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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)



WHEN IN PHILLY SHOP AT: Philadelphia AIDS Thrift

Solar X-Rays Status Geomagnetic Field Status

Calvin Klein's Obsession:
Glenn Reynolds
Virginia Postrel
Andrew Sullivan
A & L Daily
Mickey Kaus
Boing Boing
Joanne Jacobs
The Onion
Hunk Hunters
The Corner
Dennis Cooper
Clay Shirky
Wired News
The Cellar IOtD

Paloma Picasso's Tentations:
Eve Tushnet
Ralph Mag
Julian Sanchez
Light of Reason
Matt Welch
Ken Layne
USS Clueless
The Volokhs
Found Mag
Indie Gay Effers
NY Press
L'il G Footballs
Shout Across Pa
SciTech Daily
Manny Toomany
Tim Blair
Jesse Walker
Chas Murtagh
The Loom
Daniel Drezner

Nina Ricci's L'air du Temps:
M. Wickens
N. Imp
J. Micah Marshall
M. S. Dog
H. Stuff Works
M. Pool
W. Peril
E. Dge
M. Filter
C. Cosh
F. Bot
R. Osenbaum
D. Weinberger
G. O'Machine
M. O'Asianboys
B. Leats
E. Schaton
E. Log
D. Enton
T.C. Station
U.W. Beauty (RIP)

Elizabeth Taylor's Black Pearls:

Karl Lagerfeld's Narcisse:
Cranky. P.
Salam P.
Pop B.
Samiz D.
Radley B..
Dan G.
Classical V.
Terry T.
Two B.
Porno C.
Larry L.
Ox B.
Howar D.
Choir E.
Luke F.
Jeff J.
Gay P.
Kieran H.
Roger S.
Jay R.
Jocko H.
Crampe R.

Agenda Bender
Saturday, November 23, 2002  

Verses (1,650,000 results) versus Chorus (3,770,000 results)

G**gl*, our lord and master, in his infinite mercy and bounty has given us a game to play . It is called google fight. Via Boing Boing, his only begotten son.

1."agenda bender" (164 results) versus "agenda blender" (0 results)
2."agenda bender" (164 results) versus "waring blender" ( 3,850 results)
3. "gay cowboys"( 22,800 results) versus "gay indians"( 1,480 results)
4. "i love you" (1,930,000 results) versus "you love me" ( 564,000 results)
5. blog (2,660,000 results) versus blug ( 17,000 results)
6. "google fight" ( 2,480 results) versus "google fag" (0 results) [WOO HOO!]
7. "tinny guitars" (94 results) versus "pluck Brahms" (0 results) [Leonard Bernstein just used these two phrases in the Young People's Concert I'm kind of watching]
8. "joshua micah marshall" ( 5,050 results) versus "marshall micah joshua" (0 results)
9. "couch potato" ( 126,000 results) versus "divan radish" (0 results)
10."god bless you" ( 519,000 results) versus "fuck you" ( 753,000 results)

Bonus grudge match:
roe (1,090,000 results) versus wade (2,120,000 results)

8:55 AM

Friday, November 22, 2002

Stella Din Checkin' In

To all our Muslim brothers and sisters, Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahamatul-Llahi Wa Barakatuhu. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon you all.

The Miss World Riots--the very phrase gives me goosebumps. Here is the hilarious apology, the latest is an apparently endless series, from the newspaper in Nigeria that gave offense to the Prophet. Funniest is how they trot out a version of "the computer did it" defense to mollify the rubes. Here is my favorite pic from the scene.

And below are my favorite parts of the CNN, AP, CBS, Reuters, BBC, and Guardian stories. Everybody's most trusted news source, The Onion, deems any coverage of the events superfluous.

'We are calling on the government to stop Miss World, this show of shame. For women to expose herself to men other than their husbands is forbidden,'' said one of the protesters, Hadiza Usman.

Miss World organizers insist contestants have respected conservative Muslim values by dressing conservatively.

Muslim groups say the pageant promotes promiscuity and indecency.

Shehu Sani of the Kaduna-based Civil Rights Congress said he watched a crowd stab one young man, then force a tire filled with gasoline around his neck and burn him alive. Sani said he saw three other bodies elsewhere in the city.

Alsa Hassan, founder of another human rights group, Alsa Care, said he saw a man dragged out of his car and beaten to death by protesters.

"We regret these incidents, but this is not the fault of Miss World. It is the result of irresponsible journalism," Din, the spokeswoman, said.

"We are calling on the government to stop Miss World, this show of shame. For women to expose herself to men other than their husbands is forbidden," said one of the protesters, Hadiza Usman.

Miss World publicist Stella Din said the contestants were safe inside their Abuja hotel, not far from where the riots took place. None of them witnessed any of the violence, she added.

Rioters pulled a local journalist off a motorcycle and told him he would be killed unless he could recite verses from Islam's holy book, the Quran. The crowd released him unharmed when they realized he was Muslim.

The fundamentalist Nigerian Muslim Umma, an umbrella group of Islamic clerics and scholars, has declared a "serious religious emergency" and issued a statement calling on the government to stop the pageant, Reuters reported.

Hundreds of police and soldiers were deployed to restore calm. Riding in pickup trucks, they fired tear gas at protesters marching through otherwise abandoned streets waving tree branches and palm fronds

Young Muslim men shouting ''Allahu Akhbar,'' or ''God is great,'' ignited makeshift barricades of tires and garbage. Others chanted, ''Down with beauty'' and ''Miss World is sin.''

Beauty pageant spokeswoman Stella Din said organizers were ''saddened'' by the deaths but would not cancel the event, scheduled for Dec. 7 in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, some 225 miles southwest of Kaduna.

''The show definitely will go on,'' she told reporters in Abuja.

The newspaper ran a brief front-page apology Monday and a longer retraction on Thursday

Winner of Miss World in 2000, India's Priyanka Chopra, defended the contest being held in Nigeria, saying it was hugely popular in developing countries. "People want to see their citizens on an international level," she told CNN.

She added that it was being held in Nigeria because last year's winner had been Miss Nigeria, Agbani Darego. She said Nigerians had been "excited and elated" at the prospect.

Update: This coverage is too fantastic to be excerpted. You should really read it all. OK, just one highlight:

Meanwhile, in Kaduna, though tension appears to have subsided, eminent Islamic scholars are insisting that the writer of the offensive story cannot jump death sentence for blasphemy. Malam Rufa'i Adamu, the administrative secretary of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs in Nigeria (NSCIA) who spoke in his capacity as a concerned Muslim told Weekly Trust that though the ordinary Muslim may be helpless as Nigeria is not a sharia state, under normal circumstances, the culprit should die. "You cannot escape death no matter the interpretation one may adopt. Of course, one is free to seek to repent, which scholars said may be accepted. But the truth is that death is the final punishment, he said."

3:27 PM


Totally Othered

Not sure why this 3 year old article about tribal pederasty in New Guinea is in the blogdex hot links list. What news hook brought it back to the surface after 3 years I wonder, the Michael Jackson balcony scene? I remember hearing about these semen initiation rites in junior high school from a friend whose older brother was the most depraved kid in the school. My friend no doubt got the story from his sleazy sib who probably read about it in Penthouse Forum, his bible. The article isn't much but there's a sidebar comment that's worth preserving:

Talk about Western Colonialism/Imperialism in modern anthropology! "The aggressive, arrogant, sperm-sucking warriors of Melanesia" -- I suppose us Westerners have the superior "culture." But don't we, after all, posses an institutionalized heterosexual culture that is often incestuous, almost always non-consensual, and impelled by erroneous biological assumptions? Way to exoticse, eroticize, and totally "other" a group of people. This article is horrible.
Jen [this is bad]
November 22, 2002 2:29 AM

Congratulations to Jen, not only is Jen's transformation into a total trendoid fool a complete success but that use of "other" as a verb is a lexical innovation of spectatcular inanity. I love it.

I never felt so othered.
Did you see him othering her?
My self esteem sucks, I always other myself.
Why do we other one another?
Don't you other me, otherfucker!

6:25 AM

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Leap Off the Page

Sullivan links this WSJ piece on the parts of the Kurt Cobain Journals excised by Newsweek and others in their recent stories about Cobain prompted by the new Nirvana record and the release of the journals. And he links it approvingly or at least he seems to think it makes a good point about the mainstream media using Cobain to sell mags but avoiding the darkest revelations in his diaries. The WSJ piece is a mess in its own right though.

The first sentence is as smarmy a lead as I've ever read, "If Kurt Cobain had looked less like a rent boy on the Lido and more like, say, Howdy Doody, would he be alive and well today?" The writer, a WSJ editorial board member, has a real way with the vernacular. And a real eye for the American scene. Her knowing (and phony as a three lira bill) references to European boy whoredom must be more familiar to the WSJ audience than the common words and realities. Cobain looked like pretty much most of his third wave punk peers and they in turn looked like the punk street kids of Seattle who in turn looked like the early 90's slacker/grunge kids of pick-your-town-and-scene. Hustlers generally look like whatever the hell the rest of their generation looks like at any particular moment.

She continues: "Grotesque fantasies of homosexual rape and homicidal rage fairly leap off the pages, suggesting that the anti-establishment icon from a remote Washington State logging community was tortured by a lot more than the hot spotlight of commercial success. Yet we haven't heard a peep from reverential reviewers about such things. Why do you think that is?"

I wish she'd fairly leap off the page.

But I'll be polite and answer her question. Why do I think that is? Oh I don't know, maybe because junkie suicides are commonly understood to be profoundly unhappy and troubled human beings, and maybe because this particular junkie suicide's death throes were witnessed by a worldwide audience of millions, an audience already familiar with his nihilism and self-disgust. Maybe such an audience really won't be as surprised as our michelin guide here, Nancy Dewolf Smith, that someone who wrote a song called RAPE ME would sketch out a music video scenario for the song centered around, you know, RAPE.

And maybe such an audience wouldn't be surprised that someone who expressed his disdain for his audience, his fame and the world in general in countless interviews as well as in his own art would also express those feelings in his private journals. And probably they wouldn't be surprised by the Amok Catalogue fantasies that Cobain recycled in his diaries either. They were (and are) as commonplace among a certain set as say pop cultural cluelessness is around the table where the WSJ editorial board gathers.

Cobain was a magnet for half baked ideas and 5th hand opinions and deserves criticism and even ridicule for much of what he wrote and said and much of how he lived. And maybe there is a Cobain remnant out there who haven't thought any of this through for themselves and could use a reality slap. Seems to me though that Cobain's life and art speak for themselves for good and bad and that anyone who was paying attention at all will draw their own conclusions and they will mostly be the same. If there's not much subtlety in the journals there wasn't much in the life and none at all in the ending. There was some in the art though. Good luck and god help you if you need a WSJ editorialist with a split level name, subtlety problems of her own and an aversion to plain speaking to explain it all.

6:21 AM

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Counterpunchdrunk and Business News

Instapundit linked this already but it's funny enough to get an after tremor link here. The quality falls off a little towards the end but there are some laughs before then. My favorite line: "Do you want to continue, or are you a mindless sheep of the New World Order content to be herded and have your body hair shaved every spring?" The close-up of Saddam's mustache got me too.

Agenda Bender is now a subsidiary of RJR Nabisco, btw. Well, to be honest it always has been. Been meaning to mention it.

5:07 PM


The Edithhead

Eve Tushnet proposes a contest of philosophical drag names. Of course all drag names are deeply philosophical but lopsidedly so. They mostly come in through the door marked aesthetics. They'd rather enter through the door called glamour but philosophers are not so discerning as to have established that as a valid sub-category yet. Of the philosophical schools Eve mentions as possibilities for drag reification objectivism is certainly the most promising. Or maybe not objectivism so much as Ayn Rand herself. Rand took style seriously. Which is why Eve's joke that Ayn Rand was her own drag doppelganger works. She lived in style from that great Cali streamlined house (long ago demolished) to her Manhattan skyline lair. She dressed in style-dark matron modernism, had a great face and a striking hairdo. A do she maintained throughout her life, taking the Quentin Crisp first rule of style to heart--find a look and stick with it--forever. She knew Barbara Stanwyck's phone number.

Oh yeah, and her personal life was a mess. More than enough drama and glama to inspire drag devotion and replication. Where is the objectivist Lypsinka to bring Ayn back to life on the stage? Maybe get a drag king too and recreate the Donahue or the Tom Snyder interviews. Hey, isn't Lypsinka's backstory Russian? Or probably it's born in Brooklyn but pretends her whole life to be Russian, but that still works.

Ivana and Anita are the drag equivalents of hydrogen and oxygen, they are the superstar elements on the drag periodic table, the basic building blocks of drag gag names. So going for the easy jokes first, last and always in the great Agenda Bender tradition we come up with Anita Cigarette and Ivana Goldbar. On the Anita tip I also like the idea of some cowgirl drag to give this name some cross platform resonance: Anita Brand'n. Staying in the basement I also like Della Sign or Dolly Sign. Then of course there is Gladys Shrugged.

But I think Rand would be better served by a dada or avant drag name. I keep coming back to What is Objectivism? as the coolest possibility. Best of course would be a drag queen who took What is Objectivism? as her stage name and then made no further reference to Rand or objectivism.

Very funny crash course in drag sensibility here. It's a 3 hr radio show featuring John Epperson, aka Lypsinka, playing movie clip audio montages and his favorite records. What makes it especially amusing is that it's public radio does drag. The hostess sucks all the fun out of drag, does that whispery over enunciated NPR thing, reads NYT's reviews of Lypsinka's shows to clue us in that we're allowed to listen to Vicki Carr records, laughs too much--usually at nothing and just generally makes the whole thing that much more camp in spite of itself. Epperson himself makes the joke right at the start that he feels like he's in the Saturday Night Live public radio skit with those two NPR chicks, "good times." She doesn't get it.

Update: Thérèse Nogod

9:15 AM

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

To Have or Be Had

I wish everyone would stop linking to this and saying how awesome it is since it never loads for me and I can't watch it. Unless of course that's the joke. Hype a phony flash movie that's really just a scam page that forever reads "Loading". In which case yeah this thing so is cool! I think the toddler evisceration is little over the top but I love how the gay kittens rule the earth at the end.

Update: Sean writes from Japan (a beautiful phrase, that): " If you guessed it was about eviscerating kittens, you've obviously seen a few Japanese comics in your day, but no--it looks like some kind of 3-minute ad for Kikkoman. The most interesting thing is a pun on "show you" (which sounds like the Japanese word for soy sauce) and "show me" (which sounds like the Japanese word for relish or peak enjoyment--that kind of thing). Unless really buffed up cartoon figures do it for you."

So either the movie is for real or the scam deepens, goes international. Agenda Bender isn't above being aroused by cartoons, really buffed ip cartoon figures up probably won't get us there however.

2:11 AM


Moments in Strangelove

Agenda Bender mole Rod Dreher breaks some news in the Corner:

The Media Research Center complains about the following lines spoken by William Hurt, playing Soviet spy Robert Hanssen in the recent CBS movie: “Anybody who ever voted for Gore ought to be shot. The very thought of Gore daring to be President, toitering up to that psychopath and sociopath Bill Clinton for eight years. Makes my blood boil.” I see why the MRC is upset, but I have to tell you, I had a phone conversation with Hanssen that wasn't far in tone and content from that. This was several years ago, before he was exposed. He was a source of mine for a story I was working on about the politicization of the FBI under Bill Clinton. He spoke in this manner about Clinton and Janet Reno, and was particularly outraged over what he called Reno's forcing the FBI to hire lesbians. He told me gruffly that if Gore were elected, he was going to retire, because the lesbian left was going to complete its takeover the Bureau. His vehemence and intensity made it a real Strangelovian moment.

Yeah, strangelove--can't beat it. (sending this one out to bobby h in lockdown!)

I would have thought Bob Hanssen & Me would have been the more tantalizing headline for Dreher's post but I'm grateful for it under any title. I am a Hanssen aficionado and Dreher's particulars were news to me. I read the original FBI affidavit on Bobby H. like it was a Boyd McDonald true sex story. Which is to say with great and abiding interest. (The affidavit, by the way, makes it clear the FBI investigation was built on none of their own scary powers of ratiocination but was wholly culled from the revelations made by the KGB defector).

It's fascinating that Hanssen was a source for Dreher. Previously Robert Novak had revealed Hanssen was a source for him as well. What ties these three together would appear to be their strong Catholicism and their distaste for homosexuals. Neither Dreher or Novak gives the details of how Hanssen found them or they him. Novak says he knew Hanssen only through a few phone calls, Dreher doesn't say if he ever met Hanssen or if he was just a phone pal too. But Novak certainly didn't find Hanssen by cold calling the DC metro white pages, nor did Dreher. So since they are outing RH as a source why not tell all the details? You can bet if Hanssen was a notorious homosexualist Dreher and Novak would build their analysis of the case around that fact. But the fact of his fervent Catholicism doesn't get their notice. Except obliquely as in this closing parargraph from the Novak column on his former informer:

Robert Hanssen is an enigma and will remain so at least until he reveals himself. The speculation that he is purely the embodiment of evil tends to be undermined by the validity of his report about Ray Wickman. He really may have been living a double-life, one as a patriotic, religious American and the other as spy of the century. That sounds fanciful, but any other explanation fails.

Now that is an interesting genuflection to the complexity of motivation coming from sledgehammer Bob. I wonder from whence the sympathy that leads to such mellow reflections springs? The spy most damaging to American interests in history is revealed and Mr Novak is ruminating on the mystery of a life split down the middle. Positing with a straight face that you can be a "patriot" during the day but a foreign agent at night. (I'm all for multi-tasking but it seems to me some of Hanssen's tasks necessarily cancelled out others of them.) That is one hell of a lot of forgiveness and understanding, especially coming from the prince of D.

I wonder if the Roberts bonded over the lesbian menace in their calls? It would seem from Dreher's report that you couldn't shut Hanssen up about the matter but Robert N. makes no mention of it. Perhaps Mr. Novak saw that as one of Hanssen's saving graces, as an aspect of the daytime good guy.

The NYT's review of the new Hanssen book from David Wise (which I have to read) gives us back the Robert Hanssen that Dreher and Novak so cruelly deny us in their memories of the spy who called me.

Hanssen was evil in a banal way. He was a creepy ''lurker,'' the sort of person who appears in a doorway and just stands there. By all accounts a devoutly faithful Catholic, Hanssen somehow managed to go to confession for years without coming to grips with his murderous betrayal. He was, to all appearances, a good family man, and yet he arranged for a friend to watch him having intercourse with his wife. (He also pondered giving her a date-rape drug so the friend could have sex with her.) He took a stripper to Hong Kong -- but, aside from one fumbling encounter, rebuffed her advances.

That "banal" is classic, this Arendt ref must be mandatory in NYT book reviews . Dude sets a pretty high bar for banality, makes you want to get invited to one of the reviewer's parties sometime.

1:30 AM

Monday, November 18, 2002

EZ 4 Me

I was looking for another quote by someone else about something else completely but I came across this line from Larry Gelbart, "A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people."

I can almost forgive him for M*A*S*H now.

11:12 AM


Iraqi Innocents Plead--Don't Commune With Us!

I think Mr Sullivan is incorrect in referring today to "San Francisco Democrats" though we agree that the subtext slur accusations are dubious. "San Francisco liberal" should be the term of art. The corruption and cronyism of the SF dem machine does not have any national resonance. Neither are the progressive reactionaries so common on the ground out there necessarily tied to the Democratic party. So it's better to refer to ideology than to party. This also helps to sever ideological debate from party politics. Which is a good thing.

For example I think it is unlikely that the women in the picture Andrew S. links to this morning are Democratic ward leaders in San Francisco. Or Oakland. Or even Marin. Yet they are the quintessence of San Franciscan metaphysics. Willie Brown's identity politics update on Tammany is unlovely in its own right but it's the naked posers waging peace who really convey the SF mojo. The je ne sais quoi that loves to speak its quoi. And show its quoi.

Agenda Bender fixes the pic.

10:48 AM

Sunday, November 17, 2002

Eight Mile of Eyes

I haven't seen the Joshua Micah Marshall Mather's movie yet. I'm pencilling it in for sometime in 2004. A friend who saw it gave it the highest praise any movie can get, "it wasn't as bad as I expected". She also said the rap attack contests were genuinely funny and she wishes they'd just done 2 hrs of that. I can only judge the movie by the commercials. Which is how I judge most movies. What strikes me in those is Em's acting chops. He seems to do a lot of opening his eyes really big and staring off into the middle distance. Maybe he's been staying up late watching this tough guy at work.

1:17 PM