Monday, January 02, 2006

Brokeback Mountain and the Passion of the Left: Deconstructing the Deconstructers

I haven't seen Brokeback Mountain and I probably won't, but it is providing a fascinating glimpse into the deep structure of our contemporary cultural divide. I heard an ad for the movie on Air America that was so over-the-top in its praise that it struck me as downright religious.

This intrigued me, so I decided to do some investigating. I went to the website for the movie, which has links to many of the reviews. Reading the reviews made me realize that this is indeed the secular Passion of the Christ. It has so many religious overtones that the implicit message is inescapable, and demonstrates the religious underpinnings of secular belief.

In my very first post on this blog, Where Did the PC Virus Come From?, I put forth the idea that political correctness is a specifically Western perversion of Christianity, since Christianity is the religion that elevates the ultimate victim to the status of Godhood: God is the innocent victim and the innocent victim is God. But in the bi-logic of the unconscious mind, the message easily becomes distorted, so that all victims are seen as sacrificial-victim gods. Therefore, improperly understood, this Christian cognitive template puts in place a sort of cultural "race to the bottom" in competition for who is more oppressed, and therefore, more godlike. People who actually practice Christianity don't generally have this confusion. Rather, it is only secular types who are nevertheless parasitic on the deep structure of a specifically Christian phenomenology.

Therefore, in secular liberal iconography, the victim is by definition godlike by virtue of his being persecuted and oppressed. Brokeback Mountain deals with one of the holiest of holies of leftist iconography, the homosexual. Being that homosexuals are by definition victimized by a homophobic society that hates their innocent expressions of love, homosexuals are elevated to the highest realm of the leftist pantheon.

The movie strains to convey the message that those who do not celebrate homosexuality are at war with nature. Under the title of the movie, the newspaper ad even proclaims "Love is a Force of Nature." This is because in the upside down world of the secularist, who has removed God from the equation, nature becomes the highest expression to which humans may aspire. If you deny nature, you deny God.

In his review, Kenneth Turan of the L.A. Times manages to get in three references to nature and naturalness. The two protagonists are "Alone in nature's grandness," and are "are drawn to each other almost without their knowing it's happening." Turan writes that the film "is determined to involve us in the naturalness and even inevitability of its epic, complicated love story." Moreover, "watching it gradually develop on screen, unfolding with a quiet, step-by-step naturalness, makes it emotionally convincing." In a world devoid of hierarchy, doing what comes naturally is the highest good.

Stephen Holden in the New York Times gets to the heart of the matter with a seemingly gratuitous reference to the writer Leslie Fiedler, who "characterized the bond between Huckleberry Finn and Jim, a runaway slave, as an unconscious romantic attachment shared by two males of different races as they flee the more constraining and civilizing domain of women." Holden adds that Fiedler's observation "certainly could be applied to the Lone Ranger and Tonto.... it might also be widened to include a long line of westerns and buddy movies, from Red River to Midnight Cowboy to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: the pure male bonding that dare not explore its shadow side."

This is a fascinatingly backward interpretation of male bonding. The entire basis of culture involves the transformation of the male of the species from aggressively competing with other males to cooperating with them in a desexualized, symbolic manner. As the psychoanalytic anthropologist Weston LaBarre wrote, culture is "the non-bodily and non-genetic contriving of bonds of agreement that enable this animal [males] to function as human. Such relationships--of father and son, and of male and male--must be forged morally....What connects father and son, male and male, is the mystery of logos and logos alone.... logos as laws, agreements, rules, and regularities of behavior."

In other words, culture is founded on the ability of males to rise above nature (including their own nature). Therefore, to elevate nature to the highest is a quite explicit assault on culture and civilization itself. Maleness is given by nature, but manhood isn't. Manhood can only be conveyed from man to man, from fathers to sons (either literally or symbolically). Males must be initiated into manhood, into the "wisdom" that holds males together. To sexualize this link is astoundingly subversive, something the Boy Scouts recognize but leftists do not. It is absolutely vital to civilization that young men be provided with a realm of male love that is unencumbered by sexuality, and there are fewer and fewer such realms available today because of the leftist assault on traditional manhood. This film is truly a shot across the civilizational bow.

Not surprisingly, one of the protagonists of Brokeback Mountain has a dysfunctional relationship with his own father. Ennis is "haunted by a childhood memory of his father taking him to see the mutilated body of a rancher, tortured and beaten to death with a tire iron for living with another man," and "is immobilized by fear and shame." Here is the reversal of the male-to-male civilizing process: a wicked father who has failed to initiate his son into the ways of manhood, and instead conveys the message that the world of the Fathers is a violent and oppressive one.

Holden draws exactly the wrong message, writing that "America's squeaky closet doors may have swung open far enough for a gay rodeo circuit to flourish. But let's not kid ourselves. In large segments of American society, especially in sports and the military, those doors remain sealed. The murder of Matthew Shepard, after all, took place in Brokeback territory. Another recent film, Jarhead, suggests how any kind of male behavior perceived as soft and feminine within certain closed male environments triggers abuse and violence and how that repression of sexual energy is directly channeled into warfare."

Even if Matthew Shepard had been murdered because he was gay, these would not be examples of manhood, but failures of the culture to properly initiate these violent and abusive males into manhood.

Jan Stuart in Newsday is also amazingly clueless in her analysis, writing that "the two intrepid young actors manage to bust up several mythologies," including "the myth of the cowboy West, a land of manlier-than-thou men who release any pent-up longings with a quick stop at the local cathouse and a long drag on a Marlboro cigarette." Again we see an explicit devaluing of the realm of the masculine, even the possibility of a non-sexualized and nonviolent realm of manhood. Not surprisingly, sex and violence are linked in the film: "Their simmering mutual attraction overtakes them by surprise, in a violent coital burst."

Stuart also makes explicit the Biblical connection to paradise and fallen man, except that it is not a catastrophic fall away from God, but from nature: the movie "coaxes audiences to walk several hundred miles in its characters' shoes, luring us with the scent of forbidden fruit," as "the men attempt to re-create their youthful Eden on the sly over the ensuing years."

Mike LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle finds implicit resonance with the revelation of Sinai, writing that the film "makes no sense, except in one place in the world, the place where it started, on Brokeback Mountain in Wyoming. And though they come down from that mountain and go about their lives, they keep going back to it, over the course of years, because however much the love doesn't make sense, it's real - so real, it makes their lives unreal." Again, it's the reverse Sinai-dispensation of the secular left: that nature is the highest to which we may aspire, the only thing in the world that makes sense.

Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun Times also makes reference to the dysfunctional father that is at the heart of the movie, quoting Ennis: "There were two old guys shacked up together. They were the talk of the town, even though they were pretty tough old birds." One day they were found beaten to death. Ennis says: "My dad, he made sure me and my brother saw it. For all I know, he did it."

So the father not only fails in his civilizing mission, he is the murderer at the heart of the film. This is the original sin: the violent father symbolically murdering his own son instead of ushering him into manhood. Indeed, Ebert acknowledges that "This childhood memory is always there, the ghost in the room.... When he was taught by his father to hate homosexuals, Ennis was taught to hate his own feelings." This film goes way back, all the way to the beginning of civilization: Abraham, the primordial father, instead of pulling back and founding monotheism, sacrifices Isaac and initiates the Culture of the Holy Victim.

Ebert gushes that Brokeback Mountain is "the story of a time and place where two men are forced to deny the only great passion either one will ever feel."

Perpetual victims, crucified for doing what comes naturally. The Passion of the Secularist.


Just in case it isn't clear, I am writing about deeper cultural trends, not about particular homosexuals, many of whom are obviously fine people. This is about homosexuality being used by the left as a sort of cultural battering ram, in exactly the same way that they use race and "gender." Just as the left doesn't actually care about the interests of blacks but simply uses them to advance the leftist agenda, so too do they use homosexuals for that purpose, the ultimate purpose being to attack the transcendental and hierarchical realm that actually makes us human.


WalkInTheLight said...

The feelings of homosexuality or bisexuality are very REAL.

The choices each man makes about these very real feelings have consequences.

If you choose to follow your "feelings" rather than the truth of God's will find suffering and ultimately you will find death.

I know a little bit about the topic as I've struggled with bisexual feelings since I was a teenager. I've chosen to resist the temptations of going against what scripture (God's Word) teaches about homosexuality and I have a great peace in my heart knowing that God does see and know everything, every motive, every secret thing that is done, God does see it all and there is coming a judgement day for each of us to give an account for what we did with our life.

If you struggle with this temptation, please know that you do not have to give yourself over to those desires...there is freedom in Christ Jesus...He came to set us sinners free....and as you put your faith and trust in Him will find peace in your heart also.

The struggle may not go away...but you will have strength for the journey as you walk in the light of His love.

I welcome anyone who cares to discuss this issue.

May God bless you.

who, me? said...

This cuckoo-bird-like seizing of an explicitly religious attitude toward the homosexual qua homosexual is the presenting symptom in a huge rift in the American Episcopal Church. The triumph of homosexuality is being styled "a move of the Holy Spirit." Some, especially most of the worldwide Anglican communion, see it differently.

Not unrelated, the Male Initiation theme is overlooked at a culture's peril. It seems to involve the elements of
--a kind of cohort, happening to age-mates together, or at approximately the same age;
--a challenging threat, with life (at least apparently) at stake;
--elders who sponsor and require the challenge and then, on the other side of the initiation, welcome the young male into a somewhat-secret (i.e. separate from women and children) community of courage, purpose, and willingness to provide, rather than demanding the indulgent shelter of the Mother's Hut. It would appear that the father in the film executed a failed initiation(though it sounds a cheap narrative device). The product of a failed initiation is grief-pathos, pain, and unearned claims of superiority to the initiating class.

Personally, I see Walk in the Light's stated position as a kind of honorable self-Initiated Maturity in a difficult position, an inspiring and a spiritually fertile participation in life. He is so right that "feelings" and "what comes naturally" have no inbuilt protections from going completely off the rails, especially once the descent into relativism outlaws and discredits the Natural Law, the "ick" factor in choosing whom and what to serve, and muted warnings as to the outcomes of the choice.

Gagdad Bob said...

It is true that there are undoubtedly some obligatory homosexuals, and that they deserve our tolerance. But there are actually far fewer than we are led to believe by the activists. The last thing to tell a sexually ambivalent teenage boy is that they should simply "act on their feelings," as if there are no unnatural or destructive feelings. It's a terrible message to send a child--another instance of the left abusing children under the guise of helping them "come out" and "acccept their homosexuality," as if it's a foregone conclusion.

Anonymous said...

Partly off-topic, but the obsession with nature and feelings reminds me of the post and discussion a few months back at "Gates of Vienna" on the Coalition against Civilization and the whole anarcho-primitivist movement.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you for pointing out the sick, lefty valueless agenda represented by movie. I too won't see it and am in fact working with other to get our local theatre to stop showing it. You and you readers should become active as we have. We succeeded in getting Procter and Gamble to stop advertising on Will and Grace, although we had less success with Ford. At my son's private school we successfully pressured a homosexual teacher/coach to resign. At the local public school they are attempting the same. We have also established a parent curriculum committee to review all assigned reading material.

Thanks for the inspiring intellectual support !! We will win the battle against the degenerate secular left.

Gagdad Bob said...

Er, I think you missed the point.

Anonymous said...

Gagdad Bob,
Some of the comments today bring up a thought I have had before about you. You're like a Nietzsche to some future Hitler. It scares me a bit. In that vein, I think it is irresponsible of you to give Petey's angry and hostile (prejudicial?) sarcasm a stage. His destructive urges require greater policing by you, and it is your responsibility to understand that there are many in your audience who, er, miss the point all too zealously and monomaniacally.

Anonymous said...

As a straight single woman, I appreciate honest gay men. At least out gay men aren't wasting women't time, trying to be straight. I want to be with a guy who likes women, not a guy who's trying not to like men (that way).I do understand Gagdad Bob's point, which makes my post slightly OT, but I don't see anyone else being on topic either. And as long as I'm here...every time I see the title "Brokeback Mountain," I'm tempted to read it as "Bareback Mountain."

Gagdad Bob said...

Interesting. When you write about homosexuality, it never fails: people hear what they want to hear. Whay is that?

I will address this in a future post.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. When you write about homosexuality, it never fails: people hear what they want to hear. Whay is that?

I will address this in a future post.

please do address why you choose to write in such derisive tone about a movie you haven't seen seeing it as a sign of the decedent left.

The movie (which you might want to see before writing about)tells a homosexual love story unrequited because of social mores. One character leads a lonely life, the other is murdered for his sexual orientation.

But it is sick to see this as a tragic story, I guess it is decadent lefty thought to think this happened to anyone in the real world in the 1950s or early 1960s or it would say anything about society if it did.

And you're "surprised" at the response. Was that surprised at the homophobes or surprised at those that took offense

But "many gays are fine people" (I'm sure they needed your approval)

As long I guess, as they stay in the closet and don't have their lives portrayed in movies (or books,plays, television,music too ?). 'Cause that would be a manifestation of the hijacking of our culture by the sick leftys.

btw your evidence that liberals "don't care " about blacks. And conservatives care about ?

Gagdad Bob said...

"You're like a Nietzsche to some future Hitler."

Exactly! Except that Nietzsche and I have exact opposite views on everything, and that fascism and totalitarianism always comes from the left, not out of the classical liberalism I advocate.

"please do address why you choose to write in such derisive tone about a movie you haven't seen seeing it as a sign of the decedent left."

--Because, as I made clear, I am writing about the cultural phenomenon of the movie, not the movie itself. I have no interest in the film per se, only what it reveals about the deep structure of leftist thought and passion.

"And you're "surprised" at the response. Was that surprised at the homophobes or surprised at those that took offense?"


"But "many gays are fine people" (I'm sure they needed your approval)

--You're free to be sarcastic, but I was simply trying to emphasize that I was not writing about individual homosexuals, but about how homosexuals are used by the left to advance their political agenda.

"btw your evidence that liberals "don't care " about blacks. And conservatives care about ?

--You are not receptive to truth at this moment in your life. Perhaps some other time.

Anonymous said...

as a gay person i don't feel "used" by brokeback mountain or the reviewers

i do, however feel intellectually abused by your equating the film with some sort of societal decadence decrying the film in which

"homosexuals are elevated to the highest realm of the leftist pantheon. "

and then stating:

"I am writing about deeper cultural trends, not about particular homosexuals, many of whom are obviously fine people"

so a film portraying gays in a positive light is part of a debased society but some of us are "fine people"

thanks for nothing

intellectual homophobia even when "the lady doth protest too much"

btw some of best friends are black...and jewish... and hispanic. It's just their politics, movies, music and art I have a problem with.

Gagdad Bob said...

You're missing the point entirely. I was drawing an ironic parallel between the religious iconography of the left vs. that of the religious right. You are free to not understand what I'm talking about, but there's no reason to be offended. You're just making my point--to the left, everything is open for analysis and deconstruction except for their own sacred icons. Piss Christ? No problem. Brokeback Mountain? Sacred victims! Hands off!

Anonymous said...

will the american right's deeply morbid and immature fascination with gay sex never end?


Anonymous said...

Anonymous straight gal ~

Shouldn't that be Bareback Mountin' ?

Everybody else ~

Er, tolerance is good, force-feeding obligatory acceptance is not.

Anonymous said...

More interesting comments on this subject:

See archive of 21 December-

"... but the elephant in the room is not anal sex; it's the political and social agenda of the gay movement, whose purpose is to overturn a moral consensus which has underlain western civilization for at least 2,000 years."

Anonymous said...


i agree

as I said let's get that will and grace show off the air. And in NY the new City Council President is LESBIAN

our culture and civilization are at risk

Chip said...

A much deeper question cutting to the core of the Hollywood logos: Will I pay money to see the movie?

No, no I won't.

deadman said...

Gaaaaah--wanker!! you aren't gay. How in the world anyone thinks that victims will ever be much more than victims is some sort of iconography gone wild. Christianity in its purist form simply has no room for judgement of anykind. Grace is the issue at hand NOT victims as the nobility of nature.... It's unconditional love. subverting all mens homosexual needs is a social stricture of new western origin. homophobia is so rampant. Why is that? who would care what a tiny percentage of the population could have sexual desires different from there own unless there is far more to it? If man were allowed to align his sexual pathos as it developed naturally there would be no dominoe effect of queer nation. Some straight guys could easily guide their weaker fellows who are gay not of real love for men but a need to consume and bring into himself what he isn't and working for just the drops of sweat ofF the superhero's jock. Ashamed he is so far from that world that he works it into a kind of cannabilistic obsession. we'll never achieve a healthy society of men until homosexuality is part and parcel of that small group of people well integrated into the rest of society with complete acceptance love, compassion and respect. It is fully insane to think that not blending homosexuality into the script of nature on the same strata as heterosexuality will somehow promulgate armies of limp wristed pillow biters all burning in desire to do nothing but to consume the essence of another man. No! That's more like it is now!!! balance and harmony and a much better understanding between males and females and the breadth of all sexual needs. Giving is grace. grace is showing that you can love and guide the fearful and ashamed. and to have that strength is manly and compassionate. But then this man is not so scary, imposing, mocking.... Alienation of young homosexuals deepens neediness driven of self hate ultimately. Bring them in from their exile and the straight jock is their friend and brother. then tension is resolved and that jock is just another man like you ...guy! no idolized unreachable super penis with sperm gushing like a artesian well. No NO simply another man like you with differences but not a god. Straight guys give all your gay friends a big hearty loving nonsexual hug... that you love them however they are. This is the biggest way to destroy all of the cultural perversity and degradation of the modern gay culture. for in no longer being cast out they are without need to play the fatalistic queen yearning for her MAN. That man exists nowhere. But he is created not out of homosexuality but out of it's exclusion hate and fear.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read your entire blog, so maybe you have already addressed this, but isn't a phobia and irrational fear? It is telling that the homosexual left label those who oppose their agenda "crazy".

I have a theory, actually it would be a two part hypothesis. No one would fund the research for obvious reasons.

1) I hypothesize that since we are pack animals, hypocrisy is built into every one of us. What we want to do is not what we want our pack to do. We want to get away with as much as we can, but we want the pack to be as secure as possible. Our selfishness(the true human nature) is always at war with the stability of society.

In a permissive society, Individuals are allowed to do things at are actually at odds with this first instinct. Individuals can "rest assured" as the step out into activities that deviate from the norm that the pack will not reject them.

2)One of our strongest instincts is procreation. In moderntmes this instinct is no longer necessary for the propagation of the species, so it has morphed into a pasttime or aform of entertainment. In the secular world, they don't even want to recognize that it is an instinct, "the measure of everything" has elevated himself above such primative things.

Still these two instincts endure. The instinct to reproduce and the instinct to maintain a strong pack. Therefore it is perfectly natural that most hetrosexuals will have an aversion to homosexuality. No amount of desensitization (which was one of the reasons for the movie to exist) will completely remove this natural aversion to any deviant sexuality that doesn't atleast simulate...well, mating.

So, if my hypothesis is correct, the label homophobia is a sickening misnomer. It debases the basic instinct that has insured the very existance of our species.

I have heard many on the right (especially the Christian right) state that any society that embracessociety is one that is cursed. As if the very decision to acquiesce to the homosexual agenda is what dooms a society. I think the inevitable American promotion of widespread homosexuality is mearly a symptom of a society that has been doomed for at least the past 60 years.

But's just an hypothesis!

Peace be unto you,

Jimmmmmmmmm aka Long Rider

Anonymous said...

Correction: I have heard many on the right (especially the Christian right) state that any society that embraces(insert HOMOSEXUALITY here) is one that is cursed. As if the very decision to acquiesce to the homosexual agenda is what dooms a society. I think the inevitable American promotion of widespread homosexuality is mearly a symptom of a society that has been doomed for at least the past 60 years.

Jimmmmmmmmmmm AKA long rider