I have no problem with Alec Baldwin lashing out at the paps who constantly hound him, and lay in wait for he or his family to step outside their door. The entertainment industry corporate structure has created a new paradigm in programming that stages incendiary situations where the famous are goaded, tricked and teased. Had he reached the a-hole who sought to profit from his harassment, and got the guy by the neck, we would have all been inundated by links to Breaking News, links to YouTube videos, sarcastic memes on Facebook, and innumerable Tweets and texts basically saying “Alec Baldwin Finally Goes Too Far!”
And that will be our reward. “Bloodlust after a word from our sponsor,” courtesy of those great chaps that trade quips with Harvey Levin. We’ve finally been able to take Alec Baldwin to the next lethal level. Amidst chuckles and chortles the tape will be replayed constantly, and we will never learn. We will now turn to Yeezy, Bieber or anyone else whose entertainment isn’t sufficient. We want to see them crushed under the heel of our own sad lives so that we seem in comparison happier, normal and secure. Like the Zapruder film that is rewound and paused just when Kennedy’s brains flower and explode from his head, we will salivate at that exact frame when Alec’s fingers apply pressure against the carotid.
The digital camera as cattle prod — and the TMZ-isation of entertainment — which has put the use of stocks and pillory as public humiliation back in vogue. Exit a Towne Car without underwear, and expect someone with a camera to flaunt your brief indiscretion into the minds and memories of young fans around the world. That ruins careers. Photograph a young princess who takes in the sun in supposed privacy, topless — that creates headlines that necessitate comments from Parliament. Take your child out for air only to be in the crosshairs of an 800mm telescopic lens — and that image is now pasted in the scrapbooks of every nutcase who seeks revenge from society by joining the famous in history.
And like Tillimuk the whale, whose modus operandi included ushering a number of trainers into the great beyond, there are those personalities who are naturally vitriolic, possibly unhinged or at the very least justifiably and fiercely protective of their privacy. Those people are gasoline that the paparazzi ignite with the spark of the Sunpaks that shock the illumination from their faces and expose the mustard on their ties as they mistakenly exit restaurants in front, and not out the kitchen.
I just finished watching “Blackfish,” the exposè of Sea World’s atrocious policies and bankrupt moralities. We do the same to entertainers whether they are on two legs or are propelled by fins or haunches. Our demands go beyond our entitlements. Captivity equals performance. Celebrity does not equal privacy. Therefore we must corral celebrities like Sea World does to the wild life that they profit from displaying — force them into a cove and photograph them. One day the same purpose will be met — cubs separated from adult Orcas — children kidnapped from their famous parents.
And when in venting frustration, Baldwin issues an epithet that shocks our sensibilities to the core — then the story becomes exactly that. How could he say such a thing? We give the perpetrator a break and vilify the victim.
If we are patient, we will get our reward one day. A violent outburst that ends badly. We can hardly wait! Like a Death Pool we lay down money on who will take the bait.
Once we’ve reached that intersection then we’ve gone full circle. We are once again in the Roman Coliseum, cheering as Christians are mauled and mangled by lions. We are elevated at the cost of those in lofty places who fall, no matter why.