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Mel Gibson As Metaphor For What Ails America

OK. Here’s my guilty summer confession: I can’t get enough of the Mel Gibson scandal. Let me preface this post by saying that I’m...

OK. Here’s my guilty summer confession: I can’t get enough of the Mel Gibson scandal.

Let me preface this post by saying that I’m hardly one for celebrity gossip. I have no idea who Justin Bieber is. I don’t care whether Jennifer Aniston wants kids or not. And despite former Politics Daily colleague Emily Miller’s compelling argument for why we should all be taking The National Enquirer more seriously, I can’t stomach tabloids.

Still, when it comes to the ongoing Mel Gibson saga, I can’t look away. And I suspect I’m not alone. And that’s because — Australian accent notwithstanding — Gibson embodies a whole bunch of different ills plaguing America right now, which we’re trying, as a nation, to figure out. And as we do that, Gibson provides a convenient foil for examining our worst fears about ourselves as a country.
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While you’re there, you may also wish to check out my post on the growing trans-Atlantic tension over the BP-Lockerbie hearings this Thursday in the United States Senate.

Image: Mel Gibson by kjd via Flickr under a Creative Commons License.

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  1. BigLittleWolf July 27, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    Your metaphor works well, sadly. But I’m not sure that we forgive and forget quite so quickly, however American that is. We may give a semblance of forgiving and forgetting when we believe we’ve seen repentance.

    As for Mel, he made my “will not consume” list several years ago, and has stayed there. The revelations of recent months only confirm that choice.

  2. Karla July 27, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    Actually, I think Mel was born in NY and moved to Australia as a youngster.

    • delialloyd July 27, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

      yes, just discovered this on original post. thx for noting!

  3. Shelley July 28, 2010 at 9:46 am #

    I’ve thought along the lines of a will-not-consume list, after all I boycott restaurants and shops that piss me off. But I’ve long disliked Mel’s conservative approach to religion (didn’t realise he was a pseudo-Catholic) yet continued to enjoy his work. If I really knew a lot about many stars – I don’t like tabloids either – I’d be without entertainment, probably. I remember when I learned that heart throb Davy Jones (of the Monkees!) got married, I never bought another Tiger Beat magazine again; I just didn’t want to know (and think of the money I saved…). I’m very sad about Mel’s private life. Reading your Politics piece I was slightly reminded of Grisham’s Book The Chamber. I was pleased you had compassion for Mel; he really is a mess, isn’t he?

  4. Daryl Boylan July 29, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    I sadly fear you are too right about the Gibson mess;underneath the righteous condemnations is the all too real fear that he screams what too many mutter privately; worse, what more repress.
    As to the BP-Lockerbie tangle, have there been any flat-out denials (i.e., possible perjury?) of the connection? Sorry to be ignorant, but all I’ve heard is outrage that Scottish motives could even be questioned or that U.S. politicians have any right to ask.

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