As soon as I heard about the Mel Gibson stuff I automatically thought of
John Rocker. Thoughts?
I think, “How is it possible that Mel Gibson still has a career and Tom Cruise is considered the crazy one?” I mean, I get it. Jumping on couches on national TV, praying to aliens, dumping Nicole Kidman for Katie Holmes. That’s all pretty crazy. Even if I personally think Katie is a step up over Nicole. But punching out your girlfriend’s teeth, telling her you hope she gets gang raped, dropping the n-bomb like it’s going out of style? Dude, that is all kinds of crazy.
The comparison to Rocker makes sense to a limited extent because both men are racist pigs. But there’s a very important difference between the two men and their body of work. Rocker is straight up ignorant. For better or for worse, he has no idea what he’s saying. Think of him as a real life version of Kenny Powers. Gibson subscribes to a more insidious style. He slings around slurs with a practiced abandon. I’m not saying that ignorance is an excuse but it is something I can understand. Gibson is a vile person who actively represents the lowest common denominator. Think of him as an Australian version of Joerg Haider.
And there’s another important distinction between the two. Rocker launches verbal tirades but that’s where it ends. Gibson likes to use his fists and, if the reports end up being true, also likes using them on women half his size. Maybe it’s different down under but my parents didn’t raise me that way. In fact, I’m pretty sure that if my mom ever heard about me hitting a woman, she’d take the next flight to whatever town I’m living in at the time and beat the living snot out of me. You just don’t do that.
Rocker’s racism, while still dangerous, comes across as kind of cartoonish. But Gibson’s record of racist rants intimates a more fundamental level of psychosis that apparently manifests itself violently. It’s viral and I find it hard to forgive and also much more scary. I guess my point is this, Mark. On the surface the two men seem to have
quite a bit in common. But when you dig into it a little bit, the
comparison falls apart. If I had to make a choice, I’d much rather be dealing with Rocker than Gibson.