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Aids Jokes and Urban Renewal: A Look at Homosexuality and Hip-Hop Sub-Cultures in America

For the first two hours of work I read the top stories on my cellphone. I suppose the time could have been spent working on the account receivable report or compiling the block/lot and tax office account list but instead I read about Aids and the Bush. While reading about my people, both Africans and homosexuals being infected with what I still think of as the “Gay Cancer”, and how the U.S. government is considering stopping funding Aids prevention programs because of the sexual behavior of those less fortunate and educated, I think about what an awful and cruel joke this must be. After years of trying to prevent and save Africa from this epidemic and its self (you know the whole white man’s burden thing), America decides to throw in the towel. I think about how I used to be a Spencerist in my opinions on other countries and people, the whole survival of the fittest, but the federal government seems to be misunderstanding the facts about this: if you let Africa suffer, you leave yourself open to the same suffering as well. If we start denying aid to Africa during this time of crisis we leave ourselves and other nations open to easily being infected and affected as well. This sharp rise in the governments morally Christian way of thinking recently seem to be a backlash of terror and the free-thinking of the last two decades is frightening. Every leap towards a more secular state is crushed by the heavy-handed Conservatives. In the 80’s, racial and sexual equality was at its height in America, then Aids came and ended all the free-love left over from the 70’s and homosexual mystique that had been siphoned from pop culture. Ambiguous lyrics and musicians became all the rage; everyone from Boy George to Prince pushed ideas of what is meant to be a man thanks to the disco divas and glam stars of the previous generation but Aids quickly pushed all the ideas of experimentation back into the closet. The racial climate changed drastically, where once there was an unified element (i.e. the right to party) in America via hip-hop culture from such master lyricists such as Run DMC, Grand Master Flash, and the Beastie Boys but with gansta rap’s arrival the cops were called. It seemed that not even collaboration with the more mature Aerosmith couldn’t stop the cops from busting up this party. Where urban life, like homosexuality, had once been mysterious and interesting it had become dark, misunderstood, and visibly painful. The early 90’s came and racial and sexual lines had been clearly drawn. While gansta rap became more visibly violent, homosexuality became invisible and it was realized that the father of ambiguity had no heir apparents. Years went by and boredom set in and the fuse was lit again. Urban life became poetic and homosexuality became chic; this two boundary pushing mediums had finally made their come back. The tragic death of two rap superstars put the “gansta” mentality in check and with the shock of Aids finally subdued, gay had finally found its mate. The dark, grittiness of rap had died and hip-hop got a face lift. Missy Elliot, Jay-Z, and even N.E.R.D. had brought back catchy lyrics and infectiously beats, Middle America could once again relate to urban culture. With hip-hop back in the limelight, homosexuality could finally get its little-screen kiss; Will and Grace, Queer as Folk, and a dozen other public faggots had made America drop to their knees and open wide. Gay was back and fiercer than ever. Middle, moral America wanted to see homos dance, design, and even decorate its men; there was a gay fixture on every major station, ‘mos were in. However there were still problems for both. Though the fun of hip-hop was back, it lost its underground edge, everyone and their mom was getting jiggy with it and urban style as a personal, individual statement got manufactured. Hip-hop became fake but not as fake as moral America’s acceptance of queers. Though there were fags everywhere no one wanted one in their family and they certainly didn’t want to see gay sex. Just as hip-hop lost the hippness to commericalization, homosexuals lost the sexuality to media castration. The funk that had influenced hip-hop was gone and rapping about soy lattes had begun and still no prime time gay couple, these two elements had been allowed back into America’s culture but conditionally. And then two towers were struck. Christian morality returned and was in direct effect. The Bush and his newly adopted Conservatives views became acceptable and even wanted. This should have been the homosexuals chance at upgrading from coach to first-class but sex and marriage were still a heterosexual only opportunity in the U.S. Luckily enough for hip-hop had still been vip only with a heterosexual guest list. While homo-Americans fought for equal civil right, hip-hoppers fail to realize half a century ago both groups were lock in arms against a common opponent , but that seems to be the wat it goes. Once one part of the group reach where it thought it wanted to be, it forget all about those it left behind and more than often forget they were in that position once as well.

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