A Comedic Essay on AIDS Care



David Gottfried


The predominant medical models used to treat AIDS starkly reflect power, politics and persecutorial social dynamics.  In every aspect of diagnosis, evaluation and treatment, racist impulses are cleverly and contumaciously transformed, sanitized and domesticated into ideas which, by virtue of logic and reason – and other such Cartesian categories which degrade the feminine, fluid and feeling-friendly aspects of the mind — supposedly provides answers to questions.  Ideas are, of course, in and of themselves inimical to life forces because of their tendency to rigidly structure propositions into syllogisms.  Syllogisms are the ruthless shining stars of ideation, the Prussian germ(an)s of logic which, like maniacal war lords, process major propositions, and minor propositions, and arrive at conclusions.  It is all very logical.  It is all very masculine.  It reeks with the stench of warfare.


This warfare pervades every aspect of AIDS treatment and care, a discipline replete with every  manifestation of class, race and sex biases.  For example, at a recent visit to a facility in North Umbrage, in the Council of Brittle Sticks, I found that physicians paid  tremendous attention to the number of T 4 cells in their patients’ blood.  T 4 cells are, of course, a rather esoteric phenomenon.  Although I was graduated from Harvard College, and received Phds from that august institution in no less than three fields — including Sodomy studies, progressive pornography, and interstitial idiosyncratic imbeciles on the Internet —  I don’t know what T 4 cells are so I feel quite content to say, with a regal, haughty swirl of my opera cape, that if I don’t know what they are, they cannot be too important.   They are nothing more than those little scraps of strange and perverse minutiae that scientific automatons must dredge up from the corporeal world to stunt and stymie and sidetrack a proper political critique of our perfidious society.


However, on further analysis, I found why the T 4 cells so engaged the ruling class physicians.  The T 4 cells were a species of white blood cells.  The physicians were alarmed by the decline in T 4 cells.  To cut to the chase:  The doctors were upset because white blood cells, read white people, were on the run.


And so AIDS treatment seems designed to foster white regimes, white hegemony and white rule by buttressing and augmenting the numbers of white blood cells which may, for all we know, be involved in slavery.  Indeed, I have heard that huge conglomerations of white blood cells routinely congregate in places such as lymph nodes.  What, prey tell, are they doing there.  Perhaps, they are enslaving blacks cells and forcing them to  weave the cottony web of  neurons, blood vessels and complex organs which transverse an entire human being.  Obviously, a tremendous quantum of work was employed in constructing human beings. Perhaps, this work was performed because white cells coerced unempowered forces to build the human being.   Instead of augmenting the power of white cells, we should instead deconstruct the human being, i.e., tear him apart, because the human being’s very identity is based on the subjugation of powerless peoples, such as black cells.  This is the sort of stuff wrought by white cell imperialism.


This of course would not be out of character for the white blood cells.  They are, by nature, an especially hostile  and aggressive force which actually takes it upon itself to lash-out and attack microbes, innocent little microbes, who have had the poor luck to swim inside a human’s cavernous and formidable body.


And so we see that white blood cells are in all respects like the white race which they emulate, or which emulates them.  White blood cells actually are considered the chief component of something known as the body’s immune system, a feature of the body designed to protect the body from illness and infection and, if need be, to attack organisms which may invade the body.


The immune system is the quintessence of unreconstructed macho and, therefore, merits utter obliteration.  It is all on a par with Donald Rumsfeld;  it is our internal pentagon.  It is a war machine ruthlessly eating beef and milk and killing innocent infections that only want to invade us in the manor of phalluses invading orifices.  However, physicians – whose fealty to the white Order is so pronounced that they even wear white – who treat AIDS patients deem it imperative to buttress and defend the retrograde, patriarchal, immune system, replete with its legions of T 4 cells, and minions of other related white blood cells, that course through the vessels of a body with all the imperial haughtiness of the British Navy at the end of the Nineteenth Century.


Needless to say, peaceful coexistence with pathogens makes more sense.  In a politically just ecology, the immune system would wither away, and we would permit all manor of organisms to feast upon our bodies.  Yes, we might ooze with purulent pus and all manner of odiferous discharges, and various scabs might form encampments on our skin, and the entire process might make us so debilitated that we would not be up to doing anything other than smoking some marijuana, but in the general decay, the grand Byronesque Tubercular decadence of illness and disease, we would achieve a greater mystical oneness with the world.  Perhaps, the spherical streptococci bacteria will round-out the edges of our inhuman logical world.  Maybe, the curvaceous ambling of spiral-shaped treponema pallidum, the organism that causes syphilis, will put the vim and nuance of flirtatious sexuality into our barren worlds.  Instead of killing microorganisms, we should, in accord with our multi-culturalist faith, embrace them, usher them into our tent, and let them burrow deep within our lungs and gut.


But such farsighted attitudes have not begun to make a dent in most treatment facilities.  Just the other day, for example, I made a sojourn to the Cultured Capon Infirmary and Hospital in the Town of Barrenness Dowager Choate, and I encountered the most primitive, macho conceptions of medical practice.  In this institution, the medical people were all terribly keen on labeling, categorizing, and identifying the various infections their AIDS patients had succumbed to as a consequence of their compromised immunity.  As I reviewed the lists of infections that periodically visited the AIDS patients, I noticed that most of them had Latinate names.


Indeed, the nomenclature positively reeked of the Mediterranean.  The sounds and rhythms and cadences could have been gleaned from an Old Latin Mass.  This of course demonstrates another bias enfeebling AIDS care:  Our prejudice against Southern Europeans, in particular those Swarthy Italians.  The great preponderance of microorganisms are of Italian extraction, and our Northern European antipathy to all things Italian and Catholic have poisoned us with patent prejudice against microbes.


These microbes have other characteristics that arouse the bigotry of the medical community.  Microbes, it appears, cause elevated temperatures.  The medical community, marching in lock step, evincing all the regimentation of gray-suited Mc Carthyite inquisitors, have an abiding hatred of fever.  Indeed, I have not met a single doctor who thinks that  a high fever might be a nice, exciting thing.


Obviously, this hostility to fever is derivative of their hostility toward Italian and Latin culture.  The icy Protestant and Jewish patriarchs of our medical establishment fear all aspects of the Latin microbial world, and this includes a fear of their passion, their sexuality, and their zest for living.  Elevated temperatures are a feature of elevated passion, and this has merited the scorn and derision of the dour Medical community.


Along with elevated temperatures, many infections are associated with rashes.  Medicine’s histrionic reactions to rashes present a recapitulation of all the foregoing concepts.  First, the white bias is plainly in force.  When a rash mars a white face, it is detracting from that person’s whiteness, and if the scab is red, as so many of them are, it may be imparting a touch of the wild, red man, or the native American.  This instills terrors in the wards.  And the creeping, spreading nature of a rash, the way in which red blisters or sores pop-up and spread across the canvass of a face, represents the spread of red communism, and each red vesicle signifies another town, another besieged Berlin, under the sway of the red menace.  Alternatively, rashes are hated because they represent Latins.  This seems indisputable because rashes paint charming pizzas on peoples’ faces.  But the medical community, instead of surrendering to the delightful riot of nature, endeavors to live in world of logic and lines and order, and so it makes every effort to ban the rashes.


But medicine’s imperialistic bias does not stop with its assault on Communistic red rashes.  Diarrhea is a common symptom of AIDS, and medicine has unleashed its predictable fury on this venerable and inoffensive condition.  Really, what is so wrong with diarhea.  Because it smells?  The hostility to its odors evinces a hostility to the third world, where one’s nostrils are often greeted by a glorious cacophony of pungent fumes.  Unfortunately, medicine fails to see the anarchic and primal beauty of reeking feces erupting from withered bodies and wants only to instill order and sameness.  And in the course of furthering this regime of uniformity,  medicine does not even pay lip service to our liberal creed.  It blatantly values such things as sterility, claiming that many environments should be free of various microorganisms.  Medicine frankly admits that it is flatly opposed to microbial diversity.  But the multicultural richness connoted by the glorious mosaic of richly varied bowel movements is not the only thing animating the hostility to diarrhea.  It is also a function of plain old Anal retentiveness.


(I must beg the indulgence of the reader in using a term such as “anal retentiveness.”  I know that that was a concept coined by Freud, and hence usually verboten because Freud advocated patriarchal power.  I know one should only use his terms sparingly and with the greatest trepidation.  Unfortunately, I do find that the term “anal retentive” is apt even though Freud was a vile, reactionary, misogynist, Zionist pig in league with forces of reaction all over the globe.   Please, bitch feminist dominatrix amazon pseudo intellectual,   do not hang me by my balls from the ivied towers of Harvard College.)


Anal retentiveness is, of course, the tendency to hold one’s feces in, which, of course, is only a hop, skip and a paranoid leap of the imagination away from the tendency not to spend money and to be thrifty.  Very simply, anal retentive people hold their bowels in, and tend to be constipated, and this, obviously, facilitates their tendency to hold their money in their bank accounts.  Now diarrhea, by contrast, is nothing other that a jubilant, volcanic eruption against anal retentiveness.  One with  lose bowels explodes copious amounts of feces in toilets – and to, better express one’s deviation from bourgeois convention, one may also have bowel accidents in one’s pants, in one’s bed, etc. —  and spends large amounts of money for items great and small.


This tendency to spend large amounts of money is — must I spell it out — plainly liberal, or practically socialistic.  And so it is really very simple and conjoined by impeccable logic:  The medical establishment is against free-wheeling, free-spirited diarrhea because the tendency to move one’s bowels with great frequency is suggestive of the tendency to empty one’s wallets with great frequency and this, of course, makes one a tax and spend liberal or even a socialist.


But I can imagine another place.  A place where diarrhea might be celebrated.  A place free of the shackles of patriarchal, bourgeois medicine.  That beckoning beret on a hill must of course be Paris.


Copyright, David Gottfried, 2002


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