Tag Archives: AIDS

Opting Into Ignorance

Freedom of education? Not on my tax dollar, bub.

The province of Alberta, here in Canada, has opted to make matters of sex, sexual orientation,* and religion OPTIONAL for their students. Parents can yank their kids out of school when they disagree with the premise at hand. [Story here.]

Religion? Okay. Fine. I’ll give you that. Make that optional. I not only understand having strong beliefs on faith, I respect it. I do not, however, understand refusing to listen to other views, not having faith in your children to be intelligent enough to hear more than one viewpoint, or shutting down education when it seems fit,  because I feel that teaches children that the teachers and education itself are not credible.

But on matters of sex? Sex education?

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Continue reading

Fuck the Catholic Church Too

Dear Pope Whatsyerface:

I imagine that, if I ever really wanted to know what an “asshat” looked like, you’d be Exhibit A. I mean, what other excuse is there for that ridiculous hat?

And it’s funny, such a big hat for a man who has such an obviously small brain.

You’re now speculating that condoms are part of the problem with AIDS.

Right. Because rubber is so sieve-like.

You prick. Taking another promotional tour across Africa to again preach your message that using condoms is a sin, and now you’re blatantly LYING, you hypocritical fuck, and saying condoms make the AIDS situation worse?

The BBC reports this:

On his way to Cameroon, the Pope said HIV/Aids was “a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which can even increase the problem”.

People die every single minute from AIDS in Africa. On a continent where education is so hard to come by, and society is rife with discrimination against those afflicted, and the governments have, for the most part, abdicated their responsibilities to care for and protect its citizens at large?

How DARE you? Motherfucker.

Love Steff.

*** *** ***

I’ll cut this short, because I think one of my best postings ever (of a political nature) was on this very subject. Without ado, I give you: Fuck the Pope.

A 2009 Wish for Smut Writers

[Note: These opinions of mine are strong. Aren’t they always? But it should be said that I think it’s with irony, too, as the majority of sex bloggers I’ve followed on Twitter tend to speak of condoms as necessity, not options. I believe the sex blogging community is indeed having responsible sex more often than not; this posting isn’t about their personal practice, it’s about the image they’re portraying in their writing, which I would like to see more match their reality.]

I know the perception is that condoms aren’t sexy.

I know it fucks with the cadence in real life, stopping the action to fumble for protection, but putting on a condom CAN be hot. It CAN be incorporated into the play.

So why don’t smut writers include donning protection during casual sex scenes they write?

People are using less protection than they were 10 years ago. In fact, reports in the UK are that a staggering half of over-30 singles regularly have unsafe sex.

How fucking dumb are these people? Well, pretty dumb. If you’re having casual sex without a condom, I think you’re a fucking moron. Continue reading

A Perhaps Controversial Thought About the Birth of the AIDS Virus?

[I would normally post something like this on my other blog, The Last Ditch, but since it’s about AIDS, which is sexually transmitted, I’ve decided to be a little bit of a shit disturber and post it here for a larger audience. I’m interested to hear your thoughts…]

I’ve been fascinated by the history of the Congo for some time now, thanks to the brilliance of Adam Hochschild’s King Leopold’s Ghosts and the history of the first real genocide, the slaying of ten million Congo Africans during the rise of the rubber trade and height of African colonialism at the end of the 19th/beginning of the 20th century.

10 million Africans slaughtered for rubber. Never mind the millions stolen and forced into the slave trade from other regions, or those slaughtered when colonial interests take over.

I’m fascinated by genocides. I’m more fascinated by the horrors of Africa today, though. The legacy of that death and brutality.

It’s sadly funny, the justifications of whites and ‘manifest destiny’, how they felt Africans were “savages” who required a civilizing hand.

Now, Africa has descended into chaos — Somali pirates, Darfur’s genocide, South Africa’s rape crisis, and list goes on and on — and still you hear the pundits saying how Africa’s just a different kind of place. They’re uncivilized and brutal. It’s the African Way, they’ll say, in quiet, hushed voices that don’t get a lot of airplay.

It’s kind of like Bush saying the terrorists were in Iraq, so the war went there. And now, of course, terrorists are in Iraq. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Yes, Africa has become a savage place. Continue reading

Fuck The Pope.

The Catholic Church continues to dwell in the dark ages. Chillin’ in Rome on Saturday, Pope Benedict has again, and very adamantly, praised Humanae vitae, the 1968 Catholic document that declared the sanctity of human life in all its forms, including sperm and eggs, and thus issuing a Church-wide opposition to use of artificial birth control.

When choosing a new pope after John Paul II’s death, the Church decided against some of the more progressive thinkers who are wondering if, in the face of the epidemic spread of AIDS in Africa, it might be wise to begin using condoms to stem the spread of the disease. After all, Humanae vitae was written and enacted long before AIDS was either discovered or understood. Who could have conceived of a sexually-transmitted virus wiping out an entire generation of Africans in just 25 years after its “discovery”?

Today’s pope would have you believe it’s an act of courage to live according to the values espoused by Humanae vitae, but I say it’s an example of uncourageous Church that fails to see that we’re fighting against a horrendous virus that can, and may, mutate, making it even harder to prevent or even eliminate in the years ahead. But a condom is essentially the best weapon we have against AIDS. We can fight it now. Who’s to say what a future strain or mutation of AIDS might have the ability to do against us? Am I scare-mongering? No, but sometimes I get a little scared in the face of such dangerous ignorance.

The Church would rather an HIV-infected spouse have unprotected sex and risk infecting their partner than be safe and still share love without as much fear of death and disease.

JP II actively campaigned against the use of condoms to fight AIDS– in Africa!– by doing a series of speaking engagements throughout the continent in the years before his death, when Africa was already being labelled a hotbed of AIDS that had to be doused. The Church would have you believe that abstinence should be sufficient.

The powers that be in the Catholic Church have lost their grip on reality.

I was raised Catholic and went to both Catholic elementary and high school… Until, that is, it became known that my diocese had knowingly allowed a teacher to continue teaching at my Catholic high school for more than four years after they had discovered he had been molesting boys.

The spring of the year I learned that, when I was in grade nine, a girl committed suicide. The priest then told the school she would go to hell as suicide was a sin. You should have heard the heaving sobs and pained cries emitted by the student body as their grief became uncontrollable with the words “…to hell.”

That September found me going to public school. After three years of arguing with my parents about going to public school, they both were disgusted by the hypocrisy of the Church and I never was made to attend mass again.

So, I’m obviously a little biased.

Still, I am disgusted by the hypocrisy of the Church now. First it claims it’s the sanctity of human life, in all its possible forms, that drives it to fight for its protection by way of declaring all artificial contraception to be sins. Yet it’s the demise of human life they spread when all that’s needed to prevent more than 90% of the sexual transmissions of HIV & AIDS is the use of a little itty-bitty piece of latex. An entire generation has been wiped out and the Church STILL campaigns against a known way of preventing this horrific endless parade of death.

I mean, they’ve not declared the use of condoms as a sin then quietly looked the other way, like they seem to do to a greater extent with adultery and white-collar crime and other things that actually are sins committed against others. No, they’re out there banging that fucking drum and fighting it on a regular basis, with a microphone and camera, and in places where the education and savvy maybe could use a little helping hand. “Condoms are a sin, don’t wear condoms”?

That’s fucking obscene. That’s a fucking sin. Sanctity of life? Waste of life!

I think it’s a crime to do what the Church is doing. Not only that, it breaks my heart. It really does. When I was a kid, I was absolutely passionate about the Catholic creed. I had a comic book volume of the Bible, seven books I read again and again and again, dog-eared to shit, and I’m still angry at my dead mom for getting rid of ’em on me. I’d preach to the kiddies in the ‘hood about God’s good word. Thought about being a nun. Enjoyed going to mass before school every day, by choice, till I was in grade 5 or so. I was hardcore, just loved my Church.

I’m not religious, not anymore. The Church has disillusioned me time and time again. I dig Jesus. I dig Buddha. I dig Mohammed. They all have beautiful messages, and I believe in much of the values and ethics espoused by pretty much every major faith in the world. I live an honest life. I’m a good person. I’m charitable. I’m everything you should want to be. I just choose to believe that men keep fucking up faith by putting too much of man’s bullshit into something that doesn’t need to be as complicated as we have managed to make it.

Do I believe in something bigger than me? Yeah. But I don’t believe that saving my life when I choose to express the passion that lives in me as a sexual being by using a simple condom that I am being immoral. I refuse to believe that following my heart and libido and enthusiasm for life is wrong. I refuse to believe that using something created to make the act of loving someone else safe from disease and contagion should be a sin.

No moral code in the world can make that make sense to me. Anyone who believes it, I really don’t care their level of intelligence, education, or social importance; they’re a fucking nimrod. Seriously. Welcome to a little place I call Earth, where we have things like “spontanaeity”, “accidents”, and something apparently given by the Creator called “free will”.

Centuries from now, when we’re all dead and buried, and funky new people walk this plane instead of us, they’ll look at the history and say, “Okay, the Bubonic Plague… I get that, they had no plumbing, hygeine was hard, cities were overcrowded… but, AIDS? A guy in a fucking funny hat says using condoms was a sin ‘cos he thinks God told him that, so Africa doesn’t use condoms and AIDS wipes out entire generations? Fuck, man. That’s just moronic! How dumb were these people?”

Because that’s what it is. These Popes, man. I love how the first pope, St. Peter, was actually on a first-name “wanna get some wine?” basis with Jesus, but Jesus somehow forgot to mention to Pete that he thought popes should be “infallible” — ie, he “is preserved from even the possibility of error” according to the First Vatican Council of 1870, more than 1800 years after Christ apparently walked our world*. Funny how it’s not really until the Church began amassing more and more riches and power (during the middle ages), on its way to becoming the wealthiest organization in the world (think of all the art and real estate) that they decide Popes are to never, ever be wrong. That’s an awfully convenient thing to lay on one of the most powerful men in the world.

Never wrong? Gotta be kidding me! What a fucking joke. Somebody’s been lacing the sacramental wine with LSD again, man.

Fuck the Pope. Fuck the Church. Wear condoms. It’s the new rebellion. And it’ll save your life (most of the time, but not always).

*That’s when it was first written into the Catholic doctrine, 1870, but there was a good many who believed it as far back as the Medieval times, so about a thousand years or so, but a thousand years after Christ still.

When Will It Change?

I work a couple blocks away from one of the nastiest parts of my beloved city, Vancouver, Canada. It’s like a whole other world when you stumble into the Downtown East Side, just two blocks east of my office, a place that held, in the early ’90s, the highest urban rate of AIDS and HIV infection on the globe.

People like me who’ve lived in this city our whole lives know more about the disenfranchised in that area, and I have my own speculations on how it’s gotten so out of hand, but I’ve never looked into it all that much.

Suffice to say that at that two-block point east of here, it’s like an invisible wall has gone up. People sleep on streets, heroin is shot in alleys, fights break out over drugs, and everything’s out of control.

This area houses most of the prostitution and all of the meth and heroin junkies in the city. The mentally ill who are deinstitutionalized run rampant in this hood, and I’m faced daily with heartbreak and hopelessness when I see how much work is left to be done to help all these impoverished, seemingly forgotten members of our city.

We’re beginning to get a reputation internationally for what’s largely gone unchecked in this city, and that saddens me, considering all else this city has to offer — the natural beauty, the unforgettable cuisine, the multicultural population, the sports, and more. What the world doesn’t see and doesn’t seem to understand is how stacked against success the odds really are in dealing with this travesty.

This city is a magnet for the nation’s homeless — even for America’s homeless. They all want to be here because the climate is so tolerable year-round and because the cops tend to empathize rather than penalize these impoverished people. After all, if you’re homeless, where would you rather be in the winter, the snows of Toronto and Montreal, where it can go far below freezing every winter, or in the temperate climes of Vancouver?

Add to that the fact that so many drugs land here in Vancouver, where an average of 150 million massive cargo freights pass through annually, where we barely have the staff to search them, and where drug laws are so much more relaxed than in America, and you have a ticking time bomb that no easy solutions will patch.

The world’s about to hear more regarding this harrowing part of Vancouver, though, with the release of a controversial new “fictional” horror film by Australian filmmakers that focuses on one of the most legendary bastards ever to live in this province. Robert “Willie” Pickton is facing trial for the brutal murders of 26 Vancouver-area prostitutes, but is suspected of killing more than 125 of these women over the course of 20 years. A pig farmer by trade, Pickton covered his ass well by having his pigs devour the corpses of these women. As a result, little DNA evidence was recovered by what was the largest criminal investigation in Canadian history.

I’m saddened by the news that the families of these missing and dead women will have to endure a film that will probably sensationalize these brutal murders. And while I’m further saddened by the continuing downward spiral of this incredible city’s reputation, perhaps international attention will finally convince both the British Columbian and Canadian governments that this absolutely is NOT a problem that can be solved by Vancouver’s government alone. Our cops are stretched as thin as cellophane and there’s no money to be had.

In less than four years, the world will be on our doorsteps when the 2010 Olympics unveil. And what will have happened to the disenfranchised and forgotten by then? God only knows, but many, including myself, suspect they’ll be shifted out of the downtown core, pushed off to the side just to become some other neighbourhood’s problem. Out of sight, out of mind, and, possibly, out of hope.