Magnetic Partners

What pulled you together may be pulling you apart.

Is Mel Gibson Good For America?

Tough times for the out-of-control actor

What are we going to do with Mel Gibson? He's insulted just about everyone on the planet, including the police. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of the man's work. I've seen all the Mad Max movies, the little known Payback, twice, Gallipoli, twice, Ransom, twice, Apocalypto, three times, and like most men, Braveheart, more times than I can remember. I even liked What Do Women Want? But I'm not so sure I understood it. The man has talent...no question, but is he good for America? After all, we're a pluralistic society and Mel has set us back several years...at least Pre-Civil War. He seems to have some serious issues with the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and the Constitution — especially the parts that suggest all people are created equal — and something's got to give. A colleague recommended that we should deport him back to Australia. The problem with this is: Mel isn't really Australian. He was born in a place called Peekskill, New York and didn't move to Sydney until he was about 12 years old. Even so, the word is that while living in the "land down under," the rapidly self-destructing superstar upset some very influential Kangaroos—apparently, he made some remarks about their ears being too big. Whatever he said, I hear they're ready to stomp. I also happen to know that the KBAA (Koala Bears Association of Australia) is drafting a letter of protest regarding Mel's behavior, but those cuddly characters move so slow the letter probably won't be finished until Mel receives the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Mel's defense for his out-of-control behavior is that he's a bipolar struggling with alcoholism. Makes sense, but what about Depakote, Mel? Look, if I can admit that I like your work, you can admit that you've got some "splainin" to do about your bigotry (hint: check out your family of origin). Be a real Braveheart and do this, then — since we're stuck with you — just shut up and make movies.

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Stephen J. Betchen, D.S.W., is the author of the book Magnetic Partners.

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