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Old December 6th, 2013 #4
Alex Linder
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 44,670
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder

[this article led to an epiphany - there was an uproad over the 'christian nation' part. for the first time i realized how strongly jews/queers hated christianity. i also realized, by the response to this article, that there are lots of queers and queer fans out there, and they are extremely hostile to rational discussion of their behavior - even more than jews]

[opinion published in Pomona College's The Student Life, Friday, September 18, 1987]

AIDS and Reason

By Alex Linder

Around since the turn of the decade, and only in public focus over the last four years, the disease AIDS has become the most often discussed disease, surpassing even cancer. And why not? With no known cure and a steadily increasing death toll, a solution to the problem remains high on the public agenda. So why all the fuss?

Simply put, although everybody hopes a medical solution will be found, the temporary solution, prevention, touches on issues of morality, sex education, and religion; issues on which sectors of the public are long accustomed to debating.

After years of hearing, reading, and seeing warnings about AIDS, two impressions imbed themselves in one's consciousness: first, AIDS is not a gay disease - anyone can get it. Second, the spread of AIDS is best checked by the use of condoms. Both these beliefs, fostered and diffused by the media, are misleading. The first, while true, is irrelevant. The second is a value judgment based on values peculiar to liberals. Combined, the nationwide promulgation of these beliefs represents and abdication of journalistic responsibility as well as a stake through the heart of the vampire of common sense.

True it is, that anyone may contract AIDS; therefore AIDS is not per se a gay disease. True it also is, that AIDS is a gay disease, in the same sense that America is a Christian nation - most AIDS sufferers are gay and most Americans are Christian. At the risk of being boring, let me point out a simple fact seldom covered by the media other than George Will. Homosexuals engage in anal sex, the primary means of transmission of the virus responsible for AIDS. Anal sex between homosexuals involves the insertion of one man's penis into the rectum of another, a wholly unnatural act that leads to the ripping of rectal tissue and, accordingly, the mixing of infected semen and blood. Unpleasant as these facts are to think about, they are central to any public discussion of the spread of AIDS along with methods of prevention. For AIDS, in America at least, is primarily a homosexual phenomenon - a fact it is dangerous to ignore because of the ramifications it has for our public health policy as determined officially by the government and unofficially by the media.

Prescriptively the media functions as little more than purveyors of panegyrics to their perceived panacea for promiscuity - the condom. Distribute enough of the little buggers, they say, and we can lick any STD. As previously opined, this solution is based on uniquely liberal sentiments, sentiments similarly underlying the liberal approach to sex education. It is an approach that might be referred to as the body-as-toy theory. Adumbrated: the body is a toy; toys are to have fun with; have fun with your body. Contrast this with a restrained, yet neither puritanical nor prude, conservative approach, and the media bias becomes obvious. If conservatives dominated the public forum, the accent would be on long-term, faithful, heterosexual relationships as the key to stopping AIDS. As it is, the powers that be operate on the assumption that such views are outdated and unrealistic, since teenagers are going to have sex anyway. Thus the dominant view is that causal sex between properly equipped partners is the solution as opposed to self restraint or even abstinence.

An excellent example of the bias of the media is the August 10 [1987] edition of Newsweek. The editors manifestly intend to promote the view that AIDS is a threat to everyone. The cover has twenty-four pictures of people who died from AIDS. Those pictured are by no means typical AIDS sufferers. Black, white, Hispanic, young, old, male, female - anyone can find a counterpart whose death makes the threat to his own life more convincing. And the text backs up the impression imparted from the cover: "Some commentators have found a degree of comfort in the statistics, as if AIDS had been satisfactorily contained in an alien population. It has not been: it has struck to the quick of American life." I leave it to the reader to determine whether the deaths of 23,000 people, 90% of whom are homosexuals or drug users, does indeed represent a strike "to the quick of American life," or, alternatively, a debilitating blow to two of the seamiest subcultures in the nation. The lead article concludes with the assertion that, "the fallen in these pages [a month-by-month pictorial of selected AIDS victims over the last year] bear silent witness to the fact that we are still hostage to AIDS." Interesting application of "hostage." Hostage implies a passive agent who is aggressively seized and held against his will. Yet AIDS, as we are constantly assured, is very difficult to contract. One essentially contracts AIDS of his own volition - by deliberately choosing to engage in acts that court the killer - anal sex or needle sharing, for example. Use of "hostage" would be appropriate if it had been or ever is found that AIDS may be spread by infected mosquitoes - modern-day equivalents of the fleas that spread the Black Plague in the middle ages.

A similar tack is taken by James Hurley whose talk for a conference on AIDS was printed in Newsweek. Mr. Hurley's basic attitude was that "there would be a pill or a drug or an antibiotic that would kill any sexually transmitted disease" he had. In other words, Hurley screwed around as much as he wanted and counted on medical science to bail himi out. All well and good - if one is willing to accept the consequences - which Hurley is not. As he says, with words representative of the attitudes of both gays and the media, "There's no such thing as being an innocent or guilty victim of AIDS." But isn't Hurley actually a victim of his own stupidity and poor judgment? He chose to engage in practices famous for spreading venereal disease and hepatitis. The baby who contracted it from his mother, the hemophiliac who received an infected transfusion are the true victims. They suffer from something they did not bring on themselves and are deserving of public sympathy. But gay losers of sexual roulette had better rely on saints for sympathy. They won't get it from the general population.

Finally, the pictorial spread is interesting in that of the 301 people pictured, only twelve are women. It is obvious, despite Newsweek's attempts to shift the focus, that the AIDS crisis is a gay crisis. Under each picture there is a caption including the name, age, occupation, and home city of the deceased. There is also a short statement. Although intended to win our sympathy for the loss of these important members of the "American family," as Newsweek likes to call it, these public epitaphs are lugubrious to a point seldom reached without the aid of alcohol. Typical is Stephen Weddell, 31, an accountant from San Francisco whose caption reads: "He kept his humor and died in a Pee-Wee Herman t-shirt."

This column has been written with the unexamined premise that AIDS is not easily spread. That is, AIDS is not spread by mosquitoes, other insects, or light physical contact. If further research belies this premise, then two things will come about. Heterosexuals and others not currently affected will have to do more to ensure their survival than restraining their sexual activity. Second, there will be a greatly intensified anti-homosexual feeling throughout the country. Why? Because now gays are standing in the way of the most commonplace measures to ensure public health. Gays lobby against contact tracing and mandatory testing and generally anything that serves to isolate AIDS sufferers from the general population.

"Fight the fear with facts," the media is fond of saying. And yet how difficult it is to find the words "homosexual" and "anal sex" on any anti-AIDS poster. How rare the public statement in favor of sexual restraint as opposed to physical protection. Lastly, how sad the media's rush to make Americans feel collectively guilty has so surrounded the facts relating to the spread of AIDS with hypocrisy and euphemism as to have sunk public discussion, as George Orwell once said, "to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men."

Last edited by Alex Linder; December 6th, 2013 at 06:20 PM.