Sunday, April 22, 2007


...can't agree with this, Jonah Goldberg.

I'm not letting Baldwin off the hook, by any means. But if you've ever been around messed up families there's a lot of blame to go around. And sometimes the people who lose their temper the most egregiously are not necessarily the ones deserving of the most blame. In the big picture, the parents are to blame. But who knows the full back story of what this kid did to drive Baldwin to be such a jerk or, rather, to express his jerkiness so forthrightly? Which of course, begs the question. What did Baldwin do to her before this that made her the way she is now? In other words there are chickens and eggs lined up far beyond the horizon and we're looking at one tiny glimpse of it all.

Again, my point isn't to defend Baldwin, merely to say that the ugliness of troubled families is difficult enough to grasp when you have a lot of information, but impossible to understand from this small and sad window on the Baldwins.

(Emphasis added.) And you do some more clarifying here, but don't back away from anything you wrote. I agree with you to the extent that this 10-second tirade against his daughter does not necessarily define Baldwin or his fathering, and that [Update: I don't know that Bassinger leaked it!] Bassinger whoever should not have leaked the message, and that we shouldn't draw too many conclusions, but I think it's certainly gives us an glimpse. No matter what you're kid does, you should not call them a pig, and if you do, you should apologize.

And, it seems to me you're being morally relativistic, Jonah, by saying it's hard to understand "dysfunctional families" or "troubled families." It is hard to understand their behavior; that doesn't make their behavior OK.

On the other hand, I blog this from a fortress of my bedroom, propped up by extra pillows, when without warning at the breakfast table, I stood up, told my husband I needed to check out, grabbed the laptop and shut the door. This sort of thing from time to time helps me to avoid dysfunction.

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Anonymous Gary M said...

I have to take your side over Jonah's, Nancy. I can see someone saying that you can't judge a parent on one bad fit of temper on one particularly tough day; I can see it, sure, but I can't square that reasonable-sounding reaction with my natural gut reaction of "Of course I'm going to judge him on that! The kid's eleven! Talk about a classic "pick on somebody your own size".

5:53 PM  
Blogger David N. Scott said...


I want to be forgiving on this one, but man, when you listen to it... eesh. Nasty over the top stuff to say the very least.

7:38 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

"I stood up, told my husband I needed to check out, grabbed the laptop and shut the door. This sort of thing from time to time helps me to avoid dysfunction."

I used to take a book and sit in the car in the driveway and quietly read. Sometimes I would just sit and revel in the quiet and take a nap, or just have a glazed over look while I wondered who all those children were and why in God's name did they keep hollering, "MOM!" You do what you can...

9:12 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

p.s. I understand Jonah's pov, and yours, Nancy. All I am saying is I've said not-nice things to be my kids and regretted it. Yet always, always, always asked their forgiveness and apologized. They needed to see their parent was indeed quite fallible and frail in nature, and yet loved enough to make a wrong, right. Interestingly, in the end it seems to be what made a trusting relationship and one where the children were able to come to us for help and know and trust we would not judge. Because who were we?

Baldwin at the least needs to ask forgiveness and apologize Who knows the complex interior of that family, though?

9:27 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

All I am saying is I've said not-nice things to be my kids and regretted it.

As have I and you're quite right that the kids need to know mom and dad are not infallible. I'm just quite thrown by the tone of Baldwin's voice and the actual name calling.

6:36 AM  
Anonymous Alec Baldwin said...

You guys are completely misinterpreting my conversation with my daughter. This is just a game we play. I call her a pig, she calls me a hog, I call her a swine, she says I’m boar-ing, I say if you’re gonna be like that then give me my razor-back, etc, etc.

It's just good clean father-daughter fun! Hope that clears everything up!


11:46 PM  
Anonymous Kim Basinger said...

Unlike my pig ex-husband, Sean Hannity is so HOT!

12:20 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Blech to Hannity--not cute. Baldwin is cute, but in a megalomaniac sort of way, but he continues to spiral down into self-parody.

8:10 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

All I know is every time I watch him on 30 Rock, I laugh. His timing is sublime, his tone is pitch perfect, and nobody deadpans so smoothly.

Hannity - double blech.

8:29 PM  

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