Deborah Orr: All Parents Can Learn Something from Maxine's Mum and Mel's Dad
Orr, Deborah, The Independent (London, England)
In a recent survey, it was discovered that a staggering 80 per cent of correspondents considered their mother and father's memories of their first kiss to have been the most embarrassing thing they have ever heard. In another, it was revealed that 60 per cent of young people cannot imagine greater mortification than their parents singing and dancing in public.
Once, as a teenager, I would have identified with such nonsense. Now, as a parent, I am appalled by it. These children do not know the meaning of embarrassment. Their parents quite clearly have trodden so lightly over the delicate ids of their offspring that they barely realise they are born. They are not, it is safe to say, the children of Hutton Gibson.
Mr Gibson is the 85-year-old father of the Australian heart- throb Mel Gibson, who is looking forward to the release in America next week of his new film, The Passion Of Christ. Mel's movie has run into some problems, though. Not only is it rumoured to be an endlessly exploitative gore- fest, cashing in on the murder of Christ by selling pendants in the shape of "Crucifixion-style" nails, it also stands accused of anti-Semitism.
Now, whatever one's view on the all-too-frequent bandying around of this accusation, one thing is certain. Vehement denial is definitely the best policy under all circumstances. Gibson Jnr was therefore quick off the mark in distancing himself from such smears.
Gibson Snr, however, has a different defensive strategy, and has gone on US radio to indulge in some flamboyantly robust Holocaust denial.
"They claimed there were 6.2 million Jews in Poland before the war and after the war there were 200,000. Therefore Hitler must have killed six million of them. They simply got up and left! They were all over the Bronx and Brooklyn and Sydney, Australia and Los Angeles," he said. …