Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The Most Tacky ...

As we know all too well, October is filled with a whole range of pink products; many in somewhat questionable taste while others are just plain tacky.

Some cause such a furore that they don't even manage to get off the starting blocks - no mean feat when you consider just what alarming stuff does make it to the market place! That was the fate of the tee-shirt that offended so many people that the charity it was due to 'support' withdrew from the deal. One can only admire the charity concerned for having the courage to admit to their original lack of judgment and then revising their decision.

I think I have just seen my entry for this year's Most Tacky Pink Product. It is a wine glass costing £17.25 with £1 going to a breast cancer charity. It is painted with pink bows and the words 'Mother', 'Daughter', 'Sister', 'Friend', 'Promise'. The product information says "Reason to buy: Fun and Unusual Gift".

I am not of the opinion that all publicity is good publicity - think Gerald Ratner! Neither do I believe that it is necessary to  sink to low levels to raise awareness or cash, or indeed to have fun while doing so - think HIV/AIDS. Indeed much of the pink trivia actually detracts from awareness by giving the impression that breast cancer is no longer a serious disease but a bit of a girly joke and something easily cured.  It also tends to sideline the men diagnosed with breast cancer and does little to raise awareness among men that they could develop the disease.

The truth, as we know, is that while many new treatments can have excellent results and achieve long periods of remission, this is not always the case (see my previous blog post) and the cancer can return at any time. This is not one of the cancers where you can feel safe once you reach the magic five years of disease free survival. Yes, 20 year plus remissions are great when you think of the alternative, but for someone diagnosed at age 40 that would only take them to age 60. Of course there are people who will never relapse or who will die with the disease rather than from it, but there is no way to know whether or not we are one of them until we find out that we're not. So we have to find a way to deal with that uncertainty, incorporate it into our lives and work around it.

So this October my way of dealing with the frightful triviality is to see if I can find the year's most tacky pink product. Tacky is not necessarily downright offensive, it is just, well, tacky. And, while the month isn't finished yet, I think this glass is my entry.

Any other candidates out there?

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