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by Mitchell Abidor

Anthony-Weiner-Sexting-PHOTOS-2Anthony Weiner is untrustworthy, pathetic, and juvenile — and his story is also a perfect example of what we can call adultery in the age of Internet porn.

As with the porn world, where “relations” with countless partners are just a click of the mouse away — no need for having to take the trouble to actually meet, care about, show interest in, and share with another person — Weiner’s philandery was totally masturbatory. In no case that we know of has he actually been in the same state, much less the same room, as any of the women he has been caught sexting with.

Not for Weiner the messiness of an actual adulterous relationship, with its invented excuses, the late days at work, the business trips, the hotel rooms. His e-affairs are lazy man’s modern adultery. He can use Clinton’s miserable “I never had sex with that woman” excuse and be telling the truth. As the virtual world becomes increasingly the real one, Weiner is the avatar of a new kind of sleaze: the adulterer who never meets his partner. They talk about it, and certainly could meet if they wanted to, and yet they don’t.

Eliot Spitzer was more old-fashioned in this regard. His adultery also avoided serious engagement with a woman, but he went the classical route of wealthy men and simply paid for sex. Interestingly, having actually consummated the act, Spitzer has been able to make a comeback in fairly quick order, first in the media and now in politics. Weiner, however, who never laid a finger on a woman, not only resigned from his position in Congress — that home of moral probity — but will justly be the subject of mockery as a shvonce forever.

Weiner is the good Jewish boy trying to go bad — and unable to really do it. He tries to be transgressive, but the son of Mort and Frances Weiner, the graduate of Brooklyn Tech, the protégé of Chuck Schumer, is simply unable to act on any of the sexual things he says he wants to do. He remains on “the safe side” of doing the wrong thing in a marriage. He avoids actually having to encounter his partner, which would require putting himself to the test and proving that he’s capable of fulfilling the adolescent fantasies he expresses. He invents an alter ego, Carlos Danger, who acts out all of his fantasies — virtually. Even in what Weiner proposed in his texts, the sadness of his inner life reigns: Confined by the 140-character limit, his fantasy life is more worthy of Beavis and Butthead than of Henry Miller.

 

Mitchell Abidor is a contributing writer to our magazine and a translator, musician, and actor living in Brooklyn. His books include Communards: The Paris Commune of 1871 as Told by Those Who Fought For It.