Thursday Thirteen Ed. #52

by Steve, August 2nd, 2006

meI am not known for my celebrity dish. I pretty much don’t give a rip about famous people. But since Mel “Watch me, I’m a train wreck” Gibson went and followed up his anti-semitic Passion play with a drunken Jew-hating tirade, I just can’t resist. After letting the Jewish community stew over the weekend on his non-apology, Mel’s publicist released a statement that owned up to the anti-semitism while maintaining that Mel is not really anti-semitic—maybe he just plays one in real life?—and asks the Jewish community to help him make it all better. That, my friends, is chutzpah!

The Jewish community was generally warm to the apology. But Monsters and Critics reports “Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center…cautioned in a statement that, like substance abuse and alcoholism, anti-Semitism ‘cannot be cured in one day and certainly not through a press release.’”

You could read Mel’s mealy-mouthed apology, or you could read my translation here (patience, TTers, by TT list follows):


Dear Jews,

Boy, I really screwed up, and I know it. As if the Passion of Jeebus wasn’t enough of an insult to the jewry of Hollywood, I went and said it out loud.

I’m a raging Jew hater!

Look, I learned it from my wacky extremist Catholic dad, but that’s not the problem. It’s that I’m a raging alcholic. Or an alcoholic rage-aholic. Yeah, that’s it, I don’t really believe those things I said, it was, uh, temporary insanity. Yeah, the booze was talking, right?

But I still want to work in this town. Please? Oh PLEASE I’M BEGGING YOU!!

I’ll stop getting drunk in public and spilling my vitriol if you’ll PLEASE just let me keep making movies. Oh GOD PLEASE don’t shun me!

You’ve got to help me heal my image. I can’t do it alone! I need you to love me.

Sincerely,
Mel “The Mad Catholic” Gibson

Crude? Yeah, but at least it’s more honest than the pap his publicist put out. So here are 13 things Mel could do to really show he’s sorry:

  1. Stop making movies. They’re all crap anyway.

  2. Move back to Australia or whatever hole it was you crawled out of.
  3. Publicly denounce your wacky extremist Catholic beliefs, from which your anti-semitism surely springs.
  4. Never, ever, ever threaten to make a Holocaust mini-series again. (Thank you ABC!)
  5. While you’re at it, apologize for your crappy movies. All of them. I don’t care what my 40ish contemporaries say about the Mad Max movies, they all sucked, too.
  6. Apologize to those star-struck women you posed with at Moonshadows. They obviously had no idea what an ass clown you are.
  7. As religious wars go, you Catholics have a lot of explainin’ to do regarding a little something called the Inquisition. Apologize for that.
  8. Take Joy Behar’s advice: Get a public circumcision.
  9. Take Rabbi David Baron’s advice: Speak on Yom Kippur (the day of atonement) at the Temple of the Arts. (Hey, this one’s serious, folks!)
  10. Quit procreating. You’ve got what, a dozen kids? Maybe you could man up and get a vasectomy after your public circumsision.
  11. While you’re at it, apologize to your wife. I’m sure you’re not the nicest person to be married to.
  12. Don’t forget to apologize to all your kids.
  13. And, most importantly, don’t teach your kids to hate Jews the way your father taught you. It’s despicable.

But really, there’s not much you can do, Mel, to atone for this. It’s not that you said it, it’s that you evidently actually believe it. The best thing for you to do is to just melt into obscurity.

13 Responses to “Thursday Thirteen Ed. #52”

  1. Comment from Raggedy:

    I did not know a thing about his private and personal life. I don’t watch televeison at all. I did like some of his movies..I enjoyed forever young, The lethal weapon series and Air America very much…I don’t know anything about the movies you mentioned.. I thought he was excellent in the ones I listed there…I thought they were great flicks… Thanks for posting this. I guess they all make good and bad movies eh?
    I don’t keep up with celebrity news stuff.
    Have a wonderful Thursday…
    My TT is up

  2. Comment from Jenny Ryan:

    I did like Mel in the Lethal Weapon movies. I agree with you, but I would go further. I think ALL organized religions have some ‘splainin to do about what goes on “in the name of God.” Jenny (brand new at the TT thing :)

  3. Comment from The Shrone:

    I don’t know if you get Seattle’s TV newscasts, but we’ve got this guy on the ABC affiliate who gave Mel his special award for idiots. The link to see what the award is about and such is here. The same guy had nothing good to say about Mel when Passion of the Christ came out, saying that Mel went too far with his marketing gimmicks. Great list for TT! It nicely sums up what I’m sure a lot of sane people are thinking.

  4. Comment from The Shrone:

    Oops! I guess the comments won’t accept an HTML tag, so to view the link, here it is: http://www.komotv.com/kenschram/story.asp?ID=44728

  5. Comment from Leanne:

    Well, I like Mel. I’ve always liked him, and just realized that when you’re a celebrity, if you say something stupid, you get totally trashed about it. If I said something stupid, which I do plenty enough, I consider myself pretty darn fortunate not to be kicked to the curb about it by the world. How awful to have everyone judge and point and express so much hate and disgust over a persons choice of words, good or bad.

    People are people, and people say and think stupid stuff all the time – even moreso under the influence. I’m one of those who believes in the whole ‘live & let live’ thing, I don’t care what he believes, because it doesn’t directly impact my life or beliefs in any way. He’s as free to be anti-semitic as much I’m free to not care what he is or isn’t. ;)

  6. Comment from Himself:

    Leanne: It’s not just his words, it’s his actions. “The Passion of the Christ” was deeply offensive to Jews.

    And it’s not just his actions, it’s that he’s immensely influential by virtue of his celebrity. This may not directly impact your life, but perpetuating this type of stereotype is very dangerous.

    Violence against Jews is a real threat. Just last Friday in Seattle, Naveed Haq shot six women at a Jewish center, killing one, all to make the point about “the Jews and what they are doing”. Obviously this was before Gibson went off about “fucking Jews” being responsible for all wars. But this is a very dangerous time for influential people to be espousing religious hatred (even if they are drunk).

    Live and let live? Tell that to Pamela Waechter, killed in Haq’s murderous anti-semitic rampage. Some forms of speech are very dangerous, and can incite unstable people to commit horrible crimes.

    Mel Gibson is a member of a fundamentalist religious sect, and he espouses (both in drunken speech and in his art) a form of sweeping anti-semitism that can only be described as hateful. That is extremely dangerous and should not be tolerated by a reasonable civilization. He absolutely deserves to be kicked to the curb.

  7. Comment from Wacky Mommy:

    Responding to Leanne (“I’m one of those who believes in the whole ‘live & let live’ thing…”) — But if you’re anti-Semitic, like Mel is, it’s “Live and let die.” I want everyone alive, and loving, and being good to each other. And really, I think it’s bullshit that he went to the Jewish community for advice on how to “heal.” Reminded me of a wife abuser asking his spouse, “Please baby, you can help me change.”

  8. Comment from ben:

    I still haven’t heard anyone take Gibson to task for the most dangerous thing he did last week, so here goes…..
    14. Could you please, the next time you drink yourself into oblivion, avoid the temptation to get in your vehicle. By driving drunk and travelling 87mph in a 45 zone, you are running the risk of being a lot more sorry than you currently are for mouthing off about the Jews.

  9. Comment from Himself:

    Ben- good point, but I think one could argue that a famous person on a tirade about “Fucking Jews” being responsible for all wars is more dangerous than drunk driving, especially given the current global climate of religious violence.

    On the other hand, drunk drivers kill tens of thousands every year, and it’s hard to argue that hate speech by the rich and idle is that deadly.

  10. Comment from Wacky Mommy:

    When River Phoenix died, I was so full of myself, all, “I’ve done stupid things, but never that stupid,” and my friend shut me down with, “Ever rode with a drunk driver?”

  11. Comment from Angela:

    Dude, are you Jewish? Because you’re really taking this kinda hard! It seems to me you’re more upset with remarks he made to the police then his driving legally drunk in a 45mph zone. (Doing 87mph!) I’d be in jail right now.

    Look, the First Amendment protects Mel and his free speech, no matter how appauling it sounds. But, I’d rather have him say what and how he feels to my face, rather then him coming out of nowhere and taking my life without saying a word. Just ask James Byrd’s family and all of the African American families who have lost loved ones to the KKK. (Hating in secret or hating in the open, pick your poison.)

    My feelings are people shouldn’t worry too much about what someone says against another, it’s the actions they take on those chosen words. So, I can’t judge Mel on his words, only on his actions. Had he killed someone driving like that, I would support the harshess punishment the judicial system has.

    We need to keep these things in perspective.

  12. Comment from Himself:

    Angela-

    First, I am not Jewish. I was basically raised an indifferent agnostic. Today I consider myself a devoted agnostic. And as you can see above, I was dinged by Ben for caring more about anti-semitic incitement than the drunk driving, and I copped to it. It is a horrible thing that he did driving like that, an immediate threat to public safety of anybody in his vicinity. I by no means want to diminish that. He should do jail time for it and have his license revoked. They should confiscate his car and auction it to pay for anti-drunk driving education.

    But let’s put Mel’s “free speech” in context. (And let me point out that I am only interested commenting on Mel’s constitutionally-protected speech, not limiting it—though you are surely aware that there are limits to this.)

    First, the context of his history and the fact that there is currently an overtly religious “war” raging in which hundreds of children, many times the number of soldiers, are being slaughtered. Of course, you can make the argument that “Jews” are responsible for this war, as perhaps Gibson is thinking. But you could also argue that this is in fact a proxy war of the Christian U.S. vs. Iran and Syria, or you could even argue that this is part of the war on Islamic Terrorism (a new “faith” invented in the US), or you could argue that it’s the neocon Jews in the U.S. goverment influencing Bush on behalf of Israel.

    My personal opinion (as you can glean from this blog) is that people who happen to be Jewish and people who happen to be Muslim are committing war crimes. And people who happen to be Christian are paying for it and supporting it. But many, many Jews are opposed to Israel’s brutality, just as many Muslims are opposed to Hezbollah’s targeting of civilians.

    In fact, in general, Jews in the US are far more liberal than the general population, and opposed the Iraq war by far greater margins. So the idea of “Jews” as a people being responsible for all wars is not only dangerous, it is patently, demonstrably false.

    People in culturally influential positions must be held to a higher standard. They have the power to incite, perhaps even more than politicians. Gibson’s speech must be viewed also in the context of his work, much of it violent, apocalyptic, and recently anti-semitic. Add to this his own extremist religious views, I believe he is fair game for criticism.

  13. Comment from Leanne:

    I think the whole thing has gone to an extreme – Mel hasn’t killed anyone, his words were just that, words. He made a movie about Christ’s crucifixion, and it is what it is. Taken from the Bible. I don’t see a need to use him to set a political example or agenda. That’s totally unfair, especially since he was under the influence and less coherent than his usual self. As far as you know, I could be anti-semetic. I could be extremely prejudice. I could be Muslim – I could be a lot of things – what would you know, if I haven’t said it outloud to someone who ran to the media with it. Does it make any difference at all? I’m not out killing people, I’m just one person with an opinion or belief who doesn’t happen to have a camera in my face. It doesn’t change the state of the union or the world, it’s just the opinion of one man. And no, in the big picture, it doesn’t count for much, except to the people who make it into something.