Frankly speaking, I ROTL-ed when I heard that Ang Lee was making a movie about Cowboys… pardon my ignorance but I just found it hilarious that a Chinese director was making a western. Well, even though I haven’t seen that movie (nor intend to see it), it’s now something hard to ignore. The web’s just filled with infantile mnemonic junk who’s owners should be shot for stealing time from busy yet meme-addicted people like me. Maybe it’s something about the movie title that’s so mesmerizing… repeat after me: “Brokeback Mountain”
Since I didn’t watch the movie, it makes sense to learn my personal process of discovering it. My first spoiler unfortunately came in the form of a western set with gay King Kongs making love on Channel E’s “The Soup” (I kid you not!). Then I allowed my colleague Chris to tell me what he thought of the movie and he said it was pretty good and that it was about gay cowboys. Well, the title “Brokeback” was suggestive enough, short of “broken wrist mountain”. This inspired me to think that since most cowboys I’ve seen on TV are all about being macho, perhaps most cowboys are gay after all. Well enough of the irrelevant logic, we’re here to find out why on earth it became a sensation, both on the silver screen and our wireless laptop ones too.
In any case, I threw caution in the wind and read up about Brokeback from Wikipedia. Apparently the Brokeback story first appeared on the New Yorker (1998), then on a published anthology entitled Close Range: Wyoming Stories (1999, see right), before being turning into a screenplay by Ang Lee. The film saw limited release in the United States on December 9, 2005 and did very well, taking $547,425 in just five theaters its first weekend. According to several sources, including TV Guide and indiewire, this was the highest per-showing average for any drama in film history. The movie was later unleashed to the public in cinemas nationwide on 20th Jan 2006.
Proof to its popularity lies in the salvo of Brokeback Mountain mashup memes fired upon innocent netizens today. Some of them are shown in the posters above, while a few came out of the closet to become full on video spoofs. One of the most popular renditions that made its rounds yesterday was Broke Mac Mountain, a hilarious video featuring gay IT tech support people who would tell you that hand holding between same sex is pretty common (maybe Mac evangelist Adri would agree). Another video spoof whose title says it all is Brokeback to the Future (hat tip to MrBrown).
In any case, we can see how well this meme performs through this live Technorati chart (see left) which tracks posts tagged Brokeback per day for the last 30 days. Let’s see if it has the staying power to end up being the next Peanut Butter Jelly Guy…