Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Re: Mel Gibson.

And now a rant on the Mel Gibson anti-semite drunken a**hole debacle as documented everywhere else on the internet. [Please read no further if you are easily offended about religious topics--I'm just thinking aloud here and not particularly a fan of organized religion]. I fail to see what’s so scandalous about this Gibson arrest/meltdown/apology -–sure it’s awful and he’s a lunatic. Duh. But I don't understand why people are surprised when evidence of his fundamentalism and hatred of particular groups (especially faggots and jesus-killers) have been around us for years. Why does everyone act shocked? Is it willful denial, naive optimism, or something else entirely?

I’m calling bullshit right now on these worrisome articles like “will anyone work with him again?”. This is lazy journalism. OF COURSE people will work with him. It reminds me of the slew of Passion of the Christ articles prior to its release pondering “will this ruin Mel Gibson’s career?” Even when Passion's overwhelming success was doubtful that was a silly question. Hollywood is a money industry. It takes more than one big flop/mistake to bring down entire careers of that magnitude. Just look at Tom Cruise: He’s a media whipping boy now given how blatantly he has exposed his own various psychosis. But even if the ridiculing continues unabated for years to come, it will take a long time before people aren’t willing to work with Tom Crui$$$$$e.

So I find it kind of insulting that I'm supposed to wonder if Gib$$$on's career might be over. This nation reelected George W Bush for crying out loud. This is not a country that has any problems rewarding fundamentalist nutjobs --or bombing them if they happen to live in other countries. Which brings me to a more troublesome topic: the rise of fundamentalism in general. My personal feeling is that it’s a sickness whatever God you believe in --if you believe with 100% certainty that it's your way or the highway, that other people are going to hell... it stands to reason that you're far more likely to also lose sight of their humanity. That's a big problem for a civilized peaceful world. If you lose sight of the basic humanity of those different than yourself, it's easier to hate them, easier to fight against their rights, easier to wish them harm, easier to kill them, easier to blame them for your own troubles, etc...

I hope Gibson finds the healing he needs. I really do. More importantly I hope we can somehow find an escape route to what seems to be a global downward slide into religious extremism. It comes with an extremely high body count.

If you need a good laugh about this (I surely do --depressing stuff) your best bet is The Gilded Moose.

9 comments:

RC said...

i think mel has never been an appropriate model for what a real Christian should-be like, no matter where he throws his money or what projects he pursues.

And i agree, Mel's career is not over, but this is big news and puts a jaded story onto of his release of apalapyt-a-whatever.

--RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com

Witchiepooh said...

Well said, Nathaniel. You're certainly right in that money speaks louder than any nutjob rant and that (unfortunately) there are plenty of nutjobs and fundamentalists out there who agree with everything Mel Gibson stands for.

Your thoughts on fundamentalism in general are also well put. I'm not a very religious person, it's culturally a part of my life and I identify myself as a Jew. The extremism is very disturbing to me and unfortunately it isn't really new and doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon.

Getting back to film, I recently rented Munich and was very impressed with what I saw as Spielberg's plea to "stop the insanity!" It angers me that some in the Jewish community had problems with this film. The current (sad, awful) events show just where an eye for an eye gets us. To paraphrase Gandhi, it makes the whole world blind.

Thea

par3182 said...

amen.

Daphne said...

I don't think anybody is actually surprised, especially the media. People pretend to be shocked and Mel pretends to be sorry. That's how it goes. It's just a story the media pushes so people have something to say to each other at the watercooler *gasp can you believe that Mel Gibson?*. It goes no deeper than that.

adam k. said...

"Tom Crui$$$$$$$e."

"Mel Gib$$$$on."

Hee. I could hear the cash registers "chinking" as I read.

Nice post. I am so worried about so much going on in the world now though that I kind of don't even care about Mel Gibson's antics. They're pretty funny, though. I hope this at least taints Apocalypto a bit.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Yeah, seriously, this story will be gone after a couple of months. And then when Apocalypto is released, if it makes any money at all journos will write articles like "Has the world forgiven Mel?" or whatever.

This story is so boring because, as you say, a lot of people already sorta figured this, and now it's just catch up for the rest of the world. And by "world" I mean, the maybe 2% who gives a rats arse.

brooke said...

It became this controversial because he was sorry for it. He made press releases just to bring to the people his apologies.

Lily said...

I think perhaps this is such a big news story because...well, Jewish people haven't exactly had the best week...it's not exactly a great time to be Jewish...

art said...

Great post - I just recently came across your blog and I like that you have a particular perspective and keep your position so I can read a real person's thoughts and consider them over time, rather than just repeating either option "a" or "b" like far too many blogs (and of course gossip blogs as the extreme with celebrity) do.

Hollywood didnt attack Mel for his anti-gay statements that he stands by since decades (he was an interpreter of the Bible recall). They didnt say much when his Passion made big bucks did they, irregardless of the "red flags" it had for some religious communities, and so on.

Now, suddenly it seems opportune to attack him at this low level - easy sport - even the President is asked at a press conference, as if THAT is more important than some more urgent situations underway...

What someone could have asked: President Bush, from your experiences, is alcoholism a disease?

It is a disease, and its a rant he spewed in front of "the law" which would be the typical situation for that rant to happen: a powerful "A"type personality can't believe everyday Law has any grasp over him, puffs his chest and looks for shock and awe statements of -what else - biblical measure as he is near to "god". And then, of course, coming down, adds the "sugartits" like to make sure they all know his tough-guy person "atitude" as well.

Disease. Thats what seperates it from " a few drinks too many". He said depraved things because that is the symptom of the disease, it translates and forces things up in expression which aren't always there in that way - and in no way is that simply "the truth" within, it isnt some psychoanalysis here.

People should wise up, if they want to attack him now (rather than when he was spewing statements against other lifestyles and communities when sober) they just look worse kicking him when he is down, and certainly not very Christian or any religion for that matter they claim moral outrage with. They shouldbe showing they are better than Mel, and understand the disease and its extreme results, and suggesting what he is doing counseling.

THEN see what he does afterwards.

As for religion, I am sick to death of the crap from all sides, the hollywood scientologists to the war-mongering U.S. government old-testament thumpers, and onwards to the extreme positions of every religion. It is nice to recall from posts, people who dont just use that as an excuse for their opinions.