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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.


Your Disciplinarians: Glenda Benda (Philapa), Amber Waves (Kansaster), Polly Morpheus (Dreamsville), Tess Tosterone (D'Urbervilles)



WHEN IN PHILLY SHOP AT: Philadelphia AIDS Thrift

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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
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E. Dge
M. Filter
C. Cosh
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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, June 28, 2003  

The Arts And Business Section

My contribution to the Pepys Now Project, which is attempting to preserve the commonplaces of contemporary culture--the hide-in-plain-sight landmarks of an era that are lost to the future because their routineness renders them unnoticed and thus undocumented, is to note that UPS guys are totems in the gay erotic imagination of our times. Some gay dudes consider the day that marks the switching point of the UPS uniforms from long pants to shorts one of the holiest dates on the modern calendar.

The iceman must have been similarly adored. The template here is that working class guys whose jobs entail knocking on doors are eroticized in every era. The key to reconstructing this lost fact for any bygone day is to know the home delivery and service jobs from that time.

And so I think it is worthwhile mentioning that UPS is rebranding itself. A friend of mine who works there told me about this a few months ago and gave me the fact sheet that they distributed to company employees to alert them to the changes. I'm not sure how widely any of this is even known yet. The news that UPS bought Mailboxes ETC and is renaming them The UPS Store got some attention. But I don't know if the signal change mentioned in the employees letter is known generally. And that is this: UPS no longer stands for United Parcel Service. It now stands for nothing. The company shall henceforth be known as UPS. UPS is no longer an acronym, it is what it is: UPS. Acronyms have lost there referents before and have mutated into stand alone words (another instance of the lost commonplace--The Pepys effect). But has any corporation before short-circuited the evolution in this way before?

There have been plenty of rebrandings built around neologism that mean nothing but sound like they should, words that seem to have been created to sound like acronyms without referents. If children's names are poetry for poor people, then newly minted corporate names must serve that purpose for the Fortune 500. Boardroom art for art's sake. Sure they test market the changes, and justify the expense in a million bottom line ways, but still they get to spend months rolling new words around in their months and looking at logo mock-up artwork. It's just the aesthetic impulse forcing its way in however it can

The overarching slogan for the changeover from United Parcel Service to UPS is One Company. One Vision. One Brand. No points for discerning the unfortunate echo here. That Ein...ein...ein beat is a catchy, to be sure. That's why it worked before. It's just that maybe a company with trademark brown uniforms would want to resist its pull.

(Pepys Now via Postrel. Or was it Tushnet?)

6:45 PM

Friday, June 27, 2003

But Will It Warm The Corner's Heart?

In a symbolic gesture of astonishment with finding ourselves in agreement with the actions of San Franciso gay leaders, Agenda Bender is putting up a huge rainbow flag over the world headquarters today. Much as I hate that rainbow brite aesthetic. Major concession on my part to fly the big imaginary thing over the spectacular imaginary A. Bender complex. It's just for the day though. Skitch, the imaginary flag dude, will raise the Bender corporate flag (the codes and bars) back up at sunrise tomorrow.

In a symbolic gesture of gratitude to the U.S. Supreme Court for striking down a Texas law that banned gay sex acts, San Francisco gay leaders took down the huge rainbow flag that permanently graces the corner of Market and Castro streets and hoisted the Stars and Stripes

9:36 AM

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Agenda Bender--Sheet Legal In All 50 States, D.C., Puerto Rico (woo hoo), and Possibly Guam

Two interesting words in the Thomas and Scalia dissents. Clarence found the Texas statute "uncommonly silly". Thanks C.T., but no thanks. Did you find the public inquisition into your sex life "silly"? Didn't think so. What if the cops had arrested you for watching Long Dong Silver videos in your own home? Silly? Ok, that would be silly. Long Dong makes everything and everyone he touches silly. But official assaults on sexual privacy are more than just silly, and if anyone should know that it's you. Haha I'm talking right at him! Watch out, Long Robe Ebony, I might start buying space for open letters to you in the major metropolitan dailies. I'm in between films and I've got a lot to say.

Of course, Clarence was trying to project cosmopolitan bemusement and blasé disagreement with a law that he was voting against overturning. The logic of his dissent pretty much required him to cast sodomy laws as inane trifles. They're not even worth overturning, the silly things. It's a form of judicial 69. One in which no one leaves the judge's chambers satisfied.

And then there's the often observed tendency for the word silly to pop into certain people's heads when gays are under discussion.

An even more interesting word popped into Antonin Scalia's neck stopper. It struck me as so odd that I kept reading it as a typo and trying to figure out what word had been mangled. Turns out the mangling is in Scalia's psyche.

If moral disapprobation of homosexual conduct is "no legitimate state interest" for purposes of proscribing that conduct; and if, as the Court coos (casting aside all pretense at neutrality) "when sexuality finds overt expression in intimate conduct with another person, the conduct can be but one element in a personal bond that is more enduring"; what justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples exercising "the liberty protected under the Constitution"?

Coos? Coos? He's ruling on the constitutionality of laws against homosexual sodomy and Antonin's mind is wandering to whispered endearments and cuddly love-talk. Antonin was on to something in picking out that quote, but he was so anxious to express his disdain for gay equality that he missed the essential point. The quote is idiotic--just pedantic vaporizing. It's like a Valentines Day card written by, well, a Supreme Court Justice. Possibly a virginal one. Maybe "coos" was a typo. Moos would have fit perfectly.

4:36 PM


King of all Métiers

A maxim from From Le Rochefoucauld's American cousin, Howard Stern:

There's only one reason people ever get married. They're about to break up.

9:48 AM


"I Canna Give You Any More Power, Captain!"

Always good to begin a book review with a get-you-up-to-speed opening backgrounder graf:

Speaking Sex to Power: The Politics of Queer Sex,”
by Patrick Califia
(Cleis Press: 2003, 420 pages, paperback; $16.95)

By Kevin Riordan
PGN Contributing Writer
© 2003 Kevin Riordan

Born a daughter of a working-class Mormon couple, lesbian writer Patrick Califia was beginning the transition from female to male when Matt Rice, his FTM transsexual partner, became pregnant with their son, Blake.


7:06 AM

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Special Olympics

This is difficult. Pick out the nuttiest.

11:28 AM


Forget Thermopylae!

I know many readers look to Agendabender for a respite form the unrelenting homocentricity over at The Corner. So I apologize for importing some of their gayosity over here, but they do it so much better than me.

Two recent highlights:

The Duke of Derbeyshite stands athwart homosexuality yelling "Stop!" and athwart heterosexuality yelling "Remember Thermopylae!". When Andrew Stuttaford wondered out loud if such Grecian references were approriate as rallying cries for heterosexuality under siege, Field Marshall Derbeysmite replied:

RE: THERMOPYLAE [John Derbyshire]
Andrew: At such times I reach for my well-thumbed pocket-sized copy of Sir Kenneth Dover's Greek Homosexuality (which Roger Scruton , for some reason, describes as a "trivializing" book). Turning to the index for "Thermopylae" I find only "Thera... Theseus... thighs..." There are lots of entries for "Sparta" though. Most are too long (and some too icky) to include here, but the upshot of it is that Sir Ken is skeptical of this particular Spartan myth, certain snide remarks by Plato notwithstanding. Sample: "If Spartans in the fourth century B.C. unanimously and firmly denied that their erastai and eromenoi ever had any bodily contact beyond a clasping of right hands, it was not easy for an outsider even at the time to produce evidence to the contrary, and for us it is impossible."

Yes, who among us doesn't have a well and truly thumbed, dog-eared and cat-scratched copy of that icky masterpiece always at the ready on the night stand. My own copy has been so heavily, uh, annotated that I can only open it in the same fashion that they used to separate the men from the boys on the fields of Thermopylae. With a crowbar.

Let's grant Sir Kenneth (Ben) Dover's point and call the question of Spartan sodomy undecided for lack of videotape and DNA evidence. Still, "Remember Thermopylae" is probably not the most stirring invocation of attic fortitude, it's a little obscure to most modern avatars of the greco-hetero spirit. What about this? Trojans! Get It On!

Jonah Goldberg makes a similarly questionable reference in support of beleaguered heterosexuality when he calls Whittaker Chamber's example off the bench. Whittaker was no quitter, you see. Even though he was sure he'd joined the losing team when he switched from communist to conservative, he called it as he saw it and had no regrets about the futility of his crusade. Goldberg was allying himself with Whittaker to make the point that even though Goldberg thought the conservatives were on the losing side of the cultural war with the gays, he was not a traitor for saying so, just a weary truth teller. So weary that he didn't have the strength to note that Chambers, probably the single most influential figure in the history of the Buckleyite conservatism, was for part of his life very actively (though ultra secretly) homosexual. So, not only did Chambers' pessimistic anti-communism set the ideological tone for The National Review, he innovated the strategy for homosexual living favored by conservatives to this day.

C'mon culture-cons, win this one for the Whittaker: Remember The Grand Central Station Men's Room!

6:46 AM

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Opinion Journal Imitates Opinion Journal

Best of the Web, the sort of blog that runs on The Wall Street Journal's online sister, the Opinion Journal, has gotten marginally better about gay stuff. It used to be pretty reliably uninformed and bothered about da gays. Gay boyscouts were an especially difficult subject for Best of the Web to contemplate. The page's editor, James Taranto, lives and works in Manhattan, yet he gives the impression that he doesn't know or work with (and can't really even recall ever encountering) any gays in his daily life in the big city. Reminds me of the Friends version of New York-- the one without blacks and Puerto Ricans.

Opjournal suffered an unfortunate relapse yesterday. I guess gay Muslims have replaced gay boyscouts as the hot button that detonates the explosives in the Mr. Taranto's head.

Try to find the joke that springs from the uncanny similarity between these two headlines. The first is a humorous invention and the second is its laugh-out-loud real world embodiment. Got that?

Life Imitates National Lampoon

*** QUOTE ***

"Gay Palestinians Attempt to Blow Away Stereotypes, Jews"--headline, , April 4, 2002

"Canada's Gay Muslims Unite to Celebrate Their Faith and Their Sexuality"--headline, Canadian Press , June 18, 2003

If you follow the link to the gay Canadian, Muslim suicide bombers you will find more on their hate-filled initiatives:

...Islam's perceived prohibition on homosexuality is derived from a story in the Qur'an, the Islamic text that lays down the fundamentals of Islam.

The story is that of Lut, known in the Judeo-Christian tradition as Lot, the resident of a town in which men were found engaging in sex with each other. Allah is said to have destroyed the town as punishment for those sexual acts.

According to Imam Abdullah, one of the very few gay imams in North America, the people of Lut's town were not condemned for their sexual acts, but their acts of violence.

..."In order for the Qur'an, Allah's message and guide, to be available to all of humankind for all time, it has to have an inclusive aspect because all of humankind has not come yet."

..."We understand that a lot of the faith we have learned comes through our culture and not our faith itself," said Alam. "The roots of Islam are peace, love and justice. If those three concepts are really used to look at this issue, we will understand that accepting our sexuality is a small part of our faith. There are a lot of larger issues to deal with."

6:29 AM

Monday, June 23, 2003

Holding Out For Al Queda

Popbitch has been doing vital reporting about the continuing popularity of cashiered western pop goddesses on the other side of the Koran Curtain:

From Popbitch's 6/5 newsletter:

>> Holding Out For A Hero <<
Islamic nutters (heart) Bonnie Tyler

BM writes:
"I've just got back to UK after a stint in
a news agency in Afghanistan.

"In 1990 I met some Mujahadeen Fighters in the
Northwest frontier of Pakistan. Their biggest
regret about the Jihad against the Russians was
that they couldn't listen to pop music any more.

"When I asked what kind of music they liked,
one told me, 'Bonnie Tyler'."

A week later we learned:

>> Total Eclipse of Islam <<
Bonnie Tyler: bigger than Allah

Last week we told the story of how Mujahadeen
fighters favourite pop star was Bonnie Tyler.
Now we find out Bonnie is a big favourite with
Muslim freedom fighters around the world.

Deadmeat writes:
"I worked in a kitchen with a Kosovo Albanian
who had fought in the wars there.

He told me they used to love listening to Bonnie
Tyler when they were holed up shooting the
people from the next village."

(FYI: Bonnie Tyler's real name is Gaynor Hopkins)

And finally, in the latest Popbitch :

>> "Touch me, I want to feel your burqua..." <<
Fundamentalist Islam hearts Sam Fox

In Iran, decadent western pop culture has been
suppressed by the Mullahs for decades.

But in Tehran during the 1990s one piece of
grafitti kept cropping up on walls and buildings
around the city.

It always said exactly the same thing:

"Sam Fox"

Bonnie is of course a femme butch and Sam a butch femme, so either you see that as a dichotomy or a unity in the tastes of the Jihad Icon fan-base. One trait they unquestionably share is an essential and free-floating emotional distress.

So there appears to be a preference for disco chix and fever divas who can project a certain cartoon hysteria. Screamers, in a word. From Chechnya to old Tehran, if you aint yellin' and cryin' they ain't dancin' and buyin'.

Sam Fox is a triple threat to the mullah's Islamic revolution. The former page three girl turned former pop-star is a current and out lesbian. I hate to disagree with Popbitch on this, but I think the better joke headline for the Samantha F. item would have been Burqa Me, Burqa Me.

4:13 PM