from Guy Debord

To Michel Bounan
2 December 1991
Dear Michel:

I should have written to you a long time ago: excuse me. I have postponed doing so, several times for several days, because I have been doing research and writing.

I have ascertained with satisfaction that your judgment of AIDS[1] begins to be confirmed on all sides, although, naturally, one must fear that those who have proved mere semi-lucidity will be at the forefront of this debate. The beasts of Hamburg[2] have always been anxious to translate -- badly -- all of the books that appear to be good to grab; in your case, the necessities of their ecological balance push them to practice Masperization.[3]

Never before has the dominant medical practice more clearly shown its true function than in the affair of the transfusions of contaminated blood.[4] One can no longer speak of errors, ignorance or dogmatic excesses, as one does with its usual practices. This time, medicine's unfortunate dupes can measure the true economic necessities that are at the base of all of its still-reassuring practices. One has seen doctors protest to bureaucrats, but abstain from alerting their patients. The medical profession is sinister in its entirety. Furthermore, it is the medical profession itself that must pay the solidarity taxes that one levies upon the population!

We have had a beautiful winter here; we've had snow twice and, today, a brilliant sunshine dominates the mist in the valleys. Mitterrand has declared: "I feel so good in Paris that staying here doesn't displease me." In this matter, as in all others, I think the exact opposite of what this person thinks. I do not know if I have the courage to return to Paris: to tell the truth, it is only the presence of my therapist in that ex-city [Bounan himself] that incites me to go there.

I summarize for you the state of my health. Reduced to a single Lopril 27 per day (a diminution by half since September), plus a Fludex and a Zyloric -- except Sundays and Thursdays -- I would say that my blood-pressure level, which was around 16, is now around 15. No trace of the gout. It seems to me that the treatment has been a success. Nevertheless, two or three times I have experienced a sudden drop in visual acuity in the evening. Thus, I have for the last month or so suppressed the Thursday exception, as you told me to to do in case my blood pressure went up. I will soon begin this exception again. Does it seem time to go further? Could we dispense with the Fludex? I recently read bad judgments (I have forgotten exactly what they were) about this medication.

Best wishes,

[1] Translator's note: Bounan's book, The Time of AIDS (Editions Alia, 1991).

[2] Editions Nautilus.

[3] Translator's note: A French version of the English expression Bowdlerization, derived from Editions Maspero.

[4] Legal prosecution would begin in June 1992. [Translator: the charges included knowingly giving hemophiliacs transfusions of blood that had been contaminated by the HIV virus.]

[5] On an advertisement that proclaimed, "Offer the Hippocratic Oath to Your Doctor," included with this letter, Guy Debord wrote, "Is this an allusion to the affair of the assassinated hemophiliacs? The joke seems crude."

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol 7: Janvier 1988-Novembre 1994 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2008. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! June 2009. Footnotes by the publisher, except where noted.)

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