Sometimes I feel like I’m stuck in an endless sea of propaganda and symbolism. No, I’m not talking about what lunch would be like with Condoleezza Rice. I’m talking about everyday life. Everywhere I go it’s a constant barrage of what I like to call a case of the causes.
Did you ever stop and actually think about how many social causes people are supposedly really up in arms over these days? No. Of course you didn’t. You don’t have to. Fuck educating people or raising financial support, now days, we don’t really need to actually discuss these issues or do anything tangible to support them. Apparently all you really need to do is wear a ribbon. Who knew!?!
And what a crafty affair picking a ribbon has become! There are so many colors to choose from! You’ve got your red ribbon to support AIDS awareness. Pink is used for breast cancer awareness. Orange ribbons signify culture awareness. Yellow is used to promote the support of our troops. Green can be used to raise organ and tissue donor awareness. Tsunami relief supporters are wearing blue ribbons. If you want to raise awareness for domestic abuse, religious tolerance, eating disorders, sarcoidosis, or Alzheimer's, purple would be your color of choice. There are even rainbow pride ribbons to promote gay rights.
BUT WAIT! Tired of having to color coordinate your cause ribbon of choice with your wardrobe or hair? You don’t even have to wear the ribbon anymore! Instead, for the ultimate convenience, they make bumper sticker ribbons now. That’s right! Right next to your PROUD PARENT OF A STEPFORD HIGH SCHOOL HONOR ROLL STUDENT you can proudly display your sticker ribbon of choice, such as the red, white, and blue patriotism awareness sticker ribbon!
Now before all of you start sending me hate mail, or worse yet, send me to exile with all the other political radicals (although I wouldn’t mind meeting Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand, or Susan Sarandon, who I share a birthday with, I’m not going within 12, 000 miles of Alec Baldwin...or any other Baldwin brother for that matter!), please understand something. I’m not trying to be flippant about any of these social causes.
Have you ever cleaned up the sick from someone suffering from a complication because of his or her HIV status? I have. Do you make it your business to get to know people that aren’t carbon copies of yourself? I do. Have you ever written a letter to a man or a woman serving our country, in spite of your own personal feelings regarding the war on terrorism? I have. Have you ever spent your free time sitting in a hospital with an elderly person who is undergoing cancer treatment because, with their advanced dementia, you happen to be one of the few people they seem to remember consistently? I have.
My issue is not with the people who do donate their money and or their time to all of these social concerns. To those people, wear that ribbon with pride if you must. My annoyance lies with certain people who throw on a ribbon or a bumper sticker because they think that it's the politically correct thing to do, with no regard to actually dealing with the issue they are so called “supporting”.
I feel obligated to bitch as loudly as I can in protest about how society seems to think that by having a ribbon or a sticker this somehow implies that they have done an incredible service to the world, like they deserve some sort of award for doing or saying the right thing. Hell, if that were the case, I would be first in line for a humanitarian award just for dealing with some of these fuckwits without being led away in hand cuffs. But do you see me asking for one? No. And I’m not wearing a ribbon for it either (although... if I were, it would be teal and it would promote society ignorance awareness What? Teal is already being used to promote other cancers and substance abuse awareness? Really? Interesting).
It has been said time and time again that actions speak louder than words. When I think about what I have actually contributed to raising awareness and supporting certain social concerns, in my heart I know my accomplishments. And for the record, I don’t need a fucking ribbon to acknowledge that.
Can you say the same?
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