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Saturday 10 October 2009


The Gay Blade

16th February 2008

From the Vaults

Posted by: Michael Stevens

This one I called “Did you read it? Did you Believe it?”  

That dumb “article” in the latest depress that hints, without ever saying so explicitly, that something is deeply wrong at the AIDS Foundation, again, It’s one of their favourite themes for some reason. The article is a mess of innuendo and non-sequitirs.

I must confess, I used to sit on the NZAF Board and was even the Chair, but that was a while ago. So while I’ve never been an employee there (though I have just started some consulting) , I do know it pretty well, and I’m happy to criticise it when it needs it, trust me, but this article was just rubbish. You do wonder if anyone at depress has any journalistic training, I don’t know, but I suspect not. Oh, yeah, just remembered, I used to work for depress… So you know, I’m sort of, impartial.

Let’s look at what they said. The Headline claims there are “Community Concerns” well, gee, there’s a piece of hard detailed news. Who is this “community”? They never actually seem to identify anyone, just “a number of readers” - that’s stretching it to start, I mean, do they have a number of readers?

Some staff have left - well, I seem to recall a number of editors going through the revolving doors at depress pretty promptly - does that mean they are managed badly and have deep-seated managerial incompetence issues? Or maybe people just find they’d like to do something else? Let’s face it, people move on from jobs all the time. NZAF has over 40 (I think…) employees around the country, so a bit of turnover aint that unusual. Gee, maybe some of them weren’t really that good at their work either - that’s possible.

The Chair resigned? So what? He was there for over three years, not a bad run really for a voluntary position.

Tariana doesn’t seem to like the NZAF. Well, she doesn’t like queers very much either from memory. She wasn’t in favour of the Civil Union Bill, said so at a talk on the marae at Auckland Uni. So to me it seems that in her eyes we’re not good enough to be treated like the rest of our citizens. And I for one am still waiting to see hard evidence that there is some hidden “Maori” epidemic of HIV out there, and no-one I know in the field seems to think there is or see any evidence for it. Show me the data, and then we’ll talk. Till then, I don’t think Tariana is someone I’d take advice about HIV from, really.

Apparently one of the “concerned readers” thinks that NZAF buying the building they currently rent is a sign of defeatism. It means, acording to this “reader’ they think HIV is here to stay which seems to send the wrong signal.

Well duh. Hepatitis is here to stay too, so is meningitis, so is cancer buddy. It’s part of the landscape now, barring some medical miracle, we won’t be rid of it, so we have to learn to live with it as best we can. Buying the building instead of paying rent seems like a pretty good idea to me.

And the worst possible sin - they were too busy to answer the carefully considered questions depress had doodled on a napkin before ringing up. Gee, don’t they know they have to drop absolutely everything when depress calls and wants some copy to fill their pages? Shame on you NZAF, for having other priorities rather than immediately answering their questions. The arrogance of you, to think that your work (you know, Safe Sex promotion, getting the Big Gay Out up, running a major NGO) could be more important than the needs of the “reporters” at depress. get your priorities right !

Now, I remember when depress used to be a damn good newspaper. It had strong community ties, it had real reporters working there even. So it’s a shame to see the way it is now. Filled with stuff off the net, and… a whole lot of NZAF ads…

What would happen if NZAF stopped advertising you wonder?

Rant over. But guys, you really need to lift your game.

And this was the Weekend Round-Up From Last Week post BGO

Seymour Butz Sauna Sessions at Urge were the place to be on Saturday night. Dirty hard great hip-thrusting dance music. The random DNA count on the floor and all around the place probably went up quite a bit. And a certain real-estate agent was seen early in the morning wandering along K Rd in nothing more than a towel (and I know he had nothing on underneath, trust me I know).

So what do you think of silky boxers with cartoon characters on them? I mean, are they a fashion statement, or a cry for help? Or does it just show a really rejection of the tyranny of fashion? Or that your mother still buys your clothes even though your 30? Because a certain gay Auckland journalist wears them, I know, I saw, at Urge ;-)

On Sunday, in spite of rain in the morning thousands of Auckland homosexuals descended on quiet suburban Coyle park on Sunday, to celebrate, um… well, to celebrate anyhow. Bears were bearish, hairy and sweaty and beery. Twinks twinkled, Dykes dyked, Queers queered and drags, well, dragged. I mean looked fabulous.

Hangovers from Urge and Family seemed to be a prominent part of the conversation.

Richard No-Mates stood around the GABA tent looking lonely for a little while then disappeared back to his empire. His minions skulked in and out as well.

A Sydney DJ on being introduced to the Prime Minister: “Hello, I’m Helen” “Hi, I’m Johnny… and what do you do…?”

A purveyor of illicit substances was seen chatting in a friendly way to Police, making one wonder just what sort of customers said purveyor has.

And a certain someone with a reasonably big bearish profile had to be held back from pulling out the special cookies as the PM’s cavalcade and Police escort hadn’t quite left the area…

The Leader of the Opposition hogged the GABA tent so the PM and party couldn’t get in - tch tch tch. They can’t be seen together it seems.

Apart from one broken leg, it seems it all passed off without incident.

Hot, humid, sticky - and I only saw 3 or 4 guys I can be sure I’ve slept with. But I got a few new numbers so hey, it was a good day, right?

Tags: General

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Craig Young // Feb 22, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    Okay, but what do you actually think should be done in terms of prevention, Mike? I do feel somewhat annoyed that everyone expects NZAF to do everything around that issue.

    Whatever happened to grassroots activism? Whatever happened to community organisation and communal responsibility for prevention?

    Yes, I’d like to see more discussion on today’s prevention issues- online sexual hookups, P/crystal meth and polydrug use and how they facilitate unsafe sex, and barebacking- but let it be a general community discussion.

    Craig Y
    (aka Red Queen)

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