When celebrities get involved with charity causes, be prepared to buy something after having it shilled to you — but have we sunk so low with the celebrity cause that we are now considered children in need of Pied Piping into the River for the drowning of our national sorrows?  You can’t throw a rock in the air today without it coming down and hitting an advertisement on a Viacom network — like MTV and VH1 — and not be smashed in the face with celebrity pleadings for “StandUp2Cancer.org.”

StandUp2Cancer wants your money to work on finding a way to beat cancer.

However, I am confused by the baby phrase “standing up” to cancer — as if the vicious killer of people and the destroyer of families is somehow just a schoolyard bully in need of staring down.

The cutesy, and childish, “Text Speak” logo doesn’t help make this a serious call to arms:

Why aren’t we “going nuclear” on cancer?  Why not “Smash and Kill” cancer?  How about his slogan: “Beat Cancer Like You Haven’t Yanked Your Junk in a Month!”

But, no.  Rob Lowe and other celebrities involved with the cause want us to just “stand up” to cancer as if we’ve been sitting down and having tea with cancer all this time while smiling and pretending it wasn’t stinking up the room.

What’s the next infantilized celebrity faux endorsement?  “Play Nice with Anorexia?”  “Don’t Forget to Tell off Alzheimer’s?”  “Tie Your Shoelaces Before You Go Outside to Play with Sepsis!”

The silliest — and most unfortunate — attempt at the ultimate “feel good” moment on StandUp2Cancer.org is the opportunity for you to send a star into the sky for someone recently diagnosed with cancer… but not for free… it’ll cost you a dollar.  Oh, there’s nothing like pretending and wishing on the heavens to help us stand up to that naughty cancer diagnosis.

I am all for raising money for charity — but we need to do the fund raising with a serious intention and not an infantilizing of the real and present danger diseases cause us all right now in our everyday lives.

Cancer research is already one of the best funded diseases — and I understand StandUp2Cancer wants in on that distribution-of-wealth-by-disease.

In the USA alone, the National Cancer Institute spent $4.8 billion in 2008 — so we already have a strong and well-funded effort to “prevent and cure” cancer — and the more adult we are about the effort, the faster we can realistically deal with an ancient disease that sometimes gets stronger even as it weakens.


  1. The silliness never ends with the celebrity shilling. The walks, the ribbons, etc – but nobody talks about prevention as the best cure. Prevention doesn’t come with celebrity endorsements.

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