My neighborhood donut shop caused quite the stir for a while … an d still seems to in some online quarters. So I’ve been watching the “fun” for a while now. A common trope seems to be to compare “mental illness” to AIDS or cancer. Today, I saw yet another variant in the comments here :
(Rachel Weldon) … I know, let’s start a “Chillin with cancer” ice cream shop & see what people think. You could have bald nurses & people hooked up to fake IV’s of Chemo. Funny? Lighthearted? Obviously not. Mental illness is a debilitating disease, which causes many people to lose their loved ones, their freedom, and in worst cases their lives. . .
A couple of things occur.
First, a “Chillin’ with Cancer Ice Cream” shop isn’t funny (at least as described). “Psycho Donuts” and “Heart Attack Grill” are funny. Funny kinda just is. If someone thinks about it, then declares that, yes, it has all of the proper elements of “funny”… he probably isn’t laughing.
Second, we are told that 26 Percent of US Adults suffer from “mental illness”… and some claim that is a conservative estimate. If that is the case, then the cancer comparison simply goes out the window. It’s simply a fact that 1/4 the population of the USA is not experiencing anything close to dying of cancer. So the analogy is simply false.