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Regrounding on Komen’s Karate

“I’m thrilled Maura appears to be doing well and feeling strong, but this isn’t about Maura. This is about the fact that  Komen has yet again launched a fundraising campaign that lays blame for cancer deaths squarely at the feet of those who have died. It’s convenient that the dead can’t complain. They can’t come back to talk about their fierce will to live, their end of life struggles, the many treatments they endured, or how much they and their loved ones have lost. The dead are an easy target, and Komen takes a cheap shot.”

“Only the Weak Die of Cancer,” by Lori at regrounding

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March 1, 2015 · 10:08 pm

True and Pleasant, True and Disagreeable

Mark Epstein on saying what is true and pleasant:

Questioned some years after his enlightenment by a local prince about his penchant for delivering bad news, Buddha said that he could no longer abide by the traditional Sanskrit principle of saying only what was true and pleasant. He marched to a different drum, he maintained, and would speak of what was “true and beneficial even if it was disagreeable.” To illustrate his point, he pointed to a baby on the prince’s lap. What if the infant put a stick or a pebble in his mouth? Wouldn’t the prince pull it out even if doing so were likely to cause the baby some distress? Wasn’t that what a doctor sometimes had to do? Not to mention a mother? But he added one caveat. He would speak the beneficial, if disagreeable, truth only if he “knew the time to say it.” As is the case with good therapists today, tact was a major concern of the Buddha. If someone was not ready to acknowledge his or her trauma, he would not force the issue. Each individual had to liberate him- or herself, after all. The best a teacher, even a Buddha, can do is to show them how.

Epstein, Mark (2013-08-15). The Trauma of Everyday Life (p. 13). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.

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September 25, 2014 · 10:53 am

Breast Cancer Action on P$#kwashing

Excerpt from Annie Sartor’s “Pinkwashing on a Grand Scale” at Breast Cancer Action.

Many of the products that fall under the ACC [American Chemistry Council] or Procter & Gamble brand umbrellas are the very same products that are marketed and sold to consumers as pink ribbon products during Breast Cancer Awareness month each October. That’s right! Products containing chemicals that may be harmful to our health sold in the name of supporting women with breast cancer. 


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August 29, 2014 · 11:13 am

Slap on a P$#k Ribbon (excerpt from Barbara Ehrenreich)

An excerpt from Barbara Ehrenreich, Slap on a pink ribbon, call it a day

It’s not just that abortion is deemed a morally trickier issue than mammography. To some extent, pink-ribbon culture has replaced feminism as a focus of female identity and solidarity. When a corporation wants to signal that it’s “woman friendly,” what does it do? It stamps a pink ribbon on its widget and proclaims that some miniscule portion of the profits will go to breast cancer research. I’ve even seen a bottle of Shiraz called “Hope” with a pink ribbon on its label, but no information, alas, on how much you have to drink to achieve the promised effect. When Laura Bush traveled to Saudi Arabia in 2007, what grave issue did she take up with the locals? Not women’s rights (to drive, to go outside without a man, etc.), but “breast cancer awareness.” In the post-feminist United States, issues like rape, domestic violence, and unwanted pregnancy seem to be too edgy for much public discussion, but breast cancer is all apple pie.

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August 29, 2014 · 11:04 am