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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Not My Mel No More

I had been a Mel Gibson fan for many years. His recent arrest and controversy over statements he made to the arresting officers during his DUI arrest is being reported all over the place. As Mr. Gibson has admitted to making inappropriate remarks about Jews, I have to accept the fact he made them as initially reported. Yes, he was drunk and evidently defensive and pissy during the encounter with the police.

One of the very unfavorable things about having too much to drink is the more you have, the less inhibited (and probably sick) you become. You will say things that you think at times but would not articulate. In the heat of an argument or encounter with a public servant or clerk at a store, we might make fun of their job or lack of service. In an argument with a stranger on the street or on the bus or train, we might attack their lack of civility or point out theirsocial ignorance. In the throes of a quarrel with a friend or lover, we might overreact to a request, a criticism or omission and accuse the other of being disrespectful, not paying enough attention and . . . well, you get the idea.

How often are you tempted to attack the other person's ethnic group or race in the pique of anger? Stranger or not?

If you are not a bigot, never. Why would the idea even enter your head in the first place unless you already have negative feelings about the group in question?

There are things you can say that you can't take back or explain away. From what I read of Mr. Gibson's angry remarks during his arrest, he expressed a side of himself that the public never saw or heard before. Would he have normally said those things aloud to a stranger? I don't know. I could understand Mr. Gibson's being embarrassed and defensive being pulled over and arrested for DUI and if he had made fun of the police and their job in the process, that would have been uncivil of him but something I could understand. His apology on that level would be more acceptable.

But there is absolutely no explaining away this behavior. Drunk or sober and angry, there is no rationalizing the type of remarks Mr. Gibson made - NONE. It is what it is.

It is not a stereotype that the entertainment business has quite a large Jewish population who work behind the scenes. That's the truth.

Mr. Gibson may have crucified himself big time with his mouth. And I don't feel at all sorry for him.


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