Letters

Second, the "dragon whose tail is tipped by a penis" is a winged lion in the style of the Warring States Period (Sung Dynasty circa. 960-1279 A.D.) and not "a metaphor" for my illness. I'm not that clever. The Chinese used the penis-shaped tail 1,000 years ago on this winged lion for reasons I have not determined. Your analysis is irresponsible speculation and is probably libelous. Most certainly it is rude. You only perpetuate the myths surrounding the AIDS pandemic by assuming that my penis had anything to do with my contracting HIV. Do you remember Ryan White? What about Mary Fisher or the thousands of children on the streets of Mexico City or the North African families who have lost three or four generations to AIDS? Comments like yours are similar to the pathetic rhetoric we hear from the religious right.

Wake up Houston Press. Your writers should not be so flippant when it comes to enlightening the public on the truths surrounding the possibilities of contracting HIV. Those "disembodied cells in the sky" are Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors, as referred to in the title of the painting and in the information supplied to the writer by the gallery. Had Ms. Dewan been a little knowledgeable, she would have known that there are no drug therapies for AIDS; these therapies treat only HIV. Specific opportunistic diseases are required to develop AIDS.

Everyone has a right to an opinion, but when the facts are so far off the entire editorial staff becomes suspect. This does not serve the public very well. You can call it "conceit" if you wish, but remember that Weekend Gallery, like so many other smaller galleries, deserves credit for getting the pulse of a community. Also, the term the "Houston School" is not a term used by me, but about me, and it means nothing to me.

By the way, I have never been to China in my 40 years; maybe I'll make it there before I reach my "mid- to late forties."

Richard E. Fluhr
Houston

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