Friday, March 14, 2008

'knickers' to cancer

No, I'm not advocating the auctioning of underwear for cancer charities. This is my chosen response whenever someone mentions cancer (unless of course they are referring to the fine astrological sign.) Nine times out of ten, I have to say it silently, for fear of being tarred and feathered. I'm presuming most people remember that old fashioned expletive 'knickers' from the days of Morecombe & Wise & the like - uttered loudly & irreverently.

It seems to me that we are living in a world where all the bases are covered by some form of 'terrorism'. Step out into the world and you run the risk of being annihilated by some heretofore unknown group of dedicated & strategically brilliant fanatics. You're not safe at home either, for lurking there behind every organ in your body is the dreaded inner terrorist 'El Cancer'.

I reject cancer & I reject the hype & 'specialness' that has been carefully cultivated behind it. As a human being, I receive daily programming, in one form or another, that this disease is basically a fait accompli for me or someone I love.

While researching on the Internet today I found this sentence - 'I’m the first among our friends to have cancer...', aaahhhh, what future do we have if we talk like that, life becomes an episode of Midsomer Murders - who's next?

Well bollocks to that.

For the rest of this article I will refer to the above mentioned disease as 'knickers' (except when used as a book or article title - for the sake of clarity.)

Let me say I have no disrespect for people who are suffering from this, or any disease, quite, quite, quite the opposite, I abhor suffering. My personal wish is that the truth about this disease be brought to light, that its causes be acknowledged & removed. But that's not going to happen while 'knickers' is talked of in hushed & awed tones and left in the hands of pharmaceutical bank accounts.

My personal irreverence with the disease began when I started to get the feel that I wasn't a proper woman, if I hadn't developed breast knickers. Everywhere I turned there were magazine article's, books, movies, even personalised car licence plates. The media had found a new best seller, 'the pain and disfigurement of women'. Combined with this, was my first & only mammogram, from which I have never felt quite the same again. What a horrible process.
My quip, when I can get away with it, is one lump or two. I just refuse to be railroaded.

Dr Toni Jeffrey's is a NZ doctor who wrote a timely book called 'Cancer Conspiracy.' She claims that research shows women who have mammograms are 6 times more likely to get breast knickers than those who don't have them. She also objectively points out they do find one woman in a thousand who does have knickers .
Women aged 40 - 69 in NZ are urged to have yearly mammograms which are provided free of charge - the risk is a non-optional extra that is not mentioned.

The article below though some years old now, has some interesting comments and in particular mentions how an awareness campaign, was founded, marketed & solely financed by a leading pharmaceutical company.

The daffodil has become synonymous with knickers over the past 50 years. I have often thought that it a shame, that a lovely flower be conscripted into service as a symbol of disease. The official explanation is that it is a symbol of 'hope', that awful word that alludes more to helplessness than bright futures. I suggest that what is needed is a symbol of health & vitality.

Daffodils have a chequered history, but what is not commonly known is their long association with grief & death. In Greek Myth, the world is changed forever when Hades, bursts forth from the Underworld & abducts Persephone as she reaches to pick a daffodil. This event brings winter to the earth, as her mother Demeter, Goddess of the harvest, refuses, in her grief to let anything grow.
Robert Herrick, in Hesperides (1648) alludes to daffodils as a portent of death.
Narcissus (the botanical name for the genus that includes daffodils) was a beautiful youth who fell in love with his own reflection and pined away until he died of sorrow. The Gods took pity on him and turned him into his namesake flower.

The name Narcissus, derives from the Greek 'narke', meaning deep sleep or numbness, (from which comes the word 'narcotic') and refers to the belief at the time that the flower’s scent produced a death-like sleep.

The Greeks planted daffodil bulbs near tombs and in Victorian times daffodils were also depicted on headstones. They had a number of meanings, among them was death of youth.

More recently, the daffodil has again been conscripted as a symbol, this time for 9/11.

And again for AIDS

When daffodils appear in spring they are as Wordsworth so eloquently put it 'continuous as the stars that shine'. Is it possible that instead of seeing Spring flowers, we are being subliminally conditioned to focus on a symbol of suffering, illness &, death. Never underestimate the power of symbolism, it is the desktop icon of the western world.

In the natural world, the coming of the daffodil has heralded the coming of Spring. In NZ Daffodil Day is a booming industry. Everywhere daffs are on sale in their hundreds. The plastic versions are just as plentiful and hell hath no disdain like those of knicker sellers to whom one hath not donated. Everyone is doing their bit. But their bit of what - it comes down making as many people as possible focus on, or raise money for what is basically a man-made disease.

We live in a toxic world. We are polluted daily through what we eat, drink, breathe and have our being in. We are subjected to manufactured stresses created through the media, overwork and our removal from nature. We are human beings forced into the mould of a machine.
Of course there is knickers, and many other diseases to boot.

In the best traditions of the western world, millions of dollars have been spent developing weapons of mass destruction for the war on knickers, what about the why of knickers. I'll back the cleaners at the knicker research institutes any day over the researchers.

Our immune systems, in proper working order are our elixir of life. Our natural state of health is to be healthy. Driving home from work today, I looked at the trees, I saw nature giving the purest directive. Everywhere the trees were 'going for it', even the ones that have taken a beating at one time or another were still going for it and not one of them was 'raising awareness', they're too bloody busy living, which is what you, my friend, should be doing instead of reading about knickers :)