Sometimes, if I’m feeling less than normal, like after crashing my bike, I watch the Julian Assange dance video and then all is right with the world. I can’t dance, so don’t go thinking I watch this film to make fun of Mr. Assange. No, quite the opposite. I watch this video because it reminds me of what balls the guy has. Sure, he can release millions of documents shining a light on the global war machine, and for this he gets his due credit, but for me, the real guts emerge from that darkened room and flashing lights. All by himself, gangly and twisted.
Personally, I don’t care what you think of Assange, or what he did. Or that it led to countless other leaks and whistleblowers showering the world with nefarious data about world leaders, tyrants and illegal actions. You can form your own opinion. But Assange represents something that everyone, including you, should acknowledge. He’s odd. He is imperfect. He’s dangerous. But he goes people, he goes. Doing what he did isn’t easy. There is a level of dedication that goes far beyond what the average person must endure. Swimming upstream in deadly waters that don’t suffer fools. Personally, I don’t know anyone like him. And this is the key point.
Fast food for the senses. Content. Good God, the tortured soul of khaki pants and the Toyota Camry. The soul-crushing thumb sweep and ticker tape of view counts, ensuring that only the most common, the most mundane, the most profitable for the mothership will ever see the light of day. This doesn’t work for me. I call bullshit, again.
What advice do you have Mr. Milnor? Stop pretending. Stop doing what you think you are supposed to do and start doing what you actually want to do. No, no, not what the algorithm tells you to do or your “flow” on whatever dimwit network you call home. You. I mean you, ya you. What is it exactly that you want to do? What do you believe? How do those beliefs make you feel? What actions do they force you to take. Are you the same person in private as you are in public. For those most successful in this plastic world of creative retreads, not likely.
I’m over it. The glimmer of light here people is that folks like Assange are out there. In all fields. They may or may not grab the headlines but they are out there and they are crushing it. They are creative destroyers. They cause dry mouth and armpit sweat in the rest of us because when you see what they produce it hits like leftover mayonnaise. Middle of the night, eyes open to check to clock, and suddenly there they are. Haunting. Reminding you the tip of your spear isn’t quite as sharp as you once thought.
You have two options when you encounter an “Assange-type.” You can turn and run, the modern social media reaction, or you can stop, acknowledge and then begin the long, slow grind of the learning process. Your shortcoming will be evident within a matter of minutes, but that’s okay. That’s the point. You getting better, more intelligent and more committed. And by the way, you can’t steal from these types. Well, you can, but the moment you do your career is over because those who already know these types will know you are perjuring yourself thinking you are still a bit smarter than you actually are. (Remember all the fashion folks in 90s who stole from Peter Beard. Seen any of them lately?)
Assange may drive you crazy. You might see him as a traitor, a war criminal, etc. I don’t care. But if you look at him and say “nothing to learn here,” you are missing out. Even if what you learn is simply a cautionary tale, or knowing the tech behind the man, there is always something to learn from someone who steps in front.
Good post. I initially thought the worst of Assange and Snowden. I still think Snowden probably could have gone about things differently, but I don’t claim to be an expert on that timeline. I don’t know what Assange’s motivations were, but I don’t know the motivations of most/all journalists who seek to keep a watchful eye governments. If you ask people to tell you the crime he’s charged with, most people will mutter, stammer, and then say something something Russian asset. I wish more US journalists would demand the end of his prosecution and imprisonment.
I know we need the watchdogs. Every day it seems we creep closer to the void. The real problem, at least to me, isn’t anyone like Snowden or Assange. The real problem is when what they reveal has little to no impact. Snowden’s worst nightmare wasn’t jail. It was an apathetic American population.
Yep, Dan’s right. Revealed on St. Barack’s watch and nothing but crickets from the supposed left. No outrage, nothing.
For me, it’s not about right or left or Barack or Donald. It’s about an American public who just doesn’t care.
Being an anarchist at heart, this post is a pretty good fit. I applaud any and all of the creative whistleblowers, Ellsberg et al. Showing the nation/states for what they really are is always entertaining to me. I can dance, but don’t try to teach me anything choreographed, hell no. That’s the same as the choreographed algorithmic bullshit being forced down our throats on all the social sites, boring as hell most of it.
Chuck, if I ever catch you line dancing there will be a harsh penalty.
I was apathetic with the Snowden revelations. Why? The USG told us it was going to do all of that with the awful Patriot Act, and both parties fully embraced it. Americans didn’t care. Pathetic.
Too engrossed in sharing cat pictures and following whatever Britney Spears was doing.
TV, games, buying stuff. That sums up a lot.
That’s the final story. Our public wants to watch TV, play games and buy stuff.
Beard is so underrated yet he was so original in what he did and believed in it’s astonishing, not to mention his lifestyle! There’s an imminent biography on him out next month I think.
There is a recent biography on Peter Beard by Graham Boynton. It came out last autumn.
I have to admit it’s not my favorite type of biography.
While it reveals fascinating facts and stories about Beard, the bio is a bit erratic at times and after a great first third of the book it dwindles down to a rather emotionless and a bit tedious list of events and women in Beards later live in the second third.
I still haven‘t read the last third of the book yet.
So far I can recommend the book only to Beard fans and only to some extend.
But then again, your mileage my vary 🙂
I think he’s been played out by those making a buck. But his early work and his early books are outstanding.
His early conservation work gets lost in the craziness but it was worthy of note.