Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Remember




Today is World AIDS Day. A day to remember, rally and publicize those who came before, those who are gone and those who continue to live with HIV. HIV and AIDS continues to ravage populations across the globe. Those who live with HIV must battle stigma and poverty.

"I'm sick and tired of red ribbons and the Names Quilt. There's something 'nice' about a red ribbon for AIDS awareness. There's nothing 'nice' about AIDS. Leave it to some design queens to transform a plaque into a fashion statement. As for the Names Quilt, I don't want to end up a rectangular rag, however suitably decorated. The textile responses to the AIDS crisis leave me cold. I prefer to wear my ACT UP button that says 'ACT UP, FIGHT BACK, FIGHT AIDS' and have people on the subway cringe when they read the last word on it." 
David Feinberg, Queer and Loathing: Rants and Raves of a Raging AIDS Clone (New York: Viking, 1994): 184.


"...I also understand why Steve, who'd sewn his share of panels over the years, would fly into a rage as the end approached: 'And don't put in that fucking quilt!' Being of a mind to have his body dumped instead on the White House lawn. The Quilt had begun to seem too passive, even too nice, letting the war criminals off the hook and providing the media with far too easy a wrapup. Much neater than trying to unravel the Gordian knot of AIDS activism, the Byzantine infighting and turf protection, the in-your-face bad manners of those who wouldn't go quietly. The quilted dead made for prettier sound bites, especially effective at zeroing in on the "innocent" victims, the kids and the hemophiliacs." 
Paul Monette. Late Watch of the Night: Essays Too Personal and Otherwise (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1994): 215
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