Tag Archive: hypocrisy

menacing-bearded-man-angryNote: Comments are mine, unedited, and at times… stream of conscious. Not everything is researched as well as it could be. A lot is based on impression and what I have seen. So I expect people to complain about minutiae more than the spirit behind this posting. I do welcome ALL comments. I will respond to as many as I can. I will potentially disagree… or I may say, quite frankly… I didn’t see it that way. But I have a strong feeling on this and I need to put it out there, even if nobody reads it.

It is November, or as several misguided people are calling it Movember.

From Wikipedia: Movember (a portmanteau from moustache and “November”) is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer and other male cancers, and associated charities. The Movember Foundation runs the Movember charity event, housed at Movember.com. The goal of Movember is to “change the face of men’s health.”

I appreciate the fact that an organisation has decided to be YA (yet another) point of donation for Cancer research. Granted, like many of these organisations of late there are several immediate issues.

  1. Operating costs temper the amount that goes for research The American Cancer Society took in just shy of 1 (B) Billion dollars; over 25% went back into Management and Fund Raising.
  2. The average participant is in it for the coolness factor and not for the donation. This seems like an over generalisation but during this month, walk around your office. See how many men are growing their moustaches and ask them about it. How many really want to talk about Cancer? How many have made a donation? You may be upset to find out. And I’ve done this in past offices. The numbers are worse than some of the charities.
  3. We’ll get back to how this is a spin-off of Breast cancer month and my issues with that.
  4. And the thing that pisses me off more than anything about Movember

What kind of an ass thinks the best way to gain awareness for Cancer is to GROW hair?!?!

In the case of Movember, they are very clear about the rules (but not about what the Administrative expenses are.)

  1. Once signed up a “Mo Bro” must begin the 1st with a clean-shaven face.
  2. For the entire month each “Mo Bro” must grow and groom a moustache
  3. Don’t fake it. No beards, no goatees, no fake moustaches
  4. Use the power of the Moustache to create conversations about men’s health and to raise funds for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health.
  5. Each “Mo Bro” must conduct himself like a true gentleman…

Let’s start with the spectacle of charity.
In Judaism Maimonides points out that one of the highest forms of charity is:

“…to give to the poor without knowing to whom one gives, and without the recipient knowing from who he received. For this is performing a mitzvah solely for the sake of Heaven. This is like the “anonymous fund” that was in the Holy Temple. There the righteous gave in secret, and the good poor profited in secret. Giving to a charity fund is similar to this mode of charity, though one should not contribute to a charity fund unless one knows that the person appointed over the fund is trustworthy and wise and a proper administrator, like Rabbi Chananyah ben Teradyon.”

Of course not everyone is Jewish, and (at least Orthodox) Jews aren’t supposed to shave… So I guess the attitude of not making spectacle really doesn’t hold water for most. However, this pervasive attitude towards, “Show me something in support” tends to show up as “Wear Jeans if you support, foo” in High Schools. So, whoever didn’t get the memo and wore jeans has just been labeled as ‘in support.’ And when that is “Teach the Christian Bible in our school” maybe you would have preferred not to.

But lets talk about the growing of hair for raising awareness for Cancer patients. Simply, it misses the boat. 100%. How many people have I seen die from cancer? One. How many people have I seen die from cancer? One TOO MANY. Let me tell you… growing hair and conducting themselves like true gentlemen? It’s not on their list. If you want to raise the topic of cancer… let’s shave everything. Including body hair. (And as a very furry man, I know what that would entail) And that means all of it. Or if you like, leave a few clumps. Then try reducing your diet down to about 200 calories a day. People see the happy, fun side of Cancer… Except when people talk about a lost loved one… But those are just stories. It can’t be as bad as they make it out to be.

One of the most supportive things I have seen for a recovering cancer patient is when friends and family shave their heads in support. This isn’t for discussion. This is to show the human being recovering person that they are loved, and should not feel embarrassed or ashamed. Because as corny as it sounds, love and support go further in recovery than ostracisation and embarrassment.

Cancer is a disease. Not a theme. Many of these people have lost parts of themselves in the hopes that they won’t lose more… like their lives. They pray for the words ‘benign’ and ‘remission’. But in the meantime as “Bro’s” once again stand up and say ‘what about us. We’re downtrodden too.’ Lest we forget Breast Cancer; or what has become the pink ribbon brand that far too many refer to as “Save the Boobies”

But this time, instead of being told to grow hair, now we are painting the disease in Pepto-Bismo pink. (I suppose at least this is closer to the cause because Pepto is designed to curb vomiting which for the cancer patient is pretty much the norm. Honestly, if you want a good colour, perhaps vomit olive and beige might be best. But that’s not exactly pretty and of course this isn’t women’s health; it’s more about ‘the pretty.’ (By the way, pink ribbons… stolen from a woman in 1979 who (inspired by the Tony Orlando song) tied ribbons around trees in the hopes that she would see her husband again who had been taken hostage in Iran. So, the next time you see a ribbon… it originally meant, “will I see you again?”

The ribbon isn’t the problem so much as “Once again” it’s using pink and branding the movement, not helping the women who are suffering, losing so much, and dying. Breast cancer awareness is more about getting people talking about Breast cancer than doing something about it and from a high percentage of actual people suffering from Cancer; it’s really not about their welfare. There are some excellent articles
– Wikipedia’s reference on “Breast Cancer Culture” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breast_cancer_awareness#Breast_cancer_culture
– Jezebel.com – Save the women not the Boobies http://jezebel.com/5953952/save-the-women-not-the-boobies
– Jezebel.com – The NFL’s Campaign Against Breast Cancer is a Total Scam http://jezebel.com/5950971/the-nfls-campaign-against-breast-cancer-is-a-total-scam?tag=breast-intentions

For as much as a man may be embarrassed to have to be bald. Women are not afforded the same social grace to be a recovering victim of cancer. Women are encouraged to hide behind wigs because the appearance is more important than the educating of others. And the worst part of all are the throngs of people so insistent on saving the boobies, that the numbers of people who a repulsed or push away a woman who has had to lose a breast. It was said that a fetish is having something one needs to be aroused. It is a sad concept to know the number of people who have breast fetishes.

Do I speak for any person who suffers from any cancer? No. Do I have any idea what it’s like to suffer from Cancer? No. But what I will do is see through the morass of pathos avoiding commercialism and put my money and time where it will do the most good.

So this year as you put away your pink… In Pittsburgh, there is a fountain downtown at Gateway Center where the water is tinted pink. I often joke that the irony is that the squirrels are likely getting cancer from the dyes. As you trade in your pink for moustache wax…

Stop, and consider just donating the money, spending time helping someone who is suffering or recovering from Cancer. And make the conversation about the people and the disease… and not about seeing pink-soled cleats, buying overpriced merchandise that donates 10 cents on the dollar, or how handlebars really will impress the gals.

I for one… will not be shaving for Movember. But I will shave for a loved one, a friend, or coworker, or just someone who needs the support and kinship. I am fortunate… I grow a full beard in 3 days. I do not have breasts; I have a working prostate and working testicles. There are others who have so much beyond what they are losing or have lost. Make them see what is left that is fortunate so that they don’t spend time suffering.


Dearest Chris… I gladly came to you in the hospital even though at the time the sight of dying scared me nearly to paralysis. At your service I cried for at least 15 minutes. I loved you in my heart more that I could ever communicate and more than you’d ever believe. I see your smile in my heart sometimes when I look in the eyes of my son who carries your name in remembrance.

I wish you’d had the medical coverage and care that would have detected this before it was too late. I’m glad that so many of your friends were around to keep a smile on your face for as long as we could. The number of people who shaved their heads for you; the number of clergy that you taught and guided who wanted to be the one to deliver you communion from masses.

I miss you so much.

For those of you outside Seattle, you may have missed this season’s “World Crisis”

So a recap.

A Rabbi requested a Menorah (that the local Jewish league would pay for) be added to the Christmas Tree display at SeaTac airport. For 2 months he was given the run around and blown off. It would be too complicated to put a Menorah up. The Rabbi’s lawyer then brought up the fact that there was a potential for lawsuit over this. Rather than opening talks, the airport quickly stripped the trees down crying lawsuit. As a result local Jewish league began getting hate mail and abusive calls and threats from angry residents. The Rabbi finally stated he wouldn’t file suit and the trees came back. SeaTac will examine their policy after the first of the year (read: after the ‘holiday season’… read “Rabbi loses”)

Now… here are some of the reasons this whole affair has me really oiked off.

First: The stupidity of the people towards the Jewish community.

The following comments have actually been made by the local media:
Christmas Trees aren’t religious symbols.(Thus the sudden push to call them holiday trees) ((And don’t get me started on the symbolic origin of said Yule items))
I’ll put this quite honestly. If you want to represent the season… then do it with snowflakes, coloured lights, and presents. Maybe some photographs of some rather unethical behavior towards your fellow man inside malls. Otherwise, you are representing a subset of our societies religious observances (no matter how far the symbols may actually have travelled from the actual holiday celebrated)

Threatening to sue over this issue during this time of the year misses the whole spirit of Christmas
You know.. with this one… I was absolutely waiting for some moron in the media to finally pronounce that the Rabbi had lost sight of what it meant to be a “Good Christian”… Granted style of comment always amuses me because 99+% of the time it comes from someone who not only isn’t one but wouldn’t know a “Good Christian” if he blessed him on the leg. I know some very wonderful Christians and even they would get riled up over the stupidity of this.

Pushing back against the tradition misses the spirit of the holiday
Were I not in Washington state where I’d be committing a felony for betting online, I’d offer money that 90+% of the non-Jewish media has no idea what the whole idea of Chanukkah (I’m in a pi&#y mood, don’t argue the spelling) is even about. Just a note here, Hannukahh is a holiday commemorating a miracle to help preserve faith in the eyes of a time when others were out to roll over the Jewish faith and leave them without a way to observe their beliefs. (hmmn, let’s think about that in context)

Finally on this issue… The fact that everyone got angry at their fellow man for wanting to be heard in a season of celebration rather than at the Airport administrators for waffling and not doing anything beyond inciting anger… strikes me as ‘most people missing the spirit of the holiday’

But lest you think I’m just sticking up for the religion I was brought up with… there is yet more OIKAGE.

I’m really oiked at how this was handled by the Rabbi and especially his idiot lawyer.

Listening to the Lawyer interviewed directly, I’ve never heard a wash of bad stereotype, avoiding the issue, legalese bul#@hit in my life. This guy couldn’t answer a question directly. Are you suing? “Let me explain the situation… the holiday…”
Did you threaten a lawsuit? “You’re not letting me explain the situation… we came to ”

Repeatedly the lawyer explained that he’d drawn up papers for a lawsuit to show the airport the potential of the situation.

No offense… Wait.. No. Complete offense meant here. When a lawyer comes up to you and says, “Here’s what a lawsuit I’m researching from us will look like”… You’re threatening a lawsuit.

The rabbi was no better on this issue.

The Rabbi performed the ultimate backpedal. In an interview he acquiesced that “Christmas trees” aren’t religious icons and neither are menorahs… That’s right… A Rabbi (Read: Religious leader in a religious community) would like to add a symbol from his faith’s holiday in the holiday season that isn’t really a religious symbol, next to the trees representing Christmas.. which aren’t really symbols of a religious holiday.

WHAT THE F&#*??!?

Is this where Judaism has gone? Double speaking their religion with the same finesse as a Falwell or other Televangelist. If I loop the truth in double speak it’s all okay now? Political Correctness be thou hallowed?

Okay folks really simple like. TREES are up for CHRISTMAS. Because it sure as heck isn’t the Buddhists complaining when they get taken down. MENORAHS are for CHANUKKAH. Because most non Jews don’t know what it means. They are icons of your (ir)respective religious holidays. Grow some balls and admit it. You’re supposed to be a religious leader. Be one.

Then the Jewish league told it’s local synagogues to step up security due to threats received because of the ‘non-lawsuit-threat-of-no-action-maybe-causing-the-not-really-christian-trees-go-away’… which was okay.. because the city hadn’t really seen any deadly violence toward the Jewish community for at least 4 months

Well, with all this Christmas Spirit of loving one’s neighbor, the Rabbi said officially, “No, there will be no suit”

The Airport which had made the statement that putting up a menorah would be far to complicated… quickly replaced the trees that they removed. Because we know that 10 trees are far easier to remove and replace than one candelabra.

What really oiks me off about the situation was that… despite a grinch like demeanor on this whole thing; (and if you watch ‘How I met your mother’ I revel in being a Grinch today)… the Rabbi should have sued.

Now to be honest… I am a quiet little anarchist. I can say that with a straight face because any one of those three terms would get people laughing at me, but together they are true.

I would love to see a lawsuit brought by one major religion against one state institution in the name of the first phrase of the first amendment. If it were the Randians, or the Scientologists, or {pick your own deity} help us the Moslems… the state would really hem and haw. But despite whatever you consider about the Jews. They are a real, religious organization. If they wanted to stand up and protest 1st amendment violations… the truth is… they’d win. I’m not saying the others aren’t. I’m saying that U.S. society recognizes Christi-olicism, Jewdaic Inheritance, and now begrudgingly is acknowledging that Hinduism/Moslem is practiced by people other than extremists. (This latter fact really is screwing up the government’s propaganda campaign to support our involvement in someone else’s civil war… but that’s not the point of this post). Anyone who’s pagan… well, they still need to wait their turn.

But the real reason I’d love to see that.. is because of the immediate chaos that would cause. Because the one thing the gov’t has so dearly tried to avoid (and Arlington Cemetary is the place the battle is being quietly fought) is the inrush of religions claiming legitimacy.

I want to see this thing go to lawsuit so that either the “Christmas based” iconography has to be struck (which I really don’t want) OR any religious icon MUST be displayed regardless of religion. See I want to see a day where the seasonal affectations come out and someone has put out a Baphomet, or a Green Man (in it’s proper season), or even a Hot Dog on Friday.

Religious protection is only religious protection if we really want to protect people believing in what they believe in… regardless if we believe in it or practice it ourselves. Otherwise, personally, I think we’re being more destructive in the name of freedom than constructive.

A Pax on you in this season.