Mel Gibson

There is little to be said about Mel Gibson that hasn’t been said already. But I have to ask why Gibson’s anti-Semitic remarks, which shouldn’t have shocked or surprised anyone, have even the Hitch contributing a rant. Anybody who has been following Gibson’s paranoid answers to interview questions, the demented one-frame cameo appearance in the Apocalypto trailer, and his insistence that Jews be maligned (without the consolation of subtitles) in The Passion of the Christ should know by now that Mel Gibson is as feral and unstable as Martin Riggs. His comments were depraved, hateful and clearly the heartfelt vitriol of a kook caught drunk. But why do the words of a Hollywood superstar dwarf the hatred spewing in Israel and Lebanon? Why the outpour from Gibson fans and blogs and cultural commentators? There’s a bloody war going on right now. Could the Western world be so hopelessly swirling within the seductive spiral of celebrity that it is only capable of understanding anti-Semitism and hatred through the likes of Mel Gibson? Is that how low the bar is now set?

I won’t abjure myself of cultural navelgazing. I’ve been just as guilty too, but let’s put this into perspective. 37 children died because of an air strike on Lebanon within hours of Gibson’s arrest. Do you mean to tell me that it takes a Mel Gibson arrest to get people aware of hatred these days? Has our culture become so depraved that gossip means more than the lives of children? Have we reached the point where we have merely a refractory Hollywood context for the way we perceive the world?

The big issues now making the rounds: What does this mean for Gibson’s career? How will Apocalypto make money?

I’d like to put forth some more profound questions to think about.

Is it possible to reconcile Israel and Palestine, much less Israel and Hezbollah? Why are the United States and the United Kingdom the only nations championing Israel? Will Iran get involved? Will this mean more American involvement? More lives lost? More hatred unfurled?

All of these are difficult questions to answer. They’re neither as easy nor as satisfying as pointing to Mel Gibson and saying, “There is a man who, in his own words, fucked up. There is a man who has problems.” But perhaps we should be pointing the fingers at ourselves instead. Here is a nation that has perception issues. Here is a nation that has fucked up.

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5 Comments

  1. Finally. Someone telling it like it is without pretending there’s an easy solution. Thanks for the morning wake-up call.

  2. Mel Gibson got drunk, got caught and insulted a bunch of people–good for him. I happen to prize insults of all stripes and think they’re much underrated by people who deserve nothing but. Gibson is feral and unstable? That’s rich, did you happen to read any of David Denby’s film reviews in The New Yorker–even months after the release of The Passion he could hardly complete a sentence without foaming at the mouth. Not to mention the shitstorm in other media outlets. Most amusing and entertaining I thought. Gibson’s remarks were depraved and hateful? I don’t think so at all, I thought they were funny and, given the context of the hysterical critical reaction to his film about Jesus Christ, completely understandable. Forgivable even, but turn the other cheek isn’t exactly all the rage these days, is it? Insults are the spice to life, a necessity in a variety of situations so get over it. And please spare us your banal observations about global hatred, you write a blog dude, you’re just another unfulfilled narcissist typing in his bedroom, as local as local gets.

  3. “Is it possible to reconcile Israel and Palestine, much less Israel and Hezbollah?”

    Yes the first, no to the second.

    “Why are the United States and the United Kingdom the only nations championing Israel?”

    Because nobody lost votes in Europe or Asia by siding against Israel. Also, depends on what you mean by “championing.” Most of the public in the UK is against the Israeli action, and a good portion of Americans, as the perception is Israel has gone over the top.

    “Will this mean more American involvement? More lives lost? More hatred unfurled?”

    Yes, yes, and yes. Given all the jokers running the show, on all sides.

  4. I don’t much care about Gibson. I didn’t see The Passion. But then I didn’t see The Last Temptation… I’m Jewish. We don’t run the world. Neither does Gibson. It is sad that his alchohol is running him and that his dad’s religion is ruining him.

    I liked Braveheart and sort of liked The Patriot, but I thought that Rob Roy and The Rebel were better in each genre. I think that Thunderdome indicts Mel worse than anything he has said (We don’t want another hero…All we want’s to know the way home..). I probably won’t see his next movie because I’m not into psychotic chases through Mayan Jungles.

    If the Passion functions as a hate film, it will be in Arab countries. The christians mostly purged Anti-semitism after wwII. They wouldn’t see the anti-semitic thrust of the movie. Hitchens’ post was right on that.

    But I don’t think that anything could make Moslems more anti-semitic than they already are. Other asians just don’t care either way. So I tend to give Mel a pass. I pray that he sobers up. He apologized and abhored his remarks. I forgive him.

    Let’s get back to worrying about Hezbollah, Aminijihad the mad, Hamas, Alquaida, and their co-jihadis and how the FR RS CH et al are chewing on our ankles while we try to fight mass murderers of us all…Jews, Christians, Secularists, Communists and even Moslems who don’t share jihadi sects and ideologies. These people are unashamed of their hatred.
    Jihadis are armed and dangerous. Gibson is increasingly unarmed and sad.

  5. I was thinking the same thing about Gibson…no big surprise there. I read somewhere that now he’s not getting to make a miniseries about the Holocaust. Wha? Chew on that one for awhile!

    Big questions of the day:

    Is it possible to reconcile Israel and Palestine, much less Israel and Hezbollah?

    Anything’s possible, but I find it highly unlikely. :-(

    Why are the United States and the United Kingdom the only nations championing Israel?

    I have trouble trying to understand this one, but my best guess is that it has something to do with it being the holy land and Bush’s evangelicalism. The prophecy that Christ cannot return until the Jews are in possession of the Holy Land is what drives Evangelicals like Bush to care. The UK just seems to go along with whatever the US wants.

    Will Iran get involved? Will this mean more American involvement? More lives lost? More hatred unfurled?

    I don’t know, but if Iran gets involved, I think America will be involved. More lives are going to be lost and more hatred will be unfurled regardless of Iran’s involvement. It’s a sick sad world we’re living in.

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