Green Room

Proud of Mel, on the Occasion of Winona’s Denunciation

posted at 8:22 pm on December 17, 2010 by

Aaron Worthing at Patterico’s Pontifications recently wrote a post about an interview in GQ with Winona Ryder — who is Jewish; who knew? — in which she offhandedly charged that, “like, fifteen years ago,” she was at a Hollywood party, where she met a drunken Mel Gibson… and that, when she mentioned her religion, he jokingly referred to Jews as “oven dodgers.” (Ryder also claims that Gibson “made a really horrible gay joke” to her gay friend.)

We couple this with the iconic antisemitic rant another drunken Mel Gibson made — rather, the same Gibson during a different debauchery — while being arrested for DUI, and the pattern is fairly clear: In his heart, Gibson is a raging antisemite.

And as a USDA-certified non-religious Jew, that makes me very, very proud of him.

We pause briefly to allow readers to finish caroming around the room, flapping their arms like emperor penguins trying to take to the air.

Settled again? Good; I can explain what in blazes I mean very concisely…

We all have demons; no one but a saint is so free of evil that he hasn’t even a single moral blindness, a single skeleton in his skull. On those issues, the beast screams to be released to rend and eviscerate someone who, while he may be irritating or offensive or even thuggish, doesn’t actually deserve the level of irrational vitriol or violence that we feel, in those moments, like dishing out.

How many of you — be honest — had flashes of rage following the 9/11attacks that induced fantasies of flattening the entire Arab world with nuclear Armageddon?

But wait, think a second time: Should we really kill hundreds of millions of people, the vast, vast majority innocent of that act of war, out of sick revenge at what, at most, half a hundred people plotted and maybe fifteen or twenty thousand actively applauded? All but the mad among us quickly suppressed that first idea and swallowed our rage, choosing instead to do as George W. Bush said: Find the people who knocked those buildings down and kill them personally, or capture them and hold them indefinitely, crushing every scrap of usable, actionable intel out of them. (Or at the very least, if we couldn’t keep silent about our general fury at Arabs and Moslems in general, we confined those ravings of universal slaughter to close friends who wouldn’t broadcast our intemperance to the world at large.)

And who here has never, ever, ever been so enraged by some nitwit driver that he hasn’t screamed out loud, in his car, that he was going to ram the son of a bachelor and drive his car into a telephone poll? Sure, we yell it… but if we retain our sanity, we don’t actually do it.

Civilization is largely a voluntary act of mass repression; and that’s a good thing. An awful lot of thoughts and desires we experience throughout a given day should be repressed, jammed down so deep we barely feel them except for a burr in the brain — notwithstanding that stupid sixties philosophy of “let it all hang out” and “never repress what you feel.”

Sometimes it takes a heroic effort to suppress saying or doing something that Seems Like a Good Idea at the Time™, but upon sober reflection would be a horrific and life-destroying indulgence. But that’s one of the prices we pay for living in a society, surrounded by other people.

I’d say that the definition of a civilized human being is the ability to look past anger to a later time, when we will have calmed down, and imagine ourselves saying, “My God, what have I done? My life is ended!”… then to return to present time and not do it in the first place.

Those with the loudest demons have the greatest struggle; and quite evidently, Mel Gibson’s demons are very loud and vile indeed. But the point is, when not in the madness of strong drink, he does manage to suppress them. He suppresses them so well that until that videotaped, besotted rant during his arrest, I daresay the vast majority of us had no idea he struggled with such internal Hell.

Some Gibson critics have tried to claim that his movie the Passion of the Christ was antisemitic; I believe they do so precisely because they realize that to condemn Gibson, they must show that he indulges his demon even when stone cold sober… as when he is writing and directing a movie.

Yet I watched that movie as a Jew (having been “primed” to believe it would be antisemitic); and while I was unmoved by the story, I certainly felt no stirrings of anxiety over religious persecution, as I did when watching Leni Riefenstahl’s the Triumph of the Will, glorifying Adolf Hitler’s 1934 Nuremberg rally.

In fact, in the twenty-one Gibson movies I’ve seen, including Passion and Apocalypto, both of which he only wrote and directed, I’ve never seen anything to indicate he was a deliberate Jew hater or “homophobe.” Knowing as I now do how he must struggle against the irrational illnesses of racism and xenophobia, I am astonished at what a great job he does.

Gibon’s conscious, intelligent mind realizes one of two things, the first more creditable than the second but both being acceptable marks of civilization:

  • Either that his “feelings” are simply wrong, as feelings frequently are; and there is nothing inherently inferior about Jews, gays, or any other human, even if he believes that some of the things they do — deny Christ, engage in the “abomination” of homosexual acts — are sins. He may honestly believe he must hate the sin but love the sinner.
  • Or at the very least, he must believe that he cannot live in this American society and express such loathing that is rejected by nearly everybody else here (Europe and the Orient are friendlier to Jew hatred); and Gibson must believe that the benefits of living in the United States outweigh any personal satisfaction he might derive from venting venom at Jews and gays. And that, as I said, is practically the definition of a civilized man.

I don’t know which, but either way, Mel Gibson “gets it” — when he’s sober. And he doesn’t seem to be a habitual drunkard; such incidents are few enough and far enough apart that they still shock us.

Of course Gibson still has a drinking problem; anytime someone allows himself to get so drunk that he cannot control his inner demons, he is a menace to himself, and what is infinitely worse, to the rest of society. But I feel as proud (as a fellow civilized human being) of his personal achievement as I would of a kleptomaniac who controls himself and does not steal, or a drug addict who steers clear of the needle, or a believing Catholic who is gay, yet who lives a celebate life so as not to commit what he believes to be sin. It must take a mental effort of mind-over-glands more monumental than most of us can imagine — a true “triumph of the will” — for Gibson to bottle his imp of rage and hate and cast it into the sea, even if it does occasionally come bobbing back ashore when he’s in his cups.

By contrast, I have heard many and many a man or woman of the Left openly, brazenly, almost tauntingly fling antisemitic, anti-gay, and racist ideas and epithets into the maelstrom of his political and ideological madness without having touched a drop of “the creature” all day. Which, by the way, is practically a textbook definition of barbaric savagery.

Even as a Jew, who would you rather luncheon with: Mel Gibson? Or Special Assistant to President Barack H. Obama Samantha Power, head of the Office of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights?

The defense rests.

Cross-posted on Big Lizards

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Let us all join the author in applauding every ashhole who is too funkin lame, idiotic and ignorant not to indulge in the mindless, soul-destroying foulness. As long as they don’t go out and beat and kill other folks, but only occasionally spews out hateful sewage, they’re …. O K !

audiculous on December 17, 2010 at 8:46 PM

Dafydd,

You make very good points. While Passion was being filmed, the woman playing Mary, a Jew, was interviewed about her interface with Gibson as director. She had some amazing things to say about his respect for her.

Gibson certainly has his demons. And he is an alcoholic. And absolutely nothing is sadder than an alcoholic who has spent years in recovery and then goes back to drink. It is said that they don’t pick up where they left off, but rather, show the symptoms as “if they had never quit drinking.” Mr. Gibson’s shocking and outrageous comments and behaviour certainly illustrate that.

Gibson is a great talent, trapped in this disease of alcoholism. He is still accountable for his actions, but I think your discussion has some merit. But his control while sober does not excuse his behaviour while drunk. I pray he finds his way back to sobriety – but that is a hard thing to do.

skeeter on December 17, 2010 at 9:59 PM

Let us all join the author in applauding every ashhole who is too funkin lame, idiotic and ignorant not to indulge in the mindless, soul-destroying foulness. As long as they don’t go out and beat and kill other folks, but only occasionally spews out hateful sewage, they’re …. O K !

audiculous on December 17, 2010 at 8:46 PM

As opposed to leftists who regularly spew hatred and are utterly unabashedly unashamed about it. But hey, at least they aren’t “hypocrites.”

gryphon202 on December 17, 2010 at 10:42 PM

gryph,

you remain you.

your family must be good, good people and patient.

audiculous on December 17, 2010 at 10:49 PM

gryph,

you remain you.

your family must be good, good people and patient.

audiculous on December 17, 2010 at 10:49 PM

The prosecution rests.

gryphon202 on December 17, 2010 at 10:51 PM

glad you’re gonna get some rest, gryph.

that well thought out “leftists is bad and say hateful things” comment, despite having nothing to do with anything, must have exhausted you.

audiculous on December 17, 2010 at 11:52 PM

Gibson is a very, very talented filmmaker and actor. He obviously has emotional problems. However, the snide coming from Wynona Ryder or whatever.her.actual.surname.is.here (can’t recall now) is ridiculous — fifteen years ago and from the recalled perceptions of Ryder who is not known for her reasonable perceptions.

Gibson has become (and has been for some time now) a sort of mirror that many use to scream about inner turmoil. I know few people who drink heavily for years as Gibson has done who don’t end up being rocked by emotional problems that take many, many years to resolve once a person attempts or maintains sobriety.

I was hesitant to even watch EDGE OF DARKNESS (in which Gibson stars) after all the Gibson-Meltdown but only recently have watched it and see that Gibson does a remarkably moving acting job in that film (though the material is questionable, it’s still high drama worth seeing). Even after all his troubles, there he is, doing such a remarkable performance.

I’m no fan or apologist of what Gibson SAID while drunk and mad and unglued (lasted a long time, too, from what I’ve read since, his life a genuine tragedy in the years since that time), but he is a remarkably talented man amidst his tortured experiences and issues and hearing anyone take Wynona’s fifteen-year-old “party memory” to heart about the man is quite sad, should they, when they do.

P.S.: I never wanted to “flatten” Arab homelands, either, even on the day after 9/11 — I did want to, however, get payback.

Lourdes on December 18, 2010 at 1:56 AM

…trying to recall the times I’ve been drunk as a skunk and what I said to everyone who I had contact with…

I’m sure it wasn’t pretty and there’re more than a few stories certain enemies and revenge-seekers would conjure up, including ~with embellishments~ if they were hawking a recent movie as a certain female actor is.

Lourdes on December 18, 2010 at 2:01 AM

Can you think of a single publicized anti-Semitic or racist incident involving Mel Gibson prior to “The Passion of the Christ”? He was a marked man from then on by those who think that believing in Jesus Christ and using the words of Scripture to tell the story is, ipso facto, anti-Semitism. The film is tremendously emotional and, to Christians, factual. And because Gibson is a very private man, though it may not seem so now, we seldom get a glimpse of his soul. This film gave us that glimpse and also gave rise to accusations against him personally. He was judged by many who hated the message and longed for the fall.

Mr. Gibson has a deep love of family. His father is a Holocaust denier. That influence by someone you love without reservation, and of whom you will brook no criticism, is very hard to shake. As mentioned, Gibson’s anti-Semitism comes out only when he’s drunk. When you are drunk, you say things that you do not necessarily believe; however, they are things about which you have been thinking. Life is a conflict, a tug, for the soul. If that soul is conflicted, trouble rises. People with whom he has worked attest to his great intelligence and knowledge. Deep down he knows what is true. I would imagine that Gibson did say the things Winona Ryder reports. His perverse sense of humor is legend. One of the problems is, unfortunately, that most of the general public knows of only these few reprehensible actions and not the many charitable and selfless acts in which he has engaged for the entirety of his career. This is because of his aforementioned privacy edict to family and friends. Thus he had no “good will” to fall back upon when his mind was putting words into the air that he most surely regrets. It’s terrible to see a gifted man’s reputation tarnished and diminished. That it is by his own actions is sad, indeed.

Mae on December 18, 2010 at 5:46 AM

Gibson is a very, very talented filmmaker and actor

there was a painter! He could paint an entire apartment in ONE afternoon! TWO coats!

audiculous on December 18, 2010 at 11:44 AM

that well thought out “leftists is bad and say hateful things” comment, despite having nothing to do with anything, must have exhausted you.

audiculous on December 17, 2010 at 11:52 PM

No, I think it was more along the lines of “Leftists are bliterhing hyporcritical idiots.” But thanks for playing.

gryphon202 on December 18, 2010 at 2:27 PM

whatever it is that you think that you’re thinking, it don’t much matter until you can get enough focus to grasp the points in the post and say something relevant.

rest up some more, maybe you’ll be able to figure out that not everything is left/right.

audiculous on December 18, 2010 at 2:53 PM

fifteen or twenty thousand actively applauded

Hopelessly ignorant. I’ll not wait for the ‘pop’.

frizzbee on December 18, 2010 at 9:50 PM

there was a painter! He could paint an entire apartment in ONE afternoon! TWO coats!

audiculous on December 18, 2010 at 11:44 AM

And I hope you enjoyed that painter.

Lourdes on December 19, 2010 at 2:03 AM

there was a painter! He could paint an entire apartment in ONE afternoon! TWO coats!

audiculous on December 18, 2010 at 11:44 AM

“The Producers” (at least the original)? Really?

Kevin K. on December 19, 2010 at 7:14 PM

Kevin K.

really. the movie was far better than any movie that Gibson has ever made or ever will make.

but my comment serves as a rejoinder to Dafy Hugh’s thinking that pointing out that Gibson has some artistic talent is in any way germane to a discussion of Mad Mel’s vileness of belief and speech.

Polanski displays more ability than Gibson….

audiculous on December 19, 2010 at 11:50 PM

While I agree that Passion of the Christ was not anti-Semitic, this article is pretty lame. And another thing, more then 20,000 Muslims applauded the 9/11 attacks! Mel Gibson is a sociopathic creep who acts more and more liek the execrable father of his Hutton Gibson.

Hilts on December 20, 2010 at 9:14 AM

Even as a Jew, who would you rather luncheon with: Mel Gibson? Or Special Assistant to President Barack H. Obama Samantha Power, head of the Office of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights?

Neither one. They are both disgusting Jew haters.

Hilts on December 20, 2010 at 9:23 AM