1 December 2001

Today is World AIDS Day. Artists and creative types used to commemorate this as A Day Without Art, to remember what we have lost with so many millions dead. This year, though, the approach has changed, and we have now Link And Think. This seems smarter to me, as silence in a crisis is less a commemoration and more a capitulation.

On the other hand, what is there to say? I would say this: Ignorance, or evil, may be a group of men in South Africa raping a nine-month-old baby because they’ve heard that sex with a virgin cures AIDS. Ignorance, or evil, may also be a Ivy-educated white man in NYC telling his (young, male) co-workers that he feels sorry that they’ve been fed all this propaganda, because straight men can’t actually catch AIDS, and it’s a shame they missed all the carefree fucking his (boomer) generation got to do.

Ignorance. Evil. But are the rapists entirely evil for committing an atrocious act, when they’ve been deluged in bad information? And this man in NYC, waxing nostalgic over his scotch about 70s blow jobs, is he only ignorant when the world’s knowledge is his for the asking, when he and his ilk are in fact responsible for large portions of the mass media that ought to be doing the informing or at least moving money from their ruling-class-white-American pockets to those who can inform the rest of the world?

I’m not asking as an ethicist, because as an ethicist I can answer the question. But I’d like to hear your answer first.

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1 December 2001

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