Andrew Klavan on Mel Gibson

On the whole Mel Gibson broo-ha-ha, here’s the best post that I’ve read about Mel.  It’s by Andrew Klavan.  Here are my favorite quotes from Klavan’s piece:

By far, the saddest part of the tape for me was the sequence where Gibson, in the midst of his rage-fueled rant, pauses to tell Grigorieva he will continue to take care of their child and allow her to live in the house he’s provided.  It’s like a little flickering glimpse of the man God intended Gibson to be; a candle at the bottom of a well.

And look, this is not meant to pass high judgement on the guy.  We’ve all got problems, every one of us, and we all do and say things that degrade us and that we regret.  To see Hollywood strike a condemnatory pose against Gibson (he was dropped by talent agency William Morris) while it tries to sanctify child rapist Roman Polanski is almost as disgusting as Mel’s rant.

Mel Gibson is one of the great film artists of our generation – a generation that has produced enough conformist, leftist, small-minded cinematic tripe to stock a fish market.  Amidst that nonsense, he has created characters as an actor and films as a director that put forward the possibility of sacrificial love in a world of cruelty, sin and madness.  Which is to say:  he has told the truth well.

And here’s something from the comments that I appreciate:

This is the best commentary I’ve read on the whole Gibson mess. He’s never tried to present himself as someone who knows better than us. He’s never lectured us, and he’s always admitted to being a sinner (as are we all). Because of this, I am sad more than angry.  Poor guy, he’s at the top of my prayer list.

Amen to that!  And, BTW, I admire Whoopi Goldberg for sticking by her defense of Mel Gibson, notwithstanding all the criticism she has received for that.  She is honestly communicating her impressions of the man, and she doesn’t feel that she has to modify that to conform to what the herd tells her to think.

At the same time, Mel does have serious issues.  Here is a list of psychologists’ ideas about what those issues are.  He needs help, and I hope that he gets it: from therapy, from his faith, from a support network, etc.

I don’t watch too many Robert Downey, Jr. movies, but I admire him for reaching out to Mel Gibson after Mel’s last meltdown.  Robert Downey, Jr. is a recovering drug-addict, and so that may be why he’s not quick to judge others.  Mel said about him:

“He was one of the first people to call and offer the hand of friendship. He just said, ‘Hey, welcome to the club. Let’s go see what we can do to work on ourselves.’”

Downey doesn’t profess to be a Christian, but he has been Christ-like towards Mel Gibson, seeking to help him rather than condemn him. 

Like Michael Landon, Mel has a lot of good in him, and we’ve seen that in the movies he has made, as well as in the glimmer of love that was in his horrible rant.  But he has issues.  He’s not the “St. Mel” that many conservative evangelicals thought he was when he made The Passion of the Christ.  I hope and pray that he gets the help he needs.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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