Saturday, November 17, 2012

Crap Documentary: Pink Ribbons Inc

With the month of pink ribbon guilting behind us, my wife wanted to watch the Netflix documentary called "Pink Ribbons Inc". We turned it on and within 20 mins had soured on it. I expected the documentary to explain how companies that were part of the pink ribbon campaign were using it to boost sales or that pink ribbon merchandisers were making bucks and not kicking the money to research. Nope. It was a different pitch. The documentary managed to not give any props to the pink crusade for raising awareness and making people talk about a disease that affects mostly women. They just tore into pink from a feminist standpoint and wove a weird conspiracy theory about the companies that push the pink message. They back away from it a bit to reminisce about the glory days of marching in the '80s (when they blamed the environment for causing breast cancer), and constantly push the need for more research on environmental factors as a cause of breast cancer. This documentary is environmental propaganda in order to shift the focus of the public (especially women) to fund research for environmental causes that will then be used in class action lawsuits against corporations.

Watch this movie if you want to hear rambling monologues by people you wouldn't trust with your kids. I do agree that copanies use pink to reach out to customers or to boost their image, but it's better to use breast cancer awareness than to do nothing at all. These women will never be happy. One such social critic interviewed is Barbara Ehrenreich, the socialist who wrote 'Nickel and Dimed', which was celebrated by the media for how poor people get screwed but was then countered in another book by a 22 year old with some work ethic. There is a surgeon who can't stop talking with her hands and a surprised look on her face who states incredibly wild things like how cancer might even be caused by a virus. No one discusses genetic factors, which seem to be a huge cause of cancer. No one discusses how the incidence rate of breast cancer has correlated to the rise of obesity in American women. No, because those are factors you either can't change or are your own fault. This documentary wants you to focus on how the environment and evil companies are giving you cancer.

There is a sequence where they discuss how companies create chemicals used that might be linked to cancer (everything causes cancer now) but also create the treatments for cancer. They make money by giving you cancer then treating it???? Conspiracy! Then they back off and say they wish it were a conspiracy, but it can't be. It's just capitalism at work, that old, evil capitalism. You can feel the anger at using pink from these aging feminists. The movie director even cloaks it by using points from women who have stage 4 cancer to describe how it makes them feel. There are some insightful comments from those women, and hoenstly, just talking to them is more realistic than anything else in the film.

As I watched this film, a different conspiracy dawned on me. The doc mentions how the fundraising money does go to research and other good cancer related things, but not enough to what they want. They are bitching about where the money is going. They want the money to go to their preferred research. This si the propaganda motive behind the documentary. What will that research be used for? If it were used to end the usage of those chemicals or enviro BS that they can maybe link some causation of cancer to, it would be nice to end the use of those chemicals. I doubt it. We know how that research would be used. If research could plausibly (and in modern courts it doesn't need much) shown to link breast cancer to chemicals used by big corporations, we'll see newspaper articles about this research. After the newspaper articles, there will be outrage because this affects your mom, your wife, your sister. After public opinion even knows of this link, we'll see lawyers using the research as the basis for a class action lawsuit (or ten) against these corporations. Maybe they can put some crying women with breast cancer and bald heads on the witness stand. They'll rake in millions for the victims, and tah-dah, lawyers will get millions as their cut. Ask Dow Chemical how they felt after the silicone breast cancer lawsuits of the '90s based on crap science that cosat them millions... only to see silicone approved a decade later for use again in implants. Lawyers got paid. This will be another example of lawyers using the forces of academia, the media and science to suck money from a productive sector of the economy: industrial chemical and plastics manufacturers.

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