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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.
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Is there a greater opening credits sequence in a movie than Written on the Wind's first two minutes with Robert Stack tearing across his daddy's oil fields, through his daddy's town, on his way to his daddy's mansion, swigging his bottle behind the wheel of that yellow (Bugatti?) sportser , the roads abandoned and the leaves swirling. Then when he screams to a stop in the circular drive, pours himself out of the car, smashes the newly empty bottle against the wall above the servant's quarter, barely missing the basement window, which window then lights up as the servants arise to the all too familiar mayhem. At another window, this one on the second floor, Lauren Bacall is also risen and taking the nightmare in. Stack stumbles through the front door, the leaves blowing in behind him. The gunshot. Then Bacall's view again as stack staggers back out (differnce between life and death, that transition from stumbling in to staggering out) gun in hand and collapses on the illuminated drive in front of the car. All the time this breakneck (though mysterious) exposition is unfolding the credits are rolling over top. If most movies were half as interesting as these credits, well then most movies would be twice as interesting as they actually are.
And is the camp euphemism of a humiliated (as always) Stack leaving his doctor's office with news that the trouble lies with a "weakness" in his essence and not with his wife, Lauren B., only to encounter a little kid riding the hell out of a dime store mechanical horse matched anywhere in the history of the moving image?
Douglas Sirk, his movies are like a breathalizer test for gayness, and Agenda Bender's results makes us gay in all 50 states. We are driving under the preference, but daddy hasn't given us our yellow Bugatti yet. Douglas Sirk is Agenda Bender's dude of the year. For 1955, 1956 and 1959.
Below I implied that you shouldn't overestimate Agenda Bender's global reach, but I'm starting now to think that maybe I underappreciate it myself. How else explain the amazing amount of German and now Japanese spam we have received in our mailbox. The German spam is in honest-to-gott German and the Japanese spam is in honest-to-Claude (Shannon) typographical gibberish since I always gently decline Microsoft's polite inquiry whether I want it to download support for Japanese characters. I feel we should support the characters at home before we go roaming around the world supporting characters in foreign ports.
But all this axis spam's got to mean something, right? Am I known world-wide now as a sucker in any language--a rube ,a mark and a soft touch of international proportions? Well, a guy can dream anyway.
Sean, Agenda Bender's Japan correspondent--and well, this will probably shatter some illusions about our global reach--our entire Southeast Asia bureau, sends his deduced rules of Malay pluralization and the outrage that anti-globo bohos overlook. Blinded as they are by the golden arches and their super-sized self-regard. (The Malay info references a post somewhere down below):
"Lego Spybotics reeled me in in but bongkah-bongkah threw me back."
You can probably lead a rich, satisfying life without knowing this, but repetition is apparently the way Malay pluralizes certain kinds of nouns, and it makes for fun listening. My boyfriend worked in KL for two years, and we just went there for a brief vacation. Public service announcements often begin with "Pelawat-pelawat," which I think means "guests," or "guest-guest" if you're a literalist. Public service announcements at the airport begin with the jaunty "Penumpang-penumpang," which mouthful means "[Attention all] passengers."
BTW, regarding the last line: I know you were just looking for the listings, but when will all the people complaining about how McDonald's has taken over the downtowns of the World Community start bitching about the homogenization of gay bars? In Malaysia, the first place our friend took us had exposed concrete walls, wires ostentatiously running over the ceiling to bare fixtures, 500 men in cK tank tops, and a DJ who played a deafening 15-minute version of "Show Me Love" by Robyn Fucking S. If it hadn't been for the preponderence of Asians, it could have been Tampa.
Hmmmm, Tampa. Might be a good name for a gay bar in KL.
Update: Forgot to mention that for tax purposes and in accord with UNESCO guidelines and pending EU subrules for byline androgynization, Sean's name needs to be gender optimized, drag averaged. Lana Risingsun should do it.
Agenda Bender used to work security at rock shows (and rap shows and country shows and hockey games and monster truck pulls). The best shows I ever worked? The Clash's London Calling tour 3(?) day stand at the Upenn ice skating rink. The only other show that came close was from the reunion tour the Jacksons did near the beginning of Michael's solo career-right after the first nose job (the reunion tour they did right in the middle of MJ's superstardom/makeover/mistakeover was one of the worst shows I worked--and, now that I think of it, the latter day post-divorce Clash--Clash minus half equals Hash--show I worked was also a mess).
It was a vibe thing. The great Clash and Jacksons' shows were electric before the bands took the stage. They were electric before the crowd even got in the building. Pure buzz, instand karma in the parking lot and for blocks around. And then there was the scene after the Clash shows. Anyone who hung around long enough, anyone on a divine mission to talk to the band eventually got ushered in to do just that. Never saw any other band do anything like it. Sure it was self-conscious hippie/punk populism (sorry punks, sorry hippies) but fuck, THEY STILL DID IT. I'll never forget on the last night helping the head roadie who was maybe 20 figure out on the map he had spread out in front of him how to get the Clash to the next show. And I'll never forgot how cute that roadie was and thinking hey maybe I should join the circus too.
The DIY ethos got to be crabbed and formulaic (the freeze-dried leftism didn't help) and punks generally turned into some of the smuggest pricks you'd ever not want to meet, but I still like the germ of it (though I never especially liked the Germs, might have been wrong about that). I still like that even punkpop at its most least (yeah, you read that right) skews punk where it counts. Like when Blink 182 tells the kids who want to lipsync their songs on that MTV pretend-you-are-your-heroes show that really they should just you know get some guitars and MAKE UP THEIR OWN SONGS.
And I still get a thrill from the London Calling intro. Even in a Jaguar commercial. And I was more bummed then I can say to read 20 minutes ago that Joe Strummer was dead in England. And everywhere else. Except on some really good records. Records I haven't listened to in years and probably never again will, but that I certainly needed at the time.
Joe Strummer is the Agenda Bender dude of the year. For 1981. We are working our way sideways and backwards. All other years will be covered, and the honor awarded, in due course.
* am I first?
Update:The more Strummer bios I read it occurs to me that it must have been the Sandinista! tour that I did security for. I know it was in '81. London Calling and Sandinista! were a one two punch following right on top of each other and I remembered the show as being mostly London Calling songs. Seems to me now reading the record release dates in all the Joe RIP stories that it's more likely it was a tour in support of Sandinista!. I'm still certain the roadie was cute though. What matters lingers.