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Agenda Bender
 
Saturday, March 29, 2003  

One World Under Fred or Operation Iraqi Freddie or We Are the Chumpians!


Pro-war leftie Chris Hitchens' anti-war rightie brother, Peter Hitchens, writes from London:

This juvenile, boastful spirit was epitomised last week by the US navy’s Vice-Admiral Timothy Keating, aboard the USS Constellation. Vice-Admiral Keating waved his arms about and told his ship’s company, ‘It’s hammer time!’ to the accompaniment of Queen’s ‘We will rock you’ played at maximum decibels.

Meanwhile, back in Manhattan.

At times, the scene resembled a sporting event. Thunderous applause and whistles greeted anthropology professor Nicholas De Genova's sick desire that "a million Mogadishus" be visited on U.S. soldiers fighting in Iraq. And then there's Roger Normand, an adjunct professor at Columbia's School for International and Public Affairs and director of the lefty Center for Economic and Social Rights. Normand took the podium to yell, "Let's see if we can make some noise in this auditorium," and began a call-and-response, "We Will Rock You"-style chant with the capacity crowd.

Bonus proximity shiver: Chances are that 40 or so blocks from this Low Library Queen's reich rally, Liza Minnelli (Freddie Mercury's designated carry-on-without-me avatar) rested unaware that a captive, ecstatic audience was hers for the cost of a cab ride.

(Hitchens-rite via Matt Welch)

8:22 AM

 

A Correction


Instapundit writes of his CNN appearance:

I did manage to get a plug in for Kevin Sites' blog, though, which probably won't please the suits at CNN. (By the way, Xeni Jardin informs me that there's a Kevin Sites blog fan-group discussion board now. Instead of the Scud Stud, he's the Blog Stud!)

Wigga, please. The proper correlative is Blog Dawgg.

6:43 AM

Thursday, March 27, 2003
 

An Enormous Thud


USA Today opens its review of Celine Dion's Vegas spectacle:

LAS VEGAS — The Titanic has risen from the bottom of the ocean and landed in the desert with an enormous thud. How else to describe the proudly tacky, perversely fascinating spectacle that has descended, appropriately enough, on Caesars Palace?

How else describe it? Oh, can't really say, but something way funnier might do. Failing that, something at all funny would have been an improvement. There's an overabundance of miraculous rising and falling in those two sentences too. And that appropriately enough isn't.

It's still worth visiting the article to see the picture that accompanies it. The photo editing is as spotty as the writing here. The insufficiently explained picture would appear to be of Celine regarding the bloody, engorged stump of her botched arm transplant with Canadian savoir-faire.

It reminded me (because everything does) of a baby's arm clutching an apple, except it really looks like a car-crashed-teenager's-severed-calf-that-sprouted-fingers holding a microphone.

7:57 AM

 

The Utah Compromise


I was reading assorted stories about yesterday's arguments before the Supreme Court over the Texas sodomy case (ain't no sodomy like Texas sodomy) and I came across this interesting fact in the Salt Lake Tribune's coverage.

Utah law forbids "any sexual act with an [unmarried] person . . . involving the genitals of one person and the mouth or anus of another person, regardless of the sex of either participant."

Sodomy was outlawed even for married couples in Utah until 1977, when the law was changed to include only the unmarried. People convicted of sodomy face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.


I knew that some of states that still had sodomy laws only outlawed homosexual sodomy. The Texas case is made stronger by this quirk. Texas is one of the states that applies the sodomy laws only to gays, it adds considerably to the argument for repeal to note this discrepancy. But I didn't know about Utah's refinement on this. The marriage license there is also apparently your sodomy license. This necessarily outlaws homosexual sodomy, but it makes heterosexual sodomy illegal too if the participants are unwed. What I really want to know is if the law mandates that heterosexual sodomites must be married to EACH OTHER in order to receive their sodomy hall pass, their get-out-of-sex-jail card. If it doesn't then there is a slight exemption for gays as well, so long as they are married and limit their homo sodomy to other wandering married men. Likewise for the ladies.

Yes, this seems like a Utah solution.

6:04 AM

Tuesday, March 25, 2003
 

The Left and Right Side of the Cow


It's official. We've pulverized, liquefied and then centrifuged the leading examples of anti and pro-war pop and their schmaltz content is exactly equal, 93% each. While respectable, these findings still lag behind Michael Jackson's king of kitsch pop total for his all time tip top of the slops standard, We Are the World, which achieved the still inexplicable result, 104% schmaltz.

Listen to Darryl Worley's Have You Forgotten, then listen and watch System of a Down's Boom! and contemplate the pop algorithms that produced each in its own way. It's Tin Pan Prairie Vs the Shrill Building.


2:14 PM

Monday, March 24, 2003
 

On Stilts


Andrew Sullivan is outraged at drag anti-war protesters in New York:

Lithe and statuesque, Machine was wearing sequined hot pants, fishnet stockings, shiny platform heels and a huge feathered headdress. His sign said, "Baby, I am the bomb." Around him were drag queen nuns and two people wearing stars-and-stripes-patterned suits and dancing on stilts. A dozen women in red, white and blue bobbed wigs with matching skin-tight outfits and huge missile-shaped strap-on dildoes fanned out to the street, flouncing and dancing as they sang "Show me the way to the next little war," to the tune of the Doors' "Alabama Song."

Andrew's comment: This, while barbarians are abusing captured soldiers.

Well, yeah, frivolity will always look shameful when contrasted to any of the world's ample horrors. But the forced frivilotiy, the self-satisfied dramatics, and the self-dramatizing satisfactions of puppethead agit-prop doesn't really provide the contrast to make the point. It's a horror in it's own right. If there is an Uncle Sam on stilts wearing an Edward Munch (by way of Scream l, ll, and lll) death head mask anywhere on the horizon , you are sure to be in a pit of earthly despond, a soul suffocating human cloud of pretend hilarity and flatline low jinks. Lucy on the donut assembly line is a fresh faced wonder, a miracle of improvisation and comic invention, by comparison.

"A dozen women in red, white and blue bobbed wigs with matching skin-tight outfits and huge missile-shaped strap-on dildoes fanned out to the street, flouncing and dancing" will always bring to mind (to any thoughtful spectator) the image of "a dozen women in red, white and blue bobbed wigs with matching skin-tight outfits and huge missile-shaped strap-on dildoes fanned out to the street, flouncing and dancing". No contrast is necessary, no further chastisement called for.

Check out the cultural savvy of the Salon corespondent who filed the story, too. You can bet the missile dicked chicks were at least clued into Brecht/Weill. That's probably the biggest part of the problem. The superfresh Brecht vibe that pervades these demos. Anywhere transgressive puppets congregate there's a smell of East German cigarettes in the air.

6:56 AM