Saturday, June 11, 2005

What color is Satan's wrist band?

So I hate colored wrist bands. I think this was an awful idea that in some part uses stigma to convince other people to adopt a "cause" and pay $2 to a questionably legitimate source that they know nothing about. Even if it raises money, I don't think the ends justify the means. Anyway, I'd like to rant on and on, but the real purpose of this is to quote a section of "Good rocking," and article in this week's The Economist:

(emphasis added)
The study also spots a problem with celebrity backing: too many of them are associated with other causes--if only by sporting the curent craze, a colored wristband. "For example, Sienna Miller, [an actress] shouldn't be seen in a blue band one day and a white band the next, as this will negatively impact [...] over the whole campaign.

Synovate notes that the public is already confused about which cause is attached to which band. That's understandable. Nelson Mandela handed out white bands for Make Poverity History in central London, but the same colour is also used by anti-abortion campaigners. Blue stands for anti-bullying, anti-Bush and research into prostate cancer. Nor is it clear that wristbands contribute much to fundraising. Some are sold on market stalls with no connections to the original causes. And, embarassingly for the anti-poverty campaigners, some may be made in the same "sweatshops" that they (mistakingly, free-traders would say) so deplore.


wondermonday said...

the key phrase being "may be." i don't think the author knows one way or the other.

for the record, those writs bands sort of turn me off too.

Jenn Onofrio said...


In South Jersey schools, apparently, they're being used for behavioural coding. A sort of secret language has developed amongst the teens here, and they wear them to silently reveal to each other what kinds of things they're willing to do sexually.

I don't know the breakdown of the color codes here, but it's bascially along the lines of "if you wear red, you'll do blow jobs," "if you wear yellow, you'll 69," and so on and so on.

It struck me when I found that out because I'd forgotten that people in high school do that -- they have a tendancy to warp and twist something to make it into another kind of stigma. But who knew? Charity bands have been turned into slutty Orphan Annie decoder devices.

Theo said...

I had heard about the sex-bands. For some reason, it reminds me of "toothing," where people with Bluetooth compatible cell phones and PDAs can electronically find anyone around them who is willing to have a little anonymous sex.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find a news link about the sex-bands, though I know I heard something about it... but I did find these other nuggets o' fun:

I Love Sex Toys Wristband

'Live Wrong' Wristbands (parody of L. Armstrong's 'Live Strong')

Theo said...

So this article:

Wristbands morph from charity to fad

makes a LotR reference ("One Band to Rule Them All") and says the Livestrong fad has "kicked off a collecting craze that has turned schoolchildren into miniaturized Michelin men."

Now that's good writing!

Theo said...

To login to that article:

username: nothing
password: nothing

Courtesy of

Rissa said...

Jenn - that's not new. The gay community has been using 'handkerchief code' for many years. Wiki it.