A letter to Alec Baldwin

By Shelley McKinney
web posted September 25, 2000

Dear Alec,

You and I have never met and I am tolerably certain that if we ever did meet, we would not be warm friends. Frankly, I think that the term George W. used when describing New York Times reporter Adam Clymer suits you rather well. To be fair, you probably wouldn't be too crazy about me, either: I think the people of PETA are barking mad...er, no pun intended.

Alec and Kim
Alec and Kim

I was reading the news the other day and came across a comment from your wife, Kim Basinger (another Clymer alert, there) who said that you are "the biggest moralist" she has ever known and that you are unswerving on your path as a Democratic party activist and a Man Who Means What He Says. Kim went on to say that you were serious when you said that you'd leave the country if George W. Bush wins the presidential election in November. I have to say that this seems rather an odd stand to take; after all, if I had moved out of the country because of my philosophical disagreements with the current administration, I would have been long gone. But you are the star of movies such as The Hunt for Red October, and maybe you think you're being dashing.

The accounts of mainstream media polls notwithstanding, I am fairly certain that the Texas governor will emerge the victor. With that in mind, you'd better get busy because you have a lot of packing to do.

Now, I know you tried to backpedal on your statement by saying "I never said I'd leave the country and my wife never heard of Germany's Focus magazine and never talked to them," but since she and we and you all know that Columbia Tristar has already spilled the beans and said that they were the ones who set up the interview between Focus writer Annette Schipprack and Kim as a plug for the film I Dreamed of Africa and that Ms. Shipprack has the whole conversation on tape anyway, it seems that all you managed to do was make yourself look foolish.

Ah, well, better foolish than evil. When you were on Conan O'Brien's show in 1998, you told your host that you and your fellow liberal activists should all band together and go to Washington D.C. and stone House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde to death. Then you suggested that a little foray should be made to the Hyde's home to kill Mrs. Hyde and the rest of the family. That's some pretty mean-spirited stuff spewing from a lefty who wants us all to celebrate "tolerance," so I'm tempted to call you a bigot, too, along with that other term I already mentioned.

But anyway, I'm straying from the point I'm want to make, which is that I would like to extend to you a friendly offer: I'd really like to help you, Kim and your little daughter find a new home in another country. I know you seem to have changed your mind, but you could always change it back. I can offer you a couple of compelling reasons to do so. For instance, let's face it -- your most recent movies, including 1999's Outside Providence and this year's kiddie gem Thomas and the Magic Railroad have both been big stinkers. And Kim's latest post-Oscar efforts have been kind of smelly too (Mr. Showbiz movie reviewer Cody Clark recommended shredding up a couple of five dollar bills in lieu of buying a ticket to experience the "laughable awfulness" of her horror film Bless the Child.) So probably neither one of you will leave an aching void at the box office or in the nation, so this would be a great time to shove off.

I've been doing some research on the Internet, and I have to tell you that right now, it's a toss-up between China and Cuba when I consider what country would be the most likely to suit you. In either of those places, your freakish socialistic tendencies could bloom and flourish into full-blown Communism. I don't think it will be too hard to give up your exclusive Hamptons-and-southern-California lifestyle since you loathe capitalism anyway -- even though you live fat off the profits of the same -- but I am concerned that you and Kim will no longer have much of a venue for your animal rights work. Even though you're both card carrying members of PETA, it's quite likely that the most you can hope for in either country I mentioned is perhaps a small goat, or maybe some chickens. And you probably won't be able to allow them to range freely -- your neighbors get to eat meat so seldom.

I've been checking out the real estate in China and Cuba and I have found a really nice block of flats in Havana that actually have running water. You'll have to share a bathroom with four other families, but nothing's too hard when you're living with those of like mind, is it? If you prefer a rural area, I recommend China. You could get a job as a guide on the Yangtze River and really get back to nature, but I understand you'll have to weave your own grass sandals. The Chinese manufacture lots of those fancy watersport shoes for export to free nations, but I don't imagine they're allowed to keep any for themselves. Is Kim good at handicrafts, by any chance?

I have to admit that the idea of you crouching in a hovel in a pair of ragged pants with no hair mousse and no shower gel and no kelp facial masque around is an entertaining one to me, but I assure you that my motives are pure in wanting to give you a boost off the docks onto a rusty old tramp steamer bound for whichever country suits your fancy. I really just want you to be happy. And if you'll be happier as an expatriate, then I'll be happy too. Very happy. Extremely happy. Deliriously happy. Trust me on that.

Email me if you need some assistance. I'm here for you.

A Sincere Well-Wisher,
Shelley McKinney

Shelley McKinney is a senior writer for Enter Stage Right. Readers, and Alec Baldwin, can reach her at smckinney@enterstageright.com

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