Alec Baldwin, Parenting & The Weight of Words

Most people have probably heard the news, the words that Alec Baldwin allegedly left on the answering tape which was leaked from confidential documents and evidence in the custody, presumably, of the Court.

Yes, one of the first questions is why should this even be our business? Because stars put themselve out there, wanting us to pay attention to increase their movie returns? Yes, no, I don’t know.

The issue though again, is the weight of words and who we are in any given moment.

At what points should we be judged and frozen in time, never to have a chance to live differently?

I see those words and understand the damage. Not sure what causes a parent to stop acting as the parent and to verbally abuse their child in such a way.

Is the media now telling that child she is damaged? Her parents, or at least one of them, are psychotic?

I know nothing of this child. I don’t know if she is old beyond her years and has realized the deficiencies of ill timed and inappropriate and abusive anger.

I simply don’t know.

What I do know is that recording and the family’s grief wasn’t meant for us, but know it is ours.

What will we do about it? Do we take the log from our eye?

See: CNN Updates

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10 thoughts on “Alec Baldwin, Parenting & The Weight of Words

  1. This is just another brainless rant by that dim-witted Alec “Mommy Dearest” Baldwin. Did you all forget that he PROMISED us he would leave the country if Bush was elected! As you all are painfully aware, the country voted Bush – and did so in twice. We did our part, we suffered through it – now move! France is the ideal country for the likes of you! It’s clear from his hideous remarks to his own child that she too wishes he would just move far far away. This is exactly the example of a “man” all young woman can do without.

  2. I have to agree that a voice message someone leaves to another person is not anyone else’s business but theirs. Nevertheless, this message is now “out there” for all to hear and comment. Perhaps some good will come of it. It will likely spark many discussions around the country about verbal and emotional abuse of children. There needs to be greater awareness around this very important subject.

    I of course don’t know Alec Baldwin but my guess is, when the dust settles he will deeply regret his actions. I don’t think there is any parent who yells at their child and makes abusive remarks who is later proud of what they’ve done.

  3. That poor little girl. She doesn’t deserve ANY of this!

    Nice blog, Surface! I’ll be back! And thanks for your gracious comment on my post today, too.
    Peace…

  4. My feelings also. “deeply regret”. Very poignant.

    Appreciate your thoughts. It’s always hard to balance the scales, I just most of the time feel that condemning and beating a dead horse as they say, furthers the damage.

    Enjoy your site almostgotit!

    Barbara: we’re going to check out your site now.

  5. I think parents who are divorced have no idea the impact they leave upon their children when they place their children in the middle of their issues. I feel that both parents are to blame, and doing equal damage to this young lady…only Alec got caught. Whether its intentional or not, parents have to learn to put the welfare of their children ahead of their own issues.

  6. As usual, many of us cannot detach ourselves from the glitter of this episode to focus on the essentials.

    I suggest for each of us to re-holster our burning uber-twitchy forefinger, and step back from asserting conclusion based on the errant rolling of parched tumbleweed that lodged in your satellite dish.

    Like war, divorce brings out the worst in anybody ( time, distance, and effort will eventually bring healing and perspective; Japan rebuilt after the bomb.)

    People, like these “stars” display brilliantly the attitudes and shortsightedness of millions of individuals who enter into relationships based on “expressed,” rather than proven ideals, characteristics, and morals – ? – yes, morals. Well, why not, they got along well enough in bed, they might as well move to the next stage of revealing their middle names to each other.

    As with the majority of divorces, had these two parents the backbone to get through the toughtimes, there would be no firebomb, from which it will ultimately be left for the children to recover.

    In my book there are three things that, if trust cannot be regained or responsibility accepted, are grounds for divorce. Addiction, abuse, adultery, not in that order. We can make educated guesses regarding Al and Kim – does being naked on film with someone other than your spouse for the sake of art get a free pass? – I do wonder. Maybe they were spoiled as children. I don’t know, I don’t follow actors out of the celluloid.

    And before any of us stand up with posters bashing men and bashing women, let’s acknowledge false accusations are cheap and easy, that accusers should bear the burden of proof, and criminal acts be punished accordingly to the findings of fact. Also, any one who actually believes that people in custody disputes can or should act normal is delusional. Let s/he who has not sinned … .

    Alas, there is child.

    Let’s try this. Maybe it’s a case of two adult-children who failed the first test of parenting. To put the child first.

    Fortunately, for Mr./Mrs. Bald/inger, even normal folk have difficulty with this one.

    If at the outset, there had been some notion that the child suffer the least amount of damage regarding the mucking of the family, maybe this could have been a heartbreak instead of a couple of heart-attacks.We would say yes, but over my dead body.

    If at the outset, these nincompoops had said, “we will share in the raising of our child as we did in her creation,” the fuel for vengance would have been denied the fire.

    If the simple, fair, commonsense assumption that each parent will perform as one equal half to the whole be accepted, then – in this star-studded spoof – the episode may have been reduced to an entry in the court docket.

    As EVERY court in the land has to reluctantly, kickingly, wincingly, benignly and malignantly act on be-half of “the child’s best interest,” it usually just makes things worse.

    If this country’s fifty percent success rate for marriage indicates the other half fails because one or both spouses are batterers, abusers, controllers, molesters, murderers, pediphilers, alieanators, screamers, cryers, whiners, masochists, sadists, porche drivers or leanard cohen fans, then I revoke my clarion (appeal) for focus.

    But I suspect the vast, vast, vast majority of that second half are just guilty of acting like children.

    Ironic.

    P.S. Wife beaters should be battered and child abusers should be …..

  7. James:

    Thank you for your thoughtful and expansive reply. We invite you to post a link to your book.

    You are right, it takes insurmountable backbone when “all” go through divorce/separation.

    Unfortunately, people are sometimes at the lowest ebb of who they wish to be.

    Do we know what drove Mr. Baldwin to that private message?

    No.

    Do we wish children were taught, not just in the home, but in every facet of society, that words are just that, and people do have both good and bad moments, and that it does not define the worth of the entire person?

    Yes.

    What’s the answer?

    He is human, like the rest of us, but his humanity, good, bad or indifferent, was splattered across the media for our viewing enjoyment and/or advertising pleasure.

    Peace.

  8. dear surface,

    Thanks for the reply.

    While I would hesitate the general use of “humanity” in Baldwin’s exposition, his outburst was certainly a lowpoint in what, no doubt, an emotional issue.

    As usual, I may have come of as a simpleton in trying to shed light on what I feel are base elements in relationships and child rearing.

    I sympathize with Baldwin. I am a divorced father with all the usual problems. I do not excuse him. And I favor niether of them.

    If I may, for the sake of record, list a few general problems I think are common among loving imperfect fathers, at least those who founds themselves as defendants in the divorce.

    …. wonderment at why, in its essence, the courts do not make a presumption that a child is best served to have equal access to both parents. This means time; Split custody. Current social science I believe supports equal time with consistency being paramount.

    …. A father, at least in Minnesota, has no way to parlay his role as Primary Provider as an equal and off-setting argument as to who is the Primary Care Giver. In my case, I simply could earn more than my wife, so I did the overtime, and she spent more time available to my Lil’ Ellie. Though my wife found in short time that she “couldn’t just stay home.” By the way, after the divorce, I quit that job so I could spend more time with my daughter. It was a big pay cut. I’m behind on child support, but I get more time with her. Am I a deadbeat? I don’t know. But she gets a father.

    …. How to deal with the changing values that the other parent is introducing into the life of the child. In my case, my ex spirited my daughter away to her boyfriends house (so much for “the stability” factor), has allowed her thirteen-year-old sibling to carry on a sleepover relationship with an adult male of 18, and has continued her use of alchohol with the added feature of having the parties at her boyfriends home rather than keeping it at a distance from the child.

    ….. not laughing at the credulity of others who are surprised at the behaviors of people who are indeed at thier lowest ebb. When I see (in media, friends, family, about) fathers carry out bizarre violent acts and behavior, harrass illogically, appear abjectly angered, to get so depressed as to blow their heads off, to be so dysfunctional as to become immobile, to draw themselves so inward as to unwittingly cut themselves off from the child/ren they so much want to be pathfinders for, I can only see a perverse logic in that these men are FATHERS who were conditioned in our society to defend, protect, and provide for their family, yet have been rendered in a de-facto sense, the “non-parent.”
    I recognize them in myself, for I too have had to fight the urge to do completely stupid things.

    I cannot describe the pain. But it is true, divorce is more painfull than a death.

    I suppose I can only hope that some how both Mr. Baldwin and Ms. Basinger will be enlightened somehow of their action’s effects on their daughter.

    Maybe I could request thoughts from any one of you.

    It seems to me that the issue of custody is being approached backwards.

    Disregard custody’s legal history.

    I feel that in a divorce where no abuse has ocurred to the children, shared custody, ie. 50/50 physical, should be presumed.

    I would like to see a debate as to why this should not be. Maybe paramaters should be in place.

    Render moot the tender years “notion” as children head to day care anyway as mothers choose work over staying home (living on one income is still possible, believe me).

    Recognise major considerations like relocation, disablility, death, that form the final custody picture.

    Know that mom and dad will probably never settle on what went wrong in the marriage.

    Assume that both parents love the child and want what’s best.

    Apply the judicial standard of any income into the household as a shared income, to any stability in the houseshold is a shared effort.

    That a red herring in an argument be caught and thrown back.

    Well, there.

    I hope I haven’t come across as daft. Thanks for the space.

    James; Ellie’s daddy, from the land of 10,000 lakes and one tiny acre in the Arrowhead.

  9. Certainly not daft.

    Each situation stands on its own.

    And yes, the more grown up we adults can be, the better for our children to flourish.

    I hesitate to make a judgment as I don’t know the circumstances, the true ones, of Mr. Baldwin’s family.

    I know there is rarely one truth. Perception can do such great harm.

    I understand your words, and wish you much peace and hope.

    YOu mentioned a book? Feel free to post the link here.

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