But enough of the past -- what is tickling the Holy Prepuce right this minute? First, this article concerning "a startling list of alleged abuses and crimes" at the Florida Department of Corrections. The inmate abuse, kickbacks, and misuse of public funds are nothing remarkable for a state prison system. But worthy of note is FDOC's innovative personnel policy: the awarding of promotions based on home runs hit in the inter-departmental softball league! And how did department employees react to this policy? Why, just as anyone would adapt to an environment in which career advancement depends on slugging ability: steroids. Oh yes, and apparently each game was followed by an orgy.
Second, Heath Ledger's hasty addition to this year's "let's play John Williams music under a montage of everyone who's died since the last Oscars" reminds H.P. of the always-reliable Westboro Baptist Church, which picketed the actor's memorial services because of his role in Brokeback Mountain. According to WBC, Ledger's portrayal of a gay cowboy has rendered him a "fag enabler" and condemned him to an eternity of torment in Hell. (As this site has noted before, WBC believes Ledger will have a lot of company there, most recently the victims of the Northern Illinois University shootings, smitten by God because of a 2000 NIU "conference for fags . . . headed by some preacher who had a sex change operation.")
The thing that H.P. has never understood about the religious and other anti-gay opposition to Brokeback Mountain is this idea that the movie is some kind of recruiting commercial for gayness, ready to lead young Christian men astray. But if we take the film's plot as a sort of road map for the gay life that awaits young recruits, what is the take-home message? Basically that (warning: spoiler) your one carefree summer of mountaintop sex will be paid for with a lifetime of broken dreams, divorce, alienation, and either violent death or a middle age lived out in a ramshackle trailer, talking to your dead lover's cowboy shirt. This is an advertisement for the ways of Sodom?