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Can somebody please explain to me about the AIDS chairs? My employer observed World AIDS Day (early, which makes sense because the weekend starts on Thursday around here) by getting eighty-eight red ribbon-chairs and setting them out on the lawn. Nobody sat on them. There wasn’t (as far as I can tell from the press release) a fund-raiser. There were just these chairs, empty chairs, looking like red ribbons, sitting on the grass.

It was unsettling.

Was that the purpose? Just, one day, chairs, and the next day, nothing?

The site says that the chairs symbolize “the urgent need to re-engage and re-energize the AIDS movement”, which makes me think that they are aiming for something more than unsettling. But maybe unsettling is good? I’m used to AIDS stuff aiming at a combination of funny and angry (like this) so my frame may be off. But I just don’t get it. Chairs? Just chairs? That look like red ribbons?

If any of y’all get it, can you explain it to me?

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


I don't think they entice people to sit in them at all, and I wonder whether that might be the point: a lot of empty chairs to symbolize people who were lost to AIDS.

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