Having generally avoided paying attention to Democratic-Republican politics for the last few years due to my complete disillusionment with the liberal political machine, I had only a vague idea of who Anthony Weiner was last week when I sat down with Davetavius to watch the Dylan Ratigan Show and witnessed his whiny admission that he’d been sending pictures of his wang to women over the Internet and that he’d been having “inappropriate” conversations with several women on Facebook and Twitter.
The speech itself was pretty boring, save for the snicker Weiner managed to elicit from us when he claimed not to have been drinking when he elected to send pictures of his dick to someone he knew nothing about save that she hates “those damn repubs” and that she wants him to come to Las Vegas and “fuck the shit out of” her (yes, as hard as it might be to accept, there is a woman who says “fuck the shit out of”). Far more interesting was the commentary Ratigan and his guests offered before the speech on the absurdity of contemporary political culture and the news media’s complicity in allowing politicians to waste every single opportunity they are given to interact with the public on nonsensical grandstanding and offering trite and insulting opinions on whatever the scandal of the week happens to be. Ratigan cleverly refers to Democratic-Republican politics as “professional wrestling,” and also rightly opts to ignore it in favor of drawing attention to the problem that politicians from both parties get paid to avoid tackling: the capture of the entire US government apparatus by the banking, finance, medical, war, and prison industries. Unfortunately, Weiner elected to hold his press conference just after 4 PM on Monday, which is when Ratigan’s show starts, thus interrupting a worthwhile conversation with his submission to the already immense aggregated collection of histrionic and phony displays of contrition by public figures admitting to having used their penises in a non-approved manner.
What I did not discover until the end of the press conference was that Weiner was prompted to cop to sending the photo by Andrew Breitbart, who posted one photo on his website that Weiner had sent to a woman and claimed to have more. Andrew Breitbart, for those lucky enough to be unaware, is a conservative “journalist” — if one can refer to people who write for The Washington Times as “journalists” — who has recently published a book with the worst title I’ve ever heard: Righteous Indignation. The cover jacket lends the title an even headier air of stupidity, as the “right” in “righteous” and the “nation” in “indignation” are red, giving the book the secondary subtitle of “Right Nation” and indicating via use of color that Breitbart is both angry and sees the red states as the real American nation. The book’s actual subtitle, “Excuse Me While I Save the World!,” might display more unwarranted egotism and self-importance than “Right Nation,” but I can’t decide which one is dumber, and thus a better indicator of where the contemporary conservative movement is headed.
What an asshole.
I wouldn’t know who Breitbart was had I not seen Dylan Ratigan interview him — and even then I could scarcely pay attention because I lost the ability to be amused by conservative commentators years ago — but apparently he makes the claim that objectivity is a falsehood propagated by the “liberal media” in order to cloak its agenda in an air of factual empiricism, when in reality they approach current events with just as much bias as Rush Limbaugh or any other right-wing demagogue. The debate over whether there is such a thing as a “liberal media” is beyond hackneyed and boring at this point, but it is rather amusing to hear a conservative public “intellectual” question the existence of true objectivity. It sounds oddly reminiscent of, oh, I don’t know, let’s say post-modern liberal academics. That isn’t an accident. It’s a part of what Davetavius sees as a new trend among conservative commentators (which I’m sure he’ll write a post about sometime before 2013), which is to jettison the Glenn Beck-esque hysteria that has characterized conservative media since Obama’s election and replace it with a faux-intellectualism that will allow even the borderline-illiterate to feel like top shelf political analysts. Attacking the existence of objectivity may seem like a dangerous thing for a conservative to engage in, being that the insistence on the existence of objective truth is likely the most important epistemological tool at the disposal of those who benefit from the current global power structure, but it’s probably not. Anyone who would pick up, let alone purchase, a book called Righteous Indignation with a picture of a guy abortively attempting to affect skepticism on the front and pretending to yell on the back probably doesn’t possess the intellectual skills to process anything related to that idea. Breitbart knows that. He’s a cynical, self-aggrandizing asshole. Nothing to see here, move along.
But I had no idea. Later on Monday night, I saw video from the press conference taken before Weiner had arrived, in which Breitbart attempts to paint himself as a responsible journalist fighting for the cause of truth rather than a dishonest clown in a mad grab for attention that will help him to further his career. He essentially blackmailed Weiner into admitting to having sent out pictures of his dick to women on the Internet by threatening to release photos he only had in his possession in the first place because he sits around trolling progressives’ social media pages in the hopes that he’ll catch someone slipping and get hold of just such a piece of evidence that he can use to increase the number of seconds during which television viewers will have to endure his smug presence. He then demanded an apology from Weiner, thereby obliterating the possibility of anyone believing there was even an atom of truth in his claim to care about anything in relation to this story other than how famous it can make him. And that was before he went ahead and released the photos anyway, which amounts to sexual assault in my book. Breitbart, clearly, is a cretinous dick.
One can’t blame Republicans for so aggressively and ruthlessly exploiting Democratic politicians’ sex scandals. They’ve had so many of their own in the last few years that they jump at the chance to show that conservatives don’t hold perversion, sex abuse, and generally assholish sexual behavior in monopoly. And they’re right. Neither party holds an absolute monopoly on immoral or unethical sexual behavior, but one group does seem to have the market 99% or so cornered, at least in the world of politics: powerful men. Not that proof was lacking, but this incident is yet another piece of evidence that no matter how “liberal” men get, the last thing they will relinquish is their sexual doltism. Weiner was no radical, but he is one of an infinitesimal number of American politicians willing to take positions that are easily identifiable as socialistic and worry less about bipartisanship than rationality. Which is why this story, though it isn’t a surprise, does bum my party out.
Anthony Weiner, beloved by the kinds of people who have yet to realize that Bill Maher isn’t leading a revolution, supported extending Medicare to everyone rather than passing a health care bill that did no one but the insurance industry any good. His voting record indicates that he is a strong supporter of abortion rights. Add that to his penchant for publicly chiding Republicans, his friendship with Jon Stewart — who, though he may not be the most egregious promoter of Liberal Dudism, probably performs a more insidious role in its propagation than anyone else — and the fact that he represents a district that just happens to be the national epicenter of Urban Outfitters liberalism and it’s no wonder Weiner enjoyed a position at the top of the list of coolest Democrats among Tosh.0 viewers (an important category in my most recent scientific poll).
Lisa Weiss definitely loves Tosh 2.0. And is yet another dick in this already huge circus of dicks. Weiss, in a conversation with Weiner on the subject of Sharon Angle (R – NV):
if this wacko wins my state i swear i will have to move! she may be dumber than plain! and that is tough to find!
idiots i work with love this stupid b**ch!
Great. Another woman who shits on women in order to ingratiate herself with men. It may be incumbent upon me as a feminist to empathize with the ways in which women are forced to cope with the pressures we face living in a patriarchy, but I don’t think that ought to extend to condoning misogyny, even if it is directed at sellouts like Sarah Palin and Sharon Angle. And another thing: Weiner claimed at the press conference that all of his interactions with women online were consensual and took place between adults, but this woman sure expresses herself like an adolescent:
let’s kick some gop ass! i hate them!
when r you coming to vegas to help me beat up the right wing
They begin talking about sex within one page of their recorded conversations. A month does elapse between the time she first contacted him in August and the September message in which he broaches the idea that they watch The Daily Show while having intercourse with him behind her (that’s right), so there might have been other IM conversations in the interim, but it’s clear that they went almost instantaneously from a cursory and shallow discussion of political party allegiance and Comedy Central programming to material explicit, unsubtle, and stupid enough to stand in for anything Chris Hansen has read back to a shame-faced redneck on To Catch a Predator. It’s “cock” this and “cum” that (probably the two least classy sexual terms of all time) from just about the second page on, with little else in between. Weiss’s behavior doesn’t even approach the nefariousness, dishonesty, and outright piggishness of Weiner’s, but she’s still a dick. In addition to calling other women stupid bitches, she also participated in sexual conversations with a married dude on the Internet, aggressively pushed for a real-life sexual encounter, and sent him a vaguely threatening message when the scandal began and she did not receive a response to her attempts to make contact with him:
u owe me big time for keeping this all quiet…i am defending u to the death on every blog and
to everyone….telling everyone u would never send dirty messages to women
And, of course, she went ahead and released their private conversations despite the fact that they make both of them look like crass, juvenile, oversexed idiots, which is proof that there is no limit to the humiliation people are willing to subject themselves to in order to get their name in the paper or their face on television (and, surely, a check).
Obviously, Wiener is the main dick in this scenario, in both senses. The exact circumstances surrounding the transmission of the wang shot elude me, but I gather from posts on the subject by other feminists that the dick photo Weiner sent to a woman named Gennette Cordova that begat this controversy in the first place was unsolicited and a total non sequitur. The mainstream media haven’t seemed to take note of that fact, but it’s a pretty big deal. It’s nearly impossible to avoid exposure to photos of wangs on Craigslist and dating sites, but even without visiting such sites and interacting with the men on them, most women have been duped into confronting an unsolicited dick photo at least a few times. You know what they used to call that before the Internet? Indecent exposure. Flashing. Men who exposed their genitals to women and girls who had not asked to see them were called perverts, people avoided men in trench coats, and the police arrested men who ran around sticking their dicks in everyone’s face. But the Internet has made flashing so easy for men that no one even takes notice of it anymore; it’s now such a common behavior that a US congressperson thinks it reasonable to send a photo of his penis to someone with whom he had not had previous sexual conversations. Unsolicited dick shots are not the only means by which Weiner displayed a lack of respect for the emotional and sexual boundaries of the women he has been communicating with, however, as evidenced by these excerpts from his messages to Weiss:
you will gag on me before you c** with me in you
baby you’d be crawling for the door to prevent me from f***ing you silly
<= thinking about gagging your hot mouth with my c***
What kind of person wants their sex partner to gag while they’re being intimate? The proper human response to hearing one’s partner gag during sex — at least if one empathizes with their partner and considers them to be a human being — is to STOP DOING WHATEVER IS CAUSING THE GAGGING and concern oneself with making sure they are OK. The proper human response to seeing one’s partner “crawling for the door” is not to fuck them silly, it’s to have a word with oneself and ask what the fuck one might be doing to cause someone to attempt to escape. If someone is trying to escape from you and you continue to pursue sexual contact with that person, you are a rapist.
He also evinces a complete lack of understanding with regard to female anatomy and a total lack of concern for what the women he’s talking to might find arousing and pleasurable, probably because he can’t be torn away from worshiping his own dick long enough to think about it:
think of my rock hard c***. practice saying, ‘god, anthony, I’m c****ing again
you will gag on me before you c** with me in you
I want to feel you c** with my fat c*** in you
this thing is ready to do damage
it won’t go away, and now I’m taking pics of it, making me ha**er still.
What you have just read, my dear readers, is a set of conversations that could never have occurred before the rise of porn culture and rape culture. Weiner takes almost no interest in Weiss, her (admittedly trite and poorly expressed) political views, her job as a card dealer, her friends, or anything else other than the orifices he wants to penetrate. He makes small talk, begins to flirt with the skill of a sixteen-year-old, and then moves right on to where he’s going to put his penis. He never asks her what might turn her on, but rather inundates her with information about the state of his penis, informing her of exactly what physical and emotional response she will have to it. That, the insipidness and lack of imagination that characterize his sexual fantasies, and his lack of consideration for Cordova’s boundaries or Weiss’s feelings about whether or not she’d like to be “gagged” during a sexual encounter hint to me that Mr. Weiner might just be a porn user. In porn, dicks reign supreme, and women pretend to fall all over themselves for the purported pleasure of gagging on and being aggressively penetrated by them. They aren’t interested in intimacy, whether emotional or physical, and they have no desires of their own that don’t align perfectly with those of men who are enthralled by nothing more than their own wangs. They’re perfectly happy to chat nonchalantly about the cable or a pizza, then begin blowing the cable or pizza delivery guy in the blink of an eye. Or they’re ready to go from expressing approval for the comedy of Stephen Colbert to hearing all about how they’re going to gag on someone’s penis. Weiss played along it seems, likely swayed by the foolish idea that being desired sexually (or, rather, used as the Internet equivalent of an uncompensated phone sex operator) by a congressperson is a big deal, but that clearly matters little as Weiner displayed the same behavior toward Cordova even though she didn’t engage in sexual conversations with him.
Were the mainstream media to miraculously up and decide to cover this issue responsibly and expend a modicum of effort analyzing what Weiner’s behavior says about our society and culture, this story might warrant some airtime. As it stands, it’s just another opportunity for the 24-hour news networks to flesh out their programming schedules and attempt to attract prurient viewership in order to sell shit and enrich their parent companies, and it’s just another opportunity for the two sides to engage in a bit of professional wrestling while everyone holds to the tacit agreement to deflect attention from economic and social reality, the devolution of which both parties perpetuate in between getting on television to pretend to care about whatever issues they think their constituents want them to care about.
Any shred of hope I might have had that someone in the media might decide to approach this scandal responsibly probably died as Weiner walked off stage after fielding questions and a reporter yelled one last question for him: “Were you fully erect in the photo?!” Because what we really need to know is how big this guy’s dick is, not why we live in a society where he could consider sending a stranger a picture of it in the first place.