There was an interesting barrage of OpEds in the Denver Post last weekend concerning the film Brokeback Mountain, the now nearly infamous gay cowboy movie.
The matter in question was whether or not to actually see the film if you are, in fact, not gay.
Most of the OpEd arguments against participating fell under either of these two:
a) a moral opposition
b) a relevance opposition
In other words, you might be opposed to seeing Brokeback Mountain based on your moral stance, e.g. homosexuality is wrong; or you refuse to see it because it does not relate to you.
However, one commenter wondered if those that opted out of the movie based on its relevance had also seen movies such as Star Wars or ET. Surely those same people hadn’t destroyed Death Stars or aided an alien to get back home. So how could someone feel they relate to some movies but not others?
This is a very good argument against the relevance stance. For certainly the story of Brokeback is personally relevant to a great many people. But should personal relevance solely be our basis for entertainment? Should it be requisite that I first understand how a serial killer feels before I watch a biopic about one? Should I first be able to empathize with the CGI fish’s motivations before I watch him escape the fish bowl?
Or is it enough to recognize that some stories are just stories, while others resonate with more universal human experiences?
The moral opposition argument is a completely other stance.
I for one, have not seen Brokeback Mountain, but for neither of these reasons. You see, I have a girlfriend, which I suppose puts me squarely in the heterosexual camp. Time lately has been a premium, and with so many other movies and events to partake in, well…