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Agenda Bender
 
Saturday, November 02, 2002  

Fleejohnmoney Day


This interview made me very excited to read the book being discussed, The Blank Slate . The interview link via Colby Cosh, the blogger with the best name. I might wait on the book only because I just read As Nature Made Him, so I'm a little overstuffed with blank slate debunking (or tabularasaclasty as we calls it around these parts). I want to write more about As Nature... at another time. Suffice it to say for now that the moment when 10 year old Brenda/David escapes John Money's clutches and makes for the roof of Johns Hopkins is one of the more heroic events in recent human history. That moment deserves commemoration with at least a statue though a day made sacred to its memory might be fitting too.

I especially like that the interview with Steven Pinker mentions a great writer, G.K. Chesterton, a great book , A Conflict of Visions, and a great pansexual underworld dandy, Marc Bolan. This is the kind of balance I appreciate, but which one so rarely finds, in modern journalism.

On the question of Steven Pinker facesakes and hairtwins, you decide: the professor..... the dandy....or is it?

6:24 PM

 

"doctors, lawyers, tourists, kids, fags"


Excellent thumbnail history of Times Square's role in the sexrev. Along with the poetic list that gives this post its title I liked this highly evocative summary of the mainstays of Times Square book stores before the porn tsunami swept away everything in its path: "Passersby wanted "how- to" and civil service preparation manuals, horoscope pamphlets, joke books, romances, war stories, westerns, and scandal and gossip items, as well as sexually oriented materials of many varieties." And this description of the mise en scene circa 1965 "Along the walls on pegboards were displayed more photos and magazines, 8mm films, slides, bawdy records, playing cards, and sex toys and devices,"

Nice pics of sexploitation paperbacks accompany the article. I, like every 3rd person in North america, collect these in a desultory way. I have one of those pictured with the article. My most prized find is a copy of Chariot of Flesh written by the great Alfred Chester under the pseudonym Malcolm Nesbitt. Chariot is easily one of the dirtiest books ever written. Very possibly the dirtiest. A book so dirty the front cover is sexless--the title on white is all you get.

Chester's collected short stories and essays were piss-elegantly republished in the 90's. So good.


3:16 AM

Friday, November 01, 2002
 

I have Prince William's Trainers and Sports Kit


The Queen would like all courts of law around the world to know that she is fully cognizant of Agenda Bender's actions--actions that could be conceived as criminal, or at the very least mighty peculiar, by those less informed than her majesty.

8:34 PM

 

Basel/Bowery 58/75


So there was this scene is Switzerland beginning in the late 50's. Swiss dudes in Basel and Zurich in full thrall (damn, I like that) to Elvis, James D. and Marlon B. These alpine pop cargo cultists accessorize with whatever they can find. In the garage. And the toolbox. Gay warehouse worker for Siemens is a pornographer on the side. Starts documenting the proto-punks cause they were cute but sticks with the project for 40 years because...................he was Swiss.

It's the pic of the nuts and bolts button fly jeans that stopped me as I flipped through axm mag. Bolt boy must have carried a can of liquid wrench in his back pocket in case of emergency. Or opportunity. It's one of the pics that accompanies this article about Agenda Bender's dude of the day, Karlheinz Weinberger.

I wish I could find a bigger version of the pic online, it is also the cover of Weinberger's book. Just remember when you look at it that our hero was strutting his hardware down the mean streets of Basel. In 1958.

Looks like another case of time leakage. Better get the chronocops on it pronto.

Pretty good site that links most of the notable beefcake paparazzi. Paparagazzi?


7:29 AM

 

Militant and Magnificent


Late night Christian radio on AM or on the further reaches of FM is always interesting. Tonight at work when my walkman's batteries gave out and left the Scritti Politti tape only half played there was still enough juice for the radio so it was time to catch up with Faith Family Ministries. In the reading circle we got chapters 3 and 4 of a book about bringing Christianity to Tahiti in 1817. I couldn't give it the attention it deserved but I know there was nothing more compelling on the radio at 2:29 am.

The highlight tonight though was the hymn containing these words, Militant against the Apostasy but Maginficent for the Lord. I was thinking they don't write them like that anymore when a verse kicked in with Modernists and liberals (something, something,
something).
That's when I realized yeah they do write them like that anymore. I'm guessing it's from the 60's sometime. Think it would have been Humanists and liberals if it had been later than that. Modernists is better though. Liberals is enough prosaic deadweight for one hymn to bear. Humanists would have been a crushing addition.

Google disappoints, the hymn is not to be found on the web. Maybe I dreamt it. Could have sworn I was awake and working though.

In any event it is now the official fight song of Agenda Bender. All the better if it was a radio waves chimera. Another fight song. The only allowable use of liberal in a song


4:18 AM

Wednesday, October 30, 2002
 

Conveniently Gone


Dr. Michael I. Niman teaches journalism and media studies at Buffalo State College. Or so says the author's tagline to this story at Alternet. Alternet is lefty online reader's digest that I stumbled upon while searching for the official Aquanet site (the hairspray not the network of university researchers partnering with industry to perform aquaculture research in Canada ). I was trying to build a spud gun and the next thing I know I'm up to my knees in Jim Hightower cornpone. But I go back to Alternet now and then to see what's up with the altercrew.

Today this headline got my attention: Was Paul Wellstone Murdered? Here's the condensed version for your edification. Note the keen understanding of probablilities, the measured use of language and the solid grounding in political reality. Go J-School!


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
....Despite being outspent and outgunned, however, polls show that Wellstone's popularity surged after he voted to oppose the Senate resolution authorizing George Bush to wage war in Iraq. He was pulling ahead of Coleman and moving toward a victory that would both be an embarrassment to the Bush administration and to Democratic Quislings such as Hillary Clinton who voted to support "the president."

Then he died.

....While an article in the New York Times on Saturday pointed out the danger politicians face due to their heavy air travel schedules, the death of a senator or member of Congress is still relatively rare, with only one other sitting U.S. Senator, liberal Republican John Heinz, dying in a plane crash since World War II. Heinz, who entered office as an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War, later emerged as a strong proponent of health care, social services, public transportation and the environment. He also urged reconciliation with Cuba. He died when the landing gear on his small plane failed to function, and a helicopter dispatched to survey the problem crashed into his plane

...Anyone familiar with my work knows that I'm certainly not a conspiracy theorist. But to be honest, I know I wasn't alone in my initial reaction at this week's horrible and tragic news: that being my surprise that Wellstone had lived this long. Perhaps it's just my anger and frustration at losing one of the few reputable politicians in Washington, but I also felt shame. Shame for not writing in my column, months ago, that I felt that Paul Wellstone's life, more so than any other politician in Washington, was in danger. I felt that such speculation was unprofessional and would ultimately undermine my credibility. In the end, my own self-interest triumphed, and I never put my concerns into print.

...There is no indication today that Wellstone's death was the result of foul play. What we do know, however, is that Wellstone emerged as the most visible obstacle standing in the way of a draconian political agenda by an unelected government. And now he is conveniently gone.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Anyone familiar with my work knows that I'm certainly not a conspiracy ironist. But to be honest, I know I wasn't alone in my initial reaction at this week's horrible and tragic Alternet article. Someone's been huffing the Aquanet.

Update: Hmmm just saw that Andrew Sullivan got there before me. Niman's work has riches enough for everyone though. Buffalo State must be very proud.

The better Michael Nyman played piano on this.




10:54 PM

 

Giigle


The New Yorker has a searchable cartoon database. Who knew? Here's the first page of "gay" search results.

And this is the only one that made me laugh out loud. Several others are smile worthy.

6:19 PM

Monday, October 28, 2002
 

Tectonic Porn


Dirty pictures of rocks. I think this is the best one. But I can't be sure. Got bored after the first gallery. I mean they're rocks. Via Popbitch which is obscure sometimes but never boring.

11:21 PM

Sunday, October 27, 2002
 

Extracts from the Journal of Urology


Our template brothers Shouting Across the Pacific have an important post on groundbreaking research.

Here's the meat of it:

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
In their study, Spyropoulos and colleagues measured penile length and testicular volume in 52 healthy young males between the ages of 19 and 38 and compared them with other body measurements including height, weight, body mass index, index finger length and waist/hip ratio.

In lieu of measuring a man's erect penis, the team measured the flaccid, gently stretched penis, which they note is statistically correlated to erect penis length.

"Age and (body measurements) were not associated with the size of the genitalia, excluding the index finger length, which correlated significantly with the dimensions of the flaccid, maximally stretched, penis," the report indicates.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The glove industry is already reporting an explosion in demand for finger "enhancing" prosthetics. Also there are plans to unveil the "Wonder Glove" in the new year.

Agenda Bender would ask the Shouters Across the Pacific to keep their mits off penis size stories in the future. These are properly the province of the researchers here at AB. Our research has shown correlations more on the psychological than the physical axis. The worser the attitude the longer the latitude is our handy mnemonic summation of our findings to date. I wish I could think of a Horse Latitudes joke. Our British readers are invited to construct "in loo" jokes referencing the words "In lieu of measuring a man's erect penis" and keep them to thesmselves.

12:31 PM