One of the great disappointments of my life has been, of course, Mel. You know who I'm talking about. THE Mel. But I want to know - how could a man who started out so good go so bad?
When I was in college, my girlfriends and I swooned over every one of Mel's movie appearances. We escaped from homework and went to distract ourselves with thoughts of Mel...ahhhh Mel.
He was the hottest thing since Tabasco sauce! Even with the movie theater air conditioning blasting, we had to dab our youthful, unlined brows with those little foldy paper napkins from the snack bar.
And how could we not? He started out as a leather-glad road warrior with a cute Aussie accent in Mad Max:
Then he steamed up the Indonesian tropics as idealistic cub reporter Guy Hamilton in "The Year of Living Dangerously," which left us all wanting to be Sigourney Weaver:
And who could ever forget that unbuttoned shirt and the ponytail and those pirate pants Mel wore as he played ultimate Sailor Bad Boy Fletcher Christian in The Bounty? Not me!
(Edited to add: a whole Internet and not a single photo of the pirate pants? What kind of cruel world IS this??)
We heard that Mel was happily married and quite religious and didn't believe in birth control. That put me off a bit, and soon other fantasy men replaced Mel in my affections, like all of the Team 7-11 Tour de France riders:
Why am I craving a Slurpee?...but I digress.
After college, Mel started doing sillier and sillier movies and I sort of lost track of him until he built a chapel for hardcore old-school Catholics in my area and he popped back onto my radar.
That didn't bother me. You can practice whatever religion you want, but when you proclaim your religion and then show up allegedly driving drunk and making anti-Semitic slurs and calling a female police officer "Sugar Tits," well, I'm outie.
I have this theory about drunkenness. People generally become more of what they really, truly are when they get intoxicated. The person with sublimated rage starts throwing punches. The comic starts getting sillier. And the anti-Semite anti-feminist? He starts acting like Mel did.
Oh, and Mel? If you're gonna try to keep working in Hollywood, you might wanta get right with Judaism. Just sayin' that Msrs. Katzenburg, Spielberg and Glazer might not wanna hear your theory about how Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.
But losing faith in Mel back then was convenient, because now I don't have to get irritated because of this whole Russian pregnant girlfriend/divorce mess and I don't have to point out that, hey, don't old-school Catholics generally disapprove of divorce? Because that would be unkind of me to say, wouldn't it?
Almost as unkind as posting a photo like this:
Don't worry, man. I'm sure she loves you for your personality.