Belfast Telegraph

Forget Channel 4's Stand up to Cancer - wake up to personal responsibility instead

By Nuala McKeever

Stand up to cancer! Let's kick cancer's butt! Join Davina McCall and co for a "killer" night of entertainment and information to raise millions to tell cancer we've got it on the run! Yay!!!

Do a march at night, have a barbecue, invite friends round for tea and cake, buy T-shirts, watch a night of entertainment on the big TV in the living room, lift the phone and text to donate money, have a party while doing good, get something out of it and give something back. It's big, it's loud, it's packaged in small bite-sized bits of information so it won't hurt your brain.

It's fun, it's earnest, it's all of us pulling together in the Blitz spirit, it's crucial, it's slick, it's the modern way, it's cool, it's for all the family and it's on Channel 4 on October 17!

Alternatively, you could choose not to barbecue lots of meat to the point of it being burnt and carcinogenic. You could walk past the sugar-laden cake and bun aisle in the supermarket and choose to buy organic, unprocessed sweet things like fruit or honey or maple syrup to add to your food when you fancy a sweet taste without pouring all that rubbish into your body that cancer actually feeds off.

You could turn the TV off and go out for a walk after dinner. You could leave the mobile phone down and actually walk with someone you know and have a real conversation in person.

You could stand up off the couch with the other members of your family and go and visit some neighbours or friends and actually talk about what life is like for you and them. If you have seen the TV trailers for this big Stand up to Cancer night you could be forgiven for thinking it was going to be the start of another Gulf War.

The background shows bombs hitting tall buildings in what looks like a re-enactment of 9/11. It's jaw-droppingly tasteless in the extreme. But it's because it's a Fight against Cancer, a War on Cancer.

Cancer is a fortress and we have to smash it with our army of celebrities and telegenic scientists.

Davina is boot camp fit and ready to switch at a moment's notice from chirpy and wacky to serious and sincere. Cancer won't dare show its face when she's around.

Oh, for God's sake could we all just grow up? What age are we? Five? Do we take absolutely no responsibility for the connections between how we live and the state of our health? Do we really think it's smart to eat cake and burnt meat and then give a fiver to a charity to cure us if we develop cancerous cells?

Do we really think pharmaceutical companies, making billions every year from sick people, actually have a vested interest in curing anything? What would the shareholders say if the drug actually wiped out cancer? Sharp drop in profits.

Maybe the drug company would then diversify into something else like, oh, off the top of my head, processed, sugar-laden food and drink? Oh, what's that you say? Maybe they already do have shares in such companies because its in their interests to keep people poisoning themselves under cover of having a good lifestyle?

Never mind Stand up to Cancer, how about a night called Wake Up to Personal Responsibility and Self Love. Don't be duped by the shiny people waving beads and mirrors, they aren't your friends, they just want your money and your self-respect. Stand up to them.

Naked truth too much for MLAs

The slimming club women who produced a nude calendar were upset that some shops refused to stock it on grounds of 'taste'. All that naked flesh on display. Made me think the politicians at Stormont could do one. A naked calendar that is.

Posing with strategically positioned Shared Future documents covering up the unmentionables or ministerial briefs masking the shrivelled bits. It'd be chilly, with nothing to protect them from the elements.

They'd feel vulnerable, exposed, possibly shamed. Just like the many thousands of people here needing food banks to survive, because of government policies. Tasteless indeed.

Here's a night to remember

Eighteen months after the death of Mike Moloney, a tribute/celebration/ fundraising night in his honour is being held on Sunday, October 19, in the Whitla Hall, at Queen's University in Belfast.

The hall will be transformed into a cabaret-style venue, with a range of music and circus acts on two stages, a food village outside and a full bar inside.

Money raised will go to the Mike Moloney Bursary Fund which will give young people a help with acting and performing. It's hosted by the Belfast Festival at Queen's.

Tickets at £15 are available from the festival website – www.belfastfestival.com.

The event is simply called Mike Night.

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