Brokeback Mountain

Ken AshfordPopular Culture1 Comment

So I saw it the other night.

It was okay.  Beautifully shot.  A bit plodding at  times.  Good acting, but on the whole, pretty forgettable for me.  Too many words have been written about the whole "gay" thing, and nothing I could say could add or detract.  It doesn’t have, as rightwing homophobes suggest, a "gay agenda"; it’s just about two cowboys with a secret forbidden relationship.  As a movie, it was not a huge tearjerker, nor a huge romance — but it was a chick flick nonetheless.  Which is why I’m kind of non-plussed by it.

But I bring it up only as a preface to this story:

In Turkey, a pirated DVD version of the intentionally controversial movie hit the streets even before it arrived in theaters.

The title has been translated into Turkish as the less-poetic "Faggot Cowboys."

According to, news of the DVD’s unofficial release has caused outrage in the Muslim country.

My advice to Turks is quite simple: if you are outraged by this movie, don’t smuggle it into your country, and change its name.  I mean, it’s not like it’s being forced on you.

By the way, for a good laugh, you should read Pat Boone’s review of "Brokeback Mountain".  Well, it’s not really a review, because Pat didn’t see it.  After all, Pat’s family has been traumatized by Hollywood westerns before.  It happened many years ago when they all went to see…

a very popular musical film, "Paint Your Wagon." It had been a celebrated Broadway smash, terrific music, and the movie version starred Clint Eastwood, in a singing role! It was at the Cinerama Dome, a posh downtown theater in Hollywood – what could have been more ideal for a family outing?

But as the thing rolled along, with giant production, huge cast, all the "good stuff," I realized that the story was about a struggling frontier town whose city fathers decided that the cowboys needed feminine companionship – so they’d build a whorehouse and import a lot of "ladies" to stock it! And when a big musical number centered on all the girls coming in by stagecoach and all the rugged wranglers salivating to get at them, I gathered my flock and we left.

Yeah, Pat.  If "They Called The Wind Mariah" gets your panties in a bunch, then "Brokeback Mountain" really isn’t your cup of tea.

But even though Pat hasn’t seen "Brokeback", he’s still traumatized by its success:

I cringed when Clint Eastwood, the quintessential Western hero, had to give the Golden Globe for best director to Ang Lee for "Brokeback," and saw my friend Denzel Washington cringe as he announced the Golden Globe for BEST FILM went to the same sorry tale.

Clint Eastwood is "the quintessential Western hero"?  But wasn’t he in "Paint Your Wagon", that horribly offensive movie that you and your brood stormed out of in a fit of Christian rage?

Well, Pat’s a grown man.  I’m sure he can get over this Brokeback Mountain-mania, right?

I’ve since been obsessed with wondering what John Wayne would say. Will his beloved "Alamo" be remade now, with a "new slant," into "Al and Mo"? Will "Shane" be modernized into "Shame, with Al and Ladd"? Will Hollywood treat us to "Catfight at the OK Corral"? "Hang ’em Limp"? "He Wore Yellow Ribbons"? "Stagecrotch"?

I probably couldn’t repeat, or in this space print, what the Duke would have to say.

I’m having a hard time finding Pat’s moral center here.  Not only is he fantasizing about John Wayne swearing, but since not seeing "Brokeback Mountain", Pat’s become obsessed with taking the titles of classic Westerns, and gaying them up.  Even John Waters isn’t that obsessed with homosexuality.

I think Pat has issues.  Maybe he should move to Turkey.