If you foolishly skipped the first 10 minutes of the Oscars last night, you missed by far the best part - the opening with all the former hosts and then Stewart and Clooney in bed, combined with the reel of "real cowboys" set a standard that the rest of the show just couldn't meet. The "real cowboys" bit featured wildly homoerotic moments from a bunch of old westerns, thus proving once and for all that Brokeback Mountain is new only in that it doesn't have the production code to drive everything into subtext.

I'm sure some people were wildly offended by this "out-of-context" dirtying of the Real Men of Yore, but here's the thing: most of that stuff is just as gay in context. I mean, have you seen Red River? The tension between Montgomery Clift's and John Ireland's characters (they're the two early in the clip where the guy says "Nice. Awful nice." about the gun, while the pretty one adjusts himself.) is so obvious that you wonder how it slipped by the censors. No wonder Monty's so awkward with Joanne Dru. And the stump scene in Shane? Loaded with subtext, more than a little of it gay. It's not Jon Stewart's evil, liberal fault, people - the stuff has been there for 60 years.

[You may need to be a Salon subscriber to use the link - try getting a day pass, it's well worth watching.]