Being an idiot does not preclude you being a politician.

Earlier today, New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner confessed that he did, in fact, tweet pictures of his underwear-clad bulge to a woman. He also confessed to more “inappropriate” (but seemingly consensual) internet exchanges with other women, though he never met any of these women, he didn’t know their names, he hasn’t had sex with anyone outside of his marriage, etc.

If I were his wife, I’d probably be pretty angry that my husband was tweeting such pictures to strangers on the internet and then lied about it, but as a U.S. citizen, I don’t care. I’ve blogged about this before, I just don’t want to know about any of this. Weiner is not my representative, but even if he were, I can’t see why this matters. I’m pretty sure that lewd tweeting doesn’t violate any part of the job description of being in Congress.

Our representatives and senators are all civil servants. Their job is to represent the views of their constituents when making laws. They might have their hands in the pockets of lobbyists and big business, and there may be way too much partisanship in politics for our government to actually function this way, but that’s what their job is – to represent the voters’ views on political issues.

They aren’t supposed to be moral figures, and even if they were, the American public has weird ideas about what constitutes a moral violation anyway. We sit back while they sling mud, lie for votes, take bribes, spend excessively, grow over-inflated egos and spew self-righteousness, but the only thing that ever stops them is “sex scandals.” (Case in point.) I have already seen blogs popping up about whether or not Rep. Weiner will be re-elected, if his career is over, etc.

Of course, this is also a media issue. Sex sells and “scandal” sells and so that’s what we are inundated with in the headlines, having to dig deeper to read stories about actual issues that affect us lowly citizens.

Yes, when you are in the public eye, it is dumb to tweet semi-naked pictures of yourself to strangers, but if we’re going to condemn public figures for their immorality, shouldn’t we also condemn them for greed? Or misanthropy? Or, dare I say, vanity?

Re-election campaign photo?


Inside Your Showroom Doors

I had the unfortunate occurrence of seeing Rihanna’s “Rude Boy” video while at the gym the other day. I’d post a clip of it, but I can’t bring myself to.

The chorus of this “song” is as follows:
“Come here, rude boy, boy, can you get it up?
Come here, rude boy, boy, is you big enough?
Take it, take it, baby, baby, take it, take it, love me, love me”

It gets more blatant.

Now, I have no problem with vulgarity, that’s not my issue with this lyrical atrocity. My problem is that it’s just not interesting. It doesn’t challenge the listener. It doesn’t evoke any type of feeling, except maybe for the delusional souls who think they have a chance at sleeping with Rihanna. Not to mention it’s not musically redeeming, either.

Now, I’m not saying that any of the songs I am going to mention are wonderful examples of brilliant songwriting,[1] but I’m just saying that at least there is some attempt at metaphor. Not to mention melody.

“You got the peaches I got the cream
Sweet to taste saccharine”
~ “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard

“Rubbin’ sticks and stones together makes the sparks ignite”
~ “Afternoon Delight” by Starland Vocal Band

And, in the slightly more subtle department:

“If she’s put together fine
And she’s readin’ my mind
I can’t stop, I can’t stop myself
Lightning is striking again”
~ “Lightning Strikes” by Lou Christie

Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” is possibly the most innuendo laden song I’ve ever heard:

“I want to be your sledgehammer
Why don’t you call my name
Oh let me be your sledgehammer
This will be my testimony
Show me round your fruitcage
Cause I will be your honey bee
Open up your fruitcage
Where the fruit is as sweet as can be”

And then, there’s Led Zeppelin. Led Zeppelin’s entire discography is about sex. Really, if it’s not about LOTR,[2] it’s about sex. Here’s the tip of the iceberg in “Trampled Underfoot”:

“Trouble-free transmission, helps your oil’s flow
Mama, let me pump your gas, mama, let me do it all

Dig that heavy metal, underneath your hood
Baby, I could work all night, believe I’ve got the perfect tools”[3]

On second thought, maybe bad metaphor isn’t really any better than no metaphor.

[1]Peter Gabriel being the obvious exception.
[2]That’s Lord of the Rings, for you unenlightened folks.
[3]Also, the song from which this entry title comes.