Saturday, April 21, 2007

Only Alec Baldwin Talks Bad to Kids

Somewhere in a giant underground bajillion-dollar complex, agents and officers of the Federal Department of Secret Taping of All Phone Calls and Emails in America there is an entire division of recordings labeled Bad Parents.

A casual perusal of said recordings shows that every day in every location imaginable a parent says hateful, mean and nasty things to their kids. An Operative in the FDSTAPCEA, who was hired - I mean appointed - by the Office of Proving Actors Are Evil Liberals (OPAAEL) sent one of those highly classified Blue Letters (which denote Emergency News Releases) out this week because they had a tape with Alec Baldwin being mean to his daughter.

Quicker than lightning, the network and cable news broke the story played copies of the tape every fifteen minutes as mandated by the OPAAED Guidelines. A congressional hearing is planned to create a new law that all celebrity children and parents be forced to wear microphones and cameras, part of the No Celebrity Is A Patriot Act. Additional congressional conference reports will recommend that every parent in the country have implants which can supply remote-controlled taser blasts if they don't check a child's homework.

Yeah, that all sounds pretty stupid and paranoid, doesn't it?

Of equal stupidity is the story about Alec Baldwin berating his own child. Of equal stupidity is the unholy mess it has made for Baldwin and his child. Far less reported was the fact that a judge in the custody case between Baldwin and (Oscar winner) Kim Basinger had heard the tape days before and barred Baldwin from having contact with his daughter. If anything, the non-news story here was that Baldwin got slapped with a judicial order based on Baldwin's behavior.

Here's another fact -- parents from every level of society will say something mean and hateful to their children on a regular basis. I hear it in grocery stores and malls and restaurants constantly.

Every flippin' day, people.

Such parental exclamations are usually followed by the parent jerking the child's arm up to the level of the adult's chin and, usually, swinging the child back and forth like a sack of diseased potatoes. Comments like:

"I told you not to touch that! Are you stupid or deaf?"

"As soon as we get back in the car, I'm going to beat you within an inch of your life!"

"I told you to be quiet but you wouldn't listen. Now I'm going to leave you in the street so anyone who wants you can have you!"

"Once we get home, I'm going to see how hard I can really make you cry, you stupid baby!"

"I don't care what you want -- I want a lot of things and never get them because of you, you spoiled monster!"

"I hate you! You're so stupid! I wish you had never been born."

And remember, only Baldwin and Britney Spears are bad parents.

12 comments:

  1. So I guess what you are saying is that since there are a lot of bad parents out there, it is okay for Baldwin to call his daughter a pig? Interesting.

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  2. Glen, I never said that anywhere above.

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  3. Verbal abuse is never okay. I don't care how often it occurs or by whom.

    If nothing else, I think the importance of the Baldwin story lies in its reminder (to me, anyhow) to treat those I love with dignity and respect.

    -Tim

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  4. I think the little piggy sold her cellphone recording to the media.

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  5. I love you for this post, but why didn't you come to my bacon party?

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  6. Man, Joe, any shmuck can talk bad to their kids, but Baldwins and Basingers are supposed to be the beautiful people, who show us all how to lead a better life! I mean, they're famous, right?
    Right?

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  7. OXYMORON11:00 AM

    "supposed to be the beautiful people, who show us all how to lead a better life!"
    I think we would all be better off if we dispensed with the myth of the Uber Mench, individually and collectively. I have stopped following the popular culture circus that now stands as reportage of human events so I do not know much about this situation. Nor do I care except for the kid.
    I do know that at the most basic and common level we are all fallable human beings. The idea that conservatives hold some key to integrety and worldly wisdom and Geoge Bush is a "child of god" per Jerry Fawell has killed and maimed more Americans than Osama Bin Laden.
    Looking at the continueum in terms of "what do human beings usually do" is a good place to start in putting these things in perspective.
    My take on the Baldwin incident, while agreeing with Joes observation, is just how vicious and nasty people are to those they "love" The cruelties of humans to other humans closest to them who are objects of their "love" scares me more than a college campus killer. It never seems to give them pause. It indicts both the adults in this situation that their love for their child is overshadowed by their basest emotions toward each other. They are in court for the childs own good of course.
    Long term verbal or physical abuse is a form of torture, but these same sadists would proclaim "aint nobody gonna talk to a kid (or woman/ man) of mine like that." So it goes.
    OT, Baldwin's tirade sounds like he was really talking to his ex. I am saying this because I have used almost identical words to describe one of my ex's. Any chance he hit the wrong speeddial? I'm just sayin'. It's what humans do.

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  8. oh dear Ms Mcgee -- the cost of travel kept me from being there, not to say that the cost would not have been worth it. my apologies.

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  9. oh DUH!!! it's a virtual bacon party!! i do so enjoy makin' bacon.

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  10. on a serious note - Oxymoron gets it.

    The cruelties of humans to other humans closest to them who are objects of their "love" scares me more than a college campus killer. It never seems to give them pause. It indicts both the adults in this situation that their love for their child is overshadowed by their basest emotions toward each other.

    The tape would not have been made it to the news had not Basinger handed it over - showing she cared less for how the tape might affect her child than how it might give her an edge in a custody battle.

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  11. It is so sad that they are publicly dragging their kids into their mess of a divorce.

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  12. While not condoning Alec Baldwin's outburst, I think things have been fairly tough on the guy for some time when it comes to his daughter. Basinger has been charged with contempt of court for violating their custody agreement, and it seems that she has been making it nearly impossible for Baldwin to see his daughter. I can see where a person snaps.


    WARNING: RANT TO FOLLOW

    I know what my brother is going through in his divorce, and although there were no fights when it came to custody of my niece, my soon-to-be-ex-sister-in-law has not made life easy for my brother.

    Both my brother and my STBESIL had plenty of work in their professions here in Knoxville. And even when jobs took either of them out of town, the cost of living here was low enough that they were able to get by. But my STBESIL was not the belle of the ball here in Tennessee that she supposes she is on the other side of the country. So, he agreed to move across country with my STBESIL and their daughter to please my STBESIL. Suddenly, their standard of living went down because it cost so much to live out West. And in order for them to save money, my brother took over a lot of the childcare duties, finding that some of the smaller jobs he could have taken would not offset daycare and/or babysitting costs. So in the day time, my brother stayed home with his daughter, and would try and take night gigs. On the other hand, my STBESIL, who had a full-time job (which she promptly quit a year into the move), would also take night work on top of her day job, leaving their young daughter to childcare 6 nights a week. Most of the money made doing the night work went to childcare, and my niece was deprived both of her parents.

    2 years agoa, just after our mother died (and I'm talking about 2 weeks after my brother gets back from the funeral), my STBESIL announces she wants a divorce. Doesn't want to talk about the relationship. Doesn't want to go to a marriage counselor.

    So here's my brother (who has been the main childcare-giver in the marriage if not the main breadwinner), stuck in a city he hates and which he cannot afford to live on his own, having cut a lot of his professional ties because he needed to be a stay at home dad, heartbroken that his family has been torn apart.

    Meanwhile, my STBESIL is invariably late for drop-offs and pick-ups (which usually puts my brother in a bind), or she is terribly vague about time all-together (i.e. "I'll be there some time after 5:00 PM") . On the evening's my niece isn't with my brother, my STBESIL is supposed to have my niece call my brother. But more than half of the time, this doesn't happen. Because my STBESIL only has a cell phone, my brother often reaches voice mail and there is no call from his daughter.

    My niece spends Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday until 7:00 PM with my brother. Because the majority of my STBESIL's days with her daughter are school/work days, she spends far less time with my niece. My brother provides 9 meals for his daughter during his time with her and spends all his free time with her. Because it's the weekend, he spends money doing the sort of things you do with a child on the weekend. Because he lives in a tiny apartment, he tries to spend time with his daughter outside that cramped space, which means he ends up spending money on "amusements."

    But because my niece spends one extra night at my STBESIL's, my brother (who actually spends more time with his daughter) cannot claim head of household.

    So, yeah. Alec Baldwin did cross a line, but I think his message was more aimed toward Basinger than his daughter. I know what sort of crap the dad can go through in these things. It's pretty clear it was Basinger who released that tape, pulling her daughter into the spotlight in the nastiest way possible. And Basinger has been preventing their daughter from seeing Baldwin. This is a lot uglier than that phone message. And it's not all on Alec's shoulders.

    Tennessee Jed could probably weigh in on this.

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