As I was working on this post, I discovered that I was officially a “cause bandit.” The phrase was coined by Jen Price, on Advancing Impact, a blog to help non-profits do better at what they do, in her post, Cause Bandits: How Would Your Non-Profit Respond? In it, Price succinctly points out how a “critical mass” of people has demonstrated its collective disillusionment with the marketing tactics and priorities of Susan G. Komen For The Cure, and how Komen has thus far responded with silence. Oh, and perfume. A flurry of articulate comments were posted, many by those of us who consider ourselves to be loud and proud cause bandits.
Komen is not the only one engaged in marketing pink consumer merchandise, as this ad I found on my Facebook sidebar shows. But Komen is certainly the most heinous, as the video below amply illustrates. I started writing another post, in which I began to deconstruct this hideous segment of the Home Shopping Network, but then I came upon yet another post, written for WegoHealth by Alicia Staley, which expresses my disgust and utter astonishment so articulately and passionately, I decided to resume working on this post instead. This video says it all, with its headline, “Shop for the Cure.” But watch it with edification in mind, and perhaps on an empty stomach, because it may make you nauseous.
I know. Left me speechless, too. Now, go and read Staley’s post, Komen’s Wild Ride. I promise you it will help you feel better. If there’s anyone out there who still insists that we Komen cause bandits are just a bunch of fringe naysayers, then all I can say is that it’s getting to be a mighty long fringe.
Ironically enough — or perhaps I was merely reflecting the zeitgeist — as Price and Staley were working on their posts, I was writing another one of my tunes to express my weariness and outrage at the continued trivialization of breast cancer, even as yet another moronic Facebook ad appeared on my sidebar. If there is anyone left out there in the universe who still does not understand what it’s like to see your disease turned into a brand, as well as an opportunity for companies and corporations to cash in on it by selling pink merchandise, I offer the collage of images at the bottom of this post. These were all photos I took myself, during one day in October as I ran a few errands. I went to just three places — the supermarket, the UPS Store, and the craft store. When I came home, I checked my email, and found a few ads for pink figurines on my Yahoo! sidebar, so I added them, too. This represents one day, people. One. October. Day. I suggest you play my song, loudly, as an antidote while you’re looking at them.
Shout. Shout. Let it all out.
These are the things I can do without.
Come on. I’m talking to you.
When cancer comes, you shouldn’t have to sell your soul
For products pink.
They really, really ought to go.
Those one-track minds, they took you for a simple girl.
Kiss them good-bye.
You shouldn’t have to jump for joy.
They sell us pink
When cancer tries to take our lives.
No cure for sale.
I hope we live to tell the tale.
And when we’ve taken down their guard,
I’d like to change their minds.
I hope it doesn’t break our hearts.
Shout, Shout! Let it all out!
These are the things we can do without!
Come on! I’m talking to you! Come on!
And last but not least, the Pink Crap itself, all of it purporting to be sold in support of breast cancer. I think my personal favorite might be the “Grow-A-Head” chia pets.
‘Nuff said? I sure hope so.
A big thank-you to Tears for Fears, for writing a great tune.
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