A congressman makes the ultimate case for not letting the little head do all the thinking for the big head
Respectable Anthonys nationwide have now taken to asking their friends to call them Tony, all because Twitter is aflutter about a Weiner in the House of Boehner. How can one make sense of New York Rep. Anthony Weiner’s self-destructive behavior, except to speculate that he bought stock in Comedy Central before he started to tweet those oh-so-sexy pictures of himself to his “followers”? I guess that’s what makes you a virtual leader nowadays—having virtual followers.
First, full disclosure (Well, not really.
Weiner has raised the bar for even that once innocuous phrase.). I do not even have a Twitter account, which means that my ability to embarrass myself is limited to these few paragraphs. That’s as graphic as this will get (you’re welcome).
The media orgy with Weiner at its center reminds us of how far we will go to avoid contemplating the fate of the planet as we read about tornadoes in this steamy early summer preview of global warming, or how far we will go to avoid thinking about the implications of winking while the president and his allies sling bombs around the capital of Libya as if playing Grand Theft Auto, or how far we will go—well, you get the point.
Weiner’s obsession should not be ours. Yet it seems that we can not turn away.
Anthony, you wanted attention, you got it. You had power, you had respect, you had brains. You had friends in high places, money, a lovely wife—and now you are known for a self-styled photo of your favorite toy. Perhaps if your last name was Smith, or even Spitzer, it might fade with time, but, Weiner. . . man, you are stuck with it. Blame your dad if you wish, but years from now, at barbecues everywhere, grillin’ guys will be putting their Bud Light down for a sec, opening a pack of Oscar Mayers and chuckling while they think of you. No one will ever have to ask their drinking buddies, “Hey, remember that guy—what was his name?” I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that a man who asks Bill Clinton to preside at his wedding has fidelity issues, but even the man who made Monicas worldwide wish for just a few months that they had been named Carol has to be wondering about this strange behavior.
Which brings us to the question: Who does this kind of thing? What kind of person really believes that the sight of your nakedness or near-nakedness as revealed in a manner that only a cell phone crotch shot can do will prove alluring to a woman who has never met you? Do you think you can entice someone to enjoy your company by showing them objectified slivers of your body?
Of course, posting nude pictures of yourself does work—if you’re a female seeking men. That’s one of the lovely things that makes guys (generalization alert) guys. For women, for the most part (understatement alert), it’s a bit more subtle. How many of you know a single woman who would find herself drawn to a man who would do this? How many of you know a woman who posts pictures like this?
Guys, I am not talking about the women on Craig’s List who post pictures of themselves in the personal ads. Have any of you actually met any of these women? If you did, what was the fee?
To get to the bottom of this, I spoke with a man who has actually posted nearly nude photos of himself as bait while trolling for dates online. (For the good of all, he shall remain anonymous.) The effort, he reports, was an abysmal failure, which reaffirms my faith in women’s good sense. But what drives you, when you’re holding the cell phone and your flesh is just one click away from cyberspace, to snap that shot and send it off?
“Testosterone poisoning,” he offered, “a form of temporary insanity.”
And to think that, in the past, some have argued that women might not be fit for office due to monthly hormonal changes. And the Anthonys of this world have their finger on the trigger of things that can do so much more damage than a cell phone camera.
The comedians should spend time this season on their knees thanking Thaleia, the Greek Muse of Comedy. The rest of us, unfortunately, must at some point come around to confronting the grim state of the nation’s economy. Uh-oh. The guy who we turn to for that is the president’s chief economist. A guy named Goolsbee. Say that out loud and slowly. Weiner and Boehner seem much more funny.
Read Ed Griffin-Nolan’s award-winning commentary every week in the Syracuse New Times. You can contact him at egriffin@ twcny.rr.com.