I’d been trying to find Celia Farber’s book Serious Adverse Events: An Uncensored History of AIDS ever since it came out. My interest in such a book does not mean anything objectively. This Ain’t didn’t have it, then they did, but only in the $60 library edition. Little Sister’s had four copies listed in their database, but four people scoured the store (a small and unprepossessing shop) and couldn’t find it. There was exactly one copy at the Broadway and Granville Chapters, which I snagged. In retrospect, I should have just Amazoned it.

I read it while waiting for and while riding on the plane home. This is a book with four versions and four ISBNs that uses that atrocious, spindly, overnarrow Adobe Garamond (no doubt because it came free with Photoshop), and with no ligatures – a serious impediment to reading, especially in the fi case. The real problem was the prevalence of typing and spelling errors on every second page, up to and including an inability to write “saliva” correctly ever (“salvia”). You make four versions of this? And your whole point is that the science behind HIV causing AIDS is inaccurate? At least accurately render your claims.

I distinctly recall standing at the dismal corner of Park and Pine in Montreal circa 1989 effectively waiting in a receiving line to talk to Celia Farber. She made sure to chat up everyone but me, going so far as to stand there silently if it was the only other option. She’s an unsympathetic character, but that doesn’t mean anything objectively, I suppose.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2007.02.15 15:48. 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:

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None. I quit.

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