Um, considering popular opinion, we don't think being on Team Weiner is going to help your mayoral campaign! Just saying!
Yesterday, Alec Baldwin penned a column for The Huffington Post on his perspective on Rep. Anthony Weiner and the current scandal he finds himself enveloped in. He called Weiner "a modern man" and suggested he shouldn't be under such heavy fire for "taking the edge off" his everyday life. While he is by no means justifying his indiscretions, Alec explains that he does feel "sad" for this man, living in a "pressure cooker," looking for a release and finding it in social networking while others might have turned to drink and drugs.
He then takes aim at the modern age itself, making the (new) age-old argument that people don't spend enough time physically together. People settle for making connections through their cell phones and Twitter and that's what's making the world a far more corruptible place. But is online betrayal just as bad as physically betrayal? Are online relationships no better or no worse than affairs carried out in person? That's what Alec is really calling into question. So, maybe he isn't exactly on Team Weiner afterall!
Click on the jump to read Alec's opinions on Anthony Weiner in full.
My thought on Weiner is that he is a very busy man. Like most, although not all, politicians, he probably spends a great deal of time going to meetings, raising campaign funds and seizing upon every opportunity to remind people of how great he is as a public servant and a human being. It's exhausting. He exists under a constant pressure cooker of self-analysis and public appraisal. Like other politicians, he needs something to take the edge off. For some people, regardless of occupation, that could mean booze, drugs, gambling, food or shopping. For high functioning men like Weiner and other officials who have lived through such scandals, who are constantly on the go, that leaves one tried and true source of a reliable high. The affirmation that comes when someone lets you know they want to sleep with you. Or even cyber-sleep with you.
This is sex for many people now. No time for Mateus and cheap spaghetti. No time for slowly moving toward one another with a combination of hope and caution, lust and integrity. One can push a button and get something beyond porn. Porn is essentially two dimensional. One sees and hears. Internet sexting can be perceived as three dimensional by adding the component of "feel", regardless of how cheap and unearned those feelings are. That person on the screen is doing whatever they're doing… just for you.
Weiner is so busy, he forgot the important rule that everyone you interact with on this plane becomes a co-conspirator. You rely on them to remain confidential.
Weiner is the modern, high functioning man. The fact that he is married is just one, albeit a huge, factor. I know many people who divorce over such issues of online betrayal. Appointment sex with your spouse doesn't always arrive when you need it most. A modern cell phone, loaded with contacts of willing fellow players, has a table with a red checkered table cloth ready for you at virtually any time.
We tell ourselves that these devices help us communicate more effectively. What they actually do is allow us to bypass the person lying right next to us, across the room from us or at an airport heading home to us, in order to meet our immediate, even inconvenient, needs. To bypass their moods, their current view of us and their own desires, or lack thereof.
Weiner is a modern human being. So he ensnared himself in things that modern humans do. When I first heard about his problems, I snickered and made jokes, too. Now, I'm sad for him, his family, his district and his colleagues.
[Image via WENN.]