The LanceBand Trend
August 31, 2004

A reader emailed me once and said that Lance Armstrong was a virtual God in her hometown city of Austin, Texas. I must preface this by saying I'm not hatin' on Lance and all his celebrity splendor. I can't even knock the fact that he overcame huge setbacks healthwise to be this crazy strong, insane rock of multiple Tour-de-France-winning flesh. It's a shame his marriage suffered, but I'll keep my mouth off of that.

I've lost many family members and friends to cancer so don't tell me I'm being insensitive when I say I CAN'T STAND THE LANCE ARMSTRONG FOUNDATION YELLOW WRISTBAND and if I see one more I may be tempted to rip it off the wearer's wrist. My it feels good to have a place to vent these pent up feelings (advertisement: get a blog, it feels good).

I've written before about my lack of appreciation for certain organizations I call "Tools of the 21st Century". I included the American Cancer Society (one of the most wealthy organizations) as one of them. I don't trust organizations who set out to find cures to diseases and illness. If you ask me, it's a recipe for shady disaster. That would make our dear buff bicyclist's effort also known as the Lance Armstrong Foundation no different. In an effort to raise funds for various cancer efforts, one can purchase the widely popular "Lance Band" for only $1. In fact, the bands are so popular, they're currently on back order.

Now here's where I think fundraising gets scary. These things have become an all-out fashion trend! How do I know? Well aside from the fact that I saw a racoon wearing one yesterday, I have this person in my life who thinks he's way cooler than me and stands about one entire foot taller than I that introduced me to the latest wrist rave in the school hallway. He's my 16-year-old brother, and he knows what he's talking about. Ambra's sad observation: you know you're getting old when your younger brother is letting you in on the trends. I've officially lost my prowess.

Maybe I'm not being sensible, and yes I'm all for finding a cure for cancer and helping better the lives of those suffering with it. I am however, sometimes prone to be suspicious that we've found secretly found a cure already, and if we haven't, although I'm not a gambler, I'd be willing to wager my brother's latest pair of hot sneakers (or tennis shoes for you civilized types) that the cure isn't in all this fancy shmancy technology, but rather in plantlife on the untapped Earth.

Down with trendy fundraising!

Posted by Ambra at August 31, 2004 1:36 AM in Culture
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Have noted a quiet but real competition among Worthy Causes in recent years. AIDS vs. Breast Cancer vs. Other Cancers. Depending on slickness of ads, number of charity runs/marathons/bikeathons arranged by organizers, guilt-inducing sales pitches, celebrity spokespersons.
All very nice and necessary, thank you very much. But all in the traditional American spirit of competition- My Cause Is More Worthy Than Yours.

*chuckles to self*

Ambra, grrl...*shakes head*...HARSH!

We all know there are some fundraising hucksters out there but that doesn't mean we should write off the big ones just because they are big.

Sure, you can beat the kneecaps off of the ones run by Dionne Warwick, and moonbats like Greenpeace, but there are tons of fundraising types who aren't snake oil salesmen.

That is like the Socialist/Lib practice of maligning succesful companies because they are big.

I understand your skepticism. But I think you may want to reconsider this one.

you. are. an. IDIOT! Seriously. So so so stupid.

" I can't even knock the fact that he overcame huge setbacks healthwise to be this crazy strong, insane rock of multiple Tour-de-France-winning flesh"

And then later you say how many people you've lost to cancer or whatever... LANCE OVERCAME HENIOUS CANCER IN HIS MID-TWENTIES. Really, you are the biggest idiot alive. To say that a man who SURVIVES cancer can't start a CHARITY FOUNDATION to support research for HIS ILLNESS and the illness of so many other... I swear to God... get off the internet.

Uh, Lex, or whatever...have you ever heard of constructive criticism???? That's called being civil. Anybody could throw insults like a twelve year-old. It doesn't make for constructive conversation. So using name-calling as your basis for not only introducing yourself but addressing your argument makes you look like, well, an idiot.
Not saying I agree with Ambra on this particular post, but really, the name-calling is uncalled for. Her main point in this post is that "trendy" charities are kind of sickening, because they only have the visibility because of their trendiness.
There are better ways to voice your opinion. Come back when you grow up hun.
(Don't make me get Philly up in hurrr.)

So let's get this right... you hate the band because it offends your sense of popular-trend-hating?

I'd say you'd spend more worthwhile time hating popular trends like, say, showing butt crack, or oversized coffee-can mufflers on import cars that make them sound like rabid bumblebees, and so forth ----- rather than hating a wristband that goes toward a charitable cause that has been lucky enough to enjoy success thanks to being embraced by the public rabidly enough to become a fashion trend. There's dozens of worthy causes that cant get a headline or a dollar out of the populace - at least be happy that one has found a way even through something as silly as a wristband.

Worrying this much about "followers" and "posers" and those who follow "popular trends" is a clear sign that you have contempt for both trends and people who are part of them regardless of whether or not they made the decision out of their own free will or not (as opposed to following the pack). It is also a sign of insecurity and immaturity. I am awed by the maturity and insight you show on most of your site and it is painfully obvious that you are both intelligent and wise beyond your age. But this piece hints at a touch of pettiness, I hate to say.

So Paul, first off, if you wanted a true response from me, you should've left an email address. It's common courteosy. But onto your points of contention...

That said, I appreciate your feedback. And while the post may seem petty, I don't put anything up on this website without a greater reason. In this case, it was to challenge what is commonly "acceptable" to say and think.

And if you stay around awhile, you'll see I DO spend time hating on trends like showing buttcrack and the like. And no, I don't have a contempt for all trends because I myself subconsciously a part of many. The greater goal here is the fact that cancer nonprofit fundraising trends are a little bit suspect IMO.

Just thoughts...

Aw man, you missed your chance!
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