The World O' Crap Archive

Welcome to the Collected World O' Crap, a comprehensive library of posts from the original Salon Blog, and our successor site, (2006 to 2010).

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Friday, January 7, 2011

March 8, 2004 by s.z.

The Passion 2: The Savior's Revenge

The Orlando Sentinel follows the money and then pops the question:
With record box-office receipts for The Passion of the Christ rolling in, now might be the time to ask: What will Mel Gibson do for an encore?
Well, David already asked that, and came up with some ideas; and you guys provided even more in the comments to this post.  But apparently the Sentinel doesn't read this blog, so they instead reported evangelical rumors about what Mel might do next: The Patriot, 100 A.D, and Braveheart Does Jerusalem. 
The most intriguing speculation centers on two heroic Jewish struggles that bracket the historical time frame of the filmmaker's current biblical blockbuster.
If the rumors are true, Gibson's next move could be a stroke of genius, at once disarming Jewish critics of The Passion and providing an ideal dramatic vehicle. Both stories are the stuff of screenplays. One parallels Gibson's earlier hit, The Patriot, set during the American Revolution. The second is nearly identical to Braveheart, the story of a medieval Scottish insurrection.
Alan Nierob, a spokesman for Gibson and his Icon Films, confirmed that the filmmaker has spoken in several interviews, including one with Jay Leno on the Tonight Show, about looking to the Old Testament for stories, but said Gibson has not been specific about which stories.
The first rumor flitting through the evangelical world is that the filmmaker intends to plow the profits from The Passion into a movie about the central characters of the holiday of Hanukkah, fighters called the Maccabees. Their story is told in sacred writings of the biblical period, although the two books of the same name are not officially a part of either testament.
For Gibson, there are several advantages, apart from a familiar scenario. Having succeeded with subtitles, it should be easy to shift from The Passion's Aramaic and Latin to the earlier period's Hebrew and Greek.
Also, since the Maccabee story takes place only 200 years before The Passion, and peasant fashions probably didn't change much in those days, he could conceivably use many of the same costumes.
Hmm, while a movie about the Maccabees could be good, I wonder if there would be much of a market for a Mel Gibson production of it.  I doubt that the evangelical Christian groups who are flocking to and promoting The Passion would be interested in a non-Biblical, Jewish story; and everybody is already tired of the "ancient languages with English subtitles" bit.  But I like how peasants not being big fashionistas could allow Mel to reuse costumes.

But let's hear about Heldishhart:
Last week, the American-born Israeli educator Yossi Katz suggested that Gibson's next film should be a dramatization of the Bar Kochba Revolt of A.D. 132-135. This rebellion took place a century after Jesus' death, and 60 years after a failed uprising against the Roman occupation that led to half a million Jewish deaths and the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.
Ten leading rabbis were captured and executed in the Roman theater in Caesarea. Akiba was tortured and flayed to death with hot metal combs, much like the scourging of Jesus in The Passion and the execution of William Wallace in Braveheart.
Oooh, flaying!  Then maybe Mel will want to make this one.  But it appears that Jewish groups aren't begging Mel to film their sacred stories:
Of course, even a sympathetic portrayal of Jewish heroes might not assuage all of Gibson's critics.
Abraham Foxman, executive director of the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation League, predicts that if Gibson dramatizes either Jewish rebellion, "we'll lose."
"He'll write his own history," Foxman says. "I would prefer to leave the fate of Jewish history and Hollywood to Steven Spielberg. The Maccabees and Bar Kochba are our sacred history.
"The way he treats history -- with a cherry picker of that which fits his ideology or view -- is not the way I would like the world to learn about the heroism of the Maccabees or Bar Kochba. So, thanks but no thanks."
So, if Mel doesn't take a story from Jewish history, what are some other possible Passion follow-ups?  Here's "dyed in the wool conservative" Bruce Walker (writing at the site that out nuts WorldNutDaily, The American Daily); he explains how The Passion is defeating the liberal hordes, then provides some interesting ideas for sequels:
"The Passion of Christ” is well on its way to becoming the greatest film in history, and this victory is despite all the agitprop of the Left.  Mel Gibson, like Rush Limbaugh and like President Bush, is carrying a battle flag for all conservatives and other normal people.  Now - finally! - that Silent Majority seems to have grasped the importance of those point men.
"On its way to becoming the greatest film in history."  Presumably, by challenging films like Citizen Kane to duels, and then killing them.  

And I like how Mel, whom even his fans consider a bit loony, is now a flag carrier for "normal people" --  along with friendless fat boy Rush, and Captain Flight Suit.  You'd think normal people could get one of their own to carry their flag.
The defeat of the Left began when the various barbarian hordes who constitute Leftism discovered that all their threats, all their mocking, all their venom, and all their enticements could not sway Rush Limbaugh or separate him from his tens of millions of listeners. 
But will the crimes he committed while in the thrall of drug addiction do what the barbarian Leftist hordes couldn't?  Only time will tell.
The full weight of Leftism against President Bush will lead either to the destruction of a great president or to the complete demoralization of these hungry, rapacious barbarians. If the Left cannot defeat President Bush in 2004, then it will never be able to win an American presidential election.
Because there can be no middle ground: either Bush is destroyed, or the Leftist Visigoths, Vandals, and Mongols are defeated for all time.  That's how politics work in this country -- just like a Tolkien plot.
What films should Mel Gibson make next? Here are some suggestions. The only advice I would deign to offer beyond these suggestions is this: Be bold! Be bold! Be bold! The staid, dull, dreary plots and dialogue of Leftist culture is both craven and empty. Gibson can do much more than that with films like these:
”Venona and Hollywood.” America now knows what Ronald Reagan knew when he was in Hollywood. Communist infiltration was very real and very dangerous. Mel Gibson should make a film - erring on the side of caution in his conclusions - which historically describes the role of communists in American culture.
We no longer have to speculate about whether or not the Soviet Union actively manipulated the film industry. We have names, code names, directions, actions - some through decryption, some through the actual archives of the KGB and GRU, some through reports of agents like Morris Childs (the second highest ranking member of the Communist Party USA, who was an FBI agent) and some from the intelligence services of other communist countries.
An honest telling of this tale would also show why a Hollywood which once was largely run by patriotic Jewish Americans produced films both gentle and sympathetic toward Christianity and why a Hollywood with a much smaller Jewish involvement is so hysterical about “The Passion of Christ.” Jewishness and Judaism are not the villains; communism is the villain.
Yes, Venona and Hollywood would be the bold, bold, bold action hit of the decade!  It could tell the story of a typical Hollywood commie, a scriptwriter who tries to slip pro-Communist messages into scripts, despite the eagle eyes of the studio and the Hayes office.  In a parallell with the scenes of Christ being scourged for what seems like hours, we will watch the scriptwriter agonizing struggle with writer's block until we just can't bear the pain anymore, and have to look away in sympathy.  

The writer will eventually come to see the error of his ways (maybe, in a bit reminiscent of The Patriot, the Communist talent agent Robert Weber will kill the writer's 18-year-old son by taking a 20% commission from his first pay check, and the writer will vow revenge).  So, the writer becomes a fierce foe of communism, is shunned and then persecuted by his former friends, and finally, as an old man in the year 2005, takes a machine gun to the Academy Awards ceremony and mows down the Communist Jews who complained about the anti-Semitism in The Passion.  (Yes, it is remarkably similar to the ending Homer Simpson wrote for Mel's remake of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington --  but Venona and Hollywood will be different, because Mel won't rip off the President's head this time.  But it will still have a dog with shifty eyes being the main villain -- only this time he's a COMMIE dog.  Oh, and Venona is the writer's wife, who is killed by the evil commies when she refuses to pay her CPUSA dues.)
Bruce pitches a couple of other scripts to Mel (Tibet!  Amernia!), but they're kind of downers.  So, let's move on to Gertrude Himmelfarb.  She's not so much proposing sequels to Gibson asking him how he and everybody else would feel if Hollywood made the followiing movies -- but I think the movies she mentions sound a lot more exciting (and more like something Mel would make) than Venona and Hollywood
How would we (Gibson and all the rest of us) feel if a Hollywood producer (a Hollywood so notoriously populated by Jews) made a film, in the same "over the edge" spirit vaunted by Gibson, dramatizing another historical event -- the auto-da-fé in Spain in February 1481, for example, in which six men and six women conversos (Jewish converts to Christianity) were tortured and burned alive at the stake, while richly robed prelates triumphally presided over the scene? Such a film, taking its cue from Gibson, might utilize all the devices of violence, sadism and malignity that he has deployed so skillfully, here as in his other films. It might be even more credible, and therefore emotionally powerful, than his because the contemporary as well as scholarly sources are more reliable. The effect would be to make of the auto-da-fé a defining experience in the relations of Jews and Christians.
Or, another thought-experiment: a film of the First Crusade produced by a Muslim. The venerable 1911 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica describes, in relatively sober terms, the month-long siege culminating in the capture of Jerusalem: "The slaughter was terrible; the blood of the conquered ran down the streets, until men splashed in blood as they rode. At nightfall, sobbing for excess of joy, the crusaders came to the Sepulchre from their treading of the winepress, and put their blood-stained hands together in prayer. So, on that day of July, the First Crusade came to an end." An "over the edge" depiction of this scene would surely be as riveting, bloody and unforgettable as the scene of the Crucifixion, or of the auto da fé or, for that matter, of all too many episodes in our all too bloody history.
Of course, Auto-Da-Fé could feature the Spanish Inquisition.  Bet you weren't expecting that!

And Lethal Crusade could have some scary, hairy vikings going flips and twirls and raping and killing.  Mel has said that he always wanted to make a Viking movie.

If none of these ideas appeal to Mel, there are still many to choose from in the comments section mentioned at the beginning of this piece. 

And there's always a remake of 1962's Sodom and Gomorrah, with Mel himself playing Lot, the leader of the Hebrews who finds that the culture war with the secularist Sodomites ends with the city being destroyed because of gay marriage.  The climax will be when his wife (Jessica Simpson) is turned into a pillar of salt (Mel told her not to turn back and look at the city, but she thought he said not to look at MTV).  There will be a really long, violent scene where a bunch of Sodomites want to rape a visiting angel, and Mel scourges them all, and then a crow pecks out their eyes.  Janet Jackson could play the evil but seductive queen Hillastaroth, a lesbian who is always suffering wardrobe malfunctions.  With Tim Robbins as Clenis, the debauched king whose sexual perversion results in the end of civilization as they know it.

I think Sodom and Gomorrah would be another big hit with the "normal" people who love The Passion so much -- and nobody could call this one anti-Semitic.  Anti-gay, sure, but it's not like there's any of them in Hollywood.

6:18:22 AM    

The Hamster Ate My Blogging

We'll get to those Passion sequels in just a minute -- sorry it took so long, but I got distracted by something as incredible as  the shroud of Turin.  Yes, reader Bill S. discovered that if, in the comments section,  you type the name Gandhi inside quotes, you get 
Frederick found more examples, like that JFK in quotes gives you 
I had to try a bunch of names to see if I could get their photos to magically appear, but alas, I couldn't.   
But eventually reader "poop ruiz" revealed the secret master plan: a Glossary of RadioUserland shortcuts that work not only in blogs, but also in comments.  So, the next time you want to add zip to your comments, try these shortcuts.  It's a great way to waste a work day.   I know there must be a way to work this into the blog: .

Note: for other fine timewasting fun, see Sadly, No! for my post about Doug Giles' identification of a threat just as important as terrorism: teens.  The piece also features 
And Peanut has an excellent post about the Governator's plan to serve the people of California by editing muscle magazines.  Apparently, they need that more than a balanced budget or an investigation of their Governor's sexual misdeeds.  Do the cool shortcuts work in the comments section there?  Sadly, I don't think so.

5:00:33 AM 

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