The trials and tribulations of a pretentious, self-obsessed, lust-stricken twentysomething, as glimpsed through the throb of pop culture.
Brokeback Mountain, The Proposition, Same-Sex Obsessions
Through a buncha twists and turns and hiccups far too politically sensitive, morally murky and made the fuck up for to go into here and now, I ended up sat weeping ‘side the KFC cross the way from the multiplex, and a lass I secretly been in love with for a time waxing all concerned in my direction.
“Come now”, she’s saying, “Look at yonder eyes all quiverin’ an’ lip all laced wi sorrow. Look at those big ol’ sheets a’ melancholy hangin’ round your neck. The hell’s the matter now, pray tell?”
And me all shrugging.
I tell her it’s nothin’ much.
I tell her I just seen Brokeback Mountain, is all.
Something in the way she adjusts the beanie up top her head says aye, I know the score, with relation to yonder flick about Donnie Darko has a stupid moustache and falls in lusty man-love wi’ him out Home And Away and the thing wi’ the skaters.
It took hold my damn heart, I’m saying, took hold the fucker right from out my guts, took hold that throbbin’ bobble o’ life an squeezed till a fella was near to shittin’ his lungs all up that velvet upholstery.
It got the weeps all giddy, I got no shame in relating, for the love a’ God it had me in a big ol’ tangle o’ blue.
“S’ok,” she says. “Ain’t a thing wrong w’i a fella weeps through such a picture.”
Perfectly true, y’unnerstann. Bigger men than me done crawled out that screening screeching the veins out their heads with Upset. Sources indicate Bill O’Reilly had to be dragged out the theater by the hair a’ the arse the time he went for to spend a couple hours having Ang Lee tell him all bout a couple shepherds started tickling others under-willies.
But hear me now, I get to relating, hear me here an now while you’re still in the country (she’s got a passport in the back-pocket burning the flesh off a’ her hide). I did some thinking throughout the affair too, oh aye, got me a brain-fulla mind-wax set for drippin’ out my maw.
What I got to thinking about is how Brokeback Mountain shares a lot with The Proposition, another flick concerned with men wearin’ hats an’ ridin’ horses an’ starin’ longingly at sunsets.
The Proposition, she’s aware, is the first genuinely brilliant western since William Munny snarled into town for to paint the bar-stools black wi’ Gene Hackman’s brains.
It’s also harsh as a Wisconsin winter, y’unnerstann, being a tale about Guy Pierce has a choice – he can hunt and kill his elder brother, or he and his younger sibling can hang from the gallows come Christmas morning.
Weighty issues to be assessed, and all the while more flies than a fella might encounter this side o’ Amityville.
But tell me now, who would expect anything less than gothic tragedy and horrific barbarity and yackin’ bout where’s God, tell me now, who but the zaniest o’ comedy schizos would expect anything different from a flick written by Nick Cave, singer of such gloriously deranged ditties as “The Mercy Seat,” about a fella’s head melts on the electric chair, an “Where The Wild Roses Grow,” about a fella beats Kylie Minogue to death on the banks of some cack-caked river?
Who would expect that there ain’t gonna be bloodshed and weighty blather and excessive flogging from the fella once hollered thus;
“‘And furthermore, I’ll fuck Billy in his motherfucking ass,’ said Stagger Lee
‘I’m a bad motherfucker, don’t you know,
And I’ll crawl over fifty good pussies just to get to one fat boy’s asshole’”
The most pitifully deranged sons a’ bitches this side o’ Lago, that’s exactly who.
“So how’s it similar to Brokeback Mountain, other than it’s got a shot o’ a fella bein kicked in the knackers?”
Here’s how, is how.
Both these glorious slabs o’ celluloid (although The Proposition is the better of the two, if’n you wanna get all pernickety like some sorta critic or some damn thing) deal with the bludgeoning of stereotypes, and with far greater success than the shockingly mediocre Crash (Being the flick about don’t be racist, and not the flick about don’t go fucking a wound in someone’s leg, for the love o’ blessed Mary, the hell kinda good is that to anyone?).
Brokeback Mountain slaps some cowboys cross the 2:35 and says “You realize, I’ll assume, that I’ve had just about enough a’ your insufferable warblin’ about who or what those gay folks are ‘sposed to be all about. You homophobic foul-hearted fucks are gettin’ on my very last tit, an’ it’s about time somebody done filmed a story about homosexuality that has a smidgen o’ reality about it. It’s high time we flung this notion o’ camp squealing prancing nonces ‘front the nearest Greyhound and watched the skulls bust in fifty under the weight a’ those wheels.”
Hearing all this ruckus in the cliché-dens, The Proposition saddles up ‘longisde and says “Aye, and also, I know we’re all awful keen on Black And White, Us And Them, God And Pagan or whatever the fuck, but here’s a tale about folks rape and murder and flog and sneer, and a fiver to whoever can point at The Baddie.”
Ain’t nobody could finger that fucker, is the way shit went down.
But look here, now, this is the most important part, y’unnerstann.
Whereas Crash, for example, is a film about Racism, Brokeback Mountain is a film about falling in love. The Proposition is a film about a fella sets out to kill his brother, maybe, he hasn’t decided yet.
(“That Guy Pierce,” she says. “If he ain’t got ‘structions scrawled up his wank-arm he’s useless as a eunuch in a brothel.”)
(Course, eunuchs were regularly employed in brothels and harems back in the day, and maybe still, who knows? Brothel in these parts is a knackered Vauxhall parked out back the off-licence. Scarcely room for a rubber, let alone anything as bourgeois as “employees.”)
These flicks don’t tell you ’bout how you need to change your world-view, they say, here’s the world. Make of it what you will. You can either accept it or sod off, I don’t got time to waste expecting a buncha slack-yapped toss-off’s to see sense just cause a picture told ’em to.
“So”, she says, pulling her coat that bit tighter round her frame lest the chill in the air freeze the pores out her flesh. “You ever, y’know, known that to happen? In the Real Life an such?”
No, I tell her, never once did Emma Thompson faint on account of my younger brother got lashed in five out front a jail-house.
“Hells fire, mean did you ever find yourself all touchy-feely round about a man o’ your self-same sex?”
What I say is no, what I say is what kinda mania you hopped on, anyroad?
Behind the eyes, you’ll be aware, s’all sortsa flashback.
“D’You Know What I Mean” by Oasis, I’ll be damned, s’just gone Number One, this record, sayin, this record’s gonna be amazing.
Fella sat beside me way back then, he’s sayin aye, I’d wager it’ll be tight as a vicar’s arse, you can be damn sure ain’t gon’ be no songs longer than three minutes, ain’t gon’ be no outlandish production, gon’ be focused, oh aye.
Be Here Now, they’re calling it. S’gonna be amazing, don’t you know?
(And it was, dammit, and I’ll defend it to the slight discomfort, best believe it.)
High on the rugged throat o’ Gallagher, we set off for to find a tavern might accept a couple moments gruntin’ and a cigarette in the yap as answer enough to the question “You got any ID?”
On receipt of a barman sympathetic to our plight, we settled ‘side a jukebox stuck on H17, bein “Revolution 9” by The Beatles, that discordant cut/paste symphony spinning close to two dozen times afore someone in the midst of a beered-up brain-wank tore the plug out the wall and trampled the fucker to chards o’ mangled mush.
Soon enough, talk took a dive t’wards the mysteries o’ the bollocks.
“See”, he gets to yackin, “I fancy her, but I can’t stand her. Mean to say, I love her, I think, but she curdles the pish in me guts.”
Me all nodding. I understand, I’m saying, s’like that lad I asked out, and yet, hetero to the back a the nuts, I am.
“Aye, for sure.” And then; “What?”
Sometimes a fella just stumbles into these things, just opens the yap without thinking and next thing anyone knows there he is, flailing in the hedgerows o’ hell with those words round about slinging sulphur ‘gainst his jowels for all eternity.
Well, like, y’know, that fella. I kinda, y’know.
“And did he?”
Well not then. Later on, like.
Later on round back the club, with the snow to the ankles and the mumbled beats all crashing from beyond the walls. Nothing X-rated, I’m telling him. Just. Y’know.
He studies the end o’ his cigarette for a time. “This is some momentous fuckin shit you’re flingin on me here.”
A silence, aye, thick as the man-slush o’ Zeus. Then it’s all come on, for fucks sakes, the hell kinda tosser are you, anyroad, a big ol’ tosser likes o’ which I never once laid eyes on, that’s what kind, if’n you accept that sorta banter as Gospel. Fuckin wi’ your mentals like there’s no tomorrow, that’s what I’m doin’ here an now.
Couple pints later it’s forgotten.
On the kerb by the KFC, the lass is asking me, “So what, then?”
“Well, did you?”
A shrug from yours truly. Who’s to say, in this day and age?
She stubs out a Regal King Size on the side of a bin, a White Nationalist Party sticker still visible even after the gallons of spit and disdain tossed in its direction these past few months. Wonder what they’d make of Brokeback Mountain, I’m thinking, and she’s standing up, brushing the dirt off her coat.
“Probably the rotten bastard’s would love it. It’s got a faggot gettin’ kicked in the face.”
Both of us sighing, and the evening all choking on promise.
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