‘Carthage must be destroyed’

Fortunately for us, for you, for the gay and lesbian community, and for posterity, ACT UP is becoming well documented.

  1. Fight Back, Fight AIDS: 15 Years of ACT UP (little known; James Wentzy, November 2002). DVD; online at Vimeo

  2. Sex in an Epidemic (Jean Carlomusto, 2010). DVD; at the library

  3. How to Survive a Plague (David France, 2012; q.v.). DVD; at the library

  4. United in Anger: A History of ACT UP (Jim Hubbard, 2012; q.v.). (Coming to the library)

The latter three can be watched at various online services, sometimes even Netflix. There is of course also the ACT UP Oral History Project, whose choice of formats ensures it will not last. You’d best mirror that site every month until it disappears (which it will).

Also of interest

We need this documentation

We need documentation of ACT UP because the following is happening and will continue: Genderqueers and trannies literally rewrite our history so we never existed, further lying that we were RAYSISS and cissexist. (We didn’t exist and we were deficient.) They lie that everything we accomplished matters nil because not enough of us were men with vaginas or nonwhites. ACT UP is the important gay and lesbian achievement following Stonewall – an event that was not led by transgenders, people of colour, women of colour, or transgenders of colour – and the truth must be preserved even in the face of queers’ and transgenders’ supremacist movement to wipe us out.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.07.01 14:42. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/07/01/actupdocs/

Peter Staley posted a scan of a foundational document from ACT UP, A National AIDS Treatment Research Agenda. I improved his version to something resembling archival quality.

Changes

  • Crappy scanned PDF with skewed pages deskewed. Poor-quality recognized text included. Tags added. Almost complies with PDF/A standard, but not quite

  • Thoroughly copy-edited HTML version:

    • merged pages one and two of original, because HTML is pageless

    • regularized some spellings (payers, Treatment IND)

    • altered copy inasmuch as hyphenation and nonbreaking spaces were added

    • could not reasonably regularize all capitalization and punctuation in original (the latter especially in headings); title case troublesome here, as it is with all amateur writers (Who Think All Headings Have To Be Capitalized Like This – They Don’t)

    • did not number everything the original does, because, while valid in HTML, the result is unexpected; specifically, numbered headings were reduced to the minimum possible

    • corrected inconsequential errors and marked up consequential errors found in original

If you’re concerned that the HTML version does not look, feel, and act like the PDF, understand that it cannot and should not.

Why?

I was explaining previously that the ACT UP Oral History Project is making a serious mistake – attributable to poor computer knowledge and Windows use – by publishing transcripts of interviews with ACT UP members as PDFs. I explained the need for correct archiving of these important documents and the need for an upgraded codebase for its site.

Nothing changed. Jim Hubbard and Sarah Schulman are not about to take my advice on anything even if it means that, someday soon, nearly 200 priceless interviews and transcripts will disappear or become unreadable. They would prefer to keep on doing what they’re doing if the alternative is taking advice from me. I get this a lot.

But for demonstration purposes, I decided to correct the archival errors in A National AIDS Treatment Research Agenda. My improved PDF is somewhat more likely to be readable in the future than Staley’s, and is already much more usable. For the rest of our lives and probably our children’s lives, as long as computerization still exists, my valid-HTML version will be readable. I guarantee what I just said. Valid HTML will not become less comprehensible.

Repairing this 16-page document took half a week of part-time effort. It was possible only because I am good at PDF manipulation (though with middling skills compared to people I know) and am an expert in HTML. I suspect I am the last person publishing nothing but valid HTML.

This was just one document. How do we solve the entire archive problem? I imagined a scenario in which we applied to Tim Gill for, say, a million dollars to correctly archive all AIDS-activist materials in the United States and Canada – yes, even of my enemies in the former AIDS Action Now. I then wondered which exact institution would apply for that money and how we’d get our hands on the original materials. Despite its being my idea, I knew I would be excluded from the outset or fired the day the cheque cleared. People who don’t know the difference would hire other people who don’t know the difference to do the work (as in captioning, a cadre of identical 25-year-old females with humanities degrees).

You can see, then, why it is obvious to me this will never be repeated. No archival ACT UP documents will ever be given this treatment again. This one was.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.06.18 12:14. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/06/18/treatmentagenda/

Sarah Schulman, who is right only half the time and who lies about gay men, is at it again. Rather following the pattern of her other activities, in which Israel is viewed as the gay problem in the Middle East while Muslims, Islam, sharia, Palestine, and Palestinians are not, Schulman commits the lie that How to Survive a Plague intentionally pinkwashed nonwhites and women from ACT UP’s history.

What did you think of How to Survive a Plague? There seemed to be a certain whitewashing of history going on.

Well, we call it “The Five White People Who Saved the World” – that’s our nickname for it. And those white people are very busy, because apparently they’re always saving everything all the time. Everywhere you go, you see them.

Jim Hubbard, the director of United in Anger: A History of ACT UP, and David France did a public debate. It was co-sponsored by Visual AIDS and you can watch it on YouTube and it’s really, really fascinating. At one point they open up for questions, and the first question to David is: “Why do you have no women or people of color in the film?” And he says, well, I wanted to focus on wealthy white men because they had the time to devote to activism.

Now, as a person who has interviewed 168 surviving members of ACT UP New York, I can tell you that’s not historically correct. People in ACT UP gave their entire lives to ACT UP. All different kinds of people from every class and background would report in our interviews that they were at ACT UP five nights a week, that their entire life was ACT UP. And that had nothing to do with how much money you had. And the second thing he said was that these men went to good universities and so they were able to understand the science. That is absurd. The audience almost started laughing. One of the best experts on the science of AIDS in ACT UP was Garance Franke-Ruta, who was 19. We all sat there and realized that this man knows nothing about ACT UP.

She makes these statements in the same interview in which she excoriates Dallas Buyers Club as “the opposite of the truth… straight people [as] the heroes of AIDS.” [continue with “Sarah Schulman lies about gay men yet again” →]

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.06.06 06:41. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/06/06/schulman-men/



Gaybros, those gay men who want to be both and not just the former, are a complex, prickly, still-evolving group. They bewilder queers and LGBTs, who basically call them transphobic and racist. (Except Toronto Gaybros are overrun by Chinese and other “Asians,” by their own admission; point out that they admitted it and they call you a racist.)

I have previously described these guys as looking like engineering students, which many of them are. A helpful poll has revealed what various respondents study in school. Whaddya know: This is the first group of out gay men in human history to be reasonably represented in male-dominated disciplines. (Majors and minors included. Plans and aspirations generally excluded. Some licence taken with course descriptions to collapse them onto set categories [also sometimes impossible]. These are all young fellas and their plans and outcomes will of course vary.)

Male-dominated science and technology professions (71)
Engineering: 13 (the single largest, and largest single, field)
Computer science: 7
Physics: 6
Math: 10
Economics: 6
Biology: 7
Chemistry: 8
Technology (all other than above): 13
Humanities (55)
English: 3
Philosophy: 10
Not lavender languages (6) and linguistics (4)
Humanities (other): 34
Surprises
Nursing: 2
Graphic design: 4
Fashion design: 2
Music: 5
Professions (showing poorly)
Law: 1
Medicine: 2
Business (all): 11
Education (all): 5
Psychology (6) is deemed its own category

What is one incontrovertible conclusion of the research into gay money? If you’re a gay male and you want to earn a living commensurate with your education, duke it out with straight guys in male-dominated professions. I say again: This is the first known cohort of actual gay males demonstrably interested in doing just that.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.05.21 12:56. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/05/21/gaybrosmajors/

Diverging noticeably from the Brazilian Hunks of Instagram archetype is the alleged DJ Rafa Nunes, a Brazilian living in Paris, as seen in the chronicler of all men bony, paunchy, British, or otherwise homely and undistinguished, Meat (first ¶ second). [continue with “Fairest Brazilian” →]

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.05.09 13:29. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/05/09/rafanunes/

Here we have Fortitude Throwing’s photograph of British discus-thrower Brett Morse.

Brett Morse winding up to throw the discus, seen through a fence

Now, tell me: Considering this timeless, in fact archetypal, body and pose, do you have any doubt whatsoever that you are looking at a man?

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.05.09 12:54. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/05/09/brettmorse/

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