Friday, April 30, 2010

You don't have cancer.....yet.....

Firstly, thanks to all my loyal readers, all seven of you, for the play I received on my last post.  It seems my expose' of the fried breasts campaign struck a chord, well at least had you rolling in the aisles, and slathering for a bucket or two of tasty fried chicken I'll wager.  I aim to please and I was really delighted to get all of your comments and suggestions for more inappropriate breast cancer related marketing opportunities.  Please keep them coming and any suggestions you have for future story lines are always appreciated.  Just drop me a line at and I'll give it my best shot.

So anyway today I was thinking about something that someone very dear to me said the other day in one of our many conversations about the whole cancer thing.   For privacy sake I'll refer to her as Deidra but she is someone I'm very close to.  In fact I would say that not only is Deidra one of my biggest cheerleaders but she is also one of the funniest people I know.  

Let me give you a sampling.    When I was first diagnosed all those years ago, I asked Deidra, being the well-connected person that she is, whether she knew of any breast surgeons.  Without even taking a breath, Deidra yells down the phone to me..."What the hell do you want a breast surgeon for ?  You really don't need implants you know".  When Deidra came to my birthday party whilst I was recovering from my surgery, not for implants I might add, someone had bought me one of those clear glycerin soaps.  Deidra walks in, picks it up off the table and says very loudly, "Oh my god Anna, your implant fell out".  Every time I tell Deidra I'm going to the Doctor, she always signs off by saying "Well have fun with that, Anna".  And folks, this is why I love Deidra.  Because her brand of humor is exactly like mine and she gives me the freedom and encouragement to laugh every day at this little predicament I find myself in.  So much better than sitting around a Kleenex box feeling like a victim I can tell you.

So the other day, when I was discussing the Fried Breasts post
with Deidra she said something that I thought was extremely funny and gave me some food for thought and inspiration for today's post.  She says..."Now Anna, let me tell you, that last post was so funny, and cancer is no laughing matter, and I don't have cancer YET, but when I do I'm going to be talking to you about it for sure".  Now I'm not even sure she really knew what she said until she'd said it, but really doesn't it seem like this is the case ?  I don't have cancer....yet.

Is it just me or does it not seem like everybody has freakin' cancer or some other equally mortifying condition ? I get the same feeling when I go to the supermarket and it seems like the majority of parking bays are reserved for the blue sticker certified disabled drivers.  This got me thinking.  Maybe being completely normal and having absolutely nothing wrong with you should be the new cause du jour.    We could hold fundraising walks and events for the healthy and able-bodied and use the money to make ourselves UNaware of breast cancer, AIDS, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, autism etc.  Parking bays could be signposted for the non-disabled i.e. the ones so far from the entrance they actually require a bus ride to get to the business in question.  Incidentally I probably wouldn't qualify for an "able" sticker as I think having advanced stage cancer and a sick sense of humor technically qualifies me as disabled.  (Note to self: must get blue parking sticker so it's easier for me to heave heavy loads of shopping into back of SUV).   I feel sure we'd be a whole lot happier and able to really kid ourselves into thinking that we as a human race are sustainable at least for another millenium.

And whilst I'm banging on about all of this.  Did you ever look at all the cause-related marketing and wonder how certain conditions get selected as "causes" in the first place ?  I hate to be the one to say this, but I think it has to do with palatability to the collective societal psyche.  For instance, breast cancer.  It's about women (mostly) and it's about breasts.  Well who doesn't love women, they're identified by the color pink apparently because it's soft and feminine, and a world without breasts ?  Come on !  Do you ever see fundraising events for Anal Cancer ? Irritable Bowel Syndrome ?  Psoriasis ? Hemorrhoids ? Psychopathic Schizophrenia ?  Genital Herpes ?  I could go on but I think you get my point.  These are not causes that anyone feels they can comfortably attach their products too in order to profit and appear altruistic at the same time, all based around attractive images of softness, femininity and the heart rending tragedy of it all.  Why ?  Because ultimately there's no sex appeal and no one wants a disease-ridden ass, a nasty skin affliction or a raving lunatic shoved in their face every time they buy a bucket of fried chicken.  It's just not sexy or good business for that matter.  

So next time you drive through your town, and find it draped in pink ribbons with Melissa Etheridge songs blaring from loud speakers, as you tuck into your tasty fried chicken breasts,  spare a thought for how blissfully unaware you are of all those other terrible afflictions that you never hear anything about.  I know Deidra and I will.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fried Breasts !

Well folks, there's not many times in my life that I can honestly say words fail me. Except maybe the time I was told I had breast cancer at the ripe old age of 33 years old. And the last time I got a bill for landscaping work done at my house. Oh yeah, and then there was time I got pulled over for driving "crookedly". Mmmmm......but anyway let's stick to the point of this posting.

So all the online wires, blogs, action groups etc have been alive with much heated discussion over the latest wrongs to be foisted on the breast cancer community by corporate America. I think this one just about takes my breast, excuse me breath, away.

Check this out. Kentucky Fried Chicken have jumped on the marketing opportunity of using poor little breast cancer victims to peddle their products. Aptly named, "KFC's Buckets for the Cure", for every "Pink Bucket" of fried chicken sold, KFC will kindly donate 50c to that other corporate titan of charitable industry, Susan G. Komen for the Cure. And if you click on the website link you are met with a very somber and depressing piece of musak, just to put you in the mood for gorging on fried chicken, and a huge pink bucket decorated with the faces of all the poor little breast cancer victims, for which you can click on read about their inspirational stories. After looking through this website I feel like emotionally eating my way through fifty buckets of the stuff, I'm just so touched by the whole thing. Which is the point right, because if I eat fifty buckets of the stuff that results in a donation of $25.00 !

But let's back up a little bit and really dissect this campaign. First of all the name. Couldn't they have come up with something catchier and little more on point ? What's wrong with "Buckets of Breasts for the Cure", or "Non Cancerous Breasts are Best", or "Kentucky Fry's Breast Cancer", or even "Breasts are Better Fried than Cancerous".....come on people a little more imagination and pizazz please !

And why stop at fried chicken ? Why don't we just go all the way in testing the bounds of common sense and decency for that matter and have pink campaigns on other highly questionable products. How about "Carcinogenic Chemicals for the Cure", "Tobacco Giants United against Cancer", "Illegal Drug Pushers for the Cure", "Pink Products with TransFats", "Synthetic Hormones for a Cancer Cure Now"....please do let me know if you have other suggestions for genius pink-related campaigns. At this rate we could increase cancer rates tenfold, insuring that if and when a cure does emerge, everyone will have it and will then have to buy the cure. Win-win for sure !

But really, how can KFC honestly think that peddling their fatty, undoubtedly hormone-riddled, fried, obesity causing, thereby breast cancer risk increasing chicken, qualify them to stand behind the platform of finding a cure for breast cancer ? People the lunatics are running the asylum. This isn't a good thing, and once again the breast cancer population are the stool pigeons all in the name of corporate greed and profits. Once again I'm reminded of Breast Cancer Action group's work in this area, and would recommend that people make themselves aware of their excellent "Think Before You Pink" campaign and see these ridiculous self-serving corporate campaigns for what they really are. Exploitative and about profits and profits only.