HAIL DUBYUS!

An Illustrated Guide to Mendacity and Folly in the Imperium Americanum

Drunk? Gay? Abused? Nobody Knew? Everybody Knew? What Will We Find Out Tomorrow?

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(ABC News) The Lurid instant messages :)

Quite frankly, Mark Foley’s misdeeds are the least of the problems here. Yeah, grooming an underage page for sexual contact is pretty bad, but Foley might be telling the truth and had no intention of any sexual relationship until the kid was legal. It doesn’t matter that it was a boy instead of a girl. We find out that Foley is an alcoholic, gay, oooooo he’s Catholic, he must have been abused, but he’s no pedophile. The worst thing I see about this is the hypocrisy that’s swirling around the whole thing. Foley was the deputy whip and chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children. Seems everybody and their brother–as long as they were Republican–knew about the emails and IMs LAST YEAR, but it was swept under the rug. The Washington Post reports today that the FBI knew about them in July but had not done anything about them. The Republicans claim a smear campaign by the Democrats, claim they didn’t bring it public so it wouldn’t be gay-bashing, or because the parents didn’t want it to be brought forwards or because neither Hastert nor Boehner could decide whose responsibility it was. Tony Snow tried to equate it to Clinton-Lewinsky, despite the fact that Lewinsky was, in the words of the old saying, “free, white and 21.”

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And I Detest All My Sins Because I Dread The Loss Of Box Office And The Pain Of Supporting Roles

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Aren’t celebrity psychodramas so entertaining? To be fair, I wish Mel all the luck in the world in dealing with his addiction. We, as a society, do not really understand addiction and treat it more as a moral failing instead of a systemic condition that is passed on genetically and it requires a tremendous amount of will to control it. You can never be cured of an addiction because that’s like trying to be cured of having blue eyes. Having blue eyes does not create problems for you, your loved ones or anyone who comes in contact with you, but an addiction does. The best you can do at present is control it and live with it as best as you can. AA can be a significant help for this and some day, we may understand the genetics so that a real treatment becomes a possibility.

More serious is Mel’s unconscious bigotry. I’m sure that Mel does not consciously hate Jews. But a person can easily have a dark underbelly of prejudice that he isn’t aware of, that he’d deny was there and which does not affect his actions on a normal day-to-day basis, and that I believe is what Mel is dealing with here. He’s going to have to become aware of that prejudice in himself and learn to distance himself from the sources in his life that reinforce it, and one of those, I’m afraid, is his own father, and another is his beloved old-style Catholicism. I myself remember vividly the Good Friday prayer “for the perfidious Jew,” which was prayed before Vatican II. That background permeated Mel’s PASSION, yet he seemed completely surprised that people saw it there, because he thought he’d erased it from the film. But what happened was the spectacle of a man trying to be fair to someone he already thinks is guilty…no matter how much slack you cut them, you can never do it as much as you would for someone you think ISN’T guilty, or even for someone you have NO opinion about.

And lest I seem as holier-than-thou as I suspect I sound, let me say right here, if I lecture Mel Gibson, it is because I am using words I’ve said to myself about my own demons and failings and still say to myself. Good luck Mel.

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