Many of us are a bit burned out over the endless gushing over Brokeback Mountain, and if you've been following my blog, you know that I've several times challenged the supposed pioneering and breakthrough status of this film--not that it didn't stab at my heart in so many ways.
But I've imagined that the people who don't NEED to see Brokeback Mountain, will see it and the people who NEED to see it won't. Nonetheless, if Brokeback Mountain's small financial success means that gay men and women will be given more and higher quality movies that are well written, well-directed and well-acted and are relevant to our lives, hallelujah. The Gods only know that the majority of gay movies have been pretty crappy.
But after having challenged the social impact aspect of Brokeback Mountain, I remembered buying and presenting a number of family members and straight friends with copies of Philadelphia. "Here, watch this and then maybe you'll finally get it." Some did and some did. I had used Philadelphia to make a difference.
So PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK is officially celebrating the April 4 release of the Brokeback Mountain DVD by issuing a challenge to every gay man and woman out there. Go buy a copy and give it to a straight person who hasn't seen the movie. People love free stuff no matter who they are and I would put forth the argument that many heterosexuals who wouldn't otherwise take the time to watch Brokeback Mountain, will do so if it's received as a gift.
Now don't go giving a copy to the obviously gay-friendly, target the almost gay-friendly or better yet, complete strangers. Give a copy to a straight family member who's not so sure about you and about "it." Be creative: a cop, a librarian, a teacher, a mother pushing a baby carriage, a bank teller, a grocery store clerk, a father playing with his son in the park, a co-worker. Do it anonymously if you must, but do it. I hear that George W. has yet to see the movie so feel free to mail one to the White House.
It's $20 out of your pocket and very little effort and at the very least you can feel really good about yourself for having done something to help generate a little more sympathy, a little more empathy and little more acceptance.
You know that organization you've always wanted to join or that volunteer work you hoped to make time for? Well, taking a straight person to school for only $20 and the time it takes to hand the DVD to another person is a good first step.
I'm also asking other bloggers to join me in this campaign. Not only will we reach more people with the message, but the more money Universal makes, the more likely they'll make more Brokeback Mountains.
Finally, the first eight readers who send me an email describing who they will present with a copy and a short explanation as to why will get a free copy of the DVD shipped out to them immediately. So eight of you won't even have to dig into your wallets to help change the way America sees us. And you know you love free stuff!