The brilliant columnist, essayist, and proud Weiner (long may it wave!) writes about the fraught connotations of his family name, which has not advanced in cool points with the recent media fixation on a "scandal" (it's so tepid and silly, I wish I could give it air quotes here instead of actually wasting a perfectly good pair of quotation marks on it) involving lewd (yawn) photos sent by Representative Anthony D. Weiner, a congressman from New York.
From "Weiner like me" in the NYT yesterday:
With all due respect to Shakespeare, a rose by any other name just isn’t the same. We look in the mirror and see not a generic person but a very specific one. We see Ted, and Sarah, and José, and yes, sometimes we see a Weiner. Names don’t merely describe. They impugn meaning. The river of semantics flows in both directions. Call someone a nincompoop often enough and long enough and they start to believe it. There is no such thing as “mere semantics.” Names matter.Please do read the whole thing, then click to buy the guy's book. At the very least, check out a Kindle sample of The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World or the terrifically readable (I'm reading it right now for research on a ghost book) What Goes Up: The Uncensored History of Modern Wall Street as Told by the Bankers, Brokers, CEOs, and Scoundrels Who Made It Happen.
Some friends suggest that “Weinergate” is good for me and my writing career. I’m not so sure. Indeed, I believe it’s time we re-think that old saw about there being no such thing as bad publicity. I suspect Anthony would agree. No, Weinergate is not good for us Weiners any more than Watergate was good for water.