Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Really, You Need to Get the Black Box Drunk

I read that Jodie Foster and other friends and acquaintances of Mel Gibson are defending him against the charge he's an anti-Semite. I would suggest they employ the black box theory of psychology; that is, let's not guess at what is inside the black box; let's limit ourselves to a description of what the black box does.

Let's say some of Mel Gibson's very best friends are Jews, as he says, though what that might mean in Hollywood, land of the air kiss and the Byzantine deal, is anybody's guess. Let's imagine him greeting one of those friends and that friend's wife.

Gibson says: "So great to see you two." But is he thinking?

1) "Jesus was a Jew. When I see you it's like looking into the face of my beloved Savior, with a side order of Mary Magdalene."


2) "You lousy money-grubbing kike, not to mention the shiksa whore you rode in on."

Let's assume worst case. Let's assume thought balloon number two. But if that is where it stops, at a rude thought, then existentially speaking he is not an anti-Semite, at least in that space where your world and his overlap. All things considered, I think Gibson's defenders should leave it at a description of observed behavior, which ideally should include one or more examples of his conduct that seem antithetical to and/or destructive of anti-Semitism.

But there's his movie and his dad and his old Australian friends, all of which really do make us wonder what's going on under the hood of that black box.

I mean, was there ever a racist Southerner who did not boast about how well he got along with black people, not including, of course, those bad boys he helped lynch?

And when I say helped I'm including those guys standing back in the shadows, holding the murderers' coats.

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