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Anthony Weiner Penis poster

Anthony Weiner Waves His Wiener Once More

Back in June of 2011, I thought we had put the issue of Anthony Weiner to bed, as it were. He had finally resigned from Congress after a “sexting” scandal. Whether you call it moral turpitude or just good clean fun, Mr. Weiner, with his tailor-made-for-a-joke name, had shown an astonishing lack of judgment and paid a steep price for it.

How could anyone trust a public official who thought randy Facebook messages and Twitter pics of his own congressional member were a good idea? The photographic proof that he shaved himself bald as a toddler might not be technically illegal but I believe it constitutes an ocular assault, creating a face/testicle association that can only be overcome by never seeing either again.

After a period of denial that his political life was over (as reported in our own Weiner Watch 2011), he resigned. His beleaguered wife gave birth and he disappeared into private life, taking the memory of his pristine taint with him. And all was well until it wasn’t. Mr. Weiner had taken time off, done a lot of soul-searching and decided he should run for New York City mayor.

Perhaps he was emboldened by Eliot Spitzer’s current run for city Comptroller. Spitzer was a tough attorney general with a reputation for chasing bad guys like an Old West marshal before being elected governor of New York State. He derailed his career by getting caught patronizing prostitutes and gradually rehabilitated his image by (1) acknowledging his hubris, (2) appearing as an expert on his own and other TV shows, and (3) taking a pummeling from comedians like Stephen Colbert, who asked him why we should elect a comptroller who has no self-“comp”trol. A good sense of humor goes a long way with New Yorkers. I just hope he’s learned his lesson.

Which brings me back to Mr. Weiner. Apparently, he has not kept his wiener under wraps and has consequently seared my brain further with the mercifully pixellated yet still obviously denuded object of his affection. (I’m sure the uncensored version is available for viewing but I’m not going to look for it. I have nothing against the penis per se. I just believe in our right to choose.)

In his 2011 press conference, he admitted sending naked pics but said he couldn’t be sure it was his penis in the photos that surfaced. I’ve heard of face blindness before, a brain disorder that renders the sufferer unable to identify any face, but this may be the first recorded case of dick blindness. Waking up each morning unable to recognize his own groin would explain his constant urge to get reacquainted and his compulsion to photograph it. In essence, he was sending a digitized flyer that might read something like this:

Anthony Weiner Penis poster Magick Sandwich

So many people have seen it, it’s surprising no one has claimed it yet. Perhaps he should try putting it on the side of a milk carton.

The shame of being forced to resign from Congress has not dimmed Weiner’s enthusiasm for engaging in smutty wordplay and sharing images of his proud phallus. Having been through this before, he still believes he can be taken seriously as a political candidate without fear of ridicule or more scandal. It’s difficult to see this as anything but an IQ test Weiner can’t seem to pass. But there are a couple of differences this time.

On Tuesday, his wife Huma Abedin was by his side at the press conference and gave a poignant speech. It’s a savvy move. If she can forgive him, can’t we all? Then a reporter asked Weiner when his wife found out that he had continued to send messages even after his resignation from Congress. His reply? “She knew all along, um, the process as I was more and more honest with her.” Funny, that sounds much like what happens when lies fail, one after another, until the truth is all that’s left.

It’s a shaky basis for a claim to the moral high ground but hardly enough to disqualify him for public office.  I can even forgive him for thinking that switching from Facebook to Yahoo would protect him from discovery. For me, the final nail in the coffin of Weiner’s career is his choice of pseudonym: Carlos Danger.

This is my new favorite T-shirt.

The moniker has even inspired an unlikely ad campaign by Spirit Airlines, which offers a discount to celebrate the disgraced politician’s, ahem, rise:
Anthony Weiner Discount Spirit Air

image not to scale

This gives new meaning to the term nom de plume. Does Anthony Weiner secretly picture himself as nice Jewish boy by day, 70s porn star by night? One thing I can say for sure is that Weiner has no female friends. Otherwise, one of us would have told him that no one wants to see Danger’s dangler.

More Weiner:
Don’t Cry for Anthony Weiner
Weiner Watch 2018: Your Dad’s Not So Bad
Copyright Notice 2018 Magick Sandwich

Let’s All Shut Up About September 11th

I can’t wait for September 12th. Why? Not because I fear an attack on the 11th but because I just want everyone to shut up about it.

There’s something unseemly about the orgy of coverage surrounding the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attack. On one level, we deal with the chilling knowledge that we are not safe. Maybe we know somebody who died. Maybe we know somebody who got lucky. Maybe we know somebody who knows somebody. Or we got upset watching it on TV. We all own this experience, at least in our minds.

But before we play “where were you when _____,” let me just say that I am not up for that particular game. Yes, this is a defining moment in modern history, “our” Pearl Harbor, “our” JFK assassination. But it is also defined by this modern age of reality programming and 24-hour news cycles. We would never have seen Walter Cronkite chasing down everyone who had ever been to Dealey Plaza to get their input.

Disaster porn is profitable. Reporters in the field seem to get paid by the tear, as evidenced by a recent CNN interview with a woman whose house had been destroyed by a Texas wildfire.  She was understandably terse, distracted by the sight of her home’s charred remains. The reporter tried to draw her out by asking, “How does this make you feel?” The woman stared at the reporter for a long moment before replying, “I’ve lost everything!” The “what kind of a stupid question is that?” was implied. I assume the people who express that aloud get edited out.

There is also the phenomenon of what I would call Chicken Little Syndrome. CNN coverage of the East Coast earthquake took an absurd turn when the worst thing found was a crack in the Washington Monument. So they covered it for days. That, and some bricks that fell on a car in Virginia. By the time Hurricane Irene started to look like it was headed straight through Central Park, a lot of people thought it was just more hype and didn’t pay attention.

Now the dedication of the September 11 Memorial will be taking place and there’s a “credible threat” of a terrorist attack. Well, duh! Of course, they’d love to let us know we haven’t cut off the head of the snake. Speaking of bin Laden, wasn’t the jubilation a little distasteful, after the moral outrage at al-Qaeda celebrating when the planes hit? I am grateful he’s gone but it’s hard to claim the high ground when we’re jumping up and down about a person, even a villain, being killed.

Networks make money on this. Do we share responsibility for that? Why do we watch? Is there some perverse pleasure in the celebration–sorry, commemoration–of awful events? There are people who suffered and died that day. Most of us were not touched by this tragedy in a purely factual, physically actual way. Why must we lay claim? Have we become a nation of professional mourners? Why can’t we acknowledge this sad anniversary without total media sensory immersion?

It was nice back then when people rallied around the city, proclaiming “we are all New Yorkers.” But we’re not. Visited here once? Saw a movie with the Towers in it? Worried about Homeland Security threat levels in Gary, Indiana? Sorry, thanks for playing. New Yorkers, and I’m proud to be one, will do what they’ve always done. Get up, go to work–orange, yellow, puce alert–doesn’t matter. We remember the fires, the smell, the subway walls covered with signs searching for loved ones that were surely dead. I spent hours thinking I’d lost my husband–he was supposed to be there–but he ran late. We were lucky on a day so many people weren’t.

No offense, but I don’t need anyone to remind me of this. I certainly don’t need Wolf Blitzer “catastrobating,” a term my brother-in-law coined that perfectly captures the breathless reportage that will hopefully climax and enjoy a cigarette on the 12th. That will be the day I can watch the news again, the day I’ll stop getting email ads for The New Yorker’s 9/11 e-book and the day the History Channel will return to its regularly scheduled Hitler-related programming. That sounds like a good day to me.

Copyright Notice 2018 Magick Sandwich