Of Cabbages Kings Mice Men and Wiener


by Mike Farrell

Unlike Lynard Skynard, the departure of Anthony Wiener from the national stage is well overdue, although I’m not surprised he waited until he talked in person to his wife, who undoubtedly told him to get his ass out of the limelight for the foreseeable future. Hey, if you can get off the runaway train, get off the damn thing now, or be prepared for it to go very badly indeed…

He can still have an interesting career as a Democratic strategist, and may even find a place to return to office in New York. But, his absolute tonedeafness and ultimate reluctance to leave the stage is amazing. What part of “I’m an asshole, I’ve embarrassed myself, my family, my friends, my party and my supporters. I need to go away, get some help and get my head out of my ass…” required a press conference?

This is not a Jimmy Swaggart moment. I hate to compare apples and hand grenades, but sin and repentance were part and parcel to Swaggart’s attraction to his audience, congregation, followers or whatever they are. The majority of folks in Baton Rouge weren’t really all that excited by Swaggart; and when he fell, the fall was pretty much applauded. I was spending a lot of time in that area during the brouhahahahahaha surrounding Jerry Lee’s sacred cousin, and there were some great jokes about the crying Pentecostal Bible College president and Tammy Faye’s husband told in bars, bristos and offices around the capital. Of course, Louisiana is pretty much immune to scandal – they have enough of it.

YouTube – Veterans Today –

Shut Your Mouth and Get Your Ass On The Plane

Well your wishes and your feelings
Your bad dreams and intuitions
Are about as much good to me right now as a brand new set of golf clubs
We’ve been this close to death before, we were just too drunk to know it
Guess the price of being sober’s being scared out of your mind

When it comes your time to go, ain’t no good way to go about it
Ain’t no use in thinking bout it
You’ll just drive yourself insane
There comes a time for everything
And the time has come for you to shut your mouth and get your ass on the plane

Ain’t nothing I’d rather do right now than just go on home and lay around
But that ain’t never an option for a working man like me
How much is enough you ask
I’ll ask the man when I get a chance
All I know right now, there’s somewhere else I’m suppose to be

Screaming engines, shooting flames
Dirty needles and cheap cocaine
Some gal’s old man with a gun
To me it’s all the same
Dead is dead and it ain’t no different than walking around if you ain’t living
Living in fear’s just another way of dying before your time
When it comes your time to go, ain’t no good way to go about it
Ain’t no use in thinking bout it
You’ll just drive yourself insane
There comes a time for everything
And the time has come for you to shut your mouth and get your ass on the plane
–Southern Rock Opera, The Drive By Truckers

As is New York in some regards – Swaggart’s enjoyment of watching hookers knit and pearl and Vitter’s diapers and dominatrix for pay would bother New Yorkers if they acted them out while on the political stage in Manhattan because they’re creepy, not because they’re sinful.  Quite frankly, Mrs. Vitter’s leopard print dress when she did the spouse’s stand by your man routine would have probably caused more cattiness in a lot of the Manhattan salons.

Ultimately the titillation and scandal surround Anthony Wiener have the same root. It’s just creepy – go out, get drunk, pick up a broad, have sex; not necessarily classy, particularly if you’re a married man, but basically something most people can at least understand.

Take a picture of you stuff and send out to various cyber-friends, and you’re vaguely creepy. Send it out to various people who think they are going to be talking about politics, and you’ve achieved the full sliminess that resides in Lenny Bruce comedy routines about guys combing their hair in the men’s room with soap and seeking transvestite dwarf partners or in Jerry Falwell’s dreams of what goes on in Larry Flint’s mind.

Wiener wasn’t surprised or phased during his press conference by the animals baying for his testicles. In so far as it’s possible to say “I’m a twit” with dignity he did so. I’m reminded of a bit from Black Adder Goes Forth, where Captain Blackadder has been condemned to be shot, and acts confident and cracks jokes; the head jailer says, “Cap, I have to admire your balls,” to which Rowan Atkinson replies, “Well, maybe later.” I just don’t get why he felt compelled to do a press conference.

Why not use Twitter? Or You Tube? Send a letter?

“No, let me take this one last bow in the limelight, even if they’re going to throw used condoms at me.” You know, Anthony Wiener ultimately leaves the stage in the same way he managed to create enemies and mockers to drive him from it — “Hey, EVERYBODY LOOK AT ME!” I bet he was an annoying kid.

Now, I agree with Wiener on most policy issues. He constituents seem to have thought he was a good representative. He might have made a good liberal mayor of New York. This isn’t tragedy, but does rise to tragi-comic farce.  But, seriously, if there ever was a time to shut your mouth and get your ass on the plane, this was

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