Nominations Solicited for the 2011 Al Copeland Humanitarian Award

It is time once again for us to solicit nominations for the Al Copeland Humanitarian Award.  The criteria of the Al Copeland Humanitarian Award can be summarized by quoting our original blog post in which we sang the praises of Al Copeland and all that he did for humanity:

Al Copeland may not have done the most to benefit humanity, but he certainly did more than many people who receive such awards.  Chicago gave Bill Ayers their Citizen of the Year award in 1997.  And the Nobel Peace Prize has too often gone to a motley crew including unrepentant terrorist, Yassir Arafat, and fictional autobiography writer, Rigoberta Menchu.   Local humanitarian awards tend to go to hack politicians or community activists.  From all these award recipients you might think that a humanitarian was someone who stopped throwing bombs… or who you hoped would picket, tax, regulate, or imprison someone else.

Al Copeland never threatened to bomb, picket, tax, regulate, or imprison anyone.  By that standard alone he would be much more of a humanitarian.  But Al Copeland did even more — he gave us spicy chicken.”

Last year the winner of “The Al” was Wim Nottroth, the man who resisted Rotterdam police efforts to destroy a mural that read “Thou Shall Not Kill” following the murder of Theo van Gogh by an Islamic extremist.  He beat out  The Most Interesting Man in the World, the fictional spokesman for Dos Equis and model of masculine virtue, Stan Honey, the inventor of the yellow first down line in TV football broadcasts, Herbert Dow, the founder of Dow Chemical and subverter of a German chemicals cartel, and Marion Donovan and Victor Mills, the developers of the disposable diaper.

Another past winner of “The Al” was  Debrilla M. Ratchford, who significantly improved the human condition by inventing the rollerbag.  She beat out Steve Henson, who gave us ranch dressing,  Fasi Zaka, who ridiculed the Taliban,  Ralp Teetor, who invented cruise control, and Mary Quant, who popularized the miniskirt.

Nominations can be submitted by emailing a draft of a blog post advocating for your nominee.  If I like it, I will post it with your name attached.  Remember that the basic criteria is that we are looking for someone who significantly improved the human condition even if they made a profit in doing so.  Helping yourself does not nullify helping others.  And, like Al Copeland, nominees need not be perfect or widely recognized people.

8 Responses to Nominations Solicited for the 2011 Al Copeland Humanitarian Award

  1. George Mitchell says:

    Because of Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, and John Kasich America is having a debate about entitlements and collective bargaining in the public sector. There should be a joint award.

  2. “The Al” is generally not to reward politicians for no longer stealing your money and wasting it. That’s a good thing, but they shouldn’t have been doing it in the first place. Besides, that hardly compares to spicy chicken.

  3. Greg Forster says:

    Let me reiterate my past suggestion that the criteria for The Al should be modified to indicate that we’re looking for people whose accomplishments are in fields of endeavor not already overpopulated with service awards (government, charity work, etc.).

  4. Minnesota Kid says:

    But, Greg, you just violated your own principle by nominating a political philosopher whose contribution was in the field of the design of political systems (i.e. government). And he did all that without the assistance of a rollerbag OR spicy chicken.

  5. Greg Forster says:

    Political *philosophy* is not a publicly honored profession! Not these days, anyway.

  6. Minnesota Kid says:

    I’ll nominate Steve Jobs, may he rest in peace (is there an app for that?). Just about every recent technology product that is easy to use and cool was designed by Steve Jobs. Jobs co-invented the personal computer, which, if you haven’t noticed, completely revolutionized worker productivity, communications, entertainment, etc. When all the available smart phones sucked, Jobs came out with the iPhone, which is so useful and endearing to me it is like a member of my family. More generally, Jobs faught against the forces that stiffle innovation, including a long and ultimately successful battle again a certain technological near-monopoly that shall remain nameless and issuing public statements that were highly critical of teachers unions. I can’t think of anyone who developed more innovative products that bettered humanity than Steve Jobs. Our friends would have no way of telling us about the deliciousness of spicy chicken if not for the PC and the iPhone. The Al should go to Jobs, customized to appear like a leg of spicy chicken with a single bite taken out of it.

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