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Author Topic: need your comments on aids-write.org report on 6/14 ahf not fab forum  (Read 8214 times)

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Offline rk@aids-write.org

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  • Posts: 57
    • aids-write.org
first movement of ahf not fab forum report — not getting caught (328) suite sheet

http://aids-write.org/?p=136

[drawing of a dead mouse in a sprung mousetrap]
we’re all concerned with not getting caught
not with not whether we ought not
to be not doing the deed (or not not)
--rk


chers at aidsmeds--

on june 14, 2006, aids healthcare foundation (ahf) sponsored a public forum and discussion in west hollywood about their new prevention social marketing ad campaign: hiv: (not) fabulous, showing pictures of persons with facial wasting, protease belly, and wearing diapers. launched in december and targeted at uninfected 20-year-olds, the campaign offended many older, mostly white, mostly affluent, all-gay men in a yahoo social discussion group. pot luck dinners and sunday morning breakfasts. there was also support for the campaign on the discussion site. the arguent was passionate and vehement until shut down by the founder. many felt stigmatized by the ads; many are angry with aids healthcare foundation. one person on the site suggested ahf quit business.

aids-write.org (awo) sponsored a community forum on the topic in january. for me, this is an issue of cultural activism. i think telling our stories of living with hiv and aids is a more powerful tool than simple political confrontation. as a result of political confrontation, we (gay men and other people living in the affluent united states)are now a niche medical market for an industry that wants to stay in business and is economically disincentived to find a cure or a vaccine. we are a cash crop. persons with no cash can rot.

while that addresses other issues, prevention efforts are what are being discussed here. my suggestion is to produce a yearly multimedia prevention anthology about the state of aids in los angeles and the world, drawing on contributions from artists, scientists, thinkers and activists telling their stories. i think this would support and inform a one-on-one prevention effort, which is better than a prevention effort that leads to bucks for big pharma. an inneffective prevention effort.

some people had a good forum. some had a terrible forum. you’d think we weren’t at the same event. i spoke on the panel. i was at a pretty productive forum. other people from the yahoo discussion site attended a dismal panel. there is some skirmishing over minor points blown out of proportion, which is not new.

please take a look at my aids-write.org report from the meeting. would be interested in any comments.

the most important article to read is called “my big picture”
328.03 my big picture
http://aids-write.org/?p=134

i have also been experimenting with multi-part articles at awo, called suites. aids-write.org suite: a series of juxtaposed, interrelated,nteractive posts. at the bottom of each page in a suite, you will find a list of links for the entire set of posts in the series as well as links to specific reference sources for excerpted materials. the accumulation of posts has its own dramatic arc.

first set—————————————

part one—suite sheet
part two–how these notes were taken
part three—overall impressions– not a fear campaign, but a perceived guilt campaign
http://aids-write.org/?p=134
part four—summary, source document (my notes), with seperate entries for each panelist, questioner/commenter exchange and email responder sets
part five—an anthology of twenty-seven wiktionary definitions of useful terms, as well as excerpts from several wikipedia entries on the same topics
part six—wikipedia article on ethics

publication———————————

in the second set————————-

part seven—yearly anthology proposal
part eight–comments and responses
part nine—ahf ought to quit business letter
other overall impressions after discussion modules added later

this discusssion is going to get a bit scrambled & more heated, i think. it was complicated enough to begin with.

thanks

richard kearns

rk@aids-write.org
http://aids-write.org
dark and bright
deep and clouded
sinister and resilient
sung and un
piece by piece
picture the truth

http://aids-write.org

Offline allopathicholistic

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  • Posts: 3,258
I agree with Peter Dobson's response. I have nothing to add except: God bless all hiv activists as well as the poz.com members who take the time to post in the Am I Infected? forum.

Patience is a virtue and you guys have that gene, which is a great thing, because I, and countless others do not have that gene. Have a great day

Alex

Offline rk@aids-write.org

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    • aids-write.org
bless us all, each and every one.

i know of no one who can do without blessings.

--rk
dark and bright
deep and clouded
sinister and resilient
sung and un
piece by piece
picture the truth

http://aids-write.org

Offline rk@aids-write.org

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  • Posts: 57
    • aids-write.org
alex–

i worry about thinking activism is someone else’s job. it’s not an attitude limited to the gay community. this comment is by a straight physicist who writes a blog called cosmic variance:

Deep down, though, I learned once again that an environment of political activism is not for me. I’ve volunteered and been active politically in very minor ways in the past, and I am always reminded that I should go back to academia where I belong. Of necessity, political action feeds on fervent commitment to the cause and a deep-seated conviction that one’s opponents are worthless scoundrels. Even when I do believe those things, I can’t quite give myself over to such stances uncritically. I’d rather contemplate the ins and outs of different aspects of an argument, even if I do end up resolutely on one side; politics (as opposed to governance) has little time for such nuances. At the same time, when I do take a position, I have little interest in softening its edges for political consumption, or reducing complexities to soundbites in order to convey a message. The complexities are the fun part! Don’t get me wrong; somebody has to do it, and I have incredible admiration for those who fight for the right side with passion and perseverance in the political arena. I just don’t want it to be me.

http://cosmicvariance.com/2006/06/12/the-view-of-the-universe-from-the-nevada-desert/

Email: hewett [at] cosmicvariance.com

in my notes, i have, “are we trying to change bush’s mind, or the publics’ minds?”

it reminds me of mlking’s remarks in “letter from a birmingham jail” when he talks about his disappointment in moderates.

–lyr
dark and bright
deep and clouded
sinister and resilient
sung and un
piece by piece
picture the truth

http://aids-write.org

Offline allopathicholistic

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  • Posts: 3,258
i worry about thinking activism is someone else’s job. it’s not an attitude limited to the gay community.

thanks for being honest and direct.  in terms of me in activism, i could perhaps imagine myself looking over a treatise, giving feedback on its composition, diction, impact potential, whether or not the author's convictions stand out and are clear ...   y'know, stuff like that. i'm definitely not the rally-scream-get-thrown-in-jail type. after 34 years on this planet, i know myself ... God made us all unique for a reason

Offline rk@aids-write.org

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  • Posts: 57
    • aids-write.org
alex

thank  you for being honest and direct and open and coherent. it’s such an important discussion for me to be able to have—i hope for you too. for me, it's a way of thinking out loudi am mirroring our posts on awo, if that’s not a prob. thank you.

i would like to refer you to a book called “witness to aids” by edwin cameron, who is a member of south africa’s supreme court, who is out about having aids—not just hiv.

[can’t find my book in the clutter right this sec, and don't really want to keyboard it all. this is a cut-and-paste passage excerpted from my aids-write.org report on gay pride in preparation (been kinda prolific of late) same material: what made cameron come out about his hiv status and become an activist.

http://www.positivenation.co.uk/issue115/features/feature2/feature2.htm

was there a particular catalyst which made you break your silence?
the trigger was the death of a young woman called gugu dlamini in a durban township. she spoke publicly about her hiv status just before christmas in 1998, and was killed for it. members of her own community stoned and stabbed her to death because of her speaking out. i thought, ‘i’m living with the professional and middle-class protections, surrounded by caring friends and family, and i’m not speaking, but this woman did’. that’s what compelled me to speak. i also knew that i had to confront the dichotomy of my life. i was well known in aids circles as someone involved in aids policy and human rights as a lawyer and later a judge, and yet i was also someone living with hiv. i hadn’t integrated those two things, and speaking out enabled me to do so.


what is your response to this story, particularly to what cameron calls “the dichotomy of my life”?

inner aids and outer aids?

thank you in advance for your thoughtful response.

--rk
dark and bright
deep and clouded
sinister and resilient
sung and un
piece by piece
picture the truth

http://aids-write.org

Offline rk@aids-write.org

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  • Posts: 57
    • aids-write.org
cut-and-pasted from p.dobson@aids.org (comment from aids-write.org thread

Consider these defintions:

Activism - nudging the world toward being the way one thinks it ought to be.

Activist - one who speaks out and takes direct action in in the effort to change the world.

Supporting Activism - doing what one can do to help activists one approves of.

Responsbile for Activism - Either be an activist, or support activism.

Responsible in the World - To be responsible in the world, one must be responsible for activism in some form.

-

I used to be more of a direct action activist, marching in the streets, doing political performance art, writing. As the years have gone by those things have gotten harder - and I’ve taken more of a back seat, supporting projects and people with my talents, time and financial donations in ways that leverage my investment.

I often hear a voice in my head that says “I should speak out directly” and I know I have stories and ideas and writing that is valuable. But I believe that I am doing well in supporting activism, and when it’s right for me to speak more directly, and share my ideas and stories, I’ll do that.

Mostly for me, it’s an issue of working with my inner demons that are fearful of being hurt when being public in the world. They are demons I will likely live with all my life. They draw power from injustice in my life and injustice in the world - the same injustice also powers my desire for activism.

--peter
dark and bright
deep and clouded
sinister and resilient
sung and un
piece by piece
picture the truth

http://aids-write.org

Offline allopathicholistic

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what I'm getting is that Mr. Cameron, by virtue of his career, was probably bombarded with "signs" imploring him to do more, way before Gugu Dlamani ... He was probably getting these cosmic messages for years but blocked them out because in his mind, it made life easier. Then, Gugu Dlamani's murder.

re: "dichotomy" interpreted as inner AIDS and outer AIDS: Yeah that's one way to look at it. Inner connoting influential/visible (Mr. Cameron's clout) and outer connoting obscurity (Ms. Dlamani's life and senseless death) ... Yet what wasn't plainly visible were Cameron's ethos and raison d'etre = Obscurity.

what was  visible was the choice Ms. Dlamani made and the events that followed = Influential.

this was likely part of the changes in Cameron's psyche
« Last Edit: June 23, 2006, 01:12:53 AM by allopathicholistic »

Offline rk@aids-write.org

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    • aids-write.org
as you can seee, i'be been a busy boy--two more sets of posts.

you raise some important questions about personlal activism and cameron. in the intervening time, i thought about what i've been asking, and decided i need to put my thoughts down about why i AM an activist rather than saying, "shouldn't everybody be an activist?" will take me a little time to compose that, and i also have a qigong class to teach and a party to host tonight. and then probably a bunch of naps.

will check in again soon. look at the other two suites of posts if you have time.

thx,

--lyr
(short for love you, richard)
rk@aids-write.org

i would put a picture of myself on this thing if i know how.
dark and bright
deep and clouded
sinister and resilient
sung and un
piece by piece
picture the truth

http://aids-write.org

Offline rk@aids-write.org

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  • Posts: 57
    • aids-write.org
alex--

to put cameron in terms of mlking: he stopped being concerned about what would happen to him if he disclosed, but what would happen to everyone else if he didnt. could he be a good samariitan wothout being out?

try reading the gladwell story. it has a power that is reminiscent of the speech liam neilsson gabe at the endof schindler's list--i could have done more. also an activist's lament.

part 3: edwin cameron: the gladwell story (262)

http://aids-write.org/?p=18

--lyr
dark and bright
deep and clouded
sinister and resilient
sung and un
piece by piece
picture the truth

http://aids-write.org

Offline allopathicholistic

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Re: need your comments on aids-write.org report on 6/14 ahf not fab forum
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2006, 10:58:57 PM »
Poignant and moving - again. In my humble opinion, Mr. Cameron will come to terms with Mr. Gladwell's death --but it will take a long time. He did try to help him. I understand Cameron's sadness in the context of "I could have and should have done more" ..... The fact was: Gladwell was too afraid, his equation was dreadfully complex. We can all select events from our past and think "I could have done more" but we're not perfect. And how do we know exactly when we should do more, and for whom? for everyone?? ? One could argue (however extreme and silly) that none of us should have a bank account, food in our refrigerator, a car, clothes - that all those resources belong in other, more needy hands. who defines and determines 'needy'?? who determines if 'joe" is needier than "jack"? the questions are *endless*. I suppose gut feeling is a big factor. one could say this is a confounded world we live in, and while there's truth to that, there are also undeniable rays of light. apparently Cameron's journey is moving him toward the light ---but he's crying rivers in the process. a cleansing of his soul maybe? ...just curious, when you're reading his books, do you cry rivers?? they seem profoundly emotional based on the excerpts.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2006, 11:04:19 PM by allopathicholistic »

Offline rk@aids-write.org

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Re: need your comments on aids-write.org report on 6/14 ahf not fab forum
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2006, 09:52:22 AM »
alex--

yes, i weep heavily and deeply when reading cameron. while it may be cleansing, it is also exhausting. but i'm that way when i'm writing stuff too--the whole range from deep sorrow to laughter and dance. i am not a dispassionate john le carre.

one of cameron's themes seems to be inner & outer aids. when we come out to others, we come out to ourselves. we seek healing for the inner condition and the outer condition of aids.

--lyr
dark and bright
deep and clouded
sinister and resilient
sung and un
piece by piece
picture the truth

http://aids-write.org

 


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