Wednesday, May 14, 2014

WHAT'S IN YOUR HANDCUFFS?

There are certain things you can count on when living in New York: sticky summers, potholes in the winter, and Alec Baldwin acting deranged all year 'round. CNN reports on the Prince of Players' latest outburst: 

Actor Alec Baldwin was arrested Tuesday and issued two summonses -- one for disorderly conduct -- after riding a bicycle the wrong way on a New York street, police said.


 The "30 Rock" star allegedly became angry and started yelling at police after they asked him for identification to give him a summons, police said. The other summons was for riding a bike against the flow of traffic. Baldwin is to appear in court July 24.



"Police stated that he got belligerent and started arguing with them and using profanity," Deputy Chief Kim Y. Royster said. The actor reportedly became angry at the officers, yelling "Give me the summons already," a law enforcement official said. [...] Once in custody, Baldwin was taken to a nearby precinct, where he reportedly asked the desk supervisor: "How old are these officers, that they don't know who I am?" according to a law enforcement official.
 

Alec Baldwin: actor,
credit card shill, perp. (Even a
passing truck approves his
arrest.)
You read right, bub -- the man who simply loathes being a celebrity pulled the "Don't you know who I am" card. Yeah, you're the guy who encouraged people to stack up a pile of debt under the guise of getting 1% back by asking, "What's in your wallet?" (For the record, my answer is "two fives and three singles.")

But Baldwin wasn't finished. In the 21st-century version of storming the castle, he strapped on his iPhone and took to Twitter: "New York City is a mismanaged carnival of stupidity that is desperate for revenue and anxious to criminalize behavior once thought benign." Well, Alec, you might want to blame Mayor Bill de Blasio, the man you slobbered over on your blink-or-you'll-miss-it talk show last year. After all, you wanted him ringmaster of this "mismanaged carnival." Oh, and riding a bike against traffic in New York is illegal.

In the 33 years I've lived in New York, I've seen dozens of celebrities walking around the city. Artists (Andy Warhol, Peter Max), dancers (Gregory Hines, Mikhail Baryshnikov), musicians (Paul McCartney, Madonna), TV stars (David Caruso, Richard Beltzer), A-listers (Robert de Niro, Dustin Hoffman), legends (Greta Garbo, Jackie Onassis), the infamous (Johnny Rotten, Woody Allen), B-listers (Kelly Ripa, the guy from House. Not Hugh Laurie; the other guy), and everyone else in between. For a while, I couldn't walk out of my former workplace without running into Regis Philbin. Lord knows I tried, though.

Nicole Kidman learns the power of
the press the hard way.
What these disparate groups of people have in common is that none of them did anything to attract negative attention to themselves. Whether New Yorkers are cool or only pretend to be, they tend to leave celebrities alone. Even paparazzi by and large keep a fairly respectable distance from their targets, save for the knucklehead who knocked over Nicole Kidman with his bicycle. And he was probably one of Tom Cruise's assistants trying to teach her a lesson.

If only.
So what is it about Alec Baldwin, the human flypaper of negativity, that attracts endless emotional, physical, and psychological drama? It doesn't take a Josef Breuer to come with a diagnosis. Baldwin thrives on confrontation in order to stoke his anger, justifying his belief that he's right and everyone else outside of Tina Fey and Lorne Michaels is wrong about, well, just about everything. And the minute things don't go his way, he loudly announces, like anyone cares, he's taking a hike for good.

This is the guy who's threatened to leave America (because of Republicans) more times than a guy with unlimited travel miles on his Capital One card. He said he'd quit his MSNBC show, only to stick around until he was fired. Just recently, he wrote a self-pitying screed for New York magazine promising to quit show business and move to a gated community in Beverly Hills in order to escape the hated press. He even swore to delete his Twitter account. Has this guy ever seen a promise he wouldn't break?

Like the philodendron or the snake plant, Alec Baldwin thrives on treatment that would kill most other living things. Only instead of blooming without sunlight or regular watering, he positively thrives on confrontations with things he hates: New York, showbiz, the press, photographers, columnists, social media, co-stars, mankind in general -- even his daughter, whom he affably called "a rude, thoughtless, little pig." Baldwin's life is defined by not by his work, really, but chaos.

So what fuels Baldwin's anger? I vote for self-loathing. He's a "tough guy" in a profession where one wears make-up and dresses up in costumes -- you know, like a little girl at a tea party. To his thinking, I'd wager, acting isn't a "manly" profession. What else can explain this proud, outspoken liberal hurling homophobic slurs at people who get on his wrong side? Or, hey, maybe he just hates gays. I mean, if Donald Sterling tossed around words like "faggot" and "little queen" the way Baldwin's been known to, what would you think?

When it comes to celebrities like Alec Baldwin, Shakespeare is proven wrong. The fault lies not in ourselves, but in the stars. If he finally keeps his promise to disappear from view, he will have earned the greatest response an audience can provide:

                                
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1 comment:

Kevin Thomsen said...

Alec should've shoved off months ago. He promised us! NYC should get together and throw him a going away party. A get-the-fuck OUT festival. What's he waiting for? An un-invitation? Isn't there some other city who'll put up with his shit? No? Well, there's the answer. Maybe he HAS tried to leave, but nobody else wants his cranky ass.