Saturday, January 14, 2006

Kaus on Brokeback Mountain

Mickey Kaus, a blogger who I admire for his intelligence and common sense, is publicly castigating Frank Rich of the New York Times for Rich's prediction that the movie "Brokeback Mountain" is going to be a kind of "Roots" for the homosexual community. Kaus singles out Rich's belief that "Brokeback" will have a huge box office for particular derision.

One caveat I would offer is that the film may tap into the same market as "Fahrenheit 9/11"--in other words, there's a built in demographic for the film who may feel compelled (obligated, even) to see the movie regardless of any inner compunctions about watching two guys spooning on film. That demographic may have been enough to make "Fahrenheit" the highest grossing documentary of all time, but is it really necessary to point out who ended up winning the U.S. Presidential election?

Actually, now that I've written that, it occurs to me that there may be a group of people who find the idea of good looking guys spooning to be reason enough to see the movie: heterosexual women. Is that really emblematic of their tolerance for gay America though? I'm a big fan of the lesbian scenes in "The Bare Witch Project" and I doubt that I could be described as a feminist. I would suggest that as a control "Brokeback" should be remade without Heath Ledger and re-released as a vehicle for Harvey Fierstein. If that movie was able to take in millions of box office dollars that would be proof positive of the final adoption of gay culture by mainstream America.