Latest Post

Send your love electronically HERE We will read it. Platonically.

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, February 22, 2003  

The Mumbling Method Confirmed

AOL is a million room funhouse, I will not stand for any abuse of this great natural wonder. I've read more clueless attacks on AOL by people who never got it (in both senses) in the first place. This Wired story is a a typical slice of AOL life. AOL is a skyscraping museum of ridiculous hustles, penny ante cons, and teenybopper grifting. It's the infinite midway, an endless, floating trillion card monte game. And that's only the beginning of its charm.

How can you beat this:

In a telephone interview, two hackers using the handles Dan and Cam0 explained that security measures (such as verifying the last four digits of a credit card number) can be bypassed by mumbling.

A third hacker, using the name hakrobatik, confirmed the mumbling method.

"I kept calling and pretending I just had jaw surgery and mumbling gibberish," hakrobatik said. "At first I had no info except the screen name, then I called and got the first name and last name by saying, 'Could you repeat what I just said?' Then each time that I got information I called back making the real information understandable, and everything else I just mumbled."

That's always been my technique, too.

10:47 AM

Friday, February 21, 2003

Personality Crisis

I'm not a big fan of those which Lord of the Rings loser are you quizzes, but I'm a sucker for psychological profiling. My results for this test are as follows:

Paranoid: Low
Schizoid: High
Schizotypal: Low
Antisocial: Low
Borderline: Low
Histrionic: Moderate
Narcissistic: Moderate
Avoidant: Low
Dependent: Low
Obsessive-Compulsive: Moderate

All my personalities agree, this seems about right. Though anyone who actually finishes this too long quiz should be scored an automatic through the roof narcissist. Better yet, a through the looking glass narcissist, and a relentlessy cleaning the looking glass
obsessive-compulsive. Think I'll take it again.

(Quiz via Popbitch)

9:05 AM

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Old Media Out Asskissess New--All Blogdom in Desperate Game of Catch-Up

From an anonymous column called the Buzz in the new issue of the Advocate, dated March 2003:

Eleven years after the advent of the new queer cinema--a phrase coined at Sundance by The Advocate's B. Ruby Rich--queer films still ruled at Sundance 2003...

B. Ruby be dazzling. That is some truly touched-by-the-gods phrasemaking. If only the snows of Utah's yesteryears could talk they could tell us of the moment B. Ruby made his way through the slush of downtown Sundance, the exact second when he was struck by a vision and crafted those four words that even to this day, eleven years later, evoke recently produced gay-themed movies like no others, THE NEW QUEER CINEMA.

From the March 2014 issue of the Advocate:

Eleven years after eleven years after the advent of the New Queer Cinema--as the Buzz so memorably described the 11th anniversary of the coining of the phrase The New Queer Cinema by B. Ruby Rich here at Sundance, queer films still STILL rule at Sundance (another tip of the ski cap to the Buzz---on the shoulders of giants...)

From a March 2014 post to Agenda Bender:

It was eleven years ago that I devised the phrase "recently produced gay-themed movies" as the closest, most banal iteration of the equally but differently banal phrase "The New Queer Cinema" in the hope, probably fruitless, that some one or two of my readers would be amused...

David Frum, B. Ruby Rich, and Agenda Bender--the axis of genius.

3:13 AM

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Paris 1919, Lehigh Valley 1978

Sad news to report today from Japan. Our entire Asian bureau appears to have lost its mind. Chief correspondent, Lana Risingsun, must have her kimono cinched up too tight. First and least, she persists in signing her dispatches with the XY, round-eye sobriquet "Sean", against all orders from Bender central. Second and most, she sent a letter of supposed factual correction to A.B. HQ. In reference to recent post about the Duke of Derbyshite's shifting revulsion/attraction for contemporary usages of the word gay, "Sean" writes (quoting me at the start):

"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."

Oh? When I was in elementary school, starting in 1978, the word was already used exactly as Mr. D. described it ("Did you hear we're having a vocabulary quiz on Friday?" "Oh, that's gay."). I don't think the wrist-like limpness of the quiz sheets was what was meant. Maybe it was restricted to Lehigh County, but I can't remember much else we did that was in the way of the literary vanguard.

Apparently "Sean" is unfamiliar with that foundational concept of scientific statistical research, the outlier. To quote from the ur-text of modern statistics, Modern Statistics: the Ur-text by Mary Rosh:

Facts, figures, results, data, answers, and anecdotes that do not fit into your otherwise perfectly lovely and reasonable model are called outliers. They can be discarded as if they never existed in the first place.

Furthermore, the Lehigh Valley is generally considered a locus pocus of avant-gardism in the literary arts and extremism in human archetypes. Thus the semantical daring of its schoolchildren in their radical appropriation and reconfiguring of the word gay, and thus its infamy as the birthplace, cradle and hothouse of one Lana Risingsun. Lana will no doubt reacquaint herself with the Lehigh V.'s thriving detournist underground of culture jammers, poetry slammers and anti-war spammers when she is shortly reassigned to cover the schoolboard and zoning commission beat in the old hometown.

Bonus anecdote with an Asian spin: A friend of mine worked at an AIDS services agency that had as one of its projects a youth outreach street team. It was made up of high school and college kids who would hit the chief kid hangouts on weekend nights and hand out safe-sex info, condom packs etc. One of the kids, a young Asian guy, walked by her desk one day in obvious distress, so she asked what was wrong. He was reluctant at first to say, but then he started telling her that he'd gotten a tattoo over the weekend and then he stopped. So she said, "what, your mom saw it and freaked out?" No that wasn't it. "So you changed your mind and don't like it now, but it's too late?" Yeah, well sort of. She said let me see it. So he took off his shirt and turned around. There across his upper back in huge Thug Life letters was the misspelled tat, ASAIN PRIDE. I told her to tell him to get a matching tattoo across his chest that said Dyslexic 4 LIFE, but with the 4 backwards, you know, turn it into a positive.

5:30 AM

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

The Lunchroom Continents

This is a terrific essay about smart kids versus popular kids, nerd anomie, barbarism and its discontents, the computer club as alien visitors to high school, Martian sociologists at the pep rally. I disagree with it in parts but love it overall.

Before reading it you should first meditate on this picture. It's of the Gateway High (nice bit of foreshadowing there) Chess Club, circa 1981. The essay's author is somewhere in there.

This is how it begins:

When we were in junior high school, my friend Rich and I made a map of the school lunch tables according to popularity. This was easy to do, because kids only ate lunch with others of about the same popularity. We graded them from A to E. A tables were full of football players and cheerleaders and so on. E tables contained the kids with mild cases of Down's Syndrome, what in the language of the time we called "retards."

We sat at a D table, as low as you could get without looking physically different. Our table was populated by complete nerds, cases of delayed pubescence, and recent immigrants from China.

Paul Goodman called it Growing Up Absurd over 40 years ago. Goodman was a guiding star of my high school years and for a while after. I've got to check back with him to see how he holds up. I wrote a poem in his memory once. One of maybe 5 poems I've written in my life. The only thing I remember about it is the title, which refers to Goodman's final resting place: New Hampshire Grave.

The nerd essay I so strongly recommend is by another Paul, another P.G. as fate would have it. Paul Graham is the Agenda Bender dude of the day.

And Paul Goodman is the Agenda Bender dude of the year for 1960, the year Growing Up Absurd was first published.

(Nerd essay Via Blogdex)

3:20 AM

Monday, February 17, 2003

Land O' Canned Food, Liquor and Cookies

If I lived in North Korea, and looking out the window that is a distinct possibility, I'd play the Kim Jong mom card. Get behind the Kim Jong Seok cult, make my name and stake my claim as the leading mariologist of the Juche ideology. Have to be careful not to play the hand too fervently though. The Sun of the 21st Century, aka the doughboy in the Sophia Loren glasses, might take it the wrong way if I went too gaga over ma.

Happy Birthday Kim Jong Il!!! From The New York Times coverage of the country that is like a giant birthday party 24/7:

ONJUNG-RI, North Korea, Feb. 16 — Happiness filled the humble cottage of Ri Myung Shim today, as her 5-year-old son awoke to find a gift bag of cookies and candy. This was not an offering from the tooth fairy, but a birthday present, of sorts. The gift celebrated the most important day on the North Korean calendar — the birthday of Kim Jong Il, the country's leader.

...soldiers at parades chant "May Kim Jong Il live 10,000 years"

..."Revolutionary Warrior Kim Jong Seok: Her Name Will Shine Forever!"...The campaign to elevate Mr. Kim's mother into the nation's pantheon of heroes heralded his own elevation to power on his father's death, in 1994

...Playing today on muddy village lanes, the children enlivened dilapidated landscapes with the bright reds, blues and yellow of their jackets and sweaters.

...the government staged a peppy musical performance by the Pyongyang Youth Brass Band, an all-female group attired in outfits that looked like a style collision between Maoist Red Guards and the Dallas Cowboys' cheerleaders.

...The government showers real gifts on members of the elite on Mr. Kim's birthday.

"My gift set had canned food, ginseng, liquor and cookies," Chun Moon Il, a composer, said as his brass band worked its way through a lively new number, "Flower Fireworks for Blessing His Birthday

...Down on the state farms here, the workers received a rare gift from Mr. Kim this weekend — 24 hours of electricity.

...One of Ms. Li's tasks is to levy $10 fines on tourists caught pointing at rock carvings of slogans praising the Kim family. Somewhat akin to pointing in a cathedral, such gawking is seen here as irreverent.

The happy First Family of the 21st Century.

Mad and Madder: A power couple on the beach.

6:16 AM

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Cat In A Warm Sock Drawer

Apparently Google was hot to own Agenda Bender, and so it had to buy Blogger (Pyra Labs). Like the guy who married the girl because he was in love with her brother. A little bit.

It's all about synergy now, economies of scale, meshing mission statements, dynamic cross branding, packing and rechecking the golden parachutes, executing the options and sparing no expense. Cashing in and cashing out. Bling bling and kaching kaching. The picture next to sitting pretty in the dictionary? Agenda Bender. The canary's gone--the cage is empty and the cat is lazing in the sock drawer. The name of that cat? Agenda Bender.

In honor of the merger, a googlefight:

gay (53 100 000 results) versus straight (13 700 000 results)

The winner is: gay

And a song (be sure to accept the license at the link.) This musical moment courtesy of the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health & Human Services. See? The synergies have already begun.

5:10 PM