Thursday, September 20, 2012


The title really does say it all.  Grab the popcorn, call a few friends and I'm going to give someone a copy of Pink Ribbons Inc.  I'm not a "give away" blogger.  Frankly, I think I'd feel badly for everyone whose name remained in the hat and I might be inclined to send consolation prizes to those who didn't win.  And I'm guessing the consolation prizes would be me purchasing the item I was giving away for EVERYONE.

Someone can suggest the criteria for deciding the winner.  Or I'll figure it out as I go along.  The only thing I know is this: I have a copy of the DVD to give to someone.  I am sticking with the fact that it has to be someone in the US or Canada.  I believe there are different DVD formats and I don't want to mess with anyone by sending a DVD that can't be played.

Enough of the wise cracks.  The fact is I was offered the DVD by the folks at First Run Features.  I blogged about the movie before I saw it in a local theater.  I had a near breakdown after I agreed to do a live radio interview on behalf of Breast Cancer Action in advance of the NYC release.  And, the best thing EVER is the fact that I made a new friend because of the movie.

Sandy Kugelman is one of the women interviewed in the film.  There are a number of women whom I hold in the HIGHEST regard featured in the movie.  I'm going to refrain from the name thing.  I'll forget someone.  Pink Ribbons Inc, for those who may be new to this blog, is a documentary about the pervasive pink ribbon culture.  There is a maelstrom of topics touched upon in the film which speaks volumes to the amount of work that must be done to put things back on track. A runaway train, first derailed and now totally wrecked.  First, we must repair the train.  Then, we put it back on the track. Truthfully, first we need to pick up the pieces, then repair, then get it on the RIGHT track.

Pink Ribbons Inc should be required viewing for anyone who doesn't understand the big business of The Ribbon.  I have posted about what everyone must do when they look at a ribbon product.  Although the movie raises so many issues, as we approach the month when billions will be thrown at anything with a ribbon.......I'm choosing to keep things to three basic questions:

  1. How much is being donated?
  2. Where is the donation being sent?
  3. What are THEY doing with the money?

When the hype calms down, we can dig into the disgraceful ways in which this disease has been sexualized (although, that got me into some spirited debates on this blog and I'm convinced that some people will just NEVER get that through their heads) and most importantly, we can dig into environmental issues.  For now, we must speak with our wallets.  So the very first thing you must do with your wallet is order the DVD.  Here.  Have your friends order a copy.  Throw a viewing party.

It may cause a spirited debate which is what happened somewhere out ----> There.... as in on the internet.  I found myself in a debate (ok, maybe it was an argument) because of a comment I made defending something.  Sandy jumped into that .... alright-ALRIGHT....perhaps it WAS a FIGHT ......  and it was clear that I was the winner by virtue of the fact that Sandy's comments were in support of my points.  Sandy is a member of the support group of metastatic patients that is featured throughout the film.  I could care LESS about anything or anyone else.  Once I saw her words, I jumped into Fearless Friend mode.

I'm very honored that Sandy so graciously agreed to share some of her feelings about the importance of this movie.  Here is what she had to say:

"It is a strange thing.  The only stage of breast cancer that causes people to die is Stage IV, yet few people even know what Stage IV is. Those of us with metastatic disease (Stage IV) are often swept under the rug. That seems strange because 30% of women diagnosed with earlier stages of breast cancer will go on to be diagnosed Stage IV later on.  So why the disconnect? The only thing I can think of is this: When you're trying to raise money and help people feel hope, we're kind of downers and we clash badly with Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" which is what always seems to be playing at the Komen races. It's hard to wrap one's head around this, but our small Stage IV support group lost 10 members to this disease the year the film was made. We're like the Ford Pinto of the pink ribbon movement: Bad P.R. (Wasn't it the Pinto that would randomly explode into flames?) So this film for us- just knowing it was being made- it felt like a relief that someone was finally going to turn over the stones and tell the truth- a truth that many of us have known on a visceral level for a long time.  They asked questions that no one ever asked, and they passed the microphone down to the trenches and listened to our voice. It was an honor and a privilege to be part of it."

And it is my honor and privilege to have Sandy's words to share here.

There was an excellent story in the Miami Herald about a woman in need of treatment who lives on the West Bank in Gaza City.  She summed things up pretty nicely:

"Everyone is welcome.  We don't care about race, religion or ethnicity.  We need to fight breast cancer together......"

Learn from the lessons in Pink Ribbons Inc.  Use those lessons to bring this community together.  Aren't we all Racing Toward The Same Goal?

Let's all stop with the semantics and the politics and the religion and let's get back to basics.  Let's remember breast cancer is NOT a choice.  How we go about addressing this pandemic IS a choice.  It's our choice.  Together we are stronger.

The HELL with raising awareness.  How about simply telling the TRUTH..... wouldn't that be a novel beginning.  No WHERE have I seen the truth more accurately portrayed than in Pink Ribbons Inc.

Now, for the important business..... can anyone tell me who should be the recipient of the copy I received from the good folks at First Run Features.  And if you can't comment because blogger seems to have "issues" at times which IS PISSING ME OFF......  you can shoot me an email.  Put "Pink Ribbons Inc" in the subject line.


  1. I would love to see it. I have no criteria to offer other than it should also be someone who is affected by breast cancer - patient, family member, or caregiver. I would be happy to watch it and then pass it along.

  2. Why not make it like the traveling pants and let us pass from to another by setting up a list of some kind.liftweights4jc

    1. Hey J....

      See note below. I think your idea is great......

      Hope all is well in your world....


  3. AnneMarie

    YOU are my kind of people!

    TRUTH: give it to me...

    Your statement that people don't know that Stage IV BC is what people die from is EXACTLY why I want YOU on the 10/4 tweet chat w/ me. My organization is going to use the month of October to promote the #mbc cause/voice.

    Much Love to YOU

    1. Stephanie,

      I look forward to joining forces with you. Last night's #bcsm chat was about cross chats. We need to bring the entire cancer community together to raise our voices as one.....

      LOVE to you,


  4. Oh, and picking a winner: cast lots!

    Do it with one of the random selection applications available:)


  5. I don't who should get the DVD but I do know that your post has the truth and the facts. It's so refreshing and important that we talk about this and that those with stage IV know that they are a part of all of us who are in the "breast Cancer" club that we did not ask to be in. Thank you for this great post!

    1. Thanks so much Susan...

      We need to keep talking and I know we will....



  6. Everyone needs to watch this film!

    AnneMarie, I just realized that you were one of the women in the Leonard Lopate interview that I listened to last month. A friend had sent it to me and it was that interview that helped me really pin-point the feelings I had had towards the whole pink ribbon craziness. I had always wondered why what was up with it. I often so angry when I saw pink plastered on products that either A. were bad for us. or B. had nothing do do with health or really benefiting people with the disease. Even before I was diagnosed I often wondered how much of the funds were actually going towards research that would actually be beneficial. I was very pleased to have come across the interview which led me to downloading the film online and now it is just so perfect to me that YOU are one of the ladies in the interview. Just put that together today!!

    You're AMAZING!


    1. That's very funny, Ashley.....

      I blogged about doing that interview. Realized it was live and thought I must have been out of my mind with chemobrain to agree to a live radio show!

      I have the link to the show on the margin of the page. My sister wrote a comment as there were a few not so nice remarks made while the show was live. Good thing I couldn't see them .... ;)


  7. Love that you're giving this away!! I still hold hopes that I will be able to arrange a screening with BCA! This is SUCH an important film! Esp for those of us with is about the pink ribbon messages, but also about being SEEN!!

    When John & I saw it in the theater there were MAYBE a dozen people there. Now I'm not sure it was Saturday date night material, but I was devastated that it didn't generate a larger audience!

    My thoughts about giving it away? Where can it be best leveraged? Best seen? Love Jason's idea of sending it off into the universe, or a cancer support center, perhaps?


    1. It will be in good hands... Caroline has a strong voice and is a fierce advocate, too!

      Love YOU.....


  8. Names in a hat.....DVD is going to Caroline which is fitting as she had the first comment.

    I know the DVD will be in good hands and she is a strong advocate!

    Thanks to all for your thoughts..... I WOULD LOVE to make this into a "traveling pants" DVD but I don't think that would work for the film distributor!

    Hugs to all...



Something to add? Do Share!