Mel and Me
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" We're pagan and poor, with the wolf at the door, and ants on the floor that are hard to ignore! Scroll down, por favor, for our "World of Homes Tour!"
Here's a handy tip to get rid of pesky ants: Leave a bottle of maple syrup in a cupboard with its flip-top open. Those pismires check in, but they don't check out.
Please don't ask how I discovered this fact.
Today's topic: Mel Gibson.
Say what you want about art imitating life. Did you ever think he'd really become a Road Warrior?
There's nothing particularly novel about ordinary folks like you and me being strongly influenced in life by the actions of movie stars. On screen, off screen, behind the camera, you name it.
For the love of ducks, I can't get my daughter The Spare to stop saying, "'Ello, Poppett." She's seen that cheesy Pirates of the Caribbean movie four times, and that's her favorite line.
If I look across the Hollywood pantheon, I can't see a single actor or actress who's had a more profound effect on my life than Mel Gibson.
I can't give Mel all the credit for pushing me out of the Christian fold. But he definitely opened the door and shoved. He might have used one of those battering rams from Braveheart.
Mel said he made Passion of the Christ, rated R for extremely gory violence, to bring people into the Christian church.
Sound logic. I think Martin Scorcese made The Godfather to bring people into the Mob.
(OOOOPS! That would be Francis Ford Coppola. I'm a goat judge, not a film buff. Credit Mr. Johnson with the save.)
There was something so unseemly, so sickening, about the whole concept of Passion that I was appalled. The fact that it was so widely embraced, not only by fundamentalists, but by supposedly mainstream pastors like the local gent at the Methodist Church, made me lose sleep at night.
My daughter The Heir was in eighth grade when that movie came out. She was 13 and in Confirmation class. The youth pastor demanded that the entire Confirmation class attend the film. I wouldn't let my daughter go, and that was that.
The night the Confirmation class attended Passion, I rented some wholesome family entertainment on DVD: Cheech & Chong's Up in Smoke. Hey, who cares about that R rating anyhow?
Plus, you don't hear Cheech Marin say he made Up in Smoke to bring people to ganj.
I believe Passion of the Christ was inspired by bigotry, a sense that "my religion is the only religion, and the rest of you can go up in smoke." So am I surprised that our famous Road Warrior gave vent to his philosophy under the influence of Tequila?
But I thank him for being such a bigot, because his celluloid foray into the New Testament sent me in search of the bored gods and goddesses.
And for that I will be eternally grateful to Mel Gibson.
You've gotta feel sympathy for a man who's spending his 50th birthday in rehab. Heck, even Cheech Marin is doing better than that.
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS