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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)



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Agenda Bender
Saturday, April 03, 2004  

James Yohalem, Sporadic Savior

Since I wrote below how much I anticipated reading James McCourt's kaleidoscopic history/memoir of gay culture, Queer Street, I feel it necessary to mention here that is a bad, bad book. Exactly how bad I can't say, since I only read the first 70 pages and skimmed a few hundred more. I can say that those 70 pages are among the worst I've ever read, and the skimmed pages seemed to hold to that standard. McCourt thanks his copyeditor in the acknowledgements, saying, "James Yohalem....saved the author more than just occasionally from acute prose thrombosis". This is approximately like thanking your chiropractor for straightening out your amputated leg. And I mean approximate to the 9th decimal point.

I'm very willing to believe that Mr Yohalem saved Mr McCourt more than occasionally. But what he needed to do was save him ceaselessly. In spite of the occasional life-saving, McCourt dies many dozen times of clotted litaries in the section I read, and probably hundreds time more in the book overall.

Harold Bloom's blurb on the back (he's been canonizing McCourt for several years now) has convinced me that he really is the gurgling fraud others have claimed. I can't recall which others claim it, but I recently read a review of Bloom's work that made the case very persuasively. It's online somewhere, find it for yourself. I always gave Bloom a pass in honor of Camille P., but now I'm writing off her praise of her mentor as academic sociobiology. Reciprocal lice grooming among the higher primates.

Bloom and the other featured blurbist, J. B. McClatchy, each earn a spot in the book's index. And also in the acknowledgements. Possibly their names are watermarked on every page, too.

With so much hugging and smooching going on, I guess there were no kisses left over for the reader.

Which is ok with me.

1:59 AM

Friday, April 02, 2004

Song of Yoself

The uplift mural at the intersection caught my wandering, red-light-waiting eye at 4 in the morning. And today the world is one yo mama joke richer:

Yo mama is so large, she contains multitudes.

1:24 AM

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Hell Ride: Predicting to Poets About Death

The grocery store by the university has a wide selection of dread-inducing checkout line magazines. There's a world music mag, the title of which I can never remember, but the covers of which always make me hate the world and music in equal measure. Today I noticed a glossy mag called Poets & Writers holding down the spot usually reserved for The Globe or Hype Hair Magazine in grocery stores that haven't completely lost their minds. Poets & Writers invites the casual browser to despise literature, and the people who make it, in all its and their forms. This month's headline enticement:

Road Trip: Talking to Poets About Place

I am submitting a piece to P&W on spec for their next issue:

Room Bound: Writing to Poets About Talk

12:42 AM

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Hoser Alert

Andrew Sullivan needs to stop issuing his poseur alerts. He's raised too many false alarms, as with today's:

POSEUR ALERT: "That lapidary apercu is perhaps the most valuable lesson buried inside this biography of the young middle-class woman who became famous as the Hollywood Madam after her 1993 arrest.

Jamie-Lynn DiScala (Meadow on "The Sopranos") interprets the role of the 27-year-old brothel owner with coy vacancy, and her flat affect seems part of a broader postmodern approach to the material. "Call Me" is less a made-for-television movie than an extension of the 50's French nouveau roman; Fleiss's immorality tale is told without almost any conventional elements like dramatic plotting, moral precepts or psychological insight. And like the novels of Alain Robbe-Grillet, the movie is more interesting in theory than in practice." - Alessandra Stanley, in the New York Times

This is admirably clear writing. It gives me a better idea of the object under consideration than 99% of criticism I read (of course, I can't say if Alessandra is accurate, I love Heidi F. but not enough to watch a putatively affectless take on her life). Andrew is offended by offhand name-checks of faded literary vogues and their practitioners? Does he think the average reader gets all of his references to the titans of 20th century poli-sci? Isn't that the way people actually learn new things. Someone makes mention of something they've never heard of before, and their curiosity is engaged enough to, you know, investigate, google it, look it up?

A bigger crime than Andrew's weak poseur slam is his editing of the quote. He leaves out the lapidary apercu, it is already fairly well known (I think Charlie Sheen usually gets the credit for it, if he really deserves it then this is certainly the Sheen family's greatest contribution to the culture), and it is for godamn sure marble-ready and chisel-worthy:

"They don't pay you for the sex, you know," a worldly wise madam tells Heidi when the fledgling call girl wonders why actors and rock stars would hire prostitutes when so many gorgeous women are available free. "They pay you to leave."

3:47 PM


Li'l Schacter

I recently read an excellent book about memory, The Seven Sins Of Memory by Daniel Schacter, chairman of Harvard's Psychology Department. Memory fascinates me, I forget why. But I do remember that there is an amusing mistake in the middle of this book, a book which summarizes the main types of memory failure. The author at one point makes reference to Al Capone and Dasiy May, again I forget why. But my memory was jarred enough by the reference to realize he had misremembered Al Capp as Al Capone. This might be my biggest typo score ever.

No points awarded for any mistakes found here, btw. I don't call this page the Memory Booster, afterall.

3:09 PM

Sunday, March 28, 2004

We're Agreed, Then

God is not a cosmic bell-boy for whom we can press a button to get things.
--Harry Emerson Fosdick, Prayer

My complaint exactly, Fosdick.

I read once that the subtext of all of Proust was fin de siecle bell-boys.

Same here.

4:14 PM