Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Boobs. What's not to love.

Firstly let me start by sending a big hello to all of my loyal readers. It's been somewhat slow this last couple of weeks on the blogging front. I've been hit with a monstrous case of Spring allergies which has put me in a bit of a fog, not dissimilar to a serious case of chemo brain, and in turn causing complete sentence construction rigor mortis.

If you are part of the anti-pink-ribbon-breast-cancer-awareness-related-cause-marketing-circus brigade, as am I, you will be aware of the concern that our culture's overexposure to all things pink and breast-cancerish is leading to a movement that is too busy making everybody "aware" of breast cancer by promoting a false culture of "survivor" hero-worship and overall glamorization of the disease, all whilst purporting to fund raise for the mythical "cure", when in fact, the pink-ribbon movement has just become another marketing tool in the profit-making arsenal of the corporate behemoths and anyone else wishing to hitch their wagon to the pink-washed sideshow.

With that said, this snippet just in from the breast cancer news wires. Yes folks the breast cancer marketing cause has gone all hip and trendy with the high school kids now wearing all manner of merchandise emblazoned with the slogan "I Love Boobies", as part of a breast cancer awareness effort amongst the youth culture by something called the Keep-A-Breast foundation. As recently reported in the Seattle Times, apparently certain high schools are starting to get a bit concerned about the clothing items and their flagrant use and depiction of the term "boobies" claiming that it's leading to conduct unbecoming of their teenage students. And being part of the great democracy that is the U.S.A, of course the banning of such items being worn at school is not about causing offense or being inappropriate but a limit of freedom of expression under the Constitution, the extent to which will no doubt be tested in the Supreme Court by some spotty 16 year old and their over-indulgent parents.

Ho hum, where does one start with this ?

First of all, I go back to my point from this and other posts that Breast Cancer itself, is a highly marketable cause because of it's sex appeal. It's about boobs. Teenagers are obsessed with fashion and boobs. Edgy clothing with the word boobs to appeal to the younger generation ? Genius. Do you think we would ever see a similar campaign for Colon Cancer ? T-shirts with "I Love Small Intestines" ? Or Bladder Cancer ? Bracelets with "I Love Urine", Anal Cancer ? "I Love Ass" ? Doesn't have quite the same cache' now does it.

Secondly. I love boobs as well. At least I loved the ones that I used to have before they became cancerous and had to be surgically removed and rebuilt from other bits of my body and artfully placed lumps of silicone. Does it help me to see some fashion victim teenager parading around with a t-shirt/bracelet/bag emblazoned with "I Love Boobies" all in the name of "breast cancer awareness" and "freedom of expression" fashion, just to remind me of everything that I once loved and then lost because of an insidious and awful disease that struck me without warning ? I don't think so, but here's what I think would help.

Instead of spending your hard-earned money on some dumb-ass tacky t-shirt, a worthless plastic bracelet or a pink bucket of fried chicken, how about just writing a check out for $10.00 and sending it to Breast Cancer Action, a grassroots advocacy organization who are one of the few organizations that can't be bought by the vested interests of soulless corporations and misguided philanthropy.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Your Pink Boob Award Nominations Please !

I have decided I can no longer ignore the plethora of pink products that are currently available for your purchase from all those altruistic corporate Gargantua's. With that said I've decided to do my bit. Today I am launching the inaugural Pink Boob Awards. Yes, that's right ! I am now accepting nominations for the most tacky, most ridiculous, and most pointless pieces of garish pink merchandise out there that you, my avid readers, can find. You'll see a list to the right of this page of the most recent nominations, which I will endeavor to keep updated in a timely manner. So get cracking, keep your eyes peeled, and send me your nominations either via the comments section or email me at cancerculture@gmail.com.

[Editors Note:  Please click here to view the Pink Boob Awards Gallery]

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I'm talking about it whether you like it or not.

Can you believe this is my third posting in just a matter of weeks ?  What's wrong with me ?  I am just a blogging fool right  now.  I think it has something to do with the glorious spring weather we are experiencing here in the northern hemisphere, and there's nothing like a good dose of Vitamin D to get the old brain cells working again.  Oh, and currently with the number of towns around where I live festooned with pink breast-cancer awareness crap under the auspices of another dreadful marketing campaign called "Paint Your Town Pink", that's a sure sign that I am going to have a lot to say about all things breast cancer.

Lately, Deidra and I have been spending an inordinate amount of time pondering my blog. Critiques of old postings, ideas for new postings, what we are going to wear to my Oprah show appearance, the title of my best-selling book,  as well as musings on how "awareness" about breast cancer affects the psyche of the so-called "normal" folk.  Now if ever there was a bottle-or-two- of- wine-worthy conversation, this would surely be it, just for the record.

The bottom line seems to be this.  People don't like to talk about breast cancer and people certainly don't seem to want to laugh about breast cancer.   And judging by the overwhelming number of comments I receive on each posting, I daresay they don't want to read about it either.   Except maybe the people that have it and are blessed with a sense of humor that somehow survives  all of the unfunny moments that come with having breast cancer.    Because folks, believe it or not, there are funny moments, and there's nothing like a good belly aching laugh to make you forget, even if just for a moment, the horrible, big, fat, pink elephant in the room.

So why publicly blog and make crass jokes about all things breast cancer,  you ask ?  Well, because:

  • I have breast cancer, and dealing with the day to day practicalities of it means it's often on my mind;
  • Everybody has breast cancer, or so it seems;
  • Having breast cancer really pisses me off;
  • I think I'm funny, I have a point of view and writing about the freakish sideshow that the breast cancer fundraising cause has become, reminds me every day to take off my pink-colored glasses, keep being funny and keep having a point of view;
  • I don't work so I have plenty of time to rant and rave about all of the above; 
  • Why the hell not, I think I've earned the right.

So to all of you reading this blog, and feeling a little uncomfortable about the subject matter, I have this to say to you.   Breast cancer is uncomfortable, and certainly not fun or glamorous in any way shape or form,  and is not generally everyone's first choice of topic of conversation. But if, during your reading of this blog, you feel your bottom facial muscles twitching upward, this is what's commonly known as a smile, and this my friends is surely the best cure I know of for all the unfunny and unglamorous stuff about breast cancer.  If you feel angry or sad, then that's okay too.  In some ways, that's precisely the point.

P.S  For more narcissistic breast cancer-related  humour scribblings, check out the excellent Alright Tit blog written by Lisa Lynch.