mardi 7 décembre 2010
So Ms Whoever is coming to Paris to promote her new book on how-to-spend-a-lifetime–and-make-some-dosh-rambling-on-about-Foucault.
And the talk about town is that most of the contents of « Que Veulent Les Gays » is taken from works already published by Didier Eribon, David Halperin’s comrade in arms.
Jeeeeeez. Foucault is so boring. The vultures around Foucault are many on these shores and we have a long history of trying to dismiss this kind of neo-philosophical shit. We’ve been doing it for more than 2 decades now. And we see all those queens playing with the remaining corpse of a man gone a long time ago. Foucault died, out as a queen but with AIDS still in his closet. But hell, that’s no problem for those who want to use his ideas to describe an AIDS epidemic he never, (unlike we, the poor HIV survivors) got to experience. So they play with the stuff Foucault never said about the virus which can be best described as : (…). One day they take a bone and play with it, the next they choose some finger nail in the coffin.
Foucault was at the origins of AIDES – the biggest Aids group in France – which had more in common with GMHC than any social work by the great man, but it still looks good, on paper at least, that his partner in life, Daniel Defert, started the group way back in 1983.
For the first 20 years of AIDS in France, Foulcault hovered like a dark angel over AIDS activism, even if Act Up managed to zap that heritage with a single demo. Foucault suddenly became the refuge of old closet cases. Act Up was where it was at for the new breed of out-as-hell youngsters.
My view of his painful legacy is that you can live and strive and create and be BETTER without reading this shit. Foucault is for suckers.
We have had to prove that gay life, gay culture per se, could escape this freaky old man, a man who didn’t have the guts to tell the world he had HIV, even when everybody knew he was spending his nights in bathtubs of piss in the sex-clubs of the world. He was open about the piss but in denial about the virus – something was clearly wrong there as far as I was concerned.
And this original denial was, I think, the origin of a lot of compromised thinking at AIDES. It was all based on the PC concept of not being judgemental. You know, dowhatchalike, but don’t talk about it. It never sounded philosophically valid to me, and not very queer-studies either.
So we have had to live with this bollocks for more than 20 years, and the feedback from abroad has been huge. Some prat even wrote a book about making Foucault a hero because it’s just so clever to call somebody a saint when really he’s a traitor. But this, of course, is the way that money is made.
You see, some guy becomes famous from selling a dumb idea and there’s nothing you can do about it. Otherwise we would have put Milli Vanilli in The Simpsons after their first song instead of wasting all this time on them only to find out that they were a sham.
For 20 years, Foucault was the basis of Stupid AIDS as I call it, but for the last 10 years, he has been the backbone of Relapse (wave 1), Bareback (wave 2) and What The Fuck Happened To Gays ? (wave 3). And Halperin, who has been waiting out Waves 1 & 2 like a silent troll, is coming back at us now to spearhead Wave 3. His latest book is just another message telling us to chill, telling us that risky sex is just part of our nature, that we have to grow with it and enjoy it because there’s no way we can change our poor selves.
I’m not here to discuss the pros and cons of David Halperin's ideas. I think they’re all bollocks. Even the references he chooses in this book are pathetic. Digging up a beautiful / seminal but totally outdated text by Michael Warner from… 1995 to explain what’s happening in today’s gay sexuality is just so very very lazy. Everybody already knows this paper, we’ve been discussing this for such a long time. And so many other books have already gone so much further in explaining what’s going on in our dirty little minds when we fail to use a condom. People like Halperin write books about AIDS and risk-taking but they don’t know shit about the data, trials, and epidemiology – the real stuff that’s happening right now. Halperin rises high and pretends to look down on us all, but the only thing he grasps is thin air. DON’T talk to me about bareback when you don’t even know your numbers.
And don’t fuck with Genet either, because Genet has nothing to do with AIDS. And don’t play the cheap card of summoning up the legacy of some goddess from Mesopotamia who had nothing to do with AIDS either.
If you want to explain mitochondrial stuff using Alexander the Great, be my guest. If you wanna enlighten us on HVC with Jouhandeau, we’ll have a giggle with you. If you think CCR5 rhymes well with Sartre, well you’re just being a silly old git. But don’t you dare start preaching your sloppy ideas on AIDS, a field you don’t master.
What you are really trying to do is convince people who got HIV in the last 10 years that’s it all OK. You’re trying to gather around you all the gays who got HIV when they should have known better. They need your support, they need people like you who will tell them that it’s no sweat, that they were just being gay and real. You’re trying to tell them that they should not feel ashamed when shame is such a terrible thing for we gays.
Well, shame defined my – and David Halperin’s – generation. We grew up with serious hang-ups about being gay. And most of us managed to shake it all off and start Gay Lib movements and then AIDS movements and show just how much you can do that is great when you’re OK with your sexuality. But shame is back in this new century. The new shame is the one that gay people feel when they acknowledge that they wouldn’t be newly-HIV positive if they hadn’t fucked up their lives, their health – and sometimes, and that’s the worst part – somebody else’s life and health.
So this is all logical. Foucault was ashamed of AIDS. We managed to scrub that, without your help. Now a second wave of shame is upon us and books like David Halperin’s are trying to convince gays that it’s all OK, that risk taking is part of the gay way of life, that we simply have a self-destructive nature.
TasP, PreP, and microbicides won’t alter that shame. Barebackers are making the pharmaceutical industry fatter. It’s not AIDS making Gilead or Glaxo richer, it’s the barebackers. We, as gay men in rich countries, fuel the AIDS epidemic and enable the industry to have a party. This is the shame that’s upon us right now and it’s gonna grow, even if the treatments are easier to take (they are), even if they’re more efficient (they are), even if they are one pill a day (they are). David Halperin and all these guys who tell us that risk taking and forgetting condoms is part of our psyche feed the AIDS industry.
So there’ no philosophical bent here, no Genet, no Jouhandau, no what-ever-the-fuck French author you’ve decided to mess with today.
We don’t give a fuck about your crazed logic.
We love Genet enough that we won’t let you to stamp your dirty name on it. Your book is ultimately about nothing more than enabling gay people to feel good about being traitors to everything that we have achieved in AIDS over the last 30 years.
David Halperin did fuck-all to fight AIDS.
Queer studies did fuck-all to fight AIDS.
And not only did they do nothing to help people when the drugs were still nowhere to be seen, they didn’t even jump on the bandwagon when others did start the fight.
But now they’re ready to join in. Gilead, Glaxo, here they come! They love what you’re doing! Put them on board, PLEASE!
Thanks to Nick Alexander for better slang.