by RIP RENSE
FOR "BROKEBACK MOUNTIN'" LETTERS AND RENSE RESPONSES,
That’s the verdict
rendered, apparently, just because I don’t want to see “Brokeback Mountain.”
I suppose not wanting to
see films fraught with chain-saw killings makes me a murderphobe. I suppose
not wanting to see romantic tear-jerkers about women’s love affairs makes me
a femalephobe. Not wanting to see movies about idiotic young people makes me
Hey, I’m not being
paranoid here. George Weinberg, the very psychologist who coined the term,
“homophobe,” says I’m one.
The evidence? My aversion
to seeing “Brokeback Mountain,” which is a film about two cowpokes who like
to poke each other. Brokeback Mountin'! Whoops---there I go, making light of
homosexual encounters! Only a homophobe would do such a thing.
Dr. Weinberg, the New
York City psychologist and author of “Society and the Healthy
Homosexual,” says this is “definitely homophobia,” and he offers the
“First understand you
have this problem," he explained in a Newhouse News Service article. “At
least by acknowledging it, that’s a start. It’s like saying, ‘I have a fear
I have no problem
acknowledging my fear of heights. I grip the railing at the Grand Canyon.
But as long as I’m not in prison, I have no fear of homosexuals.
And you know, I keep
trying to talk myself into believing that psychotherapy is a constructive
thing, at least for some people who have suffered severe trauma, but then
guys like Weinberg pop up (so to speak.)
Of course, he would
undoubtedly say I have undue hostility toward him, and that this is a mask
for repressed homosexuality.
|Hey, I’m rethinking a stereotype because of
this film. I mean, was John Wayne swaggering or swishing?
hate “Brokeback Mountain.” That’s my review. I don't care if Orson Welles
came back from the dead to direct it. I have not seen it, will not see it,
and I believe it to be an abomination. Not because it depicts two male
homosexuals in a sincere love affair (sorry, Dr. Weinberg.) Big deal! I was
aware long before “Brokeback Mountain” that persons of the same gender can
and do commit to one another out of lust, and even love, sometimes for a
The thing that bothers
me here is that this movie is what passes for important social
commentary in this stupid society. I put the discourse generated somewhere
between banal and puerile---which, of course, is just right for a country
obsessed with “intelligent design,” abortion, Oprah, Jen, and democratizing the world.
I mean, never mind that
Uncle Sam is bankrupt and in hock to Saudi Arabia, China. Never mind New
Orleans. Never mind the Jesus freaks and Israel shills running the
government. Never mind Iraq. Never mind “music” about murder and rape
pumping into the brains of millions of kids. Let’s talk about homosexuals
Yes, all across the
nation, people---well, women people---are declaring, “Oh, I really, really
want to see ‘Brokeback Mountain.’” I hear it constantly. Well, why do you
want to see it? Is it news to you that homosexuals exist? Have you really
really never seen a love story before? Or is this just a way of
declaring what a humanitarian, egalitarian, wonderful soul you are because
you will pay $10.50 to see a flick about a couple of guys who want to get
into one another’s chaps?
(There is a play on words
that comes to mind here, involving “chick flick” and the vice-president’s
first name, but we’ll skip that.)
And then there is the
refrain that is rattling (heterosexual) marriages across the land: “Why
does this movie upset you so much, Honey? Does it threaten your manhood?”
Well, speaking for
myself, I don’t have too much manhood left. It was largely stolen by
political correctness and Affirmative Action that denied me a number of jobs
and promotions because I was not a female, and not a minority---or at least
in one case, not a female minority. But I do what I can---some days I don’t
even shave or say “please” and “thank you”---but I don’t fool anybody, I
Still, the fact that two
good ol’ fu---er, that is, buckaroos---tongue-kiss one another on the
big screen does not threaten my masculinity. It does several other things,
though. First, it threatens, or at least insults, my intelligence to be put
in the position of having to react to this as though it is an important
event in the world.
And yes, it sickens me. I
am hard-wired (paging Dr. Freud) to find the sight of two men smooching to
be repugnant, disturbing. The DNA strand reading “No possible procreation
here” lights up, and my brain command center’s “WRONG” receptors are
overloaded. This is the heterosexual machinery, functioning as intended.
Yes, as intended.
Of course, the
intellectuals and experts challenge this, too. Consider:
“It does seem to be
almost culturally universal that heterosexual men can have a deep
repulsion to overt homosexuality,” said Dean Hamer, scientist and author of
“The Science of Desire: The Gay Gene and the Biology of Behavior.”
(Good, Dean! You’re quite
a keen observer of your fellow man, and perhaps their jeans.)
“But,” he added, “there
is no study I know of to ascertain whether this is a biologically based
Brilliant! These eggheads
always throw that out: “no study,” “no evidence.” No evidence other than the
behavior of billions of humans throughout history, that’s all. Well, Dean,
nobody ever taught me that homosexuality was evil. It’s a wonder I turned
out “straight.” And by the way, what a slyly pejorative term that is, eh? As
in “straight and narrow,” unimaginative, unadventurous. Not a very gay idea!
Funny how it has been picked up by the media as a conventional term. . .
But disregard this rant,
as I’m just a homophobe. Never mind that I have no problem with “gay
marriage.” Never mind that some of my best friends. . .well, you get
Or maybe you don’t.
Take my dear old friend,
Donna (please), who has stopped speaking to me because of “Brokeback
Mountain!” Really. Now, Donna is a nice lady, and a brilliant author/writer,
but whenever I express an opinion with which she disagrees, she gets snippy,
and sends little repressed hostilities my way in the form of e-mail.
The other day, I asked
her what movies she had seen. She gave me a list. I wrote back that I didn’t
know some of them, liked others, intended to see still others, but would not
see “Brokeback Mountain.”
“I find the sight of
two men kissing to be repugnant,” I wrote. Of course, I added “I find
the sight of a man and woman kissing to be almost as repugnant,” but I guess
that didn’t help. I received a crisp note informing me that I was
“proselytizing.” What’s more, she had not asked my opinion about the movies,
and requested that I do not “proselytize” in future e-mails.
She finished this with
the veneer of civility: “thnx.”
Worried, I wrote back,
asking her why she reacted with such um. . .intolerance. That I thought we
were just having that most ubiquitous of L.A. conversations: the movie chat.
Hey, Donna, guess what:
I’m proselytizing again! Thnx yourself!
See? “Brokeback Mountain”
is breaking people apart.
But then, that’s what it is designed to do—or at least, that’s what the
studio and PR departments hoped would happen. They loftily call it
“provoking controversy,” of course, and claim they are making people
re-think stereotypes. (Translation: they are making money.)
Hey, I’m rethinking a
stereotype because of this film. I mean, was John Wayne swaggering or
swishing? This gives whole new implications to yeee-ha, doesn't it?
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Cowboys should sue. Or maybe
not. “Broke- back,” after all, plays like a comic horse opera. It’s like
what Letterman said the other night, in summarizing the plot---something
like “these two cowboys go out and have a rough day on the range, roundin’
up dogies, then at the end of the day, they go home, and they kiss.” That’s
And the clips of
“Brokeback” dialogue I’ve heard on radio break me up. They sound like an
old Richard Pryor album. Two crusty, gruff, masculine cowhands mutter in
taciturn cowboy cadence---you know, with the wide open spaces between their
sentences---about how they “cain’t” let this feelin’ come over ‘em agin.
This had me on the floor,
in full homophobic seizure.
And if that bothers you,
Dr. Weinberg, I’d say that probably makes you a heterophobe.
BACK TO PAGE ONE