Day Of The [Digital] Dead
Yesterday was the 23rd annual World AIDS Day, dedicated to raising awareness about HIV/AIDS and remembering those who have succumbed to the disease.
It's a sobering occasion. Over 25 million have died of the disease since 1981, and some 33 million live with the infection now. Antiviral therapies have succeeded somewhat, by extending the lifespan of those infected, but there is still no vaccine, and no real cure.
Commemorations took many forms, from vigils in New York and Chicago to rallies in Pakistan and Mumbai. President Obama issued a call for recommitting to the fight against AIDS, while former President George W. Bush urged Congress to continue supporting efforts to eradicate HIV. There were cautionary notes as well, as former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop warned against neglecting what he called our "forgotten epidemic."
And lest we forget, a bunch of celebrities turned off their Twitter accounts.
Take it away, Keep A Child Alive:
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.
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.
But what qualifies as a "most followed" celebrity Tweeter? Sure, you have the Kardashians (Kim - over 5,000,000 followers, Khloe - over 2,000,000) and Justin Timberlake (3,500,000), but how about Twilight's Bronson Pelletier (13,050 followers)? Or David LaChapelle (5,678)? Or Daphne Guinness (932)? Shit, the Press has 13,000 followers its damn self. Take that, Wolf Boy.
Far be it from me to criticize anyone's aims here. Trying to help those afflicted with HIV is a noble cause, and obviously the organization's heart is in the right place, it's just...maybe there are a few factors they didn't take into consideration when putting this together.
1. Who Says We Want Them To Come Back?
Admittedly, I gots ta know what my man JT is up to at all times, but given the option, I'm guessing a lot of people would just as soon donate $60 to another AIDS charity and leave Ryan Seacrest's Twitter and FB accounts offline for a little while longer.
And you don't have to take my word for it. As of 8:55 this morning (12/2), the effort has raised a total of $160,000 and change. Guess we'll have to go elsewhere for our Swizz Beatz updates.
2. Who Says They Want To Come Back?
I'm sure everyone participating in this is doing so from the best of intentions...but is it so implausible to think maybe KimK is tired of sharing every aspect of her personal life with you in what often comes across as a desperate bid for continued relevance and the delaying of the public's inevitable realization that she's a talentless wax dummy whose only endearing attribute is an ass that generates its own gravity well?
Okay, maybe she's a bad example. Seriously though, how the fuck does she have 5,000,000 followers?
3. You Might Want To Work On Your Pitch
In case you just stepped out of a time machine set to the year 1994, our economy is in the toilet. Americans are either unemployed or underpaid (those who don't have their own reality shows, that is) and are trying to come up with ways to tell Junior he can't have Call of Duty: Black Ops for Christmas this year. And yet, we're still a very giving people. All the same, maybe asking us to fork over our rapidly dwindling cash reserves so a bunch of publicity whores can continue posting bikini pics wasn't the best way to appeal to our charitable impulses.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.