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Bad Manners and Good Gossip

« More AIDS Goofiness: Stunning Contradiction | Main | Celia Farber and Stephen Davis on the Radio! »

August 30, 2006


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I haven't seen that episode. It sounds brilliant.

Kramer sees the ribbon as the empty symbol that it actually is. He thinks there's more power in doing something, rather than just putting on a ribbon and making it *look* like something's being done.

He doesn't want to be seen as somebody who talks the talk but doesn't walk the walk (wow, Seinfeld really hit it with that one).

noreen martin

Sign, sign everywhere a sign,
blocking out the scenery breaking my mind. Do this, don't do that, can't read the sign.
Five Man Electrical Band

noreen martin

Can't YOU read the sign?

Andrew Maniotis

Dear Hank,

Thanks for the Seinfeld piece. I have only seen parts of that one for some reason, but the parts I saw really were funny (I did see the march)!

I love to watch doctor shows like ER and also hard-hitting police dramas like Law and Order.

One of my favorites was one ER episode in which Jeanie (the beautiful young African-American Nurse) finds out she is "HIV" positive, and that her husband, a construction worker, gave to her because of one time, that didn't have safe sex with her. In long scenes with the red-headed Chief Attending (the one with the cane-I can never remember actors names so forgive me), and others, we see Jeanie, the now "HIV" positive nurse trying to navigate through the stigma and terror of disclosing her "positive" HIV status to her medical superiors, and other colleagues such as Dr. Benton, Dr.Carter, George Cloony (can't think of his stage name although I've heard it a million times), and other co-workers. Several succeeding episodes center on how she has to only have "limited" and "supervised" contact with patients, and how she really ought to perhaps think about doing something else.

Several more episodes (since it is nothing but a soap-opera) develop the theme with her husband who "gave it to her" develop her "HIV" positivity into a textbook example of how a medical professional must and should responsibly handle an "HIV" diagnosis, complete with compliance to taking all the meds of course. ("Jeanie, did you take all your meds this morning as she is leaving for work," we hear her "HIV-postive husband saying her as he kisses her on the cheak, etc).

At one point, I believe, she does admit to having "slight side effects" but this situation is rapidly remedied by taking "crixovan, the combination HAART megapill). I felt as though though TAG wrote the script as a hospital procedural film that was made to show young medical students! It was the inevitability and pathos of it all that got me, and I believe I actually felt like crying for Jeanie when at once, as an audience member, I apprehended the tragic aesthic spector of this young, beautiful African American woman, forever cursed and damned to take her anti-retrovirals, and trying to disclose to her numerous suitors her "HIV" positive status as it is the "right thing to do," while offering herself up on the alter of the Church of Modern medicine.

For instance, in one episode, we find, like Christ on his rood, we Jeanie in the hospital coffee shop, sobbing with tears streaming, after one episode where they are short handed in the ER, and during an emergency situation she is the only nurse around and is forced by one of the yelling doctors (and loud dramatic ER music) to "place her hand in someone's open chest because of a "pneumothorax," a situation where any doctor could cut their hand on sharp bone fragments, where of course their blood would mingle with the patients. While this is happening, the head attending is standing over her yelling at her of course not to do it, and to "stand down." Of course they never show the poor "HIV" stigmatized nurse running to the rest room or developing fatigue or anemia because of her meds when she is on the ward in her white coat, but instead we are given plenty of intruction regarding how a health care professional's life becomes instantly changed, and of course, as one who wants to help people, the paradoxes of her inevitably fatal situation come to the fore.

But law shows take the cake! Its always the same. Some irresponsible African American criminal or young white male sexual deviant running around giving "AIDS" to people, with the rightous detectives or police chief bent over the criminal in the interrogation room, yelling in the man's ear, you are an "HIV" AIDS murderer for intentionally infecting so-and so, and you are going to burn in the electric chair for murder because so-and so tested "HIV" positive, or now has full blown AIDS (which usually happens within weeks of last encounter on these shows).

Of course, my passions are aroused as well as the audience member. I want that AIDS-spreading criminal to get the chair for having sex with the poor young and innocent college student, but more importantly, I get this horrible feeling as though my daughter or even I myself was the young an innocent he had raped or had sex with, and now I've got it and I'm going to die, as if put into Hanibal Lector's jail cell, with the AIDS virus eating out my guts. It's all so unfair and horrific for the victim, and the police spare no words or threatening behavior toward the apprehended AIDS criminal in painting this kind of picture. The innocent had no choice in the matter-their innocent life snatched from them by this criminal who gave me AIDS. Kill! Kill! Kill! The bastard!

I hope this helps.

Andy Maniotis


I used to watch Law and Order, about three or four centuries ago...when it was still vaguely capable of being interesting, despite its redundancy.

Here's something I noticed on Special Victims Unit:

There are two kinds of sex criminals:

Freaky, White S&M wierdos....


Irresponsible HIV positive Black men...who'll do it with anybody and everybody... who you can always catch by - doing an HIV test and finding the 'quickly mutating superstrain!'

See: for an example of a story that did make it to S.V.U. in at least one slightly altered AIDS, inc. fairy tale version.

It's worth noting that the ICC story was featured as the crux of a standard 'Law and Order' piece just a few months ago.

The doc was poisoning orphans... but to save them of course...


I am puzzled as to how a hard hitting piece on a DIFFERENT presentation of the AIDS fantasy has become an invitation for recounting plot lines of favorite (or not) TV series and a restating of the completely expected, and totally (to me) uninteresting predictable media distortion of science food for the boob tube.

Now having said that: The only TV series I have ever watched is Colombo because I loved the fact that he never carried a gun and like the puzzles of Euclidian geometry the crimes were always solved by working backwards and committed by the rich and powerful. never the poor and despised.

Johnny B.

Columbo was a great show. I liked that he was always underestimated - not just by the criminals either. I was fortunate enough to have tuned in for the made for TV movie which went on to be the great series. One of you bright people could do a great satire with Columbo tracking down the real killer of the folks who have died of the multiplicity of diseases known as AIDS. The villain could be John Moore who blames the little retro-virus, but Columbo keeps hacking away at him with "just one more thing that maybe you could help me out with Dr. Moore"...



what hard-hitting piece...lost me there.

"Eh...there's just one thing booothering me Doctuh Mooowr...

You said you were writing an editorial....

Isn't it normal to let the peoples you attacked...also say their piece?

I don't mean to be presumptuous Doctuh Moowr, after all, I'm just a detective, and my wife says I think too much about these things...

But it just kept bothering me and bothering me...

So I went to that thing..what do they call it... the intranet?

And I read all of these fantastic papers...I must've read all night, for three nights.

And it made me think, Doctuh Moowr, that maybe you're not telling the truth."



Exactly. The insurgency could use a few more Colombos.

Celia Farber

Here is a piece I wrote a couple of years ago for NY Press that contains some history of that heinous "ribbon."

Johnny B.

Nice writing, Celia. By the way, was transfixed by your "Out Of Control" article. I'm not as convinced as some on this issue (and have taken scorn from both sides because of it) but it was a fine piece of writing.

Johnny B.

and, of course, I mean "fine" as in "I'm going out this evening and will wear fine jewelry" and not "I guess going to the beach instead of the mountains will be fine".

Celia Farber

Dear Johnny,

I took your word "fine" the way you meant it and I think you are a fine reader. Nice to "meet" you.

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