Alec Baldwin has a radio interview show/podcast (the line is blurry) called Here’s The Thing that I’ve been listening to for the past year or so. He’s an annoying interviewer, constantly interrupting and inserting his own experiences into the narrative, and it’s surprisingly entertaining and informative, go figure. The guests have no rhyme or reason for being interviewed, as far as I can see, other than apparently they know Mr. Baldwin and he knows them. I’ve learned some interesting things, though, and it’s become a favorite.
Alec Baldwin is a favorite, too, although that’s mostly because he was born the same year I was; we tend to stick together. I’ve become sort of interested, though, in his weird, hair-trigger life along with his sharp acting and comic timing. It amuses me to watch him get into hot water and then shrug, apologize, and move on. A good anger management workshop might be useful, but it’s fun to watch someone who, after all these years, should know better and still can’t shut up.
His most recent outburst came on Twitter, where he blasted a reporter who apparently made a comment about Baldwin’s wife. I’m assuming the reporter is a gay man, although I know nothing else about the story and see no reason to find out.
“George Stark, you lying little bitch. I am gonna f%#@ you up … I want all of my followers and beyond to straighten out this fucking little bitch, George Stark. @MailOnline … My wife and I attend a funeral to pay our respects to an old friend, and some toxic Brit writes this fucking trash … If put my foot up your fucking ass, George Stark, but I’m sure you’d dig it too much … I’m gonna find you, George Stark, you toxic little queen, and I’m gonna fuck…you…up.”
Well. Get it off your chest.
Andrew Sullivan did his own version of overreacting, claiming that Baldwin had made a “…specific call for other people to physically attack a gay man. It’s a call to violence against a specific person, which, last time I checked, was a crime.”
I understand Sullivan’s larger points, which are (a) gay bashing is a real thing and not to be taken lightly, and (b) Baldwin is considered a pro-gay rights liberal, so maybe he thinks he can get away with homophobic comments with a pass, and maybe he shouldn’t.
But it’d be nice if we all had an app, or at least a refrigerator magnet, that urged us to consider the following before passing judgment: Do you really think so?
Actually, Baldwin seems to be calling for his followers to email this Stark person, not beat him up, which is different, but he obviously seems to be tweaking him for being gay, which I guess is worth noting and maybe apologizing for. I have no idea what we really going on in the Baldwin Brain; it just seems like he got real mad.
Not that I care that much. As I said, I just find it fun to watch Baldwin blow up from time to time. He doesn’t need my support or sympathy, and I don’t have the energy to get worked up about some dumb thing an actor said.
Or a cooking show host, for that matter. I think the Paula Deen thing has blown up, too, but even implied racism is toxic (a favorite Baldwin word, apparently) to business and that’s not hard to understand. But if the Deen empire implodes and her income is drastically cut from 14 million per year to, say, 6 million, I imagine she’ll not be homeless in the near future.
These are cultural dust bunnies, the residue of incredible speed and hype in a world that moves way too fast. Even professional diplomats screw up, and Deen and Baldwin are anything but professional diplomats. They’re celebrities, and human ones, and as much as it’s tempting I can’t look at these two and see a dark underbelly of intolerance and hatred. Mostly I see dumb and rash, interpreted through instant communication and the constant rush to judgment.
We have these thoughts, you know. They surprise us, sometimes, but I doubt they prove anything except that we’re all flawed and have little pockets of prejudice and generalizations. Paula Deen is almost certainly not a racist in the way I define that term, and Alec Baldwin is not a secret homophobe, both of which I’m comfortable assuming because I’m detached and sort of indifferent, and because I checked Do you really think so? first. Really, there needs to be an app for that.