Remember, Remember, the Reason For Movember
12 Nov 2010 · by Brennan Storr · Be the first to comment!
Let's get this out of the way now: I cannot grow a proper mustache to save my life. So does that mean craven envy is what drives me to say Movember is a monthlong reminder that we have lost the ability to be honest with ourselves? Not at all. What drives me is the notion that some people have decided that neglecting to shave for 30 days somehow makes them noble.
Like most things that confound me, Movember began in Australia. From the Movember website: "The plan was simple – to bring the moustache back as a bit of a joke and do something for men’s health." Since then it's spread worldwide, again much like Australians. Last year over 35,000 people in Canada participated to raise over $7-million for prostate cancer research, so the event has a purpose and does accomplish something worthwhile. And that's why my problem isn't with "Movember" itself. My problem is with the armchair activists who have adopted Movember as comfortably as they have every other way of expressing social concern without having to do anything.
G20 aside, we've come a long way from the fist-pumping, sign-waving activism of times past. Now, tender hearted college students who want to prove how concerned they are with civil rights or the plight of women in the Congo can do so from the comfort of home by joining Facebook groups, signing online petitions and yes, growing a mustache.
Allowing hair to sprout on your upper lip does not make you Jonas Salk. Unless you are actively canvassing for donations or starting conversations with strangers about the benefits of a regular prostate exam you are accomplishing exactly nothing. There's nothing wrong with that - I accomplish exactly nothing on a daily basis and sleep quite well for it. But pretending that you are "going full Burt Reynolds" for any reason other breaking the ice when meeting pretty young women is doing a disservice to the people out there actually working for the cause of prostate cancer.
It also makes about as much sense as me fondling myself in a roadside lawn chair and telling the arresting officer to back off because I'm supporting the troops.