Skip to comments.'John Wayne made real movies. There ain't no queer in cowboy'
Posted on 12/31/2005 7:16:50 PM PST by Pokey78
Jim-Bob Zimmerschied is not a happy cowboy. "They've gone and killed John Wayne with this movie," he says angrily, beer in hand. "I've been doing this job all my life and I ain't never met no gay cowboy. It wouldn't be right."
The target of Mr Zimmerschied's outburst is Brokeback Mountain, the Hollywood Western-with-a-twist that opens in London this week and is already being tipped for Oscar success.
The "gay cowboy flick", as it has been dubbed in America, is directed by Ang Lee and stars Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as two young ranch hands who begin a long-term love affair in 1963 against the stunning backdrop of Wyoming's mountains and prairies.
American critics have enthused about the film, which has topped box office takings per cinema since its limited release in large cities last month.
But the subject matter has earned condemnation from the religious Right - and caused considerable distress in rural Wyoming, bastion of the cowboy culture of unadulterated machismo.
In Sheridan, in the heart of Marlboro Country, where ranchers and cowboys still walk the streets, the Western flavour remains authentic.
Buffalo Bill used to hold auditions for his Wild West Show on the porch of the Sheridan Inn and Custer's Last Stand was fought at the nearby Little Bighorn.
On Sheridan's Main Street, the Mint Bar is a rough and ready institution with a large neon sign of a cowboy riding a bucking bull outside and the heads of stuffed moose, elk and buffalo lining the wooden walls within.
It was here that the writer Annie Proulx had the inspiration for the short story on which the film is based. It was "generated by years and years of subliminal observation," she said in a recent interview. "But the incident that actually made me start writing it was one night when I was the Mint Bar. There was a ranch hand I used to see. This guy was back leaning against the wall by the pool tables. The bar was packed with good-looking women, and he wasn't looking at them - he was watching the guys. He was about 60, and he watched them with a kind of subdued hunger that made me wonder if he was country gay." The film has yet to play in Sheridan and the cinema manager says only that he "might" screen it. If he does, the audience is likely to be limited.
Flushed by Bud Lite, Mr Zimmerschied, a squat walrus-moustachioed man in a hat and check shirt, was in full flow. "John Wayne and Will Rogers, they made real cowboy movies. They portrayed us like we are. There ain't no queer in cowboy and I don't care for anyone suggesting there is."
When he was distracted by one of the two bar-room brawls - both apparently unrelated to the Brokeback Mountain issue - an even drunker young man stepped up to the plate. "If you gave me the choice between watching that movie and being hung by the neck, I'd tie the noose myself," he slurred.
But away from the bellicose posturing, a more subtle view emerged. Dave Miller, 48, a rancher in regulation black cowboy hat, leather waistcoat, blue jeans and boots, said: "It's not the sort of movie that I'd go to see, but this is America and people can watch whatever they want." Nonetheless, he repeated the common refrain that he had never encountered a gay cowboy. "Well, not that I knew," he added. "I just don't think our way of life is conducive to them." And like many others, his concern was that the film would give the wrong impression of life in the West.
Samantha Foster, who moved to Sheridan from cosmopolitan Seattle after marrying a local, was one of the few who said she would go to see the film. "I think it's an age thing and a sex thing," she said. "The older generation don't accept this sort of thing and it makes a lot of men uneasy.
Her husband, Jeremy, seemed less sure. "I wouldn't want to be seen going to see that film. I don't want people to get the wrong impression. I might watch it on DVD, I guess," he said.
One woman quietly disclosed that one of the area's biggest ranchers had a lesbian daughter. "It's just that nobody talks about it," she whispered.
While the patrons in the Mint Bar may be convinced that they have never met a homosexual cowboy, the popularity of the gay rodeo circuit in America is proof that they exist. "I was born gay and I was born a cowboy," said Mike Yocum, a rodeo enthusiast from Oklahoma.
"I grew up in a saddle. It's horsesh*t to say there's no such thing as a gay cowboy, but it's a very touchy subject."
Few want to go public in Wyoming. An exception is Derek Glover, 33, a rancher's son who lives in the small town of Lusk. "Folks round here just don't believe that cowboys can be gay," he said. "I wish people could be a little more open-minded, but I don't see that happening for a long time. It makes me mad that they don't approve of me, but what can I do? I'm just one person. This is smalltown America. I don't think this movie's going to make any difference."
Just north of Sheridan, Padlock Ranch is one of the 10 biggest cattle farms in America and stretches out beneath the snow-capped Bighorn mountain range.
Lee Hagel, 47, who was herding cattle there last week, had his own objections to the film. "They aren't even cowboys - they're sheep herders," he said witheringly. "You can't just put a hat on someone and say they're a cowboy."
And for pragmatic reasons, he is also troubled by plans to market Wyoming to gay holidaymakers. "We got a big influx of tourists after the Urban Cowboy film came out and all that happened was prices for boots and hats doubled as they were buying them all up. Let's hope that doesn't happen again."
Meanwhile, one Mint Bar regular offered a suggestion for another film about same-sex romance on the range. "A movie about two women would be different," he said. "I wouldn't mind that at all."
No they didn't. The Duke lives, and Hollywood's recent embarrassment isn't going to change that.
The Duke was a cross Dresser
The Duke lives, and Hollywood's recent embarrassment isn't going to change that.
You bet he does, and I have all his movies to prove it...
The Duke will endure forever......he should be added to Mt. Rushmore as an American icon!!
Them's fightin' words, pilgrim.
Why does Hollywood insist on calling sheep herders cowboys?
John Wayne will be around long after 99% of the current crop of actors is long forgotten.
I thought that I read it wasn't doing so well.
The Duke was a cross Dresser
...now take that back....
LOL, The Brits are having a field day with this film.
Translation: It was released in one-screen, liberal "art" theaters in the most liberal neighborhoods, in the most liberal cities in the US and did better than other films that weren't played at all.
Are there any straight interior decorator guys living in the Castro district of San Franciso?? Let's do a movie about it and pimp it for a few Oscars!!
They always do this. What's the point? We know that "limited release" in large cities (NYC and San Fran) means a couple of big queer-joints got the movie, and all the natives turned out. Exactly how stupid do they think we are? "Limited Release" means leftist (Mike Moore) or Gay. They're amplifying their pathetic results by controlling the audience. Same technique used by Hillary. Rotsa ruck with that taking the nation...
BS! Vile bulldyke walked into that bar with an agenda.
Cause Hollywood can distinguish from a cow or sheep...they're idiots...
Early 20th century USA Communists in Hollywood were represented chiefly in the writer, director community. They interjected their ideology into their scripts. Now, it seems this
segment of Hollywood is dominated by homosexuals. Just as movies and tv programs used to have their obligatory blacks, now there MUST be at least one or two homosexuals in every script.
Thus a handful of people change the culture. Notice the Commies are still rampant in H'wood. They hate everything about the nation and are busily burying traditional culture under their own beliefs,
Wise Words from the DUKE
"I've always followed my father's advice: he told me, first to always keep my word and, second, to never insult anybody unintentionally. If I insult you, you can be goddamn sure I intend to. And, third, he told me not to go around looking for trouble."
"I've always had deep faith that there is a Supreme Being, there has to be. To me that's just a normal thing to have that kind of faith. The fact that He's let me stick around a little longer, or She's let me stick around a little longer, certainly goes great with me--and I want to hang around as long as I'm healthy and not in anybody's way."
On The Flag
"We've made mistakes along the way, but that's no reason to start tearing up the best flag God ever gave to any country."
"Sure I wave the American flag. Do you know a better flag to wave? Sure I love my country with all her faults. I'm not ashamed of that, never have been, never will be. I was proud when President Nixon ordered the mining of Haiphong Harbor, which we should have done long ago, because I think we're helping a brave little country defend herself against Communist invasion. That's what I tried to show in The Green Berets and I took plenty of abuse from the critics."
On His Political Philosophy
"I have found a certain type calls himself a Liberal...Now I always thought I was a Liberal. I came up terribly surprised one time when I found out that I was a Right-Wing Conservative Extremist, when I listened to everybody's point of view that I ever met, and then decided how I should feel. But this so-called new Liberal group, Jesus, they never listen to your point of view..."
"If everything isn't black and white, I say why the hell not."
On Giving UP
"No you're not. We can't turn back! We're blazing a trail that started in England. Not even the storms of the sea could turn back those first settlers - and they carried it on further, they blazed it on through the wilderness of Kentucky. Famine, hunger, not even massacres could stop them. Now we've picked up the trail again and nothing can stop us, not even the snows of winter nor the peaks of the highest mountain. We're building a nation, but we've got to suffer. No great trail was ever blazed without hardship. And you've got to fight. That's life! And when you stop fightin', that's death! What are you going to do, lay down and die? Not in a thousand years! You're going on with me!"
"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I require the same from them.
On Self Sufficiency
"Have you ever heard of some fellows who first came over to this country? You know what they found? They found a howling wilderness, with summers too hot and winters freezing, and they also found some unpleasant little characters who painted their faces. Do you think these pioneers filled out form number X6277 and sent in a report saying the Indians were a little unreasonable? Did they have insurance for their old age, for their crops, for their homes? They did not! They looked at the land, and the forest, and the rivers. They looked at their wives, their kids and their houses, and then they looked up at the sky and they said thanks God, we'll take it from here."
What he would have said leading troops to IRAQ
"Speaking of politics, where we're going there are only two parties, the Quick and the Dead. Be the Quick!"
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