January 06, 2006
The film review that changed my mind
"Brokeback Mountain" was not my favorite movie. Although it was a good (if artsy) film, I thought it a bit slow for my tastes, and as I complained in an earlier post, I saw it as being unfair to the so-called "Red States."
But a man named David Kupelian who writes for WorldNetDaily seems to think "Brokeback Mountain" is the very epitome of evil. His long, no-holds-barred attack on the film is one of the most obsessive movie reviews I have ever read. I don't want to bore readers with extensive quoting, but I think people who want to understand what's inside the minds of anti-gay thinking (I don't want to use the overwrought term "bigotry" lest I offend people who agree with Kupelian) should read it.
He calls the film an example of "the marketing of evil" and his central thesis is that "Brokeback Mountain" is doing for homosexuality what the Marlboro Man did for Marlboro cigarettes (and presumably what Ronald McDonald did for evil foods). Except worse, for he obviously considers homosexuality as striking at the heart of all he holds dear.
Argumentum ad Hitlerum is of course invoked, and various analogies are made about what "Hollywood" could have done:
Do we understand that Hollywood could easily produce a similar movie to "Brokeback Mountain," only this time glorifying an incest relationship, or even an adult-child sexual relationship? Like "Brokeback," it too would serve to desensitize us to the immoral and destructive reality of what we're seeing, while fervently coaxing us into embracing that which we once rightly shunned.Yeah, I guess they could have glorified pedophiles or heroin dealers. They also could have made a movies glorifying Charles Manson, Richard Speck, or John Wayne Gacy. But those things and people are not what this film is about.
Occasionally, I need a reminder of the fact that there are people in this world who don't merely oppose gay marriage, they don't just think that two men screwing is gross; they think homosexuality is one of the greatest evils of which man is capable, that acceptance of it is even more evil, and that this threatens all of Western Civilization.
Suprisingly, Kupelian left out homosexuality causing the fall of Rome. I don't know why. But in his conclusion, he makes it clear that dire consequences await all of us, if we allow "Brokeback Mountain" to change our views:
As I said at the outset, Hollywood has now raped the Marlboro Man. It has taken a revered symbol of America – the cowboy – with all the powerful emotions and associations that are rooted deep down in the pioneering American soul, and grafted onto it a self-destructive lifestyle it wants to force down Americans' throats. The result is a brazen propaganda vehicle designed to replace the reservations most Americans still have toward homosexuality with powerful feelings of sympathy, guilt over past "homophobia" – and ultimately the complete and utter acceptance of homosexuality as equivalent in every way to heterosexuality.There are so many mouthfuls in the review that I'm sorry I can't do it the justice it deserves. For starters I'm getting ready to go on a trip, and I'm already spent valuable time I just don't have...
But let's just take three assumptions from a fragment of a single sentence ("America will have totally abandoned its core biblical principles – as well as the Author of those principles"). While homosexuality is listed in Leviticus as a sin amongst a variety of other sins (including cursing one's parents), does that make it the core of the Bible? And from there to the core of America's principles? How and when did that happen? And from there to abandoning the Author?
From a marketing standpoint, that's even more of a stretch than using cowboys to sell evil.
While I don't think I was changed much by seeing "Brokeback Mountain," Kupelian thinks I was:
Changed indeed. And that's the goal. Film is, by its very nature, highly propagandistic. That is, when you read a book, if you detect you're being lied to or manipulated, you can always stop reading, close the book momentarily and say, "Wait just a minute, there's something wrong here!" You can't do that in a film: You're bombarded with sound and images, all expertly crafted to give you selected information and to stimulate certain feelings, and you can't stop the barrage, not in a theater anyway. The visuals and sound and music – and along with them, the underlying agenda of the filmmakers – pursue you relentlessly, overwhelming your emotions and senses.I honestly didn't feel changed until I read the entirety of Mr. Kupelian's review.
I've now changed my mind. Not what I think about the general quality of the film, mind you. What's changed is that the Kupelian review makes me now want to support the film any way I can, simply to oppose mindsets like his. While I'm too cynical to engages in such antics, I almost feel like sending a donation to Hollywood.
For me, that's a change.
AFTERTHOUGHT: This might be totally irrelevant, but I knew one of the Marlboro Men, and he was no virgin. In fact the guy was gay.
Maybe Kupelian is onto something about the marketing of evil. Cigarettes are called "fags" in England, aren't they?
MORE: If David Kupelian hated "Brokeback Mountain," I doubt he'll like the upcoming Hollywood film about a professional football player named Dave Kopay:
Kopay, who at 6-feet and 213 pounds is seven pounds below his playing weight, is working with a screenwriter on a film treatment of the “David Kopay Story.” It will center on his relationship with tight end Jerry Smith while both played for the Washington Redskins in 1969 and 1970. Smith died of AIDS in 1987 while never publicly admitting his homosexuality. To honor Smith’s desire for privacy, Kopay never mentioned him by name in the book, though he was a catalyst in Kopay’s coming out.Sounds unrepentant as hell.
But alas! I never really enjoyed football. So I doubt I'd like that film either.
(I guess I'm becoming a rather obnoxious old poop.)
posted by Eric on 01.06.06 at 03:49 PM
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