Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher


Mel Gibson: Crazy, vicious creep

posted by Rod Dreher

When I heard the first audio clip of one of Mel Gibson’s crazy calls to his girlfriend — the angry, racist rant — I deliberately chose not to post it, though it was disgusting. I thought it ethically proper not to participate in broadcasting a private phone message now made public, however ugly I found its content, and even though that content had been released elsewhere (and I’d blogged on it). But now another one has been released, and the man really is a dangerous lunatic who ought to be slapped with a truckload of restraining orders, and who basically ought to be slapped, period. His ex-girlfriend might well be releasing these things to squeeze him to pay more child support for their baby, but given his violent threats, including a death threat, and his admission in one of the recordings that he had assaulted her at least once, it’s easy for me to imagine that she’s doing this to protect herself from being attacked by him. In which case, she is, in my view, justified. From this new tape (warning: Not Safe For Work):

Oksana: What kind of a man is that? Hitting a woman when she’s holding a child in her hands? Breaking her teeth twice in the face! What kind of man is that?
Mel: Oh, you’re all angry now! You know what, you f* cking deserved it!

A man who knocks a woman’s teeth out, especially when she’s holding a baby, does not deserve the protection a decent respect for privacy affords him. It’s one thing to respect a creep’s privacy when he expresses a nasty opinion. It’s another when he admits to having knocked a woman’s teeth out. Gibson deserves to be outed. What kind of man is that? Not much of one. It’s frightening to hear the rage in his voice. I have never spoken that way to a woman in all my life. I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to anybody like that. Anyway, he’s ruined now, and it’s hard to see that an injustice has been done to him. Should’ve thought about that before he raised his hand to the mother of his child. Man, do I hate wife-beaters (and child abusers). I fear his longsuffering ex-wife Robin, whom he left to take up with Grigorieva, has some stories of her own to tell.



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Matt

posted July 12, 2010 at 5:04 pm


I wish Mel wasn’t a Christian. Gives us a bad name.
The Gospel of John is a much better movie then The Passion.



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celticdragonchick

posted July 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm


Well, he will never work in this country again.
I haven’t seen somebody so badly in need of a psychiatrists couch in years. The man is mentally ill and needs competent help yesterday. I am not sure I will ever be able to even watch and enjoy any of his movies at this point.
captcha: war sickling



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m.e.graves

posted July 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm


I don’t want to make it sound like I’m trying to out-ethics anybody, but for some reason, I always find it difficult to cast judgment on people when the actions are this awful. Its probably just a defense mechanism, but I just find it difficult that this man is mentally healthy. Look at the violence in his recently directed movies (The Passion and Apocalypto.)
Maybe in my mind, I just have to believe that he’s crazy rather than just a jerk. If he’s mentally unbalanced, then it’s the result of a chemicals, or a rare mutation, etc.; but if he’s just a violent jerk, then that means that anybody is potentially capable of actions like this.
I will keep him in my thoughts. I hope that, if he is truly sincere about his Catholic beliefs, that he will spend some time studying the doctrines on how to treat one’s wife, one’s child, and the rest of humanity, as well.



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Rachel

posted July 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm


I have one slight problem with the new recording that has been unveiled. Doesn’t it sound a little odd that Mel Gibson is raspy and overwhelmed by static, and then Oksana is crystal clear in the foreground? It’s also odd that she doesn’t sound anywhere near as desperate as someone who was supposedly physically abused. Usually, when someone is in a physically abusive relationship, they make a point of begging forgiveness rather than argue that they’ve done no wrong. Despite how raunchy and ethically inappropriate it is, I can’t, for even a second, believe that this recording is genuine. To me, it sounds almost like someone is just trying to get attention, and they’re succeeding.



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Rachel

posted July 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm


To clarify, I wouldn’t put it past Mel to do something like this, considering his… interesting (for lack of a better word) choice in movie directives. I just think it would be a little more obvious to the public if he had, in fact, broken out Oskana’s teeth since broken teeth are a little harder to hide with makeup than bruises and black eyes.



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Jeff Culbreath

posted July 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm


Damn, that was painful. Mel needs to disappear in a good monastery and do penance for a while … a long while.



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Cecelia

posted July 12, 2010 at 5:42 pm


he has admitted to being an alcoholic – who for many years was not drinking due to his wife’s rigorous insistence that he do AA – he also admitted to “falling off the wagon” – I’d say – this guy is drinking and is way out of control.



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Dave Trowbridge

posted July 12, 2010 at 5:42 pm


“…the man really is a dangerous lunatic who ought to be slapped with a truckload of restraining orders, and who basically ought to be slapped, period.”
That’s right, let’s slap him to teach him that slapping people is wrong.



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Chuck Bloom

posted July 12, 2010 at 6:03 pm


To paraphrase Mel Brooks in the Mupper Movie, while torturing Miss Piggy,
“When he gets done, we won’t know his career from kosher ham.”
Besides, he sounds like he wants a role in Scream 4 or the next Saw movie. Which is about ALL he will be able to get after this.
Hey, why can’t the Academy DEMAND Gibson return his Oscars for “Braveheart.” He’s a disgrace to the profession and make you weep in sympathy for the like of Lindsay Lohan.



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MWorrell

posted July 12, 2010 at 6:04 pm


Utterly ruined, just like Alec Baldwin.



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Chuck Bloom

posted July 12, 2010 at 6:05 pm


MUPPET Movie, Chuck. Learn to type or Mel will … “call” you out.
BTW, this man is NO Christian. He may “claim” to be one but who would want to state they stand shoulder-to-shoulder with his amount of bile and hatred.
Of course, the person he hates the most is the man in the mirror.



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Liam

posted July 12, 2010 at 6:11 pm


He might also be what is known in recovery as a “white knuckle drunk”.



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GingerMan

posted July 12, 2010 at 6:21 pm


Despite how raunchy and ethically inappropriate it is, I can’t, for even a second, believe that this recording is genuine.
I haven’t listened to this (and don’t really want to) but the “optics” of your conclusion from a public relations standpoint don’t really make any sense. Gibson is a public figure, not just some random local business owner or school teacher or something. So, if this recording were in fact inauthentic, it is in his overwhelming personal and professional interest to denounce it as such immediately, loudly and very publicly.
To my knowledge, this has not happened. Given this fact, it seems much less probable to me that this recording could be a forgery in any sense of the word, sound quality notwithstanding.



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Robert

posted July 12, 2010 at 6:39 pm


According to many links on the internet he has bipolar disorder. I dunno. Just thought I’d throw it out there–could explain some of his erratic behavior if true.



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Scott Lahti

posted July 12, 2010 at 6:41 pm


One piece of tape, and the drearily usual suspects from the Dreherblog Peanut Gallery/Rent-a-Lynch-Mob each their own judge, jury and executioner. As with the Rodney King tape, it must feel great having the capacity for InstaJudgments – pity about that wasted 1000-year struggle over the common law, the rules of evidence, and the growth of a proper legal system.
Time to see what the National Enquirer has to say. Oh, wait, we’ve killed that bird already with the stone of the very title of this blog post. Guess I’ll go back to the Marilynne Robinson thread, in search of a tiny scrap of what’s left of moral circumspection in these precincts. The stone-throwers can go hang themselves, and decrease the surplus population.



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Roland de Chanson

posted July 12, 2010 at 6:46 pm


Let’s not go overboard here. Mel is a Traditional Catholic who not only made a reverent film about the gruesome final hours of our Lord before His glorious Resurrection, but also built his own parish church without obsequious deference either to the heterodox local ordinary or the pope. How many novus ordo sheep can say the same? This man is a towering saint among cowering sinners. Whatever his temporal flaws, his eternal reward is assured.
Christian charity demands that we withhold judgement of Mel until we know all the facts. Unless you have walked in another man’s shoes and abandoned your wife and children and knocked up a mistress, you cannot know the torture that he is enduring. A modicum of compassion is called for.
So, Rod, until you have extricated the beam from your own eyeball, do not castigate Mel for a seeming mote in his. He may well turn out to be a crazy vicious creep but that is not our call to make. We must trust to the Will of God that even seeming crazy vicious creeps will merit the rewards of eternal Paradise.
Let us recall our own sore sins and ask the bountiful forgiveness of our Lord.



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MargaretE

posted July 12, 2010 at 6:55 pm


He’s obviously a terrible alcoholic and is completely out of control. I think it’s very sad. But how dare anyone say he’s not a Christian? If I remember correctly, Christ came for sinners, not perfect people. Mel Gibson desperately needs God, and I can’t imagine God has abandoned him… no matter what we may think of him.



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robin thomas

posted July 12, 2010 at 7:15 pm


Golddigger got what she wanted.



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Lord Karth

posted July 12, 2010 at 7:28 pm


Some comments:
First, I would really like to know the context of this entire brouhaha. Who called who first ? Oksana or Mel ? What were the events that took place right before the call ?
Second, I find the differences in sound quality curious. I’m no sound tech, but at first hearing this tape sounds like it’s been seriously doctored. Were I defending Mr. Gibson (and I’m not), I would subpoena the tape and have it run through every kind of sound analysis conceivable. Recordings, after all, can be doctored, and there are all kinds of motives available to Oksana here.
Third, if she knew that Mel was emotionally distraught (and apparently she did), why did she continue to stay on the line with him ? Whenever I get a dom-vi case, one of the first things I do, if I am representing the alleged victim, is to tell him or her to minimize contact with the other side, especially phone calls like this. I do this for several reasons, chief among them to minimize the possibility that the alleged perp really WILL go nuts and come after the victim.
Fourth, there are some points in this recording which may well be characterized as attempts by Oksana to provoke Mel. An intimate relationship like theirs leads to detailed knowledge of vulnerabilities on BOTH sides. That’s why I would, before I went ahead and started judging this case, want to know as much as I could about the background and particular progress of this relationship.
Those things having been said, I must also say this: Mel Gibson is, at the very least, in serious need of both spiritual and psychological counseling. There is a man at nearly the end of his emotional rope.
Your servant,
Lord Karth



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robin thomas

posted July 12, 2010 at 7:33 pm


That tape should NEVER have been made public, and that woman is despicable for doing so.
Who knows what really took place?
Mel needs our prayers.



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Andrea

posted July 12, 2010 at 7:44 pm


Sounds like he’s an abuser who’s hitting the bottle again and is a nasty bigot. I don’t blame his ex-girlfriend for using what ammo she’s got to protect herself and her child and to get a decent amount of support out of him. I hope his wife takes him to cleaners in divorce court. He shouldn’t be permitted unsupervised visits with either of his minor children. Gibson needs to check himself into rehab and find himself a therapist who can help him examine his life.



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Steve W

posted July 12, 2010 at 8:00 pm


As disturbing as this recording is, the fact that people actually lash out at this battered and abused woman compounds my horror.



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Lynn from Maryland

posted July 12, 2010 at 8:08 pm


WOW. As a Roman Catholic – I’m OUTRAGED. The racist rants are unreal. Mel seems to forget that during the Civil Rights Movement MANY Catholics supported the black community. Catholics believe that Christ died to save us from sin – we believe that he sought out the persecuted and afflicted – and went to their aid. Mel Gibson seems to deem himself some deity and has a very twisted view of the faith. No TRUE Roman Catholic would tolerate this behavior. Hollywood has warped his sense of self. Apparently he believes there is another set of laws (worldly and heavenly) for him.
Hitting a woman….threatening a woman……or any person for that matter……makes you wonder if he has a clue about the faith he supposedly has in the Roman Catholic church. In my opinion he should be ex-communicated.
Oksana is correct – he does need medication – even if its court ordered. He is clearly OFF THE RESERVATION.



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Rod Dreher

posted July 12, 2010 at 8:15 pm


I wish Mel wasn’t a Christian. Gives us a bad name.
To the contrary, I thank God he is a Christian. It’s the only hope he has — or that I have. Bad old bully-boy, racist Mel Gibson might make it to heaven ahead of a lot of us who have led conventionally good lives. If he ever is broken by his badness, and repents, the conversion will be a grand and glorious thing.
Roland, I agree with you that Gibson made a beautiful movie in “The Passion of the Christ,” and the merit in his art, or anybody’s art, is not compromised by the ugliness in his personal life. Picasso too was a brute to women. But art will not save Mel Gibson, nor does his art — nor, for that matter, his traditional Catholicism — justify beating a woman and threatening to kill her.



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Lynn Gazis-Sax

posted July 12, 2010 at 8:17 pm


Unless you have walked in another man’s shoes and abandoned your wife and children and knocked up a mistress, you cannot know the torture that he is enduring.
Since I’m a woman, it’s going to be a tad difficult for me to walk in those particular shoes. Does that mean that I can’t have an opinion on domestic violence?
Seriously, I do have some measure of compassion for Mel Gibson, if only because he reportedly has bipolar disorder. I just think this particular version of “don’t judge unless you’ve walked in someone else’s shoes” is a bit shaky.



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Eric

posted July 12, 2010 at 8:19 pm


Given Hollywood’s defensiveness of Roman Polanski, I’m not confident he’ll get what he deserves. Hollywood has a different standard for stars when it comes to violence against women.



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Lynn from Maryland

posted July 12, 2010 at 8:21 pm


Just a reminder – this is NOT the first time Mel Gibson has shown his true colors. Does anyone remember that according to him the Holocoust was not real? Does anyone remember his previous racial slurs? Is this the mark of a Christian.
I agree that Christ ministered to sinners – and that Mel Gibson is in desperate need of emotional and spiritual counseling….that said – the Roman Catholic definition of ex-communication is this: Excommunication (Latin ex, out of, and communio or communicatio, communion — exclusion from the communion), the principal and severest censure, is a medicinal, spiritual penalty that deprives the guilty Christian of all participation in the common blessings of ecclesiastical society. Being a penalty, it supposes guilt; and being the most serious penalty that the Church can inflict, it naturally supposes a very grave offence. It is also a medicinal rather than a vindictive penalty, being intended, not so much to punish the culprit, as to correct him and bring him back to the path of righteousness. It necessarily, therefore, contemplates the future, either to prevent the recurrence of certain culpable acts that have grievous external consequences, or, more especially, to induce the delinquent to satisfy the obligations incurred by his offence. Its object and its effect are loss of communion, i.e. of the spiritual benefits shared by all the members of Christian society; hence, it can affect only those who by baptism have been admitted to that society. Undoubtedly there can and do exist other penal measures which entail the loss of certain fixed rights; among them are other censures, e.g. suspension for clerics, interdict for clerics and laymen, irregularity ex delicto, etc. Excommunication, however, is clearly distinguished from these penalties in that it is the privation of all rights resulting from the social status of the Christian as such. The excommunicated person, it is true, does not cease to be a Christian, since his baptism can never be effaced; he can, however, be considered as an exile from Christian society and as non-existent, for a time at least, in the sight of ecclesiastical authority. But such exile can have an end (and the Church desires it), as soon as the offender has given suitable satisfaction. Meanwhile, his status before the Church is that of a stranger. He may not participate in public worship nor receive the Body of Christ or any of the sacraments. Moreover, if he be a cleric, he is forbidden to administer a sacred rite or to exercise an act of spiritual authority.
The Roman Catholic Society has the right to impose this immediately. Perhaps it would give him something to think about if he is as devout as he says.



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James Kabala

posted July 12, 2010 at 8:56 pm


I think Mr. “de Chanson” is being sarcastic. It actually almost fooled me, but the very sentences quoted by Ms. Gazis-Sax gave away the game.



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Marifasus

posted July 12, 2010 at 9:07 pm


The anti-Mel bandwagon is a lonely row to hoe, Rod. You should be proud of yourself for having the nerve and integrity to speak out against his emotional instability and the clinically-disturbed codependent relationships women willingly enter into with him.
By the way, how are the poor doing?



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Liam

posted July 12, 2010 at 9:46 pm


“his eternal reward is assured”
Nice to know that traditionalists can be antinomian….



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Rod Dreher

posted July 12, 2010 at 9:55 pm


Goodness, it’s good to know that now that Roman Polanski has gotten away scot-free, those folks who specialize in pitying powerful male celebrities who abuse women have someone else to cherish and to defend.
I should have realized that Roland was joking. Dense of me.
BTW, John Trowbridge, I am downright Sicilian on this point: as trashy as that Grigorieva minx may be, in a better world, she’d have a couple of burly brothers who would work Gibson over for laying a hand on their sister.



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starI_momak

posted July 12, 2010 at 9:58 pm


Picasso too was a brute to women.
But nobody ever called Pablo Picasso an a**hole



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Richard

posted July 12, 2010 at 10:12 pm


What on earth would posess anyone to listen to that recording? What did you hope to learn or confirm that you couldn’t have done with 2 minutes worth of research?
This is just gossip-mongering.
Rod, your last observation is unworthy of someone who went on – at length – with how violence and torture deface humanity. Suggesting that “in a better world” Gibson would have the crap kicked out of him fails to recognize that for the Christian, “the better world” won’t contain any hit-men or enforcers.



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christopher

posted July 12, 2010 at 10:15 pm


Judge not lest ye be judged.
He may be an alcoholic. He may also have a mental illness. Listening to this stuff merely feeds the media-centric monstrocity that has become our culture.



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Ken

posted July 12, 2010 at 10:18 pm


You know, Rod, at the risk of sounding like I’m preaching, I’m a big fan of your writing, but just once I’d like to read a post title like “Mel Gibson: Crazy, vicious, creep who there-but-for-the-grace-of-God–I-would-be-just-like, who God loves and Christ died for.



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starI_momak

posted July 12, 2010 at 10:33 pm


This whole Grigorieva situation is obviously just the result of a very elaborate honey trap put in place by the ADL after Gibson’s success with ‘Passion’ and ‘Apocalypto’ .
I’m kidding, though no doubt Foxman et al will be indulging in some Schadenfreude



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Roland de Chanson

posted July 12, 2010 at 10:50 pm


Rod,
Not dense of you at all – I’m probably losing my edge in my senectitude.
Actually, I never saw Gibson’s Passion film — I’m not really into snuff films, even those with a pseudo-theological twist. I console myself that in the sublimest tragedies, Agamemnon and Macbeth were dispatched offstage. Gibon’s aesthetic offense is his lack of a sense of catharsis. But he’s a but a boor that draws the adulation of the unlettered mob.
I do note in passing however that the Aramaic dialog preserved the words “His blood be upon us and upon our children” though the subtitles were altered to appease that obstreperous bigot Abe Foxman, chief loudmouth of the Sons of the Circumcision. Abe is still alive, having been spared evisceration at the hands of rabid Christian mobs incensed by Gibson’s cinematic realism. That’s twice in his life Abe was spared by Christian charity. Christus laudetur. (The Messias be praised.)
Lynn Gazis-Sax: Does that mean that I can’t have an opinion on domestic violence?
By no means. I’ve yet to meet a woman who denied herself an opinion on anything at all! In my experience, the more beautiful the woman, the more opinionated she is. :-)
James Kabala,
Good catch! ;-)
Liam: Nice to know that traditionalists can be antinomian.. …
Bejasus, me lad, I’d no wish at all to offend a white-knuckled nomian such as yourself. Gobh mo leith-scéal, má sé do thoil é.



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starI_momak

posted July 12, 2010 at 11:09 pm


Obviously Mel didn’t visit this website before embarking on his adventure with the Slavic dyevka.



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kevin s.

posted July 12, 2010 at 11:42 pm


Christ said that it is easier for a camel to pass through the head of a pin than for a wealthy man to enter heaven. Gibson is literally fighting demons, and he seems to be losing. His wealth seems to be enabling.



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robin thomas

posted July 13, 2010 at 12:31 am


I could not listen to it. I stopped when I got the gist of it. I agree that we learn nothing by listening to such things. It’s ugly and sad.
I don’t believe that it’s been proved that Mel knocked any of her teeth out. I haven’t seen any photos like that, and you’d think that she’d certainly leak any such photos if they exist.
Those who take sides are simply ridiculous. None of us know what really happened. Easy to judge when you have only a small slice of the story.
It did seem to me that she knew EXACTLY the buttons to push. I heard a man who felt deeply betrayed. I’m not saying that he said nice things, I’m saying that we don’t know what caused him to react in such a manner. And I’ve seen no proof that he beat her up.
I come from a long line of alcoholics who say horrible things when drunk, and can’t recall a thing the next day.
Mel Gibson has a dark side, as we all do. I’m not sure that any of us have the right to judge him.



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Rombald

posted July 13, 2010 at 5:32 am


To be honest, Gibson doesn’t stike me as particularly out of the ordinary; just a typical, run-of-the-mill, small-town drunk. It’s only because he’s famous that anyone cares. All this stuff about him being “crazy”, “bipolar” and “alcoholic”, and all this absurd religiosity, him trying to find a religion that doesn’t demand basic decency, is just self-dramatism.
Having grown up around people like this, drunk on cheap cider, casually impregnating nasty women, violent, unemployable, and shouting racist abuse, I now see them coming, and just try to make sure they do not impact on the lives of anyone I care about.
Steve: “the fact that people actually lash out at this battered and abused woman compounds my horror.”
My take on domestic violence is that, whilst the male abusers are always 100% guilty, the female victims are rarely 100% innocent. I’ve seen so many cases where a girl, with her many-fathered offspring in tow, runs from a violent man to a shelter or her friends’ sofa, only to be back with a different (but basically the same) violent man within a month, because she is incapable of either chastity or being attracted to pleasant men.
PS: I find it difficult to imagine anyone imagining Roland’s comments to be anything other than ironic. Is this a culture thing, being English?



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TJ

posted July 13, 2010 at 6:14 am


Rod:
I love your blog. Please use restraint and stop posting things like this.



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Dave Brickner

posted July 13, 2010 at 8:11 am


Mel got on the wrong side of Hollywood and the media with the last rant when he said the dreaded “J” word. From now on he will not be given the benefit of the doubt and veery thing he may do ( or is alleged to have done) WILL be cast in the most negative light that the media can slant. That being said………maybe he is rude and crude……….but so is all of Hollywood and casting stones is not my job…….nor yours…



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Dan O.

posted July 13, 2010 at 8:44 am


“According to many links on the internet he has bipolar disorder. I dunno. Just thought I’d throw it out there–could explain some of his erratic behavior if true.”
I know plenty of people who are bipolar or bipolar spectrum. Although it varies in severity, the vast majority of cases are medically manageable. Comments like this unfortunately stigmatize the rest of people who struggle to contain their conditions. There are people who lack the resources to see psychiatric professionals and/or the proper medication and self-medicate with alcohol. Such people, many homeless, inspire pity. Mel Gibson, if he were bipolar, would not.



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Andrea

posted July 13, 2010 at 9:08 am


I didn’t go to see Passion of the Christ or Apocalypto, or whatever the name of the movie is. I had the impression they both glorify, lovingly linger on, violence and brutality in a way that I find profoundly distasteful and disturbing. In short, they bordered on snuff films. I had to avert my eyes from Braveheart for much the same reason and to some extent from that Revolutionary War movie he was in. The last movie of his I remember genuinely enjoying was “Signs.” It was entertaining and dealt with questions of faith. Significantly, it didn’t SHOW the aliens until the last minute or the blood and gore. It showed the reactions of the characters to the terrifying situations they were in. Subtletly and restraint were the names of the game. I have a feeling that the tone of Gibson’s movies says something about the environment he grew up in, how he views his religion and his life. The movies suggest he’s subverted his anger and his physicality into movies and now his life is falling apart and all the anger, rage, attraction to violence is trickling out around the edges and harming people around him. He isn’t a man I would want to be alone with or that I would leave children with or allow him to influence. Whatever is wrong with him, only he knows. I’m guessing he’s just an alcoholic who had a violent, racist, abusive father and he needs to figure out how to deal with that now.



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Ian

posted July 13, 2010 at 10:05 am


If these were rants by a different film director, such as Woody Allen, I doubt the media would be airing the recordings.
There was always an element of swaggering loutishness in Mel Gibson’s films. It was built up by the promoters as somehow the very epitome of grassroots Gaelic manhood. This drunken raving at a woman he had a child by outside of holy matrimony is perhaps just as much an ‘authentic’ element of Gaelic manhood.



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Mike

posted July 13, 2010 at 11:02 am


Sure there are women who act dishonestly, or who make unwise choices in men, or who, when confronted with such men, make decisions that don’t immediately seem logical to the rest of us, but how can anyone who listens to that tape not think she had reason to be worried? Gibson sounds bat-shit crazy and wouldn’t want any woman to be with him. Therefore, I think anyone who wants to defend him or make qualifiers for his actions is misguided. Even if she were a trashy slut or a golddigger there is absolutely no justification for the threats and verbal abuse, let alone hitting a woman or knocking out her teeth, especially when she is holding a baby. How could any man endanger his child like that?



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Dan O.

posted July 13, 2010 at 11:26 am


“If these were rants by a different film director, such as Woody Allen, I doubt the media would be airing the recordings.”
Humbug. Incidentally, why did you pick Woody Allen, who the media excoriated for his illicit marriage? I mean, do you live in a different universe?



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Lord Karth

posted July 13, 2010 at 11:37 am


Mike @ 11:02 AM writes:
“I think anyone who wants to defend him or make qualifiers for his actions is misguided. Even if she were a trashy slut or a golddigger there is absolutely no justification for the threats and verbal abuse, let alone hitting a woman or knocking out her teeth, especially when she is holding a baby.”
Your points are fair enough—if they can be backed up by evidence in a court of law. That’s the problem here; we don’t have all the evidence. We don’t know if he actually knocked her teeth out. We don’t know if he hit her, with or without her holding a baby.
I’ve done dozens upon dozens of dom-vi cases in the years I’ve been practicing law, and there are as many reasons for filing petitions as there are petitioners. If anyone really thinks that petitions aren’t filed under false pretenses, or that they aren’t on occasion used for purposes of extortion, then come pay me a visit and I’ll show you differently.
We don’t really know the context of this call. We don’t know what she might have done to goad him into losing his temper—and if you don’t think THAT doesn’t happen, you haven’t done dom-vi work. IF we are going to presume to judge this matter, let’s get ALL the facts.
Until then, stick to making your calls based on what we DO know. Or better yet, hold off until the full story comes out—which it will.
What we DO know is this: Mel Gibson is a seriously upset, maybe disturbed man (past, publicly known information confirms this) who is in a souring relationship with a woman not his wife, where there is some conflict over the child. That is not a good situation, and Mr. Gibson is probably in need of some serious head-work. Let’s leave it at that, until a judge actually gets hold of this thing.
Now, how about that Barack Obama ?
Your servant,
Lord Karth



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Chris

posted July 13, 2010 at 11:52 am


My opinion is that Mel has some form of Bipolar Disorder. He has admitted this in the past if sites on thenet are to be believed. Persons with bipolar often use substances to self-medicate. They also can decompensate even when on medications. Just as a diabetic can lose blood sugar control while on medications, so too bipolar persons can exhibit severe symptoms even when on meds. I am a mental health professional with 20 years of clinical experience. I do emergency psychiatric evaluations and involuntary commitments. I see this all the time.



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Rick Road Rager

posted July 13, 2010 at 1:04 pm


Lord Karth asks about President Obama; tongue-in-cheek. Yet columnist Kathleen Parker has recently written two op-ed pieces about what she thinks are his “feminine” approaches to problems, labeling him as our first “female” President.
Yet could this attitude simply reflect our national political culture whereby most voters prefer either a “bully-boy” leader or a “con man”. Think of Teddy Roosevelt as a bully-boy and Ronald Reagan as a master con man.
Of course, FDR was both a father-figure to a nation truly hurting psychologically from the Depression and then thrust into a world war.
Eisenhower was another father-figure who chose not to exercise his obvious reputation to dominate the situation.
JFK was both a good example of a master con man as well as having the image of a “bully-boy” due to his handling of the Cuban missile crises.
And were Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter simply too honest and decent to be credible Presidents?



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Angie

posted July 13, 2010 at 2:02 pm


I don’t know if this recording is authentic, but if that truly is Mel Gibson, he sounds exactly like a bi-polar person having a severe manic episode. (As someone who has witnessed several bi-polar people in manic phases or even psychosis, I speak from experience.)
If Gibson is bi-polar, it provides context for his actions, but it does NOT excuse them. Treatment and medication are in order. Gibson needs to be held accountable for his bigotry, misogyny, and if this recording is authentic, his physical and psychological violence.



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No

posted July 13, 2010 at 2:23 pm


Lord Karth: “We don’t know if he hit her, with or without her holding a baby.”
Wow, you really need to work on your listening skills.



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Ian

posted July 13, 2010 at 2:26 pm


Dan O. ”Humbug. Incidentally, why did you pick Woody Allen, who the media excoriated for his illicit marriage?”
Woody Allen was involved in a bitter divorce from his wife Mia Farrow. She alleged he had sexually molested two of her young daughters, but the Connecticut State Prosecutor declined to charge Allen, to my knowledge on the grounds that there would be too much trauma for the youngsters. Later Frank Sinatra was quoted as offering to have Allen’s legs broken, an offer Mia thanked him for but declined. So a bizarre cocktail, yet I cannot recall phone recordings being publicized etc..
”I mean, do you live in a different universe?”
I live in the North of England.



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Rod Dreher

posted July 13, 2010 at 2:41 pm


Actually, both Woody Allen and Mia Farrow publicized private recordings in efforts to damage each other. The Internet didn’t really exist back then, but if it had, you can rest assured these recordings would have ended up online. They certainly ended up in court back in the day, and in the newspaper. Follow the link. The implication that the media are only going after Gibson because he has a history of public anti-Semitism, and would have protected Allen because he’s a Jew, is baseless and ugly. Hell, if they had somebody as nothingburger as Andy Dick on tape saying those things, it’d be all over the Internet.



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BobSF

posted July 13, 2010 at 3:16 pm


BTW, John Trowbridge, I am downright Sicilian on this point: as trashy as that Grigorieva minx may be, in a better world, she’d have a couple of burly brothers who would work Gibson over for laying a hand on their sister.
If they were truly downright Sicilian, old-school Sicilian that is, they’d have laid hands on her to end her trashiness or, rather, to prevent it.



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Andrea

posted July 13, 2010 at 3:33 pm


Who cares if he’s bipolar or bipolar and alcoholic or a guy who was verbally abusive or verbally AND physically abusive? His behavior is not acceptable. Judging by the tapes, he is a danger to his baby daughter and to his ex-girlfriend at the moment and he should not be allowed around the little girl unsupervised. If he goes to therapy and rehab and gets his head on straight, they can revisit the custody case down the road. I wouldn’t leave my pet cat with a man who acts like that, much less a child. And NO WOMAN deserves to be called names and screamed at, much less hit. Oksana Grigorieva didn’t deserve what Mel Gibson dished out. I hope they prosecute him for assault/domestic violence if all this is true.



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Ian

posted July 13, 2010 at 3:43 pm


Rod, thanks for showing how audio recordings were used by Woody Allen and Mia Farrow. If it had happened today, I accept that Mia Farrow would probably have got her side up on the internet.



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Jillian

posted July 13, 2010 at 4:04 pm


Gibson is a diagnosed manic-depressive. And he’s a pretty good example of the correlation (in my opinion, it’s a causal relationship) between a certain kind of bipolar parent and the championing of “family values”- this constitute a set of protections for bipolar behaviors and desires and fend off typical fears.



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Broken Yogi

posted July 13, 2010 at 6:44 pm


I kind of thought that the “Christian attitude” was to love your enemies and forgive those who trespass upon you. Mel doesn’t need to be slapped, he needs to be loved, and to learn how to love. He’s not going to learn that by being slapped any more than his wife is going to learn to respect him by being slapped. Somehow, someone raised Mel badly, and led him to think that violence was the way to work out one’s inner demons, rather than by love.
As for ending his career, that might happen, but I think it would be a shame. He deserves whatever he has coming to him in his personal and legal life – including possible jail time. But I’ve never been one to censor art because of the personal life or beliefs of the artist. Mel may be a disgrace as a human being, but he’s a talented artist, actor, and director. I don’t even like his personal message, his obsession with violence, and either his politics or his religion, but I can certainly recognize his talents. I really, really didn’t like “The Passion”, but I have to admit it’s really well made and got across exactly the point he wanted, and very well. I hope Mel can get his act together and still make movies, because he’s good at it and I really like well-made movies.
Similar problem with Polanski. He’s personally indefensible, but like Gibson, he’s made some awesome movies. I wouldn’t let him babysit, but I’d still see his movies. Similarly with Wagner – a despicable anti-Semite, but a great composer, and you don’t see any signs of anti-Semitism in his operas. Where I’d draw the line with art/personal matters is when the art itself is poisoned by the personal stuff. Mel rides a thin line there, in that his violent character allows him insight into making violent movies. But I don’t see him making movies glorifying domestic violence, or racism for that matter.



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mouth

posted July 13, 2010 at 11:24 pm


So Rod, the title of another post today glories in George Steinbrenner’s death, and now you’re advocating violence towards Mel Gibson, and you’re ‘Christian’ . . . how?



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Robert

posted July 14, 2010 at 4:29 am


Mel Gibson is a shell of a human.



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interpreter

posted July 14, 2010 at 11:14 am


My guess is that Mel Gibson had a drining problem, and gets mean when he gets drunk. I know a heck of a lot of alcoholics like that (of both sexes).



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WindyD

posted July 14, 2010 at 12:48 pm


Jillian,
Mel is a functioning drunk and controlling abuser. Quit giving him excuses. I lived with a raging alcoholic for 20 years, and my husband could have been a carbon copy of some of Mel’s rages. I was so beaten down that I didn’t know how to get away or what to do. I had no confidence in myself. It’s people like you who give excuses for such behavior that allow violence to continue in this society.
Mel Gibson needs to accept responsibility for his actions–but you know what–he won’t. He will try to blame her because she “pushed his buttons.” And button pushing could be anything and everything and even made up things or even things that they imagine you might say.
Many men who drink will take up for Mel because they are really see themselves deep down. “Oh, she deserved it!, etc., etc, etc.” They can’t face it and put the blame on the woman. No one needs to be talked to like that. I didn’t. I remember asking my husband over and over, “What did I do for you to act like that?”–because I certainly didn’t want him to keep doing it. But he would reply (as Mel), “I don’t know, but you deserved it.”
Mel’s not “bipolar” and I’ve worked with a lot of bipolar clients in the past. (I got divorced and went back to school and made a life for myself). It’s just low self-esteem and disrespect of others. He’s sick, of course, but not from being bipolar. The alcohol makes him mean–but he was mean to begin with. He put on his best face while he was trying to win her over, then slowly but surely the controlling abuse will start like a vicious disease.
Also, his religion is an abusive religion for women and children–a patriarchy. Look at how the Catholic Church has allowed abuse to continue for centuries. Mel Gibson’s actions and violence also have to do with the religion that he practices. If the Catholic Church ceased to be, then a good many therapists would be out of a job. (And the Catholic Church is not alone–just the example that Mel is a part of).
So blame alcoholism and religion if you must give Mel Gibson excuses for being a controlling abuser, but don’t blame the “catch all” bipolar disorder.



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an observer

posted July 14, 2010 at 5:44 pm


Rod, I’m afraid with the folks who think a more Christian response from you would have been to pray for the sinner rather than to judge him so harshly and publicly, and for you to acknowledge that like Mel Gibson we are all fallen men capable of the gravest iniquities. That’s not to say I condone the ugly things he said on the taped calls, of course; whether or not Gibson claims provocation his remarks are indefensible.
The judgmental tone of your article provoked me to indulge in this little bit of Biblical paraphrase:
“Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was Rod Dreher and the other was Mel Gibson.
Rod took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity–greedy, dishonest, adulterous–or most especially not like Mel. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’
But Mel stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”



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Rod Dreher

posted July 14, 2010 at 6:16 pm


But Mel stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’
Well, he can beat his breast all he likes, but when he starts beating women, he’s an SOB who deserves to have his butt kicked.
This treacly, masochistic piety of yours that prevents you from rebuking a man who beats his girlfriend and threatens her with death is immoral, in my view.
[Captcha: been duyvil -- "duyvil" is Dutch for "devil"]



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an observer

posted July 14, 2010 at 6:50 pm


Actually, Rod, I did rebuke his actions, as you can easily see if you reread my post. But but I guess you didn’t notice that in your rush to pass judgment on me as well, and on my allegedly “treacly, masochistic piety.”
Anyway my point isn’t that you are necessarily wrong in saying Gibson deserves to have his butt kicked, although I must say that since I prefer the rule of law to the rule of the vigilante mob I’d prefer to let a court make the call about that.
My point is that the Christian response to the situation (correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t yours a religious blog written by a Christian?) isn’t to condemn people as “SOBs who deserve to have their butts kicked.” Or at least I don’t recall much of that sort of spleen coming from Jesus himself, when he was dealing with egregious sinners.



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Godless Troll

posted July 14, 2010 at 10:28 pm


To An Observer:
Your comment is idiotic. First of all, who cares if it’s a quote from the bible. This is irrelevent. The quote either has merit or it doesn’t. Second, the idea that only evil people who “repent” their sins are justified while the rest of us that take pride in our actions are somehow flawed, is ridiculous. I can believe people swallow these completely moronic premises.
Yes, we should all be humble. But, not because we shouldn’t take pride in acting well. But, instead, because we all make mistakes. But, I don’t care at all if someone repents their sins. That’s just another dishonest way of “getting away with it”. How many priests repented their sins only to remolest. I care ONLY what you DO to SHOW your contrition(not what you say to a fake religious patriarch based on silly mysticism).



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Plane Truth

posted July 15, 2010 at 9:32 am


Ironically, there are many similarities between Gibson’s recent rantings and his popular Passion film. Which makes me wonder if the demographic who found Passion important also share some of these beliefs.



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Ashley

posted July 15, 2010 at 10:36 am


Firstly, he is a hypocrite with regards to his ‘strong’ faith. Secondly, he is an alcoholic. Thirdly, I have no doubt that she set him up, however, the very things that he is accusing her of having ‘fake boobs’ are the very things that he was attracted to. He probably when he was high on love had no problems showering her with money and gifts. Fourthly, what did he excpect she wanted from him. Nothing like an old fool.
He is an out of control pampered man who bought a church, insists mass be read in Latin (old school), rants at his parishoners and then cheats on his wife, who has the common sense to divorce him.
Regardless of why she recorded the conversations, he is a nutcase.



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an observer

posted July 15, 2010 at 1:39 pm


Just to clarify my own position a bit further: I suspect that the assessment of Gibson offered above by Ashley is probably spot on, in every regard.
But that’s the Christian challenge, isn’t it? To love the sinner who truly is unloveable, at least from the human perspective?
And I don’t think it was unfair of me to substitute Rod for the Pharisee and Mel for the tax collector in the parable I lifted from the New Testament. Jesus wasn’t implying in the original parable that the Pharisee isn’t far more morally upright than the tax collector. The Pharisee, it should be assumed, was sincere in his religious observances and in his efforts to lead a good, moral life, just as I assume Rod to be sincerely dedicated to promoting the same same kind of upright morality.
And the tax collector in Jewish eyes was the worst kind of immoral scum, even worse than the ranting and raging bully recorded on the Mel Gibson tapes; the tax collector is a man who sold out his entire people in his selfish greed to get rich through his service as an agent for the hated and brutal Roman oppressors of Israel.
Nor was Jesus saying that the actions of the tax collector are moral, any more than I was implying that Gibson’s actions are moral. Hate the sin, love the sinner…condemn his actions as much as necessary, and subject him to the punishments of civil justice as required; but pray for the redemption of his soul and communicate to him the undying love Christ has for him as an individual created in the image and likeness of God, and as a human being worthy of Christian redemption through authentic repentance, no matter how far he may have fallen.
Isn’t that the constant challenge of Jesus, all throughout the Gospels? To love every one but most especially the people who are easiest to hate, precisely the people such as the hateful Mel Gibson who can be heard on the tapes?



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Moral Injunction

posted July 15, 2010 at 3:12 pm


“But that’s the Christian challenge, isn’t it? To love the sinner who truly is unloveable, at least from the human perspective?”
A perfectly acceptable reason to follow no religion. What a moral injunction this is. It’s actually sad to be alive in an age with such plentiful proof against superstition and cult-worship values, yet so many blindly follow with open arms..



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an observer

posted July 15, 2010 at 3:49 pm


Well, Moral Injunction, most of us are pretty unlovable much of the time, including even you I expect.
C.S. Lewis points out that in reality the idea of loving people, even when they are at their most unlovable, is a precept that is subscribed to by almost everybody when it comes to one particular case: themselves. Very few people indeed are willing to impose the same harsh judgments on their own failings, when those failings manifest themselves, as they are inclined to impose when others manifest the identical failings.
So a practical way of looking at what Jesus is advocating is that he’s simply asking that we become as tolerant of the sins of others as we are of our own. Given the inherent selfishness of human beings, that’s certainly a difficult challenge but hardly an absurd one.
Actually looked at from this perspective it’s simply a call for basic justice. It’s certainly not “superstition” or “cult-worship values.”



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Jen

posted July 15, 2010 at 3:49 pm


Mel Gibson needs to get some anger management classes under his belt. Geez.



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N

posted July 22, 2010 at 9:38 pm


He’s obviously deranged, and a pussy. If I see him I’ll be sure to kick his ass.



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