Tuesday, August 01, 2006

hitchens to mel-g: cleaners, now.

There are times when I can't stand Christopher Hitchens, but he's so very readable when he takes up cudgels with the aid of spitting sarcasm and righteous rage.

On Mel Gibson's latest show of crazy.

He is given to furious tirades against homosexuals of the sort that make one wonder if he has some kind of subliminal or "unaddressed" problem. His vulgar and nasty movies, which also feature this prejudice, are additionally replete with the cheapest caricatures of the English. Braveheart and The Patriot are two of the most laughable historical films ever made. He has told interviewers that his wife, the mother of his children, is going to hell because she subscribes to the wrong Christian sect. And it has been obvious for some time to the most meager intelligence that he is sick to his empty core with Jew-hatred.

Not quite internally consistent there himself with the disavowal of homophobia, if you ask me - "unaddressed" problem? More like unaddressed "problem," Kitchens - but forgivable, considering how much irony is slathered over the article. And I love that he brought up this thing as a primary accusation: Mel Gibson makes really, really bad films.

MEL GIBSON. What a - what a. What a what? Identifying him as one of any parts of the male genitalia would be too kind, and I suspect he would consider it a compliment.

Alas, Kitchens. If only mocking the stupid ever made a difference in the real world.

(P.S. I don't enjoy South Park a whole lot, but I did watch 'The Passion of the Jew' and thought it was wonderfully unforgiving.)


  1. Hey, I liked Braveheart. Don't be dissin Mel for Passion of the Christ. The market wanted a Christ movie with lots of blood and gore, and that's what they got. The movie made more than 300 million dollars world wide, more money than all the other Jesus movies combined.

  2. Oh, and of course making movies the public wants to see exempts you from all criticism. My apologies.

  3. Are you 100% passionate about all the work you do? Doesn't it drag sometimes? Don't you do it for the paycheque?

    It's the same thing for him.

  4. First, I say not that no one should criticise me for working for money. It's a mockable thing.

    Second, I'm not sure Mel Gibson makes films like The Passion just for the money. As he amply demonstrated, he really does have some sort of 'unaddressed problems' with Jews (and gays, and women, and blacks). Going by your logic, he's prostituting his art for money. And I'm just not sure he has art.

    Finally, no matter if his kids were starving and his mum working three jobs to put food on the table, if he made a bad film, I would call it a bad film.

  5. apparently mel gibsons dad believes that the holocaust never happened and was some kind of zionist conspiracy.
    The idiots in this world never cease to amaze me.

  6. It almost amazes me how people focus on Gibson's films or his xenophobia when the issue at hand--as far as I can tell--should be his DUI. It's not something that's taken seriously enough, I think, whether the perpetrator is a movie star or not. My grandmother died in my father's arms in an accident caused by a drunk driver. He was seven years old at the time. Aside from the fact that my father came close to dying--and I, therefore, came close to never existing--I never knew my grandmother because some drunk Navyman thought that he could drive when he couldn't. There's no excuse for that.

  7. What does doing a movie like Passion of the Christ have to do with Art, Anti Semitism or anything? That's like criticizing some Jain financiers for making a movie on Shiva or Ganesha. They're usually crappy, low budget, and immensely successful.

    It's all about trying to find your target audience, and trying to act, walk, talk and be like one of them.

  8. @ szerelem: Hitchens sold me on his article talking about that bit. Too funny.

    @ nicole: What a harrowing thing to happen to your dad. You're right that people should be giving him more hell for DUI. However, in terms of celebrity influence and the commonality of occurrence, I can see why they'd treat his anti-Semitism as something far more disturbing. They both make him non-existent as a role model, but his foul-mouthed drivel probably evokes more of a reaction because the rot it exposed is less 'addressable' (word of the day).

    (And while we're on the subject, allow me to say that I am glad indeed of your existence.)

    @ sriram: Hey, you made it about art when you practically said that he was doing films like this in spite of the fact that he probably got bored and cried himself to sleep for woe of not being able to make the sort of films he actually liked. Are you really saying that there's no difference between a crowd-pleaser like Pirates of the Caribbean and The Passion? What sort of films do you think he'd like to make? What Women Want, possibly the sorriest and most sexist excuse for a romantic comedy ever made? Apart from the badness of the analogy, why wouldn't I call bullshit on a Jain financier who made a bad film about anything, including Shiva or Ganesha? If you're saying he did this solely as a public service and has no attachment to the film beyond commercial motivation, erm, sorry. Still don't see how that absolves him of the responsibility of making shit.

  9. you might like this:
    its an article in cracked.com, on the Man Himself.

  10. viv: My thanks. Please accept in return this Onion article.

    ""I tend to have problems pitching to studio executives," Christ said. "Last week, I appeared in a vision before a D-girl at Sony, and I said, 'Be not afraid, for I am Jesus—I have written a treatment and Matthew McConaughey is interested in the role of Herod.' Apparently, she was a little freaked-out by the vision and she ended up passing on the idea. Ron said that next time I should just schedule a lunch meeting like everyone else.""

  11. I don't enjoy South Park a whole lot, but I did watch 'The Passion of the Jew' and thought it was wonderfully unforgiving.


  12. The article seems somewhat opportunistic, in the sense that the tirade (going by the tone, not the content) Hitchens wanted to launch against Gibson didn't need the DUI booking. However, one can give 'Hitch' the benefit of the doubt, since he does have a case.

    But I can't see how you can criticise anyone for caricaturing the English. Given their criminal history, the racism and xenophobia still rampant in their society, and their own depictions of any kind of foreigners (particularly brown-skinned ones), I'd say that if any one people are to be caricatured, the English ought to be first in line.

    (I realize this was a tangent and I don't intend to hijack the topic of your post to further any personal agenda, but I can't get past the hypocrisy of it somehow being okay to mock all Arabs for the acts of a few or the Germans for the sins of a generation, but sparing the English, whose crimes weren't just committed by a generation, but an entire civilization.)

  13. @Andy E. "the racism and xenophobia still rampant in their society, and their own depictions of any kind of foreigners (particularly brown-skinned ones)," Hang on a minute! That's no England that I recognise and I speak as an English citizen of Indian ethnicity. Cite your sources! I am truly amazed at this attack on contemporary English society.

  14. Andy: I'm not sure how to respond, other than to say that every culture in the world deserves to be mocked if the criterion is that they have evil in their past. Who do they deserve to be mocked by? The people they oppressed? Other oppressors who have turned on them because they're bored? People who know nothing about them in reality but jumped on to the bandwagon? Or people who don't really know anything about them but decided to laugh at them for an entirely different reason?

    Seriously. I think Britain's colonial past is unmercifully ribbed in a lot of places (and most of all in Britain itself), but having it done by someone who really doesn't care how many people they enslaved and mistreated but thinks they all have bad teeth and deviant sexual tendencies? *shrug*

    bina, hey! nice to see you. :)

  15. anonymouse1:26 am