Saturday, April 21, 2007

Baldwin / Basinger & Baby

Okay, Ireland is NOT a baby. She's nearly a teenager.

My take - from what little I know - is as follows, and it seems to me that it ought to be reasonably apparent to anyone who has ever lived in a split family, and probably many others with the wit to think about it.

Did Alec Baldwin verbally abuse his daughter?

Yes. And she probably deserved it.

Does this make him a bad guy? Nope.

Is Kim Basinger turning her daughter against Baldwin? Probably.

Does this mean she's a bad person? Again no.

Is it any of our business? Not in the least.

Let's deal with these questions in order... except for the last one which I'll deal with first...

It's not our business. I shouldn't even be writing about it, but sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. Sorry Alec. Sorry Kim. Ireland, I am VERY sorry. The biggest issue in this whole thing is that you are put in a position where you have to deal with a normal part of growing up in a very public way. The tapes of your father should never have been made public. Whoever did that is the real criminal in all of this - I'm going to blame your Mother's lawyer, Neal Hersh. It was a tactic which deserves to blow up in the face of the perpetrator.

Did Alec Baldwin verbally abuse his daughter? Did she Deserve it? Does this make him a bad guy?
Yes. He did. Hands up everyone whose parents never said a hurtful thing to them...
If there are any hands up, it's either toddlers, people who never met their parents, or in a rare case a newly minted adult who grew up in the era where we treated children too well for their own good.
I'm not in favour of corporal punishment, but there has been a trend over the past few decades towards treating kids like fabrege eggs. Fuck, stop it! We aren't helping them any.
Yes, my parents said some things that hurt my tiny little feelings. I'm 37 years old now. I still love them both and have loved them since any specific incident where they might have said something unkind to me - or at least from thirty minutes after such things were said. Some of those things were more than I deserved at the time. Let's face it, children are willful little egomaniacs and if they aren't shown that actions have consequences and that other people's feelings are just as capable of being hurt as theirs they are being fostered into becoming a generation-army of sociopaths. In otherwords, an occassional heated verbal dressing-down is for their own good!
Whatever she did to hurt Alec's feelings is only nominally relevant. I know I tried my parent's patience. Kids do things - often just to see if they can get away with it. In this case the answer was 'no' and he gave her than message. Should he have waited to give her that message 'til he had cooled his jets a bit? Definitely. But no-one - not anybody - not Dr. Phil - not Gandhi - is flawless on that count. It's human nature. We get steamed and we speak sooner than we should. I've got a wheelbarrow full of stones here for anyone who still has the qualifications to make the inaugural toss.

Is Kim Basinger turning her daughter against Baldwin? Does this mean she's a bad person?
She probably is. That doesn't mean she knows she's doing it. It's ultimately doomed to fail too.
My parents both said things about the other when they separated that weren't very flattering - heck, they still do on occassion, but it's become less and less the case as time has passed. Was it a deliberate attempt to turn me against the other? No - they were just speaking out of pain. Did it work - not really. There were truisms spoken in each case. Things that I would have eventually put together on my own about each of my parent's personal short-comings. But ultimately I began to look upon those comments as being a greater personal liability than the things that they were speaking about were. And here's the thing - even armed with that knowledge, do you think I can (even three years after the split) keep myself from making the same mistake when speaking about Mia? No. I can't. Thank god we didn't have kids. I'd hate to have them be used as a tool in a pointless, but unstoppable, war of nearly dead emotions.

As usual, this comment on current events has become more about myself thant he event - and so it should be. Let these people be. Let Ireland be. Using a child as a pawn, while somewhat inevitable, is elevated to egregious when it becomes a public battle. Trying to vilify Alec Baldwin for acting as any average joe would when pressed hard enough is ridiculous. No doubt he didn't feel good about himself even before the infamous voicemail was heard by Ireland, let alone the public at large.

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