Monday, March 10, 2008
Milk and Jones
A couple of hundred people showed up on Sunday to be extras in the "Milk" movie being shot by Gus Van Sant depicting a crowd in front of City Hall at the 1978 Gay Pride Parade.
Most of the people looked too old for the period, and there probably would have been much more nudity on a beautiful afternoon in 1978.
I ran into a couple of friends while walking by and found out that nobody was being paid for their services as extras, which seemed sort of crappy, but it's typical operating procedure for Cleve Jones, who was hired as an "advisor" to the film and who is being played by Emile Hirsch.
Jones was a young assistant to Milk, who went on to co-found the San Francisco AIDS Foundation in the early 1980s and the NAMES Project AIDS Quilt in 1985, two organizations that have siphoned off millions of donated and publicly awarded dollars over the decades without actually helping anybody with AIDS. Jones sold his interest in the AIDS Quilt in the 1990s to some foundation in Georgia on the condition that he receive $41,500 annually along with health insurance for life, and then he proceeded to retire young in Palm Springs. As I've told people for years, if you want to give money to an AIDS charity, give the money to somebody you know with AIDS who needs it. Otherwise, it's probably going to people like Mr. Jones.