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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.


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Agenda Bender
Friday, January 31, 2003  

The Utmost

MTV apologizes to the Indian subcontinent for the depiction of Gandhi in its new cartoon comedy Clone High. Or does it? Is the press release really the semi-literate we am sorry claptrap it pretends to be or sneaky faux abnegation?

MTV US apologises if we have offended the people of India and the memory of Mahatma Gandhi. We have the utmost respect for Gandhi and all that he represents as a revered Indian leader and one of the most important figures in world history.

We recognise and respect that various cultures may view this programming differently, and we regret any offence taken by the content in the show.

Hmmmm, we regret any offence taken by the content in the show. So who is it apologizing to and for what? The people of India for any offence to the memory of the father of the nation the cartoon might cause or to the cartoon characters for the embarrassment they must feel being asscoiated with MTV's corporate culture.

Hey India, check it out. I was searching the MTV site for the full text of their apology only to discover that this is not an isolated instance of Gandhi goofing. My search turned up mention of this outrage!

Update: Who knew? Appartently the people of India took this old internet banner joke seriously and, well, he's some sort of power broker over there now and threatening to sue MTV. Talk about evil.

10:31 PM


Knock, Knock

Agenda Bender is now an Amazon Associate. What this means is that we will now spend most of or time going door to door endeavoring to sell family editions of Jean Genet's collected works and Trance-House-Dropped-Beats-Death-Lounge-Mash-Pop-Neo-Bhangra dance music compilation box sets. Posting will continue light until we make back the $100,000,000,000 in value that our parent company, AOL/TimeWarner/Iraq, has lost in the last year.

Also, some portion of the purchase price of any Amazon product you buy through this site will now go to better use than you would make of it. We get a kickback of 110% on your cost, I believe. It's a loss leader/internet economics kind of thing. I could explain it, but frankly I don't think you'd understand.

Anyway, you'll probably see something about all of this on CNBC later today.

1:54 PM

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Its Scope and Quality

Looking for a pic of the Duke of Derbeyshite (working on a royal pile joke, will get back to you), I discovered his very own web page. The header of the list of links to his work made me smile: Navigate down. Yeah, pretty much says it all.

9:33 AM



First we copy this post from from Julian Sanchez:

Must... Refrain... From... Punching... Monitor
If, somehow, you still retain some glimmer of doubt that John Derbyshire is a complete and irredeemable piece of shit, don't worry. Derb is working hard to remove all uncertainty.

And here is the post he was commenting on:

Number of readers so far (10:35 a.m.) who have e-mailed in to thank, praise, or congratulate me on using the word "gay" in its original and proper sense: six. Thank you all. Yes, I shall make a habit of it, and I urge other NRO writers to do the same.

I tend to think of Derb more as an irradiated piece of shit, absolutely glowing in his shittiness. But Julian's response was pretty much mine when I first read this bit of Derbyshite. Then I recalled that J.D. had a quite different reaction to neological usages of gay that he perceived as tilting hateward. Three weeks ago the Derb was charmed by this retrofit of the word.

Thursday, January 2, 2003
"Skiing in the rain, just skiing in the rain..." That's how it was New Year's Day on Hunter Mountain. Interesting effect: we ended up sugar-glazed, covered all over with rain that had frozen to ice. Snowboarders now around 50 per cent on the slopes--amazing. Seems like just yesterday I saw my first-ever snowboarder (actually about 7-8 yrs ago, I think). Nellie Muriel declares that green & blue slopes (i.e. beginner and intermediate) are "gay" -- the latest, and I think rather interesting, sub-teen synonym for "beneath contempt," "babyish," "lame," etc. The way snowboarding is coming up, I'm afraid that pretty soon skiing with two skis will be "gay."

How's that for a variable commitment to taking back the language? Daddy is proud of his girl's use of gay as a pre-tween pejorative in early January and up on his sway-back high horse at month's end, leading the charge to repatriate gay to the 19th century, it's only true and proper home. Derb finds it an interesting refinement of the vernacular when a word that is synonymous with homosexual is broadened to mean beneath contempt. The fallback position is to scale back the definition to exclude the connotation of homosexual. Only matter of fact usages of gay in its modern meaning are a problem.

Derb must have gotten snow in his tin ear though since even his gloss on his kid's use of gay is inept. Gay has been kid jargon for lame and the like for years, but his addition of beneath contempt to the list of definitions is a projection of Derb's inner malicious child. There is an irony to the use of gay by kids that Derb entirely misses, just as he missed its prevalence until just this month. He was so delighted by the pejorative cast of his daughter's slang that he ignores the obvious and amusing flip-side to this use of the word. How the omnipresence of the word as a sly insult makes even young children comfortable with the word in all its glory, all it meanings. Oops. Or maybe Derb finally did realize this at month's end and thus his change of heart. Too dangerous to let the meaning further expand, better to try to put it back in the smallest box you can find. One that would also fit Derb's humanity and joie de vivre.

Incidentally, Derb did his bargain basement Mencken routine (sorry, H.L.) again that same day when he updated his ski-slope epiphany post with this:

Around a quarter million readers have e-mailed in to tell me that the usage of "gay" that I remarked on was current among teens and pre-teens at least as far back as the late 1970s. Thanks to all. Truly, there is nothing new under the sun. Truly, I am hopelessly out of touch with teen culture. It's nice to know, though, that NRO has such a firm grip on the 30-something demographic.

So Derb's readers and correspondents are as clueless as himself. Gay was in no way common teen slang in the new meaning as far back as the late 1970s. Gay certainly morphed into an insult word among kids as soon as it became commonly used to denote homosexual, no surprise there. And so you could have heard it used that way even farther back than the late 70's. Its use as an all-purpose, mild put down is a matter of the last 10 years at most and its explosion in popularity dates from the last 5 years . Again, not surprising that the Derb camp followers misconstrue and misremember in this way. There you go J.D., I took back camp for your side.

9:03 AM

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

The Dillinger of Silk

From the Edmund White biography of Genet which has been sitting on the shelf for years and which I knew I would really like but which I have always put off reading until now:

December 10-Chased down the street by a tailor from whom he had stolen a bolt of fabric, he is stopped, near Notre-Dame Cathedral, by a bookstore owner from whom he he had lifted a volume of Proust. He is sentenced to three months and one day in prison.

You got that? This must be the gayest crime spree in history. Running down the street with stolen fabric, he's nabbed for his prior Proust hijacking. The chronology that begins the biography is full of these Genet-arrested-for-stealing-goes-to-jail entries. A lot of fabric theft too: "arrested for stealing cloth", "he is caught stealing a shirt and a piece of silk". And book heists. Maybe he was making clothes for the books.

I could understand that.

Some Genet wannabe should steal this.

Interesting soft-core bad boy shrine with a Genet flavor here. (The 2 hidden messages among the arrows add a dash of pathos--always a nice touch.)

4:03 PM


Plus Ça Shinui

Our endorsement propelled Tommy Lapid and his Shinui (Change) party to a 3rd place finish behind a surging Likud and a collapsing Labor Party in yesterday's Israeli elections. Tommy Lapid and Change (not to be confused with Luther Vandross and Change) fell just short of replacing Labor as the second ranking party in Israel. In an eerie coincidence most observers agree James "Crabs" Robinson fell just short of replacing Luther's grandeur when he took over as Change's frontman.

11:45 AM

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Correction Tuesday

Future Canadian Prime Minister (after things REALLY loosen up), Mark Wickens writes:

Fascinating history post today, but I think bug-chasing was still on the mind when you wrote "entymology". :-)

Let me remind everyone that this page is typed by my cat and while she is hard working and earnest she is still, afterall, a CAT--with all that implies; a short attention span, a limited vocabulary and less than ideal typing abilities. Mark's correction at least was kind spirited.

Speaking of kitten executive assistants, this book is full of such things. It is one of the most amusing books you are ever likely to read. It is my typist's favorite book [by far >*.*< ]. I keep waiting for its author to write something as perfect. He hasn't yet, though Motherless Brooklyn was very good.

But perfection one time is one time more than usual, so Jonathan Lethem is the Agenda Bender dude of the day.

7:23 AM

Monday, January 27, 2003

"What Men?", They Reply

We kid our pals at the Corner, but then we all get together at a bug chasing party and everything is forgiven over a few drinks. And sometimes they even write something there that is great on its own terms and not just because it gives us something to bitch about, and we feel actual love. How's this for elegant simplicty:

UN INSPECTORS [Andrew Stuttaford]
Just a thought: the UN inspectors should ask to see those two men who tried to contact them yesterday.

Andrew St, st ,st, st, st uttaford is the Agenda Bender dude of the day.

9:45 AM


History Monday

I was reading a book which mentioned that the ancient Roman hand sign denoting an available male hustler was the same as our modern fuck you sign. Which is a little interesting and may or may not be true, but in describing the hand sign the writer made a connection that I never had and which I am sure is true. What really floored me though is how obvious it is and how it never had occured to me before. So I'm wondering if I'm the last person clued into this. What he said was that the Roman hand sign was an imitation of a penis. The four fingers closed in a fist are the scrotum and the raised finger is that other part--the, you know, german soldier at attention part. The moneymaker. I'm wondering if most non-verbal gestures have a similar etymology, if they all are the symbolic representation of some key part of the gestures meaning. And I'm wondering what the sign language hand gesture for penis is. Or erection. I must look it up. Someday

Which reminds me of a very funny story that Artie Lange, the new guy sidekick on Howard Stern's show, told last week. He does weekend tour dates on the comedy circuit with some other regulars on Stern's show. They mostly play halls and clubs, but they did their first college gig the weekend before. The college required that they have a deaf signer share the stage for the entire show, so all night the comics were interepreted by a woman standing on the side of the stage. Lange was the final act (or I hope he was anyway, no one could have followed this) and most of his routine consisted of yelling the word "Pussy!" over and over again and watching the interpreter sign it. Some sort of triangle in the air apparently.

9:10 AM