Plague Time / Plague Intimacies (Sontag moments: (how do you "…
Plague Time / Plague Intimacies
how do you "manifest" AIDS; discourses of cancer and AIDS and how it spreads; creates correlations between disease and other ideas (labels)
AIDS has a dual metaphoric genealogy: an invasion / pollution (105) Creates hostile and negative connotations. What, they are "dirty" or polluted?
when framing disease as an outside force, it "masters" it "penetrates" (105). It's about creating
"punitive notions of disease" "crusade against cancer" "cancer victims" (57)
"cinema is like a cancer," and then corrects himself, "No, it's infectious, it's more like AIDS" (154-5): when we use the disease as a metaphor/critique, it stigmatizing
"The sexual transmission of this illness, considered by most as a calamity one brings on oneself, is judged more harshly than other means--especially since AIDS is understood as a disease not only of excess but of perversity" (114)--stigma about anti-gay, questions of contagion/pathology. And it's inherently about sex.
"Patients who are instructed that they have, unwittingly, caused their disease are also being made to feel that they have deserved" (57)
"People are losing their jobs when it is learned that they are HIV-positive (though it is not legal in the US to fire someone for that reason)"--affecting emotional AND economic health; firing because of outings
pg 111: Thomas Mann: disease as inspiration (hi syphilis)--desires for infections
TB as the Romantic disease that cuts short young lives (18)
disease and nationality: "as invaders, as colonists--have introduces
lethal diseases to the exotic, "primitive" world" (138)--disease has national
"the Orientals"--ugh, "enduring euro-centric" perspectives (139)--justifies racism/colonialism, creates myths of "foreign" blame
"The plague metaphor is an essential vehicle of the most pessimistic reading of the epidemiological prospects" (141)--
"greatest danger of our era''--"desire for a clean sweep, a tabula rasa" (fantasies of a cleansing? Who are we erasing?
"the need for an apocalyptic narrative" central to Western and US. a very "American" trope (174-5)
Why is Sontag warning us about language use?
metaphors over-determine/simplify or trivialize? Metaphor masks the real issues: misinformation and unclear terms
"seeing how much the very reputation of this illness added to the suffering of those who have it" (100). Self-worth! Agency!
what if this hides the work of the clinic: curing or helping folks. (102) ill people get treatment
educate and re-inform, demythologize. It bears so much "meaning"
"We are not being invaded. The body is not a battlefield" (183)
The Journal of a Plague Year
stylistic quirks: repetition
dead babies and nursing. As a mom, we got feelings
assumptions of normal intimacies/society
mothers teach and raise children in nuclear (hetero) families
the family as a cite for "public good"
"But it was a publick Good that justified the private Mischief" 944) Defoe on locking people in their homes. Super authoritative--it's like jail
Nice Protestant values
money: decides who can flee! Physicians selling for the rich, and poor don't have access "gone into the country" (19)
sending servants out. The domestics
conjugal/nuclear family: father goes to work, mom with kids, definite;y hetero, nurse/nanny
revise family dynamics:
moms killing their babies (69)
HF as single and not worried about hetero-domestic concerns
doubles down on family dynamic
losing his "Masculine Grief" and the irrevocable loss of the family. Men handle it with stoic, put together. Plague revises what it means to be a man.
makes the body a site of grotesque horror
the chaos and end of the world creates a space where people just do whatever
How to Survive a Plague
How AIDS activists of the late 80s90s fought publicly and mainstream for better treatment/acces. The "right" to more healthcare. ACT UP
ACT UP targeted FDA, NIH, and drug companies. Forcing the drug companies and government agencies because we need FAST action
strong physical presence. On Aids memorial day, poured the ashes of dead loved ones ON THE WHITE HOUSE LAWNS.
laying down "die ins"--
collective action has to be taken through extreme measures that shock
used optics and attention to media narratives
makes visible the ways organizers do their work--spokespeople, agendas, specific meetings
OK, but how are documentaries made
documentaries inform. It's "factual". It's a look at parts of history. Stale? Boring?
The have the fantasy of "fact," but it's abouut a directorial argument. It's got a POV. It's a narrative argument
How does Plauge make its narrative?
out of context clips about Helms' negativity and homophobia, then cut to interviews/evidence of how these views are affecting comnunities. The cut/the editing sets up comparative work.