Carnival the usual puzzle presents itself. How can we be free and
uninhibited, stripping like authentic wild sprites, unmuzzled by
convention, slithering in and out of identities (vamp, washerwoman,
Casanova, greek God) an enormous sense of our sexuality, open to one
another, as if we defined equality—a judge could easily drink with a
vagrant—and yet emerge on Ash Wednesday to wear impenetrable masks that
ostracize groups of people because they are different to us—like gays
me illustrate this with an imaginary but entirely plausible conversation
between three Trinis wanting to go to the cinema, sitting in front of the
computer, looking at reviews. Let’s call them Sue, Tim and Don.
is trying to persuade the other two to go to the recently released film
Brokeback Mountain. She reads aloud from a review, “Adapted from Annie
Proulx’s brilliant 1997 short story, its that rare thing, a big
Hollywood weeper with a beautiful ache at its centre—a modern age
Western...a quietly revolutionary love story.”
I never see a Western with no ache and weeper. Is action I want, not a
It sounding cool man. No chick stars. He reads, “Brokeback is about
cowboys Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal), a
couple of young poor ranch hands, who take a job guarding a flock of sheep
on Brokeback Mountain, in the lush Wyoming wilderness. To keep the coyotes
away, Jack is assigned to sleep near the flock, but mostly the two men
have hours, days and weeks on their hands. They jump on horses to guide
the sheep across meadows and rivers; they sit around a campfire, heating
canned beans and swapping stories and a bottle of whiskey.” I sure that
have action in it.
Umm ..well, not that kinda action.
reads on: “Then, one night, when it’s too cold for either one of them
to sleep outside, they do something that the old movie cowboys never did:
They wrap their bodies in a rough embrace and, without a hint of
seduction, they have sex, an act that’s as shocking to them as it is to
us. Because it feels right, they do it again as the days go by. Ennis and
Jack, who’ve been raised in a world where to be “queer” is not to be
a man (and is, therefore, unthinkable), can’t grasp the feeling that’s
come over them because they literally don’t have the words for it.
the film you stop seeing them as gay. Even the Christian Science monitor
says Brokeback Mountain is a tragedy because these men have found
something that many people of whatever sexual persuasion never find—true
love and they can’t do anything about it. It had people weeping
uncontrollably in the end.
their love for one another, these cowboys marry, have kids and continue
their love secretly over the years.
So wait nah, they hornin’ they wife too and you want us to see that? I
thought you didn’t like hornin’?
It’s not about the horning. It’s about non-acceptance, the fact that
people would kill them if anyone found out they were gay.
You have to pay me and mask me to take me there.
You just scared babe, just in case you gay. Okay, joke. But why we have to
treat gay people like jokes. Semi human. They are not all flaming drag
queens. They are ordinary people, bankers, lawyers, friends, who get up in
the morning and go to work like you and me and want the same stuff out of
life like us—love, stability, marriage, children. And if you sweep
reality, like gays and lesbians, under the carpet because it scares you,
then what chance do the people who really need our help have—like
victims of closed door family, community, school, country conspiracies,
like incest, domestic violence, fraud. You guys could say what you want.
But its not a carnival costume, but the truth that will set you free. Now
pull down your t-shirt from over your face and see the film like a real