Maureen Dowd: Mel’s Tequila Sunrise

MoDo takes on Mad Max.

Mel’s Tequila Sunrise
Published: August 2, 2006

My mom always warned me to stay away from tequila.

She would have given the same advice to Mel. She loved Mel, and always thought he would have been perfect for the role of Michael Collins, the romantic fighter for Irish independence who came to a bloody end in a roadside ambush in 1922.

Michael Collins came a cropper in County Cork, not County Quirk, as Mel Gibson did, careering along the same Pacific Coast winding yellow brick road where Robert Downey Jr. and Nick Nolte were snagged by the Malibu police in other momentous events in American history.

Mr. Gibson appears to believe that the Jews control everything. It is an ancient anti-Semitic insult. But now that he has gotten into trouble for his bigoted views, he has thrown himself at the mercy of the object of his bigotry.

He said he wants to ‘meet with leaders in the Jewish community, with whom I can have a one-on-one discussion to discern the appropriate path for healing.’

He added: ‘I am in the process of understanding where those vicious words came from during that drunken display, and I am asking the Jewish community, whom I have personally offended, to help me on my journey through recovery.’

It’s not the first time he’s gotten in trouble for intolerance. When Braveheart came out in 1995, Mr. Gibson ranted and raved when Frank Bruni, then the movie critic for The Detroit Free Press, asked him about some reportedly homophobic remarks he had made three years earlier to a Spanish-language magazine. The magazine quoted him as saying that he became an actor ‘despite’ the fear that it might lead people to assume he was gay. Ecce homo! He told Frank that the arbiters of political of correctness were ‘tantamount to Nazis.’

Now that the volatile Mr. Gibson has pleaded for guidance from leaders of the American Jewish community, I decided to consult the only one I know. I asked Leon Wieseltier, the author of Kaddish and the literary editor of The New Republic, how he would help Mel heal.

‘He has been a very bad goy,’ Leon said.

‘It is really rich to behold Gibson asking Jews to behave like Christians. Has he forgotten how bellicose and wrathful and unforgiving we are? Why would a people who start all the wars make a peace? Perhaps he’s feeling a little like Jesus, hoping that the Jews don’t do their worst and preparing himself for more evidence of their disappointing behavior.

‘I have always wondered why people who believe that we control the world do not have more respect for us. Take that cop who arrested Gibson. Do you think it was a coincidence that he was a Jew? We have been following Gibson’s every move since he released that movie. The other night, when our uniformed brother spotted him bobbing and weaving in his star car, we saw an opportunity and we took it. Don’t blame us. It’s what Yahweh would do.

‘When Officer Mee busted him, we all busted him.

‘Moreover, it is the elders’ considered view that whereas alcoholism may require a process of recovery, anti-Semitism is a more intractable and less chic failing. This was not a moment of insanity, even if Gibson is insane. His hatred of Jews was plain in his movie and in his twisted defense of it, which was made when he was sober under the influence of his primitive world view. Perhaps he thinks that all he needs to do is spend a few months in AA – Anti-Semites Anonymous – and find some celebrity sponsor and run for absolution to Larry Zeiger, I mean Larry King, where he can say with perfect sincerity that the Holocaust was a terrible thing and gut yontif.

‘But the elders have instructed Larry to be strict with the uncircumcised offender. He is to appear only opposite American Idol and in the company of David Gest.

‘We understand that Gibson cannot do it alone. But why do we have to do it with him? We would find it hard to be in a room with him unless, of course, he wants to count some money with us. Why doesn’t he turn to the vast number of his Christian brothers and sisters who show no trace of anything resembling his disgusting prejudice?

‘Mad Max is making Max mad, and Murray, and Irving, and Mort, and Marty, and Abe. But we’re not completely heartless. If he wants to do Shylock at dinner theater, fine. If he agrees to fill his swimming pool with Kabbalah water, fine.’

Then Leon was just too aggravated to speak. He mumbled something in Aramaic and hung up.

The Discussion: 2 Comments

Hitchins also wrote something really great on Slate.

August 2, 2006 @ 5:04 am | Comment

What a pleasant surfeit from the diet of finding out what really happened on 911 for Ms. Dowd.

If Mel wasn’t so busy trying to figure out whether the 6th commandment was a “God or Caesar” issue meaning he had to suport the flaming Bush instead of his fellow Catholic, maybe he could help on 911 issues – like who was in charge of this insult to America?

If Mel played Teddy R, do you think he would make an artistic change, favoring real murder over carrying a dumb stick like our courageous leader has done? He could marry the “too” roles – torturing two suspected terrorists with just one dog.

So, now that Maureen has a little rest, maybe she can find out why the secret service didn’t decide to protect the president of the United States until after the skies were safe on 911.

August 2, 2006 @ 6:52 am | Comment

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.