Asshole Of The Week- Paul Flynn
Paul Flynn is an MP who in 1997 wrote a book titled How to be a Backbencher. This how-to guide is for those feeble MPs who, though prestigious in name, carry the aforementioned title, backbencher, which is a nice way of saying they are members of government who have no actual legislative capabilities. Despite their close proximity to power, these men don’t have much.
Flynn has recently updated the book with new chapters, including one on tweeting and one titled “How to Defuse Sexual Magnetism.” That’s right, Flynn sees a clash of civilizations, one being the backbenchers’ married life, the other being all those inconvenient temptations of the flesh that arise from public life.
For all the wisdom accumulated in his 24 years in office, Flynn can’t seem to explain why these men of status attract women. Flynn told the BBC “It's a complete mystery but there's not much doubt that the two little letters [MP] after the name do enhance the allure of women and men when they get to this position.” That the opposite gender’s (or the same, if that’s your thing) desire to sex you up is directly related to the amount of power you have is a fact as old as time itself, and for Flynn to play dumb is ingenuous.
If I recall correctly, Helen of Troy’s beauty didn’t launch a thousand ships because she absconded with a broke shoe merchant. No, it was Paris, whose father was the King of Troy. Although I guess it didn’t hurt that he looked like Orlando Bloom (according to Wolfgang Petersen). King Henry didn’t go through six wives because of his jawline – pictures of him depict a man who looked like a lavishly dressed muppet. Shit, you think Charles could attract anything besides a giraffe in heat if he didn’t carry that delightfully regal title of Prince? Sure, these are extreme examples, but still, the point is made.
People are attracted to power, even if it is remote. It lends legitimacy and the possibility of “security.” And for the powerful people’s part, the charisma it takes to become successful in today’s world is not conducive to fidelity.
Flynn had the brilliant idea to detail remedies for his colleague’s wayward libidos. Here’s one interesting nugget of advice: “To earth the throbbing magnetism it’s wise to retire alone early to bed with a chaste milky drink and drift off to sleep absorbed with thoughts of death, electoral defeat and the corruption of the flesh.” Writing this as an American, British people are fucking weird.
Paul Flynn, I’ve no doubt, is an intelligent man. But because he’s wasting an obscene amount of paper reissuing a book that's updated with advice that goes directly against what our species has done since time immemorial, and because he doesn't get that people just want to have sex with each other, Paul Flynn is this week’s asshole.