Two semi-recent media events continue to hound me, if only for their polarity: Christian Bale’s on-set rant, and Alex Rodriguez’s steroid “confession” and ensuing press conference.
- Bale’s rant: A spontaneous, slightly scary outburst from an actor at the top of the film industry; a private psychological event, not intended for public consumption.
- A-Rod’s whatever-it-was/is: A stagy, cagey, reactionary PR torture session, from a ballplayer still at the top of his industry; a public event, intended solely to make excuses for private psychological events.
Each media event involves a craftsman in a given field, and each media event reveals something about the respective craftsman’s relationship to his craft.
Bale’s rant is a glimpse into the artist’s mind, hovering ever on the border between control and chaos. In the arts, beauty and truth often emerge from the scorched earth struggle between sanity and insanity, life and death, the conscious and the unconscious, control and chaos. Continue reading