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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.


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Agenda Bender
Thursday, September 12, 2002  

Playwright Bromides

Tony Kushner was among the rag tag number asked to contribute to the New York Times oped symposium (accent on pos), Relections on an America Transformed. Tony's reflections read like a bar mitzvah speech in a fortune cookie factory. Gaseous sentiments hovering around, but never landing on, an actual thought mixed with transliterated figures of speech and U-turns of phrase. Kushner is fond of one tongue-tied locution in particular, the word "available" plays the same phatic placeholding role in Kushnerian (the language of the people of Kush) that "luxurious" serves in the wordspace of Bobby Trendy

I've read the bewitching paragraphs below six times now and hope to read them six times daily every remaining day of my life. It will make whatever years are left me at least seem that much longer. I'm happy to report one area of total agreement with Tony the K, "we, the citizenry, are still interpreting." Join your fellow citizens in decoding the heiroglyphs of Kush:

Change is not the substitution of one static state for another. The meanings of Sept. 11 continue to be fought over, and the prevailing interpretations will direct future action. Colossal tragedy has made available to America the possibility of a new understanding of our place in the world.

Tragedy's paradox is that it has a creative aspect: new meaning flows to fill the emptiness hollowed out by devastation. Are we dedicated to democratic, egalitarian principles applicable to our own people as well as to the people of the world? And do we understand that "our own people" and "the people of the world" are interdependent? Will we respond with imagination, compassion and courageous intelligence, refusing imperial projects and infinite war?

The path we will take is not available for prediction. We ought not to believe columnists, think-tank determinists or the cowboy bromides of our president and his dangerous handlers and advisers. We, the citizenry, are still interpreting.

Our conclusions will then force our reinterpretation. Urgency is appropriate but not an excuse for stupidity or brutality. Our despair over our own powerlessness is simply a lie we are telling ourselves. We are all engaged in shaping the interpretation, and in the ensuing actions, we are all implicated.
-Tony Kushner

3:18 PM

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

The Disappeared

I wrote below about Richard Goldstein's dishonest (or just foolish--I'll let Mr Goldstein choose) charge that Andrew Sullivan had called him a "marxist" and "communist" on his site but then removed these mentions from the archive. He claimed the discourse was poisoned with these slanders (I guess he deserves some credit for seeing them as slanders) but then evidence of the poisoning was destroyed. Even though Richard G was wrong in that instance the shifting nature of the web and the incompleteness of web archiving allows for the sort of thing he was talking about. Though I don't know if he'll be happy with where I'm driving his point.

I wanted to commemorate the day by posting links to some of the most delusional of the gay left response to 9/11. The Philly Gay News published classic specimens of americaphobic ranting in the weeks after 9/11 by Ed Hermance, Kirk Reed, Judy Gerber and others. I already knew that PGN's website was a 7 days wonder, with no archiving and linkdeath built in. So I searched for other links but could only find a column of Judy's which might not even be the one I remember but it's close enough.

I could find no trace of Kirk's dizzy contribution to the debate but I remember it read like Chomsky translated into valleyboy. I hope it hasn't disappeared forever, its idiocy was sublime and needs to preserved. Ed Hermance's letter to the editor has almost certainly escaped from the web for all eternity. But I can at least give you some of the reflected glory of Ed's letter since it prompted me to write a letter in response. And THAT I still have on my hard drive.

If Kirk's column was dizzy, Ed's letter was cyclonic. I'm afraid only a hint of its spinning grandeur comes through in my letter. So does greatness vanish from the world. Ed, by the way, is the proprietor of Giovanni's Room, the celebrated gay bookstore. He runs a good store but writes a lousy letter.

To the editor,
Ed Hermance was right about one thing, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson's did make "bizarre" claims about where the blame for 9/11 should fall; gays, the ACLU, etc. Only a little less bizarre though is Mr. Hermance's own letter . Oh, I take that back, it is at LEAST as bizarre.

If Jerry and Pat viciously slandered gays by implicating them in the WTC atrocities, Ed matches them by comparing Americans (some of whom are undoubtedly gay and lesbian, though the very idea must torture Mr. Hermance) who buy guns in the aftermath of a terrorist attack that took thousands of lives, or who
"mount huge American flags on their new SUV's" (I would have switched the adjectives) to "mercenaries terrorizing Mogadishu, Somalia." If memory serves, the mercenaries in Somalia mounted machine guns on their trucks since these tend to be much more effective means for murdering people in mass than even "huge" flags. And also (a minor point I know) actually used these machine guns and fired on anyone unlucky enough to catch their attention.

Mr. Hermance doesn't stop with this foolish slur though. He piles foolish factoids and foolish analysis on top. We're told that the guns bought since 9/11 will "surely" kill more Americans "than have been killed by the terrorists." Uh, Ed, no they won't. Unless, of course the US degenerates in short order into a giant murder/suicide cult a la Jim Jones. But then judging form his letter, Ed probably thinks we're already there.

"The terrorists have opened the box and all the American crazies have flown out", Mr. Hermance informs us. Looked more to me like the crazy terrorists blew up the box(es), two glass and steels 110 story boxes, and thousands of Americans (and foreign nationals living here) died, some burned to death,
some suffocated by smoke, some forced to take heartrending suicide leaps, and the rest crushed in the collapse. But it's the scarily patriotic Americans who "head the parade to Hell" and who are trying "to dominate the world in the name of their race and religion."

No room amidst all the hateful nonsense for mention of the fact that the Taliban is the harshest theocracy of our times. That comparisons between their regime and the Middle Ages are actually a slight on the Midddle Ages. That gays are subject to the death penalty under their rule, that the total subjugation of women is the cornerstone of their philosophy. That free speech, free movement, free thought are crushed wherever Islamic Fascism holds sway. Oh yeah, and they hate us and think nothing of killing us in large numbers.

But why focus on those trivialities when we're under attack by the big flag people.

Judy Gerber's Oped was crazy as hell too, by the way.

PGN did publish this, most of it anyway, but I only have the version sent not the printed one. It too would be gone forever but for its reprinting here. And so Mr Goldstein's point about erased context and a distorted historical record must be remembered. It's entirely possible that future generations will never know how smug and abysmally naive the anti-american gay left really was circa 9/11 2001.

11:53 AM

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Paula, The Nun Dazzler

Rex Wockner's Quote/Unquote
"It's funny that gay people can still be patriotic: We pay
taxes but can't legally marry or serve openly in the
military. Still, after the terrorist attacks, many gay
publications featured American flags on their covers; flags
adorned our public meeting spaces."

-- Q Syndicate columnist Paula Martinac on

I'd never heard of Paula when I read this so I looked up the op piece it came from to see who she was and if the rest of it was as insipid. She is a novelist and it was.

Maybe the novels are better. But this thing is like the last homework before summer vacation. It reminds me of a lot of glbt (on whole wheat toast) opinionista nothingness. Paula's vaguely unhappy and hazily anxious. She makes some big statements but you don't even believe SHE believes them:

Sadly, "patriotism" has become a kind of intellectual terrorism to keep us scared--and behaving like good citizens. Lesbian comic Kate Clinton told the Boston Globe recently that these days her audiences (which are largely gay) seem "relieved" when she sticks to gay jokes instead of venturing into political commentary. And many writers and celebrities have opted not to sign a statement, currently circulating in artistic and academic circles, that protests the government's post-Sept. 11 policies. Even though they agree with the petition, they're afraid of jeopardizing their careers--code for fear of blacklisting."

Oh yeah, academia and the arts are really smacking down 9/11 dissenters. It's a deeply dopey claim but you can't even get exercised by it. It's just so dusty and shopworn , a monotone recitation of recycled tropes. Bloodless ghost stories told around a guttering fire to drowsy campers. Most left journalism is just incantation and ritual gestures anyway but gay leftism is even duller in its ceremony. That "sadly" is so dishonest, that "intellectual terrorism to keep us scared" so unscary, those "many writers and celebrities" so imaginary.

Even its kicker is kickless. Keeping in mind that the word patriotism appears five times in the piece and each time inside quotes, Paula wraps it all up with the kind of boy orator symmetry that I remember using (and being ashamed of myself for sinking so low) to dazzle the less worldly nuns back in fifth grade:

"It's become dangerous," Rev. Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State told CNN recently, "to be anything but what the government tells you to be." Unless we reclaim "patriotism" as the right to think for ourselves, then the terrorists really have won.

Apparently this piece first ran in July which would make this the latest unironic use of that conlcuding phrase on record, possibly the last such use the world will ever see. It had slipped everywhere else into the category of unredeemable camp artifact by about 10/11. And Paula, when you have so schematically put quotes around "patriotism" every time it appears it makes no sense to "reclaim" it (still inside quotes no less) at the end. When you keep signifying it's a phony construct why would you ever want to call the gimcrack trifle your own?

It's not a long piece but it's a tiring read. There is just no life in it, no mind at work. Just fingers typing and space to fill.

11:20 AM

Sunday, September 08, 2002

Dairy Queen Vs Fire Bug

Drudge linked this but it's mine now. Black conservative preacher fired from his firefighting job for anti-gay pamphleting is the probable opponent in steel cage death match against lockstep liberal who also happens to be the only out lesbian in congress. Can't they both lose?

Tammy Baldwin (that would be the lesbian not the fired fire fighter) appears to specialize in papering over the holes in the walls of the social security shack and in keeping her farmer constituents addicted to dairy welfare. Ron Greer (that would be the embittered man of god not the milk price supports loving lesbian) seems to be an anti-gay crank but he can amuse as well:

Mr. Greer is a social conservative who also rejects heavy public spending. "It´s not a solution. It´s insulting and irritating, done by guilty phony white liberals, and Tammy does it constantly," Mr. Greer said. "It´s puzzling to see black folks vote for and support these folks, and disturbing to see black leaders pimping these folks to follow the failed policies of a failed party."

So why does he have to be a noodge with a bug up his ass? He takes his gripes about the new chief, HIS NEW BOSS, to the street, makes a spectacle of his disregerd and then is mystified by his firing. Spends years fighting the injustice of being dismissed for publishing defamatory accusations against his chief. Loses.

I think a "what if Spartacus had a Piper Cub?" alternate history might have been posssible here. It sounds as if Ron was really shaken by the backlash against his anti-gay campaign. I don't really believe his story about 400 crazed radical gays storming his church and pissing on the floor but I don't doubt that's what it felt like to Mr Greer. The tenor of the criticism against him (remember he was a preacher more used to hearing "hhmmmhmmmm, say it" than "hatemonger!") made him more dedicated in his crusade.

WWJD? Turn the other cheek, I guess.

Whether a kinder approach would have worked with Mr Greer is known only in the world in which Spartacus kicked ass with that Piper Cub. In this world Ronnie G is energized and out for vengeance. Just as Newton predicted in law #3.

6:16 PM


Section 114 of Schedule 7: The Movie

Mickey Kaus has a funny post about a piece in the New York Times with this breaking news headline, "Study Finds Mothers Unaware Of Children's Sexual Activity." If you aren't already registered to read the NYTs online don't bother to sign up for this shocker. YOU WILL LEARN NOTHING.

I think all new parents should read Felice Picano's memoir from a few years back called Ambidextrous: The Secret Lives of Children. After they throw the book across the room they can get on with their new job as parents sure in the knowledge that their children's sexual lives will be lived mostly in secret to them. I don't know why anyone would have it any other way. Picano's book is one of the truest I know, funny and sexy too. It's out of print but buy it used or find a library copy.

It comes with the highest honors awarded by the Canadian government for literature. It was seized by customs under "Tariff Code 9968 of Section 114 of Schedule 7 of the Customs Tariff", ie "Materials considered to be "obscene, treasonable, seditious, or hate propaganda" under Tariff Code 9956 or "child pornography" , are prohibited importation into Canada." It's like a maple leaf Nobel.

3:47 PM