In Vino Veritas
As a human being I will make all sorts of exceptions for people who get on the wrong side of drugs and alcohol. I bear no malice towards Robert Downey Jr., Courtney Love or Nick Nolte, along with countless others in the public eye going back to WC Fields and John Barrymore. But, I will countenance no backpedaling from somebody who got pissed up, and then responded to the situation with profane arrogance and vicious bigotry. He fucked up bigtime, and therefore chose to blame not just the arresting officer but an entire race of people.
Wow! And, do you know what. Blowing a .12 doesn't make you all that drunk. It's only point zero four over the legal driving limit. Big boys can usually hold their booze pretty well at that level. Therefore, let's suggest that the ever-so-successful Mr. Gibson used that as an excuse for some appalling behavior. I mean, take a look at his mug. He really doesn't look all the worse for wear. Where are the rheumy eyes and the hangdog expression. Why doesn't he look like Nolte did in that infamous mug shot. I used to run a rehab, if a guy came in looking like Mel, I would say he was in pretty darn decent shape.
It has been pointed out that most people, when they drink excessively, do things like talk too loudly, decide that a recent barfly acquaintance is his best friend in the world, maybe make a pass at an old family friend, go out and puke on his shoes, or maybe just plain pass out cold. Most people when they get drunk don't launch into a diatribe against a specific ethnic group unless they happen to already think that way. That's how I see it.
Many years ago (and this is something I am still ashamed of) I was busted for DUI. I was beside myself, and could offer no excuse for my behavior other than the fact I acted thoroughly irresponsibly and deserved whatever punishment was coming my way. Needless to say, the lesson stuck, and there is absolutely no chance of my repeating the act. And, by God, when they took me in, I was the politest and humblest little puppy in the world. It never once crossed my mind to blame another race of people for my misbehavior.
I am experienced enough now in dealing with substance abuse, from a clinical end, that I harbor no delusions about the effects of intoxicants on people but, you know, I do not accept substance abuse as a mitigating factor in courts. "I molested my stepdaughter, your honor, because I was drunk." In a pig's eye, you did. You molested your stepdaughter because you already harbored carnal and controlling thoughts about her, and being drunk just gave you the courage to carry out what you had always wanted to do.
"I maligned an entire culture, your honor, because I was drunk." Like Hell. You maligned the Jews because you already harbored anti-Semitic thoughts, and your being drunk gave you the courage to express what you really thought. Also, the realization that you had screwed up so badly put you in a panic, and you were desperate to blame somebody else.
Of course, I could be wrong. But I don't think so.
In Vino Veritas, in wine there is truth, said the Romans. They weren't wrong. Anything you have ever done or said or tried when drunk is something you likely always wanted to do, say, or try out while sober. Get a snootful, and anything you've harbored in your little heart seems like a good idea. The guy who lights into his boss at the office Christmas party is the guy who always wanted to light into his boss, but just didn't have the balls. If your sister-in-law looks pretty damn hot late in the evening after a few snifters, it's because she has always looked pretty damn hot in your esteem.
So, I am not about to say that Mr. Gibson is an anti-Semite. Only he knows the truth of that. But, I can say that his behavior says something about him that is extremely negative, and with which he, in his good Catholic conscience should be wrestling.
He says he is going to get into a program and get treatment. Good for him. Alcoholism is a hideous affliction that kills thousands every year. He should be thanking the cops who nailed him and kept him from killing himself or others. He should be thankful for being granted the realization that whatever he was doing to control his drinking behavior, obviously wasn't working.
And, he should now be cognizant of the fact that any recovery program, especially if it's 12-Step based, calls for complete honesty and complete humility. I expect for him that will be a tall order.