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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Mel's Der Sturmer moment.

Grim--and more than a little embarrassing, given the pixels I emitted defending him and his film project in 2003 and 2004.

As I've said in the past, the anti-Semitic cast of too many traditionalists is one thing that repels me from joining their ranks.

A couple of things to keep in mind, though:

(1) I'm not sure how far the fruit can fall from the tree, but remember what he was raised with. Yes, he loves his father (with many good reasons), but his father is, to put it charitably, a Jew-hater. Being raised around such views is unhealthy, to say the least. But--we have to judge Mel by Mel's actions, not Hutton's. His public (and near as we can tell, private) behavior is light years from that of his father.

(2) In vino veritas is mostly, if not totally, bullshit. Getting hammered on alcohol makes you a staggering, slurring id machine--it does not reveal "the real you."

I've been blind, stinking drunk on a few occasions, none in the last 10-12 years (with age comes some painfully earned wisdom). Least memorably, at one Christmas party held by the grocery store I worked at in the mid-80s to early 90s. I say "least memorably" because I remember nothing of the last two hours, culminating in a dignity-affirming bout of barfing all over myself. I have it on eyewitness authority that I was a belligerent jerk who had to be rescued by co-workers from a pending fistfight. Apparently, I ordered a less-inebriated gentleman to vacate "my seat," liberally using the f-bomb. Naturally, I hadn't sat in that seat at any point during the evening. The only reason I didn't get clocked was, and I quote: "Even though you were acting like a jackass, the other guy is an asshole sober. Everybody hates him."

To make a long story short, the drunken thing I was that evening wasn't the "real" me. The only thing people really learned about me that night was that I can't handle clear spirits.

Likewise with Mel Gibson--the only thing we have learned about him is that he is an alcoholic in need of help.

Oh, and that he avoids passive-voice non-apologies for appalling conduct, too.

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Be reasonably civil. Ire alloyed with reason is fine. But slagging the host gets you the banhammer.