Chesler Chronicles

Mel Gibson Redux

What’s the point of moving on to any other subject when this one seems to have gripped our nation, the media, and my own readers? Even my family is engaged in this conversation.

Thus—last night, at dinner, my son and daughter-in-law urged me to consider the possibility that the Gibson tapes were doctored, spliced-and-diced; that Grigorieva was probably after money. Indeed, today, the Vancouver Sun reveals that she is, allegedly, under investigation for “extortion.”

Possibly, likely, it will all emerge. And yet, today Grigorieva has shared a text message which Gibson sent her on January 7th, the day after he hit her, in which he writes: “Oksana, I wasn’t safe for you last night. I spent two hours with a therapist today and have regained some perspective.” He wants to “come by and make amends to (her).” This email message was retrieved by police from Grigorieva’s phone.

The tape may have been doctored, the taping itself may have been a setup, but the violence was real.

Katie Couric (!) opines that the real issue here is domestic violence and that while such violence is epidemic in the world here it is being disappeared, not highlighted, by the coverage of Gibson’s foul mouth. Well, the Talking Head has a point.

Allow me to add some points. This public melee is part of an impending custody and child-support case—and God knows what other monetary “promises” Grigorieva can prove Gibson made to her, reneged on, but for which he might still be liable. Custody battles are beyond ugly in America, and Hollywood is no exception. I should know. I am the author of a book about divorce and custody battles—a book for which I have just written eight new chapters and which will be out early next year in a 25th anniversary edition. The title was Mothers on Trial: The Battle for Children and Custody, but we are hard at work trying to improve the subtitle.

Yes, of course, everyone is brutalized by the court system; few ever recover, not even the multi-millionaires–not to mention the children. And, fathers are often discriminated against, especially if they have less money than their wife’s family does–and especially if they are the “nice guys.”

But, as a rule, mothers are women, and as such are viewed as pathological liars and “crazy” from the git-go, especially when they (or a mandated reporter) alleges domestic violence, paternal child abuse, including incest, and paternal parental alienation. If these charges are true, the mothers will invariably lose custody of the very children they are trying to protect.

I kid you not.

Hollywood stars are our culture’s true Gods, everyone feels entitled to talk about them lovingly, knowingly, nastily, obsessively, seriously. Thus, finally, a far-too-serious thinker such as myself has just learned (the elites are always the last to know) that talking “common culture” is as good a way as any to get people to jump right in and share their thoughts.

Hollywood is a pagan Hell; its envied citizens regularly turn to drugs, alcohol, women, and rehab. May they be uplifted and forgiven, may we thank our lucky stars that we are not stars that burn so brightly that they keep burning out.

Now, you all have a wonderful weekend!

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