Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Catching up

This goes back a bit, but TAE reader Sean tipped me off to Rick Moody’s December 17 review in The Guardian of the film Brokeback Mountain. Based on a short story by Annie Proulx, the film apparently gives new meaning to the phrase “the wild west”, chronicling the travails of two young cowboys who share a summer of bliss together in the heretofore mentioned mountain, and then spend the rest of the movie trying to live more conventional lives in between their semi-annual trysts.

What grabs the attention of TAE, however, is not this 1800’s - yet ever-so-progressive - take on the Alan Alda/Ellen Burstyn classic, but is instead the almost effortless – and certainly mindless - way in which The Guardian manages to slip in a bit of anti-Americanism into even its film reviews. Says Moody:
And yet calling Lee's film a "gay cowboy movie", as I've heard it described, would not exactly be a way into the hearts, minds and pocketbooks of, arguably, the most homophobic nation on earth.
Arguably? One can only wonder exactly what "arguments" Moody might have in mind to support the notion that a place which makes, markets, and spends its hard earned money to see a movie about homosexual cowboys is more "homophobic" than those which go so far as to imprison and flog gays.

Interestingly, Moody himself almost immediately contrives to let his audience know that, despite his delight in the homosexual themes of the original short story, he himself is fully heterosexual. In the very first paragraph of the review, Moody says:
And yet I remember calling out to my wife, midway through this particular story, saying, "I'm reading this cowboy story that I thought I was going to hate. I thought the only way I was going to like it was if these cowboys had sex! And then they did!"
Gee, Rick, why the clumsy effort to make sure everyone knows you have a wife? Why didn't just relate what you were thinking about the story directly to your audience, rather than using your wife as a vehicle to do so? Surely it isn't that you are, um, afraid of being mistaken as gay, is it? Nah, of course not.


Blogger e m butler said...

liberals have a code word...the "world" is shorthand for canada,US,europe,oz,maybe japan...none of the rest of world may apply ..

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Sean said...

I'm the guy who tipped Scott off to this story. I would just add the following:

Do a Google search of "gay pride parade" and watch the U.S. cities light up your screen like a Christmas tree. And not just San Francisco, either.

Gay pride parades are so ubiquitous and cliched that "The Simpsons" even made fun of them in one episode. When that happens, you know something has reached critical mass acceptance.

Has Rick Moody ever been to America? If so, how could he write that line? If could he write that line?

9:44 PM  
Blogger Scott Callahan said...


Actually, I meant to mention this in my post, but Rick Moody is American and grew up in Connecticut. (I used to work with someone who grew up with and knew him.)

But your question stands...being an American, how could he have written that?


12:29 AM  
Blogger Simon Lazarus said...

Once more, the liberal media (US, UK, who cares?) shows its disdain for America, for its values, and distorts them in an effort to make leftist hay.

This is one reason why people come to America by the millions - to get away from this crap. Someone once said that if you are born in France and come to America, you become an American. If you are born in America and go to France, you are an American in France.

It still applies.

1:47 AM  
Anonymous Sean said...

Christ, I grew up in CT and I thought our schools did a better job than that.

Now I wonder if Moody wrote the sentence at all. We know Guardian desk editors take certain "liberties" that correspond with their assumptions about America.

3:34 AM  
Blogger panther33 said...

"Surely it isn't that you are, um, afraid of being mistaken as gay, is it?" Not that there's anything wrong with that!

8:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's ridiculous. The US is "arguably" the most homophobic country on earth? I'd like to hear that argument! The Guardian just reported on the legalization of gay marriage in Britain,(a year after Massachusetts), so they are hardly any better. No offense intended for the British, I just think we (gays in the West) are all pretty equal. I go through life, openly gay, without any trouble or prejudice... Unlike the two Iranian teens who were recently executed in that country for the crime of homosexuality. (

1:11 PM  
Anonymous sean said...

Guess what?

The Guardian is at it AGAIN.

Now, Americans are "unimaginably neurotic and puritanical about sex, straight or gay."

So says John Patterson, in the Guardian's THIRD feature-length story on "Brokeback Mountain" in the last five weeks.

In a vile, rambling 1300-word screed, Patterson seeks out the wisdom of one Robert Knight, from a bible-thumping organization called the Concerned Women for America. I had never heard of it, and you probably haven't, either.

Patterson predictably uses Knight as his straw man in his game of "find the inner Saudi" in every American.

You know what? Next time I do a story on how awful British politics is, I'm going straight to the head of the National Front. He should provide me with everything I need to know. Right?

4:01 PM  

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