Up Is Down

WATCH: Can Anti-Gay Vitirol Be Beautiful? Yes, Absolutely

If you scroll through the reel of “video storyteller” Matthew Brown, you’ll quickly realize you’re in the company of a masterful artist. So when Brown set his sights on the barrage of anti-gay rhetoric streaming out of conservatives, you’re left with what just might be the most beautiful rendition of gay hate … ever. (So as not to confuse anyone: Brown’s on our side.)

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  • BillyBob Thornton

    Yes it is a beautifully made video. He definately has talent. But I had to go to his profile on vimeo to find out that he was not supporting the anti-gay agenda. He was actually trying to do the opposite. I was initially offended because to me it comes across that way until close to the end.

  • Jake the libertarian

    I thought that was a fantastic video. Well, fabulous might be a better word…

  • dgz

    wow, that’s a great video. soundtracks make the movie, imho.

  • Robert

    I don’t think that this video supports an anti-gay agenda at all. This is not a rendition of gay hate, but a perspective showing both the hate and the reality of a lifestyle that the hate is persecuting. Furthermore, listen to the voices. Its not all vitriol, however most of it is.
    He juxtaposes the vitriol with a rural and “wild” landscape. This juxtaposition holds your attention throughout the film because it is so interesting.
    The music is something that sits in the middle. It seems to be inspiring, but to what? There doesn’t seem to be a point to it until the men come into the frame. Then as it progresses, you learn that these are gay men, happy gay men.
    Two women begin to fight in the vitriol, and this is then perceived as the only thing in the video that is causing conflict, Where as these men, whatever there lifestyle choice is, it is natural. The anti-gay agenda is rooted in something so unnatural that it inspires hate. It is not inspired by anything religious, scientific, etc. It is inspired by a discomfort in differences, simple fears. It is no longer focusing on something real.
    The quote at the end in the vitriol roles it up,
    “And there all innocent lies that we all tell our kids all the time, you know, like you can be what you want to be.
    Oh really, I want to president,
    Ha, you’re never going to be president”
    This statement is aggressive and dismissal, “as if your kid will ever be president.”
    The fact that a black man was voted into that office was a great leap for this country, a great leap for civil rights. It just goes to show that as we continue to grow and change as a nation we will progress towards more change, more equality, which the video inspires.

  • oregonstudent

    sweet, i thought that looked like eastern washington or oregon. it was washington.

  • Coffee&Chicory


  • Brad

    Absolutely stunning.

  • Stitch

    @Robert: I’ve never seen such a juxtaposition of haughty analysis and bad grammar. Learn how to use ‘their,’ ‘there,’ and ‘they’re.’

  • Stitch

    @Robert: Oh, and, um, like, you didn’t get it. No one said the video supported an anti-gay agenda.

  • Brad

    Loved it!

    I think the message is clear through the juxtaposition, and it’s masterfully done.

  • Jaroslaw

    Unfortunately it breaks up about halfway through so I wasn’t able to listen to all of it. Too bad the voices weren’t identified. The first one is Pat Robertson, not sure who the Black minister is, but the woman talking about homosexuality is worse than terrorism is almost certainly Sally Kern, Oklahoma state rep/senator.

    So, what is the point of this? (keeping mind I only saw half of it) – seems like when I hear “homosexuals don’t mind destroying marriage” it would be interesting to see images of something more relevant, like the inside of a welfare office or divorce court! Or when a voice says “homosexuals are ruining the country” show someone dumping chemicals in a river & then connect the dots to the water supply …. my opinion….

  • BillyBob Thornton

    Thanks Robert for using your obviously higher intellect to explaining that to me.

    I watched it again, and still feel the same. I know what he was trying to do. But I still had to go to his profile on the first veiwing to find out he wasn’t supporting the anti-gay agenda. Just didn’t really work for me.

    re:Jaroslaw, I agree with your point.

    It’s still beautifully produced.

  • Johan

    It’s a fantastic video. Though you might want to indicate it’s slightly NSFW due to the artistic nudity.

  • Kbutterum

    It does what it is supposed to do. Look at all the different reactions it getting on here, It starts a conversation. It’s absolutely beautiful and incredible.

  • vernonvanderbilt

    You know, any time you’re using Sigur Ros (my all-time favourite band, period) as your soundtrack, it’s virtually impossible to create something that isn’t beautiful. Coupling their miraculous music with images of nature and camaraderie only serves to enhance the effect. Those aspects made this a lovely piece of art, something that could be enjoyed by almost everyone.

    But then Matthew Brown took it a step further. He added soundbites from a variety of homophobic leaders. With that one addition, this went from being merely lovely to being powerful. The juxtaposition of beauty (soundtrack, imagery) with ugliness (the soundbites) created a sort of dissonance that, rather than weakening the message, strengthened it.

    When we’re talking about the music of Sigur Ros, some explaining is necessary for those who are not familiar with their work. Their music (falling pretty firmly in the “post-rock” genre) is characterized by its epic scale and the moods it invokes in the listener. For me, their music is about overwhelming joy, empathy, and optimism, but in most songs there is also a strong undercurrent of melancholy. This is readily apparent if you watch any of their gorgeous videos, which are some of the most beautiful pieces of work to arise from the music video medium. If you’ve never seen a Sigur Ros video, go to Youtube and check them out. If you liked this clip, you’ll love their own work.

    When Brown inserted the soundbites into the soundtrack, he highlighted this aspect of the music to stunning and heartwrenching effect. The audio clips were hateful, horrible, and enraging. The serenity of the musical bed and accompanying images enhanced the effect. The clips were placed perfectly, following the gradual crescendo of the piece (“Untitled 3” for those who may be wondering, found on their album ( )), rising in intensity at roughly the same rate as the music. There was some serious thought put into the placement of these audio clips.

    I think this video is just as effective, if not more so, than any ads our own groups have put out. It is life-affirming in the most complete way: it doesn’t ignore the ugliness in the world, but it doesn’t give in to it either; the optimism remains. I could easily see a 30-45 second edit being made from this and airing as a television commercial supporting the movement. The only problem is that it would be a shame to cut up something so gorgeous.

    Matthew Brown, should you ever happen to read this, I want to thank you for sharing your talent, your vision, and your love with the entire world. I saw your soul in this piece, and it is truly a beautiful thing.

  • vernonvanderbilt

    And I should point out that I disagree with the people who weren’t sure if this was pro- or anti-gay. I never once got that impression, and I honestly don’t see how anyone could.

  • petted

    Well the visuals and the bit at 2:26 are good clues that it’s not an endorsement of the far right vitriol. If you look closely its two guys in the car so visually Brown is showing the innocence, the happiness, etc belying the far rights blather. Notably this appears to all be footage taken from a singular trip at any rate the footage is beautiful and its well put together.

  • alejandro

    :) real nice.

  • DanM

    I loved the video. I saw it as a contrast between what you saw and what you heard. If you are a more visual person, you might have no problem believing that this was not anti-gay. If you are more a auditory person, you might have your doubts. It was a great!

  • Jaroslaw

    I’ve read some more comments – is the point of this to take homophobes off guard and somehow convince them to open their minds maybe a tiny bit?

    If so, how does this video do that?

  • Mylilpip

    i found it interesting that he chose to use the voice of the black preacher but showed no black models. i’m just sayin…

  • vernonvanderbilt

    @Mylilpip: Don’t even bother going there. I think it was pretty obvious that this was a group of friends, not models.

  • KyleR

    I just watched this and IRT all of the statements from the religious whack jobs. The thing that made me confused, were people like that. That were saying that if your gay, your not right in your head. That something is wrong with you! They made me confuse, and to hate myself. Only when I stopped listening did I realize I’m not wrong, I’m perfectly normal and happy and right just the way I am. And if their is a God. I won’t be going to hell. Because the God I believe in loves everyone. Except those that throw the first stone.

    As to tearing families apart. The only reason families are torn apart is because of this type of bile being preached to them. That when families are torn apart it’s because they hate their homosexual children. And then their are those that don’t want to admit that their gay and try to get a family, but they aren’t happy in that life. So yes, that family unfortunately will be torn apart.

    And on a side note, I have a pair of those Unico undies at 2:42. HEHE!! So comfy!! ;)

  • Andrew Triska

    @kademonster: Me, too.

  • mylilpip

    @vernonvanderbilt: have to go there. people of color are part of this struggle but are literally left of the picture time and time again. i don’t people to ever forget.

  • vernonvanderbilt

    @mylilpip: Except you don’t have to go there. You’re trying to create an issue where one doesn’t exist. You should go to one of the “let’s call each other racist” threads if you want to get involved in that mess.

    Again, this video obviously featured a group of friends, not models. Believe it or not, some circles of friends consist mostly or entirely of white folks.

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