I was offended by the end of his first sentence, but I kept going.
We're used to celebrity meltdowns—and the head shaving, pot smoking, label quitting, art show having antics that come with it—but Alec Baldwin is a special case. According to this seemingly unedited op ed published by New York Magazine* yesterday, Baldwin is giving up on public life, New York, and trying to be a good person in this world full of intrusive hall monitors.
Who does Baldwin blame for his problems? In order:
The Gay Department of Justice
New York, all of it
Anyone who owns a camera
Tina Fey, for ending 30 Rock
Any actor who make 6 movies in a row
Director Dan Sullivan
Every talk show on MSNBC
Producer Jonathan Larkin
Head of MSNBC Phil Griffin
Rob Lowe, for being famous
James Gandolfini, for dying
A "toxic little queen" reporter
Anger, for existing as an accessible emotion
Bisyllabic words that sound like "faggot" but are not the word "faggot"
Martin Bashir, for quitting
Mud, for being thrown at him
Media, all of it
The Huffington Post
America, all of it
Privacy, lack thereof
Autograph business, death of
Who is not to blame?
In this non-apologetic apology, where the "I'm sorry if I possibly offended you at any point in my life" is thrust hastily at the bottom of this list of grievances, Baldwin manages to skirt the primary issues, namely his apparent issues with anger, bigotry, and the fact that he sees nothing wrong with stomping around like a monster when anyone calls him out for being an offensive douchebag.
The fact that he uses the offensive phrase "F-to-M tranny" in his mea culpa tells you everything you need to know about his approach, but it's even more telling that he flew to Hawaii to look for a homophobic pardon, placing the impetus on gay people to forgive him instead of running to a therapist to consider how he might force his own evolution.
I couldn't help but think of that old saying when reading this, the one that goes "If you point a finger there are usually five fingers pointing back at you." Alec Baldwin is being assaulted by fingers right now, but he's too blind to see that the problem is calling from inside the house. Instead of earnest conversation, time, and a willingness to figure out how to stop being such an ornery prick, he's taking his millionaire ball and going home to the hills of California to hide behind gated communities and yes men.
When the people you victimize can't fix you, I guess you just have to go back to your tribe with your tail between your legs, or, if you're Alec Baldwin, waving a Les Miserables-sized flag of unfairness.
May he find peace in his waning days. Thankfully, Shia LaBeouf is poised and ready to take up the dusty mantle he leaves behind.
*Full disclosure: I work for New York Magazine.