its all the fault of the jews the crazy cop from lethal weapon told me so

I got up late this morning, later than usual. I was up way past my bedtime last night trying to finish my comic for this weeks edition of the Ann Arbor Paper. By the time I woke up and got out of the shower, it was one minute till 11:00 and I knew that Id have to run to catch the beginning of The Sunday Morning Shootout, the show I watch (now that Ive officially given up on the absolutely unwatchable This Week with George Stephanopoulos) while Tivo is recording Meet the Press.

Anyway, I was running down the stairs in my socks, trying to make it to the TV in time, when I lost my footing and fell back against the stairs. I was able to drop my water glass and grab on to the banister, but it didnt help much. My tailbone still hit the wood with a thud, and I still wrenched the hell out of my back. In the process, I also knocked down the baby gate at the bottom of the staircase (with the bag of cat shit that I was carrying down in my other hand), creating an opportunity for the dog to dash upstairs with the intention of eating the cats. Fortunately, I was able to grab the dog by the collar and kind of crawl the rest of the way down to the bottom, where I put the gate back up, flipped on the TV and rolled over onto my back in agony. All this, I thought, because I wanted to see Mel Gibson sit down with Peter Guber and Peter Bart and defend his film, The Passions of the Christ.

For those of you who havent seen The Sunday Morning Shootout, its a half-hour show on the business of Hollywood thats hosted by industry insiders Peter Guber, the producer of films such as Rainman, Close Encounters, and Batman, and Peter Bart, the editor-in-chief of Daily Variety Magazine. While they give some time to the discussion of the artistic merits of films, theirs really isnt a review show. Theyre more interested in the deals that are getting made, the economics at play, and the box office grosses that are being pulled in. They quarrel like Siskel and Ebert, but their context isnt whats on the film, but whats behind it. Its a great show This morning, they were talking about The Passions of the Christ, how it was marketed, what kind of business it could expect on DVD, and what other kinds of projects we would probably see green-lighted now that its proven to be such a success.

While I didnt learn a great deal from Gibsons answers to their questions, the questions themselves were enlightening. For one thing, Guber, I think, was suggesting that even though Gibson had apparently cut out some of the more anti-Semitic scenes in the film before its theatrical release, that they might find their way back in on the DVD release. He was also asking about the subtitles in non-English speaking countries and how the wording would be selected. Obviously, Guber is sensitive to the fact, as are many people, that viewings of this film, especially in areas with a history of anti-Semitism, might lead to hate crimes. (Here in the US, it’s already led to one woman driving her car into a lake in hopes of baptizing herself on the way home from the theater). And, its logical to infer that the chances of this happening would be far greater if the film were translated in such a way as to further inflame audiences.

Of course, the guy has the right to make whatever kind of movie that he likes, just as television producers have the right to create pieces on Gibsons beliefs and those of his father, an outspoken Holocaust revisionist who moved his family from America to Australia years ago in order to more freely practice their brand of extreme Catholicism. I personally don’t want to support the film, but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t exist.

Last week I posted to a very good article on Gibson by Christopher Hitchens. If you didnt read it at the time, you might want to scroll back a few days and look it up. And, while youre at it, heres another one worth reading. This one is by Frank Rich and, among other things, its about whether or not Gibson purposefully guided this project into an area where he new he could bate the Jewish community and thereby get the film talked about in the press (and sell tickets). Heres a quote from that article:

Intentionally or not, the contentious rollout of “The Passion” has resembled a political campaign, from its start on “The O’Reilly Factor.” Since the star belongs to a fringe church that disowns Vatican II and is not recognized by the Los Angeles Roman Catholic archdiocese, his roads do not lead to Rome so much as Washington. It was there that he screened a rough cut of the movie to conservative columnists likely to give it raves – as they did.

I dont know if its true our not, but Rich also points out in this article that Gibsons production company had, before he appeared on Bill OReillys show to introduce the film, paid to option the rights to one of OReillys books. That, you would think, would further complicate the question of journalistic integrity… if that’s even still being considered at Fox News.

I could go on, but there are better people than me to debate this issue. Im just pissed because I fell down a staircase because of it. I probably wouldnt have mentioned it at all if not for the fact that Ive been limping around in pain all day, cursing Jesus and Gibson.

To make matters worse, it seems that everyone has got an angle to cash in on this new Jesus craze. First there were the Jesus advertising tie-ins, and now an informant tells me that my old friend Kez is selling Jesus died for my sins and all I got with this lousy t-shirt t-shirts on Ebay.

Surely, there has to be a way that I can cash in on this.

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One Comment

  1. Posted November 11, 2005 at 2:48 am | Permalink

    Delta brings Shootout to disc
    Six-disc set launched as ‘film school in a box’
    By Scott Hettrick 11/10/2005

    NOV. 10 | AMC

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