On the one hand, Gibson's excellent bottom has appeared—sometimes clothed, sometimes not, always great—in such cinematic classics as "Lethal Weapon," "Lethal Weapon 2," "Braveheart" and "Lethal Weapon 3," and America loves Gibson's bottom like it loves a treasured pet, or a treasured loved one, or the treasured round and shapely bottom of a treasured loved one.
Or two round and shapely apple pies cooling next to each other on a window sill. Or baseball. We can't get enough.
On the other hand, these pounds of flesh upon which we have long doted are—allegedly— attached to a virulent racist, a woman-beater, an anti-Semite, a bitter, rageful alcoholic. Possibly the worst person ever.
You can read the whole thing here. In the piece, I make several points, including:
1. People contort themselves into all kinds of crazy positions to forgive celebrities that they find attractive or interesting. Separating the art from the artist, and all that. (See: Roman Polanski.)
2. When someone we like says something we hate, it feels confusing and awkward.
3. Mel Gibson is a complete dick and most probably a racist.
4. Mel Gibson is possibly a mentally ill alcoholic.
5. Unless you are a policeman whose job it is to arrest Mel Gibson for punching a lady in the face, or a psychiatrist whose job it is to prescribe Mel Gibson medication that will make his brain work properly, feel free to ignore Mel Gibson, which is what I already do.
If you listen to the tape of Gibson screaming at his girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, what you hear is boundless, heaving apoplexy, the arbitrary schizoid rage of that crazy hobo outside the liquor store. There's not a person in there anymore. There's just madness and gin.
West's pro-Gibson argument is that Mel Gibson's willingness to show his naked butt on screen (all three Lethal Weapon movies and Braveheart flaunted it) means he should have a career. As long as the niceness of Gibson's butt exceeds the awfulness of his personality, then Gibson should be allowed to exist, argues West.
She even MATHEMATICALLY PROVES that I hate black people, graphing my argument thuswise:
a = quality of Mel Gibson's ass
b = terribleness of Mel Gibson's personality
If a > b => Allow Mel Gibson's career to continue
Hey, Maureen O’Connor! I know that sarcasm can be confusing. I can see that you have taken some words from my article and put them together with some other words and made sentences out of them that generally apply to the subject matter of my original article (i.e. Mel Gibson). That makes perfect sense. What doesn’t make sense is every single thing that you said. Because according to you, my point is the opposite of my point. Here, I made a logical proof too:
a = Maureen O'Connor's absolute density
b = Lindy West's absolute clarity
If a > b => Maureen O'Connor is morally superior to Lindy West! Mel Gibson's career must be discontinued posthaste. EXTERMINATE.
What a wacky mix-em-up! Here are the possible conclusions that I can draw:
1. Gawker does not understand sarcasm/satire unless they wrote it.
2. Maureen O’Connor did not actually read my article.
3. Maureen O’Connor does not know how to read.
4. I am actually a racist.
5. All of the above.
My point: I’m not saying it’s okay to be racist, I’m not saying that Mel Gibson is an awesome dude, I’m not even saying that I particularly care for Mel Gibson’s butt (I don’t—that paragraph was about public opinion, yo). My point is that this is a story about mental illness more than it is about cut-and-dry racism. And for the record, I do believe that “Gibson should be allowed to exist.” The punishment for racism isn’t, uh, complete obliteration. Being a woman-beater has its own consequences (it’s called the legal system), and if Gibson gets repulsive enough to override America’s attachment to him (which I think he just did), his career will take care of itself. I’m sure some people—people who don’t mind racist people—will keep watching his movies; I’m sure most of the rest of us will stop. I’m not defending his words or his actions. I’m just saying dude is crazy. Dude is crazy. Is all I’m saying.