Thank monkeys for Twitter. Rep. Anthony Weiner, the progressive Democratic representative from New York, recently used the micro-blog to micro-apologize for his micro-threat against bike lines, after a reporter from a tiny newspaper known as The New York Times quoted him saying to Mayor Bloomberg, “When I become mayor, you know what I’m going to spend my first year doing?” I’m going to have a bunch of ribbon-cuttings tearing out your [expletive] bike lanes.”
As someone who rides a tiny bicycle to work, I was slightly bothered by this threat
Fortunately, for my twitter self, Rep. Weiner quickly offered a twitted explanation,: “obv joking in NYT but serious about the danger of making bikes and consultation a choice.”
To begin with, Weiner, it is not like, at all “obv” that you are “joking”. Like, totally no offense, but I’m not sure you understand what a “joke” is. Let’s break it down “old skool”. A “threat” (or what you know as a joke), is when you state an intent to do something negative, or destructive such as “tearingout those [expletive] bike lanes.” A joke can be harder to define, but is usually falls under the general heading of “humorous”. For example, a “joke” would be if you were tweeting “obv” in the voice of a valley girl, as that goes against our expectations of you as a male New Yorker known for his histrionic ranting. Another “joke” would be connecting your last name, “Weiner”, with the sophomoric connotation as part of the male genitalia.
Here is a “joke”: “Hey Rep. Weiner, are you going to name your son Shai?”
Here is a “threat” (from the film The Big Lebowski): “We believe in nothing, Lebowski. Nothing. And tomorrow we come back and we cut off your Johnson.” Johnson here being an alternate term for “weiner.”
Moving on to the [expletive], which was so bad that the New York Times decided to delete it to protect the innocence of its tiny (toddler) readers. Now, if this was Rahm Emanuel, a.k.a. “Rahmrod” a.k.a “violent homoerotic nickname”, I would assume it would be one of the words on George Carlin’s list of seven words you can never say on t.v.
However, I have a feeling that you are like Rahm’s little brother (the cocktail weiner to his hot dog? eh? eh?) , trying desperately to keep up with his angry progressive swagger, and the redacted “expletive” was likely something like “poopy”, and read as, “I’m going to have a bunch of ribbon-cutting cermonies tearing out your …pa…POOPY bike lanes”, at which point you giggled the breathless giggle of a seven-year-old surprised by the power of his own lexicon.
I will not mock Rep. Weiner for wanting to be just like your big Brudda-I have a younger brother who looked to me as the benchmark for his behavior and interests until he got old enough to realize that 1) I was not necessarily a good guide for such things and 2) he was better at many of these things than I. However, if Rep. Weiner is going to so carefully imitate Big Bro Rahmy, he would do well to copy his promise to add 25 miles of bike lanes to Chicago. New York City is budding as a bike-friendly place. Why rip out the flower beds before you see your flowers bloom?
Regardless of your confusion between joke and threat, and your wannabe status as the next mayornator Rahmrod, if you decide to go after NYC’s growing and dynamic bicycling infrastructure even as your rhetorical hero Emanuel adds bike lanes, I will not just refuse to vote for you, but actively campaign against you for someone who will be more supportive of bicycling as a safe, healthy, and sustainable way to travel in New York City, and that is a promise (threat).