Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The rich and the famous think they can get away with all kinds of vulgarities and offences these days. Mel Gibson's rants—and films—are just the most obnoxiously visible slice of celebrity bigotry. There are slightly subtler forms. The other day I was strolling down the sidewalk when I passed the home of an actress who appeared in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, and Adaptation, among other movies. And what do you think I saw in her yard? A wooden figurine, of Ariel Sharon. Perhaps she thought it funny, but I found it as vile as those little statues of black servants people used to use as lawn art (and still do, surely—somewhere). In fact, I decided to check it out for myself, maybe smash it if I had the chance. So yes, I touched it. But as soon as my finger grazed the figurine, the actress popped out of a shrub, cell phone in hand, and called the cops on me. Trespassing, she said, though I'm sure that you'll agree that her display was the greater offence. In court I felt as put upon as a certain Shakespearean king, but owned up to my "crime" when the judge asked me for the truth.
  • I, Lear, sir . . . I felt Tilda's sad little fir Israeli.

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