Oh, I See. “You” Doesn’t Include Women.

Tom Humphrey has talked with Campfield further about his strange beliefs about straight people and HIV. I would just like to point you to this section:

Campfield said Friday that his point in the radio show is valid in that, within the United States, heterosexual encounters almost never result in AIDs “unless you’re having sex with someone from Africa or an IV drug user.”

“The odds of men catching it from women are very, very, very low,” he said.

To quote myself when I was providing a statistic Rachel helped me with this morning, “In the United States, heterosexual transmission accounts for how 65 percent of white women and 74 percent of black women acquired the infection. ”

I can’t help but wonder if this is Campfield’s mistake or Humphrey’s. But seriously. The only way heterosexual encounters “almost never result” in HIV/AIDS is if women don’t count.

And, frankly, though Humphrey is not the only one to do this, he’s drawing my ire because I’m linking to him, this is something that can easily be fact-checked. It is a provable matter of fact. Do straight people having sex “almost never” get HIV/AIDS unless they’re fucking Africans or IV drug users? Any reporter can do five seconds of internet research or call the health department. It’s not a matter of “some experts say” and “other experts say.” There isn’t unsettled territory.

So, why can’t reporters report the facts? This is a matter of people’s health. Don’t they have the right to know the truth?

The Great American Novel

People, I honestly don’t know how any writer in the United States who didn’t start writing before reading Life on the Mississippi dares put words to page after reading it. It may not be the “great American novel” but I honestly don’t think there’s a more perfect book about the United States. At least, he’d have to really fuck up the last 150 pages here for me to feel otherwise.

I’m just at the point where he admits to being born in the South (and has been making fun of Southern male authors for being too prone to flowerly language when women are nearby), but I must say that I’ve always thought of Twain as a Midwestern writer. And nothing about the section in which he says he was born in the South makes me feel otherwise, because the national pastime of the Midwest after not telling each other things and then being mad or hurt when we don’t know them and having potlucks in our church basements is indeed wondering what the hell is up with Southerners. If you could combine all those things–a bunch of passive aggressive Midwesterners eating casseroles while talking hilarious smack about their Southern cousins (or the Southern cousins of their friends)–you’d have the quintessential Midwestern experience.

Twain doesn’t mention eating casseroles, but I think we have to assume he was. Ha ha ha.

I’ve been trying to decide what it is about him that makes me lump him more into “Midwestern” than “Southern.” But I don’t know if those are legitimate differences or just based on stereotypes I have. I think Midwestern literature is more prone to a skeptical eye toward organized religion (even as people are predominately religious) because of a mistrust of it being a kind of busybodying, whereas I think Southern literature is soaked in religion and religious belief. I wasn’t surprised when Twain’s brother just showed up out of nowhere to die off. That seems right to me, that a Midwesterner would just assume that we’d all know he had a family and not be alarmed by a brother magically appearing. Whereas, in Southern writing, family relationships are central. Even the way he’s nostalgic strikes me as different from Southern writers, since he’s so keen to be clear that the times and places he misses had their problems back in the past.

But I don’t know. I feel like I have a good idea what constitutes Southern literature, but it’s hard for me to put my finger on what I think Midwestern literature would be.

But, he had a brother named Orion. Granted, I don’t know how it was pronounced. Oh-rye-un, fine. The Clemenses could be Southern. Ore-eee-un and there’s no doubting that they’re Midwestern.

Setting the Record “Straight” on How Heterosexual People Can Prevent HIV/AIDS

You’ll be unsurprised to learn that it’s pretty much the same things gay and bisexual people can do.

I find it a little annoying that the government is all “just don’t have sex with that many people, okay?” since there are enough non-sexual ways to contract HIV and rape is common enough that concern trolling over slutty behavior just doesn’t seem that constructive to me. After all, if you have sex with 50,000 people who don’t have HIV, you’re never going to get it from sexual contact. But if you have sex only once with one person who is also a virgin but got it from being stabbed with an infected needle when he reached into a garbage can to rescue a kitten, you are at great risk. Plus, not everyone can control who fucks them or how, sadly.

Anyway, don’t miss Campfield in the comments of Meador’s post passing off twenty-five year old information as definitive. I don’t know about you, but I use 1988 as my guide for everything. That’s why I’m afraid of the Soviet Union and think the Taliban are our friends.