Julian Assange’s recently leaked e-mails to a young lover is a collection of some awkward attempts at poetic charming. A romantic poet he is not; yet the love letters probably reveal more about him than the headlines do. Although they have been termed gooey, creepy, even stalkery, they only show his attitude to women to be courteous and a bit stuffy; a second hand attempt that reveals little of the sublime.
At one point, Assange may have had visions of genius, but as his conquests mounted, both his relationships to others and the vision of his work appear to be the canned goods of personal fame; a pop art of data that are conceived as low grade mental stimulants of alienation. Its a bit early to say if he is just another snake oil salesman hangin’ with Michael Moore. Compelling narratives draw their strength from an authentic humility of shivering emotions and not from the grandeur of huge ideas like Assange’s desire to humble the nation state. Their enduring power is a belief, a challenge to maintain, in the existence of others including the antagonists perceived or otherwise. Its the idea of caring or belief , or call it love that elevates the narrative, and I’m not sure Assange can write software at that level or hack into the vault where it is stored.
But back to the love letters which at least show a struggling bewildered human being who tries to apply some feeble theory when real desires barge in on him; there is a certain haplessness of thrashing around, though a subtext of resentment , rage and jealousy is not to be underestimated; that and the self-pity has not been transfigured into a natural serenity to this date. What we have seen is some good ideas that have been transposed into comic inefficacy when raised to the test of experience and scrutiny.Wiki Leaks ruptured the metronome of politics that is conditioned to producing and forcing into everyday experience a distinct organization of the sensible, conditioned by a distinct aesthetics. WikiLeaks infiltrated this pattern and has had a minor role that demands reconfiguring the limits of each of our senses, and their relations to one another.
…”It is not so hard to thaw or be drawn.
Our intimacy seems like a memory of a strange dream to me. A dream that probably would not translate to the real world, but this was never my desire. There was something unusual about our interaction. It is almost as if I had scripted it and left my fingerprints in the ink. I’m not concerned with your messy reality. I don’t want to see it and I confess I could not place you in mine. But I still want to see you in isolation. I am unconcerned with the context since time and your silence has made me philosophical; but when I first wrote the heat of your breast pressed against me was still vivid in my mind. … Read More: http://www.anorak.co.uk/268420/media/julian-assanges-lover-improper-emails-to-a-young-woman.html
It is nothing of the sort. If this is supposed to cast a light on Assange’s attitude to women, if only shows him to be courteous and tweedy. Assange writes like a teenager who has just read Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas. In these alleged emails to Elizabeth, he sounds not a lot unlike Uncle Monty in Withnail And I – “Flowers are essentially tarts; prostitutes for the bees”; “There is, you’ll agree, a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ oh, so very special about a firm, young carrot. Mmmm, excuse me” – sauced with Marlon Brando in Last Tango In Paris. Assange is neither stalking nor creepy. He is wooing a younger woman, effecting a world-weariness and the language of the gnostic diletanttant to get him laid. It fails. But you should admire Assange’s perseverance and effort. The man is an Australian trying to pull a bird with no lager or pies. He never stood a chance… Read More: http://www.anorak.co.uk/268420/media/julian-assanges-lover-improper-emails-to-a-young-woman.html a
…At what time are your parents happy for the phone to ring? I have many friends overseas and am used to making and receiving calls at any time. Something that “proper” people (in the pejorative sense) find faintly horrifying….Your reaction to my phone call lacked dignity and has stung me. You seemed above such trivialities. It saddens me to have misjudged you….A man feels that whish is soft, warm and yielding in the arms must also be in other circumstances. But like Maugham’s Miriam you are hard above the neck; voice salted and manner typical of your class when not trying to impress. Your response to my entirely well intentioned amusement was the understanding and empathy of the committed solipsist. You pulled a tiny petal off my world when I thought you were to add one but to all around is the meadow, where I shall again dance and skip and sing until some fool girl should brush my wing….Read More: http://www.anorak.co.uk/268420/media/julian-assanges-lover-improper-emails-to-a-young-woman.html a
Anita Sarkeesian:Unfortunately however, his fans (including many on the progressive left) and the media have taken to victim blaming. The women have been subjected to all manner of digital harassment – everything from accusations of concocting a CIA ‘honey-trap’ to publishing their identities (photos, writings, names, addresses, twitter accounts) all over the internet.
Like most women who make allegations against powerful men, these women have been lied about, harassed, and generally dragged through the mud. It would be nice if various justice systems took allegations of sexual assault as seriously as they have with Assange, but the global resources and effort is not about the care and regard for a fair and legitimate trial but seems more like a cynical and opportunistic attempt to punish WikiLeaks….
…This case reminds us of the lack of respect and down right misogyny that is hurled at women who dare to report abuse. Just as we should treat the accused as innocent until proven guilt, we should withhold judgment of these women and take allegations of sexual assault seriously. Read More: http://www.feministfrequency.com/ a
Guardian :Much of the media frenzy surrounding Assange is born of the fact that little is known about him. Thirty nine years old. Australian. No fixed address. Parents ran a touring company. Attended thirty seven schools. Has a child from a failed relationship. Malcolm Rifkind describes him as a ‘frighteningly amoral figure’, Edward Heathcoat-Armory as ‘paranoic and archaic’, one who lives a ‘bizarre peripatetic life’. Assange has been ritualistically demonized by the media as a shadowy, sinister and above all wicked figure who will stop at nothing in order to print a sensational story. In a savage evocation of the McCarthy era, politicians across the world have been baying for his arrest, his silence, and even his blood. It is ironic that some of these politicians, Attorney General Eric Holder who refused to prosecute the CIA for torture in particular, are now mounting a moral crusade using the ‘forces of darkness and light’ narrative to achieve their ends. Read More: http://brackenworld.blogspot.com/2010/12/life-and-trials-of-julian-assange.html
Amanda Marcotte:What is disgusting to me is how much of the left has conveniently forgotten that women who file rape charges can pretty much always expect to have their names dragged through the mud, unless they were “lucky” enough to be raped by someone of much lower social status who also jumped out of the bushes to rape them. And even then, it’s iffy if a woman gets a sympathetic audience. Instead, you’re seeing a bunch of WikiLeaks defenders start acting like they sprung from anti-feminist message boards, dragging out every hoary slam against the accusers possible. My favorite has to be that one of the accusers is a “radical feminist.” Well, then! I guess we can all just go home now, since everyone knows that term means “man hater,” right?…
…Except it doesn’t. “Radical feminist,” when a woman applies it to herself, usually just means that she thinks it will take more than a few policy reforms to bring an end to sexism. It’s a broad term that encompasses everyone from Andrea Dworkin to Susie Bright. It’s not even particularly controversial–most feminists I know are “radical” in this sense, and most of us love men (and would point out that patriarchy hurts men, too). More importantly for this case, that a woman who describes herself as a “radical feminist” is the accuser just lends credence to the story that’s being told. It makes sense that a leftist activist like Assange would socialize with other leftists. And most men who rape choose women in their own social circles. So, if Assange did the crime, then it makes sense that his victim would be someone who is a political radical like he is. Read More: http://scribe.doublex.com/blog/xxfactor/assange-defenders-attack-rape-accusers-no-good-reason
Todd Gitlin:Meanwhile, the twinning of Julian Assange with Daniel Ellsberg as a sort of tag-team of noble leaking, an aristocracy of transparency, strikes me as glib and unconvincing, even if the two men have at times presented themselves as brothers under the skin. When Ellsberg published—made public—the Pentagon Papers nearly 40 years ago, he released a historical book—a more or less coherent, linear, systematic study of decision-making during the Vietnam war, commissioned by Robert S. McNamara when he was secretary of defense, and a systematic revelation of a pattern of government lies and distortions repeatedly issued to the American people. There was little or no news for the Vietnamese in its revelations of what the war was doing to that land. The secrets had been kept not from the adversary but from this hamstrung democracy itself. And the Pentagon Papers did not propound that the state was illegitimate or that it ought to be rendered more stupid, impulsive, cognitively impaired, or ideologically blinkered.
Ellsberg’s release of the Pentagon Papers was a great democratic act that helped clarify for the American public how its leaders had misled it for years, to the immense detriment of the nation’s honor. By contrast, Wikileaks’s huge data dump, including the names of agents and recent diplomatic cables, is indiscriminate. Assange slashes and burns with impunity. He is a minister of chaos fighting for a world of total transparency. We have enough problems without that….
…It was always clear what motivated Ellsberg. He turned against the war. He knew how destructive it was. He had worked on the Pentagon Papers. He rightly thought the people had the right to know how a wrong-headed, barbarous war had developed in the shadows, in defiance of public scrutiny. He did not think that the nation-state should be brought to a screaming halt, or that U.S.-out-of-everywhere was a self-evidently virtuous foreign policy program. He knew some truth—not some data—and brilliantly took responsibility for bringing it to light. He was a light unto journalism, which remains in his debt whether journalists know it or not. He made Americans not just better informed, not better titillated, but smarter.
I know Daniel Ellsberg. Mr. Assange, you are no Daniel Ellsberg.Read More: http://www.tnr.com/blog/foreign-policy/79678/data-isnt-everything-wikileaks-julian-assange-daniel-ellsberg