Skip to comments.REM's Michael Stipe delayed HIV test to stay out of the, um, Reagan-Bush internment camps
Posted on 07/05/2014 10:42:18 AM PDT by a fool in paradise
You remember those, right?
If you ever wonder where delusional left-wingers get their ideas that what is happening in the world, it's useful to know your history. They didn't just start believing crazy things when George W. Bush won the Florida recount, or when dastardly Republicans started criticizing Barack Obama. They've been this way for a long time.
And as is so often the case, the insanity is influenced and often led by figures in pop culture. REM front man Michael Stipe provided a perfect example in a recent statement about why, back in the 1980s, he decided not to get tested for HIV:
"In the early Eighties, as a 22-year-old queer man living during the Reagan-Bush administration, I was afraid to get tested for HIV for fear of quarantine, the threat of internment camps and having my basic civil rights stripped away," he said. "I waited five years to get my first anonymous test. I am happy that attitudes have matured and changed, and I feel lucky that I live in a country where acceptance, tolerance and policy toward HIV-AIDS and LGBTQ issues have advanced as far as they have."
You all remember the Reagan-Bush internment camps, right? Gay people with AIDS would be herded up by government agents in hazmat suits, put in the back of black vans and driven to camps with names like Stalag REM. There, they would be held by armed guards and fed porridge and drop biscuits three times a day until they simply wasted away, at which point their bones would be ground up and used to make more porridge for those who were still holding out against the inevitable.
And where were these internment camps? Everywhere. There was one in Reagan's birthplace of Tampico, Illinois. There was one at the Bush compound in Kennebunkport, Maine (where I hear a young George W. used to sit with Jeb up on a hill and watch the internees play volleyball under close supervision).
I was going to tell you about the talent show, but . . . OK, even I can only get so absurd here. But apparently there is no limit to how absurd a rock star like Michael Stipe can be with either his memory or his grasp of simple facts. There were never any internment camps or government-mandated quarantines, or were any discussed, proposed or contemplated. AIDS and HIV were new, frightening and mysterious things in the '80s, and everyone was trying to understand what to do about them and how to help those who had contracted them.
Obviously, because HIV is highly communicable, there was a lot of discussion about the best ways to stop its person-to-person spread. But no one ever proposed the sort of absurd nonsense Stipe describes. Which sort of makes you wonder: Is he engaging in hyperbole or did he really live in such a delusional bubble that he thought then - and maybe still thinks today - that the government under Reagan was rounding up AIDS patients and shipping them off to camps? Maybe people who move in the rock and roll world or who get their news from sources like Rolling Stone really think stuff like this went on. I guess it's that easy in hindsight to believe the left-wing legends about Reagan rather than remember the things he actually did - and didn't do.
Just a reminder: People who believe nonsense like this elected Barack Obama, and they are sadly still empowered to vote.
Anybody ax him about the intolerance of his side towards a difference of opinion?
Pray America wakes up
What was he worried about, he and his partner were in a monogamous relationship and using protection, right?
If he was having so much gay sex in the 1980s when he was pitched as a teen heartthrob for the depressed chick set, I’m sure we would’ve heard about it then.
It’s not like the media hides key details about peoples’ public identities, right?
Wasn’t it Castro who was putting the HIV+ people on a little island all to themselves?
There was one?
That was so they could ge the BEST state medical treatment known to man. < /sarc >
And Dick Cheney pickin’ ‘em off from the balcony with a shotgun...
But at least he got his spine, and his Orange Crush.
stupid is as stupid does.
Here's a novel idea--instead of worrying about internment camps that do not exist, never existed and are so out of the realm of probability, how about these nuts worry about the ramifications of IV drugs or homosexual sex or whatever behavior they are engaging in that might give them the HIV.
If he found out that he had HIV back then, three hots and a cot were the least of his worries.
There WAS talk of quarantine among the population and in conservative magazines. The talk was, if this were a disease transmissible by air / droplets / casual contact, there would have been, to protect lives. And thousands of gays would have been saved. But instead the politics of the day were such that BECAUSE THE PATIENTS WERE GAY it wouldn’t be PC to do medically sane prevention. That would be “homophobic” so to prevent that horrible optic, more gays, MANY MORE GAYS, and many other victims (transfusion, wives of closeted men, injectable drug users) had to die.
It’s a stupid article. I worked in a blood lab at the time and there was serious talk about quarantining. We even “mini quarantined” the blood samples of AIDS patients and kept them away from the young college students (me included). But Reagan never mentioned it as far as I know. Sensible medical,professionals did.
LOL! My brother and I say that all the time.
It’s the Cuban paradise that has AIDS camps.
Nixon “talked about” using the IRS to target political enemies.
The Democrats actually used the IRS to target political enemies.
As far as I can tell, the Republicans never talked about rounding up citizens and putting them in internment camps.
That doesn’t mean the Democrats won’t do it!
I miss that uniform. I had to buy some BDUs even though I was getting out and they were relatively expensive.
Whats the frequency, Michael?
The bath/sex houses weren’t even shut down.