See­ing red

Pasatiempo - - In the Wings -

As of Fri­day, Dec. 3, two days af­ter World AIDS Day, AIDS doesn’t just go away or crawl into a locked box and re­main ad­e­quately out of reach from the ones you love. HIV in­fec­tion con­tin­ues along a fa­mil­iar course: In­dis­crim­i­nately dis­man­tling the health and hap­pi­ness of mil­lions of peo­ple as if noth­ing or no one will ever be able to stop it. And since we can’t see the mag­ni­tude of the cri­sis from our front porches, why dwell on it, es­pe­cially dur­ing this cheery hol­i­day sea­son?

You know what else never seems to go away? The hate. The big­otry, sin­gle-mind­ed­ness, and ig­no­rance that con­tinue to creep into our homes, our schools, our leg­isla­tive bod­ies, our court­rooms — our places of wor­ship. Iden­tity and HIV in­fec­tion are not mu­tu­ally ex­clu­sive. First it was a gay dis­ease. Then it was gen­der-fo­cused. Then it be­came a mi­nor­ity prob­lem. And now it’s la­beled ei­ther a teen is­sue or a poverty is­sue. No mat­ter how you slice it, there’s a steam­ing side of stigma to choke down right along­side liv­ing with the ill­ness.

On Wed­nes­day, Dec. 1, Santa Fe’s Plaza obelisk was il­lu­mi­nated red to raise aware­ness about the con­tin­u­ing global AIDS cri­sis and to pro­mote an AIDS-free planet by 2015. But here’s the thing: you can light up a mil­lion na­tional land­marks and cover your­self head-to-toe with red rib­bons; that’s a lovely sight and a nice com­mu­nal ges­ture with (usu­ally) good in­ten­tions. But to af­fect a real par­a­digm of con­scious­ness and con­science re­gard­ing AIDS and AIDS dis­crim­i­na­tion (and dis­crim­i­na­tion of any kind, re­ally), you have to strike at the jugu­lar, pierce the heart, and shake the soul loose from the bonds of parentally and in­sti­tu­tion­ally in­grained opin­ions and fears that you are led to be­lieve can keep the real world and all of its dis­com­forts and suf­fer­ing at a safe dis­tance. (They don’t).

You and I need peo­ple like per­form­ers and aka who present their semi-au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal hip-hop opera,

at at arts cen­ter (1614 Paseo de Per­alta, 989-4423). Blend­ing rap and spo­ken word, they dis­cuss their lives grow­ing up in San An­to­nio, Texas, one of them iden­ti­fy­ing as Chi­cano, the other iden­ti­fy­ing as queer Chi­cano. Fol­low­ing a glut of gay-bul­ly­ing cases through­out the coun­try, many of them ig­nored by “re­spon­si­ble” adults and some of them end­ing in death, the time is ripe for the hip-hop com­mu­nity — which has never been par­tic­u­larly gay-friendly — and the LGBTQ com­mu­nity to find more com­mon ground. It’s also time for hip-hop artists to set a bet­ter ex­am­ple for their peers and au­di­ences.

Racial and sex­ual iden­tity can be un­com­fort­able topics for young peo­ple to dis­cuss. Com­mend­ably, Foxx and Esquivel leave them­selves ex­posed in or­der to help set the di­a­logue in a frame­work that can be more com­fort­ably ab­sorbed. Thanks are also on or­der for South­west CARE Cen­ter, Ware­house 21, New Mex­ico Com­mu­nity AIDS Part­ner­ship, Santa Fe Moun­tain Cen­ter, and the New Mex­ico Depart­ment of Health, who co-present these two per­form­ers in an at­mos­phere where they, and their au­di­ence, can feel safe and wel­come. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all feel that way 2015? There is a re­quested $5-10 do­na­tion at the door, but no one will be turned away.

— Rob DeWalt Formed in 2002, Al­bu­querque out­fit is the joint to hit in the 505 if you’re look­ing for retro funk, neo-soul, and clas­sic and con­tem­po­rary R & B. De­scrib­ing them­selves ac­cu­rately as “kinda like Prince meets Sade at Rick James’ house party,” JDS can bring it loud and heavy Funkadelic­style or rock a slow jam that could smack the “sexy back” right off Justin Tim­ber­lake’s stub­bly face. Catch these 2009 New Mex­ico Mu­sic Award Win­ners for Best Adult R & B group at

at (401 S. Guadalupe St., 983-4559). Tick­ets are $5 at the door.

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