STILL ACTING UP
Dear Mr. Bostock,
I just want to say that your article, "Twenty years later" (Fallout, April 12) opened my eyes to what life was like before ACT UP. To be honest, I've heard of the organization, but I was not aware of the important impact they had on HIV/AIDS research and treatment.
I am 29 years old, so I was around during the '80s, but I was just a young child. I have many friends, though, who were living openly during this time. I look at my friends' picture albums from that time – pictures of young, attractive guys who seemed to always be having fun in someone's living room. They were so beautiful, often very tan, wore lots of tank tops, and all the other excesses of the '80s. But the ones who lived through that time, and are here to speak of it, all seem to tell me the same thing: We were scared.
They were scared to have sex. Some of them, not knowing the realities of how the disease was transmitted, saw it as a losing battle, and just had unprotected sex and decided to live their lives, rather than live in fear.
I just want to say that your article made me understand what it was like for the people who had to deal, not with the stupid ideals of religion, or the indifference of the government, but rather with the real-life, right-in-front-of-you reality of those who suffered a disease that much of America thought was a divine punishment.
I recently graduated law school, and will be a licensed attorney in Atlanta soon. I plan to make an impact with my career.
Last weekend, I went to a nightclub with my friends – we ran around drinking, took off our shirts and danced all night, not caring about what it took to gain this freedom, and the knowledge and medicine it took to make sure we knew how to stay healthy.
I just want you to know that your article was read by someone who now sees, at least a little, that these advantages didn't come easy.
– Jaime Angulo, Atlanta
A Writer Responds
Dear CL friends,
With the many heads rolling due to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's "restructuring," it seems that their "Features" department, especially arts coverage, will be especially hit hard. And as a contributing writer to CL's own Vibes section, I'm particularly disturbed by word of the elimination of the classical music critic staff position at the AJC.
The first I heard that something was going down specifically with their classical music coverage was, ominously, Friday, April 13, during intermission at an Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concert, the same day Scott Freeman's article went up in Fresh Loaf blogspace (though I had not yet read it). The buzz that night was tangible, the rumors vague and uncertain. And now there is the confirming follow-up by Scott Henry (Fallout, "Newsroom musical chairs," April 19) in CL's printed and online edition.
Although daily newspapers all around have experienced decreasing readership, my personal opinion is this most recent action is the equivalent of the AJC dropping its pants and mooning Atlanta's arts community, particularly the classical music world.
Otherwise, given what I've read in the above stories, it is rather difficult to tell whether these restructuring decisions at the AJC were due to the thoughtful pondering of a governing board or actually made by a herd of howler monkeys while throwing baseballs and randomly typing. I am more inclined to think the latter.
– Mark Gresham, Atlanta
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