Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Time Served

On the subject of anti-Semitism, some invisible gate seems to have been opened for Mel Gibson and he's sauntering back into Hollywood. He has a movie coming out he directed, Hacksaw Ridge, the first since everyone started talking about his anti-Semitic rants and for some reason generally ignored voice mails he left for his girlfriend saying he hoped she would be "raped by a pack of niggers" because she dared to speak back to him when he told her she ought to "just be quiet and blow me." Unlike his anti-Semitic remarks, he has never publicly apologised for this although he did take her to court, and won, because she was present when Howard Stern implied Gibson physically abused her and did not contradict the radio host, thereby losing $500,000 in settlement money for which she was required not to discuss alleged abuse at Gibson's hands.

I really liked Machete, the Robert Rodriguez movie starring Danny Trejo--it was generally loved by critics and audiences. The sequel featured Mel Gibson and no-one had anything much good to say about it and it didn't do half as well at the box office. I didn't see it, I'm not sure why--as someone who watches a lot of old movies--yesterday's Oliver Twist review is a good example--I can't skip films just because the director had some backward or deplorable opinion or another. I don't think Gibson's movies are that good, the ones he's directed. I will happily watch movies he's acted in--the first three Mad Max movies and The Year of Living Dangerously are great. But I don't understand why he's suddenly now getting something he didn't have with The Expendables 3, Machete Kills, Get the Gringo, and The Beaver--good buzz. Coinciding with a court case that ruled improbably in his favour based on a very tortured interpretation of a radio interview. I'm not a conspiracy theorist but I can't help feeling like something is going on in the background when I see something like this.

Throughout the whole drama between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, I was a little surprised at how many people were quick to take sides--not counting friends of the two. It's a bit like why I don't understand Atheists who get angry with Agnostics. Yeah, I agree there's no evidence for God and I don't consider myself "spiritual" but why do I have to believe or disbelieve? I don't know what colour the floors are in the JFK airport bathrooms, do I have to decide anyway? With the Depp/Heard divorce, it seemed to me an interesting case of two kinds of prudence colliding like clouds in a thunderstorm: because there's a long history of abuse victims' claims being dismissed out of hand, one should believe the victim when they say they've been abused. At the same time, we have a legal system where people are famously "innocent until proven guilty." And there's a very good reason for that--a system where anyone accused is assumed guilty is vulnerable to obvious abuse. Mel Gibson reminds me why people are so vehement to take the side of someone who says she's a victim of abuse because it seems like in this case, unlike the Depp/Heard story, no-one cares.

Twitter Sonnet #909

A winning marble fades among the geese.
In climax viewed by ants a foot approached.
In paper bills, the names dispersed in peace.
In scissor shapes, the troops perforce encroached.
Correctly guessed, the jar will vomit beans.
In powdered lines the wind destroyed the coke.
An airport built from drugs for none redeems.
So send his airy lordship out to soak.
A sinking sloop abandoned all its eels.
The space expands on sight for bully stars.
The oranges, apples, pears alike have peels.
Forgotten rinds combine in garbage bars.
Picked up on it quick, he said he was there.
Porridge belongs to someone else's bear.

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