I like October. My birthday is in it, and so is Halloween, clearly the best holiday of the year. Like every single month, it is something awareness month. The awareness I am supposed to be experiencing is more like a pukey feeling in my gut than an enlightening experience.
First up is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Sounds pretty good in theory, but it is really more like the Komen Foundation Awareness Month. All this pink shit everywhere really irks me, and it should irk you too. The book (and now documentary, available on netflix instant) Pink Ribbons, Inc. has shed some light on how little Komen actually does to help women with breast cancer. Turns out the vast majority of the research they sponsor is for developing treatment drugs rather than prevention or general understanding of a complex disease (so in other words its a big fat check to the pharmaceutical industry, which seems to have serious and ongoing problems with their research ethics). Turns out all this "for the cure" talk is pretty empty too, because breast cancer is extremely complicated and not well understood. Its hard to find a cure for something that is not yet well understood. Prevention research (which is vitally important in a disease that has increased dramatically in prevalence over the last 50 years) is threatening to all the companies that plaster pink all over their stuff to sell more of it, so Komen doesn't help with that. It may be that certain chemical compounds and consumer products are what caused the increase in breast cancer- in fact, a lot of cosmetics and other substances have been found to be carcinogenic but are totally legal to sell anyway. Companies selling toxic shit to women love Komen (avon and revlon come to mind). The most infamous example is the yoplait yogurt lid initiative, where the actual yogurt inside contained substances linked specifically to breast cancer. Komen didn't do jack shit to fix that, Think Before You Pink did, despite having much less publicity and money. Komen exists to service huge multinational corporations, both with partnership deals that move product and with positive PR associations with consumers. Breast cancer is seen as a 'safe' disease, one that attracts no controversy as a cause to support. Other diseases like AIDS and lung cancer aren't so lucky. The documentary film talked with actual women with breast cancer and most were pretty miffed at how their horrible, deadly disease was presented on commercials and promotional materials from Komen.
Next up is Pit Bull Awareness Month. God damn, am I ever aware of pit bulls. Its hard not to be after last month. A record nine americans were killed by dogs between September 1st and October 2nd, when the average has held at about one fatality every two to three weeks for the previous couple of years. Six of the deaths were caused by pit bulls (it may actually be seven, with DNA tests pending on one of the dogs involved). The other killer dogs for the month were rottweilers and cane corsos (a type of dog that has been bred for blood sports, just like pit bulls). You'll have to scroll through the rest of the years victims to get to september/october, but this list is the most comprehensive and concise reference available, with links to the original news stories for those who want to verify the facts for themselves. One of the people who died was a dog rescuer with years of experience with pit bulls who was killed in her own home by her own pits. She joins two other rescuers killed by their fighting dogs in the past year or so. I'm sure while she was alive she was spreading the gospel of "its all in how you raise them" and "they are just like any other kind of dog!" (of course people who actually study canine behavior think this shit is nonsense). Pit bull advocates don't want people to actually be aware of the problems that pit bulls cause in communities, they want you to be aware of all their dumbass slogans about why pit bulls are great. They want you to be aware of their propaganda so that they don't have to deal with the hassle of having their fighting dogs legislated. If someone is posting this reality-denying bullshit on your facebook page or emailing you nonsense, I urge you to make them aware of what medical professionals think about treating a fighting dog like you would any other sort of canine.