No Rest for the Wicked

1.17.2011

By Noah Michelson

It was almost 25 years ago that you started working on The Plague Mass. Obviously, as a country we're now at such a different place in terms of AIDS and our understanding of the disease -- and at the same time, it sometimes feels like we haven't made much progress, or that we're going in reverse in terms of education and responsibility. What are your thoughts about what's happening -- or not -- in America regarding the epidemic?
You have all these young guys going into the bathhouses and having sex with speed. The fact is there is nobody in the world that would have stopped me from taking speed at 18 -- forget it. Forget it! Speed is speed and that's a part of American life. And it's a part of life and that's it. People can go and do their fucking yoga and all that shit but speed is speed. So, instead of doing a double fucking fuck on people that take speed and saying, 'You deserve to get the fucking AIDS virus because you're a fucking asshole who's still taking drugs,' why don't they do something intelligent and mix a cocktail of speed and prophylactic antivirals? Because the judgment call is worthless, it's a waste of time, it's useless, it's exactly what the Catholic Church was doing when they were saying people shouldn't use condoms. Because they think if you're getting fucked in the ass you deserve to die. If you're fucking someone in the ass then you deserve to die. That isn't news to all the women who had to use fucking hangers and have abortions because they got pregnant -- who died in all these poor parts of Mexico and were dying from all these blood infections. So that's something that bothers me. Even when I was down at the David Barton gym a while ago, right next to the gym there was a sign about people who take speed and the correlation with AIDS and I just thought, 'Oh yeah yeah,' and it's like the correlation with heroin too. And let's make the correlation with this and that. And it's like look man, you know what? You may not think that speed's good for somebody and you may think blah bitty blah -- but that's not the issue! Why don't people stop making these judgments about the drugs? I feel what hasn't been done is the research -- obviously it isn't going to be FDA approved ever -- to come up with cocktails that you can get in a bathhouse or get in a bar -- 'We know you're going to be doing speed so here,' -- like giving syringes out. So you're going to take some speed tonight take some Tenofovir, which is a prophylactic antiviral. I took it -- I took a bunch of it -- I made myself an experimental subject. I did it a few years ago. I said, 'I think I'll put myself on the front end and the back end of this research project and take Tenofovir,' and it certainly worked for me. There are all kinds of political discussions about this and that but nonetheless the drug has been seen to be very effective. So why don't we have it here? Do you get it?

I guess a lot of it is tied up in big business and pharmaceutical companies. There have always been those rumors that they could have stopped AIDS -- or at least slowed it down -- a long time ago but they just didn't because they wanted to make money off of the drugs and they were pleased with the particular populations that were being wiped out.
Oh absolutely! For example, women could have had these emergency pregnancy pills that you can take once or twice right after sex a lot sooner than they were made available. Instead they were forced on this constant diet of these shitty fucking pills which are just lethal. When I took them when I was 18 I was constantly sick. Constantly sick! It was this hormone poisoning. And why not have it tailor made to the individual? It was like 'If you're going to have sex then you take this, bitch. You fucking take this.' And then they had these thing where women had to put these wires up there.

You mean IUDs?
Yeah. That's it. I never used it. I mean we know these doctors -- I saw some of these doctors when I was very young and they were vicious.

I heard the IUD was invented by a man in his garage.
[Laughs] I wouldn't be surprised if he got it from something in his car. He probably tried it out on a few women in the garage. It's horrifying. That's sort of what I mean about the punishment in our country for having sex. It's just extreme. Here we have at the same time young gay men being told not to take speed. Then you have older straight men who get -- by virtue of insurance -- something that is literally speed: Viagra. They get it with a doctor's handshake, they get it like, 'Oh you poor thing! I understand you're stressed. I understand you're tired at the end of the day.' They don't say that to a young fag who wants to go to a fucking bar. Like, 'I understand that you're working this really hard job, and you're working 12 hours a day and at the end of the day you want to go home and fuck your boyfriend, so here's some speed.' Hey -- you don't hear that! Oh no. But some old fuck who wants to fuck some 20 year old blonde and show her that he's Joe Namath or whatever goes out there and gets a prescription for Viagra. It makes me fucking sick. They don't fucking judge these motherfuckers. As long as you've got a golf club with you that's it.

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