LOVE'S MEASURES

LOVE'S MEASURES   BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN DOSSIER  lage People’s cowboy, or of gay rodeo, one of the smartest jokes came from Conan O’Brien: “Today the controversial new movie Brokeback Mountain opens, about two gay cowboys. Apparently you can tell the characters are gay because they’re dressed like cowboys.” Perhaps all the jokes finally function as revenge against a gay narrative that completely disavows camp. Intended as cowboy vernacular for declaring the pain of forbidden desire, “I wish I knew how to quit you” instantly became the film’s most parodied line: even Ang Lee could not resist it when accepting his Oscar. But the film’s other key declaration seems to desperately summarize its inevitable failure to control its popular reception: “You know I ain’t queer.” But no, we have decided, the film is queer, and hilariously so: better funny fags than tragic homosexuals. Notes 1. 2. Owen Wister, The Virginian (New York: Macmillan, 1902). Oscar Wilde, “The American Invasion,” in The Artist as Critic: Critical Writings of Oscar Wilde, ed. Richard Ellmann (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), 54. DOI 10.1215/10642684-2006-020 Dana Luciano There’s been a lot of talk about those shirts, those touchingly intertwined, visibly bloodstained, achingly emptied shirts, liberated from http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies Duke University Press

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Publisher
GL/QCML
Copyright
© 2007 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1064-2684
eISSN
1064-2684
D.O.I.
10.1215/10642684-2006-021
Publisher site
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Abstract

  BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN DOSSIER  lage People’s cowboy, or of gay rodeo, one of the smartest jokes came from Conan O’Brien: “Today the controversial new movie Brokeback Mountain opens, about two gay cowboys. Apparently you can tell the characters are gay because they’re dressed like cowboys.” Perhaps all the jokes finally function as revenge against a gay narrative that completely disavows camp. Intended as cowboy vernacular for declaring the pain of forbidden desire, “I wish I knew how to quit you” instantly became the film’s most parodied line: even Ang Lee could not resist it when accepting his Oscar. But the film’s other key declaration seems to desperately summarize its inevitable failure to control its popular reception: “You know I ain’t queer.” But no, we have decided, the film is queer, and hilariously so: better funny fags than tragic homosexuals. Notes 1. 2. Owen Wister, The Virginian (New York: Macmillan, 1902). Oscar Wilde, “The American Invasion,” in The Artist as Critic: Critical Writings of Oscar Wilde, ed. Richard Ellmann (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), 54. DOI 10.1215/10642684-2006-020 Dana Luciano There’s been a lot of talk about those shirts, those touchingly intertwined, visibly bloodstained, achingly emptied shirts, liberated from

Journal

GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay StudiesDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2007

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