Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Celebrity gossip and anti-semitism

I'm not very good at celebrity gossip - being a news snob, plus living in a country different from my passport, I just don't read "those" type of papers. The Finnish tabloids are currently full of the new girlfriend of the Prime Minister and I really know nothing about her beyond that they met whilst shopping in IKEA. Somehow there is something faintly reassuring about this. Anyway I do like movies, good and trash, so I am very aware of for example, who Ms. Jolie is even if I can't remember what her and Brad's new sprog is called. And this brings me on to "Mel's booze hell". I had something of a teenage fascination with Australia - too much early, punky INXS and Midnight Oil I think. It seemed so exciting and, well to be honest, full of attractive girls in bikinis in comparison to my reality of dreary, damp central England. When I was 18 and finished school I flipped burgers in McDonald's for six months to raise some cash, got a working visa and headed off to find my Antipodean dream. It was great. I drank a lot and met lots of girls in bikinis. At 18 what more could you ask for? Without a doubt it was more exciting than dreary damp central England. This is by-the-by, really what I wanted to get to is that along with Australia I had a soft spot of Mel Gibson as well. As everyone knows, Mad Max is one of the great work of cinematic history. No - seriously it's a classic. I hitchhiked from the Snowy Mountains down to Melbourne and the dude who picked me up actually went a few miles off-route just so we could drive at high speed in his Ute down one of the highways in northern Victoria where one of the big car battle scenes had been filmed. It was great.

But I have to say now - Mel - you're completely f***ing bonkers aren't you?! Slate.com have a number of article on the utter crazyiness of Gibson's rabidly anti-semitic slurs that he let rip when he got pulled over by the cops in California for drunk driving. The Jews are really out to get Mel. Everyone knew he was weird after he made the Passion of Christ, but weird isn't the same as simply being nuts which is what the police records of the arrest suggest.

My interest in this was sort of sparked because last week Mike sent me another report from Jerusalem. I haven't posted it yet mainly because I've been a bit busy - so I apologise to Mike - but also because he was commenting on online discussions that we have both been involved in on a UK website over the current mid-East Crisis. So really part of the report wasn't from Jerusalem, it was a comment on the debate in the UK. The arguments hinged around the question of when anti-Israeli expression falls over the edge into anti-semitism. I used to think this was clear, and the anti-semitic claim was generally the last debating tool of the hardcore pro-Israelis when they had lost on most other points of fact and logic. But now I'm not so sure. I decided not to post Mike's thoughts on this because it its one of the great modern ethical dilemmas - one of those defining question for anyone who considers themselves to have a centrist or progressive/leftwing view on international affairs. Therefore I think on my blog if anyone is going to address it should be me. I will return to this when I have more time to consider it. But we can all thank Mel for showing clearly what complete and utter anti-Semitic lunacy looks like. And Mel, just a tip: calling a female police officer with a gun "sugartits" is never going to be a smart idea.

1 comment:

KGS said...

Prats like Mel (of whom I once held good thoughts, but still like mad max movies)who mouth bigoted slurs are the easy ones to spot.

However, those coming from the progessive side of the aisle, who equate their progressiveness as proof of their credentials of being immune from any sort of anti-Semitism are the dangerous ones.

Types like Eki T.(sdp) and Klaus A.(vas) and Jaakko L.(vas) truly believe that they could never harbor a bigoted bone in their body, but nonetheless, time after time their utterances betray them.

Toby,
I applaud the fact that you are even thinking about the issue under a new light. It proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that you're an honest broker, no matter how many times I find myself at the opposite ends of an issue with you.

Am I a partisan for pro-Israeli sentiment, unabashedly yes, and post no regrets, but I am also pro-Arab (hoping that they are content to live in their own state and at peace with Israel)as well.

Shalom

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