Rear Window Ethics Rear Window Ethics: Final Say on the Subject of Ribbons

Friday, January 07, 2005

Final Say on the Subject of Ribbons

In case you aren't familiar with this long discussion between myself and some readers, click here.

I never meant for this whole ribbon thing to get so crazy. My initial anger was over people buying these type of things at Downtown Crossing, or any other equally shady place across the US, for 50 cents a piece when the profit was going to some shmuck. That is happening. However, I have since found that there are indeed some places, including the USO, that sell them for charity and that the money does go to the right place.

I got upset because I went out during Christmas and made donations for the USPS drive to send phone cards and care packages to troops overseas, and there was a sense around me that it didn't mean anything unless you were "showing'" your support by writing it all over your face or agreeing with the premise of this war. I felt that this ribbon movement was saying that I had to fall into the "with us or against us" categories, and wear my patriotism on my chest (or car, rather) or it didn't count.

I also found it odd that these things are magnetic. Do these people plan to STOP supporting the troops anytime soon? Or do they just support them to the extent that they don't want to mess up the paint jobs on their BMWs and SUVs? I find it hard to believe the whole thing was initially set to temporarily showing your feelings on rental cars.

Anyway, if people feel a part of something by buying these things, and if the money is going to the right place, then I guess it's a fine idea. Just don't get me started on the folks I saw on CNN who are now creating fake Live Strong-esque bracelets that claim they fund tsunami victims but most certainly don't.