Monday, July 31, 2006
"I own Malibu!"
"Perhaps I've been a bit too harsh." Nurse Diesel from"High Anxiety".
I used Gibson's anti-semitic slurs and his unfortunate arrest to point out that I have often heard many traditional, devout religious people make similar statements. I was implying that there seems to be an almost latent anti-semitism laying dormant in a lot of us. I received a comment on that post which I found offensive and subsequently removed, yet it pretty much proved my point. That being said, I really do not want to visit that topic again.
However, the comment harsh as it was, caused me to once again consider that what a person says or writes often comes off more harsh than the person intended. My citicism of Mel Gibson for example. Dianne Sawyer aired an earlier interview with him where he discussed issues he once had with addiction; drugs and alcohol. Evidently he has had something of a relapse, an experience I ought well to understand, as I'm always falling back to smoking my cigarettes. Much to the chagrin of my Dr. and my boss.
The interesting part of this morning's discussion was when Sawyer interviewed a psychologist, expert in addictions and he spoke about that place in the brain that finds gratification and relief when one indulges in any pleasure that can be addictive. It is to placate that need. In reference to Gibson, he does have a dark side, a suffering that accompanies his struggle and loneliness, and he has used substances to assuage that pain. His film work obviously is nourished and enriched by his torment. I understand that.
I immediately felt compassion for him and saw in his public apology a genuine sincerity, as well as pain and sadness. I sometimes pontificate and become hyper-critical of religious people, (who do the same thing - pontificate and act holier than thou) when they slip and fall and betray the same weaknesses and mistakes I am responsible for in my own life - if not for the grace of God...
Yet the refuge some may find in traditionalist religious discipline, maybe - just maybe - especially in the black and white world of ultra-traditionalism, becomes their refuge and help to keep them on the straight and narrow. Now of course our faith is our refuge and strength, as it should be. What I'm suggesting is that the more "fundamentalist" expressions of it may be an answer to the peciliar needs of those struggling with addiction or coming from a background of instability. Mel is known, or at least suspected of being a sedevacantist, ultra-traditionalist, as is his father.
Whatever, Mel has taught us a lesson, the bigger the ego, the bigger the fall sometimes. Gibson has probably realized he doesn't own Malibu by now, and it wasn't the Jews who got him in trouble either.
Check out "Mel's Church" on the "Cafeteria is Closed" for some more background on Gibson's traditionalism.