Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Gay Cowboys? You're joking!

"Forbidden man passion? Four stars!"
-San Francisco Chronicle

"I jerked it three times...two thumbs up..."
-San Francisco Journal

"That one gay cowboy gives the breakout performance of his career. Plus he's totally gay."
-San Francisco Gay Reader

I haven't seen Brokeback Mountain, so I'm not in a position to review or critique the movie. What I am in a position to do, though, is wonder why it's getting such critical acclaim. Instead of asking the people around campus, who would probably say that the movie was, to some degree, like their own lives, I asked a friend of mine from back home what she thought.

She said that the movie was probably so successful because it was groundbreaking in that it showed the world that there are gay cowboys.

Wait...there are gay cowboys?


Of course there are gay cowboys. It's practically a prerequisite these days. Was there actually anyone with a pulse who was surprised to learn this? Just look at the costumes they wear. It used to be that a guy wearing something like that could drink fifteen gallons of whiskey, seduce your girlfriend and then shoot a platoon of Mexicans or, worse, Injuns. Nowadays when you see someone wearing chaps, a vest, and a cowboy hat you can bet that his name is "Rusty," he smokes Virginia Slims, and he's more likely to polish off your knob than a bottle of Beam.

Now before I get accused of living in "Meanietown" again, like the last time I was in the village, I'd like to say that there is nothing wrong with being homosexual. Really. Do your thing. But I say this with the caveat that if Brokeback Mountain was a movie about lesbian pillowfighters (an oppressed minority worldwide) and starred Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Biel, there is simply no way it would have gotten the same appreciation by the reviewers.

And why is that?

Because, obviously, the film reviewers are all gay themselves. Otherwise there is simply no explanation for such a decision by Hollywood to make a movie about gay cowboys but not lesbian pillowfighters. To demonstrate that a movie about girl pillowfighters is objectively more touching and interesting than a film about gay cowboys, we will analyze various aspects of the two groups.

1. Minority Power

As all Hollywood big-shots know, marketing is even more important than the actual movie. Brokeback Mountain was marketed as "The gay cowboy love story of the decade." But do you think that everyone who saw that movie was a gay cowboy? Of course not. Most of the people who saw that movie were pseudo-intellectuals who were afraid of appearing uncultured if they didn't see it. As a result, film sales are directly related to the amount of people who aren't
a part of the minority group portrayed.

According to a US Census taken a few years ago, the number of "gay cowboys" in the country is, approximately, 12.8 million, up from 11.1 million the year before. This accounts for, roughly, 4.3% of all Americans.

According to the same US Census, the number of "lesbian pillowfighters" in America was, sadly, only 402,000. This accounts for only .14% of all Americans.

Therefore, using our logic from above, the movie industry would have been better off making a movie about lesbian coeds hitting each other with pillows in their underwear.

"Brokeback Mountain": 6.0
"Coed Pillow Desire": 10.0

2. Originality

Another important factor of a film is its originality. Have there been other films like this before? To find out, I went downtown to Chelsea to visit "Adult Movies" on 36th and Broadway, thinking they would have the most mature, and therefore upscale, collection.

Because I'm not twenty-one, I respectfully declined from entering, but I asked one gentleman leaving the store if he could help me.

Me: Hey, I've got a question for you. Does this place sell gay cowboy movies?
Him: Why yes! Tons of them! I've purchased a few myself!
Me: What about movies with girls pillowfighting and then falling in love?
Him: Didn't see any! Skittles!

With that, he skipped away, shopping cart full of gay cowboy dvds and all. So, according to this man's eyewitness testimony, there were "tons" of movies about gay cowboys and "none" about pillowfighting college girls. Looks like the cowboys lose this one, too.

Brokeback Mountain: 0.0
Sorority Slumber Party: 10

3. Actor Sex Appeal

The most important thing for marketing a movie is whether or not the people in the movie have any sex appeal. It's no big secret that the script for Waterworld was ironclad, they just needed to find someone more attractive than Kevin Costner to play the part of the Amazon woman-warrior who was in charge of things.

Brokeback Mountain had an all male-cast. No sex appeal.

In my mind, the pillowfighting movie has an all female cast and, therefore, a great deal of sex appeal.

Brokeback: 0.0
All Girl Pillow-fest: 10.0

So there we have it. The pillowfighting movie gets a perfect score while Brokeback Mountain, predictably, didn't make the grade. Hollywood producers would have to have known that a pillowfighting film would be objectively better than a gay cowboy movie, but they chose to act as if this wasn't true. Why? Because they knew the film critics wouldn't have it. Because film critics, by nature, only like gay cowboy movies. It's science.