Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mel: Profile in Douchebaggery

Imagine you are rich.
Imagine you are rich enough to hire people to do just about anything you want.
Imagine you are rich and also stupid and perhaps loathsome.
Imagine your stupidity and loathsomeness keeps getting you into trouble.
Imagine you are rich and quasi-powerful and your loathsome stupidity gets you into the kind of trouble that may endanger your capacity to continue being rich and quasi-powerful.

Wouldn't you hire someone to protect you from yourself?

Enter Mel Gibson.

Imagine if charming Mel had had the sort of bodyguard who had the big guy's best interests at heart. Assigned not to keep fans and paparazzi away but to stop charming Mel from (a) driving drunk, leading to verbally abusing cops with anti-Semitic tirades, or (b) conducting repeated go-nuts-and-dial phone conversations with his ex, or (c) punching aforementioned ex, the mother of his child, in the mouth, or (d) making a film version of "Hamlet." Mel's life (and in the case of (d), my life) would be so much better today.

Granted, our petty little non-celebrity lives would be so dreary without the Fatty Arbuckles, the Errol Flynns, the Elizabeth Taylors, the Anna Nicole Smiths, the Paris Hiltons, the Whitney Houstons, the David Hasselhoffs (wow, this list is going on and on so easily) the Britney Spearses, and the Lindsay Lohans. I would hardly be able to get out of bed in the morning if I wasn't sure there would be some other semi-talented, overly-celebrated "star" self destructing on breakfast TV. "You may be rich!" I shout, "but at least I didn't expose my naughty bits to crowds of people last night!" At least I don't think so. Where was I last night? Hmmm...

Anyway (and stop trying to distract me like some substitute teacher) Mel's setting the bar high for future Hollywood fuck ups. He's proven he is some kind of a wacko Opus Dei Jew-hater, an alcoholic, a wife beater who treats women like possessions, and, on film, the kind of actor they used to describe as "chewing the scenery." Trifecta plus one, Mel! The pissant Quadfecta! What can you possibly do for an encore? Run for office?

Schaudenfraude (a word I find so handy I didn't even have to look up how to spell it) is a magical thing. We take pleasure in the foolhardiness of others, particularly the rich and famous, allowing us to say to ourselves "Well, I may not have money, but at least I'm not a wacko Opus Dei Jew-hating, alcoholic, misogynistic, wife-beating ham like that Mel Gibson!" A too-common human instinct - to kick 'em while they're down. And maybe all walking egos who make themselves TMZ-fodder have some kind of disease, a Hollywood-Washington DC-centered virus that wipes out reasonable judgment and common decency. Maybe another round of rehab will set them all straight. Or maybe it takes a psychopath with massive character flaws to succeed in show biz or politics these days.

Either way, it makes you glad to be just one of the little people. And it's damn entertaining.

Got to go, I think "True Hollywood Story" is coming on E!

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