Author Topic: Would it have worked? Merged with "Would a SWEET LIFE ever have been possible?"  (Read 26904 times)

Offline delalluvia

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Ok, this is a serious reposne to this.

Since I am not sure of the sex (or sexual leaning) of everyone who has responded thus far, please forgive the generlization.

We are talking about 1983.  I am gay and in 1983, there was no way I could have been in any kind of openly gay relationship (and I was out then), and I lived in Boston.  Gay men and women and those with transgender issues, were tolerated, but still hidden, and still considered socially deviant.  "Will and Grace" was a long way off.

It is a tough thing not to impose out modern day sensibilites on the situation back in 1983, either for me or for the fictional Ennis and Jack in their rural setting, which no doubt was far more oppresive than where I was.

It's just a fact of life 25 or so years ago, that gay relationships were not supported or condoned, and they were always outed eventually.

In the early 80's, my mother took me to school near the gay part of town.  There were plenty of men walking hand in hand and having relationships, being 'married' and living in homes together.  It was a well-known fact that the pharmacist in our neighborhood drug store was gay and that he had a 'husband' who wore a ring and came to the store from time to time to speak to him.  It wasn't a secret, it was quite open and quite obvious.  Perhaps it depends on where you lived?

You know...something strange just popped in my head.  I hadn't thought about this in years.  I know how people talk about 'Ellen', 'Will and Grace' and other gay themed shows and the gay cable channel as a recent phenomenon, but you know I distinctly remember as a child - years ago - watching a rerun of a pilot made-for TV movie that was made in the 70's.  I can't recall the name of the movie or who was in it.  I remember one actor, but I can't recall his name, anyway, the movie was shown on national TV, on the mainstream channels and it was about the lives of some people who lived in a high rise apartment.  One of the stories was about a young gay guy and his beautiful next door neighbor.  The gay man was having an affair with a married rich powerful doctor.  Anyway, the gist of the story is - at first, mistaken identity - the wife finds out, thinks the woman is the lover at first, then finds out her husband's lover is a man, and walks out laughing - laughing because the wife 'knows' she will win in the battle of love.

The young man attempts suicide when his lover leaves him but is rescued by his neighbor and his lover who -in the end - shows up in the lobby of the apartment building with his suitcase, clearly intending to move in with his lover!

Sorry that just popped in my head and it makes me wonder.  Mainstream American TV viewers 30+ years ago had to have been more liberal if TV execs back then thought this TV pilot was acceptable viewing.  I think viewers were more liberal back in the late 60's early 70's.  After all, Maude's character got an abortion on her TV show.  That would cause near rioting in the streets these days.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2006, 10:31:36 pm by delalluvia »

Offline jpwagoneer1964

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Within the last couple of years I saw on Nick at Night a seldom rerun drama from the very early 1960's the I think stared Warren Beatty, when he was a very young man although I think he is older that Ennis and Jack would be now, In which he playe a gay character. Sorry thats all I remember.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2006, 09:22:40 am by jpwagoneer1964 »
Thank you Heath and Jake for showing us Ennis and Jack,  teaching us how much they loved one another.

Offline Bucky

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By the time I fell in love with a guy it was 1984 and the tide was turning against the acceptability of the "gay lifestyle."  The so called "gay plague" was spreading in the United States and the televangelists and conservatives were blaming all of it on the gays in America claiming it was "God's judgement" on gay people for violating the Bible, etc.  We know now that it was a lie to blame AIDS on the gays as it has spread throughout the population of this country and other countries as well both heterosexual and homosexual.  It just happened that gays seemed to have gotten AIDS first so Scott is right about the time frame and the impact that it had on acceptance of people other than heterosexuals.  Also where you lived in the USA played a big part in whether you would be tolerated or hated.  I happen to live in a very conservative non-accepting area.  Homophobia or the fear of homophobia broke up my relationship. 

I live a rather peaceful live now and I am happy and did mention that I had been in touch with my ex partner.  He wanted to turn the time back twenty two years.  I couldn't agree to that and finally had to be rather firm in an email to him telling him that I would not attempt to reestablish a relationship that died twenty two years ago because of homophobia.  There were other things involved including him just bailing out on me altogether but homophobia scared him as it scared me.  I value my peaceful life to a mess that I would be in if I rekindled that relationship and  the truth is that it doesn't really hurt me to have told him a flat out NO like I thought it would.  I am still not ready for a relationship at this time.  Not because I love anyone else but because I value my independence and peace.  Some day that may change but not anytime soon I don't think.

Scott6373

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I really don't want to sound "preachy" or "activistic" about this, but the heterosexual community is just in the baby stages of understanding the gay community, and the struggles we have gone through.

I'm thrilled that I have lived long enough to see the strides we have made, but there is still MUCH to be done.

I live in Massachusetts and when the whole subject of same-sex marriage came up, I was actually opposed to it, because I believed and still do, that we have skipped over some of the fundamental issues in order to get to this one. 

The fact remains that in 1984, I was beaten badly (very badly) by a bunch of straight guys after I had left a gay bar in Boston...1984!  Last year, a man walked into a bar in New Bedford, MA with a machette (sp), and proceeded to hack AT PEOPLE...2005.

I love that so many of the hetersexual community are open to seeing us in a way other than has been painted for us n the past, but given the state of things now, and the state of things then, I firmly stand by my assertion that those two men would never been able to survive a relationship.

Offline ednbarby

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I love that so many of the hetersexual community are open to seeing us in a way other than has been painted for us n the past, but given the state of things now, and the state of things then, I firmly stand by my assertion that those two men would never been able to survive a relationship.

I agree wholeheartedly, Scott, I'm very sad to say.  That's why I've always seen Jack as a revolutionary.  Some think of him as just a dreamer.  But I see him as ready to follow through on a dream knowing full well it may very well cost him his life.  And he did that because he really believed that he could be the one who would make a difference, if nowhere else, at least in his own and his love's lives.

« Last Edit: September 15, 2006, 08:56:51 am by ednbarby »
No more beans!

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Also where you lived in the USA played a big part in whether you would be tolerated or hated.

This was and is a key issue. Thanks for mentioning it, Bucky.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Scott6373

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I agree wholeheartedly, Scott, I'm very sad to say.  That's why I've always seen Jack as a revolutionary.  Some think of him as just a dreamer.

Revolutions are born from dreams.

Offline ednbarby

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Revolutions are born from dreams.

Absolutely.  I think he took the dream one step further.  Or tried to.  And that's what revolutionaries do.

And there's nothing wrong with me.
This is how I'm supposed to be.
In a land of make-believe, they don't believe in me.


~ "Jesus of Suburbia" - Billie Joe Armstrong
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Offline malina

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When I think of them working together on the mountain, I think it would have worked. They were symbiotic. They balanced each other. Think of the scene where their sheep get mixed up with the Chilean ones... Jack cursing Aguirre, Ennis being reasonable and telling him they just had to see it through. And then Jack accepts that because Ennis has a steadying influence on him.

I especially love how there are many instances, on the mountain, where Ennis looks after Jack... ordering soup, killing the elk, switching places, trying to set the tent up right. Of course it's reciprocated.. there are so many ways in which Jack looks after Ennis, too - getting him to open up, guiding and reassuring him through the second tent scene. Beautifully symbiotic, and really much more equal than their relationship becomes later on.

Later, I see more bickering, withholding, denial. I think there is certainly, ABSOLUTELY the potential that it 'would have worked'. I would hope that if they were living together and working together, they would fall into that easy partnership that they had up on the mountain. But I suppose a lot would depend on external circumstances and pressures, too.

Personally, though, I don't think the ultimate measure of whether something 'works out' is the living happily ever after. I think people come together because there is a reason behind their connection. They have something to learn from one another. Sometimes that ends before one's life ends, but that doesn't necessarily mean things didn't
'work out'. It might just mean the impetus behind your connection with that person has been fulfilled and has therefore ended. I think Jack and Ennis were learning from each other right up until Jack's death, and for Ennis, even afterwards. It didn't work out the way Jack wanted it to and no one can say for sure if it would have, but clearly something 'worked'...

Offline ednbarby

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Personally, though, I don't think the ultimate measure of whether something 'works out' is the living happily ever after. I think people come together because there is a reason behind their connection. They have something to learn from one another. Sometimes that ends before one's life ends, but that doesn't necessarily mean things didn't 'work out'. It might just mean the impetus behind your connection with that person has been fulfilled and has therefore ended. I think Jack and Ennis were learning from each other right up until Jack's death, and for Ennis, even afterwards. It didn't work out the way Jack wanted it to and no one can say for sure if it would have, but clearly something 'worked'...

Wow.  What a mature and healthy point of view.  I think too many people go through life never feeling fulfilled because they're always looking for that "happily ever after."  They don't realize that it's living in the now, as the Buddhists say, where you find your joy.  I have a good friend who is constantly struggling with this.  She agrees with me that her constant need for the next thing coming in her life to "make" her happy is the problem, but then she says "How do I fix that?"  All I can say is, "Well, STOP it."  Much easier said than done.

When Jack and Ennis were together, especially on the mountain, they felt that pure, unadulterated joy that comes with being truly connected and partnered with another person.  That paw the white out of the moon feeling.  You're right - as time went on and they drifted further apart, there was more bickering and strain because it was the being together that mattered, and their time apart was growing longer and longer with each passing year...

Welcome to our little corner of cyber space, by the way.  Hope you'll stick around.  :)


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