I’ll Be Seeing You – In Memory of Kit –

At Harvey Milk Plaza

My best friend Kit was a bit of a twit before he got sick, but
he was brilliant and passionate about gay liberation.
Our friendship was based on mutual geekiness.

Kit tinkered with a Mac or a Tandy while I wrote poetry and
listened to Pattie Smith through my headphones.

It was the third year of the AIDS epidemic.

We sat over coffee at the Cafe Flore on a bright
Mediterranean day in San Francisco.

Kit opened his backpack and pulled out a small computer.

It looked like a large calculator.

Kit said that HIV had not infected all gay men.

He suspected that HIV was sexually transmitted, but at that
time no one was certain.

We both knew many men who had died and even more who were sick.

Kit wanted to know what they had in common.

He questioned a small sampling of men and now he questioned me.

I.V. Drugs?

I hate needles.

Acid?

I hate acid.

Poppers ?

They smell like dirty feet.

Alcohol?

I don’t drink.

Weed?

Yes, please.

Then Kit asked me about sex.

Most of it’s icky, I replied.

Kit turned the computer around and showed me a bell curve.

It peaked in the late 1980s and declined in the 1990’s.

Kit said that what looked like new infections were actually
old ones that had advanced to end stage AIDS.

He explained that the virus had already infected most of the men in our age group who were going to die and that as they died the cases in our age group would drop.

Kit said that I would live and he would die.

Two years later Kit was diagnosed with AIDS and two years after that he died.

Kit took his own life when AIDS took his eyesight.

He had survived three bouts of Pneumocystis.

His skin was covered with Kaposi’s lesions and the lesions invaded his internal organs.

The last time I saw Kit I took his hand and told him that I was
going to miss him.

He replied that he loved me so much he’d haunt me.

We laughed together one last time and said goodbye.

Kit had introduced me to Billie Holiday.

He said that she sang from her soul.

This song is for Kit:

Billie Holiday


https://robertmgoldstein.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/04-ill-be-seeing-you.mp3

Billie Holiday – I’ll Be Seeing You
Community Audio

 

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Yet, I am still alive

A friend and collaborator took this picture as I got
into character to rehearse a theatrical piece.

My friend snapped this shot as I danced and spoke
my lines.

In fact, I was switching into character, though no one
in my circle of friends knew what that was.

It was a dark time in America, but one goes on with life.

This is a journal entry from the day of that shot:

July 16, 1987

It is July and I am still alive.

The AIDS epidemic is in its sixth year and those six years have passed slowly and cruelly. I had hoped that AIDS would fade like a fad, but it is still around and killing, and the fact that a reactionary movement has gained momentum by openly discussing it as a form of divine retribution sickens me to my core.

Thank God for Joni Mitchell.

I’ve lived so long without a future that the thought of having one terrifies me.

Yet, I am still alive.

And I intend to stay alive.

(c) Rob Goldstein 1987-2017

Inherit their voice

from the Feathered Sleep

TheFeatheredSleep

2012610_1809dSat facing away from the sun

an old man wipes years from his eyes

drawn over with cataract like milky bath water

he strains to see the outline of motion

where are all the old men? He thinks

once so barrel chested and neatly trimmed

with mustaches and shiny hair like Cover Girl teens

where are all the eighties queers who painted beaches

with tight abs and tiny shorts in tropical shades?

now half empty, the beach longs for color

only rotund women with bristly chins

unkempt hair chopped without thought

some with children or children’s children

placing sensible shades and thick UV factor 50

on slow-moving parts of themselves

in previous years you could

reach out and paint a rainbow

in their courage of being twenty

though lesbians and gay men do not

always a palate make

such contrasts in their expression

these women without restraint

mopping the brows…

View original post 805 more words

Lethal Neglect: American Eugenics in the 21st Century

Update: October 12, 2017

I’ve updated this post to reflect the ongoing GOP sabotage of the Affordable Care Act and Trump’s fascist refusal to provide meaningful aid to Americans in Puerto Rico who are still without access to power, food, water and shelter.

In 1918 by the American Eugenics Movement proposed extreme poverty as a means of executing undesirables and mental defectives.

Eugenicists called it Lethal Neglect or Lethal Selection

“Selection by death may result either from inadequate food supply, or from some other lethal reason. ” Review of Applied Eugenics, By Paul Popenoe and Roswell H. Johnson, Eugenical News (vol. 4)

A page from Applied Eugenics by Paul Popenoe, that recommends using poverty to reduce the population of 'inferior people'
A page from Applied Eugenics by Paul Popenoe.

Nazi Germany was the most extreme expression of a global movement started by wealthy Americans in the late 1800’s.

The American Eugenics Movement provided the template for Nazi Germany.

The use of the Warsaw Ghetto in Nazi occupied Poland meets the criteria for mass murder by Lethal Neglect.

“On October 12, 1940, the Germans decreed the establishment of a ghetto in Warsaw. The decree required all Jewish residents of Warsaw to move into a designated area, which German authorities sealed off from the rest of the city in November 1940. The ghetto was enclosed by a wall that was over 10 feet high, topped with barbed wire, and closely guarded to prevent movement between the ghetto and the rest of Warsaw. The population of the ghetto, increased by Jews compelled to move in from nearby towns, was estimated to be over 400,000 Jews. German authorities forced ghetto residents to live in an area of 1.3 square miles, with an average of 7.2 persons per room. ” Holocaust Encyclopedia

Nothing was allowed through the wall; no water, no food, no medical care and no way out.

The Nazi’s took daily photographs of the residents to document their decline.

In January 1942, nearly 6,000 people – and perhaps 100,000 people, 1939 to 1942 – died of starvation and disease in the ghetto.  The Warsaw Ghetto, 1940-3

The American Eugenics movement was such a powerful global movement that Nazis on trial at Nuremberg after World War II cited American Eugenics programs as a defense of their policies and mentioned Buck v. Bell in their testimony.

This brings us to today:

After 40 years of the passive neglect of the mentally ill the GOP is openly embracing policies that will cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.

 

A young well dressed man on a cell phone passes a homless man sitting on the sidewalk in San Francisco.
And the streets are perfectly clean

Oct 5, 2017Republicans let health insurance expire for 9 million American children.

Life Unworthy of Life
Lethal Neglect: the failure to provide the goods or services necessary for functioning or to avoid harm.

Oct 12, 2017  Trump signs new executive order to sabotage the ACA

Photograph of an elderly homeless man staggering as he pushes a heavy shopping cart through Clarion Alley in San Francisco
Lethal Neglect is targeting specific people for death by poverty.

 

Former KKK wizard David Duke, for example, has been proclaiming on Twitter that Trump’s election and cabinet picks are the first steps toward “taking America back” — that is, taking America “back” from anyone who isn’t descended from fair-skinned Europeans. In white nationalist ideology, only white Americans have a true right to the country — and the rights that go along with citizenship, like voting. Think Progress


Indiana Republican: ‘No One Has the Guts’ to Let the Poor ‘Wither and Die’

For almost three generations people, in some cases, have been given handouts,” Johnston said. “They have been ‘enabled’ so much that their paradigm in life is simply being given the stuff of life, however meager.”

“What you see is a setting for a life of misery is life to them never-the-less,” he continued. “No one has the guts to just let them wither and die. No one who wants votes is willing to call a spade a spade. As long as the Dems can get their votes the enabling will continue. The Republicans need their votes and dare not cut the fiscal tether. It is really a political Catch-22.” Indiana Republican John Johnston

Photograph of a disabled homeless man with his arm in a cast sleeping on a filthy mattress on a street in San Francisco
San Francisco shows its guts

 

(c) Rob Goldstein 2016-2017 all rights reserved

 

mhwgmember2015

 

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