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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.
East /West is dead. Auto-erotic asphyxiation. I'm sure E.W. would have wanted it that way. Word is there was enough, you know, DNA at the death scene to foster hope that a test tube army might soon rise from the mess. Bienvenue, mes freres!
No Shakespeare, But They Wrote The Works Of Synge
Probably should have mentioned this before, but six guest bloggers have been responsible for most of the content here over the last month or so. They've put their roller skates on and are now gone. I'll miss the chatter and the smiles, but they've left souvenirs to remember them by. Au revoir, mes freres!
Thursday, May 08, 2003
I'm a little mad at myself that I didn't see through one detail of the Bill Bennett story. Joshua Green, who wrote the Washington Monthly piece and co-wrote the Newsweek story (which is a curious detail in its own right), has now scaled back his estimate of Bennett's losses by a factor of, oh, EIGHT. Hey, that's not a full order of magnitude, so give Josh a break. Of course Josh is a journalist so the simplest math hurts his head, but still I wish I'd been more skeptical of the eight million figure. It would have required Bennett to put many times that amount in play over the years, and while Bill and his copyists have been cranking out the money-making morality anthologies at a speed slower than vice but faster than virtue, I still should have had a more reasonable estimate of Bennett's real means and assets. He almost certainly isn't making the kind of money that could support losses, and the bets to generate losses, THAT large.
Most journalists are more than capable of making math/stats mistakes THAT large though, so I should have known enough to place my bets according to the odds.
Bennett's scaled back losses take a little of the edge of the fun at his expense, but then there's the compensation of big journalism exposed in all its sloppy confusion as per usual, so the general level of laughs stays the same. Except that Joshua Green's credibility losses at the hackjack table don't seem to be getting the coverage they deserve yet.
It would be a black hole sucker bet to expect they ever will.
Josh Green of The Washington Monthly got in touch with me and says the transcript I posted below is either wrong or that he misspoke. Green stands by his $8 million dollar net loss assertion as reported in his article.
"Either wrong or I misspoke". HAHAHA. Maybe, Joshua or Jonah will clear that up for us someday. Things are getting mighty sloppy over at the Corner and inside Joshua Green's head.
I think it's most likely that Josh misspoke and told the truth by accident. I don't think Bennett did lose the 8 million as claimed originally (even though it makes for a better story) for the reasons stated above. And I don't think Green could know exactly what Bennett lost from the casino records he was provided. But I don't think Josh knows that.
Hay fever time. The sexual life of palm trees makes me weep.
...Farhud has started in Baghdad. Farhud. The first one was the Farhud of the jews of Baghdad after they have been driven out of their homes, don’t ask me about dates. Diane told me about that one, I never knew that the word was used to describe the plunder that happened to the homes of the Iraqi jews – Farhud al yahood. Then an organized Farhud in Kuwait, that one was very systematic and state organized. Today I tell you History does only repeat itself once but it hits you a third time in the eye. To see your city destroyed before your own eyes is not a pain that can be described and put to words. It turns you sour or was that bitter, it makes something snap in you and you lose whatever hope you had. Undone by your own hands. Close your doors. Shut your eyes. Hope the black clouds of this ugliness do not reach you.
...The news programs drive me crazy but they are all we are watching. I specially like the Pentagon Show, him with the distracting facial expressions and her with her loud costumes
...You see the news anchors on BBC, Jazeera and Arabiya so often you start dreaming of them, noticing when they get a hair cut and in one case on Jazeera a bad dye job.
...There is one item which I have not thought I would need a big supply of: antacids. Air raid sirens start wailing or the heavy bombs start falling; five minutes later I go for the drawer with the antacids. Now every time the bombing starts my brother starts humming Nirvana’s “Pennyroyal Tea” :
”I'm on warm milk and laxatives
..I am still trying to ignore the 24 hour non stop TV bombardment. News just ups the level of my paranoia. Living in my headphones or watching silly videos. Ice Age has become a house favorite.
Stupid to excerpt it. How can anyone not read it all?
And another thing, what are the implications of the reverse chronology format of most (all?) blogs. I always just go along with it. It's too aggravating to have to start down the page read a post and then skip back up to the post above it, which is the hopscotch technique that reading the posts clockwise requires. All this riding on times arrow shot backwards seems natural now. I remember being annoyed by this most distinctive feature of blog design when I first began reading the damn things, but the annoyance subsided without me even noticing. Pretty frigging major change in narrative convention to be so easily assimilated. Of course most blogs aren't strictly narratives, but they all contain allusions to earlier posts that are actually later posts to the reader.
Foretellings of Things Past.
Salam Pax is the Agendabender proust of the day, week, month, year.
What Would Jack Chick Draw?
Everybody has been proving their trash culture cred by linking this recent profile of Christian cartoon tract king of kings, Jack Chick. So now we must as well. Quite a good article, though see if you can spot the vacant lot non-sequitur, a very odd setting-the scene-moment that I can only think must have been the result of sloppy editing. Something I know a lot about, cause I live it.
After you read the overview, examine some of the work. Here are two of J.C.'s more homocentric efforts, two takes on Sod and Gom. They are a little disappointing in their recycled backstories, Jack's lake of fire is hot but not deep. These are late period Chick, so they were drawn by the more competent artist who took over for Jack in recent decades. Jack retired from drawing the strip but still crafts the scary scenarios. Prepare to be saved. Or to end up gayer than you started:
Bill Bennett is getting one bum criticism. Amidst the general laughter is a subset of hilarity that centers on 8 million dollar Bill's means of gambling, i.e. machines. The rap is that he is a sucker among suckers. That he is not only in the snare of that eternal delusion of gamblers against the house, but that he is taking the stupidest bet in the house. William B. hasn't been too forthcoming, but it appears from reports that most of his gambling was on video poker machines, and they can be (depending on how the machine is programmed for payout) the best bet in the house. Video poker is not slots. There is no possible strategy or skill in playing slots beyond refinements on witchcraft, which is to say your choice in good luck charms and your skill in enticing the gods with casino floor fertility dancing. Video poker is a game of both skill and chance, and sufficiently informed players can make something of a living at it when you include in their take not only their winnings but whatever Casino kickbacks and freebies they can parlay. This is the shadow realm of middling roller perkdom, deadbeat arbitrage, and low-life high-math
Any possible advantage to the player disappears as the stakes increase since high roller perks and freebies can never come close to matching the money gambled away (if they did the casino would stop giving them to you). In sum, there are marginally smarter and stupider ways to blow 8 million dollars in Vegas or Atlantic City. High stakes roulette or slots are probably the stupidest. To the extent that Bill stuck to the poker machines he was not the biggest idiot in the joint.
Those of you betting against the possibility of Agendabender displaying any generosity of spirit towards Mr. Bennett just lost.
Former drug ceasar Bill Bennett isn't the only one whose private reality clashes mightily with his public persona. Newsweek magazine has apparently received documents and sworn statements (goddamn you Light of Reason!) implying that I, your self-same Agendabender, am not all I present myself to be. The blurry scan of a fax of an internal Newsweek memo detailing the key accusations, which I received through a backchannel angel (bless you Jonathan Alter!--your very name echoes the prayers of worship and devotion that are your due), reads in part:
The most explosive accusation is contained in sworn affidavits from several different individuals, all in agreement on one particular. They all assert that Agendabender has told them in private conversation that he has never seen the movie Niagara in its entirety. They all further agree that he has told them this on more than one occasion. One longtime associate relates, "he says he can't even believe it himself. That he's seen bits and pieces of it dozens of times and the last twenty minutes probably ten times, but he's never seen the whole thing from beginning to end. Pathetic, the way he harps on this. As if anyone cares."
Ouch! You happy, Newsweek? You made my mother cry. And hasn't she cried enough????
Anyway, back to the William B.-- aka the Dean of Outrage.
I've always regarded Bennett as something of a windbag. Now he's a windbag who gambles a lot, which makes him, in my opinion, an idiot. But, heck, it's his money. It's not like he's putting puppies in blenders or anything. Is he a hypocrite? Maybe. But the people who are jumping on this revelation with unconcealed glee don't come off very well, either.
Or perhaps not.
I wonder if Insta P. regards Everest as something of a hill. And I would like to say in my own defense that I, like Mae West who did her best not to show her contempt for the court, am trying my very darndest to conceal my glee. I mean, heck, it's hard though.
Two punchline, double B. joke:
Why do Bill Bennett's eyes light up when he enters a leather bar?