Friday, August 18, 2006

God Grant Me the Semitic

John Waters, Straight, 1996
John Waters is represented by
Arthur Roger Gallery in New Orleans, Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle, and probably others.

So let's turn to "recent world events." Mel Gibson has been ordered to say his "God grant me the serenitys" at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings five times a week for four and a half months and three AA meetings per week for another seven and a half months. He's also been ordered to enrol in an alcohol-abuse program for three months, fined a paltry sum of $US1,300 ($AU1,694) and had his licence restricted for 90 days.

I'm a bit pissed off by all of this actually. Mel Gibson shouldn't be punished for drinking - this actually makes him bearable. Rather, he should be punished for his crimes towards cinema. Just imagine how much of better place this world would be if we'd never had to witness Maverick, What Women Want and The Man Who Got Off His Face? Of course, if bad cinema doesn't make him punishable, then the whole anti-Semite thing should put him up there on the "naughty shelf" with all the war criminals. Writing in the
Sydney Morning Herald (August 11, 2006) playwright Louis Nowra claimed that the media's attacks on Gibson were "sanctimonious," "blown out of all proportion" and "shows a disturbing trend in this era of media witch-hunts." I disagree, Mr Nowra. It's a sink or swim situation out there in celebrityland and a good-old-fashioned witch-hunt rekindles our literal joy in hanging the witch if they don't drown first in their own vodka vomit.

Maybe I'm being just as hateful as Mel. Actually no one could be. The notorious film director John Waters (Pink Flamingos, Polyester, Hairspray) once exhibited a photo (yes, he takes photos of TV screens) about Mel's apparent hatred of gays. Is there anyone Mel don't like?

As Waters writes in his book of art photos, Director's Cut (Scalo, 1997): "Of course I can be hateful if I'm pushed... [On] Mel Gibson: Don't get me started on his homophobia. One shot of his name, matted crookedly and entitled Straight (1996) says it all as far as I'm concerned."

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