December 16th, 2008

Chris Keeley

the District's HIV infection rate -- already the highest in the country, with one in 20 adults HIV-p

the District's HIV infection rate -- already the highest in the country, with one in 20 adults HIV-positive -- is again on the rise. "I wake up every day fearing that a new, faster, more virulent form of this virus will hit us," Hawkins said.

Whitman-Walker, a Longtime Front in AIDS War, Moves Out

By Anne Hull
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 16, 2008; A01

 

The last of the boxes were hauled away yesterday from the Whitman-Walker Clinic at 1407 S St. NW. The moving truck made its final run. The rooms were empty. The heat was off.

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Chris Keeley

America and the Tintype

America and the Tintype

 
Nanny and Child (ca. 1860, tinted tintype). From America and the Tintype at the International Center of Photography. "...One of the most intriguing and little studied forms of nineteenth-century photography is the tintype. Introduced in 1856 as a low-cost alternative to the daguerreotype and the albumen print, the tintype was widely marketed from the 1860s through the first decades of the twentieth century as the cheapest and most popular photographic medium. Because of its ubiquity, the tintype provides a startlingly candid record of the political upheavals that occurred during the four decades following the American Civil War, and the personal anxieties they induced. The tintype studio became a kind of performance space where sitters could act out their personal identities, displaying the tools of their trade, masks and costumes, toys and dolls, stuffed animals, and props of all sorts. This uniquely American medium provides extraordinary insights into the development of national attitudes and characteristics in the formative years of the early modern era."
 
Chris Keeley

Drunkenfreude

Drunkenfreude

As dessert ended, the woman in the red dress got up and stumbled toward the bathroom. Her husband, whose head had been sinking toward the bûche de Noël, put a clumsily lecherous arm around the reluctant hostess. As coffee splashed into porcelain demitasse cups, the woman in the red dress returned, sank sloppily into her chair and reached for the Courvoisier. Someone gently moved the bottle away. “Are you shaying I’m drunk?” she demanded. Even in the candlelight I noticed that the lipstick she had reapplied was slightly to the left of her lips. Her husband, suddenly bellicose, sprang from his chair to defend his wife’s honor. But on the way across the room he slipped and went down like a tray of dishes. “Frank! Are you hurt?” she screamed. Somehow she had gotten hold of the brandy. “S’nothing,” he replied, “just lay down for a little nap. Can I bum a smoke?”

That dinner party was almost 10 years ago; it was the last time I saw anyone visibly drunk at a New York party. The New York apartments and lofts which were once the scenes of old-fashioned drunken carnage — slurred speech, broken crockery, broken legs and arms, broken marriages and broken dreams — are now the scene of parties where both friendships and glassware survive intact. Everyone comes on time, behaves well, drinks a little wine, eats a few tiny canapés, and leaves on time. They all still drink, but no one gets drunk anymore. Neither do they smoke. What on earth has happened?

If alcoholism is an addiction — which it is — how can people control their drinking just because it is no longer acceptable to get drunk? What about smoking, another addiction? Addicts are supposed to be powerless; is a little social disapproval more powerful than all the rehabilitation centers and 12-step programs and fancy new drugs?

Does fashion trump addiction?

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Chris Keeley

Susan Cheever

Susan Cheever

Susan Cheever The author of several books, including "My Name Is Bill," a biography of one of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, "Note Found in a Bottle" and the latest, "Desire: Where Sex Meets Addiction."