Category Archives: Current Events

To err is human, especially when that human holds public office

Yes, after a week of emphatic denials and sensational puns, New York congressman Anthony Weiner has come clean and admitted that he did, in fact, send a picture of his unmentionables to a coed over Twitter. Not only that, but during his teary-eyed press conference he revealed that he had been carrying on equally inappropriate relationships with other women he met online. He was quick to add that he’s never met these women in person, however.

Now, I like this guy, and I hate to see this happen. Even before this schlong-scandal, he’d received a fair amount of media attention, appearing a number of times on newscasts and talk shows. He always came across a bit fiery, a bit cocky, but he seemed to be a guy with his act together, never disingenuous, and simply untainted by the all-too-familiar BS  that comes with the job. And then came this little development.

Nevertheless, Rep. Weiner refuses to resign, claiming that he does not believe he broke any laws. That may be true, but regardless of whether or not he’s guilty in the blindfolded-eyes of the law, I firmly believe he should resign, and for one simple reason – any politician who honestly believes he or she can get away with a sex scandal in this day and age does not deserve to hold public office.

Congressman Weiner claims his was a deep lapse in judgement. This could not be more true, yet so many believe they can get away with it. Mark Sanford, former governor of South Carolina, disappears to South America to wine and dine an Argentine. Mark Foley, then serving in the House, sends sexually explicit emails to teenage boys serving as congressional pages. Rep. Chris Lee responds to an add on Craigslist with a shirtless photo of himself, Gov. Elliot Spitzer enjoys the company of a pricey prostitute, and John Edwards fathers a child with a campaigner. And that’s just the tip of the sleazy iceberg, too.

The apparent hubris is staggering. Do these guys truly think they can get away with it? Do they really think the tweets, pictures, emails and extramarital affairs will pass unnoticed by the ever-watchful, ever-ready eye of the salivating twenty-four-hour news cycle? If so, then their judgement is warped, and they don’t deserve the office. After all, we the beer-bellied people put them there to do a service. We pay their salaries so that they can speak for us, fight for us, look out for our best interests and kiss our ugly babies. How can we expect them to be effective leaders if they have the empty-headed gall to actually attempt something so stupid?

I feel bad for Rep. Weiner. I really do. Sadly, our society cares too much about sexual preferences, vulgar photos and weekend dalliances a la Cinemax’s midnight lineup. Such acts in and of themselves do not paint the portrait of an unfit leader. Nevertheless, this is not the general consensus in America, and our politicians know this. For me, it comes down to a matter of sense, not morality.

There’s a great line from The Social Network which says, “The Internet’s not written in pencil…it’s written in ink.” Politicians certainly know this better than us normal folk. After all, they witness members of their ranks reluctantly confront this grim reality seemingly on a weekly basis. This week it’s Anthony Weiner, and you know what? If he wasn’t able to learn from the scores of others who went before him, then I believe it’s time to take the dick puns in stride and find a new job.

Advertisements

We Gringos Like to Say “Salsa”

Our world has produced some great mysteries, has it not? Who was Jack the Ripper? How were the Egyptian pyramids built? Did or did not George W. Bush have prior knowledge of the sinking of the Titanic? And why, exactly, do ‘mericans give a shit about a Mexican holiday?

I’m generalizing here, but let’s face it — we are not a cultured people. We don’t go out of our way to study the world around us. In fact, we tend to struggle with comprehending and understanding our own. According to a survey last year, two-thirds of us can’t name a single US Supreme Court Justice. Not a one. Sorry, Clarence, but your little pub(e)licity stunt seems to have lost some of its luster since ’91.

So, why are Joe and Jane Six-pack so eager to trade in said six-pack for a bucket of cerveza every fifth of May? Well, it certainly has nothing to do with the date’s historical context. Rivers of salsa aren’t flowing today in recognition of the brave hombres at Puebla who battled the croissant-lovin’ frogs, that’s for sure. And considering the enmity toward the steady stream of illegal immigrants over the border, I highly doubt it’s in honor of Mexican culture. Hey, let’s take it a step further: I’m willing to wager a pretty peso that a large and spicy chunk of today’s party-goers have no idea what “Cinco de Mayo” means in Spanish. Sound unreasonable? Oh, I wish it were.

Ultimately, this holiday is just another excuse for white Americans to head down to the local Mexican restaurant, throw back cheap tequila shots, and annoy the staff with slurred, 101-level Spanish between bowlfuls of tortilla chips. If that’s America’s idea of honoring Cinco de Mayo, then she keeps it all the year.

The Day “America, Fuck Yeah” Soared in Popularity

A flaming bald eagle, donning aviator shades and soaring through clouds of apple pie, baseball bat clenched in one foot, a twelve-inch chili cheese dog in the other…

Certainly, that was the image brought to the minds of millions across this nation Sunday evening as Osama bin Laden was scratched off the international “Wanted: Dead or Alive” list. Turns out a few battle-hardened military men preferred the former.

His death is sure to be one for scores of bulky, overpriced history books. News of bin Laden’s demise washed over the globe almost as quickly as the revelation that the moon-walkin’, groin-grabbin’ King of Pop was no longer with us — and that’s really saying something. But as the reality of the situation begins to set in, so will the partisan divide.

President Obama had barely finished his speech, silently turning from his podium to walk away, when a barrage of condemnations flooded my feed on Facebook: “He made it seem like they just started hunting him because Obama told them to.” “Osama Bin Laden has been killed, but let’s remember to not give Obama the credit for this.”

Now, had bin Laden been taken out under Bush’s watch, that Texan would’ve been promoted to demigod status, bathed in a shower of jelly beans from Reagan on high. But since Barry was sitting in the Oval Office when it happened, well, he’s just being a dick.

Indeed, these feelings and assertions are certain to run rampant by the time the 24-hour news cycle has run its first lap. Just as sure as a Burger King advertisement will work its way into Michael Bay’s next flick, there will always be a fistful of self-interested politicians and hot-headed pundits chomping at the bit to exploit any national triumph or tragedy for agenda-driven gain, no matter the facts. And what a sad, unavoidable truth that is.

But in the end — and as Obama made clear — bin Laden’s death was the result of anything but a one-man job. He never took nor attempted to take responsibility. Bush certainly played a major role in initiating and guiding the manhunt for a number of years. Though seemingly fruitless during his presidency, his efforts, I’m sure, were key. If one can acknowledge the role of W., then certainly one can acknowledge the role of his successor…

… but maybe that’s just asking too much.