In case you were wondering, the title is an actual lyric from the highest earning rapper of all time, Dr. Dre, billionaire pioneer of Gangsta Rap (still not sure if he’s a Ph.D. or M.D.). But that has nothing to do with this post.
I’m not sure if this is an international phenomenon, but in the loosely United Americans of States, it is Salvation Army Bell Ringing Season. From the beginning of December until all minds of all shoppers are lost, a person stands in front of the largest sources of consumerism with a bucket and incessantly rings a bell. It’s auditory torture meant to, presumably, hypnotize you into donating money to the Salvation Army.
I understand and appreciate that the Salvation Army needs to raise funds to help its mission, but I think we have all learned from the recent publication of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA interrogation methods, that torture does not work. And torture is the only way to describe the Salvation Army’s method of attention-getting through relentless bell ringing. I’m surprised bell ringing wasn’t in one of the Saw movies or something Eli Roth made.
How the bell-ringers avoid madness is supernatural, worthy of testing their brain. Do they have some sort of mystical ability to tune out the ringing? Maybe this is the same muscle that allows people who whistle to not register how annoying whistling is or how those who chew with their mouths open don’t feel like stabbing themselves in the swallow tube. Are people who create the annoying sound immune to the annoying sound they are generating?
No matter the Salvation Army’s justification, there are a vast number of alternative options to fundraising that don’t involve annoying people into submitting their money.
“We hope to draw attention to our cause.” ~Salvation Army
“Punching random people in the face would have the same affect,” I would retort, “Why not festoon your donation bucket with spastically flashing LED lights? You’d save money on what I can only assume are generally unemployable addicts of some stripe. Or maybe preserve their dignity by giving them a sign to spin? Or, have a sale at those shops where you’re selling things that are given to you?”
“Every one of those 3 trillion chimes is granting wings to angels.” ~Salvation Army
“Are there some angels who have multiple wings, like a spider-angel? Because the bell ringing is far outpacing any god’s ability to create angels plus the number of people who have ever died. You’re creating an excess of wing supply.”~Me
My point is, there is no justification for Salvation Army bell ringers…except it apparently works, or else they wouldn’t do it every year. Probably because, as people leave whatever department store they throw loose change at the bell ringer, hoping he/she will stop, or even pause. Please, I ask you to stay strong this holiday season, hold on to your change. If you truly feel like donating to the Salvation Army, donate directly to their corporate office, preferably with a note begging them to stop the bell ringing. The only way they will stop this aural assault is if they see a dip in donations from those stupid buckets. Stay strong.