Apocalypto Now: Meet the 'New and Improved' Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson is back. In TV interviews to promote his latest movie, Edge of Darkness, the increasingly irascible actor and director came out like a boxer, mixing it up with entertainment reporters. He was at times unrepentant and disingenuous with a Texas-sized chip on his shoulder.

Gibson was arrested in 2006, we recall, for drunk driving during which, according to the police report, he yelled out that the Jews were responsible for all the wars in the world. He then asked the arresting officer if he was a Jew. He was.

In an interview late last month with KTLA-Los Angeles reporter Sam Rubin, Gibson wouldn’t even concede he made those remarks. He shifted the focus instead to Rubin, asking him if he has "a dog in this fight." You’ve got to give Gibson credit -- he nailed it. In terms of outing Jews, Mel is two for two. There’s a lot he doesn’t know. Jews he knows. He can only hope his movies achieve that kind of success.

Apparently his breadth of experience, which also includes exchanging a wife of 28 years for a 24-year-old mistress, qualifies him to deliver advice to Tiger Woods. "You have to try to make amends if you can," Gibson told the UK's Daily Mail. "You have to shut up and move on and not whine about it. And you have to deal with it like a man."

Tiger and Mel have something else in common. Both don’t seem much interested in the advice of media-relations gurus and image rehab consultants. Tiger has chosen to avoid the media while Gibson prefers to mix it up with them. It’s been three months since we’ve heard from Tiger and the anticipation is building for tomorrow's one-way, or unilateral, “news conference,” better described perhaps as a statement. On everyone’s minds: Will Tiger show up drunk and blame the Jews?

As we know, the media are in the business of telling stories or “narratives.” A story needs a protagonist, or antagonist in this case, who undergoes dramatic change by the end of the story. A story requires a good arc, but Gibson isn’t playing that game. He doesn’t do change.

Tiger seems to think his narrative will fade as long as doesn’t give it fuel, while Gibson is feeding his narrative with nasty comments that only serve to undermine his mea culpa tour four years ago. For the narrative to have closure, the protagonist needs to be redeemed if not transformed. And so Gibson was asked by Chicago’s WGN-TV reporter Dean Richards: “Do you feel like you’re a different person now, a better person?”