I’m involved in an interesting argument over at Witty Knitter. Basically, it all started when M-H opined that people donating money to disaster relief just to win prizes were “weird.” I actually agree with her on that point, and I think most people would. You shouldn’t give to charity just because you think you might get something back. Where we differ though, is that I don’t see anything crass about a group reporting how much they’ve raised or about people who don’t have cash donating gifts for those who do. (Assuming they’re giving away things they already have and that wouldn’t be of much use to disaster victims.) I think purely anonymous philanthropy is a nice concept but human nature gets in the way. I hate to think of the struggle my sister would have raising money for cancer research if she told corporations “Sorry, for idealogical reasons we’re not going to name you or give you any positive press.” So it’s an argument that isn’t really an argument. I just maintain that there’s no point in speculating about the motives of a bunch of strangers on the Internet and writing them off as “weird” when what they’re doing doesn’t hurt anybody and, in fact, quite explicitly helps a lot of people. I dunno. I’ve just been irritated this week by all the holier-than-thou types insinuating that anyone who gives to charity is somehow defective or self-centered, and that we should all watch New Orleans regress into the Stone Age to score a political point against George Bush.