Sunday, July 30, 2006


In Vino Veritas

The latin phrase means: "In wine there is truth." Or more specifically, if you drink too much alcohol, you may end up saying something like "The fucking Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." Such a drunken rant alledgedly spewed forth from the mouth of Mel Gibson, the Oscar winning director of Braveheart and The Passion of the Christ, after being pulled over for reportedly driving 80 miles an hour while under the influence of alcohol. The statement would seem to support ongoing claims that Gibson is anti-semitic. Admittedly, it does seem like an odd thing to say after being pulled over for driving drunk. More to the point, Gibson, who apologized for his statements, is an admitted alcoholic and is seeking treatment once again for his addiction. In a cult of personality, that is Hollywood, will this be the statement that undoes Gibson's career? I doubt it. Even if a vocal group of protestors attempts to boycott his upcoming films, Gibson's statements will not be his downfall. (The quality of his films -- ummm, Apocalypto? -- are a whole other issue.) Remember, Jane Fonda survived similar boycotts for her views of the Vietnam War.

Jane Fonda's anti-war activism and Mel Gibson's apparent anti-semitism are two different things. Yes, I don't think this is the total end of Gibson's career, but I think he will lose a good portion of ticket buyers from people who are insulted by his statements.

I am not seeing Apocalyto. First, because the trailer looks horrible. Second, because I'm not supporting him.
I agree with Michael. Two different things. A significant portion of Americans were against the war by the time of Hanoi Jane's exploits. And while she did encourage Air Force pilots to disobey orders in battle, stand proudly in front of weapons designed to shoot down Americans and present Hanoi's fictional account of US prisoner treatment as truth (all very bad things actually), it was in the name of a sentiment that was on the ascent--namely the involvement in the war was a mistake. By the time she made Coming Home, that was a fairly mainstream way of thinking. I can only hope that Mel's tyrade doesn't also contain at its essence a principle that America is warming up to!
Gibson was certainly a big star prior to Passion of the Christ. However, his new found "evangelical/fundamental christian" audiences are probably not going be as forgiving (ironic isn't it?) about either the drunkeness or the anti-christlike tirade. They can probably overlook breaking the speed limit law though...after all what good christian hasn't been late to church a from time to time and had to go 80 through a residential area to make it to church before the singing was over?!?

But I digress. These folks may not be his fans of Lethal Weapon or other early work, but they did warm up to him because they believed that he made the Passion of the Christ because it was HIS passion as well. They will see his behavior as incongruent with Christianity (at least with evangelical/fundamental Christianity) which is the group that latched on to the movie. I think this group will not be so passionate about Mel.
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