Weiner and the incredible shrinking of New York

Depravity is okay as long as you don't smoke afterwards Photo: Frank Sinatra/public domain

New York, August 2, 2013—So it has finally come to this. New York has sunk to the level of a punchline.

Taking the town by storm used to mean Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio…Mickey Mantle…Joe Namath…Leonard Bernstein. Today it is Anthony Weiner.

New York used to have “eight million stories.” Now it only has one.

My Cincinnati pals Danny and Gladys made their annual phone call and always it has been about what’s hot on Broadway. Not this time. No, this time they wanted to know what I thought about Anthony Weiner. That sealed it and made it official that New York has become a joke, thanks to Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer, his partner in depravity.

But they are not to blame. Not completely. New Yorkers asked for all that coast-to-coast mockery by tolerating those two shabby characters.

For a time, Weiner was leading in the polls on his run for mayor. Are you kidding me? He still wants the job and he still has numbers higher than zero.


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It appears that any act of perversion is okay as long as you do not light up a cigarette afterwards.

Back when we were mighty and civilized, such creepy behavior would have gotten both Weiner and Spitzer tossed out of Yankee Stadium.

Over at McSorely’s, during a break, the talk started off about the film, but we ended up talking about Anthony Weiner.

How sick is this…and how is it possible that one bad apple can take such a huge bite out of the Big Apple?


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Make no mistake. Anthony Weiner has devoured this town that “never shuts down.” But he has shut it down.

Today, these words would not come easy for Frank Sinatra…”top of the list…head of the heap…king of the hill.” This is not New York, New York at the moment.

Try the late night TV comedy hours and find any mention about Broadway, or 42nd Street, or Central Park, or even the Statue of Liberty.

All you will hear is Anthony Weiner. He came, he saw, he sucked all the air out of the world’s greatest town.

We permitted this. This laughingstock to the rest of the world – we took him seriously.

This creep has cast his sleazy shadow over such iconic images as Wall Street, Lincoln Center, Rockefeller Center and even the Empire State Building.

Stroll along Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, where Allen Ginsberg read his poetry, and listen in. Today it is about Anthony Weiner…and it is not poetic.

On Bleecker Street, where Bob Dylan came to life and where Lenny Bruce invented a new form of comedy, guess who people are talking about?

Who is playing at the Roxy? Anthony Weiner, east side, west side, all around the town. That’s who is playing at the Roxy.

The avenues still throb with excitement and there is still nothing like New York – how about Fifth Avenue? – but we have taken a plunge on our image.

We have been knocked down a peg. We never should have let this happen.

Back then, when giants roamed the earth, especially around New York, literary genius Norman Mailer took a shot at the job for mayor. People thought he was kidding. Terrific writer, yes, but to run this place, the center of the universe, only someone with dignity should apply – so Mailer never had a chance.

Mailer was thought to be too outrageous, too wild, too crazy. We deserve better than that, people said.

This is truer today than it was yesterday. We deserve better, beginning with ourselves.

New from Jack Engelhard, the novel: Compulsive

Jack Engelhard, a novelist for such moral dilemma bestsellers as The Bathsheba Deadline, The Girls of Cincinnati, and the classic Indecent Proposal, his memoir Escape From Mount Moriah, and Slot Attendant – A Novel About A Novelist, Engelhard’s partly autobiographical expose about the trials of making it as a writer, brings his words to the Communities page covering all topics, with special focus on the absurdity of human behavior and reaches around the globe.

Read more Jack Engelhard, A Novelist’s View of the World


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Jack Engelhard

Jack Engelhard enjoys international fame as a novelist for such moral dilemma bestsellers as The Bathsheba Deadline, The Girls of Cincinnati, and the classic Indecent Proposal, which was turned into film starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. His memoir Escape From Mount Moriah has been acclaimed for excellence and a movie version was an official selection at CANNES. Slot Attendant – A Novel About A Novelist is Engelhard’s partly autobiographical expose about the trials of making it as a writer. Engelhard’s journalism covers all topics, with special focus on  the absurdity of human behavior, and reaches around the globe. He can be contacted at www.jackengelhard.com

 

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