Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pink Fall

Well first of all, I can't believe it's been over a month since my last post. The reality is I think I just decided to take the rest of the summer off from this cancer crap, even though I still had a lot to say, I just couldn't really be bothered. Instead I travelled the world, spent inordinate amounts of time with a small needy dog, cultivated a vegetable garden, did a lot of nothing with my darling husband for three glorious weeks and generally did a great job of avoiding the dirty great pink elephant in the room.

But now summer's over. And what better reminder, then the rapidly approaching month of October. It used to be a month of pumpkin pie, falling leaves, glorious rich colors, Halloween, and all good things in bright, warm, earthy tones. But that's all so last century. Now, in the U.S. at least, October has been designated Breast Cancer Awareness Month. All of a sudden it seems everything around me is transformed into myriad ghastly shades of pink. Everywhere I turn, I see the ubiquitous pink ribbons and people walking, running, cycling, shopping, eating, baking, vacuuming, wiping, cleaning, cheering, dancing, all "for the cure".

At this point, in the interests of the full disclosure, I too used to secretly look forward to October, when I would drape myself in pride with all manner of garish pink, survivor-emblemed merchandise and take my place in the Survivors circle whilst bopping out to "We Are Family" or whatever the cheesy designated anthem was for that year, at one of the many breast cancer fundraising walks.

But I'm not doing it this year or ever again. It's just a load of bollocks and a great excuse for companies to market their products to the well-meaning consumer in the guise of "Breast Cancer Awareness" when all it really boils down to is profiteering at the expense of real people really suffering and really dying from this insidious disease. Of all the money raised via these Pink marketing campaigns, awareness products, and fundraising drives, I'd bet my left tit (if I had one) that the amount of money that actually goes to furthering the efforts to finding a cure, and more importantly the causes of this disease, is half-pennies on the dollar.

It's not enough to believe that "awareness" and early detection saves lives, what matters is "why ?" Unfortunately the answer to this question won't help the big corporates move their pink products or help the drug companies move their cancer drugs so let's all just sit back, don our pink ribbons and do our bit by being "aware" of breast cancer during the month of October and leave it at that. I mean really, if we did find a cure, what would we possibly do with our time during October otherwise ? Gorge on pumpkin pie, frolic in piles of leaves, take brisk walks on beautiful clear afternoons, make a Halloween costume, marvel at the spectacular bright orange, red, brown colors of fall, enjoy the bounties of life ? Ha ! How dull and so last century.