To Be In Love
Poem By Gwendolyn Brooks
Mumbling words in Aramaic, Mel
is begging pardon now from all the Jews
for trespasses for which he’s getting hell,
and bad exposure on the TV news.
He’s saying to his father: “Please forgive
the ones tormenting me because they’re doing
what they don’t know. Please, father, let them live
in peace and let them go on with their jewing.”
But Aramaic is a tongue his father
can’t understand, and since he’s more than baddish,
it’s time now for the Jewish clans to gather
and teach the movie actor to say kaddish,
a prayer in Aramaic like the ones
that Jesus used to say. He was a Jew
who some believe will come back for reruns,
when Mel will get a very bad review.
“It’s never hard for me to tell bad guys:
‘You are forgiven, ’ he will say. This ploy
won’t save Mel from tequila. “No surprise, ”
he’ll say in Hebrew, “Mel’s a bad, bad goy.”
Writing about Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic tirade after he was DUI’d on the Pacific Coast Highway a few days Maureen Dowd imagine what Leon Wieseltier’s comment might be (“Mel’s Tequila Sunrise, ” August 2,2006) :
Now that the volatile Mr. Gibson has pleaded for guidance from leaders of the American Jewish community, I decided to consult the only one I know. I asked Leon Wieseltier, the author of “Kaddish” and the literary editor of The New Republic, how he would help Mel heal.
“He has been a very bad goy, ’’ Leon said. “It is really rich to behold Gibson asking Jews to behave like Christians. Has he forgotten how bellicose and wrathful and unforgiving we are? Why would a people who start all the wars make a peace? Perhaps he’s feeling a little like Jesus, hoping that the Jews don’t do their worst and preparing himself for more evidence of their disappointing behavior.
“I have always wondered why people who believe that we control the world do not have more respect for us. Take that cop who arrested Gibson. Do you think it was a coincidence that he was a Jew? We have been following Gibson’s every move since he released that movie. The other night, when our uniformed brother spotted him bobbing and weaving in his star car, we saw an opportunity and we took it. Don’t blame us. It’s what Yahweh would do.“When Officer Mee busted him, we all busted him.
“Moreover, it is the elders’ considered view that whereas alcoholism may require a process of recovery, anti-Semitism is a more intractable and less chic failing. This was not a moment of insanity, even if Gibson is insane. His hatred of Jews was plain in his movie and in his twisted defense of it, which was made when he was sober under the influence of his primitive world view. Perhaps he thinks that all he needs to do is spend a few months in AA — Anti-Semites Anonymous — and find some celebrity sponsor and run for absolution to Larry Zeiger, I mean Larry King, where he can say with perfect sincerity that the Holocaust was a terrible thing and gut yontif.
“But the elders have instructed Larry to be strict with the uncircumcised offender. He is to appear only opposite ‘American Idol’ and in the company of David Gest. We understand that Gibson cannot do it alone. But why do we have to do it with him? We would find it hard to be in a room with him unless, of course, he wants to count some money with us. Why doesn’t he turn to the vast number of his Christian brothers and sisters who show no trace of anything resembling his disgusting prejudice? Mad Max is making Max mad, and Murray, and Irving, and Mort, and Marty, and Abe. But we’re not completely heartless. If he wants to do Shylock at dinner theater, fine. If he agrees to fill his swimming pool with Kabbalah water, fine.”
Then Leon was just too aggravated to speak. He mumbled something in Aramaic and hung up.