Thursday, April 26, 2007

Coming to Alec Baldwin's defense

So he called his daughter a "rude, thoughtless little pig". So what?

I really don't see why everyone is giving Alec Baldwin a lot of flak for what was obviously meant to be a private message to his daughter Ireland, who apparently did not make herself available for a pre-scheduled phone call. It was simply a case of an angry father berating his kid for not fulfilling an obligation. From what I've heard of Baldwin's tirade, it sounds like it wasn't the first time Ireland had left him hanging. The way the media is vilifying' Baldwin is unfair, and even more unfair is how his ex-wife Kim Basinger is milking this for all it's worth. It was a very human mistake, but it's being blown out of proportion.

People are criticizing the harsh way Baldwin spoke to his child (was it really that extreme?), but I can understand how one can let loose a barrage of hurtful words when tempers are flaring. There's also the tendency of being more careless with verbal abuse (or any other kind for that matter) when dealing with those closest to us. I know I'm nastier to my siblings than my friends, and while I know it's wrong, I can't help but take for granted that at the end of the day, they'll forgive me because we're family. And Lord knows how many times I've been given a tongue-lashing by my parents, but when I'm wrong, I deserve it, so I have to stand there and take it.

The other day some hack psychologist being interviewed about Baldwin-gate said the term "pig" could be damaging to Ireland's self-esteem. I had to roll my eyes. I could think of dozens of even more unflattering words in Chinese and Filipino that parents scream at their children all the time. And most of those kids turn out just fine. I'm not condoning verbal abuse; I'm sure it could inflict certain psychological damage if the child is subjected to it frequently. However, occasionally calling him or her "stupid" or "worthless", especially when the kid has it coming, is not exactly criminal.

Although this Baldwin news story is not exactly CNN headlines material, I find it significant because it's representative of American family values. The US is a nation of child coddlers, so it's no wonder they're also a culture that raises spoiled brats who talk back to their parents, move out first chance they get, rarely call or visit their family, then eventually dump their aged parents in nursing homes. American children are conditioned to think that they don't owe their parents anything, so they do as they please, and heaven help whoever gets their way-- even the people who brought them into this world. A raised voice, a lifted hand, a simple punishment, and they're running for the phone to call child services to report their mom or dad as abusive.

Was Ireland really wounded by what her father said? If the phone recording hadn't been leaked to the media, would it be as big a deal, or just another day in the lives of the dissolved Baldwin-Basinger union? Will this sway the judge's decision in their ongoing drawn-out child custody battle? How will this affect Baldwin's revived showbiz career? Should an isolated case of parental fury be held against him forever?

All parents are entitled to their rage, within reasonable limits. Sensationalizing this particular case only reinforces the notion most American kids have that their parents have no right to reprimand them, no matter what they've done. Maybe there was a better way to have scolded his daughter, but come on, Baldwin was ANGRY. Humans get angry. When they're angry, they say things without thinking clearly. Even parents. Even celebrity parents. So cut the guy some slack already. At least he didn't bitchslap the rude, thoughtless little pig.

9 Comments:

At Saturday, April 28, 2007, Anonymous MoJo said...

Ouch.

THE AILEESA LIM SCHOOL OF TOUGH LUV "Spare the rod, spoil the child"

The pig reference (especially the way he delivered it) completely rubbed me the wrong way. I think calling an adolescent girl a pig is just about the worst thing you can do. I know he had a right to be mad, but I would not be receptive to what he had to say if he scolded me that way.

While adjectives are usually thrown around my household during fights, my mom banned name-calling completely (looong story involving a wrestling match between my brother and me)...

 
At Sunday, April 29, 2007, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

Granted, "pig" may not have been the kindest word to fling at an 11-year-old girl, but he was upset and wasn't thinking straight. I'm not justifying abusive behavior towards one's children. I just find it wrong to crucify a man for losing his temper at his daughter, who probably had it coming anyway.

P.S. I can't imagine you wrestling. :p

 
At Monday, April 30, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

alec baldwin RESERVES the right to berate his daughter. he reserves the right to reprimand her for bad behaviour. he reserves the right to be MAD AT HER. that's what PARENTING is about. as a parent, you have to discipline. you have to scold. you have to be firm. because God knows no one else will do that for your kid.

it's sad how people eat up the stuff OPRAH"S RESIDENT PSYCHOLOGISTS dish out - about how impt it is to TALK to the kid, UNDERSTAND his feelings, HELP her deal with her issues..

call me fascist but end of the day i believe in TOUGH LOVE. (of course i'm not suggesting that parents beat their kids into pulp as an effective means of discipline). admittedly it's hard to draw the line between what's acceptable and unacceptable...

but this alec baldwin drama, isnt even NEWS WORTHY. and that's the sad part. for such a harmless remark to land FRONT PAGE in people.com??? and for the man to apologize on NATIONAL TELEVISION (the VIEW is just crap). it's ridiculous.

if the US continues to uphold the current PARENTING standards, i dont want no oprah psychologist analysing why more and more kids are arrested for drug abuse and drunk driving and STDs AND THEN BLAMING IT ON... JERRY BRUCKHEIMER's MOVIES!!!!!!

AB

 
At Monday, April 30, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if it's any consolation, my brother calls me FAT ALL. THE. TIME.

i dont see anything wrong with PIG. you'll have to try really hard to find a human being who loosely resembles a pig.

FAT, on the other hand, now that HURTS, big time. but, whatever! it's from my brother, it's not from... Karl (LAGERFELD).

--Abi

 
At Monday, April 30, 2007, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

I am totally with you on Oprah's coterie of hack shrinks, The View, and tough love. But then again, maybe it's because we were raised in a family known for perfecting the art of tough love. ;p

And is "fat" better or worse than "pwet"? Hahaha. I love Kev's terms of endearments for you.

 
At Monday, April 30, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Pwet" would've been TOO CRASS for your blog heheheheh! (now you know why ake's a.k.a. PETTIE). if you call our house next time, look for a PETTIE and you'll find a pettie.

Love how you addressed oprah's little posse of "EXPERTS" : coterie of HACK shrinks!!! hahaha! you should copyright that line!

understand that we may be hurting some oprah followers out there. sorry but i've had enough of those ladies (all named Courteney or Susan or Meredith...)

but seriously speaking...numbers to numbers, statistics to statistics, facts to facts, where tough love sits, stronger personalities emerge and better characters FORMED.

aB

 
At Monday, April 30, 2007, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

"sorry but i've had enough of those ladies (all named Courteney or Susan or Meredith...)"

-Let's not forget the Elizabeths and Mary Anns. :p

 
At Tuesday, May 01, 2007, Anonymous MoJo said...

haha uhhhh... don't try to imagine it nalang. we watched too much wwf back then, and some of our suplexes and atomic piledrivers actually drew blood.

i have to marvel at the kid. she got the best revenge by leaking the voicemail to the press. who needs to answer back when u can cause a PR disaster?

his agent and nbc probably ordered him to apologize for fear that ratings for 30 rock suffer :)

 
At Tuesday, May 01, 2007, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

"we watched too much wwf back then, and some of our suplexes and atomic piledrivers actually drew blood."

-We were WWF fans too! But by then we were too big to be attempting any suplexes and piledrivers. :p

"i have to marvel at the kid. she got the best revenge by leaking the voicemail to the press. who needs to answer back when u can cause a PR disaster?"

-I think she had her mom's help too. In fact I think it might have been Kim's idea to leak it to the media in the first place. Hell hath no fury like an ex-wife in the middle of a legal battle for child custody. :p

 

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