Friday, September 05, 2008

Sad Alec

Has anyone read the profile of Alec Baldwin in the New Yorker? I know, I know, this is my second blog in a row in which I mention the New Yorker. That is because I am trying to be an intellectual (albeit one who loves television). I also recently ordered Civilization and its Discontents from Amazon. The goal is to make low-brow people feel insipid, and high-brow people feel pretentious. I'll let you know how it goes.

Anyway, the profile is 8,000 words of Alec Baldwin hating his life. One usually expects that lengthy a piece to deal with the history of Russian-Georgian relations or be an excerpt from the latest Junot Diaz overrated piece of crap, but no: it's the guy who starred in The Shadow.

It would be easy to dismiss the piece as a spoiled rich out-of-touch actor bitching about what most people would dream of having, but I don't see it that way. I'm one of the people who really believed Puffy when he sang about mo' money mo' problems. And besides, this man wanted to be President of the United States:

Alec Baldwin began at George Washington University in 1976, with the idea of going into law and becoming President of the United States. At the end of his junior year, he split up with a girlfriend and lost a student-body election. Feeling underappreciated, he transferred to N.Y.U. and began studying at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute.

And people expect him to just shut up and enjoy being billed second on an NBC sitcom. This is a man with a level of ambition and audacity that most of us can't imagine. He clearly feels he settled, and worse, only sort of settled: elsewhere in the piece Baldwin says he pursued both fatherhood and his acting career only halfway, hoping to create a healthy balance. Instead he has a half-assed family life and a half-assed IMDB page:

"My life, in some ways, has been a half-measure. I didn’t commit myself all the way to my marriage and family, because I would have given up more. And I didn’t go all the way with just being completely selfish. I always wonder where my career would be if I was more selfish..."

Baldwin goes on to fantasize about being a classical radio host and a retired dude bumming around the Long Island Sound in a motorboat. The truth is--and I suspect he knows this--that he will never be satisfied, and wouldn't be had he been more "selfish" with his career either.

He's basically an insatiable person--so too, I suspect, is everyone. You think you've reached the peak you always dreamed of reaching, only to find another looming overhead. So just remember that when you are laughing at yet another Jack Donaghy non-sequitir, you're laughing at a tormented soul whose desires will only be consummated upon his death.

Have a nice weekend!


J.J. said...

Thank you for pointing this out. Great celebrity profile, and celebrity profiles are the hardest thing to make interesting. If I had talent of some kind, I think I'd be the kind of celebrity Alec Baldwin is.

Also, welcome back Boob Tubers. Please stay this time.

J.J. said...

Also, you guys have really dropped the ball. You should be covering "Hole in the Wall" on Fox. Premiere was last night, and it was exuberant. If I don't see a post from you guys in a week's time, I'm going to write about it.

Jeanette said...

Seriously? Hole in the Wall? I wish that shiznit stayed in Japan.

J.J. said...