Friday, November 6, 2015

"Abreast of Awareness"

Here it is the end of the first week in November. October and Halloween are behind us. Gonna miss the costumes and stuff. I like October. You don't really have to dress up all fancy and stuff at any time during the month. Bonus!
Of course, when I was growing up, October had specific colors for the month. Black and orange was on display everywhere throughout October when I was a kid. Although I think black and orange are kinda ugly together it was neat that the whole month was color coordinated. 

Not many months get their own colors. December, March and February come to mind. December gets red and green. And an old guy in red and white. March is all about shamrocks and green beer. February gets pink, lacy hearts. It's all romantic and shit. 
Unfortunately, we are taking 2 of these away slowly. Kinda hurts my feelings a little. And I know I'm gonna sound like the bad guy here but I guess I'll go ahead and explain why that bugs me. 

See, as I said, it's November right now. I'm sitting at home and get a call from a telemarketer. Will these people never learn to avoid my number?? She's all cheery; telling me about how October is breast cancer awareness month and they'd like to send me a pink ribbon (for a donation of course) so I can show all the ladies I support them. Wait right there. Let's explore this, shall we:

First off, am I a time traveler? Can I go back to the beginning of October to start sporting my pink ribbon once they send it to me in November? Or am I just being like "super prepared" for next year??

Secondly, this ribbon is going to show all the ladies how much I support them. Ah. So men can't get breast cancer anymore? When did that happen?!  Why are we picking one specific cancer to make people aware of? Why not show EVERYONE we support them? Cervical or ovarian cancer would be considered "ladies only" but breast cancer is all about equal opportunity. Yet we conveniently forget the male gender when we support breast cancer. 

Third, can I support this cause without wearing a pink ribbon? When did ribbons start curing shit? And why specific colors? "Oh, you're wearing a brown ribbon. Is this the month we show support for colon cancer?" 

I'm a little confused. How many people on this planet aren't aware that cancer exists? We are busting our collective asses each month to raise awareness for one thing or another. So much so that they overlap now. Ya kinda lose the "special" when you start stacking causes like those little Russian dolls. 
Yes, cancer is tragic and horrible. So are a whole host of other incurable diseases. Yes, I'd love us to find a cure. It's a global disease. We are aware of it. Just as we are of the rest. So why spend millions of dollars "raising awareness" when you could allocate that money to finding a cure? Why choose a month that already has a color scheme and a big holiday? Why not choose something like August? It doesn't have a color yet, let August be ribbon month. 

Look, honestly, if I thought a ribbon could cure something then I'd have more ribbons than the gift wrapping kiosk in the mall. But it won't. It doesn't "raise awareness". It makes people start to just ignore it. The ribbons become part of the scenery. Have you honestly ever pulled up behind a car that had a pink ribbon bumper magnet and suddenly pulled out your check book to mail off a donation at the next mailbox? More often what happens is people see them then keep scanning the road. Why? Because we pick a cause then saturate the countryside with it. 
I see these chain letter things on Facebook like, "if you support __________ awareness then copy and paste this in your status for one hour." Ok, so you posted it. How many people did that cure? How much new awareness did it create? 

I can post pictures of the ocean and say things like "we need to raise awareness of how wet water is" and it may make the rounds but, trust me here, drawing attention to the obvious does nothing to make you more aware of it. 
So what 2 months are we taking away? Well, many schools are getting rid of Halloween but that pink reminder ribbon for breast cancer is getting more frequent. That pink is gonna eventually become so prevalent that I won't know if I'm supposed to buy a ribbon or a box of mystery chocolates and a teddy bear. "Is it February already or is it October? It's hard to keep track." 

I'm not saying breast cancer isn't a worthy cause, I'm just saying that inundating us with it isn't going to cure it. Raising awareness is redundant. Raise money instead. If someone on this planet isn't aware of cancer yet then the odds are they aren't old enough to talk or they've got their own issues that a ribbon won't fix. 

While I'm at it....I'm fairly certain Jesus doesn't have a Facebook page and keep track of how many "likes" he gets as a basis for whether or not he's going to help someone. If he did then cancer would've certainly been cured by now. He's not sending out apology letters, "dear kid, I would've healed you but you were 6 'likes' short of the required amount. Sorry."

And it's cute that people post those little memes saying God didn't stop this tragedy or that tragedy because He's not allowed in our schools but here's a newsflash: our rules don't apply to Him. He's not a vampire, he doesn't need to be invited in. He's not in the parking lot going "sorry, can't help you; the restraining order said I can't go in." 
People, these tragedies happen because people are disturbed. We don't take preventive measures and we let our kids run around without respect for authority. The problem is here because WE created it. Everyone's so worried about not offending anyone that when people do get offended or get their feelings hurt they can't cope with it. Then we, as a nation, look for which weapon to blame instead of our own societal PC crap. We raise awareness for what we can't control and shift the blame for the things we should've controlled.