Larry McMurtry dead

Larry McMurtry, the Oscar-winning co-writer of Brokeback Mountain, died yesterday at the age of 84. A spokeswoman for her family did not provide a cause of death or information about where he died.

Despite his Oscar, McMurtry was better known as a novelist, and he leaves behind a legacy of incredible genre work, specifically in westerns, which included writing the brilliant novel Lonesome Dove, which was adapted into a television mini-series in 1989 and stands as one of my all-time favorite westerns. Read More »

Good Joe Bell Review

Towards the end of Good Joe Bell, Mark Wahlberg’s titular character takes a load off his feet from his cross-country walk to condemn homophobic bullying. He sits down at a police station underneath pictures of Barack Obama and Joe Biden hanging on the wall. This bit of art direction reveals what should have been obvious from the film’s overall comportment: this is a period piece.

America at large has experienced a dramatic shift in public attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ community even since the Obama era. (Heck, during Joe Bell’s walk in 2013, the Supreme Court declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional!) While homophobia remains a present threat, particularly among young people in schools, to act like there’s not significant awareness of the issue is just at odds with reality. People largely know the bullying of gay youth is a problem. And, to be clear, even a single instance of it occurring is a stain on society. But the persistence of the threat exists not out of ignorance but out of malevolence and immaturity.

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