Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Witz Pickz: People With AIDS Plaza

Yes, seriously. There's a place in NYC called "People With AIDS Plaza." Now, if you're over forty, you're probably thinking, "Boy, we sure have come a long way; I remember when it used to just be called 'Dying Homosexuals Square.'" But, if you're under forty, your first thought was most likely, "Yikes! There HAS to be a better name for that!" Really think hard about it, though--there is no other name. Sure, it SOUNDS like it might be offensive, but it's really not.* It's just super specific. Like, try and think of any other location that is that specific. You can't, right? As far as I know, there's no "People With Dandruff Plaza" or "Folks With Nut Allergies Park." What else would you call it? There aren't nicknames for people with diseases. AIDS-ers? AIDSies? PWAIDS might work (People with AIDS), but that just sounds like a cute little kid asking for braids in her hair. So "People With AIDS Plaza" was really all they had to work with.

Now, why they would possibly name a place "People With AIDS Plaza" is a whole other question. How'd that meeting go, exactly?

"We should name a place for people with AIDS. Maybe a plaza?"
"Okay, but what should we call it?"
"How about...People With AIDS Plaza?"
"Nailed it."

That's why you don't schedule meetings at 4:30pm on a Friday. Once I got over the name, my next thought was, "How awkward must it be to eat lunch there??" to which my friend Muckduck (formerly C-Murder) of Hardly Housewives fame, replied, "How awkward must it be to have unprotected sex there??" Fair point. It's just uncomfortable. Nobody is gonna name that as a meeting place. You're never gonna hear, "There's something just very calming and zen about hanging out at People With AIDS Plaza..." 

("So, you're gonna lose the case and oh boy are you ever gonna be persecuted, but they ARE going to name a plaza after people with AIDS...Good trade?")
I guess the real question is just: what was the goal? Was it supposed to make people with AIDS feel better? "Sorry you have a horrific and life-threatening disease, but here's a plaza for you. That's what you were hoping for, right? A plaza?" Was it supposed to be informative? Because, sure it's a sign which might momentarily make people think about people suffering from AIDS, but most people are ignorant and disconnected and while there's a chance it will inspire some kind of empathetic act, it's far more likely that it will be ignored while people stare at their phones, trying to figure out who Malcolm 10 is.

Let's Petition For A "People Who Are Homeless Plaza" Even Though The City Would Probably Post a Sign There Which Says "Plaza Closes At Dusk, No Sleeping On Benches,"

*If you replace "People With AIDS" with another group, it definitely sounds uncomfortable. "The Jews Plaza." "Hispanics Place." "Native-American Square." It's like the city's saying, "Yep, that's where you go. You're welcome." BUT, none of those are actually offensive or racist or prejudiced in any way. They're just...really straightforward and ill-conceived.

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