Mel drinks

When does interesting mean disgusting? When LA Times man Tim Rutten does a lead ‘graph on Mel Gibson as noxious:

Given all that's been written and broadcast about the anti-Semitic tirade Mel Gibson delivered when he was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, it's interesting that the story's most significant implication barely has been touched. [Italics added]

If Gibson were not a wealthy and widely admired celebrity, he'd be just another lush dragging around a mental rat's nest of kooky opinions and morbid animosities. However, he's not a noxious nobody; he's a noxious actor and filmmaker dragging around a mental rat's nest of kooky opinions and morbid animosities [repeated for emphasis] — and the only part of this affair that legitimately concerns anyone but Gibson and his family is whether any of those views made their way into his work.

And on goes Rutten, telling us what’s so darn interesting, i.e. disgusting, about it. “The press” — good for him, leaving stupid TV out of it — has not “reopened discussion” of Gibson’s movie “The Passion of the Christ,” which depended too much on Matthew’s gospel and what an anti-semitic nun wrote two centuries ago and in any case had a “sadomasochistic aura.”

Or did it? Rutten can’t quite say so but uses the venerated “some . . . argued” expression, allowing him to make the point while shrugging his shoulders. Not even neatly done, Rutten. But it’s interesting how you do it.

There’s more, which you can find here if you are willing to surrender some of your marketing demographics to his employer.

However: If kooky and morbid stuff came out of Gibson when roaring drunk, we know it was in him, else how did it come out? But his defenders, including the Jewish ones, hadn’t seen it from him in his sober moments, that is, moments when he was in control. I do believe our character depends on the latter moments. In this I am in tune with (a) how our society judges people — temporary insanity, anyone? and (b) the Catholic Christian teaching I grew up on, and millions of others too.

Rat’s nests? Please, we all have them, of one kind or another. Question is, what do we do about them? Sober, Gibson has done just fine, his friends say. Drunk, he becomes a man possessed, as if by devils depicted in Matthew’s gospel. So open the envelope and name the exorcist, please, 12–step program or whatever cleanses him. That will be the interesting part.

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