Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Turns Out William Wallace Hates Jews as Much as He Hates Brits

Ok, here's what I saw over the weekend. Clerks 2, a half-hour (as much as Peggy and I could take) of You, Me, and Dupree, Scoop, one-half hour of The Amityville Horror remake, and Hustle and Flow. So let's get into it ... later in the week. Today, I'm going to ask you one question:

What the f**k happened to Mel Gibson?

I remember the hullaballoo that surrounded Passion of the Christ when it came out, and when I finally saw it on video, I thought the critics who charged the film with anti-semitism were right on. The Passion of the Christ depicts Jews as evil bastards who killed a nice guy for saying things they didn't like. I thought it was a ding on Mel Gibson's record, but I mostly, and naively, forgave it. I figured that maybe, as a diehard and misguided Catholic, he really believed that the Jews of that time were culpable in the death of Christ, and he was depicting events as he believed they'd taken place. I chalked up his treatment of the Jews in his movie as another symptom of his overweening, Opus Dei-style Catholicism, and that his weird beliefs stemmed from the overarching insanity of his style of Christianity, not a more personal insanity. And so when Diane Sawyer asked him in an interview if he agreed with his father that the Holocaust was "mostly fiction" and he answered that he wouldn't speak against his father, I figured that was an issue of family privacy, not of substance. I mean, surely the Mel of Braveheart, and Lethal Weapon and Signs and Mad Max and Ransom, couldn't hold any of that outdated, tinfoil-hat wearing, White Power kind of hatred for Jews in his heart. Not in this modern day and age.

I see now that I was way wrong.

As you've probably heard ad nauseum by now, Mel Gibson was pulled over on Friday morning for drunk driving. To the arresting officers, he said "the f**king Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world," and asked one of the arresting officers if they were a "f**king Jew". Some of his defenders (to the death, I'd imagine), and his own first official press statement essentially chalked up the anti-semitic speech to how drunk he was. Which, obviously, doesn't cut it. Drunk only removes the filter, it doesn't invent shit for you to say. His comments, while terrible, are nothing compared to what it reveals about the depth of Gibson's anti-semitism. This is what I think his comments prove:

1) Mel Gibson is, undeniably, an anti-semite.
2) Mel Gibson believes the Jews killed Christ and continues to hold them, as a group, accountable for it.
3) Mel Gibson believes the Holocaust is a fiction invented and perpetuated by the Jews.
4) Mel Gibson believes there is a cabal of Jews who scheme and conspire, not unlike the Jews depicted in the classic racist tract, The Protocols of the Ancient Elders of Zion.
5) The Passion of the Christ is an anti-semitic film.

When I heard the news, what I felt wasn't too far off from what I'd feel if I'd heard Mel Gibson had died. This was incredibly disappointing to me, because I think he's a good actor and a good director, and it's all wasted on what we now know is a sick brain. Mel Gibson said in a press statement released today that he wants Jews to "help him" find a "path for healing". What Mel Gibson is truly sincere about here is rescusitating what is, at this moment, a dead career. I don't think rescusitation is possible unless he a) publicly denounces his father's views on the Holocaust (of course), and b) stops denying he's an anti-semite, and confess the truth to the world, and c) convince the public that not only does he know how wrongheaded and ignorant and irrational and bigoted anti-semitism is, but that he's serious about reforming back into the world of sane people. Obviously, b) has to happen in tandem with c). Even still, people will doubt his sincerity, but I think short of these measures, all he can hope for is a marginal career as an independent film director who used to be a big time actor/director.

Anyway, for an excellent, and scathing, piece on Mel Gibson's outing as a Jew-hater, go here for Christopher Hitchens's essay. Also Andrew Sullivan has been going full-bore since Friday into all of the conservatives who defended Mel against charges of anti-semitism when Passion came out. He's calling them out and, not surprisingly, many are silent.


Anonymous said...

Thank you! Finally I am vindicated. Passion of Christ or rather Satan is a fascist film that plays on people's fears, divides them and is the antithesis of Christ's teachings. Mussolini would have been proud.

I hope they blackball him. Fucker.

Gone is the great actor from THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY. I love that flick.

With that said - there is a point where Anti-Semitism can be used to cancel out any criticism on Israel's foreign policy. And that I think it wrong. The destruction of Lebanon and their children will live in infamy and ultimately will add much to future Jew hatred.

To me - Jews are best known for being the champions of labor, socialism and communism along with liberal thought. Judaism was the great antidote to Greek and Roman style Imperialism. Not to mention what their great thinkers have added to science, medicine and the arts.

But - what I see now is that the Israeli's are being used as an American Proxy to remap the Middle East for geopolitical presence and oil access at the expense of innocent people.

Just because you have been victimized for so long, does not give you the right to be the punisher. I was under the impression that WW2 solved that problem.

Moreover, I think most Americans and Europeans are still tacitly racist or mistrustful of Jews. I wonder why Europe did not pay them reparations and allow them back into their former countries.

Instead - the British and Americans - seeking a counter to Soviet designs in the region - find an opportunity to place an artificial state into the middle of the divided and colonized arab world (through a UN vote - and don't forget that Ghandi was against the state for this reason) - thus turning the Israeli's into the exact opposite of their lawful intention, i.e a military base under constant threat. We are talking about a country filled with seriously paranoid, stressed out inhabitants who never know when another attack will come. I don't blame them for the obtuse retaliation - but the outcome will be terrible for future generations. The Arabs and Jews have de-evolved into rival gangs fighting over meaningless turf.

I pity the Arabs and Jews for they are pawns in this game to the greater powers.


BTW: check this out -


Has the war come home?

Speck said...

I never saw PotC as a anti-semetic film...just a really bad movie.

Captain Mike said...


Wasn't he on Happy Days?

I had been tempted in recent weeks to rent that movie again to see what I thought of it now that the hysteria had subsided. No such luck.

I have mixed feelings about all of Mel's directorial efforts. Here are my abbreviated thoughts of each one each one:

The Man Without a Face:

The Good Stuff: Nick Stahl was very good. The Maine locations were put to evocative use. The inner workings of the family were interesting, especially the dynamic between the kid and his sisters.

The Not So Good Stuff: Mel in the lead role. I can deal with the whole he's-a-handsome-movie-star-playing-deformed-to-prove-what-a-serious-performer-he-really-is thing. I just think they should have cast an older actor with a more naturally academic air about him for the role.


The Good Stuff: Most of it is good. I've seen it many many times. Emotionally engaging throughout. I was shocked but thrilled by the violence. Perfect locations. Nearly flawless on the technical side.

The Bad Stuff: The weakling prince is about as broad a gay stereotype as could be imagined. Granted, this story takes place in the Dark Ages and King Edward is portrayed as a ruthless psychopath, but the way he throws his son's lover out the window seems to have been played for laughs, and that is pretty sick.

The Passion of the Christ:

The Good Stuff: Again, pretty flawless on the technical front. It did what it set out to do in with amazingly vivid detail. It is undeniably a powerful visceral experience.

The Bad Stuff: There may have been a couple drippings from the Sermon of the Mount, but Jesus' teachings are all but lost in a whirlwind of torture. I am no one's idea of model Catholic, but Jesus said some wonderful stuff, and none of it resonates in this movie. As for Jew-hating, I wouldn't go quite that far. The Romans, not the Hebrews, are the ones who perform the overwhelming majority of the torture, but the movie at least attempts to give Pontius Pilate some depth as a human being that few of the Jewish characters receive. A little balance would have helped out here.

As for Mel Gibson, the human being... I've never met him. From everything I've read and seen, he strikes me as a man of extreme emotions and opinions. Obviously, he's got some serious demons and doesn't know how to deal with them gracefully. Addicts seldom do. I am not exusing his behavior, but other people rape and kill when they're drunk. He didn't. He made some bigoted remarks. I've heard lots of people make bigoted remarks, but I don't think ALL of them are irretrievably racist. I like to think that forgiveness, compassion, and personal experience can help them eventually see past their hatred and igonorance. I hope the same for Mel Gibson. So would Jesus.

And Crane, as far as I know, the MPAA has no authority over your blog. If you want to write the word "fuck," than in the name of Jesus Christ, write the word "fuck," and leave the asterisks to Satan, which we all know is a cloaked androgynous figure with a throaty voice and Nasty Big Pointy Teeth!

JudgeHolden said...

True -- Gibson didn't rape or murder anyone when he was drunk, which is good. As bad as his comments were and what they represented, he didn't pull an OJ, and we're all glad for that. But if we were in 1996 and Gibson had said these things on a drunk stop, you're right. He'd apologize for his bigoted remarks, we'd forgive him, and that would be it. But I think that because it's 2006, and we know about Gibson's virulently anti-semitic, Holocaust-denying father, and we've all seen Mel's anti-semitic treatment of Jews in The Passion, then what these comments do is give the public a glimpse inside his thought processes, and we can now all see how bad it is in there. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it's probably an anti-semite.

At 50, I think Gibson's views on the Chosen People are pretty much set, but I still hold out hope that he can change his ways. What I'm saying is that, if he decides to do that, he's got some 'splaining to do, and having a sit down heart-to-heart with Jewish leaders is not going to be enough.

And yes, I should just say fuck when I want to. Maybe I'll just start. Maybe I just will.

And Paul -- I'm totally with you about how criticism of Israel's foreign policy shouldn't be equated with anti-semitism. Some of the neocons who got us into Iraq were Jewish, and when people criticized the "neocons", calling them a "cabal" some of the neocons, including Scooter Libby, thought it was just code for Jewish, and complained about it. They thought criticizing the so-called neoconservatives was anti-semitic, which is frickin' crazy, not to mention dangerous.

blankfist said...

Dude! You deleted my "anonymous" post. Haha! I put that up here as a joke. I guess you didn't read it.

Brian O'Malley said...

I believe the Jews killed Christ and I continuanly hold them accountable for it. I too believe the Holocaust is a fiction invented and perpetuated by the Jews. I also believe there is a cabal of Jews who scheme and conspire, not unlike the Jews depicted in the classic racist tract, The Protocols of the Ancient Elders of Zion.

So what of it? Jews look funny.

Peggy said...

If Mel wants to protect his career, he should just hate the atheists, like everyone else.