Live and Let Die
Regarding Steve Jackson's "The End of the Line" in the April 6 issue:
My heart goes out to Ric Games and the hundreds of thousands for finding the courage to stand up to the very thing that's encompassing them. Too many people are being destroyed by this disease. I feel it is admirable of Ric to awaken himself, be responsible and use condoms. It's simply a shame that for him it may be too late.
Ric, your lifestyle was unsafe, irresponsible and plain dirty! The unnamed faces, LSD trips, unprotected sex with hundreds of strangers: What the hell were you thinking, man? You were already stricken with sexually transmitted diseases--wasn't that enough of a hint? I am pissed off at those of us who practice unsafe sex! It's not our lives we're taking, it is the lives everyone around us. We need to start taking responsible action--if not for our lovers, then for ourselves.
Ric, hang in there. Don't let your soul be destroyed. You're going to be just fine.
What a tearjerkin' story. But one must ask these questions. How did this person get AIDS? Was he forced into this type of sex (sodomy)? What about all his other lovers? Do they have a heartrending story to tell about their sickness? How many others are going to read your story and come to the twisted conclusion that this lifestyle is normal and should be followed? I have many more questions, but will go on to other things.
Steve Jackson's companion piece, "The Next Generation," is just as dangerous. It says everything but what it should say. Anal sex is not normal sex. Whether safe with a condom or not, it is strange.
Sorry, but my boo-hoos go for the innocent, those who have contracted AIDS through blood transfusions (hemophiliacs) and unknowing wives who have contracted AIDS through their bisexual husbands who practice sodomy on the side with their lovers. So sorry, Mr. Richard Games. My heart breaks because you have AIDS. But my stomach retches when I think about how you got it.
I have never been so moved by an article to write a letter to the editor--until I read Mr. Jackson's story about Ric Games. I sat at my desk and, through constantly tearing eyes, managed to make it through this article. Mr. Jackson accomplished something that is so rare in journalism today: giving Ric Games, a gay man living with AIDS, dignity and feelings and just making him human. I would imagine, at least hope, that everyone who reads this article feels something. Perhaps some will feel pity for Ric Games, and if that is what they feel, at least they feel something, though I would hope they could dig deep for a true emotion, putting aside prejudice. I don't feel pity for Ric Games. What I feel is admiration, pride and yes, even envy. Ric Games has obviously lived his life to his choosing, and he himself stated that he had no regrets. How can you regret being who you are?
Ric Games should be commended not only for his demonstrated strength as he faces life from day to day but also for his faith in God and most assuredly his faith in himself. I am not fortunate enough to know Ric Games personally. But if I'm very lucky, one day I will get to meet this man. I believe everyone should have the opportunity to know a human like him in their lives. I've known a few in my life, but they are gone. This article was a painful, yet at the same time sweet, reminder of the friends that I have lost over the years, letting me do something that I usually don't allow myself to do, and that's remember. Not because I don't treasure the memories of my lost friends, but because it's just so damned painful. But seeing Ric's strength gave me a newfound strength to bring those memories out of hiding and cry. And I felt wonderful after having done so.
I urge everyone who was touched by this article to light a candle for Ric and the countless others, and say a little prayer.
Thank you, Ric Games, for your courage and strength. And a very special thank-you to Steve Jackson for writing such a wonderful piece. Your integrity is overshadowed only by your sensitivity and caring.
In the 1950s the American Medical Association published a little magazine called Today's Health. In one publication, a doctor wrote that he had used smallpox vaccine in the treatment of herpes, Simplex I and genital herpes. We hadn't heard of the AIDS virus until after the smallpox vaccine was discontinued, but we certainly should persuade some medical officials to be aware that smallpox did control other viruses, and plead the cause for AIDS patients worldwide. The cost in lost lives, suffering and finances is immeasurable. With God's help let us pray for a solution soon.
We often hear about the so-called "innocent victims" of AIDS: the hemophiliacs and the babies, for example. It is rare, however, that the general public gets a glimpse of the real life of a member of the largest HIV-positive and AIDS-infected population: gay men. It is all too easy for many people to blame these men and say they asked for it. But what we all know is true is that no one who has AIDS asked for it or deserves it, whether they had one or a thousand lovers. I hope Ric Games, with his courage, intelligence and gigantic heart, has helped to change some of those opinions.
Regarding the Colorado AIDS Project: Yes, it has its faults, and I appreciate Ric staying on top of things and making sure money gets where it belongs. CAP does a lot of good, though, and for now is all we have. I would like to encourage continued support for them and the people they help.
Thank you, Westword and Steve Jackson, for having the guts to print such a touching and honest story.
And best wishes to Ric Games.
Now that we have been treated to a verbal description of the sexual mores of a gay bathhouse, could we next have a graphic depiction by Kenny Be?
Old Ralphie (R.W. Emerson, 1803-82) said over a hundred years ago: "Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on another." Reading Westword is one sure way to remind ourselves that R.W. knew whereof he wrote.
Take My Wife, Please
Kenny Be's April 6 Worst-Case Scenario, "The American Tragedy Commemorative Stamps," was interesting. I'd like to see stamps depicting Deadbeat Moms, with my ex-wife at the top. Could my son use the $20,000 she owes in back support? You bet. Will I ever see it? Right!
Name withheld on request
It's the Same Mold Song
Regarding Michael Roberts's April 6 article, "Houses of the Moldy":
There's probably one thing more boring than another summer of "dinosaur" tours--and that's another article bashing these dinosaurs for making new music, making more money and making millions of fans (young and old alike) happy.
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Another Moldy But Goodie
As a longtime fan of Caravan, I would like to make a few comments regarding Michael Roberts's March 30 article, "Everything Old Is New Again." Caravan's first album was released in 1969, and various incarnations of the band continued to record over the next two decades with little acclaim outside of a small but dedicated following and a few critics. The peak period of the band (1970-1974) is covered on the CD set and is worthy of investigation by anyone who enjoys English progressive rock of that era.
I took it from Mr. Roberts's comments that he was not overly impressed with the collection. That is quite understandable, since Caravan is very much an acquired taste and its music is certainly not to everyone's liking. Incidentally, Mr. Roberts, if you need a good home for the advance copy you received from Polygram, I would be happy to "adopt" it.