Friday, October 14

Brokeback Breaks Bank

In a remarkable show of either Texas gumption or deep pockets, a private school in Austin has returned a multi-million donation from a family who objected to the use of an Annie Proulx short story about gay cowboys in a 12th grade English class. According to a story in the American-Statesman (free link here while supplies last),

The St. Andrew's board of trustees officially released Cary McNair (son of Robert McNair, oilman and owner of the Houston Texans football team) and his family from their $3 million pledge to the school's capital campaign after McNair objected to the use of Brokeback Mountain. "St. Andrew's has a policy not to accept conditional gifts, whether it's $5 or $500,000. When the McNair family looked at their gift in a conditional manner, then the school could not accept it," said Bill Miller, who was asked by St. Andrew's to serve as its spokesman for this story.

Controversy over the attempted censorship and the school's retraction has apparently been the talk of the Texas capital.

P.S. By the way, I've heard this rumor that Proulx's story is going to be made into a movie, or something? (Oddly, the younger McNair is something of a indie film producer himself. Oh, those fickle scions of the American oiligarchy!)