IN THE WAKE of the culture war over National Portrait Gallery video installation "A Fire in My Belly, TBD's Maura Judkis profiles the artist behind the ant-crawling crucifix imagery. David Wojnarowicz, who died of AIDS-related illness in 1992, filmed the video in 1987 to commemorate artist Peter Hujar, who also died of AIDS. Judkis features Wojnarowicz's 1990 text-based piece, "Untitled (One Day This Kid...)," which she says "reads as the opposite of Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" project." Here's the text of "Untitled":
One day this kid will get larger. One day this kid will come to know something that causes a sensation equivalent to the separation of the earth from its axis. One day this kid will reach a point where he senses a division that isn’t mathematical. One day this kid will feel something stir in his heart and throat and mouth. One day this kid will find something in his mind and body and soul that makes him hungry. One day this kid will do something that causes men who wear the uniforms of priests and rabbis, men who inhabit certain stone buildings, to call for his death. One day politicians will enact legislation against this kid. One day families will give false information to their children and each child will pass that information down generationally to their families and that information will be designed to make existence intolerable for this kid. One day this kid will begin to experience all this activity in his environment and that activity and information will compell him to commit suicide or submit to silence and invisibility. Or one day this kid will talk. When he begins to talk, men who develop of fear of this kid will attempt to silence him with strangling, fists, prison, suffocation, rape, intimidation, drugging, ropes, guns, laws, menace, roving gangs, bottles, knives, religion, decapitation, and immolation by fire. Doctors will pronounce this kid curable as if his brain were a virus. This kid will lose his constitutional rights against the government’s invasion of his privacy. This kid will be faced with electro-shock, drugs, and conditional therapies in laboratories tended by psychologists and research scientists. He will be subject to loss of home, civil rights, jobs, and all conceivable freedoms. All this will begin to happen in one or two years when he discovers he desires to place his naked body on the naked body of another boy.
As with most cases of censorship, the government rejection of Wojnarowicz's work has only renewed interest in it.
REND SMITH on asking Courtland Milloy if he likes white people.
DO NOT EXTRAPOLATE ANY CULTURAL TRUTHS from Sex And the City ever again.
DR. LEROY CARHART starts work in Maryland on Monday. National Abortion Federation president Vicki Saporta on the planned protests: "We are also working with law enforcement to make sure that any protests that take place are legally conducted and that protesters do not act illegally or do not impede women from getting the care that they need."
WHEN TRAVELING, remember to refresh your sex offender registration. Customs and Border Protection officers working at Washington-Dulles International Airport arrested a Delaware man this month over his "failure to register as a violent sex offender." They also nabbed a Gaithersburg, Md., resident "on charges of third degree sexual abuse of a minor."