Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Holiday Spirit

In general, I don't like charity. I feel it's almost as easy to harm with kindness as it is with malice (why yes, I am Republican.) Fact is, most charity ends up lining someone's pockets instead of going to who you hope it's getting to anyway. And throwing money aimlessly at poor places of the planet can cause a whole lot of undesirable havok and suffering.

If someone asked me what charity to donate to, I wouldn't hesitate: OLPC. I can't think of a better gift than freedom from ignorance. It's Promethean, it's disruptive, it's like giving original sin. It's also the purest way of ensuring that someone has a better life ahead of them. Feel-good stories are already coming in.

But I didn't give to OLPC this season. Instead, what did I donate to? This. On the one hand, it is a gift that can't really be diverted, used for bribes, or confiscated to line a warlord's pockets. On the other hand, it makes for an excellent prank. The discussion thread has some truly wondrous imagery.

Want to make a donation that makes a difference this season? Well, like I said, OLPC is the way to go. But if you need something a little more, well, deviant, you can't go wrong with the goonswarm.