Mike Alvear penned a hell-of-a-blog on HUFF Post the other day: “Why Are Some HIV-Positive Gay Men Grateful for Their Disease?” and now it’s my turn to opine on that article and guesstimate on why he did it.
If I hear one more HIV-positive man tell me he’s “grateful” for the disease because it made him a more peaceful, loving, open, honest person, I’m going to scream. Those afflicted by disease, any disease, whether it’s cancer or HIV, have taken a pernicious slide toward rationalizing their conditions as something “necessary” for them to achieve some kind of enlightenment. And we can lay that awful trend on the likes of Louise Hay, Deepak Chopra and all that positive-thinking guru crap that passes for spiritual insight.
So, in true imstilljosh.com fashion– I’ve responded to Mike Alvear directly with this video — and because I can, I also read his book and offer a fantastic review of it. Of course, I don’t really think Mike is an asshole, generally. I do think his alleged attempt to gain attention worked, but not in the way he probably wanted.
The other day, I was reading Huffington Post and I came across an article called: “Why Are Some HIV-Positive Men Grateful for their Disease?” by author Mike Alvear.
At first, I was a bit taken aback by the absurdity of his blog post.
Then I was pissed.
How could this author — of the insanely popular and best selling, self-help book “How to Bottom Like a Porn Star. The Ultimate Guide to Gay Sex” write such a demeaning and masterfully unhelpful article attempting to take the empowerment and breath away from other dudes like me?
What a shame. What an asshole. What a douche.
And then I realized that his blog post speaks to something beyond HIV all together. It speaks to the greed of our society. It’s my feelings that Mike doesn’t “really” hate hearing that other fellas like me— HIV positive — have turned a circumstance that we’re experiencing into something … well, positive…
He doesn’t really mean that he hates to hear something that I feel: “that HIV really made me a better person — because I for once stopped thinking about myself only and started to realize that life and living well was something that happened BECAUSE of my diagnosis…” — he doesn’t really mean these hateful, uneducated statements— I believe — but rather, he wants attention. And Ill give him credit. His more than utterly arrogant, harsh, self-centered, uncompassionate, and stupidly unrational attempt at writing this blog is just a shallow and pitiful attempt at content marketing — writing something that gain attentions that in turns leads others to the book he attempts to pitch and sell us.. Full disclosure here: I bought the book.
Because I’m a blogger, myself, I am reviewing it…right here, right now. I did pay full price for it. No discount to disclose. No paid marketing or sponsored post here.
My review of it:
Horrible. Not funny. Not even clever. It’s not helpful. It is though, a huge waste of money and time I wish I could have back. I wish I could give it “negative” stars… Mike, can I get a refund?
My review is based on reading it — what his ultimate purpose of writing that shallow, marketing link-bait piece really was…. right Mike? Come on, Mike. Right?
I’m HIV-positive. It wasn’t something I wanted. It wasn’t something I tried to get…a gift. It is a virus that is yet to be cured. However, the stigma that Mike paints so perfectly in his blog on Huffington Post — that stigma has been curable for a while now.
Selfish attempts at pitching one’s product, by degrading the decency of some of pals — some of the strongest and most weathered people I have ever met… dealing with a virus and the unnecessary stigma attached is something I will step up and defend for the rest of my life. (And by the way… it’ll probably be a while, as new studies have found that life expectancy of those HIV-positive equals those of our HIV-negative pals, friends, family and colleagues.)
Mike — grow up. Learn a lesson from this video — that actually, learning something from mistakes (like a terrible blog post or book) or tough circumstances (like living with HIV) is completely possible and many times healthy. Writing junk as you’ve done previously now, will only lead to life terribly lived and wisely ignored.
“Take care of yourself. And each other.” Thanks Jerry Springer for that encouragement!