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My Two Cents About Mel Gibson

The Starry Night

"The Starry Night"

In the current public discussion about the taped rants attributed to Mel Gibson, I’ve heard plenty of outrage about the racist content and the violence of the threats– and rightly so. Along with the outrage, there is also the seemingly obligatory talk show and late night tv joke-telling all centered on the notion that “this man must have lost his mind.” Now of course, if that is what we believe, then the conversation about Mel should become short as it morphs into a discussion of our collective distaste for recognizing that mental illnesses are physical illnesses. Isn’t the brain a part of the body? Couldn’t an illness such as bipolar disorder manifest itself with inexplicable behavior that society could find highly offensive? If we as a society talked respectfully about the realities of mental illness, instead of mostly making jokes or simply being appalled by it, we could make it a natural and easier decision for someone to recognize the symptoms and seek treatment for it.

Think about it, when was the last time you heard somebody say, “I can’t believe that jerk had a heart attack right there in the street! How disgusting! What was he thinking?” I don’t think you’ve ever heard that. We don’t stigmatize heart disease that way. Should mental illness continue to be stigmatized that way? This could be quite a discussion. I can’t think of a more important one, and it’s one we should all be having right about now.

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2 thoughts on “My Two Cents About Mel Gibson

  1. I thought I was on a one man crusade. It seems not.

    If you have time, go to mine and click on the “Heart” theme. Too scared to Blink is what I’m thinking, but looking through the posts which chart the history of my own invisible disease, you may have different ideas.

    Have a brilliant day!

    • I’m definitely all about society working toward acceptance as the first step toward “dealing with.” How can we include everyone (which is the only righteous goal in a decent society) when so many kinds of physical difference are either marginalized or made fun of before we give them thought? I’m very interested in how your difficult journey echoes so many others in this world of ours.

      There are an unfortunate number of crusades in this world. So many and, as they say, so little time.

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