July 18th, 2010

and the band played on… politics, people and the aids epidemic.

i don’t think there’s a bigger blight on the US governments collective consciousness post slavery than how it handled the pending aids catastrophe beginning in the late 70’s and exploding throughout the 1980’s. the history of this disease and how it was mishandled is absolutely one of the most astounding stories i have ever read. one of the most intriguing aspects of this book is the perspective of scientists trying to analyze and confront a gay sexual revolution that had really only just begun. from a hetero man’s liberal notions of sexuality, i found myself nostalgic for a time of sheer hedonistic rituals that i wouldn’t have even been a part of anyway. it was more of a grieving of the last era of action without consequences.
here is an excerpt:
“Intimacy disappeared and, before long, people were wearing outward signs of sexual tasks, hankies and keys, to make their cruising more efficient, and the bathhouses became virtual convenience stores for quick cavorting, 7-elevens for butt-fucking… The trouble was that, by definition, you had gay male subculture in which there was nothing to moderate the utterly male values that were being adulated more religiously than any macho heterosexual could imagine. Promiscuity was rampant because in an all-male subculture there was nobody to say “no” – no moderating role like that a woman plays in the heterosexual milieu.”

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