Good news! I've had volunteers! These next magnets are from the fridge of the (in)famous Marn;
Obviously this is Martha Cat
WHAT I'M READING...
My Amazon wish list
WHAT I'M WATCHING...
If anybody is looking for an alternative place to donate money this season, I'm not going to make a big pitch this year because you were all so incredibly generous last year, and I don't want to feel that I'm taking advantage of anybody, but Priscilla is again saddled with her 5 grandchildren, is being operated on for her rectal cancer on December 10, and all the resources for Christmas assistance have dried up. Our family is "adopting" her family this year, but if anybody would like to make a donation for her Christmas, it can be sent to
and be sure to say that it's for Priscilla, since they are working on finding Christmas assistance for a lot of people.
(I'm including the BB address because I'm uncomfortable that people might think I'm using the money for myself or something.)
That's it for today!
YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFULLY TAUGHT
4 December 2001
"That's what they get; they're all junkies anyway," the man sneered as he walked away from the display of panels of the AIDS quilt at the Woodland Mall.
Ironically, as he made his comment, he walked past two conversations, one with a mother who had just lost her son to AIDS two months ago, and another with a young newly-pregnant woman concerned for her 16 year old sexually-active sister, and trying to get information that might save her life.
I was sitting with my friends Sam and Coco, from Breaking Barriers, at a display of the AIDS quilt in a local mall this evening. We didn't have a lot of interested people, but enough to make our presence there seem worthwhile.
The comment by the sneering onlooker was one of the reasons why we gave up our evening to pass out information about AIDS and give out phone cards to teens who might find themselves in need of a way to phone home.
Funding for AIDS education is being cut and it is the children who will suffer. One woman who stopped by our table pointed out that when she graduated from high school in the early 90s, her peers were all involved in social service activities and were aware of the dangers of risky behavior and more informed about AIDS. Nowadays, she says, kids are centered on me-me-me, and are bored, so are turning to drugs and sex for kicks. "They think they're invincible," she said, which is an excellent reason why new cases of AIDS among young people are on the rise — too much time on their hands, too little to do, too little concern for anything but themselves, and too little education about the consequences risky behaviors now can have on the rest of your life, however short it may be.
So people like Sam and Coco spend their days helping people who are already infected, and their nights and evenings spreading information in the hope of reducing the number of new cases.
"Want to go out looking for hookers with us?" Sam asked me the other night, after the candlelight vigil by the river. I'd never been asked that before. It was tempting. They were riding around looking for prostitutes so they could pass out condoms and urge them to do what they felt they had to do, but at least to protect themselves. One girl they met was 14. She was scared and in tears. Sam didn't preach. She just gave her condoms and told her to please protect herself.
A police officer stopped them, asking if they'd seen another girl for whom he were searching. She was 13. Nobody had seen her.
Another girl, who looked as though she might be 14 or 15 jumped into a car with two men before they could give her condoms. Sam took down the license number, just in case the girl ended up a statistic on the front pages of the morning paper.
The risk is real. The kids don't have the information or tools they need to protect themselves. It's so important to show the quilt, to get Steve into schools to talk about the reality of living with AIDS, for Sam and Coco and others at Breaking Barriers to look for hookers or homeless men, women and children.
Sam talked with one African American woman tonight who was excited because she just found out she was pregnant. "We're both being safe," she told Sam. Sam pointed out that the highest number of new cases of HIV in this area are African American women and Latinas who believed their partners were protecting them, but who were having affairs outside the home.
Education. Education is so important. But people averted their eyes as they walked past our table. One young man sent his girlfriend over to get some information because he was embarrassed to come himself. A young child picked up an AIDS coloring book. Her grandmother looked at it, took it out of the girl's hands and said "That's about AIDS. You don't want that."
How can we protect our young people if we take away funding for education, if they are embarrassed to get information, and if the parents turn up their noses because "they're all junkies, you know."
We're living in a society of ostriches.
One Year Ago:
(Club Photo has started