The Desperate Life of Carlos Danger

The Desperate Life of Carlos Danger

By Heather Wilhelm - July 26, 2013

Hollywood may be having a rough summer—big-budget, would-be blockbusters are flopping like doomed and disheartened fish left on an empty dock—but America certainly isn’t lacking for entertainment. This week, we had the pleasure of meeting “Carlos Danger,” a sexy, quasi-Latin sexting machine who also appears to be the alter ego of would-be New York mayor Anthony Weiner.

Weiner, unfortunately for all of us, is neither sexy nor Latin. He is nerdy. He is veiny. But by some miracle of God (or, perhaps, of one of those ancient spirits who likes to play pranks on people) Weiner somehow managed to get elected to Congress, marry a beautiful, successful woman, get multiple other young women to look at pictures of his “junk,” as the kids say, over the Internet, while somehow escaping the near-universal human impulse to run, hide, or curl up into a fetal position upon the widespread public release of one’s own mortifying behavior.

You really have to feel bad for Anthony Weiner, because for all of his talk about saving New York and helping “the middle class,” all he really wants to be is sexy. Which is unfortunate, because all the women around him seem to really want is power. Take Weiner’s latest alleged online paramour, a Hoosier named Sydney Leathers. (As an aside, really? Sydney Leathers? Carlos Danger? Anthony Weiner? 2013, you are the best.) Messaging under a shorthand sexy name, “Dangr33,” and sending dozens of explicit thoughts down Indiana way, Weiner reportedly asked Leathers the following: “So you wont tell me what picture of me you like the most or turned you on the most? only TV?”

I feel kind of bad pointing this out, but this is essentially the equivalent of your girlfriend asking if she looks fat in her dress. We all know the right answer: “No! Are you crazy? You’re so skinny! You should eat more!” But according to reports, poor Sydney couldn’t even muster up a blurred-out body part to compliment: “Specifically,” she replied, “your health care rants were a huge turn on.” Ouch, Carlos. Maybe you do look fat in your dress.

For those of you brave enough to read Weiner’s latest alleged message archive—and I wouldn’t recommend it if you’d like to enjoy your lunch today or for the rest of the year—this theme is a common thread. The legendary Carlos Danger may be a boiling cauldron of masculinity on the outside, but on the inside, he has some insecurity issues. One might even say he’s Mucho Desperado. He’s also apparently a glutton for punishment, reportedly asking Leathers, who is a progressive activist and blogger, “If I met you in a bar and tried to talk to you, would I have a chance?”

Here, Weiner is no doubt looking for a validation of his smoking looks and his smoldering sexuality, not the content of his character. Again, poor Sidney disappoints: “Absolutely! You’re such an amazing man. I still can’t believe someone like you would pay attention to someone like me. It’s literally a dream come true.”

Here is where I call shenanigans. We all know that if Anthony Weiner was not a prominent national political personality, and was instead, say, an accountant from French Lick, Ms. Leathers would be running for the exits, hiding in the bathroom, or maybe even calling the police. She was attracted to power, pure and simple. (Well, that, and, it has been reported, the brilliant idea of a Chicago “sex den” condo to call her own.)

Weiner, in the back of his mind, almost certainly knew this—and like Bruce Banner, the poor, meek physicist who transforms into the Incredible Hulk during emotional duress, he created his Internet Self: lady-killer, rascal, suave sexual maestro. Predictably, many have accused Weiner of being abusive (Lisa Bloom at CNN), “disrespectful of women” (Nancy Pelosi), or attempting to “subjugate women” (Lena Dunham). But if anything, he’s an icon of not-so-quiet desperation. The women in his life are just going along for the ride.

This week, the Onion featured a particularly timely satirical article: “Unambitious Loser With Happy, Fulfilling Life Still Lives in Hometown.” In the piece, friends express mystification at a happy man’s strange lifestyle choice: ” Sources close to Husmer reported that the man, who has meaningful, lasting personal relationships and a healthy work-life balance, is an unmotivated washout who’s perfectly comfortable being a nobody for the rest of his life.”

But somebody like Weiner, craving constant adulation, could never accept being a nobody. Neither could his wife, Huma Abedin, who reportedly pushed for him to run for mayor after his embarrassing congressional resignation, posed for a gushy family profile in People magazine while her husband was still sexting, and is set to publish a “vote for Anthony” personal profile in September’s Harper’s Bazaar. And neither, it should be noted, could Sydney Leathers.

Those who try to portray the Weiner saga as an issue of gender disparity, oppression, or sexism are reading from an old script. This is, quite simply, a power-hungry couple working together to claw their way up the political ladder, with a large splash of fame-crazed Internet dystopia served up on the side. And if it doesn’t work out for these crazy kids this time — as one of the more notable exchanges between Weiner and Leathers concluded, “imperfection is beauty and madness is genius” — don’t count out Huma for the next round. She’s a pretty tough cookie. And, unlike her husband, she’s actually kind of sexy. Watch out, world. Watch out. 

Heather Wilhelm is a writer based in Austin,Texas. Her work can be found at and her Twitter handle is @heatherwilhelm.

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