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Chapter 9
Alternate Alternatives

It’s For Science!

by Irena Golubvachecknikoff

Since its founding almost 20 years ago, there has been a lot of rumour and innuendo surrounding the Cameras for Dumbasses Foundation. And, outright criticism. Okay. Criticism. Actually, there has been lots and lots of criticism. Hurtful, ignorant criticism.

Yes. Well. I would like to take this opportunity to address some of the concerns people have expressed about the Foundation.

Cameras for Dumbasses does not support euthanasia for citizens who have low IQs. Never has. Never will. When we give cameras to people we reasonably suspect will use them to film tornadoes, earthquakes and other natural disasters, it is not our intention that they die in the pursuit.

Cameras for Dumbasses was founded by noted philanthropist F. Scott Trendy, whose motto was: “They’re going to go out there and film that crazy shit anyway, so why not give them the best, most up-to-date equipment to do it with?” The Foundation doesn’t send anybody into danger who wasn’t already intending to go, we merely give our research associates the tools so that their – sacrifice is too strong a word considering how surprisingly many of them survive – their experience can serve a greater purpose.

Our maliciously ill-informed critics never seem to take into account the utter joy our research associates seem to take in the meteorological destruction they record. Yet, it is quite common for our dumbasses to be caught on camera saying things like, “Well, will you look at that,” and, “Well, ain’t that something!” The simple awe in their voices is a wonder to hear.

The fact that such awe is sometimes replaced by fear (“Hey, that sucker is a lot closer than I thought!”) or outright terror (“Holy Chr*st, head for the shelter, gramma, that thing is throwing a school at us!”) should in no way diminish it. Of the dumbasses who survive a research assignment, fully 79 per cent are eager to do it again, many claiming that it was the most intense experience of their life.

Our research associates certainly wouldn’t agree that they are being abused by the Foundation.

Although the Cameras for Dumbasses Foundation initially provided our research associates with high end video cameras, it now supplies them with a wide variety of equipment, including hydroxelated spectroscopic flanges, Burkeson generators and petrofluoxinators. Admittedly, the dumbass researchers are told that the equipment they are given is a camera, but this is a minor issue that our ethics board had no trouble agreeing to, given the amount of information the programme has generated.

In the past decade alone, academics associated with the Cameras for Dumbasses Foundation have written 37 papers that have appeared in peer reviewed journals, such as Climate and Nasal Sprays Quarterly and the highly influential Garfield Studies C, as well as 127 articles for such popular magazines as Science, Playboy and Trucker Monthly. Foundation research has greatly furthered our understanding of global climate change, as well as what happens to objects when they are indiscriminately thrown around with great force.

In short, science has been appreciably furthered by the Cameras for Dumbasses project.

The Foundation has also been accused of using the term “dumbasses” pejoratively. This is absolutely untrue. We chose the term partially to avoid the psychological connotations of terms like “idiot” and “moron,” and partially because that is how many of our research associates self-identify. It is actually a comfortable term for them to describe themselves with.

Moreover, a growing contingent of our dumbass research team is, in fact, made up of “disaster tourists:” people who pay good money to go where the worst devastation is occurring before it wipes out an area of the world. These are frequently lawyers, movie stars and socialites (although, perhaps tellingly, never politicians); people who have sufficient intelligence to be successful. Dumbasses all. And, thank goodness, because, perhaps more than anybody else, they truly appreciate the work we ask them to do.

Our current goal is to get 10,103 cameras in the hands of dumbasses by the end of the year. Imagine how much scientific information they could collect! Now that I have cleared up some of the misconceptions surrounding our project, I hope you will join us in this worthwhile scientific endeavour and support the Cameras for Dumbasses Campaign 2008.

Irena Golubvachecknikoff is the Northwestern And General Environs (Excluding Seattle) Secretary General of the Cameras for Dumbasses Foundation.

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