Can I ask what has happened to the proper and venerable place of shame in modern culture? Does no one even know what that is anymore, much less exhibit it in proper moderation? I’d certainly have thought that if anyone knew the meaning of the word it would be Mel Gibson, but it looks like his big boy hormones have shut off the switch on his good ‘ol reservoir of Catholic guilt.
Appearing yesterday on The Tonight Show, his words and body language say (a) I’m the expectant father of an illegitimate child (b) I’m happy and relaxed with that; and (c) I’m a sinful package of contradictions and delusions.
Ironic isn’t it? – that Mel should break the news about the fruit of his infidelity on the same night as America’s current reality TV train wreck, Jon and Kate Gosselin of Jon and Kate Plus Eight fame. Here’s a family that needs a little shame in their life too – a little shame and a dose of humility might be able to save them and their poor kids from the monster of reality TV.
I’m certainly not saying that celebrities should be held to a higher standard of morality or that society should go to a Taliban extreme of enforcing virtue. I’m saying that, by choice, these people have placed themselves in the public eye for monetary gain. Children and teens are influenced by them in a way that vastly exceeds anything their parents hope to achieve. But the perks of celebrity carry a public responsibility to act in a decent, respectable manner. You wanna drink your brains out, ditch your wife, and knock up your girlfriend? Fine, go right ahead; just don’t go on TV and declare your happiness to the whole world and expect lots of affirmation for your lack of self-restraint.