Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Subtext – Crazy Mel’s Tirade

I cannot resist blogging about this. I apologize for being a little off-topic.

We all know that Mel
went crazy last Friday on the Pacific Coast Highway. He screamed at Deputy Mee, “Are you a Jew?” He also said, “F***ing Jews… The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” These statements are not only in the Deputy’s report but also corroborated by audiotape. So now the entire world is wondering, “was Mel’s drunken rant a revelation of true character and his true feelings about the Jews? Does this mean he has those same crazy ideas about the holocaust like his father?”

In other words, the world wants to know:

“What’s the subtext to Mel’s tirade?”

Consider the scene. Mel’s pulled over for speeding and reckless driving. This is a man who has been propelled into the heights of wealth and superstardom. After Passion he obtained obscene wealth overnight and suffered extreme media scrutiny and was forced to go into extreme isolation. Then the fanatics came at him from all over to find him and in some cases stalk him to the point where he had to up his private security and issue restraining orders. There was also extreme hatred and accusations of anti-Semiticism. Need we forget the vitriolic hatred flung at Spielberg for Munich? “Spielberg is no friend of Israel. Spielberg is no friend of truth,” wrote Jack Engelhard in ynet news.

It’s a rough world out there, and a passion project is not for the weak or the faint of heart.

So here’s Mel pulled over on the Pacific Coast Highway. He’s been pulled over for this kind of thing
at least twice before, and they always let him go. He’s accustomed to being treated with kid gloves. However, on this day, Deputy Mee is taking this matter very seriously (as well he should). The realization settles in with Mel that he is actually going to arrest him and this scandal may very well ruin his career.

Then the tirade begins.

Mel may have anti-Semitic views, he may not. We don’t really know from this horrible moment because I would suggest to you (if I was analyzing this as a scene) that his tirade was really about his feeling that the Deputy was treating him “unfairly” to the point of suspecting that he's Jewish and bent on taking him in and humiliating him for making Passion. Everyone else let him go. Why is this man taking him in? His tirade is more about his own paranoia than anything else. He’s behaving like a cornered animal. He's trying to do everything he can to get out of this disaster that he got himself in to. His words were meant to antagonize the Deputy into doing something stupid so he could have an easy excuse to get out of trouble. When you try to rile someone into a fight, you say things you may not actually believe because the point is to incite a reaction. And you have to hand it to Deputy Mee. He kept his composure while dealing with a very volatile situation that could’ve gotten much uglier than it already was.

Everything Mel did last Friday was reprehensible and he deserves to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. However, when a person reaches the height of superstardom like Mel has, this kind of behavior is actually not that surprising. I’m reminded of a comment made by Tina Brown (from Vanity Fair)
about Princess Diana in the early days after she married Charles. She described how her ascension to superstardom will affect her as it affects everyone, that the first stage in her removal from life “is an adversarial mood toward the press. The second stage is ‘Graceland,’ when the real world melts away altogether.”

Make no mistake, Mel Gibson is IN Graceland.


Mickey Lee said...

Good analysis of the subtext! Truth truly is stranger than fiction...

Unknown Screenwriter said...

I like it! Good post.


GimmeABreak said...

Alcohol removes/reduces inhibitions. Ugly as it may be, what is said under the influence of drink is usually closer to what the speaker really thinks than what comes out of the mouth when sober.

Mel meant every word he said.

miriamp said...

LOL. We were just talking about this at work and wondering if it has anything to do with the fact that Israel is still bombing Hezbollah.

Anonymous said...

Oh, please... he's one of the wealthiest men in the world, he can't afford a cab? Or a limo on stand-by? He's issued press releases after his other arrests for drunken driving (not just the times the Malibu police gave him celebrity justice) stating that he's an alcoholic and he's over 50. He still can't figure out that you don't drink and drive?

Long ago, my therapist explained that alcohol lowers inhibitions (I don't recall anyone suggesting that it increases manipulative powers vis a vis your theory of Mel's action) so I agree with Anon 1 that it's more likely that he was spewing anti-semitic vitrol becasue that is how he really feels... not that he was being a cunning fox and attempting to manipulate the deputy.

crossword said...

...it's really too bad. His stock just went down a few points (okay, a helluva lot of points) by betraying his true self in this manner.

Mickey Lee said...

Stock went down? You're being too kind. I'd say his stock has been reduced to junk bond status at this point.

crossword said...

Yeah, I was being charitable :)

But what is it with stars and alcohol these days? Wasn't David Hasselhoff involved in a drunken thing and wasn't allowed on a plane a few weeks ago? Then Jackie Chan turned up drunk (allegedly) in front of an audience.

I don't think everyone is perfect, of course. But Gibson in particular has some deep underlying problems.

Mystery Man said...

He most certainly does! I'll tell you why, fame's a bitch! Massive money, extreme media scrutiny, horrible bouts of seclusion, every little venture into the public is filled with worry and dread, and all the people in your life aren't being "real" with you - who wouldn't crack up?

To Anonymous and Gimmeabreak, I must say that I honestly appreciate your thoughts. I would NOT argue with your opinions. He may very well be saying exactly how he feels about Jews. At the same time, he's picking a fight. He's trying to incite a reaction out of the Deputy so he can get out of this mess (many people who get arrested behave this way).

People say things they don't mean every day when they're picking a fight, especially married couples. :)

nena eskridge said...

I see what you mean, Mr. Man. Angelina Jolie has attained great wealth and what a brat she is. Contributing 1/3 of her income to charity and adopting those starving children. Yep, fame does terrible things to a person.


MaryAn Batchellor said...

Not defending Mel's behavior but that was a damned good mug shot.

Mystery Man said...

Hehehe... MaryAn, comments like that is exactly why I said that your blog is "fabulous."

Nena, if I didn't know any better, I'd say that you're actually ARGUING with me. Bring it on! Hehehe... Let me just say that when you become rich and famous, I will expect nothing less from you than inspirational charity work. And if you starting cracking up like Mel, I will hunt you down and straighten your ass out. :)

nena eskridge said...

What? Me, argue. Never. Not my nature. Hey, is that subtext?!