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Monday, August 07, 2006

More on double standards, the Jews, Mel Gibson

In the middle of all this “much ado about nothing” regarding Mel Gibson, a headline hits the news which, in my view, sheds a lot of light on how different religious groups are treated by the media, the politicians, the “opinion-makers” (a word that, in itself, evokes Orwellian memories of thought police).

In the UK, The Sunday Times of August 06, 2006 publishes an interview with Helen Green, a former Deutsche Bank employee in London who was shockingly awarded more than £800,000 by the High Court for the alleged bullying she suffered in her workplace.

The details of the case are irrelevant here, except for the fact that she was apparently psychologically vulnerable due to her difficult childhood and upbringing, a “fragile person” as her interviewer Jasper Gerard put it.

He goes on to say:
‘“The story of Green’s childhood and the abuse she suffered is truly tragic. She was a product of a youthful affair between her Jewish orthodox mother and an Italian; the Jewish community of Leeds was scandalised. The family forced Green’s mother to send her to a Manchester children’s home.

‘“Her family would not let me in the house,” says Green, tears welling in her brown eyes. So, aged two, she was given up for adoption to another Jewish family in Lincolnshire. Her adoptive father Edward Green (now dead) was a wealthy accountant who drove a Rolls-Royce. In 1991, Green reported that he had sexually abused her and took him to court; he was later cautioned and put on the sex offenders’ register. The anguish drove her to a breakdown and she has been estranged from the rest of her adoptive family ever since.”’

Now, look at who is a bigot here.

It’s widespread among Jews and Jewish families living in the West to oppose marriage with non-Jews, and only allowing marriage within their own group.

If you have a friend of Jewish ancestry you’ll know that. And every so often little bits of information like the one concerning the above case of Helen Green emerge.

But does anybody cry out: “It’s racist!” “It’s anti-Christian!” or the like?

But, think about it, it obviously is. It may have a long tradition and a remote historic origin, but that does not justify it.

Look at the matter-of-fact way in which the Sunday Times journalist simply reported it, without even so much as raising an eyebrow.

Do you think that if this kind of discrimination had been displayed by any Christian or, even worse, a Catholic family, the reaction would have been so accepting and tolerant? Of course not.

A strange thing happened to me on my way to the Comments...

This may seem a trivial event, and in many ways it is, except that it is a symptom of a more general problem.

I found a comment to my previous post “Leave Mel Gibson alone” from someone calling herself tp gal, accusing me of having left a nasty comment on her blog, of whose very existence, in fact, I was blissfully unaware.

Apparently, on the same day of my post she had, in her own words, “posted my break up with Mel Gibson. I do believe he is sorry for what he said, and like most who error [sic!] I believe that he too will be forgiven.”. If you are wondering which woman celebrity separated from the great Mel and you try to remember any gossip you might have read on the topic, don’t. What she meant was that “he doesn't deserve any more of my money”, a terrible fate no doubt, but also (this will come as a huge consolation for Gibson) shared by Tom Cruise.

An “anonymous” user had left this comment to her Gibson post: “who gives a shit...”.

A comment with which, albeit crudely put, I would say that a lot of people could easily agree.

Offended, she tried to find the writer behind the veil of anonymity and looked at her site’s statistics logs. The problem is that she can’t understand them and she thought that the URL of the referral was the domain of the blog belonging to the comment’s writer.

So, just because somebody had visited my weblog before hers I became the culprit.
That’s how she came (jumped, rather) to the conclusion that it was me, idea that she thought confirmed when she saw that my weblog too has a Mel Gibson post.

Why do I think that this is symptomatic? Because tp gal, whoever she is, was so full of her own self-righteousness that she was too eager to condemn others without evidence or knowledge of the facts, at the same time lacking capability for self criticism.

And this is typical of the people who say the things she said about Mel Gibson, passively accepting the media’s interpretation and judgement of events and the politically correct view (or rather lack of view) of the world.

Post Scriptum. And, after she discovered her mistake, she did not even apologize. She has quite a few things to learn from Mel Gibson (a few billions, to be fair).

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Leave Mel Gibson alone

Mel Gibson is one of Hollywood’s finest intellects and greatest men.

The Passion of the Christ, the film he co-wrote, produced and directed in 2004, was the eighth highest-earning film in all history and the highest-earning rated R film of all time.

Mel Gibson was one of the only five actors in the history of Hollywood to win Best Director Oscars. He did so for Braveheart in 1995. That film was nominated for ten awards (including Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Original Dramatic Score, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Sound). It was a triumph and the film won five Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Makeup, and Best Sound Effects.

The accusations of anti-Semitism for the magnificent The Passion of the Christ, one of the most beautiful Hollywood films ever made, are totally unfounded and are more a sign of the bigotry of some people and of the constant paranoia surrounding the topic than anything else.

Gibson simply retold in a supremely cinematographically crafted way the story of the last twelve hours of the life of Jesus, as found in the Gospels.

This ludicrous controversy, another case of political correctness gone mad, arises from a scene which is not even in the film, the scene in which the Jewish high priest Caiaphas coaxes the unwilling Pontius Pilate, Roman governor of Judea, into executing Jesus.

When finally Pilate, exasperated, gives up and condemns the prisoner, according to the Gospel of Matthew he first shows his own lack of guilt by publicly washing his hands. The crowd then shouts: “His blood be on us, and on our children.”

This passage is one of the sources of the idea of collective Jewish guilt for the death of Jesus.

But Gibson was so eager to appease Jews that he not only did not shoot the scene as told by Saint Matthew, he even removed it altogether.

At first he filmed Caiaphas alone calling the curse down. But then Gibson’s editor, Wright, was strongly opposed to including even that version, saying: “I just think you're asking for trouble if you leave it in. For people who are undecided about the film, that would be the thing that turned them against it.”

Gibson followed that advice, but regretfully. “I wanted it in,” he says. “My brother said I was wimping out if I didn't include it. It happened; it was said. But, man, if I included that in there, they'd be coming after me at my house, they'd come kill me.”
He apparently meant organizations like the Anti-Defamation League and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, as well as certain academics.

Anyway, the whole thing is ridiculous: if this passage was in the Gospel, and the film story was the one told there, it should not have caused offence to anyone. After all, it is a Jewish crowd of the time of Jesus whose guilt we are discussing, not all Jews. It is very likely that for the Jews of Ancient Testament times, Jesus, with His extremely revolutionary ideas (so revolutionary and pioneering that we find them difficult to put into practice even 2,000 years later) did represent a threat.

I think it’s disgraceful that Gibson could not leave the original Gospel scene in the film. Have we got to the point that the Gospels have to be censored by the politically correct thought police? In Muslim countries they have the moral police; we in the West have the political police.

You can assess how strong the Jewish lobby is, if you look at this incident, involving one of those rare works of art in Hollywood cinema which was also totally innocent of the accusations, and you compare it with, for instance, the publication of the nonsensical The Da Vinci Code book and film.