this is if only [dot] org


Back in [insert year: I think 95, Netscape 1.1 era] I took part in “A Day Without Art”. It was small-scale, poignant, sincere. And yet, I felt somewhat disingenous offering my support. I don’t know anyone with HIV, and I’m frankly annoyed by the wholesale celebrity embracing of the “cause”, when friends and family have lost loved ones to other terrible illnesses.

But. Thirty-seven millions infected. Mostly in Africa, where treatment remains underfunded, while the pharmaceutical giants ambivalently supply life-extending therapies in the markets (primarily the US) where they can reap the highest profits from insurers. Not that this is some capitalist conspiracy: the gut prejudices of too many African leaders has led to a complacency that borders upon negligence.

So. Not a day without art, but a day without artifice. A time, perhaps, not to fall silent, but to take a silent inhalation and shout loud.