Aug 14, 2006


So I have been debating about whether or not to post about Mel Gibson. I usually try to avoid getting too involved in the ridiculous celebrity scene with this blog. It just seems that the whole scandal has not gone away. There is not any way to defend what Gibson said. Some people have tried to say that "we all have said things that we didn't mean when we were drunk." Having never been drunk, I have no clue. But what I have noticed is that excessive alcohol just lowers inhibitions and makes people more likely to do things they want to. And they say things that they try to keep buried the rest of the time. Having read what Gibson's father believes, and hearing the rumors that have been swirling for years around Mel, I wouldn't be surprised if he harbors some of those thoughts. Or at least he fights wth those thoughts - even if he didn't beleive them. I know that I heard my father say things so much that it became easy for me to lean in that direction in my opinions.

Again, none of that is to defend what Mel said. He said unbelievably stupid stuff and took shots at several groups. His comments were not just stupid, though, they were hateful and hurtful. Now, what I have a problem with is the aftermath. We get People magazine and Entertainment Weekly. Both of them ran front page promotion of articles about his heinous acts. And they both have revisited the story the next week. News sites still are reporting on the story now - weeks later. People are calling for boycotts of Gibson and his movies. Others are saying that they will never work with him again (Rob Schneider - was that even a consideration?). Still others say he should just be banished from Hollywood all together. I read some guy online who said he would never watch Braveheart again.

Sooooo, that's how Hollywood handles people who believe stupid stuff? Well, let's think about this. Roman Polanski was charged with statutory rape and fled the country. He got nominated for an Oscar in 2003 - and won. There is still an outstanding warrant for his arrest. There are dozens of high-rolling people in Hollywood that believe in aliens as deities and act like raving lunatics (Tom Cruise, paging Tom Cruise). Actors like Collin Farrell enter substance abuse facilities all the time. Instead of banishing them from Hollywood they get more and more roles, even though they haven't ever had a big movie to deserve the support. Robert Downey Jr was such a problem at one point that insurance companies would not even let a studio get a policy for him during a shoot.

Hollywood has never had a problem overlooking all kinds of things. They overlook marriages being broken up, drug use, domestic violence, moronic comments, alcoholism, wacky political stances, strange religious beliefs, and out-of-control lifestyles. So why won't they move past Mel's night of drinking and mouth-running? I think that part of it is that Mel put himself on the front lines with his Passion of the Christ movie. His religious beliefs became part of what identified him. He went from Crazy Funloving Mel to Religious Mel. And that was when things went nuts. He decided to stop acting and only direct. His projects became more ambitious - filmed in dead languages, based on fringe historical characters. He was now perceived as serious. And that was where this craziness didn't match up.

People were used to seeing him in his long beard, building his private church, talking about serious things. And the drunken bit didn't fit. And the hateful comment surely didn't fit. And when he had become associated with the Christian community, that added an extra layer. When he tripped, a major Christian symbol tripped. And that was where a lot of these people took sick joy in watching him mess up. They loved saying, "Oh is this how a Christian acts?" Personally, I think this why it became such a big story -- because it made Christians look stupid. And that is why it is still a story. Other people have said racist comments - on all different sides of the fence. They don't get banned from Hollywood. But Mel is fighting for his career. Seems awfully weird to me. But what do I know? Personally, I hope Mel recovers quickly, gets his life turned around, and works it out with the people he hurt. He is too good of an actor, a director, and a person to toss him aside. Now is one of the times that I would be happy if Hollywood did overlook some moron's acting like an idiot.

Aug 7, 2006

Up in the Mountains

So, we are up at Ridgecrest outside of Asheville, NC for the National Collegiate Conference. By we, I mean me and my Defender Ministries cohort Charles. We are teaching eight sessions about how to escape the bondage of porn. (Two trigger words, that should get the blog blocked by the filters.) It is going great. We've done four sessions so far and we've had a great response. I love this conference, because it is so laid back, and a good chance to see old friends from back in the day. Here are some quick hits from the first half of the conference.

1 - It is amazing how a ten hour trip in a van with a big group rapidly becomes a thirteen hour trip in a van.

2 - I hate being in a van for thirteen hours. Even though we drove the van that all the young ladies decided to ride in. Because let's face it, it is MUCH better being in a van with ten college ladies than with ten college guys. They are sweeter, kinder, quieter, and they don't pass gas - out loud. And plus, after thirteen hours, most guys smell weird.

3 - The mountains of North Carolina rule. This whole area kicks butt. (Another trigger word) If you read my last post about my affinity (read: hatred) for the heat, you should know I would prefer this. It is still hot here during the day, and you have to climb up these horrible things called "hills" and "stairs" all over the place. But at night, and in the morning, it is pleasant and foggy and you don't get carried off by mosquitos as large as a bear.

4 - When we checked in, we actually received a flyer warning us that a bear had been spotted roaming around the woods near here. Most places in Florida, that would have been on the news. Here, it only deserves a cheaply constructed flyer. Awesome.

5 - Country fried steak is nummy. I had never had it before. I know that is hard to believe by examining my physique, but it is true. Good stuff. I really think the people I was with should have thought twice before letting me eat it.

6 - Talladaga Nights was pretty funny. I'll post a review on my Movie Reviews Page later this week.

7 - Superman Returns was pretty good. I'll post a review on my Movie Reviews Page later this week.

8 - Sundrop soda is the best of all the quasi-citrus, high caffeine sodas. It is smoother than Mello Yello (which everyone up here carries) and had a better composition than Mountain Dew. AND they had a Cherry Sundrop about five years before Code Red Mountain Dew - so you have to give them props for their vision. Of course, they don't sell it down in O-Town. So I will have to make some room in my suitcase.

9 - How did we survive without cell phones? I have no clue. I don't remember my life before them. I look at the hotel phone and laugh. Yeah, right, make a call from the room. I haven't even given my hotel info to Heather b/c I have my phone, and my wireless broadband card, and a WiFi network on campus. It is like you can't get away -- hey, wait, that isn't good.

10 - How do we survive without television? We don't have one in our room. I never realized how much time I waste in front of the tv. I got so desperate the other day, I went to the workout room and did the treadmill for 30 minutes so I could watch the tube. Yes, 10 Things I Hate About You was worth the treadmill.

I'll check in again later.