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Gibson Gave Flippant But Fun Speech



Justin Elliot Jones' letter regarding Mel Gibson's speech requires a response that is as "flippant and crass" as Gibson's speech itself: lighten up! Unlike Mr. Jones, I did attend the speech, and I found it amusing and entertaining. Maybe Mr. Jones doesn't realize that those things have some value in themselves.

So Gibson didn't have a deep moral message. So he used some occasional profanity. So he expressed views that some of us (including myself) may have disagreed with. So what? I don't want Mel Gibson to spew forth some drivel about how awful violence in the movies is when that's not what he actually believes. Gibson answered honestly, and yes, a little flippantly. He was light-hearted and humorous. I just don't understand how that relates to Mr. Jones' claim that Harvard is, "the finest school in this hemisphere, if not the world." Is that really relevant? Are the walls of Sanders Theater so sacred that only matters of the most serious nature must be espoused there?

Mr. Jones just sounds pompous and elitist when he calls Gibson's speech "a mockery of the Harvard tradition." Does the tradition not allow a joke or two, and horror of horrors, even a little profanity. You're correct Mr. Jones, Gibson did not have any grand theories of wisdom or life-altering realizations, and maybe by your standards that means his speech was worthless. Well forgive me if I don't buy into your standards, but I thought Mel Gibson was generous to donate his time, and worth listening to if only because of his humor and joviality. If those things are unfit for this institution, then I don't want to be here. --Benjamin L. Berwick '99

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