Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Mel Tolls for Me

I always liked Mel Gibson from the first time I saw him on the Mad Max films. He projects a very warm persona. I have seen him serious and goofy and liked him either way. My question is, am I allowed to still like him?

His film, the Passion of Christ, has been badmouthed by a lot of nanny liberals and thin-skinned Jews. I certainly wouldn't go see it myself. For one thing, I don't think I could endure the suffering portrayed. I didn't like the aroma of bigotry either. Passion plays have often, throughout European history, been an excuse for violence against Jews. But I do think this one was an honest attempt to portray historical events as many people believe them to have occurred. I was impressed, in particular, by the decision to use Aramaic as a spoken language on the screen. Gibson believes in the Passion and all of the things that it implies, including the forgiveness of sins. He spent a lot of effort and money, and took a lot of risk to share it with us.

He has been lambasted in the press pretty severely for his recent adventure, even by Christopher Hitchens (who has given him previous lashes), based on the assumption that, in his drunken state, Gibson was expressing his true feelings. Clinton Taylor has a piece in the American Spectator questioning that assumption of vino veritas. I would go further than that and say, even if the man honestly believes, when sober, in the guilt of the collective Jew in murdering his Savior, then we must hold him to the injunctions of his own beliefs. As a Christian, he is required to forgive the Jews for seven times seventy repetitions of such a transgression. In fact, Gibson has begged forgiveness for himself from those very Jews whom he has offended and has asked for their help, as well. I think, from what I have read between the lines, that he is asking them to teach him, to help him understand and forgive. I think this is remarkable.

One of the problems with political correctness is that it requires us to think a certain specific way. Gibson has his own point of view. I am not empowered to say whether he is right or wrong, but I believe he is entitled to it, and I suspect I will continue to regard him with affection.

Words are not bullets. Thoughts are not guns. By his deeds he will be known. I am more inclined to fault him for driving drunk, but I accept his apologies as genuine. I hope others do, as well, and I predict that he will show his remorse in a dramatic and constructive way.

8/2/2006 6:57 PM

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At Thursday, August 03, 2006 1:39:00 PM, Blogger anchovy said...

I'll go one step furher. Suppose, for the sake fo argument, the guy is an unapologetic Jew hater. Ya that kinda stinks, but so what. He still made some pretty great movies and is an awesome actor. If I had to worry about every Hollywood weirdo's personal views every time I bought a movie ticket I'd have missed a lot of great films.

Last night I saw a checked out an advanced screening of World Trade Center, directed by controversial Oliver Stone. Some folks won't see it for that reason, but they'll be missing a pretty good flick.

At Thursday, August 03, 2006 3:40:00 PM, Blogger anchovy said...

Ok, in retrospect I didn't like the way that came out. Jew hating's pretty ugly stuff, more than I let on. It more than "kinda stinks." All I meant was to decouple the personal from the professional which, at least in this case, isn't such a bad idea.

At Sunday, August 06, 2006 8:30:00 AM, Blogger mal said...

does it take away from his art? Is he advocating white supremacy when sober? Is he planning the overthrow of the nation? NO to all

Does he have foot in mouth Disease? YES

Does he deserve to be "shunned"? I think not

At Sunday, August 13, 2006 12:26:00 AM, Blogger jj mollo said...

People hate people from other groups, but rarely with any consistency. It's human nature. What matters is how they behave.

Jews have been hated more than other groups since before Christ was born. Why is that? I think it is because they don't feel the need to recruit and because they are more successful than a lot of other groups. In other parts of the world, it is the Chinese that are hated. Please note that nobody like the Americans a whole lot either.

When people talk about these things and rub elbows, a lot of the sting comes out of the group distinctions. When some conversations are taboo, however, the nastiness can never be taken out and inspected from all sides.


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