The Song: "Real Men," Joe Jackson. Words & music by Joe Jackson. Track 8 of Night and Day, 1982.
When/how acquired: Bootleg cassette copy, 1984; purchased MP3, 2007.
I admit I'm paying more attention than I should to the Anthony Weiner Twitter uproar, in which someone Tweeted a photo of an excited man in his underwear to a Seattle college student. Rep. Weiner's response to all of this has been, to put it mildly, bizarre. The photo might be him, he says, but he didn't send it.
The most logical explanation, which I haven't heard anyone offer, is that Rep. Weiner doesn't manage his own Twitter account. I can't imagine that most public figures do, or at least not full-time. Twitter is fun, but a terrible distraction. I have one author client who rations himself to an hour in the morning and an hour at the end of the day, and another who treats Twitter as a sort of online bar, which I think is exactly right - an entertainment, not a serious medium of communication.
It's an extremely tricky medium for politicians, because it doesn't allow for nuance or consideration. Twitter's about knee-jerk reactions in 140 characters or less, and that's not something any serious politician should be doing. Twitter's also interactive, and engaging the public in an open forum that leaves a permanent record is a high-risk political activity.
So I would guess that most elected officials delegate their Twitter feed to their legislative correspondents (LCs). LCs are the lowest-ranking professional staff in a Congressional office. Their title is their job description: they handle letters and emails that come into the office, providing routine responses where they can and routing action items to legislative assistants, district-office caseworkers, and other branches of government where appropriate. The typical LC is under the age of 25, right out of college, and might be making $27,000 (which is not enough to live independently in Washington, DC; junior Hill staffers almost always live with roommates or in group houses).
Therefore, my first thought when I heard about the Weiner scandal (!) was that an LC had gotten drunk one night and decided to use the Congressman's Twitter account to send a photo of his anatomy to his girlfriend. When the Congressman's office first bungled its response, I assumed it was because Rep. Weiner didn't want to admit that it's not him Tweeting. But now his series of non-explanation explanations and non-denial denials have just gotten weirder and weirder, and I've given up trying to come up with any new theories.
Today's quotation, though, was almost another Joe Jackson line — "Don't you know that it's different for girls?" — because in all seriousness, this is not a situation that a female legislator would ever find herself in. Who takes photos of their own genitalia, clothed or unclothed? Who assumes that anyone else would want to see them? Good grief.
Lady Bracknell and I both disapprove. You have three more chances to see her, tonight, tomorrow and Saturday at Gaslight Theater.