Thursday, April 06, 2006

Taking the Broke out of "Brokeback"

God bless the American Family Association. They give me so much wonderful material.

Last month, during the run-up to the Oscars, I marveled at the way Christian organizations frequently triumphantly pointed out that Brokeback Mountain wasn't doing well at the box office compared to Star Wars or King Kong or Narnia.

I could write a whole post on what's wrong with that premise. Oh...wait, I wrote three.

Anyway, they haven't given up.

The Los Angeles Times reports that AFA spokesperson Randy Sharp is upset with Wal*Mart -- yes, Wal*Mart, that God-hating, gay-loving, anti-family liberal behemoth that only gave 80% of its 2004 political contributions to Republican candidates -- because not only did they refuse to acquiesce to the AFA's request not to carry the Brokeback DVD, they've given it prominent store placement.

Says Sharp, "It wasn't even a blockbuster movie, so if Wal-Mart isn't trying to push an agenda, why would they put it at the front door?"

I love it. Wal*Mart is "pushing" the homosexual agenda. Rrrrrrright.

Okay, well, back here in Reality Land, let's take a look at some facts.

Presently Brokeback Mountain's worldwide gross is $170,356,991.

The DVD is currently #1 -- yes, nummer eins, numero uno, ichiban -- at

What else is selling at Amazon? AFA Chairman Don Wildmon's book Following the Carpenter.

It's ranked 1,298,641, between New Headway English Course and Eyewitness Phrase Book: Spanish (with cassette).


Steve Chapman said...

I am sure this does not surprise you. The very thing that we who identify ourselves as gay want the most is what organizations like AFA want the least. We want ACCEPTANCE. We want to be recognized as singles, couples, PEOPLE.

When you begin to put a face on discrimination, it becomes harder to discriminate. It took Rosa Parks to put the face on the Civil Rights Movement in the 50's. Yes there were others before her but because of her courageous action things changed.

Brokeback puts a face on a love story not so different than Romeo and Juliet (I am taking a bit of license, I know). Hopefully, the AFA kingdom will fall and we will be more than second-class citizens.

epicurist said...

And I'm Italian.

little-cicero said...

This is rather ridiculous. I can't for the life of me understand why social conservatives pick so many battles that they can't win (which have so little impact when they do win). It is perfectly reasonable to request that the movie is not displayed, but this is over the top. I am an Economic Conservative first, and social conservative second, so I say "Let Wal-Mart do what it needs to do to make money"

Anonymous said...

At the risk of defending the AFA, Wal*Mart did change their non-discrimination statement to include sexual orientation.

And that happy face logo, I mean come on, how much more kitschy can you get? It might was well be an inverted pink triangle.



Trickish Knave said...

I'll be glad when this blows over because frankly I'm sick of hearing about it. BBM is on our NetFlix list after Capote, Crash, etc. but the movie just doesn't appeal to me- I don't care how many humanities-through-the-arts adjectives you throw at me or how well it is doing.

I have seen plenty of movies with gay themes, The Birdcage being my favorite, but the gay cowboy thing just doesn't interest me. Spare me the "It's more than that. It's a love story" movie critic quote.

I think the clencher for me to engage in a World of Warcraft marathon instead of watching this movie came not 20 minutes ago when a guy in my office talked about the scene where Ledger spits on his hand, rubs it on his dick, and proceeds to pound away on Jillenhall's cornhole. It's just not an image I want to see no matter how compelling of a movie it may be.

I am onboard with accepting gays as people, Steve, and I think you should get married- why should straight pepole be the only ones that are miserable?- but I don't think it helps your cause when some groups in your community force movies like this down our throats.

"We are gay and this movie has gay people in it. It is a good movie (see, Amazon said so and so did this guy), so dammit, you are going to watch it! Accept us!"

Future Geek said...

but I don't think it helps your cause when some groups in your community force movies like this down our throats

You know, I wasn't going to tell anyone about this but some gay guys with guns broke into my home and forced me to watch Brokeback Mountain. I felt so ashamed.

Quinn said...

TK, how are you being forced to watch this movie? Are the gays following you around with a portable DVD player and shoving it in your face? Is your local multiplex baiting you with advertisements for The Benchwarmers, and then switching it to Brokeback once you're in the seat?

little-cicero said...

Future Geek, I share your pain. As a young impressionable conservative I am to the powers that be a particularly delectable subject for conversion, which they plan to achieve through forcing me to watch Teletubbies, Batman, Queer Eye and Brokeback Mountain. However, like the great Patrick Henry, I will stand alone among the subservient masses and resist the forces of obsessive tolerance, and hold above my head the flag of the True America, singing the true national anthem (Lynard Skynard's "Red White and Blue"). I will be the last man standing. Give me freedom to resist tolerance or give me death!

little-cicero said...

Oh, seriously, (I was being self-mocking and facicious before) Trickish Knave is right, and this movie, for its sexual vulgarity (regardless of homo or hetero) is recieving an unprecedented amount of support from the media. While it may be compelling, it is telling of their agenda that they would endorse a movie which includes the aforementioned scene, and to top it all off, now businesses are doing the same. Surely you can understand the offense taken by conservative religious individuals. That's not to say that anything should be done, but if this is being forced down the throats of Americans, we ought to at least be able to call a spade a spade.

kr pdx said...

I'm thinking "forced down the throats" might be an overly appropo phrase for the objectors to be using?

Just a thought. (It's kinda painful to read, in context and all.)

Andy said...

TK, this movie is very balanced. There is also a scene in the backseat of a car where Anne Hathaway rips off her shirt and her boobies are flopping everywhere, and no gay man wanted to see that! Ew! But if we can handle some bouncing breasts, surely you can handle 5 seconds of PANTOMIMED intimacy that doesn't even show anything.

little-cicero said...

But on a pile of sheep dung????

What concerns me though, is the question of whether highly explicit hetero films have ever been showcased in such a way, on the front display at Wal-Mart. I honestly don't know.

Jade said...

"Thomas Crowne Affair"? I've never actually shopped at Wal*Mart so I don't know what their marketing thing was for that movie, however I do recall it being generally marketed as a "who-dun-it" type cat and mouse game movie. The ads neglected to mention the hot, sweaty, naked and rather long sex scene in the middle where the couple climbed all over office furniture pouring vodka on each other in a freaky frenzy. No, the ads focused on the plot of the movie. The only reason people talk about the sex in Brokeback is because it's different than a majority of the movies we see.

Trickish Knave said...

LOL, Ok, guys, I used that phrase figuratively but I can see that the written word is no place for casual terminology. I'm sure you are all very bright and knew what I was talking about but it is much more fun to spin it, right?

I haven't seen any pink helicopters on the ready to force BBM into my DVD player. My wife is the only one that is going to do that as payback for making her sit through The Matrix trilogy. Just to ease everyone's mind, yes I tied her up with some twine and put toothpicks in her eyelids so she couldn't close her eyes.

The last statement of my post summed up why I feel it is being forced down our throats, no pun intended (thanks kr, for being the only one who got that. You an ex-submariner?). It seems everywhere I look or who I talk to "You have to see this movie".

So now there is a tit shot I need to see? Awesome. If I want gratuitous tit shots I would rent Ski Patrol. But this is just another example of what I was talking about and without knowing it some of you strengthened my position.

It's like that episode of Seinfled with the constant nagging but soft- spoken social order of "You gotta go see the baaaay-bee!".

No, I don't. But the constant media attention, the string of BBM DVD commercials, the women at a party I attended last night telling me to go see it because it is soooo good, and blog entries with facts and figures to how how well the movie is doing despite what religious fanatics are doing to get the movie put on the back shelf, makes ME feel like I am being baraged with having to "...see tha baaaaay-bee".

Trickish Knave said...

I do want to add that since the movie came out it has added another catch phrase to the long list of submariner gallows humor.

A few guys were getting really hammered and the host said they could stay at his place for the night. Two guys started a mock fight over who would get the couch and they finally agreed they would just "Brokeback Mountain it".

There were some other references to the movie in the same manner like when a guy was pounding a hotlink on his face like an Amber Lynn movie (I know that movie reference is a stretch on this forum).

kr pdx said...

TK: "You an ex-submariner?"

Not sure they let women in submarines yet? In any case, closest I've come to being military is my amazing propensity for foul language, accidentally encouraged by a prof that was a former Marine sergeant. But I'm honored that you asked (I think ;) ).

Seeing sexual innuendo is a natural skill that often made classmates question my staunch Catholic sexual morality--but it made Shakespeare a lot more fun!

DJRainDog said...

SPOILER ALERT: If you want surprises from the movie, don't read this.

See the movie, don't see the movie; I think most of us don't really give a fuck. I've read the story; I haven't seen the movie. I'm ambivalent about whether I want to see the movie; I know I'd happily fuck (and maybe flip for) either of its stars -- hell, the women, too -- but I don't enjoy the destruction of beauty, and I know how the story ends -- it ain't pretty.

I think Andy's mostly just taking this opportunity to do some AFA-whipping here, and to that, I say, "Bravo!" as I think those jackasses give Christians and families everywhere a bad name.

Mmm...Amber Lynn...Naughty girls of the 80s. ;-)