Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Baldwin Blues

Alec Baldwin recently got married, and apparently as part of the honeymoon festivities he's decided to delete his Twitter account.

I've got no problem with that, of course; while I find Twitter to be an integral part of today's entertainment business (for a variety of reasons), I can at least respect someone who doesn't want to get involved. While Twitter has a lot going for it, with a 140-character limit it's difficult to get...well, nuanced. It's gotten a lot lesser people than Mr. Baldwin in trouble, so it often makes sense.

That said, this seems to be one of a series of temper tantrums Mr. Baldwin has undergone in recent memory. After a mean-spirited voice mail was released, where he intemperately called his own daughter a "little pig," he swore he was going to quit his high-profile role on 30 Rock. It took all season for him to get over it and sign on for a few more years. (Of course, a few years after that, he leaked that 30 Rock was done for good, only to backpedal and claim that he was done for good; the rest of the cast might still be interested. Whether this was an honest mistake or he assumed 30 Rock wasn't feasible without him is up to...ah, screw it, the guy's a prick and he thinks he's the only star of the show.)

He wrote a book, A Promise To Ourselves, which is a pretty long diatribe about the "divorce industry" and comes across as sort of a crybaby's vent. (To be fair, the book brings up a lot of good points about the way lawyers have vulturized high-profile divorce and puts a spotlight on parental alienation, but to write an entire book about it when you're not really an expert is...well, a touch creepy and obsessive.)

And, of course, there's the incident where he refused to stop playing Words With Friends on a runway (using electronic devices is verboten), forcing the flight to be delayed and got himself kicked off the plane. And in true Hollywood asshat fashion, he apologized to the crew and passengers, but deliberately did not apologize to the airline or federal regulators. He did, at least, make fun of himself in later skits.

And he's gone on record to wanting to murder two people: the editors of TMZ, Henry Hyde (who should be stoned), and the wives and children of Republicans (who should be slaughtered in their homes). Also: Kim Basinger's divorce lawyer  (choice of weapon: baseball bat).  He's tried to explain some of these away as "jokes," but it's getting to be a tired joke.

This wasn't supposed to be a diatribe against the passive-aggressive failings of the eldest Baldwin. But it does paint a remarkably consistent picture of the typical arrogant out-of-touch Hollywood limousine liberal. Usually with celebrities, you assume that they are nice people most of the time, but their bad moments get amplified in the searing glare of stardom's heat lamps. But for Alec Baldwin, it honestly seems like he's just a straight-up pretentious asshole.

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