Thursday, September 04, 2014
the ultimate challenge
I was giving some additional thought to the viral philanthropy concept. You know... ALS ice bucket challenge and my idea for the motorboat breast cancer awareness challenge. But how about one that transcends donations and profit? OMG! How dare you (Vince McMahon voice)! Saf, if you remove $ from the equation, how can an act of benevolence be properly assessed and valued?
Wouldn't it be a wild experience to push the individual ethnicity/sexuality/religion/everything angle to the extreme? Here's my idea for the next big youtube challenge. It's a test for humanity rooted in one's faith in mankind. And guess what? There's no money involved whatsoever.
I propose a video challenge with an unheralded spattering of diversity that tests "notions of trust" on an unexplored level.
Assemble your group of somewhere between 5-10 people. Everyone must be acquaintances. It'll probably be a work environment but not necessarily. Now here's the catch. Everyone should be visually different (Asian, Latino, white, mixed, black, middle Eastern, etc.). And everyone should have a different religious identity (Catholic, atheist, agnostic, Wiccan, Rastafarian, Confucious, etc.). Straight, lesbian, transgender, bestiality, Chrisagisexual, whatever. Blond, bald, neck tattoo, lizard wannabe and so on. And everyone should have different hobbies, fantasies, aspirations, etc. Scattered agendas and political persuasions as well (Commie, Tea-Bagger, Neo-con, pro-lifer, pot smoking hippie, save the walrus and more).
The idea here is to assemble a vividly diverse, dramatically different group of friends and record a quick video on the dutiful cell phone.
Each person gets a maximum of 10 seconds to explain "who they are" or "what makes them tick." You can talk about your family, your education, your job, your dreams, your passion, whatever. It's 10 seconds to explain to the world exactly what defines you as a human being. If you're the most boring person in the world and have zilch to contribute to society... that's okay too. Maybe you'll spend the entire 10 seconds talking about how you like to watch pro wrestling, get drunk and smoke cigarettes.
Now here's where it gets crazilla. After the introduction phase is complete, the person who coordinated the assemblage picks a number out of a hat.
There are 3 numbers in the hat and each number represents a physical object.
#1 = Driver's license
#2 = Credit or debit card
#3 = Cell phone
At the end of the video, everyone exchanges the item du jour. On each number is a code, that determines your exchange partner (2 gets 4, 1 gets 6, etc.). The exchange period takes place for 24 hours or until the group reassembles the following day. That's what makes the workplace an ideal choice.
Obviously, these items are a big deal. Each one is specifically designed to defy the very essence of fear mongering portrayed in the news media (the prevalence of identity theft, hacking, exposure of personal data and so on). Your personal security will be seemingly endangered and completely exposed. Everything most people hold sacred is relinquished for a specific period of time. That's the true essence of risk/reward. Not the inevitability of getting cold water getting dumped on your head. Brrrrr.
It's evident that most people wouldn't have the stomach for this. And that's exactly what makes it so compelling. What if they scribble down my credit card number? What if they scroll through my cell phone and find some ammunition to use against me. This game involves an indescribable level of faith being placed in people who are not immediate family.
This entire experiment could devolve into stupidity and self-implode. However, it could become a "hot fad" (I like that term. Note to self: use it more often) There would likely be conceptual spinoff groupings. Different kinds of fisherman who use different kinds of bait. Truck people with the Ford and the Chevy and the what not. Various admirers of Star Trek and all that is Romulan/Klingon/Uridian. Yeah that's right mother fucker! The Uridians are "information dealers." You get the drift - all kinds of angles, all hobbies, fetishes, eccentricities. All of it.
One thing. I think it would be important to note where everyone lives. This gives it a necessary, provincial feel. Maybe we'll learn that people from Bartlesville, OK are generally more trusting than people from Newark, NJ. Tangent - they need to reveal the hometowns of guests on Maury Povich. Seriously, how hard is it to run a tagline that reads Tallahassee, FL or wherever. The viewing public needs to know where these barfbags hail from.
On a semi-unrelated note, I think the "ultimate challenge" (that's what I'm calling it) would be a decent, comprehensive solution to the healing process in the aftermath of a dominipede. Society would need to find a way to rebuild. People wouldn't trust the government or private industry. They'd have to rediscover their humanity. Learning how to regroup and reconnect would be a critical component in moving forward.