All this reminds me of one of the more curious episodes in my life, which took place right around this time 16 years ago—yes, another election year. Soon after the Supreme Court had decided Bush v. Gore (December 12, 2000) and thus confirmed George W. Bush’s win, I was in New York taking in a Broadway show. My date and I had secured some sort of rush or student tickets and so were in the best seats I’ve ever had for a major production, in the first few rows towards the middle.
Before the show started, I noticed that Alec Baldwin was sitting right behind me. Mind you, this was before “30 Rock” and assorted TV success, when he was best known for “The Hunt for Red October” and “Glengarry Glen Ross.”
I turned around and said, “Oh, Mr. Baldwin!”
“Yes,” the oldest Baldwin brother smiled, assuming I’d ask for an autograph.
“Why aren’t you in France?”
“Excuse me?” he asked, puzzled, dropping most but not all of his smile.
“You said that if Bush won, you’d move to France. So why aren’t you in France?”
Baldwin’s face became stone-serious and his regard lost its twinkle. He lifted both middle fingers at me and spit out, “Fuck you!”