Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Well, another hunch paid off this morning with a quick Google of the words “Arafat” and “HIV”.
It seems I’m not the only person who heard a tiny bell ring with mention of the PLO leader’s “mysterious blood ailment”.
Perform a quick search yourself and peruse any of the 214,000+ hits this word combination reveals.
Certainly anyone even briefly associating with Arab men would notice the same untoward and denial-laden interest in male homosexuality that in-the-know Americans observe in our own contra sexually obsessed Christian Fundamentalists.
I, personally, remember vintage 1980's Washington scuttlebutt regarding President Reagan's enjoyment of a CIA report detailing Colonel Khadafi's fondness for red pumps and wonder if President Bush didn't sweeten his Lybian deal with a lifetime discount at Shoetown for the cross-dressing Colonel.
As the King of Siam once observed to Anna, “Tis a puzzlement.”
Certainly, in my humble opinion, the great unspoken issue buried within all this politically expedient demonization of things openly gay is the out-of-control nature of today’s hidden but highly active male sexual behavior.
Women, no matter if they will admit it or not, know this to be true.
I would love to give a few examples here but discretion, for once, is causing a modest and rare pause.
There is something about openness that really cramps the breathy excitement found in hidden lust.
Just ask (or Google) a hot ambisexual mix including the Rev. Jimmy Swaggart, Robert Livingston, William Bennett, Robert Bauman, Bill Paxon, Newt Gingrich or your average imprisoned or on the lamb Catholic priest.
Thanks to the computer, the cell phone and the booming alleged erectile dysfunction industry, the modern penis has discovered the world to be his oyster.
Or, rather, should I say clam?
The point of the open gay lifestyle isn’t to celebrate the act that formerly didn’t dare speak its name but rather to engender and maintain a sense of family and unconditional love for so many of the male, female and, now, adult victims of, admitted or not, historic alpha male rapaciousness.
Strident fundamentalism, whatever its religion, makes a wonderful cloak to obscure the old power male’s true nature.
If Chairman Arafat is dead or dying of complications from HIV he has my sympathy but not my respect.
Respect would follow a frank announcement by the Arafat family of his true condition; an announcement which would have a major impact on a large, vulnerable and socially unreachable but no less exposed portion of our human family.

Photo: Associated Press

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