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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Greatest Story Ever Leaked to the Tabloids


In 2005, Mel Gibson granted a short interview with CBN.com to promote the kinder, gentler cut of his 2004 gorefest The Passion of the Christ. CBN is the parent company, founded by Pat Robertson, of "The 700 Club," a popular television series featuring insane people raping the corpse of Jesus Christ while complaining about gays and Muslims and abortions. Because of its subject matter," The 700 Club" has a huge audience.

(Ironically, the less violent edition of Gibson's Passion is titled The Passion of the Christ Recut. One might think a less violent version would have a less violent title. But no. Less blood. More cuts.)

In the fawning cbn.com interview, Scott Ross, a producer for "The 700 Club," asked Mel to explain how the controversy surrounding the film's theatrical, pre-cut release affected him. "Would you change anything," Ross asked. "Even the flack?"

Mel's response: "Not that I was a masochist [hahahaha! 'Not a masochist! Good one! --ed.] – I didn't enjoy that – but pain is a precursor to change. That was a necessary part of it. I mean, if you are touching on the truth in any way, that’s going to make flack."

Later in the interview, Mel said this: "I know that there are a lot of people out there with great hearts who are searching for the truth. I think we all are."

So he's both touching on the truth and searching for the truth. And he's in pain. And he's also, unexpectedly, a rhinoceros. "I have learned that a bitter experience can make you stronger. I now boastfully say that I have a hide like a rhinoceros… and I’m smiling."

A year later, this smiling, pained, truth-touching and -searching rhinoceros was standing beside a car in Malibu, completely shit-faced, yelling at cops who'd pulled him over for drunken driving. He was touching truth while touching his nose, declaring: "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world!"

Also, he continued searching for truth, inquiring of one female officer: "What are you looking at, sugar tits?"

On a side note, Pilate asked Jesus, "What is truth?" Pilate of course asked this profound question then left the room promptly, which is a terrible precedent to set; as a result, a lot of people reach out to Jesus, ask "What is truth?" then jet before Jesus can respond. In this way, Christians move through the ages, asking their question but not really waiting for an answer. The important thing isn't what Jesus thinks of truth; the important thing is to keep him quiet and get him crucified, so all his followers can interpret Jesus's truth any way they want.

Anyway.

Mel--truth-teller and truth-searcher, pained, smiling rhinoceros--divorced his wife of nearly 30 years not long after he released his Passion. He then took up with a Russian classical musician and fathered a child out of wedlock. Which I know, who cares, right, except this truth-touching, truth-seeking, smiling, pained rhinoceros spent several years convincing people of his Catholic bona fides. True Catholics are famously anti-divorce and anti-having-children-out-of-wedlock (odd since their entire religion is based on a woman having a kid without a husband).

Mel Gibson, Catholic and actor (and sugar tit inquisitor), disappeared for a while.

Then last week, taped phone conversations hit the Internet. Mel the truth-toucher returned: "You are provocatively dressed all the time with your fake boobs, you feel you have to show off in tight outfits and tight pants... I’m just telling you the truth."

Absolute truths as scourging as the 39 lashings of Jesus.

The truth-searcher returned as well:

"So you’re not lying to me about fake tits?"

Here's the thing, though: truth is an abstraction. In 1985, People Magazine decided it was true that Mel Gibson was the sexiest man alive, and in 2004, Mel Gibson decided it was true the criticism of his Passion had made him a better, stronger person (see interview).

It's impossible to declare one man the 'sexiest alive' and it's impossible to say if Mel Gibson was ever made better by anything at all. The only requirement to make a truth into a fact is consensus within a group. A dull answer for Pilate, certainly.

"So. Jesus. What is truth?"

"Truth is a belief or statement agreed upon within a group. For instance, for some of those people out there, it's true I'm the Son of God, which makes it true that I am. For others, I am not, so it makes it true that I am not. Truth, sir, is this: I am that I am, and I am that I am not. Truth requires consensus, not facts."

"I should've stuck to the facts, then. Are you now, or have you ever been, Christ?"

So: by consensus, should we agree that Mel Gibson was the sexiest man alive in 1985? And should we agree he's a better man now than he was then, twenty years before The Passion of the Christ?

2 comments:

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MM said...

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