Friday, February 6, 2015

Deadspin's Perfect Sermon On The NFL's Fake Charity

If there is a better one-paragraph summary of everything wrong with the NFL's fake, mass-market, superficial "charity" — and a zillion others besides — than this graf from Deadspin I simply don't know where it is.
What No More sets out to do is good. Still, this is the beginning of a story we've all seen before with Pinktober, LIVESTRONG, and even the incredibly important but eventually coopted AIDS ribbon. What begins as a push for change becomes an invisible force telling us that we must buy specific items and wear certain logos so we can feel better about ourselves, and if we go along, we do so not because we care but because we don't want to feel left out. What good this does for people in need of help isn't always clear, but it's great for the brands, because all they have to do is slap logos on a few products and/or advertisements and throw a few pennies to charity to make themselves seem socially conscious. These logos are an embodiment of magical thinking, promising that you can do good without having to actually do anything. They're shams, basically. Now, we've got another one.
Good grief, yes. It's hard work finding good charities, researching them, trying to determine whether their beliefs and operations are in tune with yours, or whether they aren't just scams separating lazy but well-meaning people from their money. There are people who will think that by buying a t-shirt they are somehow helping the victims of domestic violence, but the far end of that cash flow goes through many hands taking a cut along the way. And always, always, always be skeptical of anything whose principle goal is "to raise awareness". It's a self-licking lollipop.

No comments:

Post a Comment