A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘hiv/aids

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

leave a comment »

  • At Apostrophen, ‘Nathan Smith talks about how he made a tradition out of Christmas tree ornamentation over the past twenty years.
  • blogTO notes that Toronto’s waterfront has major E Coli issues.
  • Crooked Timber notes the potential for the recent by-election in London, fought on Brexit and lost by the Tories, to mean something.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze reports on a search for radio flares from brown dwarfs.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that China has been installing ecologies on its artificial South China Sea islands.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog considers what it means to be an ally.
  • The LRB Blog looks at the complex peace negotiations in Colombia.
  • The Map Room Blog shares a map of American infrastructure.
  • Marginal Revolution notes a one-terabyte drive passed from person to person that serves as a sort of Internet in Cuba.
  • Towleroad notes a film project by one Leo Herrera that aims to imagine what prominent AIDS victims would have done and been like had their not been killed by the epidemic.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes the complexities surrounding Brexit.
  • Arnold Zwicky has had enough with linguistic prescriptivism.

[MUSIC] Annie Lennox, “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye”

leave a comment »

This Thursday, a [MUSIC] day, also happens to be World AIDS Day. My song choice was inevitable.

I blogged Annie Lennox’s cover of the Cole Porter song “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye” back in January 2009. This cover, taken from the 1990 AIDS fundraising album Red Hot + Blue, is perhaps her most beautiful song. The sound of her full voice against the sparse piano and Paris cafe accordion sends chills down my spine. She evokes love and loss–of the epidemic, of the human condition in general–so superbly here she could make me cry.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 1, 2016 at 10:59 pm

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

leave a comment »

  • Bad Astronomy notes the weird polar hexagonal wind systems of Saturn.
  • blogTO notes that Presto is now in fifty TTC stations.
  • The Broadside Blog talks about ways to be a good guest.
  • Centauri Dreams notes efforts to image planets orbiting Alpha Centauri A and/or B.
  • Crooked Timber takes a first look at the origins of Trumpism.
  • Dangerous Minds notes that the Jesus and Mary Chain are set to release a new studio album.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze looks at the testing of the James Webb Space Telescope mirror.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that HIV is now recognized in the US as a carcinogen.
  • Language Hat looks at principles for naming in different languages.
  • Language Log notes that Trumps’ granddaughter did a good job of reading Tang China poems.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that the TPP is dead.
  • The LRB Blog looks at the continued threat of tuberculosis.
  • Steve Munro looks at 504 King travel times.
  • The NYRB Daily notes the likely future degeneration of Turkey.
  • Seriously Science notes that the most one posts comments on Reddit (and other forums?) the worse they become.
  • Transit Toronto looks at TTC bus route changes planned in light of subway expansion.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at ethnic conflict in Archangelsk, in multi-ethnic Stavropol and among Circassians in Krasnodar, even with Belarusian activists in Smolensk.

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • The Boston Globe‘s The Big Picture shares photos of Spain’s Pueblos Blancos of Andalusia.
  • blogTO reports on Toronto’s biggest pumpkin parade.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talks about the immigrant’s dilemma on election date.
  • Dangerous Minds notes the importance of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s concert for Hillary.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a report on hot Jupiter Kelt-17b.
  • The Dragon’s Tales suggests Sputnik Planitia may dominate Pluto.
  • Far Outliers talks about Cherokee language revitalization movements.
  • Language Log looks at a Korean tradition of satirical poetry in Korea and classical Chinese.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a fascinating book about manuscripts.
  • The NYRB Daily talks about Trump as a consequence of the Iraq War.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw notes the recent discovery of evidence for ancient habitation in Australia.
  • The Planetary Society Blog notes the advance of plans for a lunar-orbit space station.
  • Peter Rukavina shares headlines in the Guardian of a century ago on Romania’s entry into the First World War.
  • Torontoist annotates the SmartTrack report.
  • Towleroad shares Robyn’s new track, “Trust Me.”
  • Understanding Society celebrates its 9th anniversary.
  • Window on Eurasia reports on Russia’s escalating HIV/AIDS epidemic.

[MUSIC] Sylvester, “Do You Wanna Funk”

Earlier today an article by one Geeta Dayan in The Guardian, “San Fran-disco: how Patrick Cowley and Sylvester changed dance music forever”, popped up on my feed. Patrick Cowley was an innovative producer, Sylvester was a singer with an unearthly falsetto, and before each died of AIDS in the 1980s (Cowley in 1982, Sylvester in 1988) they made, together and separately, fantastic music. Their 1982 hit “Do You Wanna Funk” is especially noteworthy.

Writing about a discovery of some of Cowley’s early synthesizer music from the 1970s, Dayan makes the case that San Francisco in the early 1980s was a centre for hugely interesting innovation.

The early synthesizer experiments, with Royalle’s sultry voice flickering in and out of the mix, foreshadowed Cowley’s prescient disco music to come, fusing euphoric vocals with a synthesized pulse to reach massive, almost unbearable peaks. His epic 16-minute “megamix” of I Feel Love, which managed the seemingly impossible feat of improving on Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer’s original track, and upbeat tracks like Menergy and Megatron Man became instant classics.

“I think we knew we had something special, even way back then,” says Hedges. “The music was pop sounding, but definitely with an artistic edge to it. People were going nuts for it, in England, especially … the Pet Shop Boys were quoted in the press several times that Patrick Cowley influenced their music, which you can hear in this electronic pop music.”

The music also hails back to a different, more freewheeling time in San Francisco. Longtime San Francisco resident Rob Bregoff, who knew Cowley, remembers paying $235 to rent a three-bedroom apartment in the Haight district in the 1970s. Split between room-mates, that meant each person paid less than $100 – a far cry from the tech industry-fueled San Francisco of today, which now holds the dubious distinction of the highest rents in the US. “It was a time when everything was forced out into the open,” says Bregoff. “All social mores were being questioned.”

As the 1970s progressed, Trocadero Transfer and Dreamland in SoMA, I-Beam in Haight-Ashbury, and the City disco in North Beach – all gone now – became key spots for disco. “When the Trocadero Transfer opened and got their all-night permit, it ushered in a New York-style all-night party in San Francisco in a club – a regular club that was open every weekend and around the clock,” says Steve Fabus, who DJed at the Trocadero in the late 1970s and 1980s, and at the nearby Endup.

And then, this was all killed by the onslaught of the AIDS epidemic. Entire record companies, and their audiences, disappeared. Joshua Gamson’s The Fabulous Sylvester provides a good perspective on this phase of San Francisco’s history. One year, people were around; the next, they could be gone. We have what remains, but what could have been!

Written by Randy McDonald

October 27, 2016 at 11:59 pm

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • blogTO notes that beer cans have been banned at Rogers Centre for the duration of the Toronto Blue Jays’ playoff run.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that the atmospheres of many white dwarfs are polluted with what may be the remains of their old planets.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the warning of Ben Carson that gay marriage will bring mass killings.
  • Language Log parses the recent order to Republican Party workers to no longer work for Trump.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a photo essay about 21st century agriculture.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer liveblogged the debate.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog links to a study on HIV’s impact on the world.
  • Strange Maps links to an amazing clickable map of pop music from 1880 on.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how the descendants of the peoples punished by Stalin are commemorating their sufferings under Putin.

[VIDEO] “Mykki Blanco recites ‘I Want A Dyke For President’”

Some days ago, my cousin shared Dazed Digital’s clip of queer rapper Mykki Blanko’s recitation of artist and activist Zoe Leonard‘s 1992 poem “I Want A Dyke For President”.

I want a dyke for president. I want a person with aids for president and I want a fag for vice president and I want someone with no health insurance and I want someone who grew up in a place where the earth is so saturated with toxic waste that they didn’t have a choice about getting leukemia. I want a president that had an abortion at sixteen and I want a candidate who isn’t the lesser of two evils and I want a president who lost their last lover to aids, who still sees that in their eyes every time they lay down to rest, who held their lover in their arms and knew they were dying. I want a president with no airconditioning, a president who has stood on line at the clinic, at the dmv, at the welfare office and has been unemployed and layed off and sexually harrassed and gay-bashed and deported. I want someone who has spent the night in the tombs and had a cross burned on their lawn and survived rape. I want someone who has been in love and been hurt, who respects sex, who has made mistakes and learned from them. I want a black woman for president. I want someone with bad teeth and an attitude, someone who has eaten that nasty hospital food, someone who crossdresses and has done drugs and been in therapy. I want someone who has committed civil disobedience. And I want to know why this isn’t possible. I want to know why we started learning somewhere down the line that a president is always a clown: always a john and never a hooker. Always a boss and never a worker, always a liar, always a thief and never caught.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 9, 2016 at 11:36 pm