Alec Baldwin’s not good act to follow
Thursday, May 15, 2014 12:00 AM
Pardon us as we step away from the local scene today and focus on something that, while seemingly minor, is cause for concern in terms of the potential ripple effect it might have on our youth.
Alec Baldwin is a funny guy. He was perfectly cast in “30 Rock” and has no doubt done his job in selling a particular company’s credit card. Perhaps next he should be the poster child for that old song by Mac Davis, “It’s Hard To Be Humble” as he must think he is indeed perfect in every way.
On Tuesday, Baldwin had a run-in with New York City police. In the scheme of things, it’s not a big matter. It’s not as if he threw a bong off the balcony of a New York apartment building while stoned out of his head or anything like that. No, Baldwin was riding his bicycle the wrong way at 16th Street and Fifth Avenue in a rather busy section of the city. OK, that goes without saying. There’s nothing but busy intersections in New York City, but Union Square Park in Manhattan at 10:15 a.m. is a bit busier than, say, Uptown Greenwood where, with some degree of regularity, Mayor Welborn Adams can be spotted riding his bicycle. And at this point, we should note the mayor seems to follow traffic rules when bicycling.
But back to Baldwin. When he was stopped, officers asked him for his identification, a fairly typical initial interaction between police and whomever they stop in a traffic situation. Baldwin, however, refused to comply and apparently became belligerent. So, off to the nearest precinct went Baldwin and his bike where the 56-year-old actor was issued two summonses. One was for riding his bike the wrong way, the other for disorderly conduct.
What’s the big deal? The big deal is this is not Baldwin’s first act of belligerence that borders on pomposity. A few years ago, he was kicked off an airliner for refusing to turn off his cellphone. Not only did he refuse, he also was rude to the flight crew and hurled names at them. Before being booted from the flight, he took his cellphone into the airliner’s restroom and slammed the door.
We don’t know Baldwin’s inner secrets, although we do know the rather public Baldwin Brothers, as they have come to be known, share a proclivity for troubles. And what is troubling about Baldwin’s troubles is that his behavior is that of a spoiled child, a brat. He displays arrogance in his response to police or anyone who apparently dares to question what he is doing. He does not have to say the words, but his actions and behavior seem to exude the sentiment that “I’m Alec Baldwin, star. Your rules and your laws do not apply to me.” Interesting for someone who a few years ago was publicly entertaining a run for New York mayor.
Those who have become fans of the “30 Rock” star might come away with more than admiration for the actor’s talent. Young, influential minds might well come away with the notion that his behavior is somehow legitimized by his fame and notoriety. It reminds us of a line in a famous novel: “Some are more equal than others.” Baldwin might be a talented actor, but the life lessons he is imparting to easily influenced young fans is a show that should be canceled.