AIDS was the event that defined my coming of age, and it was the event that defined homosexuals as a "people". Gay men died because of AIDS, and AIDS killed only gay men (at first). To the new religious right, we were God's gift - proof that homosexuality was indeed sinful, hadn't He brought against us a plague? How useful for them we have been.
Later, rumors of conspiracy appeared. Some said that AIDS was a secret bio-weapon, created by the government. I don't know if that is true, but I do have an anecdote. My friend Bob lives in NYC, and back in the day, The Saint was the hottest, most notorious gay disco in town. He recalls that just before the beginning of the AIDS crisis, the Red Cross had set up a free Hepatitis vaccination center in the lobby - injecting any who were willing. Later, he had an intuition that those Red Cross workers might have been injecting more than just vaccines. Paranoid? Perhaps, but from what has come to light about the secret machinations of various governmental agencies, only Pollyanna wouldn't raise an eyebrow.
A meme is a mental virus, spread through the population much like a computer virus. There seems to be no inoculation against them, and it has been argued that none is desired - freedom of expression above all! I have the feeling that some expressions are more free than others, much like "free" trade.
Apparently, the visualization of a global pandemic is an expression that "has legs". The news media keeps us up to date with threats of bird flue, mad cow, AIDS ( a perennial), and rising stars like mutant TB. If that isn't enough, Hollywood steps in with all manner of deadly perils:
'V for Vendetta' shows a once proud USA reduced to barbarism (our present barbaric condition notwithstanding) thanks to a bio-engineered weapon that has caused total societal collapse (society = good, FYI).
'28 Days Later' and '28 Weeks Later' visualize a plague called "Rage" that turns people into instant homicidal maniacs (like instant rabies), the only "cure" is to shoot the infected as quickly as you can, before they infect YOU. The Marines are called in.
'Ringu' (The Ring Virus, The Ring) is a Japanese horror/mystery film that imagines a virus as a cursed videotape that, once you watch it, will kill you in seven days, unless you give the tape to another victim. An ingenious method of spreading its "seed", one must admit.
'Children of Men' is a dystopian vision of a planet made sterile via environmental and societal breakdown, and while not technically a virus, is still important to my musings.
The Gay Virus
Meanwhile, another meme is spreading - the Transform virus - the heart's desire of gay men. If that gay virus ever did manifest into the world, it would literally BE the dystopian pandemic meme, made flesh. A virus called "Lust" that instantly turns any man into a hot, musclebound, cum-hungry stud!
Let's run that movie to it's logical conclusion: The victims of LUST become gay - AKA "sterile" and the writing is on the wall. If this virus is allowed to propagate, the whole human race is endangered! Thankfully, an antidote is discovered, and via the International Red Cross, it is quickly administered to a terrified population. To prove your immunization, the Red Cross stamps your hand with its insignia - its mark.
In other words, the ultimate gay fantasy results in the destruction of the world. Holy shit!
Interestingly, that movie has already been made: 'The Hole' (The Holy?) is a gay version of the Ringu meme - a videotape that turns any man who watches it into a fag.
Gregory Cochran is an evolutionary biologist who has incensed the politically correct with his analogy of homosexuality as an infection - a virus. It makes me wonder. What IF homosexuality is a kind of divine infection? An alien invasion? How Borg like, how invading Israelite, how... male!
Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. --Matthew 13:33