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Bird's Blog

Poetry, musings, observations, commentary, rants, confessions...and who knows what else!

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Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Teacher, writer, poet, grandmother, lover, wine-drinker, chocolate eater, beach comber, hiker, traveler, Giants fan, San Franciscan. All work on this blog is copyrighted material.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

How F*-#@^ed Up Are We? A Movie Rant

In the past two weeks, I've seen Brokeback Mountain, Munich, and Crash. And if I wasn't before (simply rhetorical conjecture here - no doubt I probably was and am), I am even more convinced now that as a species, we humans are purely self-centered, hate-filled, bigoted, uneducable, idiotic, twisted, tortured souls with relatively few redeeming characteristics. (Nah, c'mon Bird, don't hold back - how do you REALLY feel about us?)

My channeling of John Wayne bears some scrutiny. Let's think about this. JW (as in WWJWD?) would have Jack and Ennis risk grave physical harm in order to stand tall as men, be true to their selves and each other. Do we demand this of heterosexual couples? Of course not - we only ask they stick together in sickness and in health, for richer and poorer. As a society, we don't expect heterosexual couples to risk dismemberment and torture (oh - I separate the two - as if dismemberment doesn't equal torture - nice distinction - I should go work for the Bush administration and write legal memos - hey GW, we can cut the dicks offa anyone - no problemo - ain't no crime, ain't no torture. Hmmm... guess we'd best start forcing clitorectomies on lesbians - that would in no way constitute torture - besides, those bitches have it coming to them and they have less standing than gay men - what the hell, we'll never get caught, and if we do, it will matter even less.)

Alright, that's relatively off my chest. Back to the general failings of human kind. I grow more and more convinced that the sooner aliens from outer space discover and destroy us (as in, the only good human is a dead human - as in - we are a breed apart and make no sense (a line stolen from Daniel Day Lewis in Last of the Mohicans - only his character was speaking of the white man) the better.

But what about the movies, Bird?

Crash is finely written, filmed, and acted. Most of the characters are despicable - and sadly, accurately reflect us - all of us. Some scenes caused me to cry out in pain, in warning, in despair. We are a deeply fucked-up species. Hip high school and college instructors will glom on to this film, show clips in class, and force students to write witless, vacuous, and trite essays about the nature of race relationships in the United States. By doing so, they will suck the power and force out of the movie and absolutely no real, substantive societal change will result (not like that would happen anyway - so it ain't the teachers' fault).

Munich made me cry. Spielberg uses actual news footage in the beginning of the film and seeing those grainy images flickering on a large screen made me nauseous. I was 15 in '72, and saw the tragedy (instead of the thrill of victory- though Jim McKay's use of that term would come later in his tenure as ABC's Olympic anchor) and those news clips brought it back on a visceral level. I left the theater wanting to accost Israelis and Palenstinans and yell at them , "What's a matter with you? Knock this shit off you fucking idiots. And if not, just bomb each other off the face of the earth now would you, and be done with it. It's enough now!"

The power of Brokeback's societal statement is wrapped up in its narrative of a romantic and tragic love. The movie simply breaks your heart. It does so with exquisite and elegant craft. Ang, the actors, the crew never drop a stitch or miss a step. But as a friend of mine commented, "Can't we ever have a gay love story in mainstream film that has a happy ending?" Nope - can't have that. Unacceptable. Not acceptable as reality or art. Gotta send a message.

I'm done with "important" movies. There's only so much despair and hurt I can take. I haven't read the news in a bit - just to avoid such despair. I need to watch That Darn Cat , or A Charlie Brown's Christmas, or read Family Circle (god forbid - have things gotten that bad?) or write some horrid, fluff piece (this is horrid, over-generalized, but not fluff) and forget about the ridiculousness of humans. But we are fucked. We aren't going to hell in a hand basket - we are already there.


Blogger wch said...

bird -

thanks for the visit and the kind words. i hope you will be back. and you are, by the way, a fine writer.

i have added your blog to my read-this list.

- b

January 15, 2006 4:21 PM  
Blogger ffff said...

Such a relief to read a proper understanding of the movie which has caused so much outraged nonsense there in the US and not so much here in Australia. After all it stars on of our own so we are pretty loyal that way. Can't wait to see it myself. You are an interesting writer. I shall keep an eye out for your more passionate rants. Keep it coming! We need thinkers like you in this stuffed up world. BTW really love your frustration and anger at the Israelis and Palistinians. Aren't they sick of it too???
Take care-

January 15, 2006 5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In someways, Brokeback mountain is the 21st Century version of Boys in the Band. It's sad ending will send more teenage boys (and girls?) into gun stores and pharmacies, sure that their sexual orientation dooms them to hopeless love affairs and tragic lives. I'm still waiting for a Brady Bunch movie in which a couple of the kids are Gay, have boyfriends, and their biggest struggle is whether to go to the prom with Bobby or Billy. Fantasy world? Perhaps today, in most places, but not everywhere and no everyone.
The fundies will really go nuts some day if there is a gay character with a positive relationship who doesn't get AIDS, doesn't die, and is a positive influence for the friends and relatives around him.
Does such a person exist? Damn straight, if you'll pardon the expression.

January 15, 2006 6:04 PM  
Blogger Blue said...

Wait for it..... Elton John - the excess, the loves, the man The Movie....

If you want a cheer up - try moulin rouge, or dodgeball, or Monty Python & the Holy Grail.....

January 31, 2006 12:10 AM  
Blogger Mr Q said...

Thanks for stopping by my blahg. I have not seen any of these 3 films, but I'll go ahead and pass judgement anyways (I'm impulsive)I think they outlining a deep personal involvement of the director or the writer at times, and it is very sad that Hurrywood has decided to market these depictions, probably twisting the screenplay to make it marketable to the non gay community. So far none of the gay people I know has said that BBM is "great!!!" but everyone else who is not gay has "raved" about it. I think you were right on the money about the other two films. Like I said, out of impulse I just blurb my thoughts here without having seen any of the films.

February 09, 2006 6:37 AM  

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