Mel Gibson - The Passion of the Drunk
"Here we have some people who call themselves Christians and they forget Jesus Christ was a Jew. Anti-Semitism is an artificial way of avoiding responsibility. You blame the problems in your country on someone else, on some group." Yevgeny Yevtushenko
"The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." Mel Gibson
Nothing Mel Gibson does can surprise me any more. He's an overpaid, over-privileged, overindulged movie mogul. A pimple on the butt of Hollywood, if not humanity.
So he got drunk and acted like an ass. Big deal. Almost everybody acts like an ass when they're drunk.
So he dropped the F-bomb all over the place. Big deal. Almost everybody drops multiple F-bombs, drunk or sober.
So he made anti-Semitic remarks. Big deal... Wait. That is a big deal. Almost nobody makes blatant anti-Semitic comments. At least not in public.
But Mel Gibson grew up in an anti-Semitic household. His father is a staunch Holocaust denier. In the past Mel's given non-denial denials about anti-Semitism claims against him. Then he made perhaps the most anti-Semitic movie in history, The Passion of the Christ.
So when he gets drunk he shows us the Inner Mel --a Jew-hater-- with his belligerent anti-Semitic rantings to the cops during his drunk driving arrest.
Whoa. Being vocally anti-Semitic is not politically correct. Especially if you're a movie star. People might stop coming to your movies. As if.
Here's what will happen. There will be more stories. Mel will make another apology and enter rehab. Pundits and critics will rant and rave for a while. Mel might have to do some community service for the drunk driving.
Eventually it'll be old news. Mel will go back to making movies, having learned nothing. And the public will have learned even less.
The next time Mel hits the talk-show circuit to plug a new film, this will come up again and he'll shake his head and talk about the "terrible incident" his "former" alcoholism and how he's a changed man.
Don't believe it. Anti-Semitism doesn't disappear upon sobriety. Bigotry comes from inside a person, not a bottle.
So it bothers me that the commotion will go away. Because Jew-hating is despicable. And very, very dangerous.
Yet what bothers me more is that anti-Semitism is horribly, terribly in some twisted way an acceptable offense as long as you deny--Mel himself has done it for years--or apologize.
Think I'm wrong? What if this time Mel had dropped the N-bomb?
Imagine the commotion--hell, the international outcry--if Mel Gibson had said, "F---ing N!$$#%s." and/or "The N!$$#%s are responsible for all the crime in the world." (I was going to drop the N-bomb here for emphasis, but I can't bring myself to put it on the page.)
Even if Mel had said "F---ing Blacks." The Blacks are responsible for..." the media frenzy would have reached epic proportions. Congressional committees would be formed. Rallies held. Movies boycotted and pulled from TV station libraries. His career would be over.
The response shouldn't be less for anti-Semitism. Or any other form of prejudice. But it is. And I don't know why. That's just plain WRONG.
Bigotry and racism are the slippery slope to discrimination, lynchings, intifadas, wars ... the virtual end of civilization.
But Mel Gibson clearly doesn't care. And neither will Hollywood, as long as he keeps making the big bucks.