Even for Mel Gibson, who is being investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on domestic abuse charges involving his ex-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, his latest antics set a new standard for baseness, hatred and bigotry. By now, we all know from the released audiotapes that Gibson allegedly used the N-word and other epithets while threatening violence against Grigorieva, a woman whom he has reportedly beaten in the past and with whom he is engaged in a custody dispute over their 8-month old daughter.
Here's a sample from the second tape, courtesy of Radaronline.com: "Threaten ya? I'll put you in a f*ckin' rose garden, you c*nt! You understand that? Because I'm capable of it. You understand that?"
As for the first tape, released last Friday, he told Grigorieva that she should be "raped by a pack of n***ers."
We all know what comes next.
It is just a matter of time before Mel Gibson enters rehab, again. That is the obligatory step for any celebrity who has behaved badly.
But what I am really waiting for is another station of the cross; I am waiting for Gibson to leak to the press once more that he supposedly suffers from bipolar disorder. That is what he did before he was about to return to the silver screen in Edge of Darkness. He had not starred in a film since his arrest for drunk driving in 2006, when he spewed an anti-Semitic rant against a police officer in Malibu.
To remind everyone what he said at the time to the arresting officer: "F***ing Jews ... the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world ... are you a Jew?"
So, before Edge of Darkness came out, in anticipation of the controversy surrounding Gibson's return, a story magically hit the wires about how the Oscar-winning director of Braveheart had been diagnosed a manic-depressive. Gibson had evidently revealed this in a documentary about Australia's National Institute of Dramatic Art, where he was once a student.
In an interview some years ago with the Sydney Morning Herald, Gibson was quoted as saying, "I had really good highs, but some very low lows."
As I wrote last year, Gibson "made it sound as if manic-depression is hip, like taking uppers and downers. This must cause much frustration and embarrassment for those who actually do experience the debilitating swings of this illness."
I will reiterate that there is nothing hip about mental illness. For people like me who suffer from it, it is an existence in which you never feel entirely comfortable. You never know when you could get hit with another psychotic break or deep depression.
Elyn Saks, a schizophrenic, who is on the faculty at USC Law School, indicated in her memoir, The Center Cannot Hold, that she tries to "stockpile" her law review articles because she knows that there is a possibility of a relapse.
I am the same way with my fiction writing. I am always working on a novel while I am healthy because a harrowing episode could be lurking, like a burglar, right outside my window.
Which brings me back to Gibson. On the eve of the release of Edge of Darkness, he claimed in an interview with KTLA's Sam Rubin that his anti-Semitic rant with that police officer may not have really happened.
It was cowardly and false for Gibson, who played the aptly named Thomas Craven in that film, to deny his tirade.
We all knew that he was lying then, and we will know it again if and when he alleges once more that he is manic-depressive.
Like his Holocaust-denying father, Mel Gibson is not mentally ill at all; he is simply a hatemonger.