April 03, 2010

Tie a colored ribbon...cut off your circulation

In case you were wondering what to get me while I'm sick, here's a list of links to things I do not want: No T-shirts, no mugs, no hats, no pins, no rubber bracelets. I don't need words on my chest to tell the world that cancer sucks. This is not exactly breaking news, folks.

Pick a ribbon, any ribbon, and choke on it. When my friend Dona was dying, the last thing she wanted to see was any item marketed in the pink ribbon factory. What she wanted to do was strangle the next person who showed up with one of those in-solidarity ribbons.

Meanwhile, the Web sites below have conflicting colors: is lymphoma lime green or is it red? Remember when red was AIDS awareness? Apart from Tony Orlando's song, that was the first ribbon, the one that wasn't commercialized -- and now, it isn't even listed as a disease.





If there's an illness, or some other life-event trauma, the ribbon people have you covered. My personal favorite is the lace ribbon for osteoporosis. If only it came in a thinner size than the others, to show not only the lack of bone density but the decrease in diameter of the bones, it would be just perfect.

What I'm really waiting for is the walk for osteoporosis. That's about the only disease for which walking is recommended to keep bones in strong working order.

Walk for breast cancer, lymphoma, AIDS: how does that help any cancer research? Just send in the damn check and stay home. Do something fun while you can -- before you go Googling the Internet to see which ribbon has your name on it.

The marketing people have gone overboard on this theme. They started out on Prednisone, one of the components of my chemo, and moved up to the big stuff, the steroids that may not have made it to the house that [Babe] Ruth built -- Yankee Stadium, 1923 -- but are probably common in the bloodstream of ball players who compete in its replacement, opened last year.

Tomorrow is opening day for major league baseball. I don't know how I came upon this bit of useless information, but all it means to me is there's another place I can't go, in my immunocompromised state.

No stadiums for me, no matter who build them or who decided that naming the Met's new stadium "Citifield" was a good idea. Last week I read that the Feds not only own more than 25% of the bank stock, but it will be sold this at an what would be an $8 billion profit today.

That's TARP for you -- your tax dollars at work. Wonder if the U.S. government had a stake in how the Mets play?

I don't know what color ribbon goes with bank-in-distress, but if it's green, I'll bet there are a number of bank execs around whose neck that ribbon would fit perfectly. Perhaps former bank execs -- someone must have gotten fired when the bank tanked, even if for window dressing.

Still, if you're looking for a few necks around which to tie ribbons, the bodies are probably available by name in The Wall Street Journal. Or, wait: do those ribbons come in necktie form?

Which is worse in our society? A broken banking system or no cure for cancer? Judging from how readily the U.S. bailed out the banks vs. how difficult it is to get funding from the N.I.H., it doesn't look like public health has a fighting chance.

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