Fodder for a made-for-TV movie, I suppose.
Mel Gibson gets drunk, races around Malibu (where all the chic Hollywood alcoholics can be fashionably arrested these days), blurts out a few drunken slurs against Jews, and will now end up being more heavily analyzed in the media than OJ Simpson.
Here are a few things that bother me about this whole affair, listed in no particular order:
1. Mel is an actor for whom I have harbored some respect. I say this strictly as a technician: I am a (strictly amateur, overrated) actor myself, and I like his technique. I'm not always crazy about the material he chooses, but I'm sorry that a good actor can't just stick to what he knows best.
2. For all the coverage I heard on the radio this afternoon, you would never have known that: a) we're still fighting a war in Iraq; b) Israel and Lebanon are fighting (again!); c) global warming may or may not be a problem and is or is not responsible for the current heat wave across vast sectors of the country; d) the price of gas is still ridiculously high with only two and a half weeks remaining before our family vacation this year; and e) President Bush GAINED 4 POUNDS OVER THE PAST YEAR.
That's right, Mel's drunken racial slurs were more important than the Leader of the Free World gaining as much weight in one whole year as I can gain over dinner tonight. Imagine that.
3. Jim Thornton, who is easily the cheesiest of the local talking-head radio news anchors in Los Angeles was positively wetting himself over the thought that they will pursue this story until we are so sick of Mel Gibson that we will offer him in trade for Lebanese prisoners of war. Do us a favor, Jim. Go back to traffic reporting. At least when you anchored the morning commute, traffic actually got covered. Now you guys have that lame "Extended Traffic on the Fives," wherein you never ONCE mention my freeway in the 45 minutes it takes me to drive it. Like today, when my freeway actually had an accident that tied up the 22 for a solid five miles, which is the only reason I had resorted to listening to your station in the first place this afternoon. This is why I listen to KUSC most days. Mmmm. Rachmaninov.
4. Someone needs to explain to me, please, why the idea that the police debated whether to "release" Mel's drunken tirades is evidence of a "cover up." Covering up what, precisely? Does that mean that the police have the responsibility - nay, the duty - to release every drunken tirade by every gangsta, doper, con, prostitute, or murderer that they happen to arrest? Or is this the media's tantrum over not having papparazzi in place to photograph the whole sordid affair so we can be bombarded with this story seventy-two times a day for the next three months? Hint, media guys: WE DON'T CARE. Really. Just drop it. You have our permission. Go back to faking your photos of Qana.
5. NOTE TO JEWISH COMMUNITY LEADERS AND ACTIVISTS: Mel has apologized - profusely, by Hollywood standards - and asked for forgiveness. Don't you people have much more repugnant enemies out there that really need your attention and energy? Move on, for corn's sake.
So, I will have to avoid radio news for the next few weeks, much as I was forced to during the entire Michael Jackson Show Trial. At least this time I'm not worried about Mel sleeping with young boys at his ranch.
But heaven help them if they get in the car with him.
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