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the passion of the mel
looking past the mad man's unfortunate, definitive mouth-off
by alex b (@Lexistential)
7.16.10
pop culture

Mel Gibson is nuts. I can't think of an eloquent expression that surpasses the efficiency of my aforementioned four words. After dropping the N-word to threaten his Russian babymomma with gang rape, I don't doubt that Gibson is all over the place. (His proverbial marbles won't be all in the bag anytime soon, either.)

However, I can't say I'm too surprised at his horrific rant. Gibson's signature characters have always been fervent, unapologetic figures predisposed to rage. From the vengeful Max to merrily unhinged Martin Riggs, Gibson has always hinted at an explosion he would be only too delighted to set in motion. Even his heroic William Wallace revels in violence apart from virtue.

And now, complete with techno remix, Gibson's steady ticking has culminated in a spectacular apocalypse of his own making.

Given how hateful Gibson is, it's easy to point fingers and call him names in return. But, doing so really isn't worthwhile for me and the rest of the women and ethnic groups he so thoughtfully invoked. What I think is worth pointing out is that for all his Lethal Weapon movies, wealth, and Catholicism (Wow!) shtick, Gibson has nothing of real value.

And, he knows it.

As I read that Hollywood's business community talks of blacklisting him, my schadenfreude is rearing away. I'm glad Gibson is going to reap the consequences of his psychotic phone call, and I hope he never gets to make another Catholic movie ever again. But, as Hollywood is a fickle bitch that would forgive Gibson's morals if there's money to be made, I'm less concerned with his career consequences than I am with the personal circumstances that led him to lash out.

Apart from understanding that Gibson is still prone to the thick rage of a lifelong alcoholic, what seems truly significant to me are his divorced circumstances. Gibson no longer has the wife who sustained him (and most likely kept him in check) for nearly three decades. He likewise lost any sheen of Traditionalist Catholic, moral superiority after his affair with Grigorieva was revealed. After living as a high-handed family man for so long, Mel Gibson became the shmuck who cheated -- and knows he became a pathetic, older-guy joke.

Hence, the off-the-charts name-calling.

Let me be clear: I don't condone Gibson's rage for even a minute. I think his remarks rank pretty high on an abusive hate meter, and he should go on to reap what his mouth sowed. Unless he pursues change himself (without a court order), I don't believe rehab or therapy can produce a Kinder, Gentler Mel. An ego like Gibson's looks far too fundamentally set to learn new tricks.

I simply see Gibson as a man who misses his married life and cleaner image, and hasn't finished claiming responsibility for ruining both himself. Though he has yet to publicly apologize to anyone for his sound of fury, I believe he's a sorry case who irrevocably lost his greatest happiness and hates himself -- and everyone -- for it. Hating him brings no positive changes to his abusive nature.

So, on those grounds, I actually hope Mel Gibson finds his way back to a clearer, less rage-driven place of self-forgiveness. In spite of his appalling treatment of Grigorieva and viciously hateful sentiments, I pray that Gibson makes the decision to be a better person, and that he exchanges his proud, staunch fundamentalism for a more peaceful sense of faith.

After all, nobody deserves to have their worst moments set to bad techno. Hateful as he is, Mel Gibson can (and should) be better than that.


ABOUT ALEX B

An expert in coloring outside the lines while reading between them, Alex B has a head for business, bod for sin, and weakness for ice cream during all seasons. Apart from watching Bravo marathons and enjoying haute bites here and there, she writes about TV, pop culture, and coloring outside even more lines. She sneaks Tweets via @lexistential.

more about alex b

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COMMENTS

reem al-omari
7.16.10 @ 12:14p

"Mel Gibson is nuts," is about the only way to explain what in the world happened to him. Or maybe he's always been that way, it's just that there's more news about celebrities' private lives now than there were in the 80s and 90s when he was still a Hollywood commodity. Who knows? I just hope he fades into private life and keeps whatever dignity he has left for the sake of his seven or eight kids, or however many he has.

tracey kelley
7.16.10 @ 2:36p

I listened to about 30 seconds of the rant, and that was enough. Not only is he nuts, so is she.

Mel has a good body of work - but the bag of crazy is going to weigh him down.

alex b
7.16.10 @ 3:25p

Reem- Mel has always been volatile. Before, he had his wife & family life to keep him in check (muzzled), and doesn't have her (or his cushy image) anymore. Which adds more crazy to the already existing crazy. Now he's off-the-charts-apocalypto. (You'd think he'd set a better example for his soccer team of children, but apparently not.)

And it's a shame- up until "Passion of the Christ", I really enjoyed Gibson's work. I even liked "Braveheart"- which was entertaining, even though its historical accuracy is ridiculous.

I hope the guy finds the peace under all his anger. I don't know how he'll find it- I don't think conventional psychotherapy will help. But, maybe if he works on himself spiritually, he'll find his keys.

And, for the sake of all his kids (including his newest), I hope he sorts things out with Grigorieva.

dirk cotton
7.16.10 @ 7:46p

Yep, I think you nailed this one.



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