gibson pulls ahead


Nice work, Mel, we knew you could do it; and the line between reality and “South Park” blurs further and further.

My personal theory is that most people think that Mel Gibson is actually Sergeant Martin Riggs from “Lethal Weapon”, and thus actually believe him to be charmingly “funny-crazy”, instead of the less charming and less funny “actual-crazy”… which is probably more the case.

~jeff

66 thoughts on “gibson pulls ahead”

  1. I heard about this on the radio when I was waking up this morning. It sounds like the guy was just tanked, driving through malibu with his friend tequila in the passenger seat. I don’t see where the crime is.

  2. A lot of people are saying that Mel’s apology is insufficient because being drunk is revealing what he really thinks. I thnk that, in order to make good, Mel should start a foundation to get every single person in America drunk and in a car. It’s the only way to figure out what we’re really like!

  3. I think the primary mistake is caring what an “actor” thinks about anything.

    Many people think that the “actor” is the one who comes up with all the funny and insightful things that they say in the movies. This is a fallacy, as those words are actually created by the “writer”. The “actor” only stands in a specific pretermined spot — determined by the “director” who chooses the spots to stand — and reads those previously written lines out loud.

    As a result, the “actor” gets millions of dollars and gets to go on “talk shows” where “talk show hosts” also pretend the “actor” is the funny and insightful one. The “writer” gets a couple of thousand dollars and languishes in near complete obscurity.

  4. I thought he said similar when not drunk as well?
    and apparently .12 alch level …. he wasn’t intoxicated to the point that I’d excpect to be saying much if anything outside my control.

    excerpt from article:
    “This is not the first time Gibson has faced accusations of anti-Semitism. Gibson produced, directed and financed “Passion,” which some Jewish leaders said cast Jews as the killers of Jesus.

    In a 2004 interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, Gibson said he was not anti-Semitic.

    “To be anti-Semitic is a sin,” he said. “It’s been condemned by one Papal Council after another. To be anti-Semitic is to be un-Christian, and I’m not.”

    Days before “Passion” was released, Gibson’s father Hutton Gibson was quoted saying the Holocaust was mostly “fiction.” The younger Gibson has said that he will not speak against his father.

    Gibson, 50, was arrested after deputies stopped his 2006 Lexus LS 430 for speeding at 2:36 a.m. Friday. Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said deputies clocked him doing 87 mph in a 45 mph zone.

    A breath test indicated Gibson’s blood-alcohol level was 0.12 percent, Whitmore said. The legal limit in California is 0.08 percent.

    Gibson posted $5,000 bail and was released hours later.

    In his statement, Gibson also said he has struggled with alcoholism and had taken steps “to ensure my return to health.” “

  5. Jeff, a) he’s not just an actor. He’s a director and producer, as well. And, I might add, an effective one. The Passion of the Christ is a “Passion Play”, a type of propaganda used in the Middle Ages to incite Christians to violence against Jews at Easter time. He made that. It was his idea, he directed it, he co-wrote the screenplay. It came out at Easter.

    b) Lots of people care what he has to say because of the misconception you detail.

    But more significant than the fact that he’s a charming guy on a talk show is the fact that he is a powerful filmmaker who hates Jews and believes that somehow they’re responsible for the state of the world. A state, you might note, that has made him a rich and famous man.

  6. I’m with Evan. Without the anti-Semitic remarks, this is just another celebrity drunk driving arrest. And let’s be honest, if he had been disparaging Catholics, or the Irish, or Italians, this would not be getting anywhere near the attention it is getting.

    The people who are publicly criticizing him for his anti-Semitic remarks have every right to do so, and I don’t blame them. His views are abhorrent. However, I would also like to hear their views on Israel’s bloodthirsty slaughter in Lebanon.

    And while Mel is apologizing, he should also apologize for “Lethal Weapon IV.”

  7. OK, Jim. I’ll take you up on that.

    Hezbullah is a Syrian organization supported by the Irani government. They’re the ones who were calling for the death to the Dutch cartoonist a little while ago, and the same folks who were calling for the head of Salman Rushdie. Oh, right and they’re the ones claiming that they have the right to, but aren’t actually, producing nuclear weapons, and no you can’t count our uranium.

    So when Hezbullah, which has Lebanon by the short and curlies (Syria pretty much invades and conquors Lebanon for a weekend lark) starts attacking Israeli towns with rockets and mortars while taking soldiers prisoner, Israel fires back.

    The tragedy here is that this is a fight between Hezbullah (which was rabidly anti-Palestinian until the 80s) and Israel over its very existence. You see, the Lebanese government has two branches: the Lebanese government and Hezbullah. The Lebanese government was elected. Hezbullah was not. But it also hasn’t been a high priority in Lebanon to retake their own country. But it’s not really the Lebanese who want the fight any more. There’s been a tense peace for years. But Hezbullah wants to get everyone to the party.

    The war between Hezbullah and Israel isn’t bloodthirsty on the part of Israel, nor is it bloodthirsty on the part of the Lebanese, who have had enough of this, thank you very much (though there’s sufficient support for Hezbullah that they haven’t been kicked out).

    Israel has no mandate to destroy the Arab people, to “push them into the sea”. Ehud Olmert, in his politician way, has apologized for civilian deaths at the hands of his army. I haven’t heard any such apology from a Hezbullah leader about their initial attack on Kiryat Shmonah.

    Jim, this is a war. It’s a horrible thing and every shot fired brings more suffering to the world. But Israel’s firing back. That artillery hits children brings more suffering to us all. It’s a hideous spiral of blood. But blaming Israel for the actions of Iran, Syria, and the Lebanese-supported Hezbullah is bizarre.

    Where was your commentary when Syria re-invaded Lebanon a couple of years back? What are your feelings about Yemen’s unwillingness to give passports to Jews?

    Let’s be clear on this: Israel is a country that you can walk across in a couple of days. It’s the size of New Jersey. If you acknowledge that it exists as a sovereign nation, then you must understand the tiny, densely populated area we’re talking about.

    To be sure, Israel has committed atrocities against the Palestinians. But so have Jordan and Lebanon; you’ll notice that they can’t leave somehow; they are a people who no one will take in, feared on one side and despised on the other, destined to be a political pawn in the power brokering of their powerful neighbors who have recognizable borders. This isn’t Israel bombing children for fun. It’s bombing them by accident. That’s cold comfort, but not even that can be gained by the Hezbullah soldiers firing into Kiryat Shmonah in a time of relative calm.

  8. Frankly, what the fuck does anyone’s take on Mel Gibson have to do with the current and horriffic situation in Northern Israel and Lebanon?
    Are you suggesting that Jews are somehow responsible for almost 2000 years of entrenched semiti-phobia, because of the actions of the political entity of Israel, which has been around for less than 60 years? Do you really think that Gibson, just as an example of people with this mind set, feels any more suspicious and fearful of Jews now than he did, say a month ago? Also, are you implying that the current military operations of Israel are being carried out by the Jews -as a people, a race, a religion, whatever you call it- rather than by Israel, as a country (and one that is STRONGLY influenced by American foreign policy, at that)? And, are you implying that anyone who publicly decries the above noted semiti-phobia is somehow complicit in Israel’s actions?
    Because, if so, you are really fucking wrong.

  9. Um, that was in response to Jim’s requiring a personal opinion on the current situation in the Middle East before really accepting an objection to antisemitism, if I seemed to be coming from a little out of left field.

  10. That’s my specialty! I really don’t intend to be accusatory (hell, I don’t even know you, and certainly don’t want to insult youby making assumptions about his assumptions), or to be one of those people who screams about anti-semitism at the drop of a hat. However, seriously, it’s wierd to require someone to legitimize a complaint about anti-semitism by explaining thier personal take on Israel.

  11. Jeff, you have a typo in your comment. You left out a “*rimshot*”.

    Joshua… There’s a difference between fighting back and bringing a bazooka to a knife fight. If Israel really wanted to get their soldiers back, I’m sure their mighty army could have gone in there and done it, no muss, no fuss. This is well beyond self-defense. If anything, this incident has shown the Israeli army to be more Keystone Cops than anything. For a military with so many laser-guided missiles, they sure do miss the mark a whole lot, and sadly, they just don’t care.

  12. Jon, there’s a separate issue, aside from the captured soldiers: they’re attacking an area that is a staging area for rocket fire. Hezbullah is firing artillery from within towns at Israeli towns so that, when the IDF responds, they’re attacking civilian areas.

    But Rachel’s right; I’m assuming that anyone can see that this is a fight between contemporary political/national entities that is tangential to historical antisemitism. Jim, I’m not sure that you see that. Your claim seems to imply that Jews are a monolith of blind supporters of Israel which throws into question their right to object to Blood Libel claims.

  13. That is true, Joshua, but I think that’s all the more reason why this should have been a ground battle (assuming any type of battle had to take place). If a criminal is using an innocent bystander as a human shield, that doesn’t mean that said shield is fair game, which is essentially what Israel is doing. I realize that these things can’t be carried out with Robocop-Attempted-Rape-Scene-like proficiency, but there has to be a better way.

  14. That’s what they’re doing. The airstrikes are “support”. I think “support” in this context means, “There’s a guy in that building shooting rockets at us. Blow up the building.”

    Hey, look at this! Gibson made us talk about Israel/The Jews making the world’s wars happen!

  15. That’s all Gibson was trying to do! Do you really believe that Mel Gibson would drive drunk, get caught, and mouth off by accident? No. He did it to make us THINK.

    Mel Gibson, you’re my Chosen One!

    P.S. Lindsay Lohan makes me think a lot too.

  16. This just in from CNN.com:

    “I’m not just asking for forgiveness,” Gibson said in a statement issued through his publicist. “I would like to take it one step further, and meet with leaders in the Jewish community, with whom I can have a one on one discussion to discern the appropriate path for healing.”

    Gibson, 50, said, “There is no excuse, nor should there be any tolerance, for anyone who thinks or expresses any kind of anti-Semitic remark.”

    He apologized to “everyone in the Jewish community.”
    ———
    As a Jew, I feel it’s my duty to send Mel Gibson a headshot for him to autograph. I will request that he sign it as follows:

    Dear Jew (I mean, Jon),

    I am very sorry for what I said about your people.

    Love, Mel

    I would then sell it on eBay for lots of money.

  17. Lindsay Lohan makes you think of boobs. That’s different.

    I think you should send him ten different photos. And they should not be of him, but you should demand that his signing them anyway will aid in “healing between the Jews and crazy antisemitic conspiracy theorists around the world”.

    I think they should be, in order, pictures of:

    1) A sheep in a pasture. The sun is setting just off to one side of the photograph out of frame, giving the sky a serene, rosy color.

    2) A pancreas.

    3) Jeff Bezos, already autographed “All my best wishes, Kevin Spacey”.

    4) A giant squid, also already autographed “All my best wishes, Kevin Spacey”.

  18. I think the appropriate path for healing would be for Mel to send me, an offended Jew, lots of money. And I mean LOTS. You’re offended too, right Josh?

  19. Ah, Jews do love their money.

    UPDATE: I apologize for that last remark, and I look forward to meeting with the Leaders of the Jewish Community to ensure that the healing can begin.

    UPDATE UPDATE: (“The Leaders of the Jewish Community” is a local klezmer band.)

  20. You know, I didn’t think I was offended before since I thought that it just showed that he’s a crazyman, but Rachel’s really brought this to my attention: I am offended!

    Also, I want a pony.

  21. Jeff-
    I would like you to meet with me to have a discussion to discern the appropriate path for healing from your remarks. The appropirate path we discern will include you mopping my kitchen floor and going to the corner to get me a popsicle. Vaccuming the inside of my car and folding my laundry are still up for negotiation.

  22. First on Mel.. he’s a moron. But I do think his comments are way overblown. He’s a well-known anti-Semite, so why is this big news now? And if we’re all going to be held accountable for remarks said while drunk… well, I shudder at the thought.

    I will buy a beer for Joshua, too, whether or not I’m invited.

  23. Now, about the crisis…

    OK, Joshua, I can see a lengthy explanation of my views is required here, since you appear to assume I know absolutely nothing of the background surrounding this. That would explain your rather condescending reply. And that’s OK—no offense taken. But please bear with me.

    I have Jewish friends. I have Lebanese friends, some of whom have close relatives still in Lebanon (yes, they are sick of this, thank you very much). I’ve tried not to delve too deeply into the politics of this all in conversations with them, but as you can imagine, there are some very strong feelings.

    I see no “good guys” among the players in this crisis. NONE. That includes Hezbollah, that includes the Lebanese government, that includes Israel, and that includes the United States.

    First, let me make one thing clear. Israel is a friend of the United States. Always will be. If Syria made a full-scale push into the Golan Heights on it’s way to an invasion of Israel, then the U.S. should send troops over to defeat them, if that’s what is needed. I support Israel, but that does not mean I support everything they do. If you want to take the simplistic view that when I criticize Israel for any action they take, I must be anti-Israel or anti-Jew, that’s your prerogative. But you would be wrong.

    Nor am I “blaming Israel for the actions of Iran, Syria, and the Lebanese-supported Hezbollah.” There’s lots of blame to go around here, and Israel is not immune.

    I am not defending Hezbollah in any way, shape or form. Hezbollah are murderous terrorists who are intent on the destruction of Israel. I agree with everything you said about Hezbollah. (One correction, though: I believe 30 members of the Hezbollah “civilian wing” were in fact elected to Parliament in Lebanon, making the situation even more entangled.)

    Hezbollah lit the match that ignited this conflict. But Israel is trying to put it out with gasoline.

    Israel is doing more than “firing back,” Joshua. They are on a full-scale mission to eliminate Hezbollah, no matter the cost. They are attacking every area in the entire country known to be a base for Hezbollah weapons—whether or not those particular weapons were fired at Israel.

    The problem is—as Israel knows, as we all know—Hezbollah tends to hide among the civilian population. But Israel has been attacking anyway. The only assumption that can be made here is that they have chosen to accept a very high number of civilian casualties.

    According to international law, as set by the Geneva convention (no, I don’t know this off the top of my head, I had to look it up), “warring parties are required to take all feasible precautions to minimize harm to civilians and civilian objects and to refrain from attacks that would disproportionately harm the civilian population.” According to the latest casualty reports I saw, since this current conflict began, at least 52 Israelis have been killed, and at least 561 Lebanese (the vast majority civilians, by all accounts). It appears to me that both Hezbollah and Israel are blatantly ignoring international law. But I expect it from Hezbollah.

    Israel is on a mission to kill members of Hezbollah. I call that “bloodthirsty.” They accept that in the process, they will kill hundreds and hundreds of innocent people. I call that “slaughter.” I stand by my statement.

    Israeli is bombing infrastructure. Bridges, buildings, roads, airports. By their own admitted goals, they set out “to turn back the clock in Lebanon by 20 years” (Israeli military Chief of Staff Gen. Dan Halutz). Thousands of Lebanese have been wounded. Hundreds of thousands have been left homeless. The U.N. has expressed fears of a humanitarian crisis.

    Is that just “firing back”?

    But there are other parties at blame here, too. The Lebanese government put their own people in danger with their tacit acceptance and approval of Hezbollah. And the United States has failed the region by taking a very passive role here, and by refusing to even hold talks with Syria (our ally in Gulf War I) or Iran—as you noted, 2 very key players in this entire mess—to reach some kind of solution that at the very least, puts a stop to the bloodshed.

    Perhaps the greatest tragedy is that in the end, this will solve absolutely nothing. As I’m sure you know, Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982, and later occupied southern Lebanon, to drive out the PLO from the region. And they succeeded in doing that. But in the process, they also succeeded in incurring so much anger and wrath among the population that conditions were ripe for a new terror group to thrive—Hezbollah. One can only wonder what type of new terror organization will rise from this latest conflict.

    That’s all I have to say, and I’ll shut up now. Feel free to castigate me, tar and feather me, give me a ride home with Mel Gibson, whatever you want.

  24. Can I get a picture of you in your undies? That should be reasonable compensation.

    Wait, are you good-looking?

  25. I concur that, at the very least, Israel is making strategic disaster out of this whole thing, and will only come out of this much worse then they went in. I still miss why my views on this are relevant to my condemnation of anti-semitism.

  26. And there’s that scene in Road Warrior with the monkeychild and the boomerang taking off the mutants hand– so totally fake.
    Fuck Mel Gibson, man.

  27. I have a solution! Since the U.S. loves Jews so much, I think the Diamond District of New York City should be renamed “Little Israel” and the 10 remaining jews in the world not in New York should move there.

    I’m going to stay in New Jersey, because as a militant self-hating Jew it’s only right that I deny myself peace of mind and relative freedom.

  28. The whole thing is a mess.

    Am I good looking? You’d have to ask Jeff. Wait, don’t ask Jeff!! I don’t want to know what he thinks!

    The end is nigh? Does that mean I can stop working on this stupid project at my job?

  29. I can attest that underneath the flowing white robes, behind the tiny black mustache, and within the confederate flag underroos — especially within those — Jim is a handsome, handsome man.

  30. The funny thing is, Jeff, that when I first read your description I pictured Jim as some kind of luchador/1890’s circus strong man. On further reflection, I don’t think that’s what you meant.

  31. Jim, what’s going on here is that we fundamentally agree and there’s a tense, horrible thing going on. And, because this is the internet, there’s a gross misreading of tone. Sorry.

    Just don’t equate Israel as a modern political body with antisemitism as a historical phenomenon; I don’t even think it’s what you meant, but examine the premise — that those objecting to antisemitism must also answer for Israel’s military actions — and you’ll see that that way lies only greater suffering.

    Here, give tonight’s Frrreshaair a listen. It enriched my understanding of the situation, even if it didn’t actually clear much up for me.

  32. No, absolutely not equating Israeli politics with antisemitism. Sorry for the misunderstanding. How I got from point A to point B was that Mel reportedly said “the Jews are responsible for all wars” (or actually, what he said was “the Jewsh… are reshponshibul fur awwwwl warsh… Mas tequila!”). Then I had read one of the many public bashings of Mel that went on and on, after I had read a Mideast update. And that just made me think, “aren’t there more important things we should be talking about here?” and, well… you know the rest.

    I will listen to the Fresh Air report.

    Now I’m off to my latest work project—saving middle schoolers from pandemic flu. Later!

  33. Joshua:

    As Jerri Blank would put it, “I’ve got something to say!”

    When you were at my wedding (the one where I married Jon Land), you sat in one of the most liberal houses of Christian worship in New York. Every year on Good Friday, we hold an event called “Good Friday Blues”. This is the “Passion According to John”, told through blues and jazz music. I perform every year in this event, and it is purely meant as Christian outreach to the community. It is also simply a solemn acknowledgement of Christ’s death and a preparation for the celebration of Christ’s return on Easter.

    I think it is safe to say that if one of the most liberal churches in New York, and probably the entire U.S. of A regularly performs the Passion, then perhaps the meaning of the Passion Play, or the intent behind it, has changed from what you point out was the case in the Middle Ages (“a type of propaganda used to incite Christians to violence against Jews at Easter time”). I don’t think people objected to Gibson’s movie because it was a retelling of the Passion, but because of how he chose to depict Jews in his movie. I am not in any way defending Mel Gibson, I just wanted to give you a perspective from my personal experience as a Christian. We do not hate Jews! I do get a bit annoyed by Jon from time to time, but I don’t think that counts. Mel Gibson does hate them apparently, and he’s an angry, miserable man who we all enjoy seeing fall on his ass (I feel guilty about that however, because it isn’t very Christian I suppose).

  34. Jill-
    I think Joshua will agree with me that it is not the telling of the story that is problematic or inciting to violence, it is the depiction of the Jews in the specific WAY the story is being told. That is the similarity that people drew between Gibson’s Passion and the European passion plays, which were still inspiring pogroms in the 1940’s. (don’t know where Josh came up with that “middle ages” thing, since it was happening a hell of a lot more recently than that.) The point is of course not that all Christians hate Jews, but that it is very troubling and -ahem- unchristian to fall back on the same old techniques of inciting hatred.

  35. Er, yeah. Starting in the Middle Ages.

    Rachel’s right, of course. You can believe what you believe, and reexamining the symbols of your religion to keep it in line with your moral structure is a perfectly valid way of practicing.

    But I’ll one up my sister:

    Today, passion plays are performed all over the world and throughout the United States. The most famous of all plays is performed in Oberammergau in Bavaria every ten years. This play began in 1634 and has continued to be performed today by the residents for millions of visitors. Until recent changes were enacted in 1990, and again in 2000, the Oberammergau Passion Play included large amounts of antisemitism. For example, Jewish characters used to appear in horned hats suggesting a link between Jews and the Devil, and Jewish religious officials were portrayed as evil and sadistic.

  36. Joshua:

    So you’re saying– by including that blurb– that Jews DON’T have horns?

    Come on.

    I suppose my wife’s head is just “bumpy”?

  37. “You can believe what you believe, and reexamining the symbols of your religion to keep it in line with your moral structure is a perfectly valid way of practicing.”

    That’s a little demeaning. Just because there have been antisemetic passion plays doesn’t mean they all are and that non-antisemetic people need to justify them.

    I think justifying Israel’s recent actions has made your brain misfire.

    I think the majority of followers of all religions are sheep. They have to be to some extent, but there are still those who can believe the tenets of a given religion and be rational about it. It’s really easy to Christian bash since there are so many ridiculous Christians out there, it’s also really fashionable in some circles, but judging all Christians by George Bush or Pat Robertson is like judging all comedians by Carrot Top.

  38. Jon, passion plays were a propaganda tool used to incite violence against Jews. It’s what they were for.

    It’s obviously not why Jill is interested in it. It’s got other purposes for her, and they’re noble causes.

    The shofar was a war horn, blown like a bugle to signal troop movements and inspire fear in the enemies of Israel while it was conquoring Canaan. That’s not why we blow it now. Now it’s a symbol of the new year, a symbol of joy as well as awe.

    But I’m not equivocating away the historical meaning of the shofar. The symbols’ meaning has evolved, like the Passion has for Jill.

    To participate in the evolution of an ancient symbol is to practice a living religion.

  39. Jon- I agree with what I hope Joshua meant to say- which is that (hopefully) all religions and morality evolve, and it’s a good thing that most Christians’ understanding of their own moral code have evolved beyond pogroms, etc. And it’s a hell of a good thing that most Christians’ Passion Plays have evolved, beyond that, too. I don’t think calling out the actions and intentions of those who have *failed* to evolve is equivalent to Christian bashing.

  40. Rachel,

    I hope that’s what Josh meant to say also, because the way I read it was a little demeaning.

    Anyway, you said: “I think Joshua will agree with me that it is not the telling of the story that is problematic or inciting to violence, it is the depiction of the Jews in the specific WAY the story is being told”

    Well, that was exactly what I said – it was my point exactly.

  41. Re: my bumpy head. It’s called CURLY HAIR, for god’s sake. I’m so sick of having to explain that.

    Also, Cauley wouldn’t have married me if Jews weren’t known for being sadistic. But that’s between him and me.

  42. To add some grist to the mill, Olmert has restarted his rhetoric about withdrawal from the West Bank.

    It’s pissed off Likud (surprise surprise) and the Right, but really, those guys have had a say for too long. It nice to hear some “Let’s sort this out together” rhetoric instead of the “We kick you ass!” rhetoric. I hope he has the oomph to make it happen.

    I think that he’s trying to drive a wedge between Hezbullah and the Palestinian political wing of Hamas. One of the interesting things in the Frrreshairr link above is the tale about the political wing of Hamas being ready to talk and the militant wing going to Hezbullah to stir things up. It would be nice if people like that didn’t get their say every time.

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