April 13, 2005


by the power vested in me by the state of rhode island i now officially declare the era of the livestrong bracelet over. i can appreciate the exploitation of a stupid trend for charity, and to the extent that this is the main accomplishment of the yellow bracelet people i can tolerate it, but with the duplication of the fad by innumerable other organizations i feel i have to draw the line. yesterday i saw a girl with no fewer than 5 such wristbands, all of differing colors. message to other charities: you need to come up with your own promotion. plus, the people who wear these things are so goddamn phony. you gave 100 cents to charity! here’s you metal, it’s yellow and it goes around your wrist!

don’t misunderstand me, there is absolutely nothing wrong with giving only one dollar to any charity. the cancer people will use it better than you, you know? but advertising the fact that you gave one dollar, like this makes you some kind of philanthropist? lame. not to mention that the people who wear these things seem to be saying “i know that this trend is ugly, but i am doing it for charity and that makes my nonchalance noble.” yes it’s a step up from the usual “i know this trend is ugly but i am doing it to look nonchalant and that makes me cool,” but not a big one. so in my eyes, the fact that the cancer research people were taking advantage of this attitude was clever on their part. but now we’ve got thousands of groups copying it. tsunamis, other diseases, goddamn student organizations. the bracelet proliferation has to stop. what was marginally (and probably unintentionally) clever when used by one group is now dreadfully aggravating when ripped off by a bunch of clones. i mean is a bracelet for the space shuttle really necessary?

i agree with the shuttle people*, but you won’t be able to take advantage of those humanitarians who want help looking altruistic the way that livestrong does. plus, what does “demonstrating your commitment" to the space shuttle accomplish? no one who sees you wearing the thing will be able to do anything about it. at least if someone is inspired by your cancer bracelet they can give money to cancer research.

i think we need a bracelet that demonstrates the wearer’s commitment to getting rid of these bracelets. it should be clear or something.

either that or a bracelet showing devotion to the building of a teraelectronvolt collider. we could call them liveelectroweak bracelets and they would be the color of particles.

*not because the shuttle is any good itself. the “research” is bs, legitimate scientists aren’t interested in whether you can grow
toothpick potatoes in zero-gravity, but because fixing the hubble telescope if we need to is really important.