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<nettime> market(iz)ing SARS
t byfield on Mon, 19 May 2003 18:47:16 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> market(iz)ing SARS


SARS, as well know now, may pose a serious threat to the global economy.
the fact that we know that is a testament -- as if we needed yet another 
-- to how deeply economistic thinking has pervaded just about everything.
by contrast, below is a message i sent to nettime almost five years ago, 
with a pretty thorough list of things said about AIDS; the list appeared 
in an article published about sixteen years ago. there are references to
the cost of drugs, pharmacorps, and capitalism, true, but somehow things
seem to fit together differently. (yes, i know AIDS != SARS, thanks.)

cheers,
t


     To: nettime-l {AT} Desk.nl
     Subject: <nettime> EXTREMELY DISTURBING NONSENSE
     From: t byfield <tbyfield {AT} panix.com>
     Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 17:53:15 -0400

     wonghc {AT} ppp.nasionet.net (1998-09-25, 05:22.54) wrote:

      <...>
     > This bit of news I just downloaded from AFP is EXTREMELY DISTURBING AND
     > FRIGHTENING! BUT I am sure Mahathir is capable of such a thing - that
     > man is evil. And under ISA, they can do anything! <...> Anwar to get HIV
     > injection claim dismissed as "crazy" <...> KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 (AFP) -
     > The wife of Anwar Ibrahim on Monday raised fears for the safety of the
     > imprisoned former deputy premier, saying she had even heard he might be
     > injected with the HIV virus. <...>

      From Paula A. Treichler, "AIDS, Homophobia, and Biomedical Discourse,"
     _October_ 43 (Winter 1987): a list of claims made about AIDS "is"...

     1. An irreversible, untreatable, and invariably fatal infectious
        disease that threatens to wipe out the whole world.

     2. A creation of the media, which has sensationalized a minor
        health problem for its own profit and pleasure.

     3. A creation of the state to legitimize widespread invasion of
        people's lives and sexual practices.

     4. A creation of biomedical scientists and the Centers for Disease
        Control to generate funding for their activities.

     5. A gay plague, probably emanating from San Francisco.

     6. The crucible in which the field of immunology will be tested.

     7. The most extraordinary medical chronicle of our times.

     8. A condemnation to celibacy or death.

     9. An Andromeda strain with the transmission efficiency of the
        common cold.

     10. An imperialist plot to destroy the Third World.

     11. A fascist plot to destroy homosexuals.

     12. A CIA plot to destroy subversives.

     13. A capitalist plot to create new markets for pharmaceutical
         products.

     14. A Soviet plot to destroy capitalists.

     15. The result of experiments on the immunological system of men
         not likely to reproduce.

     16. The result of genetic mutations caused by "mixed marriages."

     17. The result of moral decay and a major force destroying the Boy
         Scouts.

     18. A plague stored in King Tut's tomb and unleashed when the Tut
         exhibit toured the US in 1976.

     19. The perfect emblem of twentieth-century decadence, of
         fin-de-siecle decadence, of postmodern decadence.

     20. A disease that turns fruits into vegetables.

     21. A disease introduced by aliens to weaken us before the
         takeover.

     22. Nature's way of cleaning house.

     23. America's Ideal Death Sentence.

     24. An infectious agent that has suppressed our immunity from
         guilt.

     25. A spiritual force that is creatively disrupting civilization.

     26. A sign that the end of the world is at hand.

     27. God's punishment of our weaknesses

     28. God's test of our strengths.

     29. The price paid for the sixties.

     30. The price paid for anal intercourse.

     31. The price paid for genetic inferiority and male aggression.

     32. An absolutely unique disease for which there is no precedent.

     33. Just another venereal disease.

     34. The most urgent and and complex public health problem facing
         the world today.

     35. A golden opportunity for science and medicine.

     36. Science fiction.

     37. Stranger than science fiction.

     38. A terrible and expensive way to die.

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