Thursday, July 25, 2013
I was just looking over my blog post from June 2011 that talked about Anthony Weiner's initial "sexting" scandal that cost him his congressional seat. Now that he's back on the political trail seeking to become the next mayor of New York City (what a surprise), should we really be that shocked by this week's revelation that he indulged in more unseemly online behavior as late as the end of 2012? What's more shocking to me, is how his wife, Huma Abedin is able to stand by him, yet again, in the wake even more inappropriateness.
Okay, the immutable fact is that no one is ever really sure what goes on in a relationship. Even best friends are never entirely certain what happens between them, and their spouses. The press has even less of a clue, especially when they quote "sources" that are close to their subjects. So, why is Ms. Abedin taking so much flak for standing by her man? The answer is simple: she's being coached by the champion loyalist herself, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
It's no secret that Huma Abedin has been associated with Hillary Clinton since 1996, and that she bore witness to Mrs. Clinton's humiliation during her own husband's sex scandal. She stood by him, and look how things turned out for her. It wouldn't be so crazy to think that Ms. Abedin is taking a page out of the Clintons' playbook by showing solidarity to her own husband. Millions of women, however, are wondering how an obviously intelligent, accomplished woman can tamp down her self-esteem so completely as to stick up for him not once, but twice.
It's all well and good for the media to poll women about their feelings. You can say whatever you want on your lunch break when a reporter from the New York Times approaches you for a quote. But, in the privacy of your own home, and within the dynamic of your own relationship, you really have no idea how you would react if you were the one with the pervert husband. It's easy to have opinions about others, but when it's your life called into question, you realize the answers aren't always so black-and-white. And having children doesn't make the decision-making process any easier.
Although I have personally been party to spousal Internet philandering, I would never be brazen enough to tell Ms. Abedin (indirectly or otherwise) how she should handle her relationship. Sure, I, along with millions of other women railed against Mrs. Clinton for not spiriting her daughter out of the White House in the middle of the night and holing up in a painted cave in France for the rest of her husband's presidency. Even with Mrs. Clinton's subsequent political accomplishments, I don't think I could have stood by my own spouse through such abasement. Ms. Abedin also has a child to think about, albeit one who will have no recollection of what it was like for his mother to suffer through his father's improprieties.
If I were still living in New York City, Anthony Weiner would not get my vote for mayor. Politicians don't have the most stellar reputations to begin with, but how could anyone possibly trust the judgement of a man who is obviously incapable of stopping himself from such lewd, irresponsible behavior? If he cannot take into account the effect that behavior has on his wife and child, how could he ever assure millions of people that he wouldn't fuck them over?
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Since I last blogged, there have been a number of significant cultural events that have taken place. I am so weary of hearing/reading/talking about them that I don't even want to list what they are. What I will list, however, is why I am tired of hearing/reading/talking about them. I have gotten to the point where I posted, "I seriously don't know whether to shit or go blind" as a status update on Facebook, and I want to explain why I did so. I'm sure some of my friends think I have been struck by some exotic digestive ailment, but the problem is really in my head, not my stomach. Here's why:
Opinions are like assholes; everybody's got one: You'd think by now I'd be used to the prominence of Social Media in my everyday life. The truth is, I long for the days before this phenomenon existed. There was a time when the only opinions I was exposed to were the ones the neighbors expressed during loud conversations that were volleyed over respective porches. Growing up in an attached house was the precursor to Facebook groups and Google circles. Seven families bantered back-and-forth about anything and everything until one day, words turned into threats, and barriers went up between some of the porches. There's a lot of that going on these days, with many metaphorical barriers being erected.
The media is a joke: It has become almost impossible to differentiate fact from opinion in today's media. So many news outlets have let the "talent" run amok to the point where the news stories come in a distant second to the opinions of the talking heads. I just want to know what's going on; I am capable of forming an opinion without help from pseudo-journalists who allow their giant egos to dictate what they think I need to be aware of.
Us vs. Them: On the night of September 11, 2001, American lawmakers stood on the steps of the Capitol building and sang "God Bless America." They then declared that "there is no such thing as Democrats and Republicans, only Americans." Almost 12 years later, the exact opposite could not be more true. We, as a country, are so incredibly polarized on both sides of the aisle, that it isn't even about politics anymore. Whichever way we choose to live our lives comes under scrutiny by just about everyone. We take issue with everything from what we eat, what we drive, where we live, and what we do for a living. Nothing is sacred, not even our bodies or our privacy.
We do not live in a "post-racial" society: I recently came across the term "hipster racism," even though it has purportedly been in existence since 2006. What it means, in essence, is that it is okay to use irony and satire to mask racism. News flash: no one, no matter how hip or ignorant, is immune from expressing some form of racism. We are all guilty of it, no matter how hard we try to deny it. Paula Deen and George Zimmerman have been vilified for it in the court of public opinion, and there are millions of us who could just as easily find ourselves in the same scenario. In a world where we have countless options of self-expression open to us like 7-Eleven, it has never been more prudent to think twice before you act or speak.
It is not all Barack Obama's fault: Yes, we placed unrealistically high hopes on our 44th president. And, yes, he has fallen far short of many expectations. Government in general has become an unimaginably large boondoggle of corruption, patronage, hypocrisy, and, let's face it, outright lunacy and stupidity. There are no clear-cut answers to what it will take to raise us out of the muck we are drowning in. All we can do is hope for the best. If we don't, we'll all end up behaving like the worst caricatures of the most ridiculous individuals who make up the current landscape of American culture. Escaping them would mean parting with every electronic device we have come to rely so heavily upon. Trying to keep up with all the infuriating rhetoric they spew is nothing short of madness. I wish I had a better answer. In the meantime, I'm still trying to decide whether to shit or go blind.