July 31, 2006

Mel Gibson, you are discredited forever.

Everything you ever did is now tainted.

"Freedom!" It has no meaning anymore.

What artist has ever crashed like this? Not Michael Jackson. Not Woody Allen. Not O.J. Simpson. You've shown an evil heart and it changes the meaning of all of your artistic work. How horrible! How painful! Try to imagine the penance you must do.
Aye, fight and you may die, run, and you'll live... at least for a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take... OUR FREEDOM!

So sad to think of the Mel Gibson I thought existed.

IN THE COMMENTS: A lot of people are defending Gibson and complaining that people are criticizing him because he's considered right wing. I note that doesn't explain my position, which has nothing to do with his politics, whatever they're supposed to be. I concede that my comment about O.J. Simpson is extreme (and that Simpson isn't an artist, though it would be easy to make up some sports-talk bullshit declaring his athleticism artistic). My point is that what Simpson (presumably) did doesn't change the meaning of the achievements that made him a big star. Gibson, on the other hand, has revealed something loathsome about his mind that affects our interpretation of the works of art that sprang from that mind. In particular, it changes "The Passion of the Christ," which had to be defended at the time of its release from charges that it is anti-Semitic.

UPDATE: Details on the aftermath of Mel's meltdown. I note the restaurant where he'd been drinking is called Moonshadows. Do we really need to think about Cat Stevens here? Oh, if I ever lose my reputation, oh if.... I won't have to work in Hollywood no more.

109 comments:

lucas m. said...

I had seen Mel Gibson as one of the last decent people in Hollywood. Once again, I am disappointed, yet, in a sad way, not suprised.

Harkonnendog said...

Uh... what? A drunken stupid rant is now equivalent to decapitating two people? And pedophilia? And marrying your adopted daughter?

Wtf?

Has an audio tape of this rant been released? Because what I've read doesn't occasion this kind of reaction.

Anyway, it doesn't taint anything he's ever done. His work stands alone, completely separate from him.

Meade said...

The "last decent person in Hollywood" is probably someone's illegal alien gardener.

Joseph Hovsep said...

harkonnendog: Its not just a drunken stupid rant. There has long been a suspicion that Gibson harbored anti-Semitic feelings, based on his father's clear anti-Semitic record, his own very carefully worded acknowledgement that the Holocaust even happened, the overtones of his Passion of the Christ. This drunken stupid rant confirms what so many people wanted to believe wasn't true.

Brent said...

"You've shown an evil heart and it changes the meaning of all of your artistic work."

Are you kidding?

I can't defend his indefensible comments, but changes his precious works . . . please

harkonnendog is correct in his measured perspective. And by the way, there is no tape of the anti-Semite comments: The tape was only active until Gibson was placed into the police car. The anti-semitic comments took place after that point, in the car. However, Gibson has so far not denied them.

But, if that is the standard: then Ann, I'm afraid that there are many readers who will also hold you to it.

Please Ann, don't become a hypocrite over this incident . . .

Jim H said...

You've shown an evil heart and it changes the meaning of all of your artistic work.

So The Road Warrior wasn't an allegory, with Max as Moses?

John Jenkins said...

Two pedophiles and a double-murderer? Well, I guess he should be thankful that you didn't think to group him in with Manson.

Here's a thought: none of this matters a damn bit. It's a drunk guy behaving like a drunk. If he's Joe Blow, no one ever hears or cares. If he's Ted Kennedy, he gets driven home and people make nice with him over it. If he's Mel Gibson, he's Joseph Goebbels. I mean, WTF? He didn't actually kill anyone or diddle some children and just being a general asshole pretty much places him right in the middle of the world's population.

The merits (or lack thereof) of his artistic works are independent of this or any other event.

Ann Althouse said...

If the police reports were untrue, he should have denied it. All he did was apologize. I read that as a concession that what the police said is true. I give him credit for not falsely accusing them of lying.

But I think we know that he actually is a bigot. That's a terrible thing. It's a worse act to murder two people, of course. But a man can lose control and murder, and though I want that man to pay the price, I will forgive him. What Mel Gibson has revealed, however, is the very structure of his mind.

It's not enough to say he got drunk. Do you rant about "the Jews" when you get drunk? No, no, this shows us something fundamental about him. And -- as I heard discussed on the radio today -- there must be a lot of people who knew this about him. He must have said things like this before. Yet they remained silent, even as people were defending him against the charge that "The Passion of the Christ" is anti-Semitic.

This movie, which millions have bonded with, is actually the work of an anti-Semite. How horrible! How dare he put such filth next to the Christ that so many revere. How dare he feed off their reverence!

PatCA said...

He's a star, a rich star, not an artist, so why would it change anything he's done?

I agree with Hitchens. Braveheart was semi-okay and The Patriot was horrible. The Passion was not that bad but the scene on Calvary where the Jewish Pharisee was shown smirking--to my knowledge, nothing about him being there was ever mentioned in the Bible--revealed his bigotry to me.

I wonder about his .12 BA--doesn't seem high enough for him to lose control like this. Did they fudge the numbers too?

I'm looking forward to Apocalypto, but will skip his Holocaust movie. Gibson and the Holocaust? Only in Hollywood, where money talks.

Danny said...

Now that Mel has come out, I'm guessing I'm the only Jew left in the world who will admit to liking Signs.

Harkonnendog said...

Ann,
I don't rant about Jews when i'm drunk, no, but I've said dumb crap that reveals NOTHING about my personality at all. Stuff I not only would not have said, but stuff I don't believe. I don't love random people I meet at parties, after all.

And I've seen many people go from Jekyl to Hyde when drunk, without deciding that the alcohol has revealed their true nature.

I don't believe he thinks it is okay to treat policeman that way, either. Yet nobody is saying "Ahh... this truly reveals his inner beliefs about police and how they should defer to rich people."

Anyway, the piling on is distasteful. The mob mentality is distasteful.

Joseph Hovseb said:
"This drunken stupid rant confirms what so many people wanted to believe wasn't true."
I disagree 100%. This stupid rant confirms what so many people wanted, oh so badly, to be true. :)

Troy said...

I worked with the Texas Highway Patrol for a few years in the '90s as a lawyer.... 0.12 is NOTHING to an alcoholic. Real alcoholics walk around over the legal limit and many drive worse sober. Unfortunately for Mel -- alcohol lowers inhibitions and tends to reveal gut feelings. There are exceptions of course... some may get intoxicated off of one drink others may ned 4-6 drinks. I figure Mel -- given his relative size, age, and drinking experience was probably on the way down by the time he was tested on the Intoxilyzer. His rant may have happened when he was as high as .15 or better depending on food, last drink, etc. That in NO WAY excuses his rant. Just purts his condition in more perspective. It reminds of the old Bill Cosby bit on cocaine from "Himself". If one is an anti-Semitic asshole sober, one tends to be moreso when intoxicated. A drunk is more likely to make fun of the actual race of the officer or the uniform, weight, etc. specific to the officer. The "Jew rant" is so left field....

I like Braveheart and will continue to watch it and The Passion, et al so I've already given him my money there. I'll think twice (or thrice? before giving him another looksee. It's going to be interesting to watch him do penance.

I think a man's mind can be restructured -- it's happened all through history -- it's called redemption. He just needs to study more closely the Christ whom he claims to revere -- Himself a good Jew.

Gahrie said...

Given what the American public has accepted and forgiven in the past, I think people are seriously overreacting. Was anything Mel reportedly said, before he contritely apologised, any worse than what Jesse Jackson has said? (Hymietown or otherwise? and Jackson still has never truly apologised for those remarks).

I bet you, if this had been Michael Moore, Rob Reiner, Alec Baldwin or some other liberal darling, this would have already blown over. Mel is being punished because he is not a typical Hollywood lefty.

Hell, look at what Woody Allen has said and done, and his movies are still being released. If Roman Polanski ever dared to come back, the left would sprint to embrace him.

Get a grip people.

Ann Althouse said...

Harkennodog: It's not just random stuff, it's the very thing people worried might be true about him, because of his father and because of that movie. That makes it way too hard to brush off as drunken nonsense. I'd like him to be a good guy, I really would. But I stand by my post title: He is discredited forever.

Daryl Herbert said...

Having weird thoughts about Jews (instilled in you by your father), and keeping them mostly to yourself (except when totally drunk and out-of-control), is evidence of "an evil heart"? This is so totally blown out of proportion.

Mel Gibson makes a remark about Joos and the world comes crashing down on him. Some Muslim shoots up a Jewish center while making remarks about Joos and the LA Times says his motive is a "mystery." Cynthia McKinney's dad blames the Joos for her loss, and the two of them get a free pass.

Hmmmm... maybe it isn't really about hatred towards or suspicion of Jews, maybe there is some other factor at play here... such as whether someone is perceived as being a supporter of Dubya or the right in general.

By your logic, Ann, every member of Hizb'allah, HAMAS, etc. has "an evil heart." 99% of Palestinians, 99% of Saudis, 97% of Egyptians, 95% of Turks have "an evil heart" (all figures estimated). I'm not ready to damn the whole Arab world as "evil." The propaganda masters who drill those ideas into peoples' heads, sure--but not the victims of anti-Semitic indoctrination. The real question is whether Mel Gibson is teaching his family members to hate Jews. Anti-Semitism has to end somewhere. I'm not comfortable crucifying the last anti-Semite in a family lineage.

I wonder about his .12 BA--doesn't seem high enough for him to lose control like this.

Out of control at .12, for a bona-fide alcoholic? That's only a single bottle of wine. One possible explanation is that sleep deprivation can amplify the affects of alcohol a great deal. A more likely explanation is that Gibson is the kind of alcoholic who likes to lose control. It's a sad story and a personal failing, not a reason to treat the guy like a child molester or double-murderer.

Daryl Herbert said...

Sidenote:

I would agree that every member of Hizb'allah and HAMAS have evil hearts, not because they believe crazy things about Jews, but because they are actually out to get us, trying to blow us up, etc. They actually have exterminationist ideologies that call for wiping Jews off the face of the earth (see: HAMAS charter) and they actually carry out attacks towards that end.

Making an ambiguously anti-Semitic movie about a religious subject doesn't come close. If Mel starts appearing in the "Jihad" videos, or otherwise lends his support for organizations targeting, intimidating, attacking or murdering Jews (or some other group that shouldn't be targeted), then I'd go along with the "evil heart" hypothesis.

Also: what proportion of American Muslims do think hold similar views about Jewish conspiracies? 10%? 50%? 90%? Or you don't have any idea and you don't much care?

Maxine Weiss said...

Ann, you know for a fact, that alcohol is some sort of truth serum?

I'm a legendary insomniac, yet under the influence of alcohol, (the one time I got drunk---I promise)... I fell completely asleep.

My experience is that alcohol makes a person do and say exactly the opposite of when sober.

If you sign a contract while drunk it's not legal, (I flunked contracts)... but if you spout off some garbage while drunk....everybody takes it as gospel.

Peace, Maxine

al said...

But I stand by my post title: He is discredited forever.

It's sad that so many are rushing to judgement.

People do strange things when they're drunk. While his father may be a known wacko it could be that Mel, having spent his life with those feelings being thrust on him and trying to live his life differently, may have regressed into his father while under the influence.

I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.

Jonathan said...

Before this event I thought I would never know if he was really an anti-Jewish bigot. However, I also thought that his behavior towards Jewish groups before the release of The Passion indicated that he was at least a major jerk. They wanted to know if their concerns about rumored anti-Jewish scenes in the movie were justified. He could have given them straight answers early on, but instead he strung them along, in my opinion because doing so heightened the controversy attending the movie and that was good for marketing.

So now it is confirmed that he doesn't like Jews. That doesn't come as a surprise and he doesn't deserve the attention.

J said...

"Mel Gibson, you are discredited forever"

Havng actually seen "The Passion", my impression was that you have to be looking pretty hard to find anti-semitism (and have gone in with the assumption that it was there).

"If the police reports were untrue, he should have denied it"

Is it possible he was drunk enough that he has no idea whether they're true or not?

"It's not just random stuff, it's the very thing people worried might be true about him, because of his father and because of that movie"

It's the very thing his critics want desperately to be true. And maybe it is - I really don't know. But "that movie" certainly didn't prove (or in my view even suggest) anything, and he's not responsible for his father's opinions.

That said, drunk drivers belong in prison.

the pooka said...

Look, he's a putz who hasn't made a decent movie since "Mad Max" (and I include "The PaSHON" -- a snuff flick for the loony right if ever there was one). Crazy fundy-fascists get their comeuppance. Life is good.

(and yes, I *have* had a dozen beers this fine summer evening...).

Johnny Nucleo said...

This is a big deal. For two reasons.

"You've shown an evil heart and it changes the meaning of all of your artistic work."

Mel Gibson played heroes. There's a bit in the film "My Favorite Year" where Benji Stone gets Alan Swann to go on by convincing Swann that deep down he is in fact the hero he pretends to be. I think most of us want to believe that the actors who embody our mythic heroes have something deep inside them that is truly heroic. Maybe that's naive, but it's one of the things that makes movies magical. This shatters that illusion. For action picture fans of a certain age, Mel Gibson was in the Pantheon, second only to Harrison Ford. My heart is broken.

"This movie, which millions have bonded with, is actually the work of an anti-Semite. How horrible! How dare he put such filth next to the Christ that so many revere."

This is far more serious. Every Christian I know loves "The Passion of the Christ." It is a spriritual experience for them. What are they to think of it now? How do they reconcile the film with the filmmaker? Must they now reject it, reject the experience they had? We're talking hundreds of millions of people around the world! We're talking people who began a journey toward faith because of that movie. What are they to think?

I believe in redemption, but this is serious shit.

And I love Hitchens, but he takes far too much glee from this.

Scott Wickstein said...

You know, the bit that I'm surprised that he got a free pass on is his rampant sexism, when he said to the woman police officer, "What are you looking at, sugar-tits?"

Sugar-Tits?

Anyone fancy using that as a pickup line?

I wonder if it is because the women of America have lusted after Mel Gibson that they haven't got outraged by it. I don't suggest Joe Ugly guys like me try it though.

Medopine said...

Doesn't good art transcend the personality of the maker?

Or does the artist have to be a saint for his work to be loved and appreciated?

Hemingway was an asshole, but that doesn't have any influence on how much I love his work. Maybe the lesson here is that Gibson's films aren't good enough to avoid being tainted by his own bigotry.

/shrug

mh73 said...

Ann Althouse: "But I stand by my post title: He is discredited forever." Okay, but do you stand by your remark that O.J. Simpson didn't "crash[] like this"? (an aside: was O.J. an "artist" anyway?)

chuck b. said...

What a bad flash. Like Gibson, my grandmother used to rant about "the Jews" when she had a couple drinks. I loved my grandmother, but I had (have) no problem calling her an anti-semitic bitch either.

Ann's argument is correct. Or at least more convincing.

Johnny Nucleo said...

And then there's this:

"The PaSHON" -- a snuff flick for the loony right if ever there was one...Crazy fundy-fascists get their comeuppance."

Pooka, explain to me the difference between your rant and Mel's, you drunken hateful bastard.

(And a question to other idiots out there. What's the deal with mispelling words and thinking it's funny? Is it a joke? How exactly? "PaSHON," "Jebus." How it that funny? There are lots of things to make fun of about the the movie and about Jesus. Mispelling a word? That's what you come up with? Do some thinking, you morons!)

somefeller said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
somefeller said...

Gibson's comments were obviously pretty bad, but I don't think one can say at this point that he has had a major crash. It's too early to tell (the story is what, three days old?) whether this will affect his box office draw. The proof will be when his next mainstream film comes out (Apocalypto doesn't count, I don't think many people were going to see a Mayan disaster film anyway). If it's a good movie that tanks at the box office, then we probably have a crash. If it's a stinker, the verdict is mixed. And if it's a hit, no crash.

As far as his feeding off of the reverence of social conservative types, I'm not sure he was acting cynically in that regard, but if he was, well, as Senor Calvera once said, if God did not want them sheared, He would not have made them sheep.

mcg said...

I would consider the readers here to try another point of view.

I, for one, hope that some of the darker things that rumble in my brain never make it to the surface. To hear some people talk, they define who I am. I would prefer that the fact that I struggle against them---even though I sometimes fail---testifies that they do not.

Elizabeth said...

What is this "Joos"? Is that another language? A joke?

I wanted to like Gibson even after his remarks about homosexuality way back. I thought what the hell, Jodie Foster likes him, maybe he's not so bad. But there's no benefit of the doubt left now.

It's pretty silly to assume a Hollywood liberal would get away with this, or think Mel's being singled out as a W supporter. He's not a W supporter; he's quite forthright about opposing the war in Iraq--now we know why.

Sloanasaurus said...

Howard Dean says stupid stuff every day while he is sober and people still appear to like him?

Gibson will always have his fans. I think it's okay for people to no longer go and see his movies, just as the Dixie Chicks lost so many of their fans.

When I found out Viggio Mortenson was a lefty, it ruined all the LOTR movies for me. How dare a lefty wuss play Aragorn! Everyone has their breaking point.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

When it comes to bigotry and anti-semitism, I guess Mel's in good company.

Chris said...

My grandfather was a normally gentle soul, a scholar & a gentleman....except when he drank. Then he became nasty, verbally & physically abusive. Did that reveal his soul?

Regardless of the truth of this assertion, Gibson has a journey ahead of him for any redemption. I'm inclined to give him the opportunity, but I'm not a pushover & much of the public will never believe him

Jim said...

Gustav Mahler, a jew, revered the music of Wagner, a rather wretched anti-semite.

The dilemma of seperating an artists work product (I am not suggesting Mel and Wagner are in the same league) from the charcter failings of the artist is not a new one.

To say that the entire body of his work is tainted is to introduce a new standard that judges the art and the artist as one.

johnstodderinexile said...

Ann, until I read your post, I forgot about who we're talking about here: Mel Gibson! Who many women who were young 20 years ago found irresistable. This incident must be an especially keen disappointment for those women who had a crush on the Mel Gibson of "The Year of Living Dangerously" or "Gallipoli."

Mel's obviously crazy, and we knew that already, I think. But someone will eventually ask why Mel Gibson and not Elvis Costello?

You recall that Costello, in a drunken rant, said some very foul racist things to Bonnie Bramlett of Delaney and Bonnie. There was a tempest, but now Elvis is seen as a respectable member of the liberal pop artists society -- one whose critiques of Bush and Blair are considered to be sentiments of a man of refinement and culture.

I realize, Elvis (whose music I love) has never been as big as Mel, but if Mel wanted to claim "I was just being a drunken a-hole," Costello would have no choice but to be a witness for him.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Elizabeth said: "What is this "Joos"? Is that another language? A joke?"

I agree with you. Both sides do it and it's pathetic. My guess is it's young guys who think they are funny and try to write the funny voices they do, but they suck.

Jim said: "Gustav Mahler, a jew, revered the music of Wagner, a rather wretched anti-semite."

That's a good point.

JimK said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mark said...

But I think we know that he actually is a bigot. That's a terrible thing. It's a worse act to murder two people, of course. But a man can lose control and murder, and though I want that man to pay the price, I will forgive him. What Mel Gibson has revealed, however, is the very structure of his mind.

"A man can lose control and murder (murder!), and though I want that man to pay the price, I will forgive him."

You have to be kidding. Mel Gibson "revealed the very structure of his mind" by making a few comments about Jews, and that makes him unforgivable - but a man loses control to the extent of MURDERING two people, and that doesn't "reveal the very structure of his mind"? And you can forgive that, but not a bigoted comment?

You are off the scale here in blowing this out of proportion.

Considering all the anti-Israeli, pro-Palestinian hatred that the left spews - and I assume that includes much of Hollywood - I don't know why they'd have a big problem with Gibson's drunken ravings. "Jews start all of the wars" - isn't that something like what Gibson said? And isn't the left always saying that it's Israel's fault that there are wars in the Middle East? Is that so different?

Don't let anyone tell you you aren't a lefty at heart, Anne. Just like with a lefty, the biggest sin you seem to think someone can commit is to be a "bigot". More unforgivable than murder, apparently.

Elizabeth said...

mcg, thanks for that other view; I think there's a distinction between "who we are" and what we believe, feel and think. If I take your meaning correctly, then Gibson should have the same grace we all have to change, to be forgiven. That's possible, but it will take a lot more than a hasty apology for me to buy it. I enjoyed what I read of your blog during my visit.

Elizabeth said...

John Stodder! I am so amazed to someone reference the Bonnie Bramlett-Elvis Costello story. I remember that well. And I have to admit to hypocrisy. As offended as I am by Gibson, The Year of Living Dangerously will always be one of my favorite movies. Most of Costello's early work is equally part of my pantheon of great music. But when that incident happened, I was so proud of Bonnie Bramlett for coldcocking that nasty bastard right in the face. Let's hope that not only you and I know about that. Tiny little pun there. Sorry.

JimK said...

"Not O.J. Simpson"

Ok, I get that you're using hyperbole, but that's kind of ridiculous. O.J. murdered two people in cold blood. He almost severed the head of the mother of his children. Perhaps you need a refresher about what actually occurred. Here are the crime scene photos from that day (WARNING - GRAPHIC):

Nicole Brown 1
Nicole Brown 2
Nicole Brown 3
Nicole Brown 4
Ron Goldman 1


Mel's going to have to get up pretty early in the morning, tie one on and start mowing down Jews with his car (and backing over them to be sure) to even be in the same league as Orenthal James.

Tom T. said...

Mel could still find work as poet laureate of New Jersey.

Seven Machos said...

I honestly do not understand why this merits anything more than the first item on Page Six.

mcg said...

I think there's a distinction between "who we are" and what we believe, feel and think. If I take your meaning correctly, then Gibson should have the same grace we all have to change, to be forgiven. That's possible, but it will take a lot more than a hasty apology for me to buy it. I enjoyed what I read of your blog during my visit.

Ah, just to be clear, it wasn't my blog! I enjoyed it as a reader just like you. The comment in my second graph was my own. We all have inner dialogues that include aspects that are not meant for public view. It is what we allow to surface and/or affect our interactions with others that matters, not the stuff we reject and push aside. But in a state of reduced inhibition, some of that evil can surface, and it's not a pretty sight.

Mel Gibson may indeed be rabidly anti-Semitic. I frankly think that nobody here has sufficient evidence, not having a window into his soul. But I do think it's now clear that some of Mel's inner thought life revolves round such things.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Okay. Now, I don't mean to wade into the minutiae of the Simpson trial, but part of the reason there was reasonable doubt is that OJ's knees are so bad, the footprints at the scene, and the celerity with which the two were killed suggested multiple killers acting in unison. My theory, based on a rumor that Kato and OJ bought a lot of crystal meth earlier that night, is that the two of them did it together while high on crystal meth. That would explain all the evidence pointing to OJ and the evidence pointing away from a single killer and explaining why OJ's knees wouldn't have bothered him during the act. It would also explain why he bumped his head on the air conditioner on the way back and why Kato never heard OJ leaving or returning, nor had an alibi, other than that he was sleeping.

mcg said...

Incidentally, Ann, if I were to have any beef with you in this thread, it would be that you chose a Christopher Hitchens piece of all things to introduce your discussion of this scandal. Mr. Hitchens is a gifted writer no doubt, but few are as actively hostile towards religion as he, and his sense of glee over this is frankly a bit sick.

mh73 said...

My beef with Ann is that she chose to compare some idiot blowhard who utters some incredibly stupid, hateful WORDS with a man who MURDERED two people (and presumably Ann believes O.J. is guilty, or else there was no need to include him on the list of people who had "crashed"). How does one compare (favorably!!!) the intentional taking of life with mere words? Sorry, but I don't get it. How does Ann defend this statement?

mcg said...

Speaking of Elvis Costello:

In his liner notes for the expanded version of Get Happy!!, Costello writes that some time after the incident he had declined an offer to meet Charles out of guilt and embarrassment, though Charles himself had graciously forgiven Costello ("Drunken talk isn't meant to be printed in the paper").

If it's good enough for Ray Charles, whom Elvis called a "blind, ignorant n@#$$%r*"...

Tibore said...

Sorry, professor, I can't agree with you here. In all due respect to you and Troy, who cites his work with the Texas Highway Patrol, I don't buy into the notion of "In vino veritas" because it runs counter to my own personal experience here in this college town (Bloomington, In.). I've not seen people's true personality emerge when they're hammered; in fact, I've not seen anything that relates to their true selves whatsoever. What I've seen people do is play to the situation they're in. If they somehow think the situation calls for ugliness, they get ugly in a very exaggerated way. If it calls for dumb humor, they take that to the hilt. Vulgarity... same thing. People lose judgement and inhibitions when they're drunk, but reveal their true selves? Hardly ever, nearly never, in fact. Alcohol's a poor truth serum; just ask any person who's ever been hit on by a drunk college student in a bar.

So why did Gibson choose to rip Jews while playing to ugliness? I don't know, but I think the important thing to keep in mind is that he was playing to ugliness; his choice of topics could have been convenience or random just as much as it could have been deep behavioral issues. I've seem people latch onto race/ethnicity when drunk just because it's a conveniently ugly hook with which to insult people. Not because they truly are racist or anti-semetic. It's stupid as hell, but it's what people do; I've seen it time and time again. Alcohol exaggerates poor choices when inhibitions disappear, but I don't see it reveal anything deep or hidden about people. In sum, what I'm saying is that I don't believe this event "shows us something fundamental about him" (Gibson).

Is Gibson's behavior inexcusable? Absolutely. What he said was reprehensible. I'm not about to excuse what he's done. But saying that this one incident is indicative of his overall character? I'm not about to go that far. It's a blight on his character, true, and I'm shocked as hell that he's capable of doing what he did, saying what he said, but I'm not about to use the event to condemn or rejudge any of his past works, nor will I use it to proactively condemn anything he'll do in the future. He needs to atone, and he especially has a mountain of emnity to overcome with the Jewish population, but we're going too far in condeming any future behavior proactively, or recasting past works in a more sinister light. Anyone who keeps bringing up the point that The Passion of the Christ is antisemetic needs to square that assertation with what Maia Morgenstern, the Jewish actress cast as Mary has said, which is the exact opposite.

This is too long already, so I gotta wrap up: This is one incident. Stupid as hell and ignorant to boot, but frankly future condemnation based on it is an overreaction.

Michael Farris said...

Art and the personal details of the artist have no relevance to each other. Lots of wonderful art has been created by people who were despicable in some way and lots of wonderful good people have made crappy art.

Of course it's sad when someone doesn't live up to your hopes about their character. But that doesn't effect the quality of art they produce (if artists they be).

That said, I never thought much of Gibson as an actor or director, competent within a narrow range and that's about it (though I've missed a lot of his work including the Passion thing which I've carefully avoided) I am intrigued by the concept of Apocalipto possibly enough to see it when it comes out.

As for the anti-semitic stuff, IMHO a person would have to be in deep denial/dumb as a rock to not realize this earlier. One of his oft cited acknowledgements that the Holocaust occured is nothing of the kind, he merely says that yes, indeed some Jews died during WWII and some Jews did in fact die in concentration camps (the standard line of holocaust deniers).

altoids1306 said...

This is crazy...why are so many people here defending Mel Gibson?

Certainly, there is a MSM double-standard here. Mel Gibson's statements are being given far greater play than, for example, the Iranian president, who actually has the means to carry out his threats. Or Howard Dean, whose racist comments are only a Google search away. Certainly, the MSM's motivation is clear - to throughly destroy Mel Gibson, and to discredit, by association, religous wing of the Republican party. (If the MSM had any real concern for Jews, the current Lebanon coverage would be very different.)

But even as duplicitous as the MSM is, Mel Gibson's comments are inexcusible, and he should be condemned for that. Should the drunk driving of certain Kennedys, the racist comments of some officials, and the crimes of certain Democratic supporters receive equal or more attention? Of course. But the utterly bankrupt hypocracy of the MSM is nothing new.


Yet the fact remains - Mel Gibson has made these comments, and they are indefensible. There is no need to sacrifice moral consistency for the sake of Mel Gibson.

Troy said...

Tibore... I didn't mean to say that alcohol always means you speak the truth -- just that it lessens inhibitions and he was mst likely a lot more intoxicated than he was when he blew the breath test. Many say things they don't mean or express some inner thought or dialogue that might be fleetingly entertained but not properly disposed of, but the alcohol allows it to slip through the normal mind brake.

I read on the Corner that the arresting officer is Jewish -- in which case, the ELvis Costello/Ray Charles incident is a lot more on point than some left field "Jewish conspiracy" remarks. In my experience -- a lot of DUIs are instantly anti whatever the race of the arresting officer is. If I had a dime for every "You're a f@&^king redneck cowboy shit-kicking cop.... Or you are a f&@#king ni%$#er cowboy shit kicker cop, etc. All the THP wear Cowboy hats -- couple the race with the shitkicker and Voila!

The cop in question has also supposedly given public statements downplaying the incident. If he is in fact Jewish, it would interesting to see the in-car video (it would be interestng in any case). He either has a thick skin (which is a job requirement) or the "statements" never quite reached what TMZ.com claims.

I also agree with you mcg about using Hitchens as a benchmark on religious issues. He writes a lot of great stuff, but his religious views are akin to quxxo's on Bush -- tinfoil hat.

Finn Kristiansen said...

Ann says:
"Mel Gibson, you are discredited forever"

and

"You've shown an evil heart and it changes the meaning of all of your artistic work."


I find this reaction a bit over the top. It would almost be like predicting that Pajamas Media would ruin the internet. Hyberbole is so fun.

Mel Gibson could indeed be suffering from anti-semetic feelings, and possibly due to the upbringing via his dad. But nothing in his day to day life or work has indicated any hatred of, or bad treatment toward, Jewish people.

Further, what his dad does or says is entirely irrelevant. You don't punish someone for the sins of their parents, nor do you tar someone for words uttered when drunk.

Now if Mel was actively engaged in harming Jewish people, ala Hamas or Hezbollah, or encouraging people to hate Jews, one might have cause for concern, anger, and outrage.

I would doubt that any of us can say that our minds have always been free of negative thoughts about others, and probably more than a few of us have voiced these thoughts, if only to ourselves. Let she who is without sin, cast the first hypocritical stone.

It's possible that he has strong anti-semetic feelings, but in his heart is also battling those feelings, asking his God to take them away. You just never know what is in a person's heart.

The last thing you do is judge their heart by one drunk moment.

As for his art, and when we say "art", we basically mean "Passion of the Christ", one is hard pressed to find anything anti-semetic.

Someone like Howard Stern has for years been given a free pass, under cover of Robin his sidekick, and under the argument that his humor exposes OTHER people's racial attitudes and hatreds. In fact, one is hard pressed to imagine that his listeners are actually so swift and enlightened, or learning through the process of mockery. One get the impression that after 20 years of listening to him, one would have a higher opinion of blacks. (And I've listened about that long).

Once Stern did a whole segment on how Jamaica is not the place for whites to go, because out of all the islands, it has the scary, angry blacks. Now one can know what he means, and kind of laugh and nod, but still, you also KNOW WHAT HE MEANS, and it rather smears a whole group of people, and reinforces peoples' negative views.

In the end, so many people, famous and not so, have said and done things, and many with clearer heads.

Mel needs to apologize, prioritize, and seriously think about his own life. And then continue doing the work he has always done. And he will.

Chum said...

'And I love Hitchens, but he takes far too much glee from this.'

I suspect Hitchen's maybe saw the same interview with Gibson as I did prior to PoC's release. A long time lover of many of his early movies Gallopoli, and Year of Living Dangerously, (on my 10 favorites list) I was horrified at his smug sanctimonious demeanor. I wished I hadn't seen it as I prefered my fantasy of Mel being your nice Aussie 'she'll be right mate' bloke who did well for himself in Hollywood.

He talked at length about his father's personal beliefs making no attempt to distance himself from this nauseous crap. It was pretty shocking. When talking about both his and his father's belief it wasn't even so much the content that was off putting (Mel is a charismatic catholic)but his holier than thou tone throughout. Completely different to what I expected to see and can completely buy that he'd be a nasty drunk - repugnant and profane.

Travis said...

It is worth repeating that .12 is NOT ripped. It is not out of control. All of the arguments about whether your true self is revealed when you are wasted just don't apply in this case.

In Gibson's statement he talks about having a lifelong battle with alcoholism. Point one two to someone who has battled alcohol for must of his life? C'mon! If the machine worked, then he was over the legal limit to drive, but that does not mean he was so drunk so as to not know what the hell he was saying.

His words were anti-Semitic. I think it is fair to re-view his work through that filter, as one of many filters you can view the guy's work through. Right now, that filter just happens to be the one on everyone's mind, understandably so.

Brent said...

This is one area where, sadly, conservatives or "perceived" conservative/religious right people will always take a bigger hit in the media and public discussion than liberals. That's just the way it is.

That said, I have worked for years with a community group that tries to build acceptance towards "heavy" people. We are not high pressure; we have met with the local media and colleges, the city council, and numerous busineses to offer suggestions in how to offend less in media communications or marketing.

One day, after having worked with the organization for over 2 years, I had a bad argument with my step-sister, someone who is "heavy" and has battled life-long weight issues. In one heated outburst, totally unrelated to the argument subject, I yelled, "you think that way because you're a lard-ass." I immediately realized that I said it just to hurt her and win points. She was stunned into silence and burst into tears, turning and running fron the room. When I cooled off, I tried to apologize, but it took approx 2 years for she and I to return to a "normal" family relationship.

While I was not drunk, I was "out of control" emotionally - wounded and striking. I had never believed or said that to anyone in my life before. In other words, the desire to hurt someone, at a moment when I was not in control of my emotions, led me do something that I did not consider to even be a part of myself.

That couldn't have happened to Mel and the policeman now, could it . . .

CCMCornell said...

How many artistic works have we enjoyed even though the artists that created them were, in one way or another, douchebags? True, this incident is new, but I'm pretty sure I can watch Lethal Weapon as easily as I can listen to Wagner.

Ann Althouse said...

There's a disconnect between all this criticism of me and all this talk about how Mel's being overcriticized because he's right wing. My reaction has nothing to do with his politics. I think people who are defending him, however, seem to be doing it because of his politics. I don't like that.

I concede that my comment about OJ Simpson was extreme (and that Simpson isn't an artist, though it would be easy to make up some sports-talk bullshit about art). My point is that the bad actions don't change his earlier accomplishments. Gibson's revelation about himself affects how we interpret his body of work -- not the films where he's only an actor, but the ones where he was the auteur and especially "The Passion of the Christ."

Bissage said...

My first-year ConLaw prof said that a "person of color" cannot be a bigot because political minority groups lack institutional power.

I wonder how she would parse this one.

Dave said...

Mantra: The only thing I ask of the religious is that they consider the depths to which religion has sunk man.

TWM said...

What he said and the way he acted are reprehensible without question. Gibson needs help, both for the booze and his inner demons.

I still like his movies -- even the Passion -- but then again I didn't feel it blamed the Jewish people for anything.

Finally, it is obvious that Hollywood would not be condeming him if he were not a conservative Christian. That may just be bringing politics into the equation, but it is true nonetheless.

Todd said...

Kaus posts a link to a laudatory profile of Gibson from 2004 that says he's struggled with manic depression for years. If true, then perhaps our perception of this incident should change.

David said...

Hollywood claims another victim!

"A tragic story, fit only for the big screen..."

Jim said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Richard said...

Ann, I am 52 and haven't really been drunk or around drunk people since college. I do remember hearing some pretty weird things coming out of otherwise sensible people. Since the office is apparently a Jew I agree that there is a possibility that Gibson was trying to find a way to insult that one man in a way that would provoke him. In any case, saying things like, "I own Malibu" show an aggressive spirit that he should properly be ashamed of when under the authority of a policeman.

Besides his bigoted and sexist remarks, there is also the issue that he endangered the public by speeding on public freeway drunk. I hope this problem gets its proper attention. It is an actual CRIME.

By the way, I don't value Gibson's work. I haven't seen any of Gibson's movies. I am an evangelical Christian and do not feel a need to see a gory movie showing Christ's death. The description in the Bible and my imagination are quite enough. If his movies fade from the scene it is fine with me.

Pogo said...

I learned long ago that people will always disappoint you. It's a lesson oft repeated, but still, you hope.

Elvis Costello taught me that. I loved his first four albums. Then he made a stupid drunken racist rant. I still have his music, but I don't hold him to the high regard I once held. Minus the music, he's just another guy.

Lesson? Never ever read about the personal lives of artists or entertainers. They end up looking like your family, friends, and neighbors, when you thought they were no mere mortals. You wanted at least a demi-god; you got drunk Uncle Mel instead.

Gibson's rant detracts a bit from his work. But then, his movies are just roles he's playing. He isn't really Sir William Wallace, or Mad Max, or Guy Hamilton. More to the point, The Passion shows how grace can make us better than we really are. The story transcends his little demons.

I feel bad for him, but this is just more People/US magazine minutiae, little more than high school gossip. As for art, I think it is transcendant in a very real sense; it survives and surpasses its flawed makers. It's why I believe in intelligent design, in fact.

Jeff said...

Thoughtcrime!

Actually, if he had just phrased it more... sophisticatedly, he might be getting job offers from the Guardian or the Nation right now.

Hell, he's probably getting them anyway.

But who is this "Cat Stevens" person that Ann mentions? Would that be the same guy as Yusuf Islam? Yusuf "The Jews seem neither to respect God nor his creation" Islam? Yusuf Islam, whose song royalties have helped support Hamas?

Is he not "tainted"?

tjl said...

Some comments compared Gibson to Wagner.

Wagner has to be the ultimate example of the artist as bad man. A lifelong, public anti-Semite, he was also flagranty and shamelessly dishonest, aldulterous, ungrateful, manipulative, and egomaniacal. His offenses make Gibson's seem as nothing.

But Wagner's achievement is incomparable. He took an art form which tended to be a mere vehicle for vocal display and made it an instrument for the deepest probing of the psyche. It is no accident that some of Wagner's greatest interpreters have been Jews, from Hermann Levi to Mahler to James Levine.

There's no easy answer here. But I agree with those commenters who said that barring some major efforts at redemption, they will see Gibson and his work in a very different light.

J said...

"There's a disconnect between all this criticism of me and all this talk about how Mel's being overcriticized because he's right wing"

I'm more concerned with your apparent belief that what someone says when they're drunk is some sort of infallible window into their soul. If you believe his actions in life have been anti-semitic, fine. But a stupid rant like this just proves he's (like all too many of us) an asshole when he's drunk.

SteveR said...

Having been around people with similar problems, I am neither surprised nor quick to pass judgement. In a world where we look closely at celebrities of talent (athletes, musicians) and no talent (Paris Hilton, Kevin Federline) as well as politicians, we are setting ourselves up for disapointment.

Discredited? Well Roman Polanski still has cred and I reckon what he did was much worse.

David Cohen said...

1. I'm with Ann in being a little surprised at all the defense Gibson is getting here. Regardless of whether he would act on his beliefs when sober, he clearly is an anti-semite by the exact definition: he believes in some corporate entity called "the Jews" who can sensibly be blamed not only for each others moral failings, but also the moral failings of those who have been dead for centuries or millenia.

2. The fact that he does believe in "the Jews" as a moral actor can't help but effect how we view The Passion, to which, after all, one of the principle objections was that it blamed the Jews, corporately, for Jesus' torture and death.

3. Woody Allen is an artist, broadly defined, whose fall is on par with Gibson's. Not only did he go through a child-abuse investigation, but (as Ann showed earlier this week) it is impossible to watch his early or late films without relating them to his relationship with his daughter/wife.

4. This reminds me of the story of the good spirit and the evil spirit who bet on whether the evil spirit could undo in 20 seconds all the good that the good spirit could bring to someone in 20 years.

5. What great material for a Greek tragedy. To achieve so much and be brought down by a flaw (for artistic purposes) inherited from your father. There's a great movie to be made/book to be written here.

Mark said...

I realize this is not an original sentiment - but to compare Gibson's quite clear and disgusting anti-Semitism to O.J. Simpson's coldblooded murder of Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman is completely, in the vernacular of the time, 'disproportionate'...

Maxine Weiss said...

"Gibson's revelations" ---Ann

Again, why is what someone says, when drunk, more valid, than what someone says when sober?

Maybe everyone that gets put under oath, should be gotten drunk, so we can get the 'real' truth?

I'm not apologizing for him by the way.

I take drinking and driving very seriously.

But, apparently nobody cares about the "drinking and driving" part, you know, the part where laws were broken....

People only care that he wasn't politically correct in his drunken comments while being arrests.

Some world we live in.

Ok to drink and drive, as long as you be sensitive about the comments you make to your arresting officers!

Peace, Maxine

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm more concerned with your apparent belief that what someone says when they're drunk is some sort of infallible window into their soul.

I am too. Gibson was obviously totally wrong to say those nasty things, but I don't think that his statements necessarily reflect his thinking.

By the account of the arrest and detainment, it sounds like he was being a belligerent drunk. He throws a phone, calls a woman "sugar tits", tries to pee on the floor, screams that he's going to get everyone, screams that he owns Malibu, and yells anti-Semitic remarks at a Jewish police officer. He was being as aggressive as possible, and it was wrong, but it doesn't give us special insight into his soul.

I'm not defending what he did. It was wrong. But I am taking issue with the idea that alcohol functions as a reliable truth serum.

YAMB said...

In 1991, I saw in Orlando either at Disney World or Epcot a brilliant short movie involving PeeWee Herman and Mel Gibson. It was about the magic of movie making (what else?!), and involved switching their voices so PeeWee's voice was coming from Mel's visage. And 15 years ago, this was the good looking, not crazy looking, Mel! Just days after I saw it, Paul Ruebens was caught doing "a public sex act" in a bathroom, and Disney immediately pulled the film. Now that movie rotting in the vault somewhere stars TWO disgraced actors.

Elizabeth said...

Roger Freidman at Fox News points to some good questions about the spin we're seeing now that Gibson's PR camp has had some time to gear up: if he's suicidal, an alcoholic for years, how's he done so much producing, directing, building churches, writing, acting, all with no one noticing the poor guy is a raging drunk? And now he's attending a few AA meetings, but the PR spin is "he's in treatment to save his life."

I am not persuaded of his remorse, nor that alcohol is the cause of his problems.

dklittl said...

It boogles the mind to see so much excuse making. The drug that I think many of you are confusing liquor with is Acid which I've heard makes people say some CRAZY things. Liquor does nothing more than remove your inhabitions. Mel was drunk and got, as they say, loose with the lips.

The reason that his words are more valid during this act is that the filter that people usually have was lifted. I had a roommate from West Virgina during an internship in London, and he didn't seem to have a high opinion of African-Americans but never said anything remotely bigoted. Then one night clearly drunk he started with talk of affirmative action and it went downhill from there. I had given him the benifit of the doubt but without the filter he let me know what he really thought. It was honest, but hey, some people's honest can also be pretty offensive.

Freeman Hunt said...

if he's suicidal, an alcoholic for years, how's he done so much producing, directing, building churches, writing, acting, all with no one noticing the poor guy is a raging drunk?

He's talked about substance abuse and psychological problems in interviews for years. Had he just come up with all of that, I would see your point, but since that isn't the case, I would find it hard to believe that he's been talking about these problems for a long time as insurance against some future outburst.

CCMCornell said...

But Wagner's achievement is incomparable.

D0od - didn't you see What Women Want?

Pogo said...

Re: "the filter that people usually have was lifted"

Bullocks. Words are NOT "more valid" under the influemce of alcohol. That merely supposes that your *true* self is actually your inner idiot ego, the one that grabs the biggest piece of pie and says "that lady is fat" like a 2 year old.

It ignores the idea that your mature filter is no less part of your true self. Alzheimer's has the same capacity to remove the filter. The sweetest little old ladies in the world say some things you wouldn't believe. Is that their *true self*? No.

Is Mel an anti-semite? I don't know. Maybe. I'll judge him by his acts. If he starts sending money to Hamas or Hezbollah, or teaches necon conspiracy theories in a university class on Islam, well then I'll have to say he is.

Anthony said...

Please note: Attempting to place Gibson's remarks in context -- drunk, belligerant, etc. -- and in their proper place on the sliding scale of what constitutes ethical behavior, does, I suppose, count as "defending" him. But for crying out loud, attempting to point out that it's not even in the same league as killing people or repeatedly saying these things publicly and while sober doesn't mean anyone is excusing him.

Bissage said...

David Cohen: Is it anti-semitic to say nice things about "some corporate entity called 'the Jews'"?

Just asking.

Jeremy said...

I would submit to you that we all are not so different from Mel. We all are no better than Mel. There is nothing inherently evil in Mel that is not also in us all.

David said...

Bissage: No, that's semito-philia. It's not any more rational, but Jews tend not to complain about it as loudly.

Tibore said...

"Many say things they don't mean or express some inner thought or dialogue that might be fleetingly entertained but not properly disposed of, but the alcohol allows it to slip through the normal mind brake...

In my experience -- a lot of DUIs are instantly anti whatever the race of the arresting officer is. If I had a dime for every "You're a f@&^king redneck cowboy shit-kicking cop.... Or you are a f&@#king ni%$#er cowboy shit kicker cop, etc."


Point taken, Troy. I think we're both a lot closer in opinion than I originally thought.

Brent said...

Pogo - you are straight on: Let's see what Mel DOES, not what he says.

"But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" - Sermon on the Mount. In other words, if you don't forgive - which DOESN'T mean acceptance of the wrong or taking away the penalty, but acceptance of SOMEONE trying to change from the wrong - then you ain't makin' it to heaven.

This has been really hard for me when I read such writers as Frank Rich and Jesse Jackson and Katie Couric accuse me, an evangelical Christian, of thinking things that I don't do or think. I may choose to no longer read them because they are bigoted and short-sighted and unrepentant of such, but I don't hate them.

Everyone that doesn't forgive Mel, who has asked twice now admitted wrong and asked for forgiveness:
Face up to it - you're a hater and you desperately need counseling. Or, you're just caught up in the moment emotionally, saying something that you don't REALLY mean, and - oh, right, that never happens to you.

Harkonnendog said...

"Gibson's revelation about himself affects how we interpret his body of work -- not the films where he's only an actor, but the ones where he was the auteur and especially "The Passion of the Christ.""

This makes no sense. Gibson's work might help interpret him, but the work does not change at all as he changes or as we learn more about him. If we find out he's gay tomorrow will that change the meaning of his work?

As far as The Passion goes, the only compelling evidence that it is an anti-Semitic film is the fact that Mel Gibson's father is an anti-Semite.

So there's no pattern here. Mel Gibson's father is an anti-Semite, yeah, but that's it. The Passion of the Christ is not an anti-Semitic film, and a drunken rant is not compelling evidence of anything. I'm not saying Gibson is or is not an anti-Semite, but to pretend you know for sure based on his father's comments, The Passion, and a drunken rant, is ridiculous.

There is something about the drama of watching a star fall that makes people WANT them to fall, and leads to the kind of sloppy thinking that compares Gibson to OJ Simpson. It isn't schadenfreud... but similar.

Revenant said...

I have to disagree about OJ. He went from being one of the most widely respected sports celebrities to being a murderer and poisoner of American race relations.

Mel Gibson just went from being a has-been actor to being a nutty has-been actor.

keypusher said...

Wow, Professor, when I read your post I thought you were kidding. OJ Simpson? Are you out of your mind?

willhcarr said...

The Corpus Christi Caller Times was sold by the Houston Harriman Harte to Knight Ridder, whose star war correspondent was Joseph Galloway. Galloway, author of WE WERE SOLDIERS ONCE AND YOUNG, saw his book made into a Mel Gibson movie written by BRAVEHEART and PEARL HARBOR author, Randall Wallace. Much of Wallace's movie, Pearl Harbor, was filmed onboard the USS Lexington which is moored at Corpus Christi. Galloway, who is from Judge Hobart Huson's hometown of Refugio, TX. now lives in the Judge John Howland Wood hometown of Bayside about twenty miles from Refugio. Knight Ridder also owns the San Jose Mercury News which refused to stand behind the work of its star reporter who made the CIA/Contra/Drug connection, Gary Webb, author of DARK ALLIANCE. Headed by Tony Ridder, and in opposition to Galloway's rejection of Bush's 2003 war in Iraq, all Knight Ridder newspapers supported it. True to the Bush family's dialectical thinking and to take a line from the Randall's Wallace's BRAVEHEART, the puss-faced, nacrotic-skinned father of Robert Bruce tells his royal heir..."you will support the rebellion from our lands in the South, while I will oppose it from our lands in the North." Wallace rightly perceived that the stress of holding to this forked-tongued dialectic inflicts its own price on the human soul, psyche and body. For an overview of the Bush/Harriman connection to this German dialectic paradigm see the chapter titled "Memorandum Number One: Created Conflict and the Dialectic Process, in AMERICA'S SECRET ESTABLISHMENT, by Stanford Professor, Anthony Sutton, Triune Day, 2002, pp. 117-123. And for the connection of Knight-Ridder's historical grounding in Fascism and its roots in the same dialectic-chaos-making, see http://www.thedenenbergreport.org/article.php?index=146 . Denenberger is a professor at the Wharton School. Famed attorney, Louis Nizer, in chapter 4 of his classic courtroom book MY LIFE IN COURT, Doubleday, 1961, covers the Ridder connection to Fascism. It was his book WHAT TO DO WITH GERMANY, that so impressed Dwight D Eisenhower that he passed Nizer's book among his top brass in post-war Germany. German dialectic thinking has its counterpart in Christianity's Neo-Orthodoxy which is the dominant view taught in most American mainline churches including Austin Presbyterian Seminary. There, New Testament professors aren't considered trained unless or until they have credentials from German seminaries. One such Austin seminary professor who sits with GWB and Karl Rove on the Texas Philosophy Society and who is an independently wealthy member of one of the big German ranch families from Refugio County has numerous real estate dealings in Houston with Adnan Koshoggi's colleague, Monzer Hourani. Koshoggi's connections to Iran-Contra are well documented and Hourani is the money man behind Healthsouth Inc. and it's medicare woes similar to that of Columbia Healthcare Inc..

Mel Gibson was drunk while shouting anti-semitic slurs when recently arrested. His film Braveheart was written by Randall Wallace. That film was released in 1995 and spoke of the warrior spirit among the Christianized Scots, Irish and English. Randall Wallace also penned Pearl Harbor which was filmed in Corpus Christi the summer of 2000. I know because I sat with Patrick's uncle atop the Republic of Texas Bar and Grill of the Omni Hotel overlooking the USS Lexington when the crew of the film came in. It was then that he was describing to me how the Halliburton/Dresser boat would make him fabulously wealthy. Why did we need a remake of a Pearl Harbor movie to be released in 2001...and one that has the main character going to Britain to join the Brits...nearly our only ally in our battles for empire extension? It looks to me that this was a manipulation of the film industry to appeal to the Northern European/American warrior sentiments and/or to prep us for 9/11. Then Gibson does The Passion of Christ which many claimed was anti-semitic. Was it? Apparently so if we judge from Gibson's actions and can read one's head by one's heart under the influence. Why would Christendom need to revisit the brutality against Christ in such graphic form in a culture that is increasingly brutal? Then Randall Wallace pens the screenplay for Joe Galloway's We Were Soldiers Once and Young which stars Mel Gibson and appeals to the average US vets' sense of patriotism. Galloway...and Ridder...a known Fascist connection in the media and the company that owned the CC Caller Times AND the San Jose Mercury News? Mel Gibson's partner in Braveheart was Alan Ladd Jr., husband of Cheryl Ladd who starred with Corpus Christi's Farah Fawcett in Charlie's Angels. A question for Mr. Ladd: An Alan Ladd owned property in Houston and the following is registered in the Harris County, Houston, clerk's records....

File No: B948046 Grantor:LADD ALAN EST ETAL Grantee:AMERADA PETR CORP ETAL FC: 015380240 Date:19640828 Type:ASSGN Desc:FRY F, P 155 ACS Section: Lot: Block: Misc: Vol-Page:1731396

Is this Alan Ladd Jr or his father doing business with Bush's Amerada Petroleum Corp which became Amerada Hess?)

(Parenthetical Addendum 7/26/06...on the cover of Joe Gallaway's book We Were Soldiers Once and Young is a now famous photograph of theAmerican soldier in Vietnam and character from his book, Rick Rescorla. Mr. Rescorla, originally from England, moved to the US to become a US citizen and joined the US military. He won a Silver Star in Vietnam. He was working for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Inc., as head of security in its World Trade Center Tower II headquarters on 9/11. Rescorla surely knew former FBI agent, John Oneill, who had been tracking Osama Bin Laden when frustrated by the persistent obsticles placed in front of him by the Bureau he took a new job as head of security for the World Trade Center. The incident within the Bureau that precipitated John Oneill's early retirement and his migration to the World Trade Center position happened at the height of the growing tensions in Texas, July 2000. Oneill died along with Rescorla in the 9/11 attack. Oneill had been on the job for only two days. Studies have shown that stock of Morgan Stanley Inc., Rescorla's company where he was Oneill's counterpart for security, traded at 27 times the national average in the week preceeding the 9/11 disaster. What is apparent is that these men were very close to the war on terror and Rescorla, through Joe Galloway, was surely aware of the public relations battle that would be waged for the hearts and minds of the American people in the days following any attack on American soil. Is it coincidence that two such high profile men would have died there together in the same incident and that Oneill was feeling targeted by FBI brass in the summer of 2000? Could such pressure have been brought on by the bureaucratic paranoia of the FBI and CIA by the apparent infiltration of the old Iran-Contra network in Houston requiring a reversal of Revell's prior damage-keeping role? I don't know, but I do know this. The first story following the 9/11 attack to make the connection between John Oneill's FBI work on Osama Bin Laden was written from Texas by Lawrence Wright. THE NEW YORKER supposedly held up the presses in order to capture his hurried article from Austin. Wright, whose job at the UN coincided with George HW Bush's Ambassadorship at the UN, is also a member of the Council On Foreign Relations headed by John D. Rockefeller's heir, David Rockefeller. Wright is a next-door neighbor of Scott and Mark McClellan's mother's attorney, Roy Q. Minton whose law firm represents Tom DeLay, Colton Pitonyak and the Harbison girl's supposed murders, now serving time in Texas prison. Wright is also a screenwriter who wrote The Seige, a film with Bruce Willis about a similar terrorist attack to 9/11. Wright, who has also written a book on the life of Panama's Manuel Noriega, worked in Egypt for a number of years as part of his job at the U.N.. Egypt was the original home of Al Qaeda which Robert Baer claims the CIA-within-the-CIA was using to do our dirty work. It was in Egypt that Wright, fluent in Farsi, claims he learned of Al Qaeda which he incorporated into his books and screenplay. He went to the American School in Cairo, a school that has since 9/11 seen an dramatic increase in CIA and Defense Department workers seeking to learn Farsi. Wright, a Tulane grad, is a self-proclaimed protege' of Louisiana writer, Walker Percy. From Rev. Carr's notes.....“His [Walker Percy’s] grandfather was named Walker Percy, his great-grandfather’s brother was John Walker Percy and his great-great-grandfather’s wife’s brother-in-law, John Williams Walker, had a son, Leroy Pope Walker, who was Secretary of War under Confederate President Jefferson Davis and a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army," [from chapter one, WALKER PERCY: A Life By Patrick H. Samway, S.J. Farrar, Straus and Giroux(C) 1997 ] It's these connection that lead one to believe that Bush's McClellan boys are related to General George B McClellan. In addition, Walker Percy's name is linked historically to Mary Pratt DeBardeleben Percy and the Debardeleben name is linked to Daniel Pratt who built his Prattville, Alabama cotton ginning business with the help of Eli Whitney who had the first patent on the cotton gin. As shown elsewhere in this document, Samuel Hamilton Walker's connection to both Samuel Colt of Colt Arms Co. and Robert Walker, US Treasury Secretary, was Eli Whitney. It is not yet certain for this writer whether or not Pratt & Whitney Co. was the conjoining of Eli Whitney and Daniel Pratt or whether the Pratt brothers of Hollywood Casinos Inc. for which Oliver "Buck" Revell was working at the time of the death of the two boys trace their lineage to Daniel Pratt.)


The CC Caller Times was until recently owned by Houston Harriman Harte. Harriman....as in BROWN BROTHERS HARRIMAN, the company of the Bush family. He's the close kin of Edward Stettinius (wrongly spelled Stittinius above...but for a specific purpose since none of my "friends" at Stitt's seminary wouldn't tell the truth about the Stitt/Oxford/Stettinius/Harte)connections. Oh, and here's a kicker....Stettinius' Dad was close buddies with Joseph P Kennedy...which means....well....what might that mean?

Richard said...

>>>What Mel Gibson has revealed, however, is the very structure of his mind.

Yikes Ann. I like you, but what if you should wake up one day, and discover that something you believed turned out to be wrong? To say the "structure of your mind" was defective sounds creepy to me. What do you prescribe? Re-education camps?

Ann Althouse said...

Richard said..."Yikes Ann. I like you, but what if you should wake up one day, and discover that something you believed turned out to be wrong? To say the "structure of your mind" was defective sounds creepy to me. What do you prescribe? Re-education camps?"

You, like many people here, persist in mischaracterizing what I've said. If you actually like me, then take the trouble to understand what I've really said before trying to push me back (which won't work anyway). What Mel spewed was not just one thing he happened to say. It was a whole set of statements that don't just tumble randomly out of a head. These statements resonated with other things about Mel that we were previously explaining away: the theory that "The Passion" was anti-Semitic: his father's openly anti-Semitic beliefs. If it was just one isolated thing he said once when drunk, I'd be inclined to say it means nothing, but this is not the case.

What do I "prescribe"? I'm not recommending punishments for speech. (As opposed to, say, murder.) What I'm saying is that what we know about Gibson's thoughts will inevitably influence how we interpret his artistic work. He is free to speak, and I am free to look for meaning in the films I see or to decide not to see films by someone whose ideas seem loathsome to me. What I am providing is more speech, not punishment for speech. Writing about how bad someone else's words are is not against free speech. It is part of free speech.

weeziejefferson said...

I find it interesting that in the American mind, it is more heinous to be a bigot toward Jews than anyone else. People make ridiculous comments about black people and then say sorry all the time. People call Asians gooks and then say sorry. The offended parties are encouraged to get over it and stop playing the race card and/or whining. Why not extend the same to Mel Gibson? If he would have called someone the "N" bomb, there would have been some outraged black leaders and some answering white people saying "get over it, the guy was drunk. you people are always outraged at something..."

I guess it is because the Rabbi spokesperson at the ADL is way less annoying than Al Sharpton. But still, this seems a little out of proportion.

ChrisO said...

I find the dichotomy between this thread and the Oliver Stone thread to be quite eye-opening. It's interesting how many people absolutely refuse to see an Oliver Stone movie because of his politics, but eagerly separate Gibson's anti-Semitism from his art. This, of course, following on all of the rants I read on right wing blogs when the Stone movie was announced, as everyone knew exactly how Stone was going to make the movie, how he would excuse the terrorists and blame America, etc. Because of course leftists and progressives always behave in only a couple of strictly prescribed, totally predictable ways. Now that the film isn't anything like what was predicted, Stone has "surprised" us. And if the political content of Stone's earlier work makes him susceptible to criticism, how is the fact that Gibson has previously had to defend himself from accusations of anti-Semitism any different? Gibson is coming off the Passion controversy, and now utters virulent anti-Semitic statements, but of course the only reason the press is covering this is because the MSM hates Bush. And let's not forget the uteerly unprovable and ridiculous allegations that if a high profile Democrat called a policeman a nigger, it would be swept under the rug. Right. That's why no one ever references Hymietown when talking about Jackson, and why Ted Kennedy's drinking never gets mentioned.

And I don't buy the notion that alcohol makes you say things you don't believe. I think Brent's post was instructive, and made exactly the opposite point than he intended. I don't know you, Brent, but are you saying that you called your sister a lard ass despite the fact that you never thought she was fat? Or is it more likely that you have on occasion thought "Boy, she's really gotten fat," but of course she's your sister and you would never say something hurtful about it? In other words, did your rage cause you to say something you'd never thought, or did it remove the filter that prevented you from calling her fat in the past? I suspect it was more the latter.

But of course, Maxine Weiss fell asleep the only time she ever got drunk, so I guess her authoritative testimony pretty much puts an end to the debate.

Oh, and wiillhcarr, you make some interesting points. Could you expand on them a little bit?

Brent said...

Chriso,
Since you brought it up . . .

Thanks for the thoughts re: my outburst at my sister. I can't really say what the deeper meaning of it is. I do know that I never personnaly derided her in my mind as "fat" as in an epithet . . . I simply wanted to say something to hurt her. It was pulled out not because I believed it, but because I was wounded and wanted to strike back, and since she was sensitive about those things, well....

So, in retrospect, no (and I'm not trying to sound noble here)I don't believe that it was a secret thought. that doesn't mean that I'm incapable of prejudice - just I don't think that that was it.

Several years ago, I was a family/marriage counselor (assisting in therapy sessions - I did not finish enough credits for my license before changing majors). It was very common to see couples "striking" at each other verbally with things that may or may not hurt the other person, finally landing on something that did hurt. In other words, there may not be a dissatisfaction with the other mate, but (sometimes worse) a desire to say ANYTHING that might be hurtful.

I tend to believe that is what happened in this case. I agree that if the officer was black, Mel, in his angry state, would have yelled black epithets at the officer, opining about "n------s" ruining everything in America, or if the officer was Hispanic, how immigration is ruining America, . . . you get the point.

I think this is backed up by his choice of terms towards the policewoman at the station - "sugar-t--s".

Does this mean it's excusable? Of course not.

But please, don't tell me that in a World teeming with visible, blatant anti-semitism and world leaders literally swearing to annihilate not only Israel but also "all Jews" that Mel Gibson is a major problem on the world scene.


As to Oliver Stone - personally I do not agree with his politics. That said, I don't sit and look through his films for hidden agendas, because, c'mon, he's pretty much upfront on each film. Instead, I judge each film on its own stand alone merits.
- I love "Any Given Sunday" - it's in my top 10.
- Though "JFK" was laughable (I actually began laughing at a Tommy Lee Jones scene and could not stop - and this was in the theatre).
- "Nixon", though not a portrayal I was happy with, was masterful movie-making. I own a copy just to rewatch 4 scenes of Hopkins in it.
- Thought "Platoon" was boring.
- "Natural Born Killers" - yawn.
- Kudos to Oliver, though, for having the cajones to make fun of himself in the movie "Dave". That's always a plus on my scale.

Again, I judge each piece of work, if it seems interesting enough to me to even see in the first place, on its own merits.


I am curious, Chriso - what lasting damage do you think either Jesse Jackson or Ted Kennedy have suffered for the action you listed, other than peoples ridicule?

Hint: answer rhymes with "uh-thing"
PS. Neither Chappaquidick, nor "drinking" cost Ted Kennedy the Presidency . . . it was much simpler than that.


I'm sorry, it was wiillhcarr that you asked to expand . . .

willhcarr said...

Okay, some expansion on Mel Gibson Story...Mel Gibson was born in New York State. His father was a railroad worker for the New York Central Railroad...remember that the Northeastern Railways were the province of America's Robber Baron families like Gould and Harriman. The Gibson family moved to Austrailia when Mel was in elementary school. It's there that he attend acting classes before returning to the US.

However, Mel's father has close ties to American's shadow capital, Houston, TX. His home church is St. Jude Chapel in Stafford, TX. only a few miles from Sugarland, TX. home of Imperial Sugar and Tom DeLay...althought Imperial is historically linked to the ultra-powerful Jewish Rothschilds which Gibson couldn't like. It's their bank that is currently asking "WHAT'S IN YOUR WALLETT?" using Mel-look-a-likes. Imperial Sugar and Coca-Cola have a symbiotic relationship and Coca-Cola was responsible for providing Oliver North his training ground for the Contras in Belize. The ultra-conservative Latin church services that Mel and his father like so much was much in the news in the early 80's when a renegade Bishop named Lefevre (spelling?) ran an all Latin church in Dickinson, TX. near Houston. St. Judes Chapel is an offshoot of this movement. Mel's father who sometimes goes by the name John Hutton P Gibson married Teddy Joye Hicks who appears to have significant ties to the Houston, a town filled with Oil Empire elites and its ancillary underworld. There seems to be another connection with Gibson to the name O'Connor which is a very rich and powerful Catholic ranching family in Texas with a great deal invested in the American foreign policy and major connections with America's predominant northeastern establishment of which GWB, Cheney and others have long been a part...the WASP side of things. In fact, BRAVEHEART, helped to solidify the historical ties between these two groups and to appeal to their inherent militarism...I should know, I'm Scot and wore out two Braveheart tapes and learned every song that what's his ass wrote for it. Scotland in Willam Wallace's time was Catholic...but don't you see a strange inconsistency between a film that cries for freedom from tyrants from a man who hates Jews? It was afterall, Oliver Cromwell who invited the Jews to come back to England after Longshanks expelled them PRECISELY because they were some of the best artisans in the world and could help to rebuilt England after Cromwell's Rebellion....PLUS....they are anti-primogeniture....all that first born crap that Thomas Jefferson had to write out of America's laws. King David, you remember, was a youngest child and the runt of the litter at that. Mel came very close to the truth of it when he said in the film "it's God who makes people what they are." That's Hebrew through and through.
Mel's sister lives in Houston, and appears to have addresses in Tomball, Cypress and an old one in Westbury near Bellaire which is, ironically, THE Jewish section of Houston. Bellaire High is known as Hebrew High.

It's in Houston that oil money from the Saudis, the Brits, rich Texans and others find their way to Hollywood to underwrite movies...which when you think about it aren't unlike oil wells. Anyway, if you look in the Harris County Clerk's records you'll find the public data on property ownership and in the DBA's something else with JUMP OUT AT YOU. The head of the motion picture industry has numeous DBA's with America's S&L scandal elites as well as an assortment of key figures in the Iran Contra scandal....which was a type of pro-capitalism-anti-communist-near-fascist-program....selling drugs to fund the Contras in Central America. That's what Gary Webb discovered.

Oh, Texan, Henry Catto, US Ambassador to El Salvador during that mess and was also head of the US Information Agency....our CIA-linked PR firm worldwide. His connections to the media and to Hollywood go down about as deep as a Spindletop well. Remember John Ford the great US military documentarian who came back from WWII to do films that helped to rekindle our sense of Manifest Denstiny. Well if you look at the time, plots and nature of Mel's films...he's kinda like Ford. I'd say he is a puppet in the hands of America's Military Industrialist Complex. Braveheart, The Patriot, The Passion of the Christ, We Were Soldiers Once and Young. Brown and Root....from Brown Brothers Harriman....not to mention Halliburton, Carlyle Group....they all LOVE HIM! On Thursday night of the 2004 Republican National Convention which focused on Dick Cheney, the benediction was pronounced by Corpus Christi former Catholic Bishop, Rene Gracida, an ex-navy aviator. Texas is the tail that wags the rest of the US and hence the world. Old armies ran on oats and hay. Modern ones run on oil. Dig around a little more and you'll find that in Houston Hitler's money man, Fritz Thiessen and his companies are front and center and hooked at the hip with Bush's companies. It's a known fact that the reason the US Congress went light on indicting Harriman related companies during WWII for trading with the Nazi's was because we needed their oil to fight the war and if we nationalized the oil and everything else we need to do it we'd look like commies. Standard Oil was one of the biggest companies to profit from the war and the head of Standard Oil's son is now head of GWB's blind trust. GWB's roots may just be opportunistic like Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind, but Mel? He has religious conviction. That's got to scare everybody...especially if he's a Fascist in disguise.

The Unknown Professor said...

I'm a big fan of Gibson's movies, and will continue to see them in the future. After all, there's some great academic work done by people who are complete failures in their personal lives, so why should art be different?

I come from an extended family where many were alcoholics (some functional, some not) and others ran bars. So, as a child (and even as a young adult) I spent a fair time around obnoxious drunks.

In my experience, while alcohol generally makes a loud mouthed jerk an even bigger jerk, it sometimes also makes the "best" people also act like idiots.

So, Troy's comments are pretty much on point - alcohol enhances the aggressive desire to be hurtful - even for a person who is NOT like that in their sober state.

So, I'm not sure that it reveals an Anti-semitic mindset. It's also possible that Gibson has these thoughts and struggles with them (successfully) on a daily basis.

If it's a case of alcohol letting the controls slip, there's a different possible interpretation. Many of us have thoughts and attitudes that we filter/ignore/fight against on a regular basis. Fortunately, we're not held accountable for our thoughts and impulses, but for what we do withg them.

As an evangelical Christian, I believe that we're ALL fallen. Some are just more aware of it than others. As I grow older, I become more and more aware of the nasty dark stuff I carry around deep inside. I'm just glad that my friends and colleagues don't get to hear my inner dialogue.

And yes, we all seem to like a "how the mighty have fallen and gotten their comeuppance" story.

willhcarr said...

So we what? Stick our heads in the sand and don't look at the dark stuff?

It is a messy world and none of us, apart from God Almighty have the power to do a thing about it, but labels like "evangelical Christian" mean little to me anymore. Here's why....

http://patrickcarr.blogspot.com

nameless said...

It seem to me, that all your hatred towards Mel Gibson is going to get you nowhere, how about giving some forgiveness towards Mel Gibson, and maybe the times you may have said something you wish you hadn't, perhaps some forgiveness will came your way. Everybody sometimes says things they wish they hadn't! Beside the jewish don't have the best reputation you know!

willhcarr said...

Forgiveness is essential. It's open to Mel and anyone else, but go back to the top of this blogsite and re-read the words from William Wallace to his fellow soldiers in the film BRAVEHEART. These words are more appropriated today than then because the stakes are much higher, but instead of bashing each others heads in on battlefields, better to talk it out and to give up some of our ambitions to rule and control...that will require sharing, moving over and making room, while not being doormats, either. Dietrick Bonhoeffer's THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP and its description of "cheap grace"...."forgiveness pronouced without the need for repentance," comes to mind.

I was glad to hear Mel say that he wanted to sit down with the Jewish community. Why? Because the Jewish community doesn't have a stellar reputation. We have only to look at what's going on in Lebannon to know that. In the end, what Christians, Jews and Moslems have in common is that we are all half-brothers and ALL sons of Abraham. Seems to me that if we don't learn to listen to each other and forgive, our children and grandchildren have no future.

Bruce Henion said...

I’ve read Mel Gibson’s statement and it humbles me greatly, that he would admit his feelings publicly. His movies have given me great inspiration, “We Were Soldiers and Brave heart” in particular and while I know his statements while he was intoxicated are troubling, we must remind ourselves that all of us have said things we regret. I hold no malice in my heart for Mel and would ask that you tell him for me, as I begin my journey home from Ba Ja, Mexico to Jefferson, Oregon via the San Diego, Hospital, facing serious health issues in relationship to my C5/6 QUAD condition of 21-years, I will take with me the inspiration he as given us all, and gain strength from his strength in confronting his ordeal as I must face mine.


"To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to add the more distinguished Character of Christian. -George Washington - Washington Prays at Valley Forge http://www.pvbr.com/Issue_1/gwprays.htm


Enemies of Freedom are the enemies to mankind and fascism in all its form has no place in a free society, and if I must choose a side, I choose the side of liberty.

willhcarr said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ann Althouse said...

Don't post someone's phone number here!

willhcarr said...

Sorry Ann. Of course. You are quite correct. Why don't you edit out the specific phone numbers and exact addresses and let it rip?

WHC

Brent said...

WHC:

You may be right on some of your correlations, but whether it's 80% or 1%, repeat after me:

"Correlation does NOT equal causation."

Rinse mind. Repeat.

willhcarr said...

Dear Brent:
Okay,
"Correlation does NOT equal causation."
"Correlation does NOT equal causation."
"Correlation does NOT equal causation."
"Correlation does NOT equal causation."
(I've been through this before, but the shoes just keep dropping) Check out Farish on milk. Bush on National Guard overrides...Turley's conconcerns. I have a beer or Scotch and listen to Buffet's WHEN THE VOLCANO BLOWS to clear my mind.
How about you?
WHC

WHC

willhcarr said...

Dear Brent:

Another shoe.....

I wrote above....

"The ultra-conservative Latin church services that Mel and his father like so much was much in the news in the early 80's when a renegade Bishop named Lefevre (spelling?) ran an all Latin church in Dickinson, TX. near Houston. St. Judes Chapel in Stafford is an offshoot of this movement. Mel's father who sometimes goes by the name John Hutton P Gibson married Teddy Joye Hicks who appears to have significant ties to the Houston, a town filled with Oil Empire elites and its ancillary underworld."

Well, Stafford, Texas is significant for another reason and that's its connection to R Steven Hicks, head of UTIMCO, the multi-billion dollar investment company of the University of Texas, Austin and brother of GWB's Texans baseball franchise partner with Richard Rainwater, Tom Hicks. Since the business schools at the University of Texas uses high profile business leaders as teachers the assumption is that the investments of the university are solid. UTIMCO is heavily invested in mainline defense contracting companies like Honeywell, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Carlyle Group. R Steven Hicks was responsible for the $1.2 billion purchase of Regal Cinemas.

WHC

willhcarr said...

Which means that Bush's buddies had shafted poor Mel for $40 millon on the PASSION OF THE CHRIST. Regal Cinemas paid him just over 30% when the going rate was 55% and he had to take them to court. If they put a Jewish hitman in charge of the shafting...well you can see why Mel would be hacked off and self medicating. It looks, however, to be deeper than that when you connect the dots through Texas.