...don't even ignore 'em.
-- Samuel Goldwyn

Monday, April 30, 2007


Definitely hype, folks. Mr. Baldwin's attempt to play the contrite male anger-management school candidate on The View the other day was unsuccessful, except for those committed to following the lead of their prize-giving hosts, along with attending to the studio applause signs on cue.

How could anybody take any part of Alec's ugly, self-aggrandizing monologue as contrition? I don't believe he intended the slightest apology--the closest he got was alleging his famously abusive voice message to his daughter should have been directed to "someone else." Like, that would have made it merely an eloquent indictment of a deserving villain(ess). The only truth in View was the director staying with the studio camera as the hosts broke for commercials long enough to see Alec slipping his crib notes from under his thigh to make sure he'd covered all his first-segment talking points.

I'm not really trying to join this battle. Celebrity mudfests and gaffes are so routine now, they're the base level (pun intended) of contemporary television and magazine content. It's the universal Plan B for career-making in the entertainment business.

Now, Mr. Baldwin intends to make his grievance his career, beginning with a book about male child-custody victimhood. And he's about as sympathetic a poster child as The Donald, or The Rosie, for that matter. Alienation of divorced fathers may well be a cause worthy of taking up. But I don't believe this cause-celebrity will move it toward resolution.

We need a new awakening in this country. What would happen if we all stopped enjoying the spectacles people and the media spectacle system are making of themselves. What would happen if a television company decided to take another tack, away from the tabloid swamp?

And how is it that Barbara Walters trips along the surface of the quagmire without soiling her Manolo Blahnicks?

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