Triticum Turgidum

Lying Dormant and Waiting to Bloom Since 2005

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Location: The Prairie, Illinois, United States

I am a beauty-loving ambidextrous higher-order primate who learned transcendental meditation at 7, statistical analysis at 23, tap dancing at 30, and piano at 35. I tolerate gluten, lactose, and differences of opinion, but not abuse. Or beets.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Many thanks to Alec Baldwin

...for supplying us with a wonderful example of emotional abuse.

His voicework is so moving, isn't it?


Blogger PFG said...

yeah, I listened to that. I'm revolted not just by what he said but his defense of it. I do have a temper and I understand the concept of being overwhelmed and losing it. However, even with my well attested and totally dysfunctional temper, I am aware of two things.
1. It is pathological. This is why I am in therapy.
2. When it comes to something like the phone or email, you have a choice to put your reaction out there. Even with some kind of anger issue/disorder, you have something like a choice in those contexts - you can choose to have your reaction BEFORE you get on the phone, postpone your call until you've simmered down. You can call a friend and holler and yell. You can hit pillows. And you can find pictures of the person you care about and view them to remind you of how much you love and value this person.

Of course, implementing 2 or anything like it implies that you have accepted 1. I'm not defending Baldwin by using the notion of a disorder. He's an adult. He's had plenty of time to realize he's got a problem. I knew before I was even 20 that I had anger problems. It's been something I've spent most of my adult life trying to deal with.

9:51 AM, April 25, 2007  
Blogger WinterWheat said...


Very well put, as usual. (Do you study linguistics or something?)

It's not the anger that bothered me personally, it's the utter contempt in his voice. Anger is rarely the problem; it's how you express it, right? His name calling, belittling, and threats were horrifying; the guy has the emotional maturity of a 13-year-old. It's with his exact tone of voice that my mother would tell me I was subhuman and that I made her sick.

I don't know you well, but from reading your blog I get a sense that your angry outbursts might consist of rants and fuck-yous (like mine), but I don't see you turning sadistic and taking pleasure in cutting a less powerful person down to size through name calling and threats. You seem too decent for that.

11:51 AM, April 25, 2007  
Blogger Urban Chick said...

wow, yes, i listened to that last night on the bbc website

i agree that what was most horrifying was the contempt, particularly as it was directed at an 11/12-year-old

even though it should never have ended up in the public domain, it was still nasty

11:56 AM, April 25, 2007  
Blogger WinterWheat said...

Hi UC -- you raise an interesting and important point. If AB had gone on a rant like this at a restaurant, directed at a waiter, for instance, we wouldn't blink an eye at it ending up in the paper. But because it was a phone call placed to his daughter, it becomes a "private" matter. I think we should be really careful about regarding these things as private matters, just as assaulting and battering one's wife isn't any more "private" than assaulting and battering a stranger (but it's often treated as such). I think this whole privacy issue is one way "domestic abuse" is perpetuated; everyone thinks it's none of their business. To me, this phone call is the auditory equivalent of seeing bruises on a kid's arms, and feeling guilty or wrong somehow for knowing something that "should have been kept private," and therefore looking the other way. In short, it gives me GREAT pleasure that this narcissistic bully's attempt to verbally lacerate his daughter got such widespread coverage. If it makes him a little more humane as a parent, it was worth it. I know parents aren't perfect (I'm the poster child for this -- I can't tell you how many times in the first 6 months of my daughter's life I had to run to the basement and yell fuuuuuuuck at the top of my lungs!), but if we all parented as though we knew someone were watching, our kids would be a lot better off. Because, you know, someone IS watching.

That poor little girl...

12:13 PM, April 25, 2007  
Blogger Urban Chick said...


i totally agree about the privacy argument ("it's a family matter" etc.) and its ramifications for the perpetuation of much domestic abuse/violence

but if someone is being abused in any shape or form, i would rather see any 'evidence' passed to the relevant authorities than the media

(of course, most evidence of abuse directed towards mere mortals would not be of interest to the media anyway!)

equally, if this incident serves to make AB rethink his behaviour towards his child, then great

5:11 PM, April 25, 2007  
Blogger WinterWheat said...

UC-- you said: "i would rather see any 'evidence' passed to the relevant authorities than the media"

I totally agree. From what I understand, that happened in this case (the call was recorded with the intention of being presented as part of Kim Basinger's custody case), but then someone leaked it to the media. Kim Basinger denies being the one who leaked it. Who knows? Ireland, the daughter, is 11, and 11-year-olds are pretty savvy. She may have played it for a friend who played it for their parent who then leaked it. It's so easy to upload this kind of thing onto youtube or some other site.

If anything good comes of this, I hope it's that parents abusing their kids will think twice about it being a "private" matter. You never know who may be recording you... :-0 ;-)

7:26 PM, April 25, 2007  
Blogger Parisjasmal said...

I know the message is deplorable, but I have to be honest and say that I totally get it. I mean as bad as it is to say it, I totally get it on so many levels. I think he is WRONG--but I do understand his frustration.

I am from divorced parents. They divorced when I was 2, so MY WHOLE LIFE is littered with similiar conversations.
How sad is it, that I think the message is wrong, but not that unusual?

Very sad indeed. It is hard to put into words, but I think you know what I mean.

By the way--this is the first time I have been able to comment on your blog in over a week. Norton antivirus is the devil.


5:09 PM, April 27, 2007  
Blogger adamina said...

This tells you what a sick childhood I had. . . when I listened to his rant my first thought was, this isn't so bad. Cringe.

1:58 PM, April 28, 2007  
Blogger pacmandogbert said...

I am going to bet that Mama Kim really screwed up the mind of Alec's daughter.

7:21 PM, April 30, 2007  
Blogger WinterWheat said...

Pacmandogbert -- she may have, she may have. On the other hand, nobody forces a grown man to call his daughter a pig and threaten to Straighten. Her. Out.

8:21 AM, May 01, 2007  

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