Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Restoration of Stephen Baldwin

Remember Stephen Baldwin? Want to give him money? Cool, so you're the one.

Stephen's fallen on some tough times. From the dizzying highs of Bio-Dome, he plunged to the amazing lows of Sharks in Venice, a movie that as far as I can tell only I have watched. Stephen's star rose in July of last year as he coupled his christian evangelism with the interests of the tea party movement. Stephen believes in fiscal responsibility and government living within its means. Naturally, later in the month, he filed for bankruptcy, revealing debts of $1.2 million for two mortgages and over $1 million in back taxes he had failed to pay, over the course of ten years.

The sad saga of Stephen Baldwin is reminiscent in scope to the sufferings of Job. Or so apparently someone thinks. Watch:

Now, what makes this really interesting is that this is 100% sincere. A friend of mine who makes his filthy lucre in Hollywood by directing things in such a way as to subliminally advance the gay agenda and the soda lobbies got a copy from a friend who works at a web-design company and who swears that they were sincerely commissioned to create this site.

Some inconsistencies — and one's natural desires — leave enough room to doubt the bona fides of it all. Sure, the site is well-designed and the video isn't bad, but both could probably have been done by a gifted hobbyist for a prank. The contact info for large donations sends one to a 214 area code, which is the Dallas area, but the site's mailing address is in Live Oak, Fl. On the other hand, the domain registry for the website goes to a NY graphics company, which would gibe with the story my friend was given. Then there are also those two testimonials, from Stephen's minister and the founder of a christian movie guide. You want them to be actors, not only so Stephen can see what they're supposed to look like, but also to reconcile this website with how reality normally works. Those guys seem pretty real, but the mind rebels.

It rebels too at the cognitive dissonance of the site's FAQ, which seriously suggests that Baldwin's movie roles didn't dry up because he was reportedly an asshole in his personal life and demonstrably of limited talent. It's because in 2002 he announced his conversion to christianity and thus couldn't find work in Hollywood in movies that weren't violent or lewd. Nevermind the series of practically straight-to-video turkeys and conceptual DOAs represented by the previous four years of his work. This was the vengeance of Hollywood. It only makes self-indulgent blasphemies, and when Baldwin declared his unwillingness to take part in them, he was persecuted for holding a mirror up to an industry's hideous visage. He spoke too freely of a spiritual higher power to a high temporal power that spitefully resists challenge.

Ultimately, it's not improbable that a company would make a website or a video of this quality for a person who was giving them money. The stumbling block, the thing that makes your mind want to desperately insist that it's parody, is the possibility that somewhere a group of people seriously likened the self-imposed travails of Stephen Baldwin with the The Book of Job and then thought, "Hey, let's throw some money at that."

UPDATE: I just found this.