Been trying to get an interview with Mel. Gibson. No luck so far. Frankly, I’m not even sure Mel knows I’m alive. I suspect his Los Angeles press agent, Mr Alan Nierob, has not been passing on my emails.
It started in April last year with a long and possibly overly involved interview request that, in hindsight, might have been the wrong approach. The basic synopsis was that, yes, Mel’s a prick.
But who isn’t? I also intimated that Mel’s anti-Semitism and wife-raging might be a form of PTSD.
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The sight of a famous person crumbling is irresistible. People love to see the mighty fallen, to gloat over leaked video of people falling over drunk, or falling over sober, for that matter.
We enjoyed watching time-lapse video of Lindsay Lohan degenerating, we sucked up the pictures of Michael Jackson’s face falling apart. Botched plastic surgeries, beauties without makeup, celebrities getting fat.
But there is a point at which you’ve gotta tuck your schadenfreude back in your shorts and that’s when mental illness seems to be the problem. Then it’s just pathetic, in the true sense of the word.
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Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry. Blimey, we can barely make it through a week without someone proffering an apology.
Those above came from John Galliano, Tiger Woods, Todd Carney, Ricky Nixon and Fergie, the Duchess of York – whose latest transgression led her to admit: “I am just so contrite, I cannot say.”
This, just two weeks after her last apology for offering to sell access to her ex-husband, saying she needed to “find the lotus flower within”.
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Mel Gibson may have had a few bad times recently, but let’s not forget that he’s still Australian. Let’s set aside the claims that he is sexist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, and allegedly now a girlfriend-beater as well. He’s still the same lovable Mel Gibson who grew up in Sydney, who attended NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Arts), and who gave us Mad Max.
Surely he’s still the prodigal son of our land, making the nation proud.
Or maybe, now that he’s dragging down the Australian name, it’s time to admit that he’s a New Yorker and we don’t really have a legitimate claim to him.
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There is a wall of federal election coverage out there today. This isn’t more of it.
A glance at the list of most popular stories on any major website shows Australians are talking about a bunch of other things aside from politics. So alongside our daily campaign coverage we’ll be bringing you a daily potted summary of the non-election issues grabbing voters’ attention, trying not to draw unnecessary parallels with federal politics unless it involves budgies, forward movement, or other parallels too obvious to resist. Today, let’s start with sporting WAGs.
What makes a good WAG?
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Welcome to Friday at The Punch
What kind of week did you have? Was it better or worse than Mel Gibson’s? Share your thoughts here.
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Another day, another tape exposing Mel Gibson as a wretch. In the latest recording his ex-girlfriend asks him what kind of man hits a woman with a child in her hands, “breaking her teeth twice in the face”. Gibson shouts back: “Oh, you’re all angry now? You know what, you f—king deserved it.”
Troubled artists are hardly a modern phenomenon but the ways in which their darker sides get exposed certainly are. Their worst character traits are amplified by “Hollywood enablement”, the destructive modern culture of the Thirty Mile Zone that allows stars to believe they can behave as they wish, supported as they are by coteries of flunkies and yea-sayers instead of actual friends. By the time this behaviour takes hold - as in the case of Gibson but also arguably in that of the much younger Lindsay Lohan - they have no fear of failure any more because their success is already secure.
In the best piece I’ve read on the affair since the first tape emerged, Tina Brown at The Daily Beast outlines how it makes a devastatingly strong case for celebrity leaks. She calls it a “high watermark in celebrity outing”, arguing the most unsettling aspect is not his racism - of which much has been made over his use of a particular word - but his vile misogyny. Amen to that.
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