One of my favorite online sites for interesting reading and discussion is Salon.com. Alec Baldwin has been in the news the last few days. I picture him like a deer caught in the headlights of the media with his mouth open and epithets spilling out.
I don't know the circumstances of his breakup with Kim Basinger. My memory of them as a couple includes a documentary of them on a boat somewhere and him rubbing her feet and being affectionate. He appeared to adore her and she appeared to adore being adored. From that memory to this voice mail tirade at his 11 year old daughter.
My imagination tries to fill in the blanks. Having been through a bitter divorce and having felt fury at times when provoked not by action but inaction, I can kind of relate to Mr. Baldwin's anger. On the other hand, if anyone called me a little piggy, whether I was 12 years old or sixty, I am quite sure that I would be hard pressed not to react with fury of my own.
On Salon.com tonight I found an article on the Baldwin brouhaha that resonated with me. It is the sort of article that I halfway love while at the same time wondering if I am missing something and shouldn't be loving it. Perhaps I should be full of indignation and righteous anger?
On the other hand, the sad unfunny part of the Baldwin/Basinger saga is that it might be the beginning of one more sad estrangement between a parent and a child.
I think that Alex Baldwin does love his daughter Ireland and that his anger is evidence of his love. He is hurt. She is only 11. He is reacting as though she is older and more mature and should know enough not to hurt him. But she is only 11 and caught in the middle. She is so lucky to have a father who cares so much about her and who loves her, regardless of whether he is so angry that he calls her a pig when he is hurt. She is so fortunate. But there is a very good chance that Ireland won't see it that way and that this may be the beginning of a long and painful estrangement.