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It’s OK to pass on gay drama

Apparently there was quite a media buzz around the sport of curling during the 2006 Winter Olympics, but I wasn’t listening.
Curling doesn’t interest me or most anyone else. Just check out the ratings.
There are plenty of things that interest me even less than curling. Take gay drama for instance.
And so I’ve also skipped ‘Brokeback Mountain.’
No one has implied that the reason I won’t watch curling must have something to do with a phobia or my own suppressed desire to curl. The film is another story.
I don’t take it personally because I’m not the only one.
One writer to this newspaper suggested that Corydon Cinemas would shun the film for lack of ‘guts.’
Nothing new there. The cinemas was accused of playing politics when it did not carry ‘Fahrenheit 9-11.’
Corydon Cinemas is not a 12-screen, metropolitan megaplex. If enough prints of a particular film aren’t made, Corydon won’t be given the option of carrying that film on the opening date. ‘Brokeback Mountain’ was such a film.
Chris Byrd, owner of the cinemas, said that if a print becomes available later in the run, a business decision must be made as to whether the film still has enough steam to compete with a new release.
Movie theaters are businesses. They want to make a profit, and there is no surviving without one.
And Byrd has been from Moscow to Melbourne. Good luck accusing him of a small-town mentality.
But now that Corydon Cinemas is off the hook, the fact remains that many people wouldn’t watch ‘Brokeback Mountain’ even if it was playing on television.
‘But it’s a masterful piece of film, a Best Picture nominee and a powerful story of forbidden love,’ rave those who champion the film as a ‘must see.’
Among films which did play at Corydon Cinemas during fall 2006 were the fourth installment of Harry Potter, which had a domestic box office gross of $289 million as of March 2; ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe,’ $288 million domestic gross; and ‘Walk the Line,’ $117 million domestic gross.
None of these films were nominated for Best Picture. All five of the films which were nominated failed to break the $100 million benchmark. ‘Brokeback Mountain’ had made only $76 million as of March 2.
Maybe millions of viewers simply refuse to see the best pictures being made. Or perhaps Oscar has a habit of nominating offbeat films for Best Picture while shunning many huge commercial successes.
While facts and figures can be used to defend the decision to skip this film, there really shouldn’t be a need for any defense at all. It’s just a movie, for crying out loud.
Let’s get to the nuts and bolts of what this is really about.
Mother Nature has given most of us an inability to relate to the main characters on several levels. That inability to relate carries over into society.
Heterosexual attitudes toward gay relationships run a bit deeper than disinterest. The mechanics involved leave both straight men and women alike with a tendency to regard male-on-male lovemaking as just plain gross.
Tolerance is a passive trait. It involves inaction. Choosing to protest theaters showing ‘Brokeback Mountain’ would be intolerant. Being a tolerant person doesn’t require poking one’s nose into everything regardless of interest or lack thereof. All anyone really needs to do to be tolerant is stay home if they object to that portion of the film.
But look beyond that brief moment of passion to the more plot-central issue of forbidden love.
The cinematography, acting, direction, writing and musical score must be really terrific if this film leaves viewers blaming society because two men married women for the wrong reason. It’s hard to seriously consider anything less than an arranged marriage as forced.
Personally, I’m relieved to know that straight men aren’t the only ones who marry women for the wrong reason.
There’s a clich’ that goes, ‘Have you ever tried not being gay?’ It’s supposed to be like asking a straight person if they’ve ever tried not being straight.
And that’s exactly how it feels to be accused of closed-mindedness for not sitting through two hours and 14 minutes of gay drama. Even if the reason is because it’s gay drama.