2/6/12

Gloom, Sleep, Corporations and Poverty Post

Regular (non-daylight savings) time is such a pain. Although I must say that keeping all my clocks set to DST, is helpful in avoiding the winter blues that come when it gets dark at four p.m.! Today's plan had, among other things, a list of over half a dozen pictures to take (meaning I'd have to snap four times that to get a decent pic) so I could complete several posts that are in the works.

Circumstances did not cooperate however. First was the heavily overcast sky. There's a 60% chance of rain tonight and 40% tomorrow. All I can say is that we'd better get some rain in trade for all this gloom. It isn't just a white grey yet bright sky, we're talking Portland-type gray skies. Cement skies. Taking pictures, at least the kind I want, is just a waste of time in this kind of limited light and a flash doesn't help at all.

The second thing that put a wrench in my to-do list, it was my body. Didn't sleep well (or much at all for that matter) last night. Finally fell asleep about 7 a.m. which is very annoying. Woke at 2:30, which by my clock is 1:30. Yes, I'm an odd duck, what can I say? On top of that, I felt under the weather physically; rather sick to my stomach so I stayed in bed for two more hours.

It reminded me of something I read the other day by Ronni at the blog, Time Goes By. It was an article on sleep as one ages. She wrote about how every now and then she'll wake up, go through her normal morning routine and after a bit, just not feel quite right. She follows her body's signal and goes back to bed. Though she's tried to define the problem or cause , in the end she just attributes it to getting older.

Of course, I just felt like a wimp since she's older than me, but that aside, the comments she got were fascinating. Apparently, a wide range of people come across this "malady without a cause" in their lives. Anyhow, I don't know if it was a delayed power of suggestion or what, but I felt better about it and just revised my plans for the week. No big deal.

As far as her blog goes, it isn't something you'd necessarily run across or pay attention to if you were under 45 or 50. It addresses a wide range of topics and is labeled as an "Elder Blog". Now this is a shame since it contains a world of information (and not just on aging) that most people would be amazed at; articles both obscure and targeting current events.

What I like is the variety. For example, a Guest Blogger wrote an article about the whole Susan B. Komen charity debacle where they cancelled funding to Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides basic services like mammograms and other cancer screenings to women who couldn't afford it. (Note:  scroll up in the link for the article vs. the comments.)

She also questioned the endless churning out of licensed "pink" merchandise under the guise of a potion of the profits going to breast cancer research. The guest blogger included a quote from Huffington Post in 2010 that said "Komen trademarked the phrase “for the cure” and according to several reports, spends at least a million dollars a year defending that trademark against other, smaller charities". An interesting and questionable use for charitable funds I thought. So it seems breast cancer has become "big business".

This post had an excellent video by Barbara Ehrenreich on the "corporatization of breast cancer" that is a "must view" in my book. There's also an excellent video by Stephen Colbert talking about the Komen Corporation in the first part of the video addressing Komen's suit happy activities to protect its trademark, "for the cure"(TM). Stuck the trademark symbol in there, just in case....

Well, it's almost 10:30 p.m. and this was not the post I intended to write, but it's what popped out of my brain after yet another "nap".

Funny, back in the late 80's, I had a party for all the neighbors (whether I knew them well or not) who endured one of our longer house re-habs. During the event I finally met the woman across the street who drove the latest Mercedes, always wore lots of diamonds, and had a vintage '59 Mercedes 190 or 300SL in her garage.
Photo Source:  Wikipedia
While I don't begrudge anyone hard-earned wealth, I was taken aback at the party. We were chatting which led to her profession. She was owner/organizer of two large homeless shelters in L.A. To my complete shock, she laughed  and bluntly commented "there's big money to be made in poverty".
Since that day I've always looked at charities with a jaded eye, especially the huge, incorporated ones that license their logo for profit. There's a fine line between real charity fund raising and flat out product marketing for profit in my book. Especially when donations like $1,000,000 per year go towards things like frivolous lawsuits, huge media campaigns and TV commercials. I'm thinking of the United Way which caught a lot of heat in the late 80's for using more donation money for running their organization and executive salaries than was spent on actual charity work. I guess nothing's changed in twenty or so years.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Joanne said...

There are very few charities that I actually donate to for exactly that reason - who knows where the money's going! Right now, the only one is the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and that's because I've seen firsthand where it ends up.

I've definitely also gone back to sleep after getting up, eating breakfast, and still feeling exhausted. It happens.

2/7/12, 4:03 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

Charities are very funny creatures, in the right hands they can do so much good, but like almost anything can slowly morph into a corporate conglomerate. In the late 80's I was hired by a corp. and you were handed a list of charities (all big-time entities) that you could choose from to donate to. It was "strongly expected". Luckily I found a small no-kill animal shelter (not on the list) that qualified. The corp. wasn't happy but what could the corp. say? It was a legit charity.
Back when I worked 50-60 hour weeks, I called them "mental health days"! Thanks for stopping by!!

2/7/12, 3:17 PM  

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