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The Public Blogging of Pomosexuality, Homotextuality, Homophobiaphilia, and Drear Theory (aka Career Theory) [aka Gay4Pay]. We also read the Corner and OpJournal so the right buttock will be punished as well. All comments subject to publication. Or dismissal. Or Both.


Your Disciplinarians: Glenda Benda (Philapa), Amber Waves (Kansaster), Polly Morpheus (Dreamsville), Tess Tosterone (D'Urbervilles)



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Agenda Bender
Saturday, September 07, 2002  

Forever and Ever

The Philly Gay News has a frontpage story about the new bio of Mark Bingham who was "among the valiant passengers who took on the terrorists aboard the jet that crashed in southwestern Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001." The story has a curious headline--Book Details Sept. 11 'Hero'. It's those quotes around "Hero" that catch your eye. My first thought was this must be a Reuters story, they specialize in gratuitous quotes around keywords in all stories arising out of 9/11--I can't hate Reuters though. When I think of the hell that Edward G Robinson went through to build that company, I can't wish ill to whoever runs it today.

But it is a locally written and bylined story. And as the quote above indicates the headline's punctuation rules didn't carry over to the story. It's VALIANT without quotes. So why was HERO bracketed?

The editor might be tipping her hat to the book's title, the utterly functional and somewhat misleading "Hero of Flight 93". (It's a shame the publisher, Advocate Books, didn't try harder. At best that phrase should have been used as an explanatory subtitle, and the article "A" should have been placed before it to indicate Mr Bingham didn't act alone that day.)

Or along the same lines she could have been indicating that the characterization of Bingham as a hero is a quote from the story itself. But usually quoted words in headlines are QUOTABLE, you know striking, original, controversial.

Along different lines it could be a sly undercutting of his role that day, who really knows what went on in that plane? But since the story itself makes no reference to the unknowable last moments of the flight and accepts the book version of events as a given it seems unlikely the quotes were snide.

Maybe the quotes are meant to undercut the notion of heroism generally and not specifically in this case. Or possibly it's just another example of the modern inability to use such words without embarassment and the need to distance oneself form the hoi polloi who still DO use such words (words of open praise and open blame--words of clear cut judgement--are avoided equally by the lumpen intelligentsia.)

And finally it could be post-modernism in extremis, the fixation on the wordiness of words. The problem with this fixation is it isn't even true to it's own radical honesty, ie childish madness. If words are fraught with hidden allusions that encode the power relationships of late capitalism then you should expose ALL words for the devious little bastards they are and not just pick and choose to highlight a few glamourpuss words. This isn't deconstruction it's home improvement, it's remodeling the kitchen! These selective deconstructivists replicate the very hierarchy they seek to expose with their picayune deconstruction of a few superstar words (gimme tenure quick!).
Agenda Bender will have none of it. Power to the paroletariat. How's this for ripping the veil off:

"Some" "critics" "of" "the" "choice" "suggested" "that" "Bingham" "a" "charming","hard" "drinking" "entrepreneurial" "jock" "became" "a" "media" "darling" "because" "he" "contradicted" "the" "silly" "yet" "enduring" "stereotype" "of " "gay" "men" "as" "effete" "aesthetes", "too" "timid" "to" "stand" "up" "for" "themselves", "much" "less" "for" "America".

I think I like it. Maybe it would be an improvement if newspapers were printed that way.

9:31 AM

Friday, September 06, 2002

Vaudeville Will Never Die

Call me a cock-eyed optimist (you'd always be at least half right) but I have to second this paradox. Everybody's linking this but I always read daddy Hitchens before the links start rolling in. I even read his stuff in that humanist mag, whatever it's called, though everything about that godlessawful thing gives me the creeps.

Mr Hitchen's has the floor...c'mon give him a second, he has to get up off the floor first.* OK, here he is:

"Paradoxically, I think the world is a less dangerous place as a consequence of September 11, 2001. Until that day, we had been suffering severely from "under-reaction" to the most lethal threat to our civilisation."

If you don't know what he's referring to read the whole thing. Oh, but you do know. Read it anyway

*a joke, circa 1907.

9:40 AM


Now Arrest the Baby

I was reading the story that instapundit linked to saying, "Pim Fortuyn's killing is starting to look like more than just the work of a single crazed gunman." I don't know that the report of the arrest of Petra Lievensethe, girlfriend (and baby mama) to Volkert van der Graaf, the prick accused of killing Pim, for possessing possible bomb making materials really warranted that hook but something did occur to me while reading the article.

It's interesting that as soon as the assassin was ID'ed as a vegan animal rights activist which is to say left and green he was by those circumstances acquitted of any possible anti-gay motives in the murder. By all accounts though Fortuyn and his party were not focused much on the issues that supposedly engaged and enraged the assassin. Puritanism is certainly as much a feature of the modern left as the premodern right. Anhedonia might even be more of a left than right wing phenomenon as of late. Maybe disgust and antipathy for Fortuyn's unashamed sexuality played a far larger role than anyone bothers to suspect.

The article also reports that Volkert, "has been on hunger strike in custody for the past two months to protest against his detention conditions." To which I say, "STRIKE! STRIKE! STRIKE! STRIKE!"

(I note in passing that there was no byline on the BBC story I have been referencing but it would appear to be the work of that jackercrack journalist, Altavista Babelfish.)

8:57 AM


Positions High and Low

The extremely homocentric Campaign for California Families (most queer theory covens aren't half as gay) has a very promiscuous links page to all the many facets of the Diamond Bill Simon story. They call's him Backbone Bill (with a wink, as they pour him into his serious candidate suit.)

Our hero, Mild Bill Simon (his theme song "Billy CAN'T Be a Hero"), is claiming that his dog answered the questions on a gay issues candidate survey. The dog, a chihuahua/Irish Wolf Hound mix, apparently thought it was answering questions about 3 Dollar Bill's stand on Cinco de Mayo and Saint Patrick's day proclamations. There was a misundertsanding landslide and pretty soon the well meaning puppy was endorsing spousal rights for human/feline relationships and hospital visitation priveleges for pets. All in his master's gentle, confused voice.

I'm not a details guy but that's the gist of it I think. I invite Unpaid Bill's reply here if I have any of this wrong. My cat is typing this post as I dictate and I do understand how mistakes like this can happen (all you grammar sharps and spelling fascists might try to keep this in mind before sending hurtful letters about the occasional failings of this site--there's a touch typing kitten who does her best with what god gave her and who takes your unkindness to heart. [I know I shouldn't])

Best line in Overdue Bill Simon's "answers" to the questionairre:

"I am committed to appointing the best people serve in positions high and low in my administration."

2:42 AM

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Global Crossdressing

This site claims to be "the ONLY page on the internet dedicated to Gay Robots" which is a damnable lie since Agenda Bender its very self is dedicated to mechanical homosexuals. One of my first posts was about "leftoid droids".

Unfortunately this pretender page doesn't treat the phenomenon with the same seriousness that we do here. Indeed it appears to be a joke page, though it's hard to tell with Star Wars, anime, fan fiction, role playing types. Since they get serious about such inane things it's hard to tell when they are kidding about anything else. A sample gay robot bio:

"Lost in Space" Robot - Few Sci-Fi fans could forget the roller-coaster relationship between the hulking "Lost in Space" robot and the extravagant-yet-cowardly Dr. Smith. This robot was a true pioneer, defying many gay robot stereotypes. To this day, he is the only gay character in history without a personality. And while many other gay robots would've went after the handsome pilot (or even the ship's blender), this macho-machine preferred a more submissive partner. Make no mistake, it was clear that Dr. Smith was the "bitch" in the relationship. Fans of the show can remember him moaning, "Oh, the pain!!!"

Probably the most interesting thing about the page is its address.

Last week the Enron scandal went all gay on us and now Global Crossing appears to be some sort of front organization for our gay robotic masters.

6:17 PM

Monday, September 02, 2002

Billy Budd in the Sand

Do you like buff, close-cropped French, Arab, black, white soldiers stripped to the waist (sometimes farther) and training in the blistering sun? Who doesn't? I got just the movie for ya.

Since the target audience for this flick is so huge I'm surprised it didn't make a billion dollars in the US alone. They must have screwed up the ad campaign. The display ad should have been a blank white page with my first sentence above printed in the middle of it. Sure that gimmick's been used before but those words make it new and they would have found their audience.

It's supposed to be a gloss on Billy Budd but without the boat. And they substitute an ocean of sand for the watery kind. And Billy doesn't die (apparently). I don't think that gives anything away (I'm not even sure I'm right, things were getting a little dreamy towards the end, both on the screen and in my head). Of course this uncertainty might be a wink at Melville. I think Herman would have liked this movie for the, uh, scenery if nothing else.

Incidentally, they use music from Britten's "Billy Budd". Incidentally.

The movie does have a real surprise at the end though. I won't give that away. I'll just say it made me laugh. A lot. Both because it was odd and unexpected and because the song in that scene (which isn't by Britten--as far as I know) has funny associations to me.

Did I mention it is French? Subtitles bug you? Well they keep the chat down to a very bare minimum.

The movie is called Beau Travail. And no one has even reviewed the poor lonely lovely thing for Amazon yet either in VHS or DVD (to be released Oct 1). Why don't you be the first? I won't do it since Amazon never posted the one review I ever attempted on their site and I bear a grudge.

(The VHS is priced for the rental market so don't buy that. It's released mid october so rental copies should be available next month. Scoutmasters and church youth group leaders might inquire about renting a 35mm print. It would make a very special movie night for the kids. It would have kept me in the scouts and going to church anyway. If only in the hope of seeing the movie again. )

10:40 PM

Sunday, September 01, 2002

Censored Rubber Dog and Plastic Rapper a Show "Highlight"

In a startling update to the story below MTV News declared the minutes censored from the Video Music Awards rebroadcast among the night's highlights. Of course any idiot watching knew that but any idiot who had just watched the rebroadcast must have been wondering what MTV news was talking about since this highlight WAS NO LONGER IN THE SHOW.

MTV news even showed clips of the dog insulting Moby and Feminem threatening Moby from the stage, two moments that were cut from the reairing of the show. MTV maintains some separation between its news and entertainment/programming departments so it is probable that its news side didn't know the tender souls in programming had rendered these MTV newsworthy highlights digitally altered non-happenings.

4:17 AM


Rubber Dog Rattles Auntie Em

Agendabender EXCLUSIVE

I have to make an embarrassing revelation in order to break some news. MTV censored the most compelling three minutes out of the Video Music Awards in its re-broadcast of the show on Saturday night.

My embarassment comes from the implicit admission here. YES I WATCHED THE SHOW TWICE.

Not really. Honestly. More like 1 and 3/8ths times. I watched the last hour of the original broadcast on Thursday night, then the first hour of the repeat of the show that immediately followed. So I never saw the middle hour of the 3+hour show. When I saw it was on again tonight I tuned over and watched the missing hour. But then I stayed to watch the compelling three minutes that I enjoyed on Thursday. (In my further defense I was working out at the same time, so I can invoke the "it's dead time anyway" excuse.)

The missing minutes center around the gay baiting of Moby--first by Triumph the Insult Dog and then by Eminem the Angry Wigger. The cut begins with the Insult Dog's now deleted question to Moby, "Hey Why did Eminem call you a bald headed 36 year old fag? You're only 35 years old, right?". Or words to that effect. I think MTV deleted "fag" in the original broadcast too. It was a live broadcast in delay so there were a few instant edits.

The full Moby reference in Eminem's song "Without Me" is:

And Moby, you can get stomped by Obie
You 36 year old bald headed fag blow me
You don't know me, you're too old
Let go its over, nobody listens to techno

Just so you have the context. Well after the "you're really 35" joke, the dog (a rubber handpuppet with a spanish accent and a cigar stuck in his snout--more context for y'all) moves onto Eminem who is standing in the aisle with his pissy posse a couple rows in front of Moby .

The dog tries to get something going with Eminem-- I think he was saying something like "hey eminem why'd you say that about Moby, he's only 35". Eminem mumbles some threatening thing TO THE RUBBER DOG and makes a move to push it away. At this point sheets of paper start fluttering around the scene as if someone's clipboard just got jostled.Then the disembodied female voice of the VMA's tells Triumph the Insult Dog to "sit down."

With this man fights puppet dog drama over the first cut ends and the next award is presented. AND the winner is EMINEM. So seconds after this hilarious short circuited dust up with the pooch puppet, eminem takes the stage to accept his award. He begins by thanking his record company peeps (jimmy Iovine chief among them, Iovine along with LA Reid tied the always popular God for the most acceptance speech mentions--Iovine runs Interscope, Reid heads Arista, God is rumored to a have a development deal with Bertelsmann MG).

And then the second cut happens. Em's speech goes off track, maybe he catches a glimpse of Moby's shiny head or the rubber dog's sardonic grin in the crowd, in any event he snaps back to his anxious face down with the puppet and starts insulting Moby, apparently thinking the puppet was Moby's idea. He says something about "my little girl Moby". The crowd picks up on Em's panic and anger and more than a few start booing him.

Then auntie Em says "keep booing me little girl" this appears to be directed at Moby, who is bald headed. And 35. The boos get louder. Then Em ups the ante by saying "I WILL hit a man with glasses". This is definitely directed at the bald headed 35 year old who also happens to be bespectacled. The second cut ends here. The very artful edit cuts to a calmer Eminem thanking MTV for all their support.

That's my news. The first ever Agendabender exclusive.


1:47 AM