Sunday, July 31, 2011



It’s the perfect time to stage a covert coup.  Everyone is so magnetized by the dog fight in Washington, DC, that they’ll never notice some people have never given up their bulldog grip on opposing universal health care.  There’s just too much profit in the management of hospitals and clinics or the administration of insurance or the nice deals with Big Pharma for them to let the obfuscating hodge-podge get away.  Money disappears nicely now.  
If they cut off infant incubators, or kidney dialysis, or even the supply of Viagra, there will be an outcry.  But if they cut off HIV-AIDS meds, no one cares about a bunch of lowlifes -- you know who catches that stuff -- and society is rid of them.  Stigma is such a wonderful tarbrush because no one will admit they see the tar.  Even the liberals say it’s not a crisis anymore.  At least one judge has refused to classify AIDS infection as assault with a deadly weapon.  Now it’s just malicious mischief to infect someone with a virus that will cost them big bucks to stay alive.
So Tim Barrus calls for his prescription renewals, which takes days of calling back because there aren’t enough people to answer the phone.  When the paperwork comes, he drives to the clinic (how many miles did you say?), and there are no pills.  The meds which he must take almost hourly in order to stay alive are gone, baby, gone.  I never inquire into specifics like how many pills he has left, what will happen if he skips doses, how long before he begins to die.  
My diabetes and high blood pressure meds are sometimes in short supply, but they give me a few tablets to tide me over and the next day the main warehouse more than a hundred miles away brings a new supply which they mail to me.  They say they can’t keep enough stock on hand because someone might steal the pills.  I think it would be more practical for the “someone” to steal the pill money, which is a virtual resource hard to trace.
Anyway, even if a person doesn’t miss enough doses to kill one of their clients, it makes a good tug on the governmental leash.  “You mind, hear me? Or no meds for you.”  Increasingly those infected are women and children.  The meds are not a cure -- they are an addiction.  The withdrawal symptom will be death.  After suffering.
There once was a time when the media were considered watchdogs who kept government and their big industrial buddies from being too chummy.  Now the newspapers have been discredited, the television anchors develop their own popular shows, and the bloggers swarm like flies.  We don’t know who’s regulating what or why or how.  We’re not even sure there’s a “we” anymore since minorities appear to be turning into the majority.   They don’t teach civics in schools now.
Surely if the government opens clinics, promises meds, gets everyone dependent on their protocols and schedules, it ought to keep its word.  But if it won’t even pay international borrowing debts, what hope is there for any of us?   Teakettle tantrums do not help.
This is happening in different states in different times in a kind of tumbling or hop scotch way. The Obama health plan, which some states do not want and which states can interpret and administer in their own way -- like so much else -- has been sacrificed to the power of certain right-wing, super-conservative politicians who have discovered they can hold everyone hostage by balking.  (They say ten percent of white northern Europeans are immune to AIDS.  Have you thought about that?  Now that WOULD amount to being Chosen.)  Until people are aroused enough to fight back, we are all at risk one way or another.  There IS beginning to be talk about Mengele.
The WWII holocaust referred to the attempt to sacrifice a whole category of people.  Historically, it was the practice of sacrificing a whole animal instead of parts of it.  For the person dying of AIDS, the lack of proper medication will kill the whole person, a personal holocaust.  Their immune system will have already died, because that’s what the virus does.  One by one people slip away, and then they make a new list.  Maybe me.  Why continue to fund Medicare?  I’m just an old tubby lady with diabetes and a big mouth. What makes me think I’m entitled?


We Scream in Silence 
The drugs I need to stay alive were not available. They are being rationed. I was told to go away. The line of people behind me waiting to get their drugs was a long one. 
Sometimes I wonder how some people can do the jobs they do, and then I remember that I’ve had jobs, too, where I’ve had to bite it. 
I don’t know how you can sit behind a pharmacy counter and tell people with AIDS to go away. 
I like to think I could not do it. I like to think I would not do it. 
Often, people just tell themselves that you gotta do what you gotta do. 
There are now waiting lists for people who need AIDS drugs. This is beyond simple public health policy as revenge. This is bad public health policy because it means not that people will die, but they’re dying, and while you can maybe rationalize that, it has to be more difficult to rationalize the mutation of virus that takes place in people infected with HIV who then pass that mutated strain of virus on to someone else already infected where the entwined strains of virus are now becoming more and more virulent, more and more powerful, and thusly rendering antiviral medication less and less effective. Add into this mix the numbers of people in the US who are not aware they have the virus, and let us pretend to complicate the situation even more (this could never happen) by assuming that they might be having sex with people who are unaware they have the virus as well as people who are aware they have the virus. 
It is a witch’s brew of pathogen. 
And you approach the problem by restricting pharmaceuticals that keep people alive and viral loads of the infected suppressed. 
Well, what is the problem. 
I will tell you what the problem is in one word. Indifference. Indifference to genocide.  Not just the indifference of the uninfected because they typically don’t give a rip about anyone other than themselves.  But you simply can’t ignore the indifference of the infected; those of us who stand in line being told to go home who blink and say what? We are to blame, too. We should be out there burning flags and rubber tires in the street. But no. We are powerless because there is something about powerlessness that fits into what we like about our raggedy-ass selves. 
So many in line are women. Black. Hispanic. Adolescent. Men on parole. Standing there with kids crawling all over everything. In our exhausted arms and on the floor. The image of the gay male as being the stereotype here is just plain stupid. If that myth is what you think of AIDS it’s because you have been brainwashed by a media more eager to sell you laundry soap and designer clothes than a slightly harder reality. 
You are sooooo stupid. Why. Because you think it won’t affect you. Sooner or later, a pandemic affects everyone. 
How are publications whose lifeblood is selling SEX going to react other than by attacking the messenger. I know how the scumbags work. I’ve written around them my entire adult life. Not because of them. But in spite of them. I’ve gotten published, too. 
I don’t know too many people who lived through the bad old days when there were no antivirals because ALL of my friends are dead. I do not know a single survivor outside of a very small burnt-out group. The screaming of the toddlers with their mothers behind me is so disconcerting that I am almost relieved the clinic doesn’t have my drugs so I can get out of there. Who wants to know these people let alone help them. I literally run for the door. 
I’m dying. You have just accelerated the process. 
Why SHOULD you care. You shouldn’t. You don’t. I’m tired of fighting this disease. You should simply let this virus spread like wildfire around the planet again so that it rids you of the people you find so problematic. You know, the prisoners, and the blacks, and the poor, and the faggots. Be done with it once and for all. 
The last mass burial I saw was in Kenya where they were using bulldozers to cover up the pits filled with corpses. Happy days are here again. Every single scene in a book I wrote and published called GENOCIDE has come true. And they called it science fiction. What science. What fiction. Restricting antivirals is not science. It’s social engineering. 
Mary wants to alert the media. But the media only wants scapegoats. Someone to blame.
What would you do. 
How about a few corpses on the doorsteps of the GOP. They would laugh. They just don’t give a rip. Those counts would just step over the dead. 
The few of us who survived the AIDS crisis (as if it ever ended) are getting older and chances are good we would cost you a fortune since Big Pharma has no incentive or plan to lower prices for drugs no one but no one can afford, and you don’t have a fortune.   
Go ahead. Raise awareness. 
It doesn’t mean the time of day because people do not CARE. 
But, TIM, what can we DO. 
Nothing. You can do nothing. The systems you have created cannot be recreated and they are very good at the kind of grinding genocide that is obfuscated by the mythology of kindness. You can do nothing because you are powerless. You can do nothing because no one will listen to you anymore than they will listen to me. And you think the bad news is a sword of Damocles about to drop sometime in an abstract but not too distant future. Your future is here. We are ALL in the same pit of bulldozed corpses. 
What the people who run the system have is routine. 
But we’re not the bureaucrats, Tim. 
Yes, you are. 
You run, you pay for, you operate, you construct, you make the rules, you establish the need for both the clinics that keep us alive and the clinic pharmacies (same building, only downstairs) that kill us. You can’t hide behind the illusion of being conflicted. Dead is dead. 
Tired as I am of fighting you, and fighting this disease, I know how a black market flourishes. Simple supply and demand. Capitalism at its very best. 
How can a black market exist. 
The drug companies have been under enormous public pressure, (not by trade delegations -- the thought is ridiculous), to provide these drugs to poor people in poor countries who make less than two dollars a day. The chances that these people will be able to afford tens of thousands of dollars to buy the drugs are not good. So what do drug companies do. Easy. They find markets. 
Let’s PRETEND I go to the black market in let us pretend, Bolivia, to get my hands on the drugs that will save my worthless fat white ass. Who do you think I will be buying the drugs from.  (In la Paz you don’t need a prescription, you can get the drugs over the counter.) That particular black market is called a pharmacia. And I will be buying the drugs from the same people I would be buying them from in the States. There are other black markets. China would be one. Most antivirals destined for and consumed in the US are made in Shanghai. 
I will get the drugs. I am hardly going to tell you how. I am not on any of the waiting lists where people are literally dying to get these drugs. But if the drugs aren’t available, your waiting lists are as redundant as a concentration camp. 
I don’t give a rip if you don’t like me. I would rather live than have you like me. I don’t like YOU so who cares who likes who. This isn’t Facebook. This is real life and death. 
There is no like button to click.
I don’t answer the phone, and I don’t answer email either, so save yourselves the trouble of attempting to contact me. Chances are good, I won’t be home. 
The only real reason I want to get those drugs and stay alive is so I can continue to be in your murderous, indifferent faces.
— Timothée Bârrus


This is the comment of Tim’s and my friend, the poet Aad de Gide in Rotterdam, Netherlands.  I asked him whether I could post it for him with a little editing but I hate to lose the flavor by correcting spelling and so on.  It was too long for the regular comment format so I put it here.
Prairie Mary

“The drugs I need to stay alive were not available. They are being rationed. I was told to go away. The line of people behind me waiting to get their drugs was a long one.”
and these were not paracetamol or aspirin or antiacids. these were that huge collection of highly specific and carefully correlatively adjusted dosaged anti-retroviral anti-aids medicins.
the ease with which this message,this deathsentence,was brought, was remarkable in that we are already numbed to it. it isn’t “wir haben es nicht gewusst” anymore.  it is just,”business as usual”,or,”the show must go on”,or,”survival of the fittest”.  the motive for this shortage is economical. these drugs cost a fortune. pressure is on “big pharma” to deliver these anti-aids drugs to people in the poor countries who can’t pay them. they deliver,but not cheap.
“If they cut off infant incubators, or kidney dialysis, or even the supply of Viagra, there will be an outcry.  But if they cut off HIV-AIDS meds, no one cares about a bunch of lowlifes -- you know who catches that stuff -- and society is rid of them.”
the drugs are being rationed. i wonder which profitist scheme exactly prompts the pharmacies and factories to this modus. i guess what tim already stated,that here we have a case of social engineering. as mary says,there was already talk about mengele,i could only but agree. the nazi’s were founding the endlösung. you have to be stupid to not see parallels between this social mechanic and that social mechanic. in rationing these drugs there will be epidemiological holes
inside a continuity of an contra-infectious campaign. with as result persons, times and patches for the virus to mutate into evermore resistent viral war machines. that this then isn’t a local process doesn’t seem to be high on the agenda of the political decisionists. in googling the GOP i never saw “healthcare” under its departments. only derivatively they shall have to say their say about it.  maybe they still think derek and shirley won’t catch the virus if they keep wearing those prada shoes and that anne klein twin set. but here we have ever so likely an endlösung
“The Holocaust (from the Greek ὁλόκαυστος holókaustos: hólos, "whole" and kaustós, "burnt"),also known as The Shoah (Hebrew: השואה, HaShoah, "catastrophe"; Yiddish: חורבן, Churben or Hurban,from the Hebrew for "destruction"), was the genocide of approximately six million European Jews during World War II, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder by Nazi Germany, led by Adolf Hitler, throughout Nazi-occupied territory.”/w.
“AIDS is now a pandemic. As of 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that there are 33.3 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS, with 2.6 million new HIV infections per year and 1.8 million annual deaths due to AIDS.In 2007, UNAIDS estimated: 33.2 million people worldwide had AIDS that year; AIDS killed 2.1 million people in the course of that year, including 330,000 children, and 76% of those deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa. According to UNAIDS 2009 report, worldwide some 60 million people have been infected, with some 25 million deaths, and 14 million orphaned children in southern Africa alone since the epidemic began.”/w.
the correlation between these two horrifying events as they developed,and,are developing,both,still,is that if there is in any which way evidence that the rationing of aids medication has been designed out of some social imperative,to gradually taper off the respective patients not only in distributive modus by denying them their medication,but also in the more overtly,neopostnazist way to taper them off as they are then causally stringent,dying,yes,then mengele, eichman, heidrich, bohr, hitler, göring and goebbels are under us. 
“Due to a lack of government funding, the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) crisis is forcing thousands of low-income Americans (to date, over 6,000 people) to go without lifesaving AIDS drugs and the problem is only getting worse, a situation that Obama has done little to address today or, judging from his budget proposal, in the future. 


Rebecca Clayton said...

There's a staggering public denial about all health care issues, as if most people don't believe in the possibility of illness and death coming to them. It only happens to the Other.

Last year, for the first time, more people in the US died of MRSA (multi-drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus) than AIDS and AIDS-related disease, but hardly an eyebrow was raised.

I can only assume that most people arguing against universal health insurance have never tried to get their employer-provided or private health insurer to pay a claim. Public discourse seems totally removed from reality on all these issues.

Anonymous said...

the reality is that everything is falling down around our ears. it's the end anyways for all of us, for the world we know. the reality is that people pick their tragedy, the one affecting them the most. there's no lack of tragedy. AIDS. genocide. killer storms. oligarchs and plutarchs. despair and poverty. i saw the first homeless family with sign asking for money here in this little mountain town this weekend. with dirty children sitting at daddy and mommys feet in traffic and furniture tied on the car. oil spills. is there a word for all this? if everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. do what you gotta do for your own reasons, tim. survival is its own justification. we are all the suns in our myriad solar systems.