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Dan Bidewell

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About Dan Bidewell

  • Birthday 01/26/1979

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    I do like reading - anything really. I wish I had more interests, but against my better judgement I do find the temptations of hedonism a little too hard to overcome.

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    a very boring one

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  1. The sex scenes are not rough, by any stretch of the imagination. You do see their first embrace, and you do see that one bends down for the other. It is certainly not left to the imagination what is happening. However, there is no way this could be described as "rough" - any more than a sex scene between a man and a woman could be described as rough. Could they have told the men's story without such a scene? It is part of the double standards applied to homosexuality that an honest sex scene between two men is described as "rough", while between a man and a woman it is often called "honest" or "realistic". Also, why does the fact that the two central protagonists are men who love one another make this a "gay cowboy movie" - it is a love story. It is as much a "gay cow boy movie" as West Side Story is an "immigrants' operetta". It is a glib generalisation to describe it as a "gay cow boy movie" - although I will admit the producers have certainly helped to propogate this by marketing it as such.
  2. What is a spoiler alert? Am I in trouble?
  3. I think I understand you - I know I am quoting badly (it's Disraeli, the nineteenth century British prime-minister I think): "Britain has no friends, only interests"?
  4. ** Spoiler Alert ** The unhappiness in the film is because the character's try to sacrifice their happiness (with one another in a homosexual relationship) for what is expected of them - marriage, children. The premise of the film is that one should seek one's own happiness. Maybe they should have a little more selfish fortitude - to simply embrace their chance at happiness with one another. But we are given quite a graphic depiction of what that might involve. As a child Ennis was taken to see a man who had had his willy chopped off and left to die, because he was gay. And Jack? He is killed - the inferrence being because he was gay. Jack and Ennis do not want to have to hide the happiness by a frozen lake in the middle of God only knows where (is it set in Wyoming?) - they want to be able to be open about their love for one another but they cannot. They do not choose to pursue their happiness their. One point - when I saw the film in the cinema, in the scene in which Alma catches Jack and Ennis kissing, a lot of the audience laughed; as if this were funny!. I believe that the audience was mostly heterosexual (I can;t be sure, I did not do a poll), but I found this distasteful. It was not funny to see a wife and a mother find her husband cheating on her. As you may have guessed, I see nothing wrong with homosexuality, but it must be even worse to find he is cheating on you with a man. I do think 'though, that in the film itself (not in the reaction in the audience when I saw it ), there is a lot of sympathy for Alma's predicament and the film in no way promotes/condones adultery. [Edit - Added Spoiler Alert - RC]
  5. I do not think the English colonisation is an argument for Irish nationalist terrorism any more thean the settling of the deserts of the Palestine is for Palestinian terror. There is no maths to do. I do not believe that terrorism can be measured in terms of the amount of people it kills. It is not an issue of quantity versus quality. It is all wrong. Ireland has held, and does hold, bank accounts for the IRA. There is also a lot more state-control of the economy in Ireland than in the UK - they have benefitted from EU aid and managed to create a welfare state along the Nordic model. Hardly free-market capitalism! The structure of the German government was imposed on them by the NATO (US, British and French) powers. I believe a conservative was recently elected Chancellor? I am not here to slag America off - I only want to point out that a country whose aims and ambitions do not exactly match America's should not be written off so quickly as "not an ally" - which it seems to me on this forum is being held as being the same thing as an enemy.
  6. Ok, surely the democratically elected representatives of persons of other countries have a right to follow a foreign policy which does not match America's, if that is the will of the people who have elected them? Because it seems to me countries are being as "not allies" on this forum where it is simply that their foreign policy does not match America's point-for-point.
  7. Ireland is fairly dependable? It is a neatural country which only commits itself to peace-keeping nations and which has supported, for almost eighty years, terrorism in Ulster and mainland Britain. So in what way can that be seen as different to Switzerland? Norway and Denmark? Of what support have they been to America over the past sixty years? Germany has been one of America's staunchest allies since the end of the Second World War, any difference they now find with America is only due to an attempt to maintain the neutrality imposed on them, and drummed into them, in the sixty years since. If a country does not have a foreign policy that matches America's, it does not make it an enemy. In the same way that other people's goals and desires might not match yours, they are not all enemies - they may be short-term allies, competitors and they may even simply not have anything to do with you. Surely it is the right of every country to have its own policies, and they should have the right to have policies that do not match America's.
  8. Fairy tales end with "And they lived happily ever after". Love stories do not... Romeo and Juliet Tristan and Yseult and even "Love Story" Brokeback Mountain does present men as they ought to be - they ought to be happy, they ought to be free. Ennis and jack have glimpses of happiness and freedom, and that is how they ought to be able to live their lives. Jack recognises this in his final conversation with Ennis. It is their tragdey that the only way they can be free as they ought to be is to hide their freedom on the cold side of a mountain.
  9. I don't know what Moose's military test is. I was going to say "The United Kingdon does not have a constitution, and the United Kingdom is a country" but I didn't, I purposefully said England. I see that the United Kingdom is a collection of countries. Scotland is a separate country. It has its own educational system, legal system and now parliament (for domestic affairs). I think 1706 was the year of the Act of Union, linking the two countries under one parliament in Westminster. It is a country, officially at least "in union" with England. Its people have never really seen their national identity as English. They have always been Scottish. Any sense of Britishness has always been recognised as an amalgam of the identities of the British Isles. As for the Channel Islands, they are seperate countries (in fact they are not even part of the United Kingdom I don't think, only of Great Britain) - again they have their own legal and fiscal systems. Who knows about Northern Ireland, they keep having their own parliament, then getting rid of it, then having it, then having it taken away from them! There are certainly four distinct national identities at play in the UK - English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish (which can be futher divided into Unionist and Nationalist).
  10. Tipping is not common practice in England and I do not do it. If the service I am paying for is worth more than the price the service provider is asking, then that is their fault for not asking for the right price.
  11. The countries that make up Europe have a very long and very intertwined history. Some of them act as autonomous countries and some of them do not - much of this has nothing to do with the EU it is because of their history. Huge nations with much power are reluctant to act independently - Germany. This is NOT because of the EU but because of their history. It seems to me that many people outside Europe are ignorant of this history. Small nations with very little power are eagar to express their national identity -Switzerland. Countries OUTSIDE the European Union have chosen to subsume their foreign policies to other powers: Lichtenstein and Andorra. Countries outside Europe also allow their economies to be pegged to and run by foriegn powers - look at the amount of countries who seek un-official union with the US dollar. Is this because of some inherently evil nature of America or her currency. The EU has a flag. So does the Commonwealth and so does the Hilton Hotel Chain. The EU has an anthem. So does the Commonwealth and the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA). They are not countries. The EU does NOT have a constitution - and it looks unlikely that it will. It is not a country. But then the England does not have a constitution, and England is a country. It is not possible to make one comment to describe one continent as complex as Europe. The European Parliament is directly elected by the people of the EU. Its Commision is chosen by each member state's heads of state. There is nothing supranational about it - just look how much national rivalries helped to make sure Jacques Delors was chosen against his Belgian rival a few years back to head the commission.
  12. It is a sentimental film - it purposefully plays on the viewers emotions. it is a conventional film - forgetting that the love is between two men - it follows the basic love-story convention of one character loving one more than the other, of this love being unable to resolve itself, and then one character being left alone at the end. And it is a beautiful film - the scenery and the imagery are beautiful. Most of us lead sentimental lives (that is to say, a life with emotion) and most of us lead conventional lives (we like to think we don't). Few of us lead beautiful lives. I doubt most cowboys were gay - the West would not have been won if the pioneers had been fussing over table arrangements. But on a law of averages I think it is safe to say some of them must have had homosexual relations. I do not think the film condones adultery either - one of the saddest moments of the film is when the wife of Heath Ledger's character finds her husband with his lover. The characters DO NOT choose to be gay. Jack Twist (Gyllenhall) certainly leads Ennis del Mar (Heath Ledger) into the first encounter, and they do embrace the happiness they find together but from thereon they do all they can NOT to be gay. The final meeting they have results in a fight because Jack Twist reveals that he cannot fight it, and he wishes he hadn't.
  13. I realise that has been lots of debate since the first post - but as a non-objectivist, I would like to say that I would find it useful if there actually were limits. If it were clearly delineated where I could post and not. It would also, I think, be useful as a way of "streaming", making sure people are comparing apples with apples.
  14. I just thought that Monty Python was surreal for the sake of surreal. I don't know if you have ever seen any of these British comedies - but they are VERY funny; Nighty Night (about a selfish psychopath) The Office (life in an office) Alan Partridge (about a daytime TV host) The League of Gentlemen (about in inbred Northern town) Gimme, Gimme, Gimme (about an ugly woman and her gay flatmate) To be honest, I must admit, that most of the comedy I like revolves around the misfortune of others. It is horrible to admit, but schadenfreude gives me such glee!.
  15. And is not an attack on one of us an attack on all of us, to paraphrase Mayor Livingstone's speech after the London Underground bomb attacks this summer by British-born islamic fundamentalists? Do you mean that only attacks by non-Westerners on America are attacks on Western Civilisation?
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