Although some adults (my parents) don’t even know how to send text messages, it seems that the Finnish foreign minister, Ilkka Kanerva, has become quite the textpert. Recently it has been revealed that he sent two hundred of them to a 29 year-old erotic dancer, Johanna Tukiainen. In a scandal that smacks of Spitzer, Kanerva has claimed that the text messages were sent to arrange Tukiainen’s performance at his 60th birthday party, but it seems that he was arranging something slightly more intimate as well. One of his messages reads (only a few are published as of now), “Would you like to do it in an exotic place? Where could it be?” When questioned if the word “it” referred to sex, Kanerva said it was “obvious” that he was simply answering a question of hers. (When questioned if the phrase “exotic place” referred to Cancun, he said hell yes.)
Although Kanerva’s first question is obviously not an answer (it’s a question), he does seem genuinely worried about the location of “it,” unless Reuters has mistranslated (as if!). Unfortunately, he will probably never find “it,” since members of the Finnish government have called for his resignation, including fellow conservative Tuija Nurmi and Eero Heinaluoma, a member of the opposition party. It is a political move that is becoming popular at home and abroad, as time and again we find it impossible to separate politicians’ political careers from their personal affairs. When just a week ago some Europeans were laughing off the United States’ collective shock after it was revealed that Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York, was heavily involved in a prostitution ring—specifically, a “realist” Austrian made snide references to our American idealism in last week’s “New Yorker”—now they are getting a taste of their own medicine, and it tastes bitter. There is an easy explanation for the trend, however: Men have penises no matter where they’re from.
It also seems that men with penises like gadgets, for while Kanerva battles increasingly scandalous accusations (Gizmodo claims he also texted Tukiainen’s sister, and probably not to invite her to the birthday party), Kwame Kilpatrick, the mayor of Detroit, faces his own legal battle over sexy texts in regard to his affair with Christine Beatty, his former chief of staff. Beatty resigned in January after the Detroit Free Press revealed that she sent “intimate text messages” to Kilpatrick using a “city-owned paging device,” also showing that she had lied under oath about their affair. Talk about crashing the company car! Now Kilpatrick is locked in a legal battle over his resignation. What seems most concerning about this news, however, is the phrase “intimate text message.” The idea of an intimate text message—by its nature a means of communication watered down to the basics of information transfer—is really depressing. And really, are politicians stupid enough to use the company phone? Thirteen year-olds are well aware of the implications of a badly sent text—namely, that it easily could fall into the wrong hands—but it seems the adults have yet to learn. As Johanna Tukiainen’s sister would probably agree, txting is definitely not sxy.