Monday, January 09, 2006

Utah Megaplex Pulls "Brokeback Mountain"

Steven Greenstreet, at This Divided State, tipped me to yet more knuckleheaded shenanigans by the American Taliban in Utah or, as it will be known for the remainder of this piece, Utahistan.

Apparently a suburban Salt Lake City theater owner decided that the movie Brokeback Mountain, which chronicles a gay romance among cowboys, would offend the sensibilities of his community and yanked the movie from the schedule hours before it was to debut.

The theater, owned by Utahistan Jazz magnate Larry Miller, posted a ticket-window message that said "There has been a change in booking and we will not be showing 'Brokeback Mountain.' We apologize for any inconvenience" without further comment.

Gayle Ruzicka, president of the conservative Utahistan Eagle Forum, said not showing the film set an example for the people of Utahistan.

"I just think (pulling the show) tells the young people especially that maybe there is something wrong with this show," she said.

OK, I agree that in a free-market economy, the owner of a private movie theater has the right to show whatever movies he or she wants. My wife and I also maintain the right to have had enough with Utahistan and its backward politics and strident, bigoted moral tone – so I guess we also have the right to not spend money there any longer.

But should we really be surprised by this?

This is a state, that effective December 22, 2005 still gives George W. Bush a 63 percent – no, not a typo – approval rating. Yeah, this is the state where we keep our best and brightest...

I actually know where all the emotional baggage and repressed sexuality really come from in Utahistan. You see, they're very proud of their frontier heritage and in particular, the fact that the Transcontinental Railroad famously joined in their state.

Imagine their dismay, years later, when they found out what the cowboys at Promontory Point really meant by the phrase "pounding the golden spike."