. So, admittedly without thinking too deeply, I can't come up with a good excuse for using the Golden Ticket. I'm not judging individual choices here, by the way, just remarking that the inclusion of a Golden Ticket could be an enabling/will-power eroding possibility dangled in front of innocent people who want to do some good shiz.
It's the charity itself I accuse of hypocrisy. So much was said in the TV campaigns of the health benefits, and of the idea of 'superheroism' - which I would argue [no scholarly opinions here] includes a pure idealism, something beyond reproach [not saying it's realistic, just that's my interpretation]. But, in sanctioning a frivolous short-term dismissal of the responsibilities of the challenge, Macmillan cannot be taken seriously regarding their concern over your health. I feel they guilt-tripped the public in their TV adverts, focussing on hangovers, as if one can't drink in moderation, saying that they are so unhealthy and childishly exaggerating their effects, how you can't be a functioning human being when you have one. All this chatter, but then an option to indulge again - for a price.
The ads and relating material [take this 'tick off planner' that I've been using, along with some of the blurb in the online shop] also try to encourage people's arrogance. There was a lot of "show your pride" sentiment which, quite frankly, baffles me. It goes against the ideals of heroism because a hero does good things because it is a good thing to do, not for reward, be it financial or otherwise. Pride, and especially the bragging that may come with it, go against this sentiment because they muddy the pure motives that are what heroism is all about.
Even without such an over the top elevation of participants, I think the whole idea of "showing off" that you're trying to help charity is distasteful. Why didn't they phrase it a different way, you know, 'raise awareness' rather than 'be an obnoxious nob'. The whole campaign reeked of tweeness, and, ugh, only by concentrating on my motives can I think about getting through it. I did like the focus on a brighter future in the longer TV ad, but it's silly to think that a month off the sauce is going to solve your life's problems. If alcohol was getting in the way that much, then you need to think about giving it up for good, not just a month.
Anyway, I'm going to stop this. I shouldn't take their advert so seriously, and should focus on the fact it's helped them make more money. I will just point out, though, that this isn't the first time their methods have been called into question: http://www.thedrum.com/news/2016/09/04/macmillan-s-brave-shave-campaign-comes-under-fire
Edited 31.10.2016 to not sound as s**t.