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The Aristophallic Tragedy of Anthony Weiner


Please, before you even read this article, gaze at and ponder Mark’s classically Steynian “Weiner’s Twitter Tweak“.

Laughter, for myself at any rate, does not become, as they say, “side-splitting” unless there’s some metaphorical and breathtakingly abrupt fall from heaven to hell or in this case, from The Halls of Legend to the basements of the Bowery Boys.

Equally familiar with both Palace and Punditry, Mark Steyn pulls off a comic free-throw contest, sinking three-pointers not merely from center court but from mid-Atlantic regions that combine much of English history, the American Third Millennium and Li’l Abner.

This masterpiece begins with Churchillian, World War I gravitas and descends within three, far-reaching and ominous paragraphs to the phrase, “Twitpic crotch shot”.

The double alliteration alone could shatter a minor monument or two.

Lessons in standard English, taught by the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts or LAMDA are evoked in my 70 year-old memory and … well … only a Brit, transplanted genius in North America, wallowing in the transatlantic absurdities of the English-speaking world can pull off a “Weiner Twitter Tweak”.

Sir Tyrone Guthrie, clearly up to the same verbal-speed as Mark Steyn, once remarked to a young American actor in his theater, myself mind you, “How charitable of the Fulbright Endowment to let you scholar yourself in the land of England, where there are only superficial similarities of language.”

Suitably humbled, I crawled off to the nearest piano to lick my wounds.

Having started as a musical theater critic, Mark Steyn knows more of the Great American Songbook than I do, melodies, lyrics and a few of the endless introductions or verses to the standard refrains.

Quite intimidating.

Aim his gifts at a sitting duck or abbreviation for a sitting Richard The Massive or Big Dick, such as Anthony Weiner’s Twilling Twitter Twease … and, well, you encourage an impressionable septuagenerian – the word is in the D-Wiktionary – such as myself, you send him off to composing alliterative tomes!

But slowly now. Very slowly.

I read slowly, always have, so re-reading Mark Steyn is a lesson in comic architecture.

He even throws in a James Bond allusion to MI6 that is actually true, funnier than fiction and subliminally couples the Weiner Progressivism with an Al Quaeda cabal in Yemen.

Incidentally, with the recent ban efforts on circumcision in San Francisco … there’s a song there:

I might not be able to leave my foreskin …

in San Francisco!

It’s Weiner Mania!

It couldn’t happen to a more deserving politician than an Anthony Weiner Progressive, an Old Testament-shattering oxymoron.

One of my biggest laughs from The Steyn Roast came with the author’s flashback to Bill Clinton and the former President’s hopeful jump cut to “getting back to work for the American people.”

Which, endemic to all Steyn satires, is the lead-in to this blistering verity:

It’s the political class doing all this relentless “work for the American people” that’s turned this country into the brokest nation in the history of the planet, killed the American Dream, and left the American people headed for a future poised somewhere between the Weimar Republic and Mad Max.

Why do so many of America’s most recent “newcomers” understand the meaning of America more profoundly than its oldest or richest families such as the Rockefellers and the Kennedy’s?

Then, while leaping to the heady regions of Shakespeare, the ominous implications of “work for the American people” evokes The Scottish Play and, I might add, a prophetically “screwed courage”.

“So, if it’s a choice between politicians getting back to work for the American people or tweeting their privates round the planet, I say, tweet on, MacDuff.”

Barack Obama as the new MacBird!?!

Symbolically there is no John F. Kennedy but only the United States of America itself to be knocked off … or rather “fundamentally transformed”.

The MacBird! satire on the Johnson Presidency was a Sixties off-Broadway hit.

Speaking of “Johnsons” and Weiner’s Magic Johnson, Marc Steyn recalls:

” … as Queen Victoria advised her daughter on her wedding night, lie back and think of England. Download and think of America.”

Only Mark Steyn would have The Weiners to reach for Queen Victoria at an historic moment like this.

Weiner’s “Can’t say with certitude” will, most undoubtedly, echo throughout network, cable TV and internet history.

Or, as Steyn puts it best:

“So we’re drifting from outrageous cyber crime to ‘prank’ to ‘Hey, who doesn’t have snaps of his genitalia out there in the world?'”

With Eric Partridge’s Shakespeare’s Bawdy in mind and at hand, an Elizabethan Renaissance may very well be resurrecting through the auspicious encounter between Anthony Weiner’s webcam wooing and Mark Steyn’s own Samuel Johnson Touch.

With Shakespearean range, Steyn can play the bawdy Boswell to almost anyone’s Johnson.

Whether Anthony wished to e-mail his Weiner to the “sticking place” or not?

The Weiner’s possible state of un-dress

as the probable cause of The Weiner’s growing dis-stress

during The Weiner’s possible hunt for an e-mail mis-tress

may all, as The Weiner claims, be beau-guess!

Or Bow-Jest!!

And yet!!!

There is a Special Providence

in the fall of a Weiner!!!!

If it be not now

Yet it will come …. uh … hmmm …

If it be not to come …

Hmmm, again …


The readiness is all …

My Lord, you are keen!

I wish I could claim that I am too embarrassed to offer Hamlet’s response to Ophelia’s observation.

No, I merely wish to inspire renewed interest in the naughtier side of what Norman Mailer has wed together in his extended essay, “Genius and Lust”.

I’ve discovered, with the help of Mark Steyn’s most recent effort, that “Comedy and Lust” are an inevitably longer love affair than genius and lust.

Or, as the folk philosopher once said,

“When de Weiner go up,

De brain go in de groun’!”

Rereading Gary Wills’ radically Progressive interpretation of the New Testament, I am in mild agreement with his contention that we are all, in a way, the major villain of Christ’s life, Judas.

We all, at least mildly, betray our Lord daily. That hardly supports Mr. Wills’ desire to make Judas a Saint. That would, of course, make us All Saints.

Now there’s a comedy for you!

In light of this Universal Judas, however, we males are all, in the Ancient Greek mold of an Aristophallic Tragedy, a Weiner!

I trust The Weiner appreciates this “sidebar” from a briefly loyal barrister on television’s Law and Order.

If not, I feel even sorrier for Anthony Weiner than I did before I offered this unexpectedly compassionate tribute to Mark Steyn’s wide-ranging, wiener roast.

This whole Twitter Tweak Twavesty could have been avoided had Weiner surrendered to the reality of his name as Whiner instead of Wiener.

A stein of beer, as Leonard Bernstein once declared emphatically, is not pronounced as a steen of beer.

Alas, Anthony Weiner has been mispronouncing his own name for longer than he could apparently endure being called Anthony Whiner.

Not even a Rock and a Hard Place could sound more devastating than a choice between wiener and whiner.

Tomorrow perhaps we’ll be reading about Anthony Winner?!

Just a suggestion.

Right now the poor man needs more than one option.


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