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ThoughtsOnline

Friday, January 06, 2006


I mentioned to someone yesterday that every movie represents someone trying to advance an argument as to how they see the world... and that we all would be well-advised to keep that in mind, that the stories told in movies don't necessarily square with the facts...

This is true, whether it is Spielberg portraying the War on Terror in Munich, John Wayne movies with their somewhat romanticized view of war... or Brokeback Mountain (we'll see how many Google hits I get from this)...

The storyline (as you all know) is about two guys who meet and begin a homosexual relationship. Yet, what is the likelihood of that actually happening?

First off, the percentage of homosexuals in the country is supposed to be around 2% of the male population. I don't know whether gays are more or less likely to choose to become cowboys than, say, writers in San Francisco, but let's assume that gays represent 2% of the cowboy demographic as well.

So, what are the odds of two gays (for, as we've been told, homosexuals are born, they're not made in the mountains) coming across one another? As I'm doing the math, 2% X 2% = .0004%... in other words, it would - on average - take 2,500 encounters before two gay guys found themselves together.

Now what is the likelihood that 2,500 such pairs of cowboys have found themselves up on a mountain exposed to the elements in a situation such as that depicted in the movie, that would result in a 'union' such as that depicted in the movie? Not much, right?

So, right off the bat, the story proceeds with an element that just doesn't ring true. It might be entertaining, if you like that kind of movie, but it's not at all representative of anything... which leads to my bigger point:

What kind of a social statement can a movie make when the underlying premise is so fundamentally unsound? In science, a flaw in the beginning of the experiment ruins the whole thing.

And, in argument, starting with a flaw makes the rest of the arguments subject to being dismissed out of hand... and rightly so.

So go see the movie if you want to see the first on-screen love story of 2006... just don't bother talking about what it all means... because it means nothing, nothing at all.