Good F'ing Riddance: Why Celebrity "Retirement" is the Best Thing for All of Us

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Good F'ing Riddance: Why Celebrity "Retirement" is the Best Thing for All of Us

By Courtney Enlow | Celebrities Are Better than You | February 24, 2014 | Comments ()


So, as we all know by now, chronic victim of injustice Alec Baldwin has “retired” from his life in the spotlight, following myriad outbursts of rage and hate speech (but he totally didn’t do it guys, and tapes don’t prove anything).

This of course comes on the heels of the “retirement” of Shia LaBeouf following his own string of personal injustices. The general consensus betwixt these two rivals of the thee-ay-ter seems to be this: “I only did something kind of wrong, but mostly people are mean and I’m taking my ball and going home in the most elaborate way possible.” Elaborate ways here meaning uncomfortable performance art and impossibly long Vulture pieces. But aside from these particularly ridiculous ones, celebrity “retirement” (always to be placed in the gently there-there hug of quotation marks) are nothing new, seemingly spouted as a vague threat whenever an award hangs in the balance or a project fails (see: Justin Bieber, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie).

And here’s why this is all OK: because they need us more than we need them.

No one cries or laments the lost of a retired movie star or celebrity, especially when these “retirements” are all faux attempts at getting our attention, the “you’ll be sorry when I’m gone” of the famous and infamous. And they all fizzle without fruition, like the 12 year old who runs away from home for a couple hours, then quietly walks up to his bedroom hoping to go unnoticed because he missed his mommy and his video games.

These pathetic attempts to make us care are more desperate than anything a Kardashian could conceive, and still not as tragic as a Teen Mom faking a miscarriage over Twitter or feigning rape allegations so people will buy her sex tape. The movie star is a dead concept and people are replaceable. Nothing has taught us that quite like reality television, and it is bleeding into “real” Hollywood.

So quit, Alec. Because it’s never your fault and never will be. And, for that, we’ll never miss you anyway.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Uriah_Creep

    I may be a little Pajiba-obsessed, because my very first thought when I read about Alec's "retirement" (the there-there quotation marks are important) was "I hope Courtney is going to write about this nonsense". I may need to take a break.

  • nobcarajo100

    Announcing outloud you're "retiring" is rather obnoxious, saying "HEY LOOK HOW MUCH I DON'T CARE" is cool though.

  • Yeah, you know who Baldwin could take a lesson from: Christian Bale. Dude blew up at a guy on set, had it recorded for posterity and everything. What did he do? He discussed it maybe ONCE in an interview (while his coworkers, including the guy he yelled at, did more talking for him) and most importantly, HE KEPT HIS MOUTH SHUT AND KEPT WORKING. Now, you may get the occasional "we'e fucking DONE professionally" joke, but otherwise, nobody gives a shit anymore. You can argue that Bale is a smaller paparazzi target than Baldwin, but that is mostly because Bale doesn't chum the waters by blowing up at every opportunity. He does his work and goes the fuck home.

    What Baldwin needs is some damn anger management classes or some Tai Chi or whatever the hell he can get to calm the hell down. It is amazing he has the career he does with that temper.

  • **I AM** NotTheOne

    I love the Bale rant. I wish I could set it as my ringtone. And I have to say "you and I are done professionally" at least once a week in order to be truly happy. You're right. He was a jerk and for all we know he may still be a jerk, but I'm awfully happy I don't have to hear about it all the time.

  • Lloyd_The_Bartender

    There's an interesting anecdote in his ...ahem..."piece" about something Warren Beatty said to him about how every time an actor has a camera on them there's an instinctive pressure to make it dramatic or "special" or, I forgot what the fuck word he actually used but I think it touches on the very reason Baldwin has gone through all of this.
    And I think Baldwin is a brilliant actor and it sounds like he was genuinely fucked over by paparazzi.
    But "Here's The Thing": he's a major league fucking NYC Drama Queen from top to bottom!! It's part of what makes him great, and also totally insufferable at the same time.
    I don't really want him to retire from acting, but maybe it's time, as he says, for the gated community LA lifestyle. Otherwise, I see a heart attack in his future.

  • ZbornakSyndrome

    Alec, honey, it's hard to miss you if you're constantly publishing self serving articles laced with the homophobia you claim you don't have ("tranny"? Jesus...). Why don't you take a break, recharge you rage batteries and take the time to learn some new slurs and we can start fresh in a new month, ok?

  • NateMan

    The difference, I think, between LeBeouf and Baldwin is that LeBeouf seems actually a little damaged. There's something going on there, ala Amanda Bynes. While Baldwin is pissed at being held responsible for his actions and attitude. He seems to genuinely believe he should be allowed to do or say whatever he wants, because his 'craft' is good enough that going without it would be a loss for us. In this, he is mistaken.

  • I agree. LeBeouf started out seeming assy, but there's something else going on there. He makes me keep thinking about Amanda Bynes, too.

  • Rebecca Hachmyer

    Amanda Bynes :(

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    *crumples up "you're going to regret this" letter addressed to Pajiba*

  • Tracer Bullet


  • kayemcee

    "No one cries or laments the lost of a retired movie star or celebrity..."

    Rick Moranis! I cry over that retirement. But I hear he had good reasons about family or something totally boring like that.

  • And look how when someone was taking a legitimate, long-term sabbatical from the entertainment industry he didn't make a giant deal out of it. He just stepped aside and took care of his family.

  • thatsmrsnyder

    Listen, I enjoy Jack Danaghy as much (ok, more) than the next guy, but I had the same reaction to this as when LaBeef announced his retirement:

    I couldn't give a f**k.

  • stardust

    Don't let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya, Alec.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    You mean we're not gonna miss them by their hair? We're not gonna miss them everywhere?

  • e jerry powell

    Because the homosexuality in me will not allow me to not do this:

  • loo shag brolley

    I'm willing to bet Baldwin is taking more than two bottles of whiskey.

  • foolsage

    We're not going to miss them when they're gone.

  • Joe Grunenwald

    We might miss them by their taco.

  • John W

    Unfortunately they don't have the same definition of retirement the rest of us do.

  • In a weird way, I sympathize with Baldwin's frustration. If I were in his position, confronted by paparazzi on a daily basis, I'd probably lose my cool, too.

    But I don't understand the impetus to "set the record straight" months after the fact - especially when he's taking pot shots at Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow.

    Discretion would truly be the better form of valor in this instance. There would have been nothing stopping him from leaving public life quietly and enjoying the peace he desires. He didn't have to write a "Look at me!" essay to drive the point home. This just stirs up more bad blood.

  • alannaofdoom

    He has good points about the paparazzi. I can't imagine how that feels, particularly with a new kid. But when you conflate your frustration with a mob of photographers harassing you, and your continual use of slurs during your frequent outbursts? One does not excuse the other.

    And frankly when you use a phrase as ludicrous as "Gay Department of Justice" in your first paragraph, you've just guaranteed that I won't bother to do more than skim the rest of your novel-length pity party for one.

  • The article WAS needlessly long.

    Although, the reptile part of my brain greatly enjoyed his assessment of Shia LaBeouf. He cut a hell of a lot closer to truth than I think someone like, say, James Franco did...

  • NateMan

    Wouldn't a Gay Department of Justice (or a Department of Gay Justice, either one) be the most FABULOUS governmental department ever, though? We could start dressing inmates in bright pink jumpsuits. Agents for the FBI would be in custom suits. And job skills learned while in prison would include decoupage and interior design.

  • e jerry powell

    No trials allowed on the docket before brunch.

  • **I AM** NotTheOne

    *raises hand*

    I want to go to there.

  • alannaofdoom

    In the Gay DOJ you can appeal a lost criminal case by lipsyncing for your life.

  • If you lose, you have to RuPaulogize.

  • And their top agents would be...

  • Baldwin needs needs needs the attention. He kept bringing up the answering machine message to his daughter for like two years after everyone else had stopped talking about it. Some people loathed him for that message, some people thought it wasn't so bad--but he was the one who talked about it the most.

  • NateMan

    He's too narcissistic to let it go, though.

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