I got a ton of mail from people asking if we need volunteers for Child’s Play 2004. If certain hospitals find themselves overwhelmed with donations and need help sorting through them we may put the word out for readers in that area to help. Unloading all the toys is a big job and if a hospital needs help we’ll let you know.
I also got a mail from someone telling me that the Buzzcomix forum wanted to help us out this year. This surprised me at first since most of the guys over there really seem to hate us for some reason. I thought that perhaps they had decided to put aside their dislike for PA long enough to support a good cause. I hit the link he gave me and discovered that they still don’t like us very much. One of the guys posting in the thread really got to me and I wanted to address some of his complaints here. He started off by saying this:
“Sorry to wet-blanket all of this, but true chairty can only occur when it is done without the knowledge of others. Otherwise, it becomes a form of ego validation.
Sticking up big signs that shout WE’RE HELPING THE KIDS is not altruistic in the slightist.”
I understand that at some point everyone turns seventeen and thinks they are smarter than everyone else. We’ve all been there. I’d hate to think of the shit I said when I was seventeen made public and archived forever on the internet. I know that in a few years he’ll look back at this post and shake his head. I still wanted to comment on it htough.
It’s a nice thought but the reality is that if we did this by ourselves we could have given a couple hundred dollars each. However by “sticking up big signs” we were able to raise almost $200,000 in toys and cash. So we’re not being altruistic, do you think the thousands of children that benefited from Child’s Play 2003 would agree or even care? If there was just one guy draining his blood and keeping it in his fridge would that be more altruistic than the Red Cross? Or do you think the Red Cross is full of shit because of the huge flags they fly wherever they go? The bottom line is that the more you promote a charity the more good it can do.
Then he followed up with this post:
“This isn’t like Make A wish or some similar organization. They live it. They do it every day. Where will you, Gabe and Tycho be on December 26th? At the hospital hugging the wee ones? Somehow I doubt it.
Now I could be wrong, but until I get shown otherwise, this is nothing more than Christmas Charity, ultimately meaningless because it does not show true compassion to your fellow human being. And that’s what I find repulsive about these “acts of compassion”
But I think we do agree on one thing, assuming that’s what your meaning is: If it takes Christmas charity to get people to break out of their selfish little shells at least once a year, then it’s an improvement. But please spare me the bullshit that this is being done for the kids and the kids alone.
Our culture has taken self-aggrandizement to artistic levels. Wrapping yourself up in a cloak of compassion once a year in the hopes that someone will notice is just a sick twisting of what the true meaning of charity is.
Anyway, get back to me when this is a weekly event.”
Once again this post smacks of “seventeen-ism”. Unless he’s typing this post with one hand and giving blood with the other he can go fuck himself. You’re telling me that unless I can help someone every single day it’s worthless to help anyone ever? Unless I spend every day at the hospital hugging sick kids I shouldn’t bother trying to help them at all? What you’re asking for is certainly admirable but in reality it’s not possible. I’m not Mother Teresa, I just draw a comic strip about games. The majority of people couldn’t and wouldn’t devote their lives to charity. If we all lived by your rules no one would ever help anyone, not even once a year. Your outlook means that since you can’t help everyone you never have to help anyone. How convenient for you.