Making up for one Mel of a mistake

Making up for one Mel of a mistake

by Mark PleissFlipside Editor

Oh Mel, don’t worry. We still love you …You rugged anti-Semitic pig, you.

Last week Mr. Gibson arrived on Good Morning America to tell the country his slightly hate-crazed comments at a traffic stop last summer that ended with a DUI charge were “just the stupid ramblings of a drunkard.”

Poor guy.

I can reason with someone with a problem. I do believe alcoholism is an illness, and like every disease, it pays little attention to social status, beautiful eye color and the number of private commercial aircraft one owns.

I have no doubt he has a problem and needs help. But for Mel, getting help was never an issue. He isn’t a single working father who can’t afford a three-month rehabilitation clinic. Gibson could have checked into a luxurious five-star alcohol-free resort for however long he liked, whenever he liked – But, he never did.

It’s a little odd then when he doesn’t decide to get this help until a public relations nightmare makes him realize he may have a problem. It also helps to have his new movie coming out in a month.

Obviously, celebrities do this every day. They scapegoat their raucous actions behind an addiction and check into a clinic – showing their intense social awareness and drive toward self-improvement. And for some reason, people buy it.

Like a Sunday-morning college kid, Gibson is using alcohol as a scapegoat. But this isn’t a simple ugly scene at the Zoo Bar. He threw out some incredibly offensive words he must actually take responsibility for, not hide from.

Other than the Jews obviously, his religious affiliation should be the first group to demand an apology. He prides himself on being a Christian conservative, and when he made those comments, he highlighted how ugly religious conservatism (even in Christianity) can be.

But whether we believe Gibson’s arguably anti-Semitic “Passion of the Christ” truly did reflect his summer drunk-driving actions, I suppose, doesn’t really matter. And, whether you think he is just a disturbed little man really doesn’t matter either.

The question I wonder is whether people are going to go to his newest movie. In case you don’t know, it will be called “Apocalypto,” and it reenacts the final days of the Mayan civilization. It will also be completely filmed in the indigenous Mayan tongue (which isn’t Spanish).

I suppose Gibson made the movie to capitalize on two fetishes all Americans have historically loved and supported: Mexicans and indigenous culture.

But truthfully, especially after “Passion of the Christ,” I know watching a movie by Mel Gibson that stresses cultural sensitivity would be a lot like watching Sasquatch present a scholarly essay on rational human behavior.

You go to a camel looking for water, not a donkey.

I’m not going to see the movie, but I suppose his bank account is plenty full and five fewer dollars won’t do him any good. But, like votes, every dollar counts, and if the country got together and said we’re tired of this Hollywood vapidity, it would send a message that we as a culture have evolved past such paltry racist ideas.

But sadly, I won’t be waiting anxiously for that message to arrive.