Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Stand Up (and Pose) Against Cancer

Look, I'm as "Against Cancer" as the next person. I'm against Cancer, and potholes, and the use of cellphones on trains and in movie theatres. All that being said, I must say that I'm also against Pointless Posing. Which makes the latest "Stand Up Against Cancer" commercial all the more grating.

The narrator tells us that "its time. It's time to stand up. Stand up. Stand up against Cancer. Stand Up. Stand UP." And sure enough, one sullen, angry-looking character after another stands up and stares at me as if I'M the personification of cancer, and damn it, they've had more than enough of me. I'm going down. Now.

It gets a little silly when the camera focuses on a poolside picnic, and not only does one person Stand Up with the prerequisite Pissed Off Look, but a woman in the background actually gets out of the pool to Stand Up, too. Wow, Cancer is really outnumbered here. Playtime's over, Cancer! You're about to get Schooled!

Naturally the last person to Stand Up is Lance Armstrong, Mr. Cancer Survivor himself. If you are a disease, and Lance Armstrong is standing up to you, you might as well just fall on your sword. It was a nice ride, but it's over for you now. Better call it a day.

What the hell is all this about? How does standing and posing do anything to help eliminate cancer? Has cancer really been such a brutal killer because we just weren't united in fighting it? So all it ever took was enough people to stand, turn, and stare into a camera with a determined, angry look on their faces to force cancer to back down?

Come on. A cure for cancer takes money. More money is needed for research. We need to contribute more personally, and we need to pressure the government to invest more on treatment and finding a cure. A cure for cancer will be found when enough money is spent, not when enough self-satisfied posers stand and look into a camera. Cancer won't be stared down, and all posing does is allow some people to pretend they are doing something about it. It's about as effective as a bumper sticker.

Stop posing. Stop staring. Please. It's just showy and stupid and pointless. Just tell me what I can do to help that doesn't involve me looking into a camera looking as if I've had a pout surgically attached to my face.