We’ve each selected our favorite media shitstorm of the summer. There were far too many qualified candidates. -BM
Anthony Weiner is my new hero.
For me, it isn’t about tweeting his genitals. It isn’t about his not-so-secret “Carlos Danger” identity. It isn’t about the voodoo magic that keeps his wife around. What fascinates me is the overt disdain for everyone else that fuels his campaign. Anthony Weiner isn’t on a political campaign. He’s on a public “kiss my ass” campaign taking him across every demographic in New York. I earnestly hope that it works.
Anthony Weiner no longer cares. An interview with Buzzfeed turns into an attack on Buzzfeed. A stop through a black neighborhood comes with a half-assed imitation of a Jamaican accent. A meeting during a Jewish holiday devolves into a screaming argument with an Orthodox Jew. Meetings with the press come with a free serving of snide sarcasm. Anthony Weiner is so far beyond giving a shit about sane political standards that he might turn up next week with a swastika tattooed on his forehead.
I’m inspired by the evolution of his attitude. Anthony Weiner used to be a successful social chameleon. He managed to pretend to be stable long enough to get into Congress. This is less of an achievement than it used to be, but still significant. Even the most outlandish Tea Party demagogue pretends not to hate his constituents. Now the secret’s out. Anthony Weiner has evolved into a man that overtly treats us the way other politicians covertly treat us. He sees a herd of hyperactive children that will forget anything as long as long as there’s a fresh set of keys to dangle. This approach…just might work.
The press doesn’t know quite what to do with the man. Headline factories like Weiner are meant to slink away from the public eye in shame. But Anthony Weiner has no sense of shame. The legion of demands that he withdraw for the dignity of the political process bounce off of him like bullets on Superman. If a picture of Anthony Weiner French-kissing Assad were on the front page of the New York Times, the campaign would continue as if nothing happened.
Imagine if everyone pursued their goals with that kind of naked bullheadedness. Most people can’t even collect the courage to make eye contact with someone they find attractive. Anthony Weiner sends them a picture of his genitals while his wife is in the room. After getting caught he does it again for good luck. Most people feel nervous interviewing for a job they’re overqualified for. Anthony Weiner is publicly campaigning for the highest office in America’s largest city after spending months as a walking punchline. Every stand-up comedian, talk show host, blogger, news anchor, and class clown has made jokes at Anthony Weiner’s expense, and he’s still standing there. That’s not a strong ego. That’s an invincible ego.
Going forward, I intend to emulate Anthony Weiner’s attitude. I’m going to pursue roles I’m not intellectually or morally suited for and exploit them for all they’re worth. I’m making hostile my default setting. I’m treating monogamy as a foreign word. If all of this backfires, I’ll act like it isn’t a huge issue. When that fails, I’ll act like it’s society’s fault. Anthony Weiner has opened a brave new world for the maladjusted sociopaths of the world. For that, I thank him.
Anthony Weiner has discarded the illusion at the heart of politics. He isn’t here to build a road to a better tomorrow. He’s here to seize fame and power while literally fucking as many of us as possible on the way there. That’s honesty I can support.