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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, November 16, 2002  

Pump Up the Subtext

Joshua Micah Marshall, the man they forgot to give a last name to, writes:

More on Pelosi. For all the conservative chattering and outrage about alleged Democratic gay-baiting in Montana and South Carolina this Fall, don't we all know the subtext of Republican efforts to tag Pelosi as a "San Francisco Democrat"? Is this something we're not allowed to discuss? And why not?

Subtext? Singular? Any adult (and almost any child) knows the gay friendly rep of SF. And the adults know that this is one of the constellation of attitudes that gives San Francisco, its satellite cities and suburbs and much of the Northern Cali surround, their national reputation. Every gay adult knows that the gays who find SF most hospitable are not some random cross section of the gay population but that subsection of the gay pop that seeks the comfort of like minds and seeks the safety and certainty of life in a hilly echo chamber. "San Francisco liberal" means something and not just one thing--that's why it works as shorthand, and that's why it bugs JMM. I would bet he's a lot less anxious to discuss what it means than he pretends here. What better way to avoid the discussion than to insinuate it's proscribed, that your opponent's motives somehow prevent you from addressing it. Clever.

JMM is also smart enough to know (but not here truthful enough to admit) that "Democratic gay baiting" in Montana and South Carolina was real not just "alleged". Kind of destroys the argument as to subtext when the arguer can't even be honest about plain text. I happen to think the Montana gay baiting was this side of the pale and the SC comments beyond it, but gay baiting they both were, as any but the most besotted partisan would recognize. And say.

8:04 AM

Friday, November 15, 2002


Agenda Bender admits to all sins in advance even uncommitted and as-of-yet unconceived ones. Leaves more time in the confessional for gossip and girl talk. So there can be no surprise that we engage in occasional self-googling. Oh what gem of purest ray we found there in Mr.Google's treasure trove today. New (to us) on the holy list of those who have linked us (which will do double duty as the guest list at heaven's gate come the rapture) was this entry:

boston hair salon
... Agenda Bender, ... boston_hair_salon.htm - 101k -

If you follow the link you'll find the list is somewhat, uh, eclectic. But then that's just like us. Where no one fits in we feel right at home. So whether you are looking for a "Consultant for relaxing all textures", the "MIT Chinese Student Club's" list of Chinese businesses in Beantown, or a little "public Blogging of Pomosexuality..." do as you will is the whole of the law at the Boston Hair Salon.

2:21 AM


Irrespectfully Yours

I hadn't read beyond the headlines of the recent story about a college student who was beaten with a baseball bat after supposedly giving a lingering look to another student in the showers at Atlanta's Morehouse College which is perhaps the most esteemed black college in the US. I thought the headline told me all I needed to know. But Steve Miller at Indie Gay Forum read further and was inspired by a statement from the university's Dean of Student Services to make this analogy:

The attacker turned himself in after speaking with his father, a Chicago minister. “Irrespective of motivation, Morehouse has a zero tolerance policy of any act of aggression,” said the college dean.

I wonder if anyone will note that not too long ago a black man routinely risked a vicious beating, or worse, if he was thought to have looked at a white woman the “wrong” way. Would a college dean have then opined that “irrespective of motivation” such an attack would be unacceptable behavior?

Well I didn't note it (I wish I had) but I'm glad Steve did and I hereby promote that notation as the Agenda Bender analogy of the millennium. The dean who made the statement is Eddie Gaffney. His email is He has my deepest irrespect.

I also like the erratic transmission of moral values in the home of the attacker. You have to give him some credit for turning himself in, after the fact honesty is good and all, but I think that maybe there should have been more emphasis in the preacher's home on refraining from baseball bat assaults on suspected gays. But of course black churches are sunk in the same miserable swamp of sexual dishonesty that the other churches are. Gay people are an integral part of any black church, they are the backbone of many, but most of who they are gets left at the church doors on the way in. The part left outside on the steps is acknowledged only derisively, if at all, from the pulpit.

1:39 AM

Thursday, November 14, 2002

Headline Refers to Itself

This is so meta it's zubin. Via Boing Boing.

11:35 AM


Get Your Wist On

The record Agenda Bender is most gay for at the moment is a 2 year old CD "single" by Ultra Naté called Desire. Seems ridiculous to call it a single since it has 75 minutes of music on it, 12 different remixes of the title track. Ridiculous to call these versions (or most alternate versions of dance music) "remixes" too since they involve almost as much new recording as remixing of the original material. But the convention is to call all such reinterpretations remixes though that term has been wildly inapt for years. The original track is catchy enough--production wise it's a blend of ABC (the piano and strings doubling each other on the hook) and William Orbit era Madonna (the guitar figure).

But over the next eleven remixes the production choices of the original are reconsidered and all kinds of new choices are made. One track introduces a disco horn section, another goes for euro bombast and kraut house effects, another throws everything out but the radically reconfigured vocal which emerges and disappears amidst the sparse beats and bleats of an electro dub. The twelve taken together are about as good a primer on the techniques of modern dance music as you'll find on one disc. And since they call this multiplicity a single it's cheap too, 8 bucks list.

The original track was recorded in Stockholm and the remixes were done in NYC, North Hollywood, London and places unknown. So you can also wonder about the transnational pop trade routes as you ponder the production choices.

As I've been listening to it I couldn't help but think of the original template for this cd of remixes and the countless other such remix discs that followed it. The fountainhead of dance remixology is certainly Grace Jones' Slave to the Rhythm album from 1985. A record that was slammed pretty much everywhere when it came out. How could they put out a record that amounted to a collection of variations and musical comments on ONE song? What a scam, a record of padding and filler. That was the rap at the time anyway. 3 or 4 track 12 inch remixes of a single song had been commonplace among club DJ's for years but Grace's record was the first mainstream release in that format. Though really it wasn't even in that format, it remains in some ways a singular product--as a mass market release anyway.

The title song was probably the most anticipated cut in the history of dance music. The rumor was that Grace Jones was recording the PERFECT SONG in London with the hottest producer of the day, Trevor Horn. A song so powerful that everyone involved was sworn to secrecy. How many of the people who were thrilling to this buzz are even alive today to recall it? Far too few I'm afraid. Which makes that album and that song sacred relics in my estimation. I listened to it every night as I was going to sleep for months after it first came out. I haven't heard the entire album in years but every time I hear the song itself (and it was perfect) I'm sucker punched by the ghosts of 1985.

And Grace of my heart, where is that album with the most perfect title so long ago promised but lost to bad habits and dire realities? I speak of course (but it's not "of course"--again who even remembers the promise of it) of BLACK MARILYN. Maybe it was better left unmade. Or maybe you can find it the Buenos Aires Tower Records. Next to the library of books imagined in other books.

9:21 AM

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

He's Not The One

Agenda Bender stringer Jonah Goldberg posts on the Corner:

BREAKING NEWS [Jonah Goldberg]

HOLLYWOOD, California (Reuters)
-- ABC is developing a gay version of 'Hart to Hart,' in which a pair of interior decorators stumble upon a murder each week, Variety reports."

Here are some titles which come to mind:

Murder, He Wrote
Diagnosis: Makeover
Ultra-Mod Squad
Christopher Street Blues
CSI: Provincetown

Note to offended readers: Lighten up-- I'm not the one launching a TV show based on two interior decorators.

Diagnosis: Makeover and Christopher Street Blues are almost jokes. The others aren't. But the intriguing thing about the post is the "Note to offended readers". What does this even mean? Who is he advising to lighten up and what could they possibly be offended by? The cutting edge of a butter knife humor of the teetotaling titles? Gay readers offended by the arch tone? Neither seems possible. Or is he apologizing to NRO faithful who are horrifed by all gay references on family blog like the Corner? Somebody needs to take away the keys to the internet from these too tender for this world conservatives.

And then there's the "Lighten up-I'm not the one launching a TV show based on two interior decorators." Which means? Lighten up-- I'm only commenting on the outrage not its author. In other words, lighten up about me, and then we can all be offended by the real outrage together. Background on the looming launch of this further insult to the Corner consensus. It seems Steve Martin is behind it (hope that image isn't offensive to the Corner hot house flowers). Jonah could take some lessons from Steve. His Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon joke about Sigfried and Roy was a funny gay joke and doubly rare in that it was also a funny joke told at the Academy Awards.

Note to Signorille: Gimme back my man! Goldberg is my punk. Stop recycling Agenda Bender bitch-slaps in the NY Press 3 weeks later. Well maybe don't stop. They seem to be annoying Jonah G.

Note to Agenda Bender readers: Tighten up!

9:21 AM

Monday, November 11, 2002

Foxnews-- Fair, Bollocks part deux

Thanks to Crystal for sending me the link to video of the Shepard Smith blow pas I mean faux job I mean fuckup mentioned below. It is here.

The vid is a little misleading. They splice his apology, which actually came a couple minutes later, onto the end of his flub. Still this is a priceless addition to the archives.

11:47 PM


Citizen Lame

James Welles wrote two books on stupidity. His website is He was just arrested for soliciting an underage girl online.

This is of course the new greatest story ever told.

Mr Welles wasn't just born stupid yesterday though. Here's a sample of his pre-bust brilliance from's 9/11 statement:

"Quite frankly, I have a great deal of difficulty believing we would bomb Afghanistan rather than present the Taliban leaders with the alleged evidence, but maybe our military is just pushing to strut its stuff. If the evidence is so compelling, certainly, they would agree to turn Mr. bin Laden over. If it isn't, we have no business bombing anyone."

Certainly they would, would hardly be sporting of them not too. Be bounders otherwise. What kind of genius leaves this statement online? AND makes it a featured link on's frontpage?

James Welles is Agenda Bender's stoop of the day.

11:21 PM


Sun Sands Boys

Happy Veterans Days to all defenders of freedom in and out of uniform. Especially the latter. Agenda Bender salutes one veteran in particular today, and through him them all. Mel Roberts served in the Air Force as a photographer in the South Pacific during WWII. Already an amateur photgrapher Mel had access to better equipment and his his first 16mm camera as a military photgrapher. Mel settled in the Southern California after the service, and enrolled in USC film school. Let Mel tell it:

MEL: I was a film editor for the studios, I worked on a lot of major projects mainly for Columbia Pictures & United Artists. At the time I was doing films. I had always watched & bought the works of Bob Mizer. He had that little magazine called PHYSIQUE PICTORIAL. He had some great models but I had my own ideas about how I would have photographed them. I've met him a few times & we've always had a good relationship. Early on we were in contact and of course we both suffered under the oppression of the L.A.P.D. They seized his money & safe. They didn't do that with me, they only spent 10 hours going through my house looking for whatever they could find. But getting back to starting out, so I thought gee I wonder if I could sort of. . . I had a couple of friends who were really good. My lover at the time was an extremely attractive young man & I had a couple of other good friends. I asked them if they would mind just posing for me, just to see what kind of work I could achieve. They agreed and I did some work, did some pictures. I sent them to the publisher of YOUNG PHYSIQUE and MUSCLEBOY. Low and behold he was very entranced & enchanted by them, published them and gave me very good space in some of the issues. He wrote me a letter & said he was very pleased with my work would I submit more. He'd like to use it. So I thought wow there's some interest in my work so I started finding more people and doing more pictures, sending them to him.

The year? 1961. Over the next two decades Mel helped create the Calicentric gay porn industry. Mel's films and photos are like victorian postcards compared to the products of that industry today. After police harassment in the early 80's Roberts stopped taking pictures of California Boys so we are robbed of 20 years of images that should have been. Mel's work has been rediscovered in the last couple years and his work is being featured again in books, videos and calenders. I can't find the picture on the web that to me is the iconic image of Mel's California. This is a version of it, or at least a badly reproduced picture from the same session--same dude wearing the same swimsuit that matches the same towel.

The pics that accompany this interview give a better idea of the sunshine saturated colors (and guys) that are Mel Roberts' gift to eternity.

Mel Roberts is the Agenda Bender Veteran of the year and dude of the day.

: Never noticed this on amazon before. On the page for Mel Roberts' California Boys there is the standard listing for Customers who bought this book also bought but above that they also list:
Customers who shopped for this item also wear:
Clean Underwear from Amazon's Eddie Bauer Store
Ladybug Rain Boots from Amazon's Nordstrom Store
Suede Headwraps from Amazon's International Male Store
Cheetah Print Slippers from Amazon's Old Navy Store

OK. I'm willing to wear the clean underwear and maybe the slippers to take out the trash but I draw the shaky line at suede headwraps and Ladybug rain boots.

UpdateII: The link to the lessser version of Mel's iconic photo no longer works. You can see it on the first Mel Roberts interview page linked to above. might as well link it again.

10:47 AM

Sunday, November 10, 2002

Sirk Sans Rock

I think I'm jealous. Todd Haynes does a non-camp remake of All That Heaven Allows and everybody is loving it. He pulled out all the candy colored christmas light stops and apparently pulled it off. He made the younger lover black and gave the heroine a tortured gay husband but otherwise kept Sirk's particulars--down to time and place. Maybe it's the jealousy talking but why did he keep it in the 50's? Why not glamorize the suburbs of 02?

This picture would seem to say it all. I love it but why not really make it your own and find the present day analogue to this? Of course if this movie does become popular this aesthetic will play to a greater audience than Sirk repeats on TCM do so it will mix with 02 in unpredictable ways. While a glamorization of the design ephemera 02 itself would have been more reinforcement than mixing.

I guess I am prejudiced against recreation even if (maybe especially if) it recreates something good. Why don't the studios regularly distribute new prints of selected movies from their libraries and get them up on one screen per muliplex one night a week?
They've done this sporadically, but how about systematically? Answer me! Why isn't Sean Penn writing open letters about this?

1:30 AM