TCS Daily

Misunderstanding Brokeback Mountain

By Lee Harris - January 17, 2006 12:00 AM

Brokeback Mountain is a movie that has received much praise and attention, and it is one that deserves it. Yet there is an aspect of the film that has gone unnoticed. Though it is often spoken of as a love story between two gay cowboys, it isn't really that at all. Paradoxically, it is a love story between two "homophobic" men -- two genuinely macho guys who felt visceral revulsion at everything that our culture has come to associate with the word gay.

Admittedly, this is a contrarian view of the movie. For example, in a review of Brokeback Mountain in the gay magazine David, the author has called the movie "arguably a gay polemic," and asserts that it presents "its simple, passionate argument against the notion of forcing homosexuals into heterosexual 'normal' marriages, which doesn't strengthen the institution any more than banning same-sex marriages does." Yet this interpretation leaves a host of unanswered questions. For example, who "forced" the two cowboys into "normal" marriage? And what power forced them to remain in the closet, long after the era of Gay Liberation had commenced? Who told them that they had to stay in Wyoming and Texas? Are we simply to blame a homophobic society for their refusal to accept their gay status. Or are the two cowboys simply the weak and ignorant dupes of our societal norms? And would the movie have really had a happy ending if gay marriage was legal?

The whole "gay polemic" interpretation of Brokeback Mountain begins by assuming that the two lead characters, Jack Twist and Ennis del Mar were homosexuals. But were they? Or, let's put it this way, did they consider themselves to be homosexuals?

On the day after the two young men first have sex with each other, on the slopes of Brokeback Mountain, they have an exchange in which both emphatically deny that they are "queer" -- and, if the word had been available at the time, they would been equally insistent on denying that they were gay.

Though the movie begins in 1963, before the Stonewall Revolution, the love story goes on several decades into the era known as Gay Liberation. Yet at no point in the movie does this supposed liberation have any effect on the destinies of the two main characters. At no point does either of the guys think, "Say, I'll go to a gay bar and pick up guys." One of the characters, Ennis del Mar, remains completely faithful to the other; the other, Jack Twist, when he seeks homosexual release, does not go to an American gay bar, but crosses the border to pick up a straight Mexican hustler. The last thing he is looking for is a gay man. The last thing they want is to participate in gay culture. That is for sissies and queers, and not for men like them. Indeed, nothing could be more foreign to them than what is now called gay culture.

If Brokeback Mountain had really been a love story between two gay men, it would have been much shorter. Both the cowboys, after discovering their sexual attraction to each other, would have simply come out of the closet, moved to San Francisco, opened a boutique that specialized in boots and stirrups and other leather gear, and would have lived happily ever after. The poignancy of their story lies precisely in the fact that neither of the two heroes can escape by this route. It is completely shut off for them. That is the reason Brokeback Mountain looms so expressively throughout the movie -- it is the only place where they can love each other and still remain men in their own eyes. To come down from the mountain, and settle down into gay domesticity is not an option for them, because it would rob them of their dignity as men. It would be to accept the label and stigma of being gay. It would force them to admit to being something less than a real man in the estimate of our society, and it would transform them into gay men -- a queer kind of quasi-male our society is willing to tolerate, and even to chuckle over and smile at, the way people chuckle over and smile at the funny sissies on Will and Grace. But neither of the cowboys could allow such an insult to their pride and dignity, and thus their only escape was to return to the isolation of the mountain, where, by themselves, they could achieve what even the most gay tolerant society could not give them -- a sense of manliness. It was not gay marriage they were seeking, with its pretence of ersatz husband and ersatz wife; it was liberation from the clichés and the stereotypes that devalued and dismissed their manhood, and that would have imposed on them the obligatory patterns of modern gay identity -- a particular way of talking, walking, laughing, joking that was simply not their way of talking, walking, laughing, joking.

Now there is another possible reading of the two cowboys' refusal to accept the label of being homosexuals, queers, or gays, and this is to argue that both of them are in a state of psychological denial about their true sexual identity. On this interpretation, both the cowboys are really gay, but because of the prejudice with which they were raised, they are psychologically compelled to deny their gayness. Thus, instead of being the heroes of their story, they are really hapless and uncomprehending victims -- victims of the homophobia that has been programmed into them by their culture. Unable to accept the proper label to describe themselves, as healthy and normal gay men do, the two men go on to lead pathetic lives of pathological self-deception, desperately trying to prove that they are really normal guys, and not queers. Had they only sought out professional psychological counseling, or called the Gay Hot-Line, then the movie might have had a happy ending, after all.

Such a reading of the movie does in fact turn it into nothing more than a "gay polemic," and utterly misses the genuinely tragic element in the story. Ennis and Jack were not in a state of denial; they certainly knew they loved each other passionately. Yet both of them were equally convinced that, despite their love, they were normal guys, and they refused to accept being labeled as anything else -- or being labeled at all. They repelled the stigma of homosexuality not because they were in denial, but because they were in revolt. They refused to accept the label that society wished to impose upon them -- and that is what elevated their struggle into genuine heroism, and not merely pathological denial.

Many years ago, the American sociologist Ervin Goffman wrote a profound little book that he entitled Stigma. It is a study of the psychological effects on those who have been branded by the society around them with the demeaning label of being social deviants. When all those around us call us by such a label, it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to keep a sense of our own humanity. We begin to see ourselves as others see us, and to categorize ourselves as others categorize us. Instead of defining who we are, we begin to accept the definition that others have imposed. In some cases, the label may be vicious and demeaning, like "queer" and "faggot"; in other cases, the label may be sympathetic and well-intended, like "gay," but in either case, once we have accepted the label at the hands of others we find ourselves trapped by it. From this perspective, it makes little difference whether those who are assigning the labels are being tolerant or intolerant, bigoted or "scientific" in their approach.

It was against this oppressive and dehumanizing labeling system that the two cowboy heroes in Brokeback Mountain were rebelling, and it is what gives their personal struggles a universal significance that far transcends such labels as "gay" or "straight." For both of them, like all of us, found themselves trapped in a world in which an anonymous society is always ready to label us, and both of them fiercely resisted the stigma that they knew other people would brand them with. Their resistance to being labeled, however, was the furthest thing from psychological denial. On the contrary, it was the noblest expression of human dignity: the refusal to let others treat us as things. When in the movie The Elephant Man, the hero cries, "I am not an animal," he is exhibiting the same refusal of a label, and in that moment he rises to the level of the genuinely heroic and the fully human.

The same can be said of our two cowboys when they both said that they aren't queers. They are ferociously resisting the label that the world insists on applying to them. They know how queers act, and they know that they don't act like that, and they know that they never can. For them, gay sub-culture was a totally alien culture in which neither of them could have found a place. All that they knew, all that they could be comfortable with, was the world of normal guys. It was where they belonged, and it was where they were at home. To have told them, "You must throw away your old self and assume a gay identity," would have been asking them to change the deepest core of their characters, and neither was willing to make such a sacrifice, even if they had been capable of it.

Thus, the two cowboys were only left with Brokeback Mountain. It was only on Brokeback Mountain that they could love each other without being queers or fags or even a nice gay couple -- the only place where they could love each other passionately and still hold up their heads like men.

Yet this was precisely the source of the tragic dimension of the story. Brokeback Mountain was not a life, but an escape from life. It was something to look forward to or to look back upon -- but it could never become for them a permanent place of abode. Both of the cowboys were heroic enough to keep their love for each other alive over the course of several decades, but it was a love that could only find fulfillment when they had left the world behind and had ascended to the isolation and seclusion of the mountain. Thus their rebellion against the way of the world ended as all such rebellions end -- in the inevitable defeat of the rebels and the victory of the world.

There was no other outcome to the story that was possible. To try to turn Brokeback Mountain into a "gay polemic" is not only to insult the human dignity of the imaginary characters of Jack and Ennis; it is to insult the dignity of all those men who have tried to rebel, as Jack and Ennis did, against the dehumanizing effects of those two words "homosexual" and "heterosexual" -- words that, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, did not even exist in the English language before 1900, but which now hang heavily and oppressively over all of us.

The French philosopher Michel Foucault, in his History of Sexuality, argued that we live not in an age of sexual liberation, but in an age of sexual repression -- a subtle form of repression, however, in that it works by forcing us to define our identity in terms of a preexisting conceptual system that has been devised for us by the triumphant psychotherapeutic establishment. Thus, a boy growing up in America today must constantly be asking himself, "Am I a homosexual or am I a heterosexual" -- an interior interrogation that no boys have ever been forced to enact. Is this liberation? Or is it psychological oppression of a peculiarly insidious nature?

What the two cowboys of Brokeback Mountain were rebelling against was not being forced into normal marriage by society, but against being forced to define their humanity in accordance with other people's ideas of what they should call themselves. They simply wanted to be treated and looked upon like men -- not as queers or homosexuals or gays -- but simply men. That is what gives their story such poignancy and nobility. Had they been merely puppets in a gay polemic, then their love for one another would have lacked the tragic intensity that it possessed, and the movie itself would be stripped of its haunting grandeur. But Ennis and Jack were not puppets; they were real human beings caught in a tragic dilemma, and it is this that makes Brokeback Mountain a genuine work of art, and not a piece of propaganda, however well-intentioned.

Lee Harris is author of Civilization and Its Enemies.


The "gay culture" we have built has little room for true masculine men.
For 20+ years I have been assailed with comments like "You aren't gay if you never go in drag", "You have to give up your gay card for not knowing all the show tunes" not to mention the constant accusations that I am "assimilating" into "straight" culture because I'm being so masculine.

If Jack or Ennis were to try to "Join" the utopian gay culture the article seems to value so much they would be REJECTED because they were not some over the top queen.

What "our culture has come to associate with the word gay." chases away masculine men that are PROUD of their masculinity. I am a masculine gay man that likes Rodeo but detests the "gay" additions like goat dressing. I am a PROUD MASCULINE gay man that does not like drag, camp or many other Nelly things "our culture has come to associate with the word gay."

No, before the self appointed keepers of the "gay culture", like the author of this article start getting all critical of masculine men that have little or NO access to "gay culture" until they are trapped in lives they are expected to live, I suggest they take a good look at the fabulously out of control over the top "gay culture" to see if there is any real room for the likes of Jack Twist. I can assure you, based on many years of suffering vicious attacks at the hands of the "gay culture", I can assure you, there is no room for Jack or Ennis. There is little room for me unless I assimilate into the RESTRICTIVE REPRESSIVE gay culture.

Where to begin
Where to begin? In many ways this article is articulate and well thought out. That said, one of the central themes - that of an oppressive "gay identity" that is not an option for Jack and Ennis - is inane at best. First of all, the author's idea of gay identity is cheap, over-simplified, homophobic stereotyping. Second, the author hasn't watched the film carefully - Jack DOES want to settle down together, Jack DOES persue other same-sex RELATIONSHIPS (eg. with his rancher neighbor who has the obnoxious wife) - AND (in complete contrast to the author's idea of gay) he still manages to "remain a man."

What the author completely failes to understand that "gay" does not have to mean the rejection of the masculine. In fact, "gay" can just as often be hyper-masculine. Many homosexuals do not want to reject masculinity, but rather seek to worship at its alter.

Many homosexuals do not want to reject masculinity, but rather seek to worship at its altar.
Where to begin?

In many ways this article is articulate and well thought out. That said, one of the central themes - that of an oppressive "gay identity" that is not an option for Jack and Ennis - is inane at best. First of all, the author's idea of gay identity is cheap, over-simplified, homophobic stereotyping. Second, the author hasn't watched the film carefully - Jack DOES want to settle down together, Jack DOES pursue other same-sex RELATIONSHIPS (eg. with his rancher neighbor who has the obnoxious wife) - AND (in complete contrast to the author's idea of gay) he still manages to "remain a man."

What the author completely fails to understand that "gay" does not have to mean the rejection of the masculine. In fact, "gay" can just as often be hyper-masculine. Many homosexuals do not want to reject masculinity, but rather seek to worship at its altar.

RE: Many homosexuals do not want to reject masculinity, but rather seek to worship at its altar.
What is worshiped is NOT real masculinity but a dressed up over the top hyper characterization of masculinity. I have meet more than one rider at the rodeo "Grand Nationals" that would "connect" to the gay community if they felt they were welcome AS THEY ARE and not expected to "assimilate" to a "culture" they are not interested in.

Brokeback to Madison County
Puh-leeze -- is this not just another Bridges of Madison County except with two guys? BBM also seems to fall into the category of glorifying adultery in the same way as was done in the disgusting movie, The English Patient.

I do remember one day in a Florida Methodist church when the pastor and his top assistant announced from the pulpit that they were both leaving their wives to cohabit with each other -- this was 30 years ago! To my surprise, fire did NOT come down from heaven to consume them (as they were already consumed). But I can only imagine the destruction their little love fest wreaked upon their children, their wives, and their congregations.

So it is not that uncommon (hence, story worthy) for men to place themselves into this self-seeking activity -- just as it is easy for a man and a woman to do the same. Perhaps I am just bored by manufactured tragedy -- but really I am displeased with the idea that a movie that celebrates adultery should get much attention at all...

And yet, is this worse than a movie that glorifies men who help women into boxing and then help them to die?

Your response to my article
I am a bit perplexed by your response to my piece, since I was trying to make the same point that you have made. My sympathy is entirely for guys like you who resist being molded into the current stereotypes forced upon them by what you rightly call our repressive gay culture. That is why I regard Jack and Ennis as genuine heroes--they didn't want to have anything to do with gay culture because it would require them to sacrifice their own sense of masculine identity.

And, take my word on it, I have never posed as the self-appointed guardian of gay culture.

I am sorry that I failed to make the point of my article clearer. I will try to work harder to be a better writer.


Lee Harris

Gay is just a new peg
Thanks Mr. Harris, for making a point I hadn't thought of, and that greatly comforts me as I watch my daughter growing up. Suffice it to say, I watch what captures her attention, and I have asked her if she has any crushes, and she won't speak of it, yes or no. I have learned that I don't need to worry about HER; I need to worry about what the world will do to her to make her fit into its pinheaded notions about who is what. I include myself in this whole equation.

The truth about homosexuality is lost in this movie
This movie seeks to romanticize homosexuality in an effort to dilute the audience's revulsion against it. It is pure propaganda. The truth about homosexuality is FAR different from this soppy "love story". "Poignant"??? LOL.

Homosexuality is far from poignant. Rampant anonymous homosexual promiscuity is responsible for the spread of AIDS in the West. Homosexuals are far more likely to commit domestic violence than heterosexuals. STD's, and all other "social" diseases are far more prevalent among homosexuals. The average life span of homosexuals is FAR less than that of heterosexuals. Drugs, suicide, etc... are far worse among homosexuals. This Cosby image of homosexuality that Hollywood feeds us about the homosexual lifestyle is nothing short of PURE propaganda.

Hollywood has made (or will make) the same kind of movie trying to normalize "adult-child sex" (or what we normal folk call "pedophilia") and force the audience to sympathize with ever more deviants in an effort to get society to water down its values and norms.

I cannot believe that TCS actually puts forward a trashy movie review like this of a trashy movie, the aim of which is to normalize a deviant lifestyle.

But then again, TCS is run by the "neo-Cons" and we all know who they are!!


Break back to "Brokeback to Madison County"
Howdy all,
dflan has it right, and you others are discussing the easy, already well-trodden topics. Why does nobody confront the fact that this is a movie that glorifies adultery? A far more interesting movie would be "Brokeback II: Infidelity's Effects on their Families."

Brokeback Mountain in not a Misunderstanding
Brokeback Mountain in not a misunderstanding, it is misinformation. Growing up as a straight man in San Francisco Bay Area, I had friends both gay and straight. All my gay friends said homosexuality is a choice. I saw many times risky behavior associated with it, drugs, violence, cheating partners, and even among HIV infected partners. Just because someone says being gay in normal does not make it so. I don't expect a lot of positive feedback from my comment but I felt obligated to state the truth. I treat gay and straight the same but I don't accept the gay lifestyle. I believe in human rights. Being gay is a choice and is not normal and only leads to sadness. In they eyes of God it is a sin.

Mr. Harris, you missed the point
So, Ennis's father takes him to see the mutilated corpse of a man who was murdered for making a life with another man; Jack is (perhaps) murdered in a "gay-bashing." But, according to Mr. Harris, the two characters are oppressed, not by homophobia, but by the "psychological oppression" and "dehumanizing effects" of being labeled "gay." Hunh?

As Ennis says in the story, "you're goin a go where you look." Mr. Harris is apparently so anxious to avoid looking at our society's continuing homophobia that he finds a way to blame the story's tragedy on the oppressiveness of "labels" and the supposed narrowness of gay culture. He argues that "settling down into gay domesticity is not an option for them, because it would rob them of their dignity as men." But, who is doing the robbing here? Jack openly wants them to settle down together; Ennis wants it too, but is frightened of the consequences. What stops them is not a fear of being labelled, but Ennis's fear of being killed or ostracized.

Has it occurred to Mr. Harris that men like Ennis and Jack could love each other and make a life together without giving up their masculinity? Apparently not, because he has bought into the very stereotypes about gay men that are fed to us by a homophobic culture. He sees gay men as "a ***** kind of quasi-male our society is willing to tolerate, and even to chuckle over and smile at"; and gay marriage as having a "pretence of ersatz husband and ersatz wife."

Mr. Harris, I'd like to invite you to meet me sometime (we could go to a Red Sox game, or do something else suitably manly)--maybe you'd learn something about gay men. I don't know how to rope a steer, but I'm not a lisping hairdresser either. I am simply and unapologetically who I am. And part of that is that I love other men. I call myself "gay" not because I buy into every aspect of gay culture, and certainly not because I buy into any of your malicious stereotypes, but because I choose to express my pride and acceptance of myself in the face of a hostile world.

The tragedy of Brokeback Mountain is that the oppression Ennis and Jack faced was so severe that they (especially Ennis) were unable to do that. And the worse tragedy is that men in most of rural America today still face the same oppression. This movie may help change that by helping heterosexuals to understand the terrible human cost of their prejudice. Unfortunately, Mr. Harris doesn't seem to have gotten the message.

If the protagonists are sheepherders, they definitely are not cowboys. Aside from what sheep do to grass with their close cropping, shepherds are notorious for their bestiality and buggery.

If the protagonists are sheepherders, they definitely are not cowboys. Aside from what sheep do to grass with their close cropping, shepherds are notorious for their bestiality and buggery.

If the protagonists are sheepherders, they definitely are not cowboys. Aside from what sheep do to grass with their close cropping, shepherds are notorious for their bestiality and buggery.

RE: Your response to my article
I find that you see your discussion of labels to be equivalent to sold condemnation of cultural supression. Although you start in on a discussion of culture you bring it back to "labels" with statements such as "Thus, a boy growing up in America today must constantly be asking himself, 'Am I a homosexual or am I a heterosexual'". I make it clear that I am NOT asking "Am I a homosexual or am I a heterosexual", I am VERY clear on who and what I am. Then again, you are critical of the overall society, while my charges are directed directly at the "gay culture". Let me make it clear, I am not talking about figuring out what label I am as you elude to in your article, I am talking about the suppression of the cultural values of an individual by a culture that is intolerant and fearfull of differences.

Take for instance the institution of "Rodeo". Traditional rodeo is based on testing the skills and bravado of ranchers. But gays have to sissyfy it with events like Goat Dressing. Note that this is NOT a questioning of IDENTITY as your “Am I a homosexual or am I a heterosexual” or "dehumanizing" via the terms "homosexual" or "heterosexual” (as stated in your article) , but a fundamental change in the NATURE of the event.

To make it clear, I am not talking about what "society" is doing to gays, I am talking about what GAYS do to other GAYS. My target is vastly different than yours. I find the "straight" culture is far more accepting of my being "gay" than the gay culture has been of me being masculine.

You make some good points, though i don't agree with everything.

But what I'd like to say is this:

Is it really impossible for someone to post an article like this without having the "Gott Mit Uns" people spewing their naive hate all over it? Is this kind of thing really as common in the USA as it looks?
Because here - very few not brain washed by some insane cult would think the fire and brimstone speak was remotely acceptable...

Just don't speak about it any more.
I don't want to understand it, I don't want to see it.

If the message we picked up on was "2 gay cowboys" then they didn't do a good job of putting the message out in the first place.

No Subject
Hey! That was baaaad of you to say! What if it's the sheep that are the ****s?

The Finest Review!
Misunderstanding Brokeback Mountain is by far the best, most thought-driven, and keenly insightful review I have read about this movie. Lee Harris has completely encapsulated the purpose of the short story and the motivation of the film.

Understanding and Being Human
There's a lot of truth to the idea that people should be treated as human beings.

However, it's a fact that a lot of human beings comport themselves in a manner that makes it difficult to treat them as such. Case in point, do you tolerate the drunk getting behind the wheel of his car? I doubt it. You tend to do things to them that are not how you'd treat others who are not behaving in that manner. You call the police. You have them arrested. They lose their drivers license.

What about murderers? Or rapists? The list goes on and on. Pedophiles, anyone?

We can go round and round about whether or not homosexuality is 'wrong'. It will hardly do anyone any good to get into an argument about it. No ones opinion will be changed. Even if we were to trot out actual statistics.

But, at the bottom line, there are things that are right and there are things that are wrong. It all depends on what set of values one holds in esteem.

However, still and all, in the end, people should be treated as human beings. The problem is that when you tell a human being that what they are doing is 'wrong', they tend to get a bit 'defensive' about it.

I'm not a homophobe. Nor am I a murderophobe. Nor a liarophobe. Nor a thiefophobe. I'm a Jehovophobe.....


[The fear of the Lord is the beginning of understanding.]

As I Was Saying....
"Is it really impossible for someone to post an article like this without having the "Gott Mit Uns" people spewing their naive hate all over it? Is this kind of thing really as common in the USA as it looks?
Because here - very few not brain washed by some insane cult would think the fire and brimstone speak was remotely acceptable... " -- identity

Identity validates my point. All one has to do is say it is 'wrong' and the REAL haters come crawling out.

Christ experienced the same problem, vis-a-vis the Pharisees. They were all holier-than-thou, but when their political interests were threatened, they went after Him with hammers and tongs...and nails.

We see the same thing today. The old philosopher of Ecclesiastes was right. There is nothing new under the Sun.....

Lee Harris article
I got it. I don't really understand why the previous writer didn't get it. Maybe it's because of the rage that surrounds those of us who would be stereotyped by the gay community in the way you describe. I thought this was an excellent piece. I haven't seen the movie yet but plan to eventually.

great piece Lee
A very good review.

I think counterculture needs to reread this piece.

Do you realy believe the lie your telling
I've never met a homosexual who say it's a choice all secular research into the subject also say's it isn't. Only fringe religious groups push the choice line and it's ideological driven pov not fact based. It sad that a number of poster still try to roll out the misinformation created by some religious fanticates as facts even though they have been debunked many times.

RE: Lee Harris article
Guess you missed where I was talking about more than just stereotyping. I was talking of cultural suppression committed by the GAY COMMUNITY. I don't really think that the gay community would admit to doing such a thing, too many gays blame everything on the oppression of gays by the right wing to ever look at the oppression committed by the gays themselves. No, I have tried too many times to bring up this subject and find little or no willingness from the gay community to look into their own suppressive behavior.

Yeah, brush it of as "stereotyping", but the gay community engages in the same type of cultural suppression as the right wing.

My point remains. Jack and Ennis would have not gotten any support for WHO they are from the gay community, then or now. Instead, they would have found REJECTION unless they tried to assimilate into the gay culture.

Lee indited "society", I am saying that Lee should not indite "society" until he takes a long hard look at the gay community.

I admit, I was pleasantly surprised by the review as well. Instead of being a peice about the gay lifestyle, it was instead a rationale of "art" with provoking ideas.

FYI: I have not seen the movie, and have no plans to -- romance movies (hetero or otherwise) just aren't that appealing to me.

The pro-homosexual worldview cannot define the terms "perversion" and "deviance"
Just stop for a moment and think about the arguments of folks on this discussion board who glorify homosexuality and attempt to empathize with them....they are the same folks that empathize with murderers, child molesters, rapists, and others (i.e. Tookie Williams). Where do you think this muddled thinking comes from?

It comes from Hollywood shoving this morally relativistic tripe of "we are all just human" down our throats and brainwashing our children with sympathetic portrayals of deviance and perversion.

Here is my question: What do you flower children define as "perversion"? Is there ANYTHING which you can define as "perversion" (excluding the rejection of your sick worldview)? Homosexuality is now rationalized via trite relativistic arguments of "who are you to say what is right or wrong"? The problem with the slippery slope of moral relativism is that it can be applied to ANYTHING....pedophilia, incest, etc... Is "consensual sex" between adult siblings ok with the pro-homosexual crowd? Can brothers and sisters marry? Sons and fathers? What constitutes "perversion" in the flowerchild's muddled masochistically empathetic and relativistic mind?? These idiots CANNOT answer this question. I'll answer for them: ANYTHING GOES. Marcus fantasized about "polymorphous perversity", now we are witnessing it.

In short, these folks have embraced evil and a demented worldview. There is no limit to their promotion of perversity. And these same folks run Hollywood and are systematically, deliberately, and diabolically deconstructing the Christian ethos and worldview. They are "defining deviancy down".

My hope is that one day, people will realize who these folks are and what they are about...

...they are demons.


it's your misinformation
what gay friends of yours say being gay is a choice? i am gay and it is not a choice for me, and none of my gay friends thinks it is a choice. if believing it is a choice makes it easier for you to condemn it, so be it. but just believing it is so doesn't make it so. and your religion doesn't have a good track was wrong about the sun revolving around the earth, it was wrong about the universe being 6000 years old, and it's wrong about homosexuality being a choice. and as for it being a "sin," some hebrew or arab running around the desert 2000 years ago saying so doesn't make it so either.

of course, it is a choice whether i actually have sex or not. there is where you think you can intellectually take don't condemn being gay, just acting on it (as if it were ok to like chocolate but not ok to eat it). again, you can believe whatever you like. but this is why i'm a libertarian and could never be a conservative. conservatives seem to believe it's ok to use state power against completely private behavior (sex, alcohol, drugs, gambling) on the grounds that it somehow mystically harms society. who needs liberalism or marxism when we already have such a monstrous ideology?

No Subject
cbpelto: ... the predictability of this is astounding.

What I was saying is that from where I stand, the kind of hate and fear people feel free to express, it's mind boggling to me. And to use *God* as an excuse?

American culture amazes me, in that it seems people find it quite natural to meddle in other people's personal affairs, such as their sexuality. It's often seen in the way it's legislated and controlled by the Government, even.
But issues such as poverty, education, the freedom and welfare of the individual, it's mostly seen as a personal matter and every man for himself.

I wonder if this strange state of affairs is behind the way people feel free to say the harshest and most inhumane things to others in the name of the Holy one?
Is it a "My God Is Bigger and Better than Your God" argument?
Because I really don't think calling names online is on His agenda for Good Works, guys.

I know it's more difficult to 'fight Sin' in yourself than to point and accuse - but I really think it's the only thing that works for making this world a better place.

verry good review but some comments ... oh my ...
i think this review is one of the best i read on the film, though i do not agree in all points. its an article that opens up room for discussion.

i for myself can't agree with some parts of the article. in my eyes jack and ennis where perfectly aware to themselves that they where gay. but they could not identify with the learned clichees of being gay. clichees i also read in the article. ... going to san francisco and opening a shop ... ?!? they would never want to do this of cours. a better example would have been: 'they would have bought a farm and lived together on the county side'.

and thats the second point and reason for their denial even amongst themselves: the society they lived in, was (and is) verry strict in their rules and knowing that admitting would jeopardize their lives and potentially even be dangerous puts huge pressure on them. thats the reason i see, why they could not see themselves as gay.

btw. as far as those clichees go, i myself too can't identify as being gay though i definitely am ...

(sorry my english is not that good im no native american and its hard for me to find the rigth words for expressing what i want to say, i hope i could make myself clear.)

and now a point i really want to ask here: i am from central europe and my country really is far behind when it comes to gay rights (in relation to the rest of the european union). we are one of the last countries over here that doesn't have any kind of legal partnership for gay people (marriage is not the right word to use as stupid people always seem to confuse the legal marriage with the religious one). i used to mourn over this and think that our legislation acted homophobic and unacceptable, but i never ever have heared any comments from anyone in my whole country even close to what i can read in some articles here.

are there really people who think, that being gay means you are more likely to commit crimes and take drugs?

is anyone really not aware that the risk of getting hiv/aids is bigger for heterosexual people nowadays (at least in europe statistics prove this) because they seldomly take precautions but the straight man (and sometimes the women too) are just as promiscuitive as the gay ones?

do those people really think gays have a shorter livespan?

i was shocked by the news, that some cinemas in america won't show the film because of its nature (over here it will be shown in all cinemas with more than 4-5 rooms) but i have to admit the stupidity and bigotry in those hate-posts i just read (not only here) took my breath.

what i read proved to me that the writer of those posts are the most hateful and least chistian people that walk earth.

oh and as for the signature fo chuckle which says:
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of understanding."

i dont fear the lord and i do understand things you one day will too if you are verry lucky: he created me the way i am and he gave me love. it is not up to you or any human being to judge me or my love in any way - and no i'm not talking about the dirty-fun-stuff here (just trying to avoid any word-filters *g*) i am talking about the knowledge that i would give my life for the man i love in a second without a single thought of doupt and i know he would too. thats the kind of love i am talking about and it is as pure and good as god himself, no matter what you think.

i'm a demon ...
and i'm asking you: are you just drunk or did you have some fun with the 'self-lobotomy-in-5-minutes-at-home' set?

as for your question of what is perverted here are just a few guidlines for your poor lost soule:

first a general one, you can go by in most situations: if all people involfed are grown up - it's none of your business so keep your bigottry nose out of it and let them have fun.
secondly a tip: close relatives is not only a social but also a biological no-go. ever heard of 'genetic degeneration by lack of diversity'? oh no forgot you folks are so in intelligent design, darwin is not your strong side.

so yes we 'demons' can tell you whats right and whats wrong. if you just stop shouting your 'god hates fags' for long enough to listen you probably could learn something.

oh and not to forget: murder & rape -> bad ... just thougt i should mention ...

Here we go again
I thought I would escape the same old proselytizing that I see on forums such as the ones on, but there is no escaping trolls in cyberspace who choose to further their closed minded drivel and idiotic comparisons just to justify their small bigoted minds and agenda. Posters like you, iHeretic, are the true deviants of society, and you make me sick.

RE: I'm a demon...
First, I am an atheist, not a Christian. Secondly, "genetic degeneration" is not relevant with respect to homosexual incest. Thirdly, why is there anything wrong with "genetic degeneration" or just plain old "degeneration" with respect to your twisted relativisitic worldview anyway?

Its really funny to watch "you people" think. In your first paragraph you argue that consensual behavior between grown-ups is none of anyone's business. Then in the second paragraph you make an exception for consensual behavior between related "grown-ups". But somehow, in your limited intellect, the premises of the latter paragraph do not apply to the former....i.e. somehow consensual non-incestuous homosexuality is ok, but consensual incestuous homosexuality is NOT ok.

But then again, I am speaking to the mentally challenged...


Choice vs. Genetics
I could care less whether homosexuality is a genetic predisposition or the result of poor upbringing and is wrong irrespective of its cause. Some argue that violent criminals have genetics that predispose them to a life of violent crime...does that mean that now we should rethink our views of violent crime? Should we now not punish criminals (believe it or not, some on the Left ACTUALLY believe this!!!).

Civilization is based on man's ability to overcome his base instincts and drives for the greater good. Some of us are born with genetics that make us less base and hedonistic than others...too bad. The fact is, one must still strive towards civilization.

....or it crumbles.


iheretic the idiot
According to Gene we simply apply statics or polls to people or things we hate or we don't understand to control others life, I we apply his theory, then blacks should also be consider subhuman statistically speaking blacks have a much higher use of drug abuse, single mothers and make up a much larger precentage of prison population. Lets do polls on mexicans too.
You have to understand that Gene is a closet Nazi where everyone must submit to what he considers normal, and any attempt by anyone to try to find happiness that is different from his should be crushed.
It isn"t that TCS are neo-cons it's that Gene is in his own mind far superior that he walks the enlightened path of the right.
Gene stick with the 700 club and continue to let God speak to only you. If your lucky maybe Pat Robertson will be elected president and you can kill all the blacks mexicans and fags, maybe even the people who like apples instead of oranges, all in the name of compassion and Love.
Hitler is alive and well

now what a ...
now i'm in a defensive situation caused by the fact, that i am not a native american and only learned english in school. therefor i may have some problems breaking down to you what i think and believe. please oh allmighty intellect of iHeretic here my prayer (if you find sarcasm ... keep it).

it seems, though you have that all knowing intellect of yours and had to step down on my level (the mentally challenged as you said) that you can not read. or you simply do not know what the word 'general' as in eg 'general guideline' means. i know people like you prefer strict rules (yes ma'am) but i'm sorry they are in short supply out here in real life.

as no native speaker it already is hard for me to form texts that people who try to understand what i want to say will find suitable. so i'll leave that to others and just stick with: take your homophoby, drive to the countryside, buy a farm and pray that never ever a cowboy rides by ... he yould be eeeevil. and for heavens sake stay in america and never ever come to europe. we got our own idiots, but they at least ar not that far gone.

ps.: being atheistic doesn't mean save one of being an ultra conservative, word twisting [fill in favorite curesword here].

Merlin Too...
"and i'm asking you: are you just drunk or did you have some fun with the 'self-lobotomy-in-5-minutes-at-home' set?" -- Merlin

...validates my earlier observation about who are the real 'haters' in this.

Notice how he immediately casts about 'hate speech', directly at iHeretic.



Gay is not a synonym for homosexual
Before getting to the matter at hand, I want to salute Lee Harris for Civilization and Its Enemies and the mind-altering, post-9/11 essays that preceded it. It's intimidating to take even minor issue with so formidable an intellect.

I do not share Mr. Harris's enthusiasm for uninhibited individualism, or what Quentin Anderson called "the imperial self." All of us have social roles and responsibilities that exert a magnetic pull on our behavior. If we respons positively to this pull, it can lift us out of the narcissistic drives, impulses and appetites that otherwise limit our maturity. Moreover, all humans use "labels" to organize their experience, however discomfiting such labels may be for those whose behavior is objectified and categorized.

I'll state explicitly what Mr. Harris puts more obliquely: gay is not a synonym for homosexual. That the contrary is widely believed is a result of the cant and casuistry of gay-identified homosexuals and their political allies. I know a number of homosexuals, men and women, who are not now, have never been, and will never become, catechism-drilled members of the gay salvation cult. They are too smart, too independent-minded, and too determined to pursue their own sexual interests to acquiesce in the repressive orthodoxies, pieties and praxis of evangelical gays.

To be valorized by the Left--i.e., to be accepted as mascots of the Democratic Party--homosexuals have to engage in self- and socially destructive behaviors that raise a middle finger to bourgeois liberalism. In short, they have to "act gay." (Understand the radical mind: Since bourgeois liberalism is reckoned evil incarnate, anything that contributes to its demise is a blow for the revolution and a step toward "liberation.") Authentic, non-gay homosexuals usually have no interest in destroying the tolerant, pluralistic society that provides for their security, livelihood, freedom and political participation.

Remember The Village People? "YMCA," "Macho Man," "In the Navy"? What was that all about? Well, that was the Gay Church ridiculing the sexual preferences of the unconverted and the sexual recidivism of the apostate, using gays' favorite idiom: camp. Authentic homosexuals are normally interested in engaging straight men in sexual encounters--and the more masculine or "macho," the better. Remember the old, pre-gay stereotypes? *****s hanging around bus stations and YMCAs hoping to entice a lonely sailor or other horny hunk into an encounter? An authentic homosexual male, happily liberated from the stifling pieties of the Gay Church, would have to be terminally tumescent to settle for some emaciated, wrist-flapping sissy.

I suspect gays will try to co-opt Brokeback Mountain, probably by "interpreting" it as a brief for the holy faith. That's apparently what the gay magazine David commissioned its writer to do. However, if the film initiates a popular separation of gay from homosexual, expect a reversal: vilification of the film by the gay priesthood and its political allies.

Leo Hodges

i know it wont change anything
cause you will not even start thinking about it ... nevertheless who started the hate speech? me with my (and i still think of it as rather sarcastic) lobotomy-statement or iheretic when he put homosexuals on one level with murderers, rapists, pedophiles, ...

now give me a break, will you? ... uh ... no guess you won't.

anyway i'm tired of you and your kind. discussion won't be possible anyway so just go on telling how perverted gays are compare them to mass murders and whatever else you can think of ... keep condemming us. i will read posts like yours next time i am angry of the slow development in gay rights in my country again. it will show me that, however far behind the other states in europe my country may be, the people here will always be lightyears ahead of the conservatives in america.

Sorry, But I have to disagree
Hi Joanie.
I find I have to disagree with you on this. Insecurity of heterosexual men is a psychobabble bit of nonsense that homosexual activists have jumped on as a way to explain gay bashing; problem is it just ain't true, at least not generally. Even gay men don't really believe it, at least not the ones I've talked to.

First off, violence against gays is a young man's sport; just like bar fights and contact sports. Generally, however, it isn't cause by macho guys cruising for gay men to beat the crud out of (Though that happens). Most straight on gay violence is spontaneous and comes about when a macho young man is "hit on" by a gay man in a public/semi-public place. Revulsion is usually the root cause, not insecurity.

God forbid it is done in front of the hetro-dudes girlfriend or friends. It isn't so much that the potential perpetrator's sexuality is called into question as much as it is embarassment (on top of the revulsion); whether real or imagined that young man is sure he will get crap about it for a long time to come. Becuase of that he lashes out to nip the whole thing in the bud.

I don't see that revulsion going completely away in the foreseeable future. , if ever.

Your are right about the "hunters" who openly go out to harass gays, they are likely to abuse women as well and it is usually (though not always) mental insecurity not sexual insecurity that is the root cause.

But the biggest problem is gays themselves. Check the stats, a gay man is 10 times more likely to be beaten or killed by another gay man. As with domestic abuse in general, it is usually a partner that perpetrates the crime.

If you want to discuss acceptance of gays and *******s in the general society, that is a whole nother subject. But I do agree whole heartedly whith your final sentiment; all people deserve to be loved. :)

Doy you reqally believe what you are saying?
No one should want the "Bedroom Police", but "to be or not to be" is no longer a private decision for many when it come to homosexuality. The pressure put on by those in the "Gay Culture" and "Homosexual Community" force many "Out of the Closet" when they don't want to be.

Homosexuals make being homosexual suck at least as much as present society does.

It was bad enough when the gay/les bian groups started flaunting their lifestyle in face of the rest of the world, but when they started making choices for others they should have been arrested for privacy violations. None of it was necessary, and I think it was counter-productive when it comes to society accepting homosexuality.

As for government power; why do homosexuals want to be allowed to marry? Why are other alternatives not good enough? Why do they wan't special minority recognition?

As for societal harm, if you are as intelligent as you seem to be you know the figures. I won't even get into the whole HIV thing. Gambling is marginal, drugs and alcohol are obvious.

On the other hand, I'm not for using governmental power to limit any of these things (including homosexuality). I think the war on drugs is such a waste of time and money that makes the war in Iraq look like a little good, clean fun. Open container laws and anti-tobacco laws are just control mechanisms for liberals.

What I don't get is the opposition to "Protection of Marriage" laws. If gays really wanted to "get their way" they would back these laws and push for "civil union" laws with most of the rights and protections of marriage (but without some of the obsticles and encoumberances). "A rose by any other name is still a rose."

What really makes me angry is the insistance on "gay and les bian acceptance" in schools and other public venues. first off, homosexuals make up between 2% and 6% of the population (depending on whose statistics you use) and no minority that small should believe that they have the right to tell the other 94% to 98% how to live. I hate public indoctronation and this is becoming another form of it. Second, what about the homosexuals who don't want anything to do with any of the gay culture stuff? Why should they have to feel like they can't get away from it? You worry about the use of state power, yet homosexuals seem bent on using it as their own personal tool to shove their lifestyle down everyone's throat. That's not right.

In the end, everyone deserves to be loved. If homosexuality is your way to be loved than I hope you find what you need.

I know it wont change anything Part Deux
TO: merlin
RE: Hardly

"...cause you will not even start thinking about it ......" -- merlin

I think a lot about a lot of things. And I'm more than willing to oblige you in this sort of discussion. But do 'be advised', I've been abused by the best.

RE: Who Started It

"...nevertheless who started the hate speech? me with my (and i still think of it as rather sarcastic) lobotomy-statement or iheretic when he put homosexuals on one level with murderers, rapists, pedophiles, ..." -- merlin

As I said earlier, and you apparently refused to include in the discussion [Note: Application of the second form of controlling people's thoughts.], what is good or evil is determined by people's ethics.

Someone may consider murder evil. Someone else may consider murder good.

Do you doubt this? Consider the difference between [REAL] Christian ethics and Islam.

Therefore, some people consider pedophilia evil. Others, e.g., NAMBLA considers it good. The question becomes one of the Law. Where do we, as a society draw the proverbial 'line' vis-a-vis the age of consent. I understand that Canada does it at 14. I've heard reports of efforts in the UK to drop it even lower.

RE: Breaks & Guesses

"now give me a break, will you? ... uh ... no guess you won't." -- merlin

Good guess.

RE: Tired R U

"anyway i'm tired of you and your kind." -- merlin

That's REALLY 'too bad'. Because MY 'kind' are not going to go away.

If I may paraphrase a term...

We're here. We're clear. Get used to it.

But, understand, I'll never tire of your kind. It's part of the [christian] mission statement.

RE: As I Was Saying — Reprised

"discussion won't be possible anyway so just go on telling how perverted gays are compare them to mass murders and whatever else you can think of..." -- merlin

You won't listen. Not even to begin to listen. Already you are laying the ground work for a Monty Python moment, e.g., "Run away!"

RE: Condemnation

" ... keep condemming us." -- merlin

I do not condemn you. That's not my job. But I will tell you the truth, as I understand it and offer counsel that you make another choice, if that is applicable to your situation. Christ did not come, the first time, to condemn the world. Why should I presume upon His rules of engagement.

As I stated earlier, and all too many people ignore, all it takes is to say, "That is wrong." And then the real haters will come out of the woodwork like so many rats drawn to blood.

RE: Gay Rights

" i will read posts like yours next time i am angry of the slow development in gay rights in my country again." -- merlin

Gay rights are nothing more than special rights. Rights to be wrong.

Not that the law has ever been effective in managing morality. Not to mention the ever-present desire of human governments to usurp God's position....where is Nimrod when they REALLY need him?

RE: Getting Ahead in the World

"it will show me that, however far behind the other states in europe my country may be, the people here will always be lightyears ahead of the conservatives in america." -- merlin

As for being 'ahead' of the christians....'re welcome to it.

But, do be careful of what you wish for....


[There are many who are first who will be last and many who are last who shall be first in the Kingdom of Heaven. -- some Wag, about 2000 years ago]

As I Was Saying Part Deux
If you want to see a rather public display of what I was talking about—how merely saying something is 'wrong' brings out the REAL haters—take a look at THIS...

You are mistaken, for your own sake look it up!!
the last study I read referred only to North America (Mainly U.S. and Canada) That study showed that homosexual men were 7-10 time more like to get almost any common sexually transmitted disease, 50-100 times more likely to get several types of fairly rare parasites and infections, 5-8 times as likely to get AIDS, have 5 times the incidence of drug use, and 5 times the incidence of suicide; also the average age of death was something like 59-years old (don't remember the exact figure). It was also noted that the average age of death was significantly lower in *******s and they had nearly as high an incidence of STD, drug use and suicide as homosexual men.
I read a study done in Western Europe a few years earlier that nearly echoed this one. One of the main problems sited in both was an extremely high number of sexual partners as compared to hetrosexuals and a much higher incident of risky sexual behavior. (condom use during intercourse doesn't stop everything nor solve all problems involving any disease. Fisting, rimming and other fairly common practice among homosexuals can spread disease just a quickly as intercourse.)
Everyone deserves to love and be loved and I hope you find what you are looking for. Sadly, stastically speaking, it is unlikely that you will.
If you are presently disease free than I admonish you to be extremely cautious. Do not engage in "kinky" or risky sexual practices and try to limit your number of sexual partners. Below are some brief statements and leads. please use them!

Homosexual group's own study reveals health risks of gay lifestyle

Many gay activists argue that the homosexual lifestyle is completely ''normal'' and ''healthy' and have dismissed findings to the contrary as misinformation, or scare tactics.
However, a recent study conducted by a homosexual group, the Gay and ******* Medical Association (GLMA), confirms what past studies have already shown: The homosexual lifestyle carries serious health risks. Health risks cited in the study include HIV and AIDS, substance abuse, depression and anxiety, cancer, and sexually transmitted diseases.
Regarding HIV and AIDS, GLMA states in the study , ''The last few years have seen the return of many unsafe sexual practices''; Regarding substance abuse, ''Gay men use substances at a higher rate than the general population.'' Other findings include, ''[Depression and anxiety] affect gay men at a higher rate than in the general population. Adolescents and young adults may be at particularly high risk of suicide''; ''[*******s] have higher risks for some of the gynecological cancers''; and ''[Sexually transmitted diseases] occur in sexually active gay men at a higher rate.''

Early reports in the 1980's suggested that male homosexuals had an average life expectancy of less than 50 years - more than 20 years less than the overall male population. With the push for "safe" sex and improved treatments for AIDS, one would expect that the life expectancy might have increased since then. However, a Canadian study in 1997 found that male homosexuals have a life expectancy of 20 years less than the general male population (based upon a prevalence of 3% of the male population).1 Using several different measures, including life expectancy determined from obituaries, two large random sexuality surveys (in the USA and Great Britain), and a survey of those never married in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, indicated an average age of death of less than 50 years old.2 A third study, published in 2002, found that the median age of death of 88 homosexually partnered men was 45 years, while for 118 unpartnered homosexual men it was 46 years.3 This latter study put the average life expectancy of male homosexuals nearly 30 years less than the general male population. How does this compare to the average life expectancy of smokers? On average, a lifetime smoker can expect the smoking lifestyle to reduce his life expectancy by only 10 years.4 However, smoking is vigorously condemned by the medical community and press, although it reduces life expectancy by less than half of that caused by a gay lifestyle.
Dangerous lifestyle

The U.S. FDA defines the criteria for blood donation.5 Many forms of sexual behavior prevent blood from being accepted through the Red Cross and other agencies. According to the standard questionnaire, "men who have had sex with another man even one time since 1977," are disqualified from donating blood because of risk of AIDS to the blood supply. No other lifestyle is excluded from donation for only one event in the last 27 years.
Gay bashers

There is a lot of talk these days about gay bashing, with Christians often being accused of this (I'm sure I will get e-mails from this page). However, government statistics show that homosexuals are nearly 20 times more likely to be abused by other homosexuals than by heterosexuals.6
Psychiatric, mental and emotional disorders

A scientific study in the Netherlands revealed that homosexual behavior significantly increases the likelihood of psychiatric, mental and emotional disorders. Youth are four times more likely to suffer major depression, almost three times as likely to suffer generalized anxiety disorder, nearly four times as likely to experience conduct disorder, four times as likely to commit suicide, five times as likely to have nicotine dependence, six times as likely to suffer multiple disorders, and more than six times as likely to have attempted suicide.6 A study examining twins raised in the same household revealed in those twins in which at least one twin was homosexual, 80 percent  of those twins the other was straight. Those gay-straight twins with same-sex partners were 6.5 times as likely as their co-twin to have attempted suicide. The higher rate was not explained by mental health or substance abuse disorders.8

People do many things that are unhealthy. Although we allow people to do those things in the United States as a matter of freedom, we tend to discourage them from doing so - except regarding homosexuality. It is ironic that our public school system encourages students to become involved in homosexuality. In order to be consistent, I think it is time we encourage our children to start smoking and drinking as well. After all, it is just an alternate lifestyle!
Related pages

* Rebuttal to Why the Christian Right is Wrong About Homosexuality
* The Biblical Design for Human Sexuality


1. Hogg RS, Strathdee SA, Craib KJ, O'Shaughnessy MV, Montaner JS, Schechter MT. 1997. Modelling the impact of HIV disease on mortality in gay and bisexual men. Int. J. Epidemiol. 26:657-661.
2. Cameron P, Cameron K, Playfair WL. 1998. Does homosexual activity shorten life? Psychol. Rep. 83:847-66.
3. Cameron P. 2002. Homosexual partnerships and homosexual longevity: a replication. Psychol. Rep. 91:671-678.
4. Doll, R., R. Peto, J. Boreham, and I. Sutherland. 2004. Mortality in relation to smoking: 50 years' observations on male British doctors. British Med. J. 328:1519.
5. CBER Blood Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Food and Drug Administration, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Updated March 15, 2004.
6. A U.S. Justice Department study found an annual average of 13,740 male victims of violence by homosexual partners and 16,900 victims by ******* partners. (U.S. Department of Justice, "Intimate Partner Violence and Age

Brokeback Mountain's REAL Message
Great article. I have not seen the film discussed from this standpoint. What resonated with me after seeing it was that, as macho as these young men were supposed to be, they were exiles from a cold, loveless world, specifically, an emotionally barren male culture. The other men in the film were all portrayed as cold, crude and heartless. Traditional male bonding was nowhere to be found in this movie. The Heath Ledger character had no parents and was abandoned by his siblings. The Jake Gyllenhaal character was the son of a cold, unapproving father. The boss was snide and hateful from the beginning. Heath Ledger's confrontation with the crude, obscenity-spewing drunk at the fireworks display struck me as his rebellion against the vulgarity of male culture, contrasted with the tenderness he had found on the mountain.
Most obvious was Jake Gyllenhaal's father-in-law's constant disparaging of his son-in-law's manhood. Most telling was the Thanksgiving dinner scene where he insists that his grandson watch football : "Make a man out of him." (I'm paraphrasing, but that was the point.)
I'm not going the woe-is-me, blame-society route here. These men made some poor choices and left broken disspirited lives in their wake. I am just offering an explanation, not an excuse. The villian here is not homosexuality (as some people claim), but a world that leaves boys to fend for themselves (materially and emotionally), that belittles and disparages men, instead of giving them much needed support and affirmation. I speak from experience. I don't know what Ang Lee's ultimate point was, but that is what I took from it.

That Is a Shame
TO: davemar1
RE: Really...

"...a world that leaves boys to fend for themselves (materially and emotionally), that belittles and disparages men, instead of giving them much needed support and affirmation. I speak from experience." -- davemar1 is a shame you've had that kind of experience.

Personally, I never had that sort of problem. Or at least I never perceived it as being a problem.

As for disparaging men, I've seen that a lot. But mostly from people who despise the sort of man I am, e.g., feminists, homosexuals, peaceniks/pacifists. I'm sure you're familiar with them. You might even hang with them, for all I know.

By and large, my life has been one of men supporting other men in what I guess you would call a 'cold, crude and heartless', in accordance with the movie.

The traditional male bonding, which you report is nowhere to be found in the movie, was exactly what I experienced. And I've found it very warm and accepting, as long as I pulled my own weight. And, occasionally, when I couldn't, they pulled it for me. Likewise, when one of my comrades-in-arms had trouble, I pulled his weight in my own turn.

Hope that helps. Hope you find hope in that report.



Abusive People
TO: Joanie
RE: Peole Are People

"I think that as long as there are people who are insecure about their own sexuality, these prejudices will remain. When I was young I sadly discovered that a homophobic man who openly harasses gays is also just as likely to try to prove his masculinity by behaving in an abusive manner towards women." -- Joanie

Someone who is abusive is going to be abusive to anyone—men, women, children—especially those that are not exactly like themselves. The confidence of their 'sexuality' is not the primary factor.

As for confidence, it does not come from oneself. Not REAL confidence, that is. Confidence, the kind you can rely on in all circumstances, comes from a higher realm.


[One of the blessings of virtue is a distain of death.]

Interesting Report
TO: pauled
RE: Domestic Violence

"Check the stats, a gay man is 10 times more likely to be beaten or killed by another gay man. As with domestic abuse in general, it is usually a partner that perpetrates the crime." -- pauled

I'd had su****ions about this sort of thing, but had never heard it put forth in such a succinct fashion.

Can you cite a source?

RE: Indeed

"But I do agree whole heartedly whith your final sentiment; all people deserve to be loved." -- pauled

All too true. But, as I've commented here before, all too often when one expresses that love in the form of good counsel, e.g., telling people that something they are doing is wrong, they tend to reply with hatred.

Case in point, try taking the car keys from a drunk friend in a bar. Most times you'll end up in a fight with your friend. And all that just to save their [and likely someone elses'] life.


[Neighbor, n.: One we are required to love, but does his utmost to make us disobedient. -- Ambrose Bierce, the Devil's Dictionary]

More Examples of Pure Unadulterated Hatred
TO: dirtbiker & noone1
RE: Thanks...

...for providing more prima facia evidence to support my premise.



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