Swine Fever is More Fabulous Than AIDS


That surely must be what the world is thinking because Lord knows the media and public officials have been way quicker to jump on this topic than they were in the early ’80s, when “gay cancer” reared its ugly head. Back then, we already knew that when (presumably) straight, white males came down with something like Legionnaires’ disease, every credible person in politics and the press was right on top of it, as if smothering a masked intruder with a weapon. But then came AIDS, which was deemed extremely unsavory, not to mention something people deserved because they had indulged in distinctly non biblical behavior. And gays, druggies, and people of color were deemed disposable types anyway, so the looming epidemic was barely addressed by much of the mainstream in the early days, President Reagan leading the silent parade by either ignoring it or treating it like a mildly amusing joke.

But now, swine flu has been immediately addressed, documented, and looked into en masse. You can’t even go to a zoo without the pigs oinking about it. And I think the newfound fearlessness about reporting on a horrid illness is wonderful. But I’m just sayin’.