On AIDS, Twitter, and a Bad Week at Work 03.12.17
I went to an event on AIDS on Friday afternoon. I know so little about AIDS, mainly fragments from my childhood in the 1980s, of adverts with gravestones, then later a televised concert commemorating the death of Freddie Mercury. In the late 1990s I read a book by journalist/broadcaster Andrew Neil, about how he bravely fought to show how AIDS was a homosexual-related illness and had little to do with heterosexuals. I respect Andrew Neil, but I sometimes think the way he picks fights with the disempowered, tries to expose them and undermine them, is slightly off. I never hear him speaking out against tax havens, or the dangers of monopoly media ownership.
Anyway, I went to this event on AIDS, mainly because the organizer had helped me with Trans Remembrance. I find the subject of AIDS uncomfortable. I think of death, and people wasting away. I think of condoms. I think of needles and heroin being cooked on a dirty spoon. Anyway, it was a panel-based event and the panel was authoritative and knowledgeable and also very likeable. They spoke about how treatment for AIDS now allows people to live for decades in good health. There are all kinds of organizations that help people in different ways. Things have changed since the 1980s and 1990s, clearly.
I couldn't think of a good question to ask. I wanted to ask which AIDS-related movie they'd recommend. I'm glad I didn't ask this question but it is generally how I connect with things. I have seen Dallas Buyers Club and realize I need to watch Philadelphia. I do want to learn more about AIDS, but in my own pathetically glitzy way.
I've noticed from my recent posts that I'm always writing about TRANSGENDER stuff. The word is in almost every title of everything I post. This is partly because Trans Remembrance has coincided, but it's also because I've only just started using Twitter. Increasingly, I have found myself being radicalized by my Twitter account, the constant updates from trans activists, or the re-tweets about people who hate trans people. I am grateful for these updates, but equally, I feel the need to step back. Twitter does this to people. You get the constant stream of news on subjects you care about, every day, and it's like you're in a war. No wonder we're going crazy in the West. So I'd like to use Twitter less. I don't want to become like Donald Trump.
Finally, I had my probation meeting at work on Friday. It didn't go well. I'm too detached and don't look happy. Is it that the job is making me unhappy? Because if so . . .It's interesting, because I was really so happy when I got this job. But it's true I did slip into perfunctory mode. The truth is, it's a six-hour-a-week part-time job and it makes me neither happy nor unhappy. I'm doing it for the money. Other things excite me: my studies, my event-organizing. But I need to re-approach my part-time job in a more dynamic frame of mind, because it's clear that my clock-in, clock-out manner has been well and truly clocked. It's funny how the thing you want can quickly stop being something so fantastical, and you settle down into it, and to some degree you're going through the motions, diligently, conscientiously, but ever so slightly without excitement. I felt really sad and shaken by my review-probation, for the first time since I started the job I was genuinely unhappy. When I talked to my flatmate later that evening I nearly started crying but checked myself – stiff-upper lip, Gina. For the second consecutive year, I really hate December, it's making me feel sick, for reasons I don't want to go into. But anyway, next week is another week, and at work, rest and play, Gina will be a happy bunny.