Monday, August 9, 2010

You're Crazier Than We Thought

Holy smokes!  I didn't think it was possible to make yourself look any worse than Matt Stone and Trey Parker depict you, but Mel Gibson has somehow found a way.  Check out some of South Park's episodes featuring Mel Gibson to know exactly what I mean.  They show him as a Grade-A lunatic and, in light of his recent troubles, I think they were incredibly restrained in their scathing depiction.

I haven't seen all of his movies, but I've seen enough to know that Mel Gibson can make a good freaking movie.  He's a good director, he's a good actor, and he's easy on the eyes.  Heck, even is comedic timing is pretty good.  He was good at his job, but that doesn't really reveal anything about his personal character or state of mind.

Talk about a guy who seemed like he had it all.  He was a major player in the movie industry.  He had power.  He had fame.  He had wealth.  He was good looking.  More important than any worldly trappings, he had a long-term marriage (nearly 30 years!) and many children.

But that cat has fallen in a most spectacular fashion.  And why is that?  I think it's because something else (besides God) was placed above his family in his heart.

Mel Gibson has had some highly publicized personal problems recently.  His history with addiction is well known and has been documented breathlessly by celebrity gossip rags.  I half expected to wake up and hear that another one of his crazy rants had been recorded and released.  His rapid descent from Hollywood A-lister to reviled pariah may have happened anyway because he sounds batsh*t crazy, but it was certainly hastened by his addiction to alcohol. 

I'll be blunt:  It appears that his addiction was ultimately greater than his love for his family.  Does that sound harsh?  Well, it's meant to be.  There is nothing sadder than throwing away your loving family.  Nothing.

He had a nearly 30-year marriage.  Several children with the wife of his youth - seven, I think.  And he threw them away.  Worse, he brought an innocent into his personal turmoil by procreating with his mistress.

He claims to be a devout Catholic.  He's a convincing actor and I'd guess that he would still claim the Lord God as his master, but his actions are far more telling and believable than any words.  Believers should put God in the top spot in their heart, followed by spouse and children, and everything else falls somewhere far below in the heart of a Christian.

Gibson's actions aren't really consistent with one of God's children.  That's not to say that a Christian never strays from the correct path, but it's a sure bet that they are no longer on the correct path when they are totally living in the world.  Is he living in the world?  Uh, yeah.  Drunken partying, extra-marital affair, divorce, out of wedlock child.  I'd say it's pretty clear that he's totally in the world at this point.

All this destruction seems like it stemmed from his addiction to alcohol.  That's really heartbreaking.

Don't take this as an indictment of alcoholics or addicts.  I know and love some wonderful people who happen to be addicted to alcohol or who were addicted to drugs.  Addiction doesn't make someone a bad person.  No, it doesn't.  But understand that addiction can make good people do bad things.  Listen to just one of Gibson's maniacal rants you'll hear some of the bad things that an addict will say, do, or threaten.

Rehab is something that most celebrities don't seem to take seriously, but it can be a life saver.  A life changer even.  Is it expensive?  Yes.  Is it worth it?  If it works, it's worth ten times the cost.  Absolutely.  I feel the same way about sober coaches.  Having someone with an addict 24/7 does a lot to cut down on opportunities to give in to an addiction.  In my experience, tough love can ultimately work just as effectively.  Hitting rock bottom sometimes seems like it resets something in the brain of an addict.  It's like they suddenly realize what a gift their family really was and they long to have the relationships restored more than they long for whatever it was that fueled their addiction.

I can't help it, but I'm pulling for the guy to get some help and get his life back on track. I'm a romantic at heart and, yes, I even hope that his family is restored by some miracle.  Frankly, I hope that he gets back to work soon because I find his movies are far more entertaining than the mess he's made of his personal life.

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