September 15, 2004
This morning Deena and I had breakfast and solved life. Over Grape Nuts and toast, she asked me if I was still considering putting the headline “Homos On The Range?” on the cover. This stems from a new movie filming in Alberta called Brokeback Mountain (rumored to be changed to Brokedown Mountain) about two cowboys ( Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger) who are married but fall in love with each other and have sex. No, I’m not making this up. It’s based on a story by Annie Prouix, and the controversial film is supposed to come out next year (October, 2005 insiders say). In a Deadwood kind of way, I want to catch this wave of controversy and do a cover story on homosexuality in the Old West, which of course is historically valid (where do you think “riding drag” and “cowpoke” came from?)
I admitted to Deena that after my trip to the heartland I am not so sure about using the title on the cover. Most of the people I met in Iowa and Minnesota are very conservative, more so than I ever remembered. Just on a food level, they consider Taco John too spicy. Yikes! Out here in the West it’s definitely spicier, kind of wide open, anything goes and the people tend to be more edgy, zany, wacky and off the wall (and that’s just the religious side of my family).
Deena (she’s 24) told me she considers the headline too wild and inappropriate for my audience. Jana Bommersbach thinks it’s too offensive to Gays. I asked Jana if she would have greenlighted the tv show “Queer Eye for The Straight Guy” and she admitted she wouldn’t have, but that they can do it because they’re Gay. And I said, “So if I go out tonight and have anal sex, can I use the word homo on the cover?” I just hate that PC claptrap. Well, blacks can use the N-word, but you can’t because you’re a cracker. When I think of freedom of speech and expression, I don’t think these examples are what makes America great.
Well, anyway, with that said, they’re probably both right. Deena thinks I read Rolling Stone too much and want to be like them. True (or actually, I’d like to have their circulation and they got it by being bold). Jana thinks I’m still an immature underground cartoonist trying to offend my parents, my teachers, my Boy Sout Leaders and the U.S. Government. True. My wife thinks I’m an attention starved ego-maniac. True. My business partners think I’m a loose cannon who could blow a hole in a tiny ship and scuttle it before it gets away from the dock, killing the CFO the COO and all the stockholders. Not true, but certainly ironic.
“Comedy is the art of making people laugh without making them puke.”
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