Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Spoken Word

A team of horses can not pull back the spoken word.
~ Anonymous

An open letter to Mel Gibson:

Well, Mel, you screwed up, big time. Yes, you know it, I realize that. But apologies, no matter how responsible or sincere, are not going to make things right. You've got a ton of hard work ahead of you.

I've always thought you were a bit of a maniac. Never had the school-girl crush on you. In fact, I thought you were just another low-talent Hollywood pretty boy who had gotten lucky. Then, my teenaged (at the time) daughter dragged me to see you in "Hamlet" for some extra credit in her English class. I was dreading the experience, thinking "Mad Max Does Denmark, UGH!"

But, you shocked me: you were good! You were so good, in fact, that I felt compelled to re-evaluate you on all levels. I started watching all your movies from then on, and I became a full-fledged fan. "Braveheart" is one of my all-time favorite movies. I own a copy and watch it a couple of times a year. I also own a DVD of "The Passion of the Christ," and I watch that sometime during Lent each year. It's a riveting movie, very courageous film-making.

I never found "Passion" to be anti-Semitic, but what does a nice Catholic girl know? To me, it appears to be telling the story as the Gospels present it. In my opinion, the superpower Romans come off as the bad guys in the movie, just as they do in the New Testament. But, as you yourself said in your statement, "this is not about a film." This is about your issues, and Mel, you'd better get a grip on them if you want to live to see all of your kids grow up.

Alcoholism kills. It is a fatal illness if left untreated. You've got it in quite a robust presentation. You're suffering from alcoholism severely enough to drink yourself stupid, get into a car inebriated, drive drunk at the speed of light, endangering every human being anywhere near your vehicle, including the peace officers who apprehended you. You were angry enough at having your drunken fun spoiled that you threw up all over the cops, so to speak. You launched an intoxicated verbal attack and, in the process of hurting others, you wounded yourself badly. Now, quite justifiably, you have to live with the consequences of all the ugly things that you said.

Your enemies, as I'm sure you know, are having a field day. Everyone, both inside and outside Hollywood, who hated your success with "Passion" are spewing almost unbelievable venom about you. They are erupting in orgasmic frenzies of hate-speech about your hate-speech. Odd that they don't seem to catch the irony in that.

But you can't let that deter you from what you need to do to stay alive, and I don't mean as an A-lister. First, get well. Get yourself into rehab, stay there. Work the Steps. Live one day at a time. Come home to your family clean and sober. Any possible good that can come of this mess starts there.

After all that, and only after all that, start making amends to all the people you have wronged, most particularly the Jewish community, of course. You may want to do something reparational for the officers involved in your arrest, too. And, incidentally, how your wife puts up with all of your nonsense is beyond understanding. Be good to your family, Mel; you've brought them a lot of heartache.

I wish you a happy ending, but that's entirely up to you. Good luck, Mel. See you at the movies.