Pox the Monkey
Forty-years after AIDS was first discovered in gay men, the group is still performing
Signs of the Times:
This concept is one I’ll never get: why promiscuity has become so integral to everyone’s lives. Did you remember when society told us that homosexual males were not allowed to marry and that they had to be gay? This was absurd. This was due to the fact that many men are driven to sex and, without having to deal with religious restrictions or the complications of female sexual desire, they will behave like rutting apes.
Want to learn more about monkeypox? If you’re not too squeamish, check out these NSFW photos on the New England Journal of Medicine site, of monkeypox lesions on male genitals. This is horrendous. Here’s a link to the information veteran science reporter Donald G. McNeil gives about monkeypox, via Bari Weiss’s site. Excerpts:
This May, it appeared among gay men, especially those who had visited four venues: the Darklands leather fetish festival in Belgium; the annual Pride Festival in Spain’s Canary Islands; a gay rave at Berlin’s Berghain techno club; and the Paraiso sauna in Madrid, which, since it had darkened cubicles for orgies, a bondage cell and a bar, was really more of a huge sex club than a spa.
Despite the fact that one party has become a super-spreader event, organizers have not been willing to cancel these parties or reschedule until there are more vaccine-able men. New York Pride Month was June and there are a lot of cases in New York. Two recent parties in San Francisco, Electroluxx Pride and the Afterglow Blacklight Discotheque had cases linked to them. And yet more events, like Provincetown Bear Week are going forward anyway.
The disease is not yet believed to have killed anybody outside of Africa. Some victims are required to be admitted due to severe pain, especially from the pustules or rectum. Some suffer from severe pain for several weeks, while others are left feeling miserable and some end up with permanent scarring. Monkeypox sufferers are advised to remain isolated until the crust of the virus has dissolved and the scabs have fallen off. This can take as long as a month.
The virus’s negligible death rate will not persist if it is removed from its network. This applies to mostly young and healthy adults men.
In five subsequent articles, I’ve made some fairly strident suggestions.
First, that we talk frankly about risky gay male sex networks instead of fretting about stigmatization. It is far more important to stop an epidemic than it is to greenwash it. Second, that this summer’s Pride celebrations for men (not the parades, the “sex-positive” after-parties) should be rescheduled until autumn, when many more men will be vaccinated and rapid tests should be available to enable testing right at the party door. Third, that we stop pretending that ring vaccination could ever work and instead offer vaccine to all men with multiple sex partners, and to all sex workers. It is difficult to vaccinate the “ring” around each case when there are anonymous sex partners. They don’t know their contacts. Fourth, that we roll out both the Jynneos and the ACAM2000 vaccines and screen men for the risks posed by the older vaccine. Fifth, that the government offer a month’s shelter to all men who test positive so they can isolate safely under medical surveillance. Not all gay men have a glamorous life; others must sell their sex for food and rent. )
We will never talk frankly about risky gay male sex networks, or do anything else like that. We were vaccinated against the common sense of wakingness. The late gay journalist Randy Shilts wrote in his acclaimed 1987 book And The Band Played On about the indifference and folly that led to AIDS becoming a massive public health crisis. His talk was not only about the government’s failings but also about the indifference and folly of the gay community that refused to be taught what to do with their collective bodies. Shilts’s book. I can’t copy and paste the Amazon excerpt, so just take parts.
This vivid scene makes you see how medically and morally deranged these individuals were.
That’s not what he found in San Francisco in the early 1980s. More:
You get the idea. Monkeypox is not as serious as AIDS but it is still very bad. Yet, we’re here. None of these are being discussed in a blunt manner. No one is advocating closing down sex clubs and bathhouses. I just checked the website of the gay magazine Advocate to see what its coverage of monkeypox is like. As of 6pm central European time on Monday, the first 27 stories on the site, here’s the only one about monkeypox:
Incredibly clear about priorities, isn’t it?
Forty-years after AIDS was introduced to the world, our attitudes about homosexuality are more mature and politically acceptable than they were in those days. We are unwilling to talk about any crime, disease or social pathology that could cast doubt on any of the sacred victims. This is a fact we all recognize, and we’re used to it. There will be no change. Band will continue to play. The same song with seven hundred seventy-third verses.
Maybe I’m wrong. The US Surgeon General may make a bold statement that is based upon scientific facts, and will not show fear or favor. Perhaps the Biden administration will be tough in order to stop this pandemic from getting worse. …