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The word hero is used way too often in our society for any number of reasons. But actual heroes exist. One of them was the AIDS activist Spencer Cox, who died this week at the age of 44. He helped save thousands of lives through his actions, even if he couldn’t conquer his own demons in the end. Such is the way of life.

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  • david mizner

    He’s featured in the documentary, How to Survive a Plague:


    I haven’t see it. Chris Hayes says it’s one of the best movies he’s ever seen.

    • I haven’t seen it either, but have also heard excellent things about it.

    • Uncle Ebeneezer

      Wow, that looks great.

      One of my gay friends in his late 40’s wrote the other day that he’s known something like 50 people who have died from AIDS. That kind of number makes my jaw-drop.

      • DrDick

        I knew a couple of guys who were in their early thirties back in the late 80s-early 90s in Chicago. It is really heart wrenching to watch that.

    • MAJeff

      It’s AMAZING.

      I watched it a few weeks back (Comcast OnDemand had it–it’s also available on iTunes). I was expecting it to be similar to other pieces about that era (Silverlake Life or We Were Here) and be depressed as hell. Nope. While death is constantly present (and the scene with people throwing their loved ones’ ashes on the White House lawn is crushing), it’s really about the power of collective action, as well as the problems.

      Near the end, Larry Kramer says–and it’s because of the work of TAG and ACT-UP–these medications are gay people’s gift to humanity. There is a way in which the pressure of gay folks saying, in the words of Prior Walter in Angels, “We will not die silent deaths,” that Kramer’s words are particularly true.

      Watch it. It’s really an outstanding piece of work.

  • The Dark Avenger

    I was talking to an old girlfriend who is now a professor of microbiology in a Southern state, she told me that the latest statistic that 50% of the AIDS cases in America are in the Deep South, which is a bit mind-blowing.

  • MAJeff

    The directors/distributors of How to Survive a Plague, put this segment of an interview with Cox out on the day he died:


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