Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Quote of the day: Leon Wieseltier raises the question why, if Jews control the world, we don't get no respect (Plus: "French" fries return!)


“It is really rich to behold [Mel] Gibson asking Jews to behave like Christians. Has he forgotten how bellicose and wrathful and unforgiving we are? . . .

"I have always wondered why people who believe that we control the world do not have more respect for us."

--New Republic Literary Editor Leon Wieseltier, in an extended quasi-Talmudic commentary offered to Maureen Dowd on Mel Gibson's request for forgiveness from Jews, included in Ms. Dowd's New York Times column this morning*

In addition—at least in the print version of the column—Ms. Dowd, by way of a gloss on our Mel's having "thrown himself at the mercy of the object of his bigotry," passes on (in a parenthetical aside mysteriously absent from the online version) this inspiring sentiment from the newly crowned World's Most Annoying Human, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, passed on from the reigning World's Most Annoying Chimp:

It is apparently not enough that the president has granted [Gibson] absolution. "The president believes in the forgiveness of sins for all who seek forgiveness," his press secretary, Tony Snow, said yesterday.

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*As usual with NYT columnist-hostages, the full text--the online version, anyway--will be found posted in a comment.

ALSO TALKING--With the "French" back in French fries, can we hope for other GOP rethinkings in the area of foreign affairs?

In case you missed Howie's update on the way not-so-great as well as great minds think alike, it seems that with the waning influence of Rep. Bob "You'll Never Take Me Alive, Coppers" Ney, congresspersons are once again able to order French (rather than "freedom") toast and fries.

Which prompted this thought from a spokesperson for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi:

"Now that they've changed the name of the French fries back, maybe they will admit their other foreign policy mistakes were wrong too."


At 7:24 AM, Blogger keninny said...

Here is the full text of Maureen Dowd's column:

August 2, 2006
Op-Ed Columnist

Mel’s Tequila Sunrise

My mom always warned me to stay away from tequila.

She would have given the same advice to Mel. She loved Mel, and always thought he would have been perfect for the role of Michael Collins, the romantic fighter for Irish independence who came to a bloody end in a roadside ambush in 1922.

Michael Collins came a cropper in County Cork, not County Quirk, as Mel Gibson did, careering along the same Pacific Coast winding yellow brick road where Robert Downey Jr. and Nick Nolte were snagged by the Malibu police in other momentous events in American history.

Mr. Gibson appears to believe that the Jews control everything. It is an ancient anti-Semitic insult. But now that he has gotten into trouble for his bigoted views, he has thrown himself at the mercy of the object of his bigotry.

He said he wants to “meet with leaders in the Jewish community, with whom I can have a one-on-one discussion to discern the appropriate path for healing.”

He added: “I am in the process of understanding where those vicious words came from during that drunken display, and I am asking the Jewish community, whom I have personally offended, to help me on my journey through recovery.”

It’s not the first time he’s gotten in trouble for intolerance. When “Braveheart” came out in 1995, Mr. Gibson ranted and raved when Frank Bruni, then the movie critic for The Detroit Free Press, asked him about some reportedly homophobic remarks he had made three years earlier to a Spanish-language magazine. The magazine quoted him as saying that he became an actor “despite” the fear that it might lead people to assume he was gay. Ecce homo! He told Frank that the arbiters of political of correctness were “tantamount to Nazis.”

Now that the volatile Mr. Gibson has pleaded for guidance from leaders of the American Jewish community, I decided to consult the only one I know. I asked Leon Wieseltier, the author of “Kaddish ” and the literary editor of The New Republic, how he would help Mel heal.

“He has been a very bad goy,’’ Leon said.

“It is really rich to behold Gibson asking Jews to behave like Christians. Has he forgotten how bellicose and wrathful and unforgiving we are? Why would a people who start all the wars make a peace? Perhaps he’s feeling a little like Jesus, hoping that the Jews don’t do their worst and preparing himself for more evidence of their disappointing behavior.

“I have always wondered why people who believe that we control the world do not have more respect for us. Take that cop who arrested Gibson. Do you think it was a coincidence that he was a Jew? We have been following Gibson’s every move since he released that movie. The other night, when our uniformed brother spotted him bobbing and weaving in his star car, we saw an opportunity and we took it. Don’t blame us. It’s what Yahweh would do.

“When Officer Mee busted him, we all busted him.

“Moreover, it is the elders’ considered view that whereas alcoholism may require a process of recovery, anti-Semitism is a more intractable and less chic failing. This was not a moment of insanity, even if Gibson is insane. His hatred of Jews was plain in his movie and in his twisted defense of it, which was made when he was sober under the influence of his primitive world view. Perhaps he thinks that all he needs to do is spend a few months in AA — Anti-Semites Anonymous — and find some celebrity sponsor and run for absolution to Larry Zeiger, I mean Larry King, where he can say with perfect sincerity that the Holocaust was a terrible thing and gut yontif.

“But the elders have instructed Larry to be strict with the uncircumcised offender. He is to appear only opposite ‘American Idol’ and in the company of David Gest.

“We understand that Gibson cannot do it alone. But why do we have to do it with him? We would find it hard to be in a room with him unless, of course, he wants to count some money with us. Why doesn’t he turn to the vast number of his Christian brothers and sisters who show no trace of anything resembling his disgusting prejudice?

“Mad Max is making Max mad, and Murray, and Irving, and Mort, and Marty, and Abe. But we’re not completely heartless. If he wants to do Shylock at dinner theater, fine. If he agrees to fill his swimming pool with Kabbalah water, fine.”

Then Leon was just too aggravated to speak. He mumbled something in Aramaic and hung up.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company


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