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Agenda Bender
Saturday, September 03, 2005  


I just discovered Dennis Cooper has a blog. He began it in May. I'm currently strolling through the archives, you gotta step over a lot of dead and strung-out boys to make your way around the place, but who didn't expect that? Call it ambience.

Dennis's bio of his dad, more perfect than your imagination would ever have allowed :

89 yrs; President of the National Junior Chamber of Commerce; Miss America Pageant judge; agricultural advisor to Presidents Hoover, Truman, and Eisenhower; President of Big T Pump Company; President of Cooper Development Corporation (designer of early unmanned NASA rockets); former best friend of Rchard Nixon; author ('The Runt Pig Principle'); real estate developer; registered Democrat; favorite athlete: Tiger Woods.

You sure about Hoover though, Dennis? Dude must have been an agricultural prodigy.

Some reference in Dennis's journal led me in an incidental way to this 2002 bio of another dead boy. The Germs never did it for me, and I sure as hell didn't remember that Darby Crash was this cute, but now that I see he was (for a moment anyway), I must investigate further. I will read Darby's story and give the Germs that second chance I pride myself in affording everyone. Every cute one, especially.

Update: Darby will have to wait till I catch up with Dennis's latest.

3:53 AM


Find Him

Fears for Fats Domino and Alex Chilton

The rock singer and guitarist Alex Chilton, 54, of the recently reunited band Big Star, was listed on the missing persons page of, the Times-Picayune's website, on Thursday. He remained at home in New Orleans during the storm, said a spokeswoman for his record label, Rykodisc, and has not been heard from since the flooding began.

This seems to be the only headline mention of Alex, from among the hundreds of worldwide stories headlined with news of Fats Domino's disappearance and later rescue. It's from the Sydney Morning Herald, which must understand.

2:37 AM

Friday, September 02, 2005

Global Turning Credited With Saving Europe's Ass From Hurricanes

And California's from typhoons. It's called spin.

Like the federal, state and local government, I have no clue what to do to save the people of New Orleans and help them rebuild their city. If the dregs of that town don't burn it all the way down to the floodline, that is. But you might consider performing an act of commercial solidarity, and do yourself a favor in the bargain, by purchasing some New Orleans' music. Not that Dixieland nightmare, I mean the good stuff, most of which has Allen Toussaint's fingerprints on it somewhere: Irma Thomas, Ernie K. Doe, Lee Dorsey--like that. Maybe start with the very great Wild Tchoupitoulas record for maximum NOLA effect.

A snippet of Irma to remind us all why that drowned city must somehow be revived.

Update: The Washington Post keeps turning out good stories about the aftermath of Katrina, but via Kausfiles comes this City Journal piece which is the best thing I've read about the crisis in New Orleans. A crisis that began decades before last Sunday night.

2:42 AM

Monday, August 29, 2005

Supermodel of the World

I do a little fashion model rep'ing on the side. Lot of the boys and girls come to the big city with eyes too wide open to read the fine print. They need a little guidance, maybe a shoulder to cry on now and then, or a sofa to crash on then and now. And yeah maybe it's a sofa bed built for two sometimes. This ain't no business for spinsters and maiden uncles. But the satisfactions aren't all fleshly.

Like this new kid. He had it, but he also had a chip on his shoulder as big as the Mesopotamian Empire. I swatted at it about a hundred times over the course of a year before I finally knocked it off. It's all that was holding him down and now he's weightless and flying. In a good way.

I didn't know if I should pitch him as runway or editorial, but he solved the problem by wowing the fashionistas and fashionetariat both, first live at fashion week and then a month later in two dimensions blue-steel staring out from the cover of L'Uomo Vogue. So now his calendar is split straight down the middle. It's camera lights and umbrella reflectors on even days and runway lights and backstage panic on odd. And I never unfolded the sofa bed for him even once.

You go boy.

1:28 AM

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Parsifal In Tennessee

SMYRNA, Tenn. - Members of a church say God is punishing American soldiers for defending a country that harbors gays, and they brought their anti-gay message to the funerals Saturday of two Tennessee soldiers killed in Iraq.

The church members were met with scorn from local residents. They chased the church members cars' down a highway, waving flags and screaming "God bless America."

Or maybe something less than total scorn. Parse this sentiment y'all:

"My husband is over there, so I'm here to show my support," 41-year-old Connie Ditmore said as she waved and American flag and as tears came to her eyes. "To do this at a funeral is disrespectful of a family, no matter what your beliefs are."

Phelps and his (mostly) genetic verein are omnidirectional hate-bots, they exude it and feed on it. Which is to say they are self-love junkies with a ferocious, and growing, habit. Their I-theism is extremely entertaining at a safe distance, ie listening to Phelps' adult daughter and grandchildren sing their infinite-verse, acappella (or did they sing to track?) epic, God Hates the USA, on Howard Stern's show, reading news reports of their yelling "God hates you" at random passersby, or linking their prototype for a God Hates Sweden monument.

The design for a God Hates New Orleans monument is surely being tweaked on the Westoro Baptist computers as I write this.

Update: I read the very good wikipedia entry on Fred Phelps after I posted this (my motto "write first, research later--maybe") and learned many interesting things. My favorite slice of life:

Phelps founded Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) in 1955. While running the church, Phelps graduated from Washburn University and worked as an attorney defending the civil rights of African Americans being discriminated against in Kansas. His career saw numerous ethical violations and numerous charges of stealing money from clients; he also went through periods of drug-binging and binge-eating, during which he took on no clients and the family sank into poverty. During this time the family's only income came from the children going door-to-door selling stolen candy.

It is of course the "stolen" in that last sentence above that makes it one of the loveliest sentences ever written.

But it's the section below that gives background to Fred's current gravedancing marathon I hadn't seen anywhere else:

In 1997, before the fall of Saddam Hussein during the Iraq War, Phelps wrote Hussein a letter praising his regime for being, in his opinion, "the only Muslim state that allows the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to be freely and openly preached on the streets". Furthermore he stated that he, if U.S. Government and laws permitted and at the invitation of the Iraqi government, would like to send a delegation to Baghdad to "preach the Gospel" for one week. Hussein granted permission, and a group of WBC congregants traveled to Iraq to protest against the U.S. The parishioners stood on the streets of Baghdad and in heavily patronized Baghdad establishments holding signs reading:

GO HOME (with a cartoon of Bill Clinton)
BABY KILLER (with a cartoon of Hillary Clinton)
BABY KILLER (with a cartoon of Bill Clinton)
STOP THE HOLOCAUST (in reference to Phelps' "Topeka Baptist Holocaust" campaign)
FAG USA (with a picture of an inverted, burning American flag)
USA SIN (with a picture of anatomically incorrect stick figures engaged in anal sex)

Phelps mourned the fall of Hussein's regime and has consistently criticized the invasion of Iraq, citing, "IRAQ=USA=SODOM" and keeping a toll on his webpage celebrating the death of every American soldier killed and pronouncing loyalty to Iraq.

1:53 PM