The three plays in this collection:
The Last Lovers on Earth
The Closing Argument
The Black Party
This collection of plays grew out of Charles Ortleb's forty years of covering an epidemic of lies. As described in Apocalypse Then and Now: Collected Works 1980-2020, it all began in a little newspaper called New York Native. Beginning in 1981, Ortleb was the first publisher and editor-in-chief to take the AIDS epidemic seriously and make it the signature story of our newspaper. For its initial coverage of the epidemic, New York Native was praised in Rolling Stone and by Randy Shilts in And the Band Played On. But as the epidemic dragged on, New York Native became controversial because we dared to do critical and investigative reporting that questioned the official political and scientific narrative of the AIDS epidemic. The newspaper's biggest sin was the reporting by Neenyah Ostrom that pointed out the obvious: that the emerging epidemic of so-called “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” is just another face of AIDS.
The AIDS establishment and the AIDS activists were also annoyed by our reporting about the toxic drug, AZT. John Lauritsen’s detailed analysis of the weak and often fraudulent science that resulted in the poisoning of countless patients should be honored in every journalism school.
You cannot read Ortleb's history of New York Native, The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Epidemic Cover-up, without coming to the conclusion that AIDS (and CFS) are epidemic characterized by fraud and deceit. He calls the epidemic “Holocaust II” because there is no escaping the genocidal nature of the science, the politics, and the collaborationist culture that it represents.
Ultimately, in 1997, the AIDS activists succeeded in putting New York Native out of business. The most important journalistic voice of critical thinking was silenced. Well, not exactly. For the last two decades Ortleb has written numerous books, plays, songs, and even cartoons, that carry on the spirit of New York Native. He suffers from the optimism of writers everywhere who believe that the truth will ultimately come out. Even if it takes decades.
On April 18, 2019, on Aboutlawsuits.com Irvin Jackson wrote, “More than half of HIV-positive patients taking medications like Truvada, Stribild and Atripla will eventually develop a neurocognitive disorder associated with the disease and the drug cocktails used to treat it, according to the findings of a new study.” On April 19, 2019, Jenner Law reported, “Eight patients who took the popular HIV/AIDS drug Truvada and similar tenofovir-based drugs have sued Gilead Sciences, Inc., claiming the giant pharmaceutical company deliberately withheld a much safer version of these drugs from the market for more than a decade in a patent-timing scheme to maximize profits. As a result, "hundreds of thousands of HIV-infected patients experienced serious, permanent and sometimes fatal complications that may have been avoided had the company been honest about the safer alternative it had in the wings.”
This collection of plays is dedicated to those victims and all the victims of an epidemic of AIDS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome biomedical fraud and deceit. Perhaps these three plays will give them some degree of hope knowing that, even though New York Native is gone, there is still some resistance in the underground.