by AndrewMc | 2/08/2009 06:47:00 AM
I've still got Dan Cohen's excellent "Shovel-Ready" post rattling around my head this morning. I wonder if we'll see this phrase used in grant applications?

The Tenured Radical makes a good point relevant to the other silly season.

So, the unemployed Wall Street-types now hold "unemployment parties" to network. Kind of a meet-and-greet where job seekers can meet employers. The job seekers wear pink bracelets to signal their employment woes. Is it just me, or does anyone else think that this appropriation of the bracelet color for Breast Cancer Awareness is more than a little crass? Add it to the list, I suppose.

A little birdie tells me that this blog is blocked in China.

What's on your mind?

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Anonymous Anonymous on 2/09/2009 5:40 AM:

The pink ribbon didn't originate with breast cancer. I know a lot of breastless men in Castro and the Village who would be stunned....


Blogger AndrewMc on 2/09/2009 5:48 AM:

I'm trying to find in there where I said anything about pink ribbons, or anything about where pink ribbons, or bracelets, originated.

However, it is safe bet that for most people the little rubber pink bracelet symbolizes breast cancer and breast cancer awareness.


Blogger Ahistoricality on 2/09/2009 4:50 PM:

The association of pink with breast cancer awareness is fairly recent, but then so are all the color-coded ribbon symbols. Even the yellow ribbon only goes back to the Iran Hostage crisis (and how the hell they got it out of "Tie a Yellow Ribbon" except by a most selective listening still escapes me), and I don't think it was used to refer to US servicemen generally until the first Gulf War.

The pink triangle was a symbol of gay liberation -- reclaimed from the Nazi death camp symbology -- but has clearly been supplanted by the rainbow in most people's minds, though it sometimes still takes the form of the triangle.

The red ribbon for AIDS/HIV awareness was, I think, the first of the disease ribbons; I know it goes back at least to the early 90s, perhaps further.

It's a fascinating semiotic field, with a folk etymology and powerful commercial interests at the core.


Blogger Ahistoricality on 2/09/2009 7:40 PM:

Also, is there some reason the recent comments have stopped updating?


Blogger Unknown on 2/10/2009 9:01 PM:

Yeah, because they just broke. We don't have control over the software, and we don't really have a good fix at the moment. The only fixes involve a lot of labor (i.e., migrating to Blogger Beta, which would require us to rebuild the template from the ground up).

So for right now, we're praying that it fixes itself.


Blogger AndrewMc on 2/11/2009 8:07 AM:

Re: Comments: What Jeremy said

Re: Ribbons: I remember the yellow ribbons for the hostage crises, and I think at the time it was seen as an outgrowth of the older Service Flags from WW2, and the blue and gold stars that would adorn the flags.


Blogger Ahistoricality on 2/11/2009 10:14 AM:

I don't think I've heard of the service flags before (googles, reads); I'd heard of the Gold Star mothers, but didn't realize that it was actually a sub-section (if you will) of a larger tradition.

It's true that yellow ribbons have been a symbol of "waiting for loved ones" for a long time (though I'm partial to The Molly's All Around My Hat, which addresses the possibility that her true love might not return, so she has to think about her alternatives), but I suspect there's a discontinuity through the Vietnam Era which was only bridged by pop culture, not by memories of WWII.


Blogger AndrewMc on 2/12/2009 7:33 PM:

Man, my brain is much much much. It took me three times reading:

"I don't think I've heard of the service flags before (googles, reads); "

to figure out what you were doing. Ha.


Blogger AndrewMc on 2/12/2009 7:56 PM:

Even worse. "mush mush mush"


Anonymous Anonymous on 2/13/2009 1:55 PM:

Speaking as an owner of boobs, I don't think Breast Cancer Awareness has dibs on a color. But that's me. :-)


Blogger AndrewMc on 2/14/2009 10:51 AM:

Dibs, no. But I think that if, for instance, some group started using pink triangles as its symbol, there'd be a lot of head-scratching.

It's more that the unemployed bankers have been going around trying to get sympathy for their plight, and now are appropriating someone else's symbol.


Blogger AndrewMc on 2/14/2009 11:29 AM:

And another.


Blogger AndrewMc on 2/14/2009 11:32 AM:

And another.