Tuesday, August 1, 2006

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Dogpiling on Mel Gibson

Unlike Andrew Sullivan, I really don't have much to say about Mel Gibson's drunken, anti-Semitic, misogynist rant against the cops who pulled him over for drunken driving last week. Mostly, this is because Tim Noah framed the event pretty well in Slate:

The best case that can be made for Gibson's belief system now is that he's anti-Semitic only when he's three sheets to the wind. And really, now. Are you in the habit of declaring, "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world" when you get pie-eyed? Or simply of muttering, "Fucking Jews"? Or of asking your arresting officer, "Are you a Jew?" (Here Gibson revealed an anti-Jewish bigotry so all-consuming that he couldn't even get his ethnic stereotypes straight. The Jews control international banking, Mel. It's the Irish who control the police.)
Well, I have two more thoughts on the matter. The first is that there needs to be a term that describes the mechanism through which the New York Times manages to run stories about scandals while claiming that they are really metastories (In the past week alone, they managed a front-pager about the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes baby as well). To their credit, however, the Times story by Allison Hope Weiner contains this juicy tidbit: "On Monday, Hope Hartman, a spokeswoman for Disney’s ABC television network, said the company was dropping its plans to produce a Holocaust-themed miniseries in collaboration with Mr. Gibson."

Second, I'll ask my readers to suggest the likelihood of the following arc taking place:

1) Gibson repeatedly issues contrite apologies -- oh, wait, that's already happened.

2) Exiting rehab, Gibson does heartfelt interview with Diane Sawyer in which he:

a) Admits to various chemical dependencies/imbalances that affect his behavior;

b) Explains that his father's rank anti-Semitism led to psychological abuse during his childhood;

c) Cries on camera

3) Appears on Saturday Night Live to skewer his own behavior, right before;

4) Apocalypto comes out -- and then tanks; at which point either

5a) Hollywood treats Gibson as persona non grata because "it's the right thing to do"; or,;

5b) Gibson signs up for Lethal Weapon V for $15 million and Hollywood treats Gibson as "a man who learned his lsson"

posted by Dan on 08.01.06 at 11:47 AM


I would say you are 100.1% on-target with that sequence of events.


posted by: Cranky Observer on 08.01.06 at 11:47 AM [permalink]

I don't think he cries, though I will give you a choking quiver in his voice.

posted by: Jane Galt on 08.01.06 at 11:47 AM [permalink]

I dunno. For me, the whole megilla has moved to the 'Inscrutable Gentiles' folder.

posted by: Matt on 08.01.06 at 11:47 AM [permalink]

Hollywood producers (especially the Jewish ones) will certainly bend over backwards to find an excuse to work with Gibson. Here's one possibility: His father filled poor little Mel with crazy ideas that have caused him all manner of torment, which of course led to his drinking. In the darkest recesses of his mind, he has never fully dealt with the inner conflict. No one is really evil inside; he's in pain.

posted by: Cecil B. on 08.01.06 at 11:47 AM [permalink]

So...does all of this mean that Lord Humungus was Jewish?

posted by: jeremy on 08.01.06 at 11:47 AM [permalink]

I note your confidence that Apocalypto will tank. I have no idea, but I do note that everybody just knew that The Passion would wipe out Gibson.

posted by: William Sjostrom on 08.01.06 at 11:47 AM [permalink]

Actually, the arresting deputy is Jewish, which makes Gibson's actions a little more terrible. See here.

As far a Gibson and Hollywood, he's on the right path with his second (and very thorough) apology, but I think he still has a long road ahead of him. I don't see him ever publicly joking about the incident, on SNL or elsewhere.

That being said, I hope SNL has someone who can do a good Gibson impersonation.

posted by: b. phillips on 08.01.06 at 11:47 AM [permalink]

A movie about Mayan (Aztec?) cannibals or whatever. That will make you crazy.

Dan, you forgot the pre-Sawyer interview interview with Entertainment Tonight, and some sorrowful confessions to Pat O'Brien on The Insider.

"Text Pat now if you think Mel if full of crap."

For those of us who love the trash heap of popular culture, this is like manna from Heaven - oh wait, didn't God send manna to you-know-who?

posted by: save_the_rustbelt on 08.01.06 at 11:47 AM [permalink]

The timing of Gibson's remarks should be considered. Perhaps he had just seen video footage of the massacre in Qana, or maybe he had just read a book such as 'Fiasco' on the Iraq war and was tying all the ends together between the undoubtedly mainly Jewish neocons who've given us the Iraq mess or the flag wavers who are now egging on further misadventures in the Middle East. I'm not apologizing for Gibson, just saying that this event occurred at a time when a lot of focus is placed on events where Jewish opinions and Israeli actions are on the front page. A few drinks after ruminating on all of this and one could make some stupid comment that isn't necessarily what one believes in at more rational times.

posted by: Manfred Winde on 08.01.06 at 11:47 AM [permalink]

I disagree, as wiser asses than me have noted Kofi's term is about up in the UN and a new secretary general is needed...

posted by: Mark Buehner on 08.01.06 at 11:47 AM [permalink]

If you think this is a big controversy, wait till you see what happens when people find out Mel Gibson has secretly been dating Jennifer Aniston.

Well that's what I heard.

posted by: Zathras on 08.01.06 at 11:47 AM [permalink]

Apocalypto looks more interesting than the average stuff that Hollywood is cranking out these days - some of which could be improved by scripting the dialogue in indecipherable languages.

posted by: Alan K. Henderson on 08.01.06 at 11:47 AM [permalink]

So far the Professor looks to be right, Mel is begging Jews for forgiveness and some Rabbi has invited him to address temple.

Mary Hart and Pat O'Brien can't be far behind.

posted by: save_the_rustbelt on 08.01.06 at 11:47 AM [permalink]

It's sad on both counts. Why are Jews so outraged over Gibson's comment? Only if its the truth does it hurt. If it has no merit, no problem. There is much anti-white male diatribe on college campuses these days--and white males everywhere could care less. No uprising there. I think Jews are too sensitive.

posted by: charles on 08.01.06 at 11:47 AM [permalink]


Maybe it was the gas chambers and the ovens, those pesky Jews are still sensitive about that stuff. How dare they?

Most white males on campus are too busy getting laid and drinking to worry too much political sensitivity.

posted by: save_the_rustbelt on 08.01.06 at 11:47 AM [permalink]

Wow. I hope that part about white men was in jest. If someone made that statement about any other group, they would get pilloried. Why is it that we can say these things about a subset of Americans and no one is offended? Surely not all white men are guilty of taking advantage of women and minorities their whole lives and therefore have to just take the abuse. Some might actually have been victims of class discrimination or sexual orientation discrimination or whatever.

posted by: Cecil B. on 08.01.06 at 11:47 AM [permalink]

The only unanswered question is whether "ABC television network, said the company was dropping its plans" was decided before or after Mel got drunk.

posted by: Neo on 08.01.06 at 11:47 AM [permalink]

Perhaps Mel and Alan Dershowitz can go to group together and purge themselves of their sins. Dershowitz could use some sensitivity training on subverting American democracy by stifling critical debate on issues of national importance (Meirsheimer & Walt paper).

posted by: mem on 08.01.06 at 11:47 AM [permalink]

Dan: You missed another possibility-Mel finds great-great-great-great Grandma was Jewish. Is forgiven (after sackcloth and ashes appearance on Regis and Kelly) as a pathetically self-hating Jew. Converts to Orthodox Judaism and runs bagel shop with former Sen. Lieberman in the Bronx.

posted by: John Salmon on 08.01.06 at 11:47 AM [permalink]

Mel is a drunk bigot!


posted by: Chris on 08.01.06 at 11:47 AM [permalink]

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