Wednesday, December 1, 2021

World AIDS Day

 I remember today:

Charles Bewick, 1989
Fabian Bunten, 1989
John Boone, 2010
David Headley, 1994
Roy Hardester, 1999
Roy Ema, 2010
John Paul Wolfe, 1990
David Zink, 1987

David Wojnarowicz, untitled prints from the Sex Series, 1988 - 1989

I posted these on Facebook today and will probably end up serving another sentence in Facebook Jail.  But the hell with all these moralizers who really have no morals.  These prints are worth it.  They show a world radioactive with danger, toxic with violence, and permeated by little secret moments of sexual contact made illicit because they are beyond anyone's ability to dominate and control.  Sexuality remains beyond our best efforts to rationalize.  That's why Orwell in 1984 had Oceania's scientists hard at work trying to figure out how to eliminate the orgasm.
These prints are among the best works of art to come out of the AIDS crisis.  Indeed, the world felt like this a lot of the time.  David Wojnarowicz lived it and died it.  

I lost some friends to the AIDS plague, some of them very close friends and occasional lovers.  That I survived and came out of it always testing negative is just sheer dumb luck.  I won't attribute that luck to God because I don't believe that God works that way and never have.  God loves me no more and no less than those who died.  He doesn't pick winners and losers.  I still think of these people and miss them very much.  I continue to be amazed at lives cut short at their beginning, all these beautiful young men gone far too soon.  I wonder what sort of world we might see had they lived.

The world of covid and collapsing democracy feels even more like this.  Now everyone gets to experience what gay men in particular experienced all through the 1980s and 90s.  Now everyone gets a chance to be an object of fear and loathing, to be stigmatized and alienated.  Everyone gets to be treated as unclean.  Everyone gets to watch demagogues build ambitions on their pain and loss.  Everyone gets to have their lives explained to them by people who know nothing about them and don't care.  Everyone gets to be told that they somehow deserve their suffering.

On top of all our current crises is the knowledge that AIDS never really ended.  It's in a state of suspension right now, but can come back at any time. The various "cocktails" of drugs are not cures but only temporary checks.  

These days, I'm not particularly in love with a predatory violence addicted conventional America where people in public seem to have only two emotions, triumph and rage.

No comments: