When asked where those vicious words came from, Dr. Kevin J. Corcoran, a psychology researcher who has studied the effects of alcohol on perception and judgment, replied, simply, “his mouth.”
Dr. Corcoran said comments do not spring from nothing; for example, Dr. Corcoran said, he himself would not make anti-Semitic statements under the influence of alcohol.
“I say other outrageous things when I’m drunk,” he said.
He added that Mr. Gibson “may not fully believe” his statements about Jews, “but they were waiting to be delivered,” once his inhibitions were lowered and he was subjected to the stress of being pulled over by the police....
[There is] a condition that researchers call the “alcohol myopia effect,” in which someone who has had too much to drink reacts to immediate cues without regard to consequences or the broader social context. G. Alan Marlatt, director of the Addictive Behaviors Research Center at the University of Washington, said that psychologists often focus on the difference between “traits and states.” Inebriation is a temporary state, but it might unleash one’s deeper and more permanent traits, he said.
ADDED: John points out a Flemish proverb: "What is said when drunk has been thought out beforehand." (Found on page 67 of one of our favorite books, W.H. Auden and Louis Kronenberger's "Aphorisms.")
MORE: I see there's a painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder called "The Flemish Proverbs." Look closely. See if you can find Mel Gibson.