Mel Gibson vs. the cast of The Jersey Shore: Who's more obnoxious?

We've come a long way from the golden age of celebrity culture. Was a time, Joe Namath could generate controversy just by having badass mutton chops, but those days are gone. Now, we rejoice at the asinine behaviors of our stars -- and indeed, reward them for it, with reality television shows and, well, whatever massive amount of money Mel Gibson has. Already noted for entitlement, unmitigated racism and serious destructive streaks, both Mel Gibson and the cast of The Jersey Shore upped the ante over the weekend with a car wreck and an arrest, respectively, putting the two neck-and-neck in the competition for saddest human disasters. Let's look at the facts.

Ah, Mel, we've learned so much about you since we first worshipped your glistening pectoral muscles in Mad Max. If only we could have known then of your contempt for Jewish people and your propensity toward driving automobiles while simultaneously snorting cocaine, we might have given you your own reality show, possibly sparing everyone The Passion of the Christ, Focus on the Family's favorite horror flick.

Of course, it wasn't until recently that Gibson really ratcheted up his game. First there was the anti-semitic tirade while being pulled over for drug-addled driving, but that was nothing compared to the twisted, ongoing and very public saga of the messiest divorce ever to be reported by TMZ. And then this weekend -- why not? -- yet another car wreck. Gibson didn't know how the car left the road, TMZ reported, but you don't have to be a genius to come up with several theories.

Meanwhile, on the beaches of the opposite coast, police picked up world's-biggest-beefcake Ronnie Ortiz on outstanding warrants over the weekend, taking the number of Jersey Shore cast-related arrests up to "too many to count in a reasonable amount of time." That's after about a week ago Snookie got picked up for disorderly conduct while blackout drunk in the early afternoon and wearing a T-shirt bearing the credo: "Slut." Oh, Snookie, we love your for your class. And, of course, there was the infamous nightclub brawl from earlier this year.

It's a close call, but at the end of the day, The Jersey Shore features a cast of several people capable of publicly humiliating themselves again and again, while Mel Gibson is just one man. And of course, Gibson has a pretty hefty trump card in his apparent proclivity toward domestic violence.

So congratulations, Mel Gibson: You'd have some competition in Lindsay Lohan, but there's no evidence she hates Jews.

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Jef Otte
Contact: Jef Otte