Today is the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day.
There are some anniversaries you just don't want to celebrate — even moreso when they become co-opted as a way to celebrate the legacy of George W. Bush.
Yeah, you read that right. He's getting an 'International Medal of Peace' at the Saddleback Civil Forum on Global Health in Washington today. While Bush does deserve credit for funnelling a lot of money into African AIDS relief, the strings-attached focus on abstinence has critics divided over its effectiveness. Me, I'm still reeling from having just typed, "Bush does deserve credit."
But everything about today feels upended: I'm even in vague agreement on the need for HIV disclosure with The Globe and Mail's Margaret Wente, who normally drives me bats when she takes complex social issues and boils them down to snarky, facile moralizing (hey, that's my job!!).
Wente adds to my sense of vertigo by quoting Dan Savage and Larry Kramer with approval but fortunately, I can steady myself with the way she brushes aside issues of HIV criminalization and stigma and the way notions of an "AIDS establishment" and "activist establishment" seem to make her nipples hard. Now there's the Margaret I know and love!
Personally, I'd love to see Wente have a chat with glamourous AIDS activist Brian Finch but ten minutes with him might end up like a Cronenberg movie:
The holiday season has begun — ho ho fucking ho.