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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Broken Arm over Brokeback

Although I hate to do it, I'll start by directing your attention to an op-ed written by Michael Medved. Medved claims that the non-furor of Conservative Christians over Brokeback Mountainshow that they have matured since the release of The Last Temptation of Christ was released. Temptation was greeted with street protest and loud calls for boycot. Medved claims that Conservative Christians have simply turned away from Brokeback and held tight to their values.

Now, unless Jesus secretly wore a cowboy hat, I think Medved is stretching a bit to compare the two movies. So don't break your arm patting yourself on the back.

To be fair, let's give the Conservative Christian bunch credit for not rioting and bombing KFC in protest of Brokeback chicken. Of course, the only reason Americans do that in our own country is over racial tensions - like Rodney King and Watts and Detroit. Movies? Nah, we just talk smack.

Apparently, Medved doesn't do much research before he writes. The Traditional Values Coalition has been busy hammering at Brokeback like crazy. Somehow, they find a way to blame a movie for people having hid their homosexuality from themselves and their families for decades. The movie is compared to crystal meth, cigarettes, and alcohol abuse

Then WorldNetDaily calls it "raping the Marlboro man". I guess they forgot that the Marlboro man helped kill a few hundred thousand Americans because they still consider him a hero.

Then, of course, Larry Miller banned the movie from his theatres.

Of course, there's no real reason to boycott a movie that is only being shown as a limited release anyway. In its widest release, it only showed in 2089 theatres. By comparison, Madea's Family Reunion opened in 2,194 theatres.

Do you think Brokeback would have had such limited release if they didn't fear right-wing backlash?

It's easy to be gracious when you've got everyone under your thumb. Medved is right that this shows the Christian Right isn't worried about flexing its muscle. At this point, it's strong enough that if they really pushed, they could probably get some censorship bans in place. Doing that, however, would rob them of a political tool.

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