Mel Gibson really put his foot in it this week. After being pulled over for driving drunk, he inexplicably let fly with an anti-Semitic torrent of abuse.
Accoding to CNN,
Gibson, the director of 1995's Oscar-winning "Braveheart" and 2004's controversial "The Passion of the Christ," was picked up by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies early Friday with a blood-alcohol level of 0.12 percent, the department said. California's legal limit is 0.08.
During his arrest, Gibson asked the arresting deputy whether he was a Jew and said, "F---ing Jews. The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world," according to a sheriff's report obtained by the entertainment Web site TMZ.com.
Bad enough. But by way of apology, Mel offered this baffler:
"I am in the process of understanding where those vicious words came from during that drunken display, and I am asking the Jewish community, whom I have personally offended, to help me on my journey through recovery," the statement continued.
Ah. So Mel seems baffled by the source of his anti-Semitic remarks. Where, oh where, did these vile words come from? Well, Mel, words spoken in anger (especially words unprovoked by the circumstances) are usually signs of highly-charged emotions just beneath the surface. An event unleashes a verbal expression that pretty accurately reflects what the person is thinking or feeling. Humor works the same way. When people "joke" with you about the same issue, there's usually a concealed message included, like a brick inside a cushion.
So, Mel, where could your ridiculous tirade have originated? Could it be from your membership in a right-wing fringe version of the Catholic Church that rejects every Church teaching since Vatican II? That would including the landmark 1965 document -- Nostra Aetate -- that put an end to official Church persecution of Jews. Could it be that your father denies the Holocaust, and you have refused to refute his stand?
Or is your dentist named Goldstein? What?
Mel's anti-Semitism is a sad by-product of his hateful community -- both family and Church. Neither based in reality or experience, it informs his artistic work (The Passion of the Christ in particular), his general thick-headedness and his drunken tirades. It's unfortunate that his association with a breakaway sect of the Roman Catholic Church impugns the rest of us. Sadly most people think he's a hyper-pious RC, when he's becoming a plain old nutjob.
Mel needs a shrink and a catechist, and the order doesn't matter.