Crazy Mel

Thursday, April 12, AD 2012



Back in 2011 I reported that Mel Gibson was working on a screenplay about the Maccabean revolt.  Go here to read the post.  I hoped that this movie would help Gibson work out the personal demons that afflict him.  Alas, such is not the case.  The project has been shelved, and the screenwriter of the play Joe Eszterhas has unloaded on Gibson in a nine page letter that may be read here.  (Caution as to strong language.)  Mel Gibson is the most prominent Catholic of his generation in Hollywood.  His Passion of the Christ is a masterful film that inspired, and inspires, huge numbers of people around the globe.  To see him destroy his life and reputation since then has been painful.  Gibson needs our prayers and a swift kick in the hind end.

Update I:  Hattip to commenter Chris P.  Go here to read Gibson’s response to the Eszterhas letter.

Update II:  Go here to read Eszterhas’ response to Gibson.

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26 Responses to Crazy Mel

  • Can we still consider him Catholic? He did form his own schismatic church.

  • It appears from the letter that Gibson was being fitted out for a Maoist confessional, with the Enemy of The People receiving absolution after some heavy going. Madness or his guardian angel saved him from that ignominious fate. Good on ya mate, ha ha.

  • I thought Mel was a Sedevacantist…. like Sungenis.

  • When Jim Caviezel was interviewed about the filming of “The Passion” he said Mel insisted they both go to daily confession and daily (Latin) Mass to remain safe from demonic attacks. That was a wise move, and the incredible success of “The Passion” is a testament that they harnessed great spiritual power. But Mel let his guard down afterward and obviously the devil has had his way with him. Part of his problem is the sedevacantist mindset which mocks Blessed John Paul and encourages Holocaust denial. I have had many friends attend SSPX churches and eventually this crept into their thinking. They become their own popes, deciding for themselves which pope is valid and which is a Mason, which means they are no longer Catholics, they just look like them. Add to that the wealth which I and the millions who attended many showings of “The Passion” helped him accumulate. Wealth ruins many people as they can afford to terrorize their staff, build and staff their own churches, becoming isolated dictators.
    Mel needs a tough priest, who says Latin Mass and is an exorcist to confront him, and the spirits which have infested him.

  • “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.”

    Am I a sedevacantist? I ask because I only say three (Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious) sets of Mysteries of the Holy Rosary and I don’t totally buy that “human dignity” stuff. Otherwise, I honor Pope John Paul II.

    In 1979, during his visit to NYC, I came within 100 feet of Pope John Paul II. I was walking past St Patrick’s on my way to work and he and Terence Cardinal Cook were taking a quiet stroll about the Cathedral (behind NYPD barricades). I waved to him. I don’t think he saw me. And, I could feel the holiness.

  • T.Shaw. You may not be a sedevacantist but you are dead wrong if you say you can pick and choose which papal teachings to accept. What makes you any better than liberal Catholics who accept Church social teaching which fit with their liberal agenda and ignore Humanae Vitae and Evangelium Vitae?
    Its the same thing Mel does, you go with your feelings. Mel agrees with his father that JPII is “Garullous Carolus the Koran Kisser” and mocks him. You ‘feel’ his holiness. IT=ts not about feelings, its about submitting to authority which Christ put over you as a Catholic. If you do not accept papal authority, you are a Protestant.
    Name one saint who was disobedient to his superiors, even when they were morally bankrupt and jealously suppressing him, as in the case of St Faustina and Padre Pio.
    Why don’t you read some of Blessed John Paul’s writing on human dignity and his Marian writings. You may find that your disobedience is borne out of ignorance and pride. They don’t call Blessed John Paul II Great for nothing.

  • TShaw:

    Well, unless you have a nigh-unto-unique form of sedevacantism which holds that JP2 was a valid pope and B16 is not, it’s pretty clear you’re not.

    The Luminous mysteries are optional. I’m not sure what you mean by the “human dignity stuff,” but man does an excellent job of effacing his God-given dignity these days, that’s for sure.

  • Though part of Catholic teaching is Veritatis Splendor which talks about intrinsic evils which can never be supported (abortion, contraception, torture) and those things which are not evils per se (income inequality). The former can never be accepted while (within reason) the latter can.

    Then of course are the licit variety of approaches to applying social teaching which Catholic teaching itself allows. For example the licit variety of approaches for providing health care. One can be a faithful Catholic and vary on such approaches. This as opposed to some who abuse the term “human dignity” to justify a particular approach to a problem and villify those who don’t agree.

  • Well, I can say this much, that letter comes across as a pretty crazy read in and of itself regardless of Gibson….

    I really hope Gibson turns things around for himself. I hope he seeks out that first step to recovery and receives the sacrament of reconciliation from a properly ordained priest.

  • Funny after reading this post I came across this article on yahoo movies. It really seems to put things in a different light. Mel comes across as very level headed and professional.

  • To “Student”: I really hate responding to people who don’t use their real name, but, for the record, I’m not a sedevacantist and never have been. I have had several debates against sedevacantists (e.g., Peter Dimond, John Lane). So please, no more rumors. If you want to know something about me, ask me. Anything else is gossip. Capice?

  • I don’t get it. How many times does Mel Gibson have to apoligize?

  • I guess when he stops acting like a truly deranged jerk Jasper, that might eliminate the necessity for further apologies.

  • I deleted your last comment Jasper and I have placed you on moderation. If you wish to defend Gibson’s insane anti-semitism, you will have to find other forums to do so.

  • I apologize, Robert Sungenis.
    I feel kind of foolish – yes, I was pretty much just parroting what I have heard others say.

  • The man behind “Showgirls” versus the man behind “The Passion of the Christ”, and it looks like Eszterhas is in the right. This is why being a human is so interesting.

  • Pinky,

    Joe Eszterhas underwent his own conversion – he’s also no the man he used to be.

  • The Passion of Christ is a still a major S&M cult film. No wonder. Mr. Gibson has a very strange propensity (in movie after movie) of showing naked young men being hideously tortured in extreme close-up. Heresy and PRIDE go together like a fish in water. He plays the little ‘pope’ with his own ‘church’, hands out ‘spiritual advice’ and yet is a cringing embarrassment with his bigotry, foul mouth and adolescent sexual indulgence and rages. I find Juno to be a MUCH more inspiring ‘Catholic’ film than ‘Passion’.

  • We will have to agree to disagree digdigby on the Passion of the Christ which I regard as the most moving portrayal of Our Lord ever to be placed on film. Part of the sadness that I feel for Gibson is seeing talent simply thrown away.

  • Mr. McClarey, . Being ‘moved’ by the life of Jesus Christ means nothing to me. I’m still moved to tears by Old Yeller. In the movie ‘Juno’ I was made ashamed in a real, Catholic way at how I judged the character ‘Vanessa’. Enough to shake me up at how I see people in my own life.

  • “Being ‘moved’ by the life of Jesus Christ means nothing to me. I’m still moved to tears by Old Yeller.”

    The depiction of the death of Christ should have more significance to you than the death of a canine. Pope John Paul II thought rather highly of the Passion of the Christ.

    As for Juno, I thought it was vastly overrated. I found it somewhat amusing when the star of the flick came out as a pro-abort.

    However, arguments as to the merits or demerits of films tend to get no place quickly.

  • digdigby does have a point. Mel Gibson’s movies from the Mad Max to Lethal Weapon series rely on the character’s capacity for controlled mayhem in a sadistic environment for their effect. Gibson is not a versatile actor, he needs violence to sell his movies. That said, I do not think he intends to kill his ex or anyone else for that matter. Though quite clearly he enjoys being a sob and a bigot.

  • “Pope John Paul II thought rather highly of the Passion of the Christ.”.
    He also thought highly of Maciel.

  • We’re discussing the Passion of the Christ and not red herrings.

  • Given the above…

    1. Mel has apologized enough for his drunken outburst. And while it certainly doesn’t excuse his remarks, let’s not forget the extent to which he was harassed and maligned by certain Jewish groups that were categorically opposed to any popular portrayal of the Scriptural truth.

    2. The Passion is most certainly not an “S&M film.” If your modern sensibilities are so delicate that you can’t bear to see the truth of what really happened, I really just pity you.

    I can usually tell whether or not I’ll like someone or get along with them based on their position on that film. I guess you either “get it” or you don’t, and if you don’t, well you’re just not my kind of people.

Handel, Judas Maccabeus and Mel Gibson

Saturday, September 10, AD 2011


Something for the weekend.  The overture from Handel’s Judas Maccabeus.  Judas Maccabeus is a musical tribute to the revolt of the Maccabees, 167-160, against the attempts by Seleucid King Antiochus Epiphanes  to forcibly convert the Jews to paganism.  The revolt was not simply against the Selucids, but also against a sizable chunk of the population of Judea who were only too happy to embrace the ways of the Greeks.  Led by Mattathias, the father of Judas and his brothers, collectively known as the Maccabees, the revolt started in 167 BC when Mattathias, in the village of Modein outside of Jerusalem, cut down an official of the Selucid empire who was attempting to cajole Mattathias, a priest of Yahweh, to offer sacrifice to Zeus.  Mattathias and his sons then literally took to the hills, with Mattathias uttering a cry that has rung down the centuries:  “Let him who is zealous for the Law, follow me!”

Mattathias, an old man at the start of the revolt, soon died, and leadership descended to his son Judas.  Fighting a crafty guerilla campaign, Judas and his brothers, against all the odds, established an independent Jewish state.  After the heroic days of the Maccabees, the new Jewish state eventually descended into a fairly squalid series of civil wars, which ultimately led to the Romans under Pompey the Great seizing Jerusalem in 63 BC.  The Romans thereafter ruled Judea through puppet rulers.  Our Catholic Bibles have First and Second Maccabees which retell the heroic saga of the Maccabean Revolt.  This of course brings us to Mel Gibson, who has brought two heroic revolts to the screen and is apparently working on a third.

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19 Responses to Handel, Judas Maccabeus and Mel Gibson

  • Predictably, the ADL is not happy about this.

    Once you get a scarlet letter, hard to remove especially when the Jews are the targets given their miraculous ability to shape public opinion. Poor Mel. He’ll never be forgiven for his drunken rant. Everybody’s apparently forgotten Jesse Jackson’s Hymietown comment and Hillary Clinton’s “f—n jew bastard” remark (ironic now that she has a Jewish son-in-law).

  • “The Jews…” Don’t go there, Joe, for all our sakes. A little chauvinism can be fun — otherwise, we wouldn’t cheer for our high school football team — but without care and reflection it can also drift into the horrors of 1933-1945.

  • Oh, brother. I may be in need of reeducation camp and sensitivity training.

  • Of Gibson’s movies ‘Braveheart’ was historical tosh but in Scotland had the unfortunate effect of pandering to an unhealthy inferiority complex manifested in a growing culture of victimhood which does that once proud nation no credit. The best part of the film is the last fifteen minutes. I’m not sure what sentiments ‘The Patriot’ was pandering to. Surely Americans no longer need to mythologize their history and demonize their erstwhile adversaries. They did after all win that particular war (albeit with a lot of luck and with outside help). I find film-makers’ perversion of history far more offensive than the soft porn of ‘Showgirls’ which is really neither here nor there.

  • Colonel Tavington in the Patriot John was based on Colonel Banastre Tarleton who is still remembered for “Tarleton’s Quarter” that he gave to the surrendering Americans at Waxhaws by butchering them. My only regret is that Dan Morgan didn’t get to kill Tarleton at the Battle of Cowpens instead of merely defeating and humiliating him. I found the Patriot very good entertainment that is not to be confused with a documentary on the American Revolution in the South, although it does do a fairly good of showing the success of American partisans in keeping the war alive in South Carolina after the American forces under that British import Horatio Gates had been shattered at Camden.

    Much of Braveheart is a historical mess from the British lords seeking to enforce a right of the first night with Scottish brides to William Wallace impregnating the future Queen Isabella, who I believe was all of nine years old at the time of the death of Wallace. Having said that, the battle scenes are first rate, and the Scots have long taken pride in their struggle for independence against England. I do agree that modern Scottish Nationalists strike me as whiney and silly.

    There was nothing soft core about Showgirls, and I regard such pornography as far graver than the liberties that Mel Gibson has taken with history in what are, after all, movies. Of course Gibson, like most Aussies, transplanted or not, does have a big chip on his shoulder regarding you Brits. Perhaps Don the Kiwi would care to elaborate on this phenomenon?

  • I find many educators’ brainwashing of pupils in history (providing ideologies not educations) far more worrisome than film-makers’ entertainments.

    Regarding “Scotland the Brave”: Did Obama (“I will not rest . . . “) predict Scotland will be a nation once again?

  • (Guest comment by Don’s wife Cathy:) The Gibson/Eszterhas collaboration won’t be the first film depiction of the revolt of the Maccabees. There was also the 1962 film The Old Testament, which Don & I used to have (maybe still have?) on DVD. It doesn’t seem to have received very good reviews, though — see here:

  • I guess this film is current and generating some buzz. An hour ago I’d never heard of it and yours is now the second blog discussing it. You’ll be shocked, just shocked, but this other one (which I stumbled across while looking up “oderint dum metuant”) manages to invent a pre-Classical 9/11 conspiracy in “The Hammer”‘s uprising. Here’s the link:

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  • Don, I take your point, but the fact that Tavington was based on that gallant officer Banastre Tarleton who was not the proto-Nazi portrayed in the film (made by Germans, hmmm…) did not play well on this side of the pond where anti-Americanism lurks beneath the surface and which I have spent the last thirty years attempting to counter.

    On the tenth anniversary of what Europeans must call 11/9 be assured that our prayers are with you. God Bless America.

  • Thank you John. We Americans realize that we have no better friends than the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

    In regard to Tarleton, he figured in another recent film, Amazing Grace, that detailed his career in Parliament as a shill for the pro-slavery forces.

  • Interestingly, Spielberg’s film ‘Amistad’ created quite a stir on this side of the pond as it portrayed the Brits in a good light – the RN officer giving testimony in a US court, the bombardment of the slave fort and the liberation of the slaves by British redcoats – not what we expect from Hollywood!

  • Without the anti-slavery stance embraced by the British Empire John in the 19th Century, I have no doubt that slavery would still be flourishing in much of the world.

  • Mel Gibson, through his movie the Passion and the reactions to it, almost single-handedly destroyed one of the reliable myths that the ADL types could rely on to provoke guilt among Christians. The idea that Christians and in particular Catholics invariably work themselves into a frenzy over the perfidious Jews during Holy Week, is apparently widely believed among sections of the Jewish population. He will never be forgiven for this.

  • Although I do think that Gibson obviously has personal demons to deal with regarding Jews, his drunken rant established that beyond question, the argument that the Passion was anti-Semitic was truly hilarious. I guess it sailed right by the critics, who often seemed to have only a very vague knowledge of the Passion, and zero knowledge of Catholic theology regarding it, that the only time Gibson appears in the picture is when he had his hands nailing Jesus to the cross.

  • For what it is worth I do not think that Gibson has “issues” with Jews in general. His schtick – the mad rebel on edge – does not comport itself easily to the prevailing orthodoxy in Hollywood that between Jews and Christians, they have to be uniformly portrayed as helpless victims, sardonic critics and altruistic lovers of mankind .

  • “Gibson, like most Aussies, transplanted or not, does have a big chip on his shoulder regarding you Brits.”

    Not to mention the old saw about a well-balanced Irishman having a chip on BOTH shoulders…

  • Hi Don.
    Just caught up with your comment of 9/10 @ 7.21 pm. re the Aussie “chip on the shoulder”.
    I suppose ‘chip on the shoulder’ could be an apt description, certainly in the earlier days. There is an excellent book written by Robert Hughes entitled The Fatal Shore which details the early settlement of Australia (see Wikipedia or Amazon) – in one chapter it details the settlement of NZ as well some decades after Oz; deals with the socio-political climate of the time – late 18th. century.
    One of the things that the Aussies and Kiwis used to find annoying about the Brits was their penchant for comparing everything over here in a negative light with “Back home”. The natural respose was, of course, “Then why don’t you piss off back, then.”
    This, in NZ anyway, was common, particularly in the 50’s and 60’s. In those postwar decades NZ and Oz were needing immigration, and for NZ , british migrants were subsidised to come out here. It cost them 10 pounds for a sea voyage, and many took up the offer – a small number of them were’nt happy with the decision, and decided to return back to the UK. They were called “ten pound poms”, a rather derogatory title, but which the majority put up with, and assimilation became easier.
    The Aussie situation was a little different. While NZ was settled mainly by entrepreneurial types, Aussie, of course became the dumping ground for convicts – rightly or wrongly accused of mainly minor crimes and transported to the colonies. As convicts, they were often branded with the letters “P.O.M.E” – Prisoner of Mother England.Many were Irish, and generally lower working class people. So there was a built in resentment to the English, and of course, the upper classes were able to purchase land holdings in Oz, and the military – soldiers and officers -were treated favourably by the authorities, and gave quite a distinct class difference. This is where the nick name of ‘Pommies” or just “Poms” comes from – and still today are called such. In NZ, its more a friendly term – but when I lived in Oz in the 80’s, many Aussies still spat out the term in an almost insulting way, preceded by an adjective beginning with ‘f’.
    I must tell about “John the Pom” – a Pommy guy from Nottingham, John Swaby, who came to Oz in the early 70’s with his wife and young family. He had a great nature and a wild sense of humour (as most Poms do, actually). One of his favourite jokes went like this:
    “When I came out to Australia, after a few years, Aussie guys would come up to me and ask, ‘Tell me John, what do you think of the average Australian?’
    To which John would reply,’ I think the average Australian is a pretty good bloke – its the white fellas you’ve got to look out for.” 🙂 (a dig at the Aussies who are still pretty prejudiced against the ‘black fellas’ – Australian Aborigines)

    I had a joke which enabled you to tell whether a pom was a good bloke or not.
    ” A Pommie walked into a bar with a frog on his head. The barman asked, ‘where did you get that?” The frog replied,’ Dunno – started off as a wart on me bum.” 🙂
    I had to dodge a fist on the rare occasion, but most of the guys took the joke, and you could guarantee that they would come back with with an equally humorous rejoinder.

    Life’s great, aint it? 🙂

  • At the entrance to a safari park in Australia, along with the the warnings about dangerous animals, don’t open car windows, don’t get out of car etc. there was a list of entry fees to which was added “Poms on bicycles, free”. Poms everywhere were highly amused, reinforcing the point that racial insults only work if those against whom they are directed feel inferior in the first place. On the radio recently one of the “£10 poms” who emigrated to Oz in the 1950s recalled that his workmates wouldn’t speak to him for six months, only referring to him in the third person, e.g. “Does the pom want a cup of tea?” It was only when he was referred to as a “pommie bastard” that he realized he was half way to becoming accepted.

    Going back to Don’s point about slavery, it is often forgotten that the eradication of the slave trade was Britain’s number one foreign policy objective for most of the 19th century and the main task of the RN after the defeat of Napoleon. The east African slave trade, run by the Arabs for over a thousand years, was particularly intractable, not least because it was bound up with the ivory trade (the slaves carried the tusks to the coast). The only answer was to establish protectorates in east Africa, something HMG was reluctant to do but was pushed into by men on the spot, notably Sir James Kirk. The great slave market in Zanzibar was finally closed in 1890.

    A footnote: Uganda, though never a colony, was known as “the jewel in the crown of the British African empire” and Ugandans who remember the last years of the British protectorate are quite nostalgic about it. Bizarrely it was offered to the Zionists as a possible Jewish homeland – now that would have set the cat among the pigeons …

Res et Explicatio for AD 8-7-2009

Friday, August 7, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

Buckle Up! Because here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:

1. Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York commended President Obama and the Democratic Party efforts inArchbishopDolan reforming Health Care.  He said this during the Knights of Columbus Convention in Phoenix, Arizona.  But his Grace gave this caveat that if reform…

“…leads to the destruction of life, then we say it’s no longer health care at all – it’s unhealthy care and we can’t be part of that.”

To accentuate this sentiment and as a warning to well meaning Catholics, Cardinal Levada explained that those that want to reform health care at any cost:

“[W]e do not build heaven on earth, we simply prepare the site to welcome the new Jerusalem which comes from God.”

2. Catholic convert Joe Eszterhas of Hollywood screenwriting fame, will be writing the screenplay for a movie aboutVirgen of Guadelupethe Virgin of Guadalupe.  Though no director nor a green light has been given on the go ahead of this movie project, the fact that Joe Eszterhas is writing the screenplay is newsworthy in itself because of the author himself is enough to get the ball rolling in the right direction.

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