So Freethought Blogs has gotten into the Foundation Beyond Belief/ Leukemia & Lymphoma Foundation Light the Night game, and has started a virtual team! Even small donations help — it really does add up.
As of this writing, we’ve already raised over $6000! For each $1000 we raise, I’ve promised to do a different forfeit or dare. And because we’ve reached $6000, I’m going vegetarian for a month. I’m vaguely vegetarian-ish now, but I do make a complicated set of exceptions that aren’t really interesting to anyone other than me. For one month, October 8 through November 8, I will go strictly vegetarian — no exceptions. (Long story as to why I’m not starting right away — again, not really interesting to anyone other than me.)
And if we raise $7000, I will go totally vegan for a week! And no, I won’t cheat and make my vegan week overlap with my vegetarian month. I will do an entirely separate vegan week, sometime after my vegetarian month is over.
Update on my other dares: I’m having to do them somewhat out of order — largely because I have to get the first draft of my new book written by October 31, and some of these dares will take time — but I’m posting the ones that I can do as soon as I can do them. Because we raised $1000, I will dye all my hair purple and green, for Skepticon. I’m going to do that right before Skepticon, so the color will be super-fresh and bright. Because we raised $2000, I will go to church. I won’t pray — that would be dishonest — but I’ll attend, and I’ll even be polite. (It’ll have to wait until after the book is finished, though.) Because we raised $3000, I will wear a Tea Party hat and make a ridiculous speech about health care. That’s coming up next. Because we raised $4000, I got a bubblegum pink manicure. And because we raised $5000, I will dress as a nun and sing the Leslie Gore song, “You Don’t Own Me” to a crucifix. This should be coming up soon: fortunately Halloween is close, so the nun costume should be relatively easy to come by.
Other lofty goals to aim for: If our team raises $7000, I will eat entirely vegan for a week. If our team raises $8000, I will read, and review, “Fifty Shades of Grey.” (Again, though – this will have to wait until my book is finished.) If we raise $9000, I will eat bugs. And if we reach our team’s fundraising goal of $10,000… I will eat broccoli. Seriously.
What’s more: If you participate in the Light the Night Walk by just donating some money to our team and then walking up and down in your living room as part of a “do it yourself” walkathon — and you videotape it and put it on the Internet — I will personally donate $50 to the FTB Light the Night team. $50 per video, capping out at $500. (I’ll also post links to the videos on my blog.)
And if the entire Foundation Beyond Belief team reaches its goal of raising $500,000 in 2013, I will walk across the entire city of San Francisco, in the wildest outfit I can come up with. (With sensible shoes, though — I’m not stupid.) Yes, I’ll be doing my very own personal Bay to Breakers, with whatever friends and family I can sucker into joining me.
I won’t be the only Freethought Blogger doing assorted forfeits and dares if we reach various fundraising milestones, btw. PZ Myers, Ed Brayton, and Avicenna are all offering themselves up as sacrificial lambs as well. (PZ has already blogged about tumor suppressor genes while naked and wearing a pirate hat.)
What’s more, fellow blogging network Skepchick is offering a bunch of seriously cool dares and offers for their own Light the Night Walk virtual team, including custom superhero drawings, custom cocktails, shaven heads, juggling videos, comic reviews, and more. Rivalry! Rivalry! We can beat those Skepchicks! Rah! Rah! Go team!
And Todd Stiefel — the Foundation Beyond Belief Light the Night International Team Captain, the guy who came up with the whole “Foundation Beyond Belief and the atheist community supporting the Light the Night Walk in a big way” idea in the first place, and whose Stiefel Freethought Foundation is doing matching funds for a big-ass chunk of it — has promised that if either the Freethought Blogs team or the Skepchick team raises $20,000, he’ll get a buzz-mohawk. (His hair isn’t long enough for a big one). And whichever team gets to the goal first will get to pick the color of his mohawk!
In addition to (or instead of) being part of our virtual team, you can actually take part in the Light the Night walk in your own city: as part of a Foundation Beyond Belief team, or as part of some other team, or just on your own. You don’t have to be part of an official team to be part of the walk — you can just register as an individual, either online or at the event.
So sign up! Be an official part of the Freethought Blogs Light the Night team! Get me, PZ, Ed, and Avicenna to do awesome, embarrassing, painful, or hilarious things against cancer! Let’s make use of human beings’ evolutionary tendency towards tribalism and group loyalty and pointless competition — and our tendency to treat irrelevant sacrifices as both a social bonding mechanism and proof of serious commitment — and turn it towards good! Go, team, go!