by: Phil Wolfson on August 16th, 2013 | 2 Comments »
I hate when people say ‘I told you so!’ but as I am now on the giving end, I find this is a bit of redemption that feels pleasurable. My piece that came out at the end of May entitled “The Soiled Men Want Your Vote! And They Think They Can Get It” was criticized by some of my male friends for picking on the Weiner fellow – perhaps because these friends sheepishly identified with him just a tiny bit. My friends claimed that I exaggerated Weiner’s responsibility, as his sexual peccati were not harmful to others and only hurt his own reputation – i.e., victimless follies. Of course, I noted to them that his wife, baby, and family would not be happy with him, but we all have our flaws, they rationalized. And I truly do not have a hard-on for the Weiner. He is a small fish indeed.
And there seems to be a reliable addition of other foolish fellows, most recently including San Diego’s mayor Bob Filner with his unwanted intrusive actions towards his workers, a liberty of action he presumed kosher, lost as he is in his own powerful narcissism. Weiner is but one particle of the host in the cloud chamber – who knows how long they will last and where they are going? Hopefully, towards a rapid decay.
Personalities are hardly the focus of our interest – save as drama, scandal, the ridiculous, and exemplars of the perversion-producing nature of this system. In this sense, I was and am now focused on character and its persistent psychological and social manifestations.
On the individual level, we know it is hard to change and we have rigidities of personality that are often disconcerting, even to ourselves. I expected more revelations from Weiner and the possibility of his exhibitionism continuing. Yes, he could not stop – even after getting caught and suffering grievous harm. There is a lovely shrinky term for this kind of lapse in a presumably otherwise moral human: a superego lacunae, or hole in the fabric. It allows an escape from our otherwise controlled expressions.