On Dom’s site:
Via Kathy Shaidle comes a thoughtful article from Libertas, a forum for conservative thought on film, regarding Hollywood celebrities in light of Mel Gibson’s recent troubles.
Although Gibson clearly used the conservative media to promote a product of his, Gibson’s politics remain vague. Basically Gibson appears to be an idiosyncratically devout Catholic whose agenda crossed paths with religious conservatives when his film came out, and also when Gibson lobbied against stem-cell research. Otherwise, it isn’t clear to me how the mythology of Mel Gibson as political conservative began. In fact, these days I’m sensing the opposite may be true: Gibson may be a left-wing Catholic much like … Michael Moore.
… And this, perhaps is the most vital point I have to make to fellow conservatives: get over this guy. Stop treating Hollywood Celebrities as anything more than they are: Hollywood Celebrities. And what is a Hollywood Celebrity? For the most part they’re bizarre, indulged, completely self-absorbed people who do not live in the world the rest of us live in.
… The problem is that the allegiances of Hollywood Celebrities are determined by who is going to give them $20 million paychecks, and little else. More than liberalism or (in the very rare case) conservatism, the ideology of Hollywood Celebrities is: narcissism.
I’ve written about it before. I’m always amazed at how some orthodox and conservative Catholics go all weak in the knees whenever they think that some Hollywood celebrity might be a closet Catholic or a closet political conservative or agree with their point of view in some way. Who cares? Why must we get our validation from people whose job it is to prance about the stage and play at imagination. There’s nothing with that if it’s your profession, but that’s the point. It’s just a job, not membership in an American aristocracy that automatically makes the anointed celebrity an expert in everything he or she has an opinion about.
The cult of celebrity is just a further sign of sickness in our society. There has been wall to wall media coverage of Mad Mel’s anti-Semetic rant that is not proportional to other stories.
Naveed Afzal Haq who killed one Jewish woman and injured five others including a pregnant woman and yet Google News shows 1,110 stories for Haq and 4,830 for Mel Gibson. As despicable as Mel’s comments were they don’t rise up to the type of hatred that plans and then carries out actual shooting of Jewish people.
As far as Mel Gibson’s situation itself goes I will defer to what Mark Shea has written on the subject since he says it much better than I can.
Amen to that. I don’t think celebs are driven by anything much different than any of us…it’s just that there narcissism is fueled and by money and fame…
Mel Gibson’s latest apology was both sincere and humble. Why we consider words spoken in a drunken state to be deep truths, I don’t know. (I remember some college mornings-after when I was appalled at the bizzare things I was told I said the night before…) The garbage we carry around in our subconscious includes fears, repressed memories, and all manner of rejected material. What a person says when “out of one’s mind” may reveal some of his/her past but should not be taken as that person’s “truth”.Humble apologies and reparations are due to all those offended by our spill of garbage, but to condemn someone by the contents of their trashcan seems unwarranted. MY garbage doesn’t smell like roses…
Great article why not take a look:
Where is the passion of compassion?
The reason why we get so “weak in the knees” when a celebrity reveals they be more or less a normal Catholic is because Hollywood and the mass media as a whole are openly antagonistic and hostile to our faith.
So when we spot someone who has infiltrated the other and started speaking positively about the Faith, we tend to take it as a sign that the prayed for era of new evangelization is nigh.
Yeah Jeff, everyone’s crucifying Mel but where was Hollywood’s uproar against Ron Howard and Tom Hanks for the defamatory Da Vinci Code? Not even close.
The odd thing here, is that Mel expressed the opinions that it seems a lot of the far left Hollywood and liberal beltway elites agree with.
Nonetheless, I am personally impressed by his apology, because it’s way more sincere-sounding and self-effacing than the usual non-apologies from Hollywood and DC.
No, celebrities aren’t aristocrats, but they have a following, and undue influence on popular opinion. Like it or not, we do have to pay attention to what they say when they’re not reciting from a script…and sometimes when they are, as well.