Fighting Words

Whenever I hear an appeal for money that states the organization is ‘fighting’ something I get agitated. Whether it’s fighting cancer, homelessness, racism or bad breath, the fighting metaphor is lame.

I’ll use cancer as an example. Cancer is a biologic malfunctioning of cellular replication in our bodies, cells not reading their DNA messages properly or reading bad data from the DNA. It is not an  an external enemy that we can engage in physical combat or country we can invade. I think the ‘fight’ is an extension of our militaristic culture adopted by advertisers because of its simplicity (mindlessness).  It also implies that there is a winner or a loser. Like the phrase “lose a battle with cancer” which means cancer won.  How can cancer ‘win’.  Where’s the battle,  it’s our own bodies.

So I don’t want to be critical without making a positive contribution. How about we say “Find immunotherapies that tame our out of control cells” or since most cancers have environmental causes, “exercise, eat healthy, don’t smoke !”. I guess that wouldn’t be profitable.