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Figuring the Foo Fighters

FF_COVER_GREATESTHITS.jpgIn matters big and small, I've learned that life isn't neat and clean. Since I was diagnosed with HIV in 1992, I've encountered that truth over and over again.

Well, chalk this matter up as small yet significant to me: I still like the Foo Fighters and I love their new single "Wheels" so much, in fact, that I bought their "Greatest Hits" album.

The witty among you have already judged me for my (lack of) taste in music, although I assure you that my rock credentials are solid since my favorite rock group is Led Zeppelin.

No, my problem is not the Foo Fighters music, it's their politics. Specifically, their past support of AIDS denialist Christine Maggiore, who died about a year ago.

Mother Jones reports that in 2000 the Foo Fighters bassist Nate Mendel helped organize a sold-out benefit concert for Alive and Well AIDS Alternatives, an AIDS denialist group founded by Maggiore.

These excerpts from the article disturb me:

"Foo fans were treated to a speech by Alive and Well founder Christine Maggiore, who believes AIDS may be caused by HIV-related medications, anal sex, stress, and drug use, and implies that people should not get tested for HIV nor take medications to counter the virus. Free copies of Maggiore's self-published book, "What If Everything You Thought You Knew About AIDS Was Wrong?," in which she declares "there is no proof that HIV causes AIDS," were also passed out to the concert-goers ... Mendel says he was won over by Maggiore's book, and passed it around to the rest of the band, which includes former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl. Mendel says that he would steer anyone considering an HIV antibody test toward Maggiore's group."
The band used to have a link to the Alive and Well website from their official site, but that link no longer exists. Apparently that link was active until a few years ago, so their support of Maggiore seems to have been serious.

I don't know if they've had a genuine change of heart or if they're just being savvy in selling their new album, but the fact that they're no longer linking to Alive and Well in either circumstance is welcome news.

I don't know if that's enough to forgive them their past support of an AIDS denialist. What I do know is that I'd feel a heck of a lot better with an explanation from the Foo Fighters as to their current beliefs on HIV/AIDS. What I also know is that I just can't get that "Wheels" song out of my head.

Oriol on:


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Comments on Oriol R. Gutierrez Jr.'s blog entry "Figuring the Foo Fighters "

I think we are way beyond condemning people for their opinions.

In a world where a vaccine to H1N1 can be found within a year, and where a vaccine to HIV cannot be found in a quarter of a century, there is room for debate.

You can say whatever you want about Christine Maggiore, but there are a lot of things about her case that cannot be explained by orthodox HIV theory (and for instance labeling some a 'long term non-progressor is not an explanation of why someone an go 16 years without taking ARVs; or why someone can have unprotected sex with someone with HIV for over a decade and not catch it).

The problem is that debate was closed off about all aspects of the HIV phenomenon way too early.

I would like to see someone take ownership of the fact that none of the dire predictions made for Africa in the 1980s and 1990s have come true. Whatever happened to 'the epicenter of AIDS', the Rakai District of Uganda? Where are the 'depopulated villages in rural Kenya' today?

Rather than having a declining population as was repeatedly predicted as being the result of having 25% or 33% of the population HIV positive, Africa has the strongest population growth of any continent.

Has anyone owned up to the fact that HIV infection rates in Africa have been exaggerated for financial and professional gain for decades? (*) Scaring people in the world about Africans and fueling racism - racism being the sure sign of a faulty argument?

And where is the cure? How can this 9-gene virus change so much that no vaccine can be found? Without mutating itself out of existence? If it mutates so much, why is there no harmless HIV variety? And why can't it be used as a vaccine?

(*) How AIDS in Africa Was Overstated
Reliance on Data From Urban Prenatal Clinics Skewed Early Projections
By Craig Timberg
Thursday, April 6, 2006; Page A01

Well, let me just say, "What a load of crap!" First of all, I don't believe in George Bush's politics therefore I'm not going to buy his book. I don't like much of anything regarding Mel Gibson therefore I'm not going to go see his movies. And I LOVED the original Lethal Weapon! So Oriol, you want to disagree with the Foo Fighters and the damage they can do to the HIV community but, you want to still enjoy their music. What a load of crap! Talk the talk AND walk the walk. Otherwise you are just another example of a pathetic consumer who will not vote with is wallet let alone his soul. It's time to cinch up the big boy pants and do what's right even if it's not easy...or entertaining. Go watch a Liz Taylor movie for God's sake. At least the bitch knows what she's talking about most of the time.

And for the wretched little skeeze who posted the first comment, "Piss off, ya' little wank." Your facts are mis-stated. And get this, just because you don't know the answers, and don't trust people seen as authority figures, doesn't mean the people you don't trust aren't giving you the correct answers. This means you are so ignorant that you are incapable of hearing the truth. You will see the light switch, use the light switch and yet deny the existence of electricity. Your kind prey upon the ignorance of others in hopes of making yourself feel better. Get this, no matter how loud you yell from your soap box, you're still an idiot. It'll never change. You'll continue to yell, you'll continue to get followers and you'll still be an idiot!

Oh my God, I think I just had an aneurysm. People quite supporting those who would do us harm. HIV deniers, homophobes, klansmen, etc: don't give them money, time, a pat on the back, anything. They don't deserve it. Give 'em the middle finger. They'll be confused and you'll feel a little better.

Whatever. Obviously you have nothing to say. (And no, name calling is no substitute for debate.)

I was sick and tired of the 'we can't discuss anything, we have lives to save' bs 20 years ago.

It is time for a debate.

to MrK: despite Jon Ira's insufferability, your Denialist camp is indeed irresponsible, often psychotic and more than a bit murderous. the House Of Numbers discussion thread elsewhere on this site is an astounding and disturbing illustration of how wacky ur ilk has become.

eventually the sug-groups that have suffered the most death due to Denialist misinformation will realize how they've been preyed upon, and lash out at you. that's not something i'd look forward to.

Jeton Ademaj,

I could mention more than a few irresponsible actions on behalf of the farmaceutical industry. Like the way they shunt ARVs with known irreversible health effects on to low income countries. Or the way UNAIDS has been pumping up national prevalence rates in Africa by fraudulently using skewed test populations of pregnant women at antenatal clinics only (see the Washington Times article listed above) and the way they use testing in surveys.

And another thing, I'm not scared of anyone. :) However, I always hope that someone is ready for a decent discussion. Unlike what John Ira 'fears' (a lot of fear in his post), I'm not here to do anyone harm.


Hmmmm, I did like the "insufferability" moniker but, honestly, "fear?" Oh, and let's not forget the whole "decent discussion" idea. I'll stand-by my wretched little skeeze comment. Tell you a little story: My brother once came home just fuming about a friend of his. Now, I come from a family of pilots and mechanics. His friend, during a conversation about aerodynamics puked forth his 2 cents worth. It comes out that the force that kept aircraft in the air was, get this, static electricity. Yes, folks, aerodynamics and lift had nothing to do with it. It was static electricity generated by the air moving over the wing that produced the desired result. He read it, it made sense to him (as he didn't quite grasp the truth) therefore it must be fact. You could not convince him otherwise. He was, and possibly still is, an idiot. MrK (now known as Special K) is in the same group.

Special K does not want a decent discussion on the subject of HIV. The fact that he compares HIV to the flu virus highlights that fact. Let's just be honest here, I like to taunt people, Special K thinks electricity is black magic and Glenn Beck will be our next president. Oh, and as for the whole "fear" thing. You have got to be kidding. Could we be anymore 6th grade in our accusations? Before you accuse me of fear let me point out that I have been HIV positive since 1988 and full blown AIDS since 1991ish. By the graces of an amazing couple of doctors I was pulled back from the brink of death at least three times. When diagnosed with CMV Retinitis I didn't like the standard treatment so I found an eye doctor who, instead, would inject small amounts of ganciclovir directly into my eyes...every 10 days. This, at times, triggering temporary blindness that was a little disconcerning. I watched my partner die a grizzly death when his body simply fell apart from a variety of AIDS complications. With the advent of protease inhibitors I found myself with a brand new, from the ground up immune system. I worked myself through some of the most brutal survivors guilt, went back to work and began to build a new life. Last year, after a couple of decades of social smoking I was diagnosed with cancer on my tonsils. Months of chemo and radiation gave me a new appreciation of life and the man I now share it with. So, I can tell you Special K, that I fear nothing. And you are pathetic in trying that tactic.

You are ill-informed and trying to hang on to ideas and facts that are not supported by anyone this side of Fox News. If I could actually stand talking to you I'd love to know your story. I'd love to know what actually takes a person down your path. It strikes me as a path that is shared by persons who continue to deny the holocaust or those who think the moon landings were staged. Please come back to the sand box when you grow a set. You pathetic...oh, you get the picture.

Running away from discussion of real issues, giving people nicknames (bullying), slinging accusations about what I believe even though you have no clue as to what I believe all exhude FEAR.

I would say fear of facts or differing opinions.

Jeton Ademaj,

" eventually the sug-groups that have suffered the most death due to Denialist misinformation will realize how they've been preyed upon, and lash out at you. that's not something i'd look forward to. "

If you have proof that death occurs more among 'denialists', please present it, I would be very interested in reading that.

Jeepers, I thought the real issue was being discussed: you're a denialist and I think you're nutz. Yes, I admit it, I shouldn't have called you Special K. that was insensitive and insulting to cereals everywhere. And now that you've narrowed down the idea that I only fear differing opinions, well, isn't that just another load of crap? If I feared differing opinions I would not read. I would not watch TV nor would I even have chats with my better half's father - a staunch Republican if there ever was one. I love different opinions. It makes life interesting. But you need to understand, if I think an opinion is doing damage or causing pain I will call it out. I will not let my father in-law run a conversation about health care without being challenged nor will I allow an AIDS denialist a platform without tossing in my two cents worth regarding his/her mental inferiorities. Oh and please take a moment and tell me about what you believe in...aside from AIDS being a huge conspiracy. Hey, I'll even start: I'm 46, own a little shop (doing quite well, thank you) married for almost 10 years now, slightly left of center democrat, deeply religious though not in a secular way, youngest of 4 boys, prone to questioning authority figures, a total car buff and a firm believer that the strong must step up to the plate because the weak cannot. Now it's your turn. Tell me something that will make me see you as more human and less terrified of reality.

MrK, please do not lose sight of the fact that i consider you malevolent and insane based on my own personal experience. when i was first diagnosed in 2003 i was told that my strain of HIV appeared to be drug-resistant. at the time i did not understand the complexities of the issue, and assumed i was untreatable. so i tried the melange of various Denialist stupidities, including the "specific supplements and Chinese medicine" combo usually bandied about.

i was living a fairly healthy lifestyle, yet my health disintegrated regardless. eventually i went for treatment, and had a horrible time on Sustiva and AZT. i took 6 months off n then went on Reyataz and Epzicom and have been fine ever since.

furthermore, i had 2 friends die directly from refusing to take any HIV medications, attempting to cure the disease the Denialist way. furthermore, whether at GMHC or at other AIDS service organizations, one can regularly find people refusing to take the "standard of care"...some are plainly long-term non-progressors, and others r simply dying right before your eyes.

yes, MrK, i blame you and your fairly psychotic friends. like i said above, the "House Of Numbers" thread elsewhere on this site is a fair illustration of who we're dealing with as POZ people, and i'm glad to say you DON'T make me sick, because you CAN'T. All because i assign you no credibility beyond the skills of mere grammar and punctuation.

I'm deeply sorry that others DO assign you credibility, and die for their trust. One does not treat with madmen.

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This page contains a single entry by Oriol R. Gutierrez Jr. published on December 21, 2009 2:20 PM.

Dennis deLeon: In His Own Words was the previous entry in this blog.

HIV-Positive Gay Couple Marries in Argentina is the next entry in this blog.

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