Pact of Brotherhood
Last week, the story that gripped the world drew to a happy close as the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground since August 5th were one-by-one extracted and greeted by their teary wives and families. Recognizing their instant fame, the miners agreed to a ‘Pact of Silence’, ignoring reporters and banding together to split up any of the proceeds. This lasted less than a week, after Mario Sepulveda, the second miner to be rescued, decided to give an interview. And what was it that made him break the ‘Pact of Silence’?
Gay sex, of course.
According to the New York Daily News, the miners’ silence sparked rumours that the trapped men were secretly engaged in male-on-male sex.
“Nothing like that ever went on,” Sepulveda said. “We were too busy trying to survive to think of sex… Saying we had sex down there with each other is just plain wrong.” Sepulveda found the rumours “offensive”.
It’s hardly surprising that rumours of brother love would crack this ‘Band of Brothers’; homophobia and fears of men growing ‘too close’ haunt almost every form of exclusively male experience, from war time fox holes to professional sports.
Interesting too that it was traditional masculine machismo which led to the short-lived ‘Pact of Silence’ in the first place. As Sepulveda says, the first 17 days without contact or aid from above were “pure hell” and that many of the miners, especially the younger men, had trouble coping. While not given any details, he hinted at fights and emotional breakdowns. God forbid, if you’re trapped deep underground, with good reason to fear you’ll never see daylight again, you’d shed a tear.
That being said, I think a ‘Pact of Silence’ was a good idea. I’m just disappointed that, after everything the miners went through, it was rumours of gay sex which made one of them break it so fast.
So it seems that when the inevitable movie comes out, I suppose staring Antonio Banderas and Javier Bardem, there will be no lip-lock between the two Spanish hunks.