SELF-PARODY

An economics textbook could probably phrase this more eloquently than I do, but I'm fond of saying that the final stage of the life cycle in capitalism is self-parody. First you sell people an SUV, then when you get criticized for it you sell even bigger, dumber SUVs. You try to entice people to eat at a place called Golden Corral, and once you become the symbol of the rural obesity epidemic you install a fountain that oozes pestilent, lukewarm chocolate on any object placed in its orbit. First you sell the Shake Weight as an exercise implement, then you make fun of yourself and sell even more as joke gifts. Basically, you make one last financial windfall on an idea by becoming a caricature of exactly what you were accused of being all along. When everyone mocks your bad food and gargantuan portions, fuck it: introduce the Super Size.

Now that the bloom is off the rose of the Susan G. Komen For the Curetm foundation, fewer people look at it as a good way to support cancer research and more look at it as a shameless marketing firm that will slap a coat of pink on anything for a buck. The foundation appears to have embraced the hell out of that stereotype, partnering with some fracking company to paint an industrial sized drill bit pink. You know. For the Curetm.

drill

This is not the Onion. A company engaging in an activity proven to increase cancer rates in the vicinity came to Komen, proposed splashing some pink paint on their equipment, and the people running Komen said, "Sure, why not!" Because fuck it, right? Once people have figured out that you're a joke you might as well be the biggest joke you can be. Having long since established that shame is not a relevant concern in free market capitalism, once you no longer care about your reputation the opportunities to cash in become legion.

31 thoughts on “SELF-PARODY”

  • Komen has renamed itself, but it's still the same grift. The board rake in the big bucks while pennies trickle out to actual cancer research. It's horrific that fracking equipment is being touted as "working for the cure".

  • I'm reminded of the classic joke whose punch line is, "We've already established what kind of person you are – now we're just haggling over price. "

  • "An economics textbook could probably phrase this more eloquently than I do, but I'm fond of saying that the final stage of the life cycle in capitalism is self-parody."

    I believe the text you're looking for is the 18th Brumaire of Louis Napoleon….

  • Put those in the Death of an Empire Museum — right next to the Lance Armstrong wrist bands that half the people in the country used to wear.

  • May I suggest that even before the SGK Foundation lost face in the Planned Parenthood fiasco, many people who bought their Pepto-hued partner products did so as a painless ego-booster that allowed them to feel visibly virtuous? For some it was the moral equivalent of yellow-ribbon magnets FOR THE TROOPS on those ubiquitous SUVs you mentioned. I'm not resigned about fracking, but I am getting that "polishing the brass on the Titanic" feeling.

  • Despite the very strong links between alcohol consumption and breast cancer, I'm sure bars will be offering pink drinks to women in the same spirit.

  • Just when one thinks all the truly fresh phrases in the English language have been exhausted, along comes Ed with "pestilent, lukewarm chocolate." A thing of beauty, that.

    And for my part, I thought the final stage in the life cycle of capitalism was supposed to be a pink guillotine.

  • That "pestilent, lukewarm chocolate" in those fountains isn't chocolate, you know. It's chocolate-flavored wax substance. Which just makes it worse, of course.

    Why couldn't the Komen people just take the fracking company's money and be done with it–why make the goddamn pink drillbit, which really just looks like a diseased penis?

  • Ah, October. That beautiful time of year when corporate assholes pinkwash everything to make me "aware" of the wonderful people in my life who have suffered. I don't give a rats ass about a cure. Give me prevention. You know, that non-flashy thing that won't make anyone any money.

    For the past several years I have celebrated Pinkwashing Awareness month. Every time I see pinkwashing, I donate $2 to Planned Parenthood. This post might have shown me something sick enough to cost me $4.

    That said, I would pay for pink truck-nuts in a heartbeat.

  • I was bowling some place and some lady came up and asked me to give $5 for Breast Cancer… I was like.. No. I do not want breast cancer…

    she is like well it is a raffle and I just squint at her and spit tobacco juice on the lane..

  • " wonder how they convinced the oil patch roughnecks to use a pink drill bit."

    same way an NFL lineman had a pink mouth guard..

  • My boss is encouraging all of the people I work with to wear pink on Wednesdays. I always have to wonder, exactly what purpose will that serve? "Oh, I'm totally in support of research for a breast cancer cure because I wear pink!"

    Apparently I am ostensibly pro-cancer because I think the concept of the search for a cure for cancer of any stripe as a popularity contest layered with heavy pressure to conform is ludicrous.

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  • You're absolutely right that shame is not relevant in "the Free Market" ™. I once heard a marketing manager, former boss, and right-wing apologist make the excuse for Sarah Palin: "If people paid me that much to shoot my mouth off, how could I say no?" The logic being, perhaps, that if people are stupid enough to like Sarah Palin, that's what we deserve. I just don't understand that attitude, that "If I can get away with it, why shouldn't I?" selfishness, that sense of having absolutely zero responsibility to not take advantage of the gullible.

  • And hasn't our political system become a parody of itself as well? Parties rail against any policy proposed by the other even if they once proposed it themselves? Our government creates terrorist groups to accomplish dubious foreign policy goals then tell us we must have a 30-year war to rid ourselves of our own creation. Voters universally tell us that Congress is terrible, more contemptible than any other institution, then file into the voting booth and re-elect their own Congressman. Progressive voters complain bitterly about the influence of the 1% and their money on our political process but then label any candidate who fails to acquire enough campaign cash as "not serious".

    I pity poor Jon Stewart. He really doesn't have to work anymore, simply reading the headlines is parody enough.

  • Talk about your chickens coming home to roast!
    If my neighbor had not made $4000 in a day on
    the internet, I would never had lit one. Never
    you mime the pinkish sci-fi critter face, there:
    just go on with the float.

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