Friday, July 9, 2010
WHERE'S THE BRAVERY AND HEART?
Yesterday I lost a hero. A visionary. I actually lost him four years ago. And what I didn't lose then -- and was willing to forgive for the sake of the genius and art that had yet to be made -- the rest was solidified yesterday.
From the man who had it in him to direct and star in a film about Scottish hero William Wallace ('Braveheart') -- which, best to my knowledge, no one had previously done -- came a misogynistic, hateful and racist filled rant: the phone call heard around the world.
I am, of course, talking about Mel Gibson.
Four years ago he barely came out unscathed after his anti-Semitic rant where he claimed "Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world".
Some of us forgave, even those of us who come from Jewish ancestry.
I can't speak for everyone who forgave, or who perhaps didn't. I can only speak for myself.
I know from how he was raised that that kind of hate and racism was embedded in him through his father.
Still, I forgave and waited for his repent.
Then came the leaked phone call yesterday -- no doubt from his his estranged girlfriend's, Oksana Grigorieva's, camp, where we've heard a 'he said - she said' spectacle played out in the tabloids these last few days, complete with restraining orders and accusations against the other.
I can argue that it's simply none of our business and that the phone call in question -- one of two: the first one he reportedly admitted to hitting her in the face twice while holding their infant daughter and went so far as to say she 'deserved it' -- should have never been leaked.
What should have remained a private matter between the two has now become public fodder with Mr. Gibson coming out badly in the end.
Do I feel better at knowing the truth?
Is it, in fact, my business?
With that said, do I have a strong opinion and reaction to what I did hear?
Naturally. As a woman, a mother, a wife, a daughter, an activist, a film lover and a somewhat self-professed historian, I am mortified and ashamed of Mr. Gibson.
Whether or not Mel Gibson -- and his career -- is redeemable is certainly not for me to guess at; that is between himself and his God.
I only wonder now how Mr. Gibson could be so enlightened as to bring to the masses the lost and badly needed to be told story of William Wallace in the form of 'Braveheart' -- a hero and feminist in his own right -- only to then become this man who runs around on his wife of 30 years, the mother of his seven children, becomes an alcoholic and gets another woman pregnant and then hits her while she's holding their infant daughter and hurls vile insults at her.
I also wonder, what kind of woman is she who gets involved with a long time married man and then tapes their conversations?
Was it for her protection? Rightly so, if that's the case. Obviously she needs protection from this loose cannon.
Or perhaps did she do it for media redemption and glory? To justify her public image as a home-wrecker and fame seeker and to further humiliate this man whom we didn't think could sink any lower by now using the 'N' word and calling her a 'whore' among other things.
William Wallace fought against the British monarchy ruled by King Edward I, known as 'Longshanks'.
Legend has it that William Wallace first raged a war against 'Longshanks' by killing an English Sheriff to avenge the death of Wallace's wife -- Marion "Murron" Braidfute whom he married in secret -- who refused to give in to the advances of the sheriff who was trying to implement 'primae noctis': a nobleman's 'right' to rape a Scottish bride on her wedding night. A decree legend says was reinstated by the king himself.
Historians argue that never in the King's reign was primae noctis practiced.
However, the legend prevails that Wallace himself was indeed a hero, fighting for the rights of women and Scotland.
It would seem that Mel Gibson bears neither bravery nor heart, the very traits the man whose life story he fought for years to get told indeed wore, battled and died for proudly.
Are knights in shining armours long dead? Did chivalry and gallantry die with them?
William Wallace's story, even with all it's historical inaccuracies, needed and deserved to be told -- and if the legend bears even a fraction of truth, then I have to now ask myself in regards to Mel Gibson's behavior:
What would William Wallace do?