Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine

by Dick Mac

In the early 1980s, a friend died of Gay-Related Immune Deficiency (GRID). Gay health care professionals objected to calling the disease gay-related, because it was also killing Haitians and hemophiliacs. In 1983, GRID was renamed AIDS.

Some discussion focused on the disparity of the three groups affected. The impact on gay men made it seem obvious that it could be sexually transmitted. That so many urban gay men are socially conscious and active in their communities, including the donation of blood to the Red Cross on a regular basis, explained how the virus got into the blood supply and impacted hemophiliacs. But, what was the Haitian connection? Haiti was not known as a hot gay resort and there are no more gay men of Haitian descent than any other ethnicity.

Conspiracy theory is entertaining, and I love to read about it, discuss it, even facilitate the spreading of conspiracy theory. The most common conspiracy theories generally include the government. They are an easy target.

So, what does this have to do with AIDS and swine?

My favorite theory about the advent of AIDS, and it is a theory I do not dismiss, even in 2009, goes like this:

The United States created a swine flu strain in the early 1960s at a military laboratory. They used it to infect the entire population of pigs on Cuba in an effort to starve the Cuban Revolution and destabilize the Castro government. They did a dress rehearsal in Haiti beforehand, and eliminated the entire pig population of that island nation before the big show in Cuba. That same military laboratory, in a much more sinister conspiracy, created what is now known as HIV, tested it on some of the Haitian population before distributing it to the homosexual community in America. However, the idiots running this hair-brained idea didn't take into account that American gay men regularly donated their blood, many were married to women and were on the down-low, and that many were bisexual, all of which meant that the virus could not be isolated to the target audience: the queers.

Is there a military laboratory in Haiti? I don't know. Did the United States Military create swine flu and AIDS? I don't know. But this theory is just as plausible as the mutation of the virus from monkeys in Africa to Rock Hudson, in Hollywood.

Nonetheless, we have a pending health care crisis, a pandemic (that according to the Republicans, we could never have anticipated) that could kill many more people than it already has; and I wonder if we manufactured it with our hard-earned tax dollars.

Another kind of swine, those who perpetrated Reaganomics and have helped make supply-side economic theory de rigeur, are back in the news. Since they are falling from grace so much, about the only press Reaganites are getting is as fodder for liberal pundits and late-night talk-show hosts. Both arenas are too good for them, still.

Arlen Specter, a pretend-Republican, announced that he will now become a pretend-Democrat.

If the Reaganites are leaving the Republican Party, then the only people left will be the religious wackos, neo-nazis, and people who think the 1969 Apollo mission to the moon was a hoax. Or, wait a minute, maybe that's whose always been under the Reagan tent.

This is good news for Democrats, because it brings them closer to a veto-proof majority in the Senate. Since the Democrats have moved so far to the right over the past two decades, I am not certain this is a good thing. I wish people like Specter and other independent-minded elected officials would start forming other parties. It was a democratic president who passed NAFTA and DOMA, so I am not thrilled with the notion of them becoming any more powerful than the Republicans. Or maybe I am. Swine!

The other bit of swine news this morning is that there are still people in the South trying to overturn the Voting Rights Act, because they feel it unfairly punishes them for misdeeds of the past.

Well, I'll tell you, Alabama and Georgia, American to American, that I have not noticed that any strident efforts have been made in your states to embrace the rights of those who are different. People of color, homosexuals, transgender people, handicapped people, children, rape victims, and those interested in access to birth control and abortion don't have a very nice life in your states, and only those who escape the clutches of your 19th-Century culture are enjoying the American Dream.

I certainly hope the Supreme Court upholds all provisions of the Voting Rights Act, and perhaps the elected officials of deep-South states should use their money to make their societies a little more hospitable and perhaps drag their citizenry (kicking and screaming) into the 20th Century. Then perhaps we can have a discussion about giving you some relief if you'll pretend to move into the 21st Century! Swine!

Links:

Steele: Swine Flu Couldn't Be Predicted (VIDEO)

A Challenge to Voting Rights

1 comment:

AKA Ted Faigle said...

Excellent post! Not that I love re-living all those old paranoid times of GRID and the wild conspiracy theories that came out of feeling so helpless and afraid (it still doesn't mean none of them were true) while people around us were dying in droves. But, as you seem to say, it could always happen again. The mindset that says "this pandemic is something we could have never seen coming" is just a mark of incompetence. There is always gonna be something we didn't see coming. Maybe it's just proof that God hates us but, OK, how are we gonna deal with that? As far as I can tell we as a species ain't never gonna please God. So we just have to figure out how to survive without him -- or die trying.