Daily Archives: July 11, 2009

‘Brüno’ is (mostly) good for gays

Gay fashionista Brüno (a.k.a. Sacha Baron Cohen), of Vienna, poses with adopted son O.J., whom he obtained in exchange for a limited-edition iPod.

So the Internet buzz is that the movie “Brüno” is bad for gays.

Oh, puhfucklinglease.

The only camps of people who truly could believe that are self-homo-hating gays and the members of the heterosexual politically correct crowd who want to be offended on behalf of us queers in order to burnish their PC credentials.

Any actual damage that comic genius Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Brüno” might cause the gay community (if there is such a thing [and there isn’t]) most likely is offset considerably by the pervasive homo-hatred that Cohen brings to light in “Brüno.”

Only fucktards could believe in all of the gay stereotypes that Cohen uses liberally in “Brüno,” but even dullards should come away from “Brüno” with a better sense of what hatred — and consequent danger — there is for gays throughout the United States of America, land of the free (well, free for stupid, white, presumably straight, “Christian” males, anyway). 

In at least one scene it appears that Cohen-as-Brüno nearly was hit by a large object thrown at him by a homo-hater that could have caused him serious injury had it made contact with him (I won’t give it away by giving the details), and in another scene, what appears to be an angry mob of Orthodox Jews seriously chasing him in what appears to be Israel gives us a hint as to how “civilized” our partner in war crimes and crimes against humanity, Israel, is (which is about as “civilized” as the United States is). 

Not only was Cohen’s physical safety apparently jeopardized by homo-hatred and anti-homo violence in his quest to get footage for “Brüno,” but even when his physical safety was not jeopardized, with his antics as the gay Austrian fashionista Brüno he still reveals homo-hatred aplenty. (Salon.com’s often-lame reviewer and even the New York Times’ lame reviewer both seem to think that this isn’t such a big deal — homo-hatred is pretty much expected of the red states, which pretty much makes it OK, right? — which strikes me as rather homo-hateful itself.)    

Perhaps most revealing is the segment in which Cohen-as-Brüno appears before an all- or mostly black television talk-show audience in Dallas; the segment showcases how homo-hating many, if not most, black Americans are. Don’t you dare to discriminate against them based upon race, but they feel perfectly fine discriminating against non-heterosexuals. Gay indeed is the new black, with even the historically oppressed blacks shitting and pissing upon gays.

One stupid white man (at a gun show, I believe it is) tells Cohen-as-Brüno apparently quite seriously that if Brüno refers to him as gay one more time, he will inflict upon Brüno serious bodily injury. (I mean, think of that: This man believes that being gay is so awful, is such a stigma, that he is justified in even doing serious bodily injury to someone who calls him gay.) And I was surprised to see that Cohen-as-Brüno apparently did not get a gunned pulled on him when he went out with a group of redneck hunters and proceeded to get rather Brokeback on them after nightfall.

“Brüno” also exposes Ron Paul (whom Bruno claims [hilariously, I thought] he had thought was RuPaul) as quite a homo-hater; Cohen-as-Brüno has Ron Paul using, on camera, the epithet “queer” quite seriously and quite liberally — even though the effete Paul strikes me as quite possibly non-heterosexual himself.

(A long time ago I passed a Ron Paul table near the California State Capitol. Knowing that Paul is a right-winger masquerading as a moderate and/or as an “independent,” I kept walking past the Paul propaganda table when one of the Paul zombies stopped me. I told him that I cannot support a homophobe.

The young male zombie informed me that he is gay yet he was following Paul. Whether he was telling the truth or was lying in order to try to gain a convert to his little cult I’m not sure, but when I saw Paul using the word “queer” in “Brüno” today, I felt pretty fucking vindicated. [Yes, Cohen-as-Brüno certainly eggs Paul on, but Paul’s reaction is quite homo-hateful and there is no excuse for that hatred. It’s OK to fault a person for his or her wrong actions, but not for whom he or she is.])

“Brüno” is crude, of course, and as with “Borat,” sometimes this works as comedy and sometimes it doesn’t. Cohen-as-Brüno employs about every gay sexual stereotype imaginable. There are dildos aplenty and Brüno’s pygmy boyfriend (yes, pygmy boyfriend) proves to be quite, um, capacious as well as portable. Cohen employed a lot of homo-related gags in “Borat,” and the character of Borat is heterosexual, so you can imagine what “Brüno” is like. 

If you hated “Borat,” you probably will hate “Brüno,” too, and if you loved “Borat,” as I did, you probably will find “Brüno” funny but a little less funny than “Borat,” as I did.

On its own, “Brüno” holds up to “Borat,” but we saw “Borat” before we saw “Brüno,” so Cohen’s shtick of filming the spontaneous reactions of bigoted dupes to his antics in character isn’t brand-new to us anymore.

And “Brüno” mimicks “Borat” in some plot aspects, such as in that both Borat and Brüno find themselves leaving their native nations and making pilgrimages in the United States. And Borat has his sidekick in the blubbery Azamat, while Brüno’s sidekick is Lutz, his fawning “assistant’s assistant” (although Lutz plays a smaller role in “Bruno” than Azamat does in “Borat”). And in both “Borat” and “Brüno,” the title character has a spat with his sidekick that forces a separation, only to have the sidekick return later at a critical junction in the title character’s unfolding story.

Hopefully, Sacha Baron Cohen will use a different formula for his next film, but “Brüno” had me laughing hysterically throughout, so much so that in the theater my boyfriend asked me several times to keep it down, so Cohen succeeded in his main goal for “Brüno,” which was to be funny.

As a gay man, the only scene of “Brüno” that made me uncomfortable is the scene in which Cohen-as-Brüno shows apparently faked photographs of him and his adopted toddler O.J. partying in a hot tub with his naked gay friends. The myth of gay men as pedophiles doesn’t need to be reinforced.

But probably Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants have more reason to be offended by “Brüno” than do gay men. How Cohen-as-Brüno actually got Paula Abdul to sit atop a Mexican(-American) guy serving as a piece of furniture in order to do a serious interview about the importance of humanitarianism I don’t know. But even with that, Cohen’s intent, it seems, was to show us how Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants are treated in the United States; of course Cohen doesn’t believe that such treatment is acceptable.

“Brüno” also contains plenty of Nazi jokes, such as how Brüno quite seriously reflects that he is the second great man from Austria.

But Cohen can get away with his jokes about Nazis and Jews because we know where he stands; he’s Jewish, so he’s hardly an anti-Semite.

And it was in an interview with NPR after the release of “Borat” that Cohen stated that of the characters he has played, duping people, he has most been concerned for his physical safety while playing the gay character of Brüno — a testament, he stated, as to the severity of the problem of homo-hatred and anti-homo violence.

Sacha Baron Cohen is on our gay men’s side. Those gay men who claim otherwise because they find “Brüno” to be offensive should examine their own deepest beliefs about homosexuality and being gay, and those straight self-appointed members of the PC Police who want to be offended on my behalf should find another group on whose behalf to be offended.

My grade: A-

P.S. I’m really not getting the “argument” that I’m seeing everywhere that it was just too easy for Cohen to evoke homo-hateful words and deeds from homo-haters.

“Ridiculing American rubes is like shooting dead, motionless fish in a barrel filled with Jell-O,” notes one pretentious writer who tells us, rather explicitly, that he’s above and beyond it all (as do the rest of his ilk).

OK, so then you see news stories like this one from The Associated Press from today:

Salt Lake City – A gay couple say they were detained by security guards on a plaza owned by the Mormon church and later cited by police, claiming it stemmed from a kiss on the cheek.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said that the men became argumentative and refused to leave after being asked to stop their “inappropriate behavior.” The men say they were targeted because they are gay.

Matt Aune said he and his partner, Derek Jones, were walking home from a concert nearby on Thursday night, cutting through the plaza near the Salt Lake City Mormon temple.

Aune, 28, said he gave Jones, 25, a hug and kiss and that the two were then approached by a security guard, who asked them to leave, telling them they were being inappropriate and that public displays of affection aren’t allowed on the property. He said other guards arrived and the men were handcuffed.

“We asked what we were doing wrong,” Aune told The Associated Press.

Church spokeswoman Kim Farah said in a statement Friday that the men were “politely asked to stop engaging in inappropriate behavior — just as any other couple would have been.”

“They became argumentative and used profanity and refused to leave the property,” she said. The church did not immediately respond to a request for more comment.

Police later arrived and both men were cited with misdemeanor trespassing, Salt Lake City Police Sgt. Robin Snyder said.

“It doesn’t matter what they were asked to leave for,” Snyder said. “If they are asked to leave and don’t they are … trespassing.”

The church has been the target of protests over its support of a ban on gay marriage in California.

I find it hard to believe that a heterosexual couple would have been handcuffed for a kiss on the cheek, and I find the “trespassing” “issue” to be a smokescreen for the Mormon cult’s homo-hatred.

To those who claim, explicitly or implicitly, that homo-hatred isn’t a problem or that it’s such old hat that Cohen shouldn’t have even bothered to make a film about it, I say to you heartily and wholeheartedly: FUCK YOU!

No one would claim in an article posted on a supposedly reputable website that racist hate speech and racist acts of violence are acceptable or even tolerable.

Why the fuck, then, is it still wide open season on gays? Even by pretentious, supposedly enlightened, above-and-beyond-it-all writers?

P.P.S. Just thought I’d note that my favorite film critic, Roger Ebert, loved “Brüno” too.

“The needle on my internal laugh meter went haywire, bouncing among hilarity, appreciation, shock, admiration, disgust, disbelief and appalled incredulity,” Ebert wrote in his review of “Brüno,” adding, “Here is a film that is 82 minutes long and doesn’t contain 30 boring seconds.”

I should have noted that “Brüno” was directed by Larry Charles, who also directed “Borat” and “Religulous” with Bill Maher. I love Charles’ direction — I’ve reviewed both “Borat” (here) and “Religulous” (here) — and I look forward to his next film.

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