It is possible that the New York Times’ exhaustive coverage of Anthony Weiner’s renewed sex scandal is due to his candidacy for mayor. It’s also possible that they like constructing headlines around the phrase “Mr. Weiner.” For those who do not know, a 22 year-old woman has told quasi-news site The Dirty that she and Mr. Weiner exchanged sexually explicit communications in the summer of 2012, not long after he resigned from Congress for doing same. According to the Times, their exchange began when the woman “reached out to express her disappointment in him.” Say what you will about Anthony Weiner; he is really good at convincing women to exchange sexually explicit messages. Also he used the pseudonym “Carlos Danger.” Also he is destroying his life.
Everyone’s favorite Meghan Gallagher sent me the foregoing ad for the new Microsoft Kin, which promises to do for cell phones what Bing did for internet search engines. If you’re wondering, the song is by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, a band I liked without reservation before they sold their best work to a phone commercial and forced me to yet again consider how much of my aesthetic taste is aesthetic taste and how much is just contrary esotericism.* Anywhom, the ad has provoked an extremely small firestorm of controversy, due to allegations by Consumer Reports that it promotes sexting. You remember sexting, right? It’s the totally real thing that teenagers do all the time nowadays, when they’re not cyberbullying or attending rainbow parties. I quote intrepid CR reporter Mike Gikas: “The video…includes a downright creepy sequence in which a young man is shown putting a Kin under his shirt and apparently snapping a picture of one of his naked breasts. The breast is then shown on the phone’s screen, just before the guy apparently sends it to someone.” Needless to say, Gikas did not get away with referring to a man’s bare chest as his “breasts,” or, worse, “the breast,” and comments-section hilarity ensued. Despite the obvious sophistication of its reporter, the CR piece prompted Microsoft to re-edit the spot so as to remove the breaxting, as well as change the Kin’s slogan from “Send a grainy picture of your breasts or breast!” to “We’re all in this together!” Except, of course, those of us who are peering at our phones. Which brings us to Combat! blog’s question of the day: Is it just impossible to sell a cell phone or what?