A pictorial guide to why I’m over “Breast Cancer Awareness” marketing

 

A pink oil delivery truck? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? I was driving around Boston the other day and I saw one. Then I Googled it to get a picture and found out it was one of TWO local oil companies doing this. Then my friend Karen sent me a link to the pink recycling can. So I thought I’d put together a pictorial guide to some of the odder pink breast cancer items I could find. VOILA!

Ask yourself a question: Do you know anyone who isn’t aware of breast cancer?

pinktruckoil truck

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From my original post on the topic:

Back in the day – in this case the early ‘90s – I had many friends with HIV and/or AIDS. One of whom, a true gentleman named John Kelley, wore on his jacket a Star Trek badge (right) and a red ribbon which many people were wearing then to show they knew AIDS existed. When asked about this heraldry he would respond, “Because Star Fleet cares about AIDS.” (RIP, dear John.) Which is pretty much where I’m at with all the pink that washes over marketing each October.

Let me make one thing very clear: Like everyone else, I know many people who have had breast (and other types of) cancer. One of those is Mother CollateralDamage. So it will not surprise you to learn that I, like everyone else, don’t like cancer. Now plenty of companies have done a lot to help fund research into preventing breast cancer and to them I say, “You may stop reading now.” The other day the family was driving by the HQ of New Balance sneakers and we noticed a large pink ribbon affixed to the building. Mrs. CollateralDamage: “They’ve earned it.”

But the problem is that many companies are now just slapping pink on the product or advertising and claiming they support “Breast Cancer Awareness.” As a commenter on a wonderful NYT column about Pink Ribbon Fatigue put it, “Buying stuff with pink ribbons will send some money to research and/or outreach, but it hard to tell how much that Yoplait helps. Posting ‘awareness’ status updates on facebook does absolutely nothing – I have yet to meet a person that wasn’t aware of breast cancer’s existence."

Original Americans ask Supreme Court if “Redskins” is offensive

And I ask, “Are you kidding?”

whities The NFL is certainly the only major US business still successfully using a racist epithet in its marketing. For some reason people give a pass to the name of its Washington franchise usually on the grounds that it’s been is use for so long. (Only in America do we think several decades is a significant amount of history.) That argument is too specious to be believed so let us look for an explanation that at least makes sense.

  1. There are very few descendents of the original people who lived here. Those who remain are mostly living in ghettos – sorry, I mean shtetls. No? How about barrios? OK how about nearly restricted to areas with no intrinsic economic potential. They are out of sight and mind for the most part unless you gamble or watch old action movies.
  2. Their dehumanization predates even that of people imported to the nation from Africa or the Far East.
  3. The team’s owner and fan base are located in and around the nation’s capital giving the team unequalled access to our political leaders where they actually live most of the time.
  4. The team has made a lot of money with this brand and doesn’t want to endanger that.

While none of these would seem to me the basis for a legal defense, I doubt for whatever reason the court will find the team name defames. Defamation in law means communicating a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government or nation a negative image. The team boasts and boosts its name. Using an offensive name as a brand may be an insult to the group being named but it doesn’t seem to me (with my 0 years of legal education) to hit the defamation mark. Unfortunately.

Congrats to the NFL for coming down hard on dog fighting but not on insulting a group of humans. Any chance the ruling will be overturned on replay?

Stephen Baker is smart and I am dumb

Friday I haughtily derided Mr. Baker (a reporter for BusinessWeek) for wondering IF Royce Clayton had been paid for discussing the Taco Bell promotion in the World Series:

Yeah, if that was a coincidence then pass the tiara because I’m Princess Marie of Roumania.

Well, I wear a size 7 and 7/8 tiara. Quoth the Globe:

It’s Clayton who seems the big loser here – shilling for Taco Bell without getting a dime.

Mr. Baker took a skeptical view of things and was right. I took the cynical view and was wrong. That’s pretty much always the case.

BTW, I’m writing this during the 2nd inning of game 4 and I can say without cynicism or any chance of being wrong that there’s no way my prediction of the Rockies in 6 can come true.

fighting whitiesWhatever the outcome of tonight’s duel it’s been a good day for the area’s sports teams. The New England Cheaters demolished Washington 52-7. I loathe the Washington football team with a passion and love to see them humiliated. This isn’t that enjoyable type of sport hatred like I feel for the Yankees. This is an actual feeling of moral disgust. That there is a team with that nickname never ceases to appall me. I am not sure how any reasonable news outlet justifies printing the team’s name. The only thing that could have made today’s victory better is if the Sox Jacoby Ellsbury, who is of Navajo descent, could have helped. Well at least he got to beat Cleveland and it’s mascot.

Patriots & Red Sox are ruining my kid

This is so sad. He’s 11 and he thinks this is how it goes — your teams win. All the time. He doesn’t know what’s out there waiting… the heartbreak. C’mon guys, for the sake of my son’s future you’ve got to start losing. Won’t someone think of the children?

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University of Illinois finally dumps racist Native American mascot; 1 down, way too many left to go

… who is portrayed by buckskin-clad students who dance at football and basketball games and other athletic events.

And somewhere someone thinks that somehow all those casinos make up for any of this. I still don’t know how anyone can play for the NFL’s Washington’s D.C. team or how newspapers or TV networks can use its name.

On Thursday, two students who portray Illiniwek filed suit seeking to bar the university from “capitulating to the NCAA by announcing the retirement of Chief Illiniwek.”

One quick guess as to which group neither one of these fine human beings is descended from?