Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Is Anthony Weiner an addict or just a jerk?




     “Addiction,” Philip Seymour Hoffman once said, “is when you do the thing you really, really most don’t want to be doing.”
     For Hoffman, the thing he really, really most didn’t want to be doing was take heroin. He had gotten clean, become one of the most respected actors in America. Then Hoffman decided it would be a good idea to go back to using heroin. The decision cost him his life.
     Or was it a decision? Addiction is a complicated issue, where brain chemistry and free will collide. A lot of people think addiction is just a scam — the Get Out of Jail Free Card that jerks desperately wave after being caught, trying to be excused their misdeeds. Hoffman had been clean for more than 20 years. He was free. Or was he? Did he decide? Or did the addiction slumber within him, like a cancer, biding its time?
      I can’t answer that one. If it was a bad choice, it was a bad choice that many make. Fifty percent more Americans died of drug overdoses in 2014 than died in car crashes: 47,000 people, a staggering toll. That in the face of such stats anyone would pick up a drug speaks to the human genius for both feeling special — bad things happen to other people — and for seeking that elusive zing across the frontal lobes that gives life savor.

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23 comments:

  1. Just saw the Weiner documentary last night. With that said, and as a recovering alcoholic with 28 years of sobriety so far, I want to thank you for this brilliant piece. You really nailed it and really helped me today.

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  2. Surely the headline creates a false dichotomy.

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    1. It's a headline. If it could encapsulate the complexities of the issue, it would be the story.

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    2. Oh, I know. Just a weak (apparently) attempt at humor.

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  3. Huma is an enabler who put up with this too long and gave too many chances.It isn't like she's dependent on him for a living or has no skills. She should have filed for divorce not just speak of separation. He needs psychiatrist sessions until he's 80 and a kick in the ass. She also needs to find a new caretaker (she can afford it) and fight to take away any custody or alone time that pervert has with that child. I'd be even more worried if that child was a girl.

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    1. victim blaming. Leave Huma alone.

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    2. That's not victim blaming, but saying she should have stood up for herself or to him sooner. So don't twist meanings or put words in my mouth, with the latest buzzword.

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    3. I'm sure she appreciates you telling her what she should do. You must know her well.

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    4. It's not the story. The story is that Anthony is a recidivist (although kind of entertaining) pig. And how via his hubris / hungers / vanity / addiction / whatever, he has zero capacity to learn from past behaviors. So why jump away from that to attack his wife? To bitch that she didn't separate from him soon enough for YOUR liking? It's weird. This guy's jokes write themselves, and you want to crawl all over the shoulds or shouldn'ts of his wife. Buzzy or not, you're victim blaming.

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  4. (change that to kick in the balls, then he wouldn't be so horny)

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  5. Is there Antabuse for sexting?

    Obviously not. The horrendous publicity should deter someone in Weiner's position, but doesn't. Maybe he's really addicted to embarrassment, a new deviance if you will. and probably a great deal more harmful than seeking pleasure in physical pain.

    john

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  6. A great tweet that I unfortunately can't attribute: "Anthony Weiner is proof that the Clintons don't have people killed."

    Bitter Scribe

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  7. A column full of usefull distinctions. I looked up "addiction" in several dictionaries, and found only Merriam-Webster -- "strong and harmfull need to regularly have something -- to be pertinent. the others left out "harmfull." Much compulsive behavior is beneign, and sometimes preferable to other outlets. In Weiner's case, "sexting," is beyond my ken, but he's a rich guy and could have been satisfying his so-called sex addiction with a couple of high end hookers instead. I understand they can be discrete. In any case, if he and his wife weren't public figures, who whould care?

    On the matter of blaming Huma, or giving her advice, the decent thing to do is to but out. Not our business.

    Tom Evans

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    1. If it's in the news, we have the right to opine.

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  8. That's butt out, Tom. Not but...

    We don't have to give someone a pass, just cause they are Democrats or Muslim. Imagine if Ted Cruz's wife put up with that. What would some say then?

    Let's get off the holier than thou horse,walk on eggshells path- Kasey and company.

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  9. I'll stop reading replies in this case.

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  10. Since you've stopped reading replies, I guess you'll never see this, but here goes...

    You're telling someone you don't know that she didn't dump her husband fast enough to suit you, but it's your critics who are "holier than thou." Do I have that right?

    No one's getting "a pass" because they're Democrats, Muslim or anything else. If Ted Cruz compulsively transmitted pictures of his genitals, it would probably have caused a bigger furor than Weiner got, but few if anyone would worry about his wife's reaction. It would be based on his being a sitting Senator and recent leading presidential candidate. It would have been the same for, say, Bernie Sanders.

    I have no idea where your whining sense of victimhood comes from, but trust me, it's very unlovely.

    Bitter Scribe

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    1. Considering that this is the same commenter who has stated multiple times that those who disagree with her views on crime and police racial issues should live in crime-filled communities before they express their own opinions (not that she has done the same), her certainty about what others "should" do comes as little surprise.

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  11. On a lighter note- OT

    Seoul (AFP) - North Korea has executed a vice premier for showing disrespect during a meeting presided over by leader Kim Jong-Un, South Korea said Wednesday, after reports that he fell asleep.

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  12. Engaging in unsolicited marriage counselling on line is, of course, a sacred right enshrined in the First Amendmant of the Constitution. But, as the reaction above indicates, it is a somewhat fraught enterprise. And one probably best avoided, particularly when it involves attributing fault to a woman for her husband's behavior.

    "Butt out" it is indeed. An odd and etymologically mysterious idiom.

    TE

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  13. I think one should compliment Huma Abedin for trying over the past few years to keep her family together despite the self-destructive behavior of her husband. She can't be faulted for not succeeding; it's not in her power to end her husband's addiction. I admire the many spouses and children who stand by a family member slave to compulsion. That they may have to eventually walk away is a sad admission of failure. But, it's is not their failure.

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  14. That is one ugly dude. Can't imagine why that pretty lady would want to marry him.

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