Enough Already

>> Tuesday, July 28, 2009

As a contrast to the gravity of yesterday's post, I have to ask, "What the heck is going on?"

I got an email from a favorite beading place, Fire Mountain Gems, explaining the many different "Awareness Ribbons" - and they gave us a guide. That includes twenty-four different ribbons to help us designate "awareness".

Twenty. Four.

Am I the only one that thinks that's ridiculous? And that's not the end of the silliness. Get a load of this ribbon, "light blue," for instance. There are forty-five potential causes this ribbon can be promoting awareness for from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) to Water Safety. How would one have any real clue what the ribbon was for just by looking? How does that raise awareness of YOUR topic.

Or this lovely "periwinkle" ribbon that signifies eating disorders, pulmonary hypertension, esophageal or stomach cancer, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Spastic Colon. Nice combo for a lovely color, but I defy you to tell at a glance whether someone is dealing with eating disorders or stomach cancer. Or tell it apart from the "purple ribbon" (which has sixteen different meanings).

And some of these are just silly. Like this "brown ribbon" that manages to cover both tobacco issues and colorectal cancer. I know it seems perfectly reasonable to have a ribbon that reminds us of excrement but I'm not sure I want to think that when I'm getting dressed in the morning.

Let's not forget the dual use ones, that happen to have two colors, like the "pink/blue" ribbon which is supposed to indicate pregnancy, loss of an infant, SIDS and male breast cancer. Terrific. Don't know whether to congratulate someone or commiserate with her loss. Who thinks up this stuff. Blue/pink? Why not androgeny?

My thought on this is that, with eleventy-five definitions for more than twenty ribbon colors, how do these ribbons tell us anything? Do they even mean anything any more?

Perhaps we need a new hobby.


  • flit

    and then there are the wrist bands... I read an article about purple being for a StopComplaining campaign.

    I don't know what glow in the dark wrist bands are supposed to signify - but they are the only ones I'm into :)

  • Stephanie B

    I didn't see a glow in the dark ribbon, but it's only a matter of time.

  • Jeff King

    i just don't get it...
    im with you that's ridiculous

  • Relax Max

    They don't mean anything anymore. Maybe the yellow ribbon and the pink ribbon. Too many to remember. I give you a blue ribbon for this post. Remember "Meet the Fockers" where the guy got a ribbon for coming in ninth place? Heh.

    But that's another post. :)

  • Valerie David

    Oh wow. I was just thinking about this the other day, when I was driving behind a mini-van that had four different ribbons on their back door. I had no idea what any of them meant, except maybe that they were for different parts of the military.

    But I had no idea there were SO many of them. Maybe their thought is that if you're wearing a ribbon, someone will ask you about it, and then you can raise awareness by explaining it to them? They may be counting more on questions than on instantly recognizable issues, but I think after they've seen a thousand ribbons, people probably stop asking.

  • The Mother

    I think it's stupid. Never wore a ribbon or a rubber wrist band. Not going to start.

  • Quadmama

    I think most people recognize yellow, red and pink, but after that it's all a bit fuzzy. Now everyone wears wrist bands and if you're not wearing a yellow one I have no idea what you're supporting.

  • Stephanie B

    Wristbands? Now I gotta wear wristbands?

  • Doctor Faustroll

    I used to provide AADL cards for people who felt put upon by politically correct actions back in the eighties. It was about the same time Paul Fericano and I were selling Yossarian Universal Press Service credentials to anyone with 10 bucks and a passport photo. I still use mine from time to time to get into films for free as reviewer. I think Paul is still selling those cards, despite his involvement with taking money from the Archdiocese in San Francisco for getting buttfucked in seminary.

    Some people just don't get it.

    I always gave the Asshole Anti-Defamation League cards away for free, but hell, I never got buttfucked in the seminary, so I can't really complain about Paul turning his pain into a revenue stream.

    I always figured those ribbons got people discounts at Wendy's and such. Are you saying there is some hidden motive that generates large sums of income for Bernie Madoff types?

    I would be stunned if that were true.

    I personally hate the pink ribbons and the entire Susan G. Komen horseshit. I was invited to attend a walk 20 years ago and was turned away because I had balls.

    The woman I was invited by died of breast cancer four or five years later. I still remember her embarrassment when I was turned away, suspecting that I would turn to a life of drug abuse and alcoholism, as if I needed an excuse.

    I keep a Rush Hindenberg Limbaugh tie wrapped around my insignificant penis, by the way, if anyone is interested in loosening me up.

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