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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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Nobody covers the global hotspots and holy sandpits like Agenda Bender's crack team of Hollywood crack whores. Here's the history that's too uncomfortable, just too damn big to fit in the New York Times, and not just its front pages but its back section too. (Snipped from the truly excellent Once More With Feeling, a compendium of Hollywood hooker tattletales):
BEVERLY HILLS, 1986
On one of those multiple girl jobs, Madame Alex asked me to go see Prince Fahad of Saudi Arabia, who at the time was 17 years old. There was an entire squadron of local female talent at the Beverly Hilton for the young stud to choose from. I arrived to find him skateboarding on the marble floors of his hotel suite...
[cut to]...we went to his bedroom and the kid wasted no time making his moves. He was very thin, good-looking, tall and broad shouldered. Mostly, however, he was very well endowed. If nothing else, this prince was the prince of penis. I stared at him, mesmerized by his huge dick.
On the flip-side, at the other end of the bell curve, there's this description of an immensely wealthy individual who I will only identify as Mr. K. Not enough to go on? OK, but this is all I'm giving you, Mr. Adnan K. You could boil me in oil and I wouldn't give up his last name. I gave Fahad's full identity since I don't believe it's possible to libel anyone it that direction. THIS is the direction that hurts:
Europe 1984 I really hate to say anything negative about Adnan, but one of the most powerful men in the world has a penis the size of my thumb. It was definitely the smallest penis I have ever seen in my life.
Update: I know Saudia Arabia is lousy with princes and probably with Fahads too, but could our wonderboy be the same Prince Fahad who appears to be memorialized here. The google link to the page reads OUR DEAREST PRINCE FAHAD FAREWELL, so I'm assuming it's a memorial and the glory that was Fahad is no more. I seem to remember there was a rash of accidental deaths last year among the Saudi royals. Car crashes and such. Maybe, uh, something got, you know, entangled with brake pedal and, well, Allah called him home. The damn thing must have been a blessing and a curse.
Our axis of evil correspondent, Alex (we call him Alex of evil), sends us these pics (#1, #2) from two separate fronts and wonders if they really are from two fronts. We see his point, there is a surface similarity but I know which one of these two I wouldn't want to cross. The other one is just a genetic softboy, a one finger pushover, a sugarpuss--he'd melt in a light rain.
Our axis of beauty correspondent, me, would like to point out that one of the North Korean dudes I just saw on CNN getting off the plane with New Mexico guv Bill Richardson is cute as hell, or nuclear winter. He's got a very befuddled look on his face which bumps him up even higher. There is a total cuteness deficit (they are beauty bankrupt) in the hierarchy of Iraq. I don't know who this commie Korean is but I guess he's part of the ruling elite in NK. He must be one of the guys who gets to eat. Whoever he is I invite him, and any of his brothers or male cousins (playing the odds here), to a further round of talks with a representative of the independent blogistan of Agendabenderia. We are not a nuclear power. Yet. But we do possess weapons of mass seduction.
Wednesday, January 08, 2003
A Clearing in the Distance
Someday, when I figure it out myself, I'm going to tell you why Loretta Young isn't camp. For now just take my word.
Update: Well, this pic kind of kills my point--or maybe it makes it--I'm still confused on the issue, but you need to see it anyway. Might be the biggest scan on the internet, too. Be sure to click the full size image button if you're using I.E. and it shrinks the pic down without asking you--what a stupid feature. Somebody needs to shrink Redmond, Wa. to quarter size without asking them. I'd do it myself but I'm busy trying to crack the why-Loretta-isn't-camp code.
How to Tell the Truth
You know how, oh way back yesterday or so, I wrote here that I never make a point to watch any TV show in particular and wouldn't remember to watch the PBS documentary about the death of Lance Loud that night. Well forget I said that. I did remember, and more than remember. As it turned out that the local PBS station wasn't showing it at 9pm as most were but instead at 10 pm (PBS has this thing where the local affiliates prove their grassroots independence by showing exactly the same shows as all the other affiliates but in slightly different order), so I had to set my watch a second time to remember to switch back to it at 10pm.
I should have known that the pull would be too hard to resist. Lance was just too important to me, the show was something I had to see, and right away. The original An American Family series was one of the scattered peaks of my personal teenage wasteland, I used to watch it every week with my american family. Years later living in New York I saw Lance's band, The Mumps, a half-dozen times. I have the Mumps' 45 they do a screen shot of in the documentary, Rock and Roll This, Rock and Roll That , somewhere in a pile of 45's ten feet from where I write this. That record and that band name give a hint of Lance's humor and charm. The Mumps is a pretty good new wave band name by itself, but it is a great and deeply clever one in disguise. The hidden joke was that Pat Loud, Lance's mom, made a passing reference once to the possibility that Lance's difference might have been the result of the mumps (christ, now I can't even remember the precise reference) that she suffered while carrying him (?), or he suffered as a child (?). In either case the band name explained and excused the band in such a funny and subtle way, explained why that guy jumping around the stage with such joy and camp abandon was jumping around the stage with such joy and camp abandon--it was the mumps' fault. And if you don't smile at the title Rock and Roll This and Rock and Roll That, leaving aside the fact the joke (ie the record) is over 20 years old, then fuck you and your shadow too.
I also would always read any article bylined by Lance in the years since, and I was always running into them. They were invariably worth reading, he was an entertaining writer--smart, witty, and (this is the key and the thing that set him apart from most) excited to be interviewing or writing about whoever he was interviewing or writing about. Which is why Lance's comment in the movie that all his life, even then at the excruciating end of it, he woke up excited, like it was his birthday, was a revelation. As soon as he said it I realized that was what had always been so attractive about Lance in everything he did, he was excited to be there--in the original TV series, on the stage at CBGBs, in the pages of Details, sitting on the windowsill at the Chelsea--WHEREVER. It's also why his admission that he shot up speed for 20 years was such a sad surprise to me. I should know enough now to never be shocked by anyone's drug secrets. I've seen enough people who I knew well and never would have expected to go there not only go there but take up permanent residence that I shouldn't be surprised it happened to someone I only knew from television, rockclub stages and in print. Still it seems wronger than usual that Lance made that turn.
I didn't write about the show yesterday because it was even harder to watch then I'd expected. Lance's decline was one of the cruelest imaginable. There's a continuum of the devastation from AIDS even in its terminal stages and Lance was on the bitterest edge of it, no doubt due in large measure to his dual infection with HIV and Hepatitis C. So the physical transformation of that lovely kid riding his bike with the such freedom down the hills of Santa Barbara in 1971 to the hobbled old man saying goodbye to his cats 30 years later in the hills of Echo Park is too heartbreaking. The spirit was still (and forever) lovely but the change in form left me speechless. I was going to put it out of my head for a week or two before writing about it. But something Andrew Sullivan wrote this morning changed my mind because it brought home (a resonant cliché in the circumstances) the surprise ending to Lance's documentary.
Andrew wrote (and I'll print it all since, unbelievably, there are still no links to posts on Sullivan's page--memo to Andrew's web guy: fix that, it's beyond ridiculous):
WHO'S YOUR DADDY?: I found James Q. Wilson's paean to the family to be very persuasive. I was particularly glad he saw how family structure can change over time in ways that are good and inclusive - especially with regard to the status of women. Fatherhood is indeed vital, as this touching piece about Eminem also shows (Stanley Kurtz alerted me to it). I might add one thing: fatherhood is especially important for gay kids. So many, when they come to realize their sexual orientation, withdraw from their father out of fear of his rejection; and some fathers withdraw after discovering or somehow sensing their child's difference. This is terribly destructive to both, may take decades to heal properly, and is, I think, a key reason for some of the psychological problems gay men and women deal with. Notice here how being pro-family and being gay-friendly are not exclusive categories. Far from it. Gay people are an intrinsic part of families, even very traditional ones; and one of the goals of the fight for equal marriage rights is to find a way to bring gay people more fully and deeply into the bonds of family life. How sad that some conservatives don't seem to see this, and in fact compound the psychological damage done to families with gay members by perpetuating fear and panic about homosexuals. Compassionate conservatism must find a way to bring the virtues of family life to everyone. Yes, leave no child behind. But that includes the gay ones.
At the end of the documentary right before the credits roll there's a brief notation on a black screen that says something to the effect that Lance's parents, Bill and Pat Loud, are again living together in accord with Lance's final wish that they reunite.
There are 30 years of history compressed into that stunning sentence and I won't even try to decompress it beyond saying that if you don't find your worldview, and more specifically your view of not just that American Family but all American families, reshaped in a breathtaking way by those few words, if they don't make you feel alive to the possibilities and the beauties of families in America (and any mostly free place) then, again, fuck you. And this time I mean it.
But my recommendation won't get you that job at the National Review anyway.
I wear a backpack but I have an excuse. I get around town mostly on a bike and backpacks are best way to carry stuff if you're on a bike, they're balanced and out of the way. But if I'm driving or walking the backpack gets the day off. Generations X, Y and Zed can collectively and more accurately be catalogued as generation B(ackpack). So hilarious going to a club or a show and seeing all the backpack army in full battlegear, crashing into each other like vertical bumper cars. They don't know how to leave their backpack buddies at home. The funniest though is seeing very little kids wandering the streets like refugee toys powered in their vague travels by unwieldy battery packs.
This story made me laugh all the way through. Print it out and give it to the next kid you see who from a distance looks like an approaching rickshaw driver, they can add it to their backpack library. Some excerpts:
Backpacks can hurt you, but not the way you think Tripping, bludgeoning more common than back strain
Tripping over backpacks and the use of book-laden school bags as a "weapon" to whack other students pose a greater health hazard to children than back strain, says a new U.S. study on one of the surprise perils of modern education.
The analysis of 247 backpack-related injuries by researchers from hospitals in Michigan and Ohio shows that back injuries from toting heavy loads are a relatively minor problem. More common were cuts to the head and face from bags being flung violently.
Other common complaints were hands punctured by pencils and other sharp objects while reaching for books and ankle injuries from tripping over poorly stored knapsacks. All caused far more emergency room visits than back problems associated with lugging heavy loads of homework
"Recommending that children put the backpacks in a safe place so they do not trip over them, and not to use them as a weapon to hit another person, could eliminate more than 40 per cent of backpack injuries" treated in emergency departments, concludes the research team led by Brent Wiersema, an orthopedist at a hospital in Warren, Michigan.
"Public health officials should expand their backpack safety initiatives to cover injuries caused by tripping over a backpack and being hit by a backpack."
"The floor is no place for a backpack," he said.
Especially if there's a compliant 5 year old anywhere nearby to strap it to.
I should add that I am certain bike riding with a heavy backpack puts a ridiculous strain on your back and is a bad idea. Not that this knowledge stops me from doing exactly that, but this is about YOU.
I don't watch shows when I watch television. I watch TELEVISION. All of it, whatever's on. Bit's and pieces of everything. Sometimes something makes me stop but I'm not really even looking for that. I never think oh it's Tuesday gotta watch Emergency Copter, or oh it's 9:05 I'm missing my favorite funny show. Clicking through is an end in itself. Once every couple weeks TCM holds me for an entire movie. And I watch Howard on E! pretty regularly, but even then I don't turn on the TV knowing it's time for Howard. What happens is I'm watching TELEVISION and then there he is, so I stick around for awhile. Oh yeah, always do something else at the same time. Jumping jacks, talking on the phone, and more or less sleeping are among the several alternatives you have there.
So I won't remember to watch the Lance Loud doc on PBS tonight. I hope it's on sometime though when I'm watching TELEVISION and I run into it. Don't think it will be easy to watch but I will anyway.
Lance Loud is Agenda Bender's dude of the year. For, hmmmm, 1973 is too obvious--and it makes the wrong point. It's a lifetime achievement thing with Lance. Call it 2001.