I Know It Just Feeds His Narcissism, But I Have To Write About Weiner Anyway

"Weiner" is three things.
Anthony Weiner is a former congressman who resigned his House seat in disgrace after being caught tweeting photos of his genitals to various women not his wife.
Weiner is a brilliant, riveting new documentary about his failed mayoral campaign, in which we find he continued to tweet photos of his genitalia after he'd said he'd stopped.
And finally, wiener is, appropriately enough, the thing that Anthony Weiner couldn't take enough pictures of.
The main emotion I experienced while watching Weiner (the movie) was sadness.
Here's a guy presumably capable of great things as a politician.
He comes across as a frenetic, tireless advocate of the working class.
And yet, he is so self-destructive, narcissistic, and manipulative that he deprives the people who need politicians like him of the good work he could do on their behalf.
Weiner is famously married to Huma Abedin, the very same Huma Abedin who is Hillary Clinton's closest aide and, by Clinton's own account, surrogate daughter.
The candidate, a long shot for mayor when the documentary opens, attracts large numbers of dedicated, idealistic young volunteers, most likely because the campaign offers extraordinary access to Huma and therefore to Hillary.
Weiner is poised to make a grand political comeback, restarting his political career as the Democratic mayoral candidate in New York City.
But then word comes out that he is still tweeting his junk, using the astonishing nom-de-genitalia Carlos Danger, to, among others, a young woman who promptly signs a contract to do pornos with Vivid Entertainment.
You cannot make this stuff up.
The movie unfolds like a bullfight or a Shakespearean tragedy or a train accident--you know that the protagonist is doomed, but you just can't take your eyes off the thing.
Weiner (spoiler alert) melts in the polls like snow in August, ultimately capturing less than five percent of the vote on election night.
But the real fascination of the story is his Svengali-like hold on Huma, one of the most powerful women in the nation by virtue of her role as Hillary's body woman.
You have to ask why Weiner would have exposed himself (pun intended) to a documentary camera crew, knowing full well that the Carlos Danger tweets were out there lurking, waiting to be discovered.
My best guess is that Weiner is a thoroughgoing exhibitionist so narcissistic and self-destructive that he craves attention even when it's detrimental to his marriage and career.
Now, when you go down to a scandal, you take down a lot of people with you.
One of the saddest aspects of the movie is watching Barbara Morgan, his thoughtful, professional, idealistic young communications manager drowning in a sea of anger and disbelief as Weiner's predilection for displaying his, well, wiener, go unabated.
Final score: Organ 1, Morgan, zero.
As a married man, I know I could never get away with one hundredth of the stunts Weiner pulls and hope to keep my marriage intact.
After the first tweet, my wife would be into the wind, along with my kids and everything I hold dear.
And yet, Huma stays, beaten down, manipulated, crushed in spirit.
By the end, Weiner the man is neither likeable nor loveable.
He still doesn't, as they say, "get it." His self-absorption is so vast and childish that he's happy not just to throw everyone counting on him under the bus but to then get behind the wheel of that bus and run over them a second time.
My ninth-grade English teacher at Roslyn High School, Miss Harte, told us that a novel "is a story of someone who changes."
Weiner's story is not a novel, because he doesn't change.
I have no doubt that on YouTube you can find videos of Shakespearean tragedies, bullfights, and even train wrecks.
But not one holds a candle to the train wreck that is former U.S. Representative and sexting superstar Anthony David Weiner.