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It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which means it’s time for my annual rant against the Susan G. Komen Foundation. You literally can’t be unaware of them, because their marketing machine is so unrelenting it would make Steve Jobs blush. And it’s all in the name of “awareness”. As if anyone has ever watched an athlete swing a pink bat and said “Gosh, what’s that for? It’s because of WHAT? Cancer, you say? What’s that? Oh….oh, wow, and it can happen in breasts, too? THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING.”

No. It’s never happened, and never will. The only awareness that’s happening there is brand awareness, albeit under an altruistic guise. It’s a way for people to pat themselves on the back for purchasing Official Cancer© Brand Merchandise. (And that’s not even a comedic exaggeration because the Komen Foundation will sue any other charity that uses a pink ribbon or the phrase “for the cure” or anything close to it.) Meanwhile, the foundation receives tens of millions of dollars a year, of which 21% goes to cancer research. The rest funnels back into more pointless marketing, more corporate sponsorships which benefit said corporations more than anyone else, and the foundation heads.

Yes, I know 21% is still a lot better than 0%, but here’s a radical idea: if you want to give money to cancer research, give money to cancer research. As in most things the middle man has no compelling reason to be there. Spend 10 minutes and half a brain cell researching charities and where your money will be going. Don’t trust a snappy ad campaign to do your work for you. It’s really not difficult, people. And it will mean a whole hell of a lot more than slapping another goddamn pink ribbon on another worthless goddamn trinket.


(Addendum: I lost a pretty awesome aunt to breast cancer. I rant because I care.)

Out of Breath

In a tiny hotel room in Brooklyn, I lost the person who gave me purpose, the receptacle into which I poured more than I ever knew I had. The future stretches forward as an impassable wasteland, all Caligari angles and Escher pathways. There is no end, no oasis in sight. 

My lungs empty and never seem to fill again. 

I walk. In a McDonald’s restroom I meet a friendly vagrant who defends me against another man annoyed that I’m taking too long. This small kindness should affirm something in me but I feel nothing. I thank him anyway.

From a cafe window I watch a man walk a small, crippled dog. Its hind legs are suspended by a walker. I watch as they twitch in tandem with the rest, but never touch solid ground. I understand how the dog feels.

I try to write, but I can focus on nothing but the feedback loop of broken promises, shattered dreams and my own squandered potential. 

My bus departs shortly. I will myself out onto the streets as night falls on New York. She is in the shadows cast by indifferent towers. She is in the neon lights shining soullessly as rhinestones. I shut my eyes to the world, and my lungs fill again. 

I have remembered to breathe, remembered that my breath is my own, under my control, to do with as I like. 

It’s not much, but it’s a start.

I adjust my baggage, and I walk.

animalstalkinginallcaps:

BECAUSE, ROGER! BECAUSE THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS ‘FEMALE PRIVILEGE’ IN THIS SOCIETY! WHAT YOU’RE THINKING OF IS WHAT WE CALL ‘BENEVOLENT SEXISM’ BECAUSE IT EXISTS ONLY WITHIN THE ESTABLISHED FRAMEWORK OF AN ALREADY CORRUPT PATRIARCHAL SYSTEM. BEING REWARDED FOR NOT SWIMMING AGAINST THE CURRENT IS NOT THE SAME THING. THE EXISTENCE OF A REWARD ISN’T PROOF OF PRIVILEGE BUT RATHER A MEANS FOR THE GREATER NARRATIVE OF SEXISM TO PERPETUATE ITSELF BY OFFERING CRUMBS FROM A LARGER MEAL. INSTITUTIONAL POWER IS STILL WHAT YOUR GENDER HOLDS OVER US IN ALL ASPECTS OF DAILY LIFE, AND UNTIL THOSE WALLS ARE LEVELED THE THINGS YOU SEE AS THE ‘BENEFITS’ OF BEING A WOMAN ARE ONLY FEATHERED SHACKLES!

SO I SHOULDN’T HOLD THE DOOR OPEN FOR YOU, IS WHAT YOU’RE SAYING.

YES! NO! I DON’T KNOW!


[04:13] Me: so did you watch the retarded music video I sent you
[04:13] Her: yes
[04:13] Her: i did
[04:13] Me: I’m kind of offended by the fact that I don’t find it offensive
[04:13] Her: huh
[04:13] Me: it’s such an utterly transparent attempt to co opt “hipster” style and whatnot
[04:13] Me: but with more implied  sluttiness
[04:13] Her: you are so horny its like ridic
[04:14] Me: hi I’m a male nice to meet you

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