Things you should be looking at.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Reacting to Mel Gibson

Rather than talking about why Gibson is a schmuck, I'd like to talk a little about how people are reacting to his schmuckitude.

Big-shot Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel has (rightly, imho) called for an industry boycott of Gibson, and Barbara Walters made it clear to a large audience of daytme television viewers that she's not going to see any new Gibson films, but I don't think his career is over.

I agree with Entertainment Weekly about what will happen.
  1. Gibson goes to (outpatient) rehab. This makes clear that Gibson isn't a racist, he's a victim of alcoholism. Funny. There have been times that I had too much to drink, but it never made me say things I didn't think. It made me say things that I thought all the time but didn't usually verbalize.
  2. Gibson will lay low for a while and wait for the notorious short memories of the movie-going audience and Hollywood to forget a little.
  3. Gibson will do a round of the talk show circuit (including Larry King) and do the standard mea culpa schtick, asking in his sincerest tone for forgiveness. America, the land of second chances, will grant this forgiveness.
  4. Gibson will star in a reasonably successful, apolitical comedy.
  5. Gibson will be back in the good graces of American audiences.
I've actually been disapointed by the general reaction to Mel's comments.

You've probably seen the READ posters that the American Library Association sells to libraries and uses to promote literacy. There's one with Mel Gibson.

K.G. Schneider, a librarian blogger who I read, called for the ALA to remove this poster from their catalogue, and this makes sense to me, but not, it seems, to a lot of libraryfolk. One commenter wrote:

"Library collections usually contain all sorts of toejam that I personally find odious, but I'd defend their right to be there to represent as wide a view as possible. The same with the poster."

I think this a flawed argument. It is one thing to protect the diversity of the materials in library collections- I don't want, for example, Mein Kampf to disappear from libraries.

But as I commented in the same post on Schneider's blog, there's a big difference between a library's collection and the materials it uses to promote itself. What does it say about a library if it leaves a Mel Gibson poster up? What sort of P.R. or marketing is that?

I'm still waiting for someone to photoshop the book in this READ poster on Mel's lap to be Mein Kampf, or something similar. Or maybe one of these:

Any takers?

wv: mmaxbr (seriously! Mad Max!)


Andrew said...

Ask and ye shall receive.

Jake said...

The Road Warrior was his last good film. Basically just had to stand around trying to look tough. Anything outside of that realm is a stretch for him. Braveheart was watchable but would have been better had he talked less. His career was over ages ago for me.

As for his drunk driving, nobody should care. Give him the ticket, take away his license, treat him like most of my co-workers.

As for his antisemitism, like that's news. The guy has always been a reactionary Catholic nut case.

To reiterate my point, Mad Max and The Road Warrior were the only really neccesary films from his portfolio. Their greatness has more to do with the Miller/Kennedy writer/producer pairing than with Mel's dead-pan heroism characterization. Max is a great character. Mel is a schmuck. I could play Max as well or better.

X said...

The real star of those two movies is the Falcon. That's why Thunderdome sucked. Okay, one of many MANYreasons Thunderdome sucked.

Jake said...

Yeah! And Mel tried to act in Thunderdome.

And they overdubbed his voice in Mad Max and I still liked it.

But the falcon is gone. "Last of the V8 interceptors," blown to bits part way through the second film. You'd think that would have been a reason to not continue the story. Then again, people are still trying to make an Easy Rider sequel. The smell of money...

Mel Gibson is a washed up overhyped drunken anti-semite with millions and millions of dollars.
The Ford Falcon V8 interceptor rocks.

X said...

Damn right!

Fords Rule! Guns! Trucks! Beer! Fooba! Sheep--SHHH! PROFIDICONTREEEE!

Andrew said...

The Star Tribune's editorial cartoonist, Sack, isn't kind to Gibsaon either.

iSirkus said...

Where are the posters usually hung? Classrooms and Libraries? Isn’t that a bit redundant?
I mean, I’m in the Library already, why suggest I read? And do we really need some pop culture icon distracting our kids from the learning experience of a classroom?

It is my opinion that all materials in the classroom should be designed to teach or stimulate a students brain. These posters do neither. And I like my Libraries “quiet” and to have lots of natural light.

The poster you show above doesn’t even show the subject matter READING the book. In fact, none of the posters on the link to the ALA site show people enjoying the book they hold. They’re all smiling at the camera, the book is not the first thing to catch your attention. You see a face. On some of them you have to actually search out the book in the photo. Excuse me, but isn’t the point to draw attention to the act of reading?

I think ALA needs a new marketing director.

And I sympathize with this statement:

Free Range Librarian: Dump Mel: "The forces of the marketplace may send Mel Gibson 'READ' posters to the 'destroyed merchandise' category. If people don't buy them any more, ALA won't continue to pay the costs associated with keeping them in its inventory.

Posted by: Jim Rettig | August 1, 2006 01:21 PM

I sympathize because I don’t really like telling people what they can and cannot do. Setting a standard within the individual libraries by boycotting such asinine posters in the first place, would force the distributor to remove such materials from inventory or encourage them to come up with a campaign that makes more sense than a smiling over-paid entertainer.