Monday, March 19, 2007

Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take ya. I've said it once, I'll say it again. Jews are funny. And, apparently, creative. Makes my bat mitzvah party at a fancy restaurant overlooking the Hudson look downright cheap!

When the band plays "Hail to the Chief." I'm on the fence about Hilary Clinton, not because I wouldn't vote for her, but because I really can't stand another four (potentially eight) years of fascism conservatism and I'm not sure if she can win. However, I do acknowledge that she makes an excellent point below.

"[Former U.S. president John F. Kennedy] was smart, he was dynamic, he was inspiring and he was Catholic. A lot of people back then [1960] said, 'America will never elect a Catholic as president.' So when people tell me 'a woman can never be president,' I say, we'll never know unless we try."

And really, if you can't support your Swells' sisters, who can you support?

The wind is howling. A rather disappointing celebrity sighting, as I don't remember where, exactly, it happened, BUT, I give you...

Last Week in B-List Celebrity Sightings:

Sean Lennon, of all people, walking around Jerusalem! I didn't recognize him at first--and, really, who expects to see Sean friggin' Lennon walking around Jerusalem--but in retrospect it was definitely him. He had an unkempt beard and a cozy-looking (I want to say tartan) scarf, but the best part was definitely his bowler hat.

I guess celebrities do come to Israel. I'll have to keep my eyes open.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

These tedious dances. Perhaps it shouldn't, but this really made me see red. Our darling first daughter Jenna Bush is writing an inspirational tale about a 17-year-old HIV-positive South American single mother? Seriously? This sounds like another Seventh Heaven-esque Christian retelling of terrible circumstances spun to make money. No matter how much volunteer work Jenna Bush has done with UNICEF, what could she possibly understand about living with HIV in poverty or raising a child alone?

I also think it's irresponsible to portray a young woman infected with HIV as inspiring. Yes, you can live a full life for many years with the disease, and I don't think you should demonize those who are infected. However, poor people in general do not receive the kinds of cutting-edge drugs or specialized attention that preserve health. Portraying HIV infection as positive absolutely goes against the basic idea behind prevention. The only way HIV will end is if new infections cease; you can't count on a vaccine. When I volunteered at an AIDS services organization and talked to those patients who had been living with the disease for decades, they were appalled by how young the clients were--some of the new clients hadn't finished high school. The elder clients knew that the very drugs that prolonged and improved their lives had damaged the fight against HIV: young people aren't afraid of a disease when there are so many medical advances to preserve health. Jenna Bush's story of "inspiration and hope" is just another piece of the problem.