The phantom of the digital opera, divine-white locks astray, masting the Empyreal galleon of transparency, cooing the reluctant tongues of the politically impotent - he is Julian Assange, viceroy of the emancipated.
Julian Assange begun his humble career in the wild steppes of Queensland, striding Judaistically from villa to village, his mother leading him through new societies, intersecting cult and culture, birthing Assange’s brother through a representative from ‘The Family,’ making flight, and finally launching into the misty mysteries of Victorian suburbia. There, he soon realized that he, Julian, was meant for bigger things, and he became Mendax, of Horace’s ‘Splendide Mendax’ (‘the nobly untruthful’), lest anyone suspect he wasn’t academically self-absorbed. Under this lascivious name, then, he tore inquisitively through the dense chains of bitter, bitter non-transparency, afflicting his stride wherever he clicked, and scribed the emphatic codes of the criminal deep-web - do not fuck with people’s shit, and share your information with us. Who was this ‘us’, you, the soft-cocked proletariat, do ask? We may never know, I, Nicolas C. Cage, do answer. But, we must imagine - apropos of Julian’s dubbing: ‘Australia’s most ethical computer hacker’ - that they were a Robin Hood-esque band of midgets, blind people, and Klinefelter’s sufferers. Yet, alas, the tides of justice swept in, beaching police officers upon the shore of Julian’s Melbourne home, and Mendax was unmasked.
Come the pass of three years, once a paunched and bespectacled curmudgeon had recited Assange’s 31 charges, Jack Sparrow-style, and the monolithic Nortel had grown exhausted with their scrutinous mind games, Assange was acquitted on 6 counts, and charged on 25, his dewy doe-eyes letting him slip under on a $1,200AUD fine. Over the following 15 years of his life, he did pretty much nothing - may have had a kid or something - and waited until he was, in true Jesus-style, 35 before he did anything good.
Disgruntled with his Melbourne and Canberra Hochschulekameraden, Assange went rogue, founding the position of Wikileaks editor-in-chief, and, because he was goddamn foaming with arrogance, wrote this;
“We must think beyond those who have gone before us and discover technological changes that embolden us with ways to act in which our forebears could not.”
Which, I admit, is dripping with aphorism and badassery. Now, so far, I have been a little reluctant to tug Assange under my analytic strong-arm, mainly because he’s a conspicuously apolitical character, but also because I expect his potency has been blown woefully out of proportion - he has (has he not?) been setting his inquiries to the target of other impotent publicans, likewise met with undue attentions, and their undue attentions, with all probability, have translated over to Assange. Assange, then, is not rattling the largest cages, but the squawkiest cages, his intent nobly being to shut them the fuck up. Sometimes, too, he tears the blankets off quiet cages, disconnecting the parrots from their clandestinity-stimulus, and so stymieing the stimulus-response - that is, elitism and conspiring. Are these valuable practices? Is Assange drawing from a rational and pragmatic philosophy? Yes - fucking-goddamn absolutely. I’ll get on soon to why Assange has so eagerly been sticking his dick into so many parrot cages (and whether this cage-dicking has been on the level - in the case of Sweden, especially), but now I’ll discuss his political stance.
Not quite entirely apolitical, Assange has this to say;
“It’s not correct to put me in any one philosophical or economic camp… So as far as markets are concerned I’m a libertarian, but I have enough expertise in politics and history to understand that a free market ends up as monopoly unless you force them to be free.”
This is neo-conservativism, and I’ll discuss my approval at a later date, but it’s enough with this moment to observe that his overriding, anti-conspiracy, free-information philosophy is simply a reproduction of his original libertarian economic principle - which he calls ‘American-libertarianism’. Indeed, he is only taking the dominant philosophy of the American government, and driving it to its inevitable conclusion - in truth, he has asked little of the U.S. but intellectual self-consistency, championing the current American structure as the surest and wisest, yet incurring their fury at taking them to task for their own convictions. The philosophies of market-libertarianism and information-privatism are synchronicitous - that is, they are the offal of psychological double-thinking. Yet, America believes as painfully in ‘intellectual-property’ as it does in human liberty, and so, Assange’s ‘conspiracies’ take root. The new notion of conspiracy provided by Assange suggests that privileged information is more pervasive than anyone might expect, and it is more these ‘incidental secrets’ that Assange aims to uncover - that is, the kind of conspiracy someone might fall into where, although it would benefit them better to unveil the truth, they go on upholding it, trusting in the initial conspirators. Hence, you have the American military. It is the age-old conflict of bureaucratic patriotism, versus populist patriotism. Populist patriotism survives because it is cosmopolitan - come the end of ww2, they sure as fuck didn’t arrest the German populists (see: Operation Valkyrie). Opposition to Assange, we see, has sprung from American xenophobia - the terror is that Assange fights for people’s rights, and by American philosophies, yet dares level anti-American criticism. Indeed, it is not the American people, nor even the American government, whom have anything to fear of Assange, but it is their habits and institutions which Assange challenges, and seeks to dissolve.
Indeed, as Mendax put it;
“To radically shift regime behaviour we must think clearly and boldly for if we have learned anything, it is that regimes do not want to be changed.”
For his intellectual intrepidity, and for his unerring integrity, Assange has earned the most brightly lacquered of gold stars to date - the envied and elusive 9/10. That is, in his intention-merit. I did earlier weigh up the actual possible significance of Assange, and I wagered it ‘woefully’ exaggerated. To date - and we unfortunately cannot, in this lone celebrity’s blog, account for future events - Julian has only so far set the path for great changes. His organization, though, has set out-to-platter many a great, vast swatch of important, relevant, and subversively effective information. From the initial 5/10, he ticks up two points for this, and another half for specifically disreputing Scientology. I have decided, also, that I will not be deducting points for his Swedish rape-allegations. It is hardly pointed out in the media (a rather apposite defence of Assange’s philosophies, I do say), but the Swedish definition of ‘rape’ is far looser than any other nation’s. If one looks up the actual allegations pitted against Assange, the most damning of them is that, after a solid, consensual hour-or-so of throbbing up some plump, Swedish dame, Assange allegedly ‘rubbed his penis against her’ - that is, without acquiring written consent. … It stays at 7.5/10.
Practical merit: 7.5/10
Intention merit: 9/10
Hot from my mouth, to your ears, that’s the Cage Equation, and you were asking for it.
Golliwogs and dandelions, it’s that time again! Well, as you might recall, I, Nicolas Cage, slipped a bit of a sneaky peek of this here academic discourse into that last week’s chat we had, you and I, about how I’d patched up this here mighty testament to the perseverance of Western virtue, this ‘blog’, if you will, with the noble intention of spinning a ditty or two, and had yet left those pre-arranged ditties thoroughly under-spun, blaming the whole affair on my overwhelmingly incompetent nephew. Well, my nephew’s spoilt ingratitude, and annoying, overfed friends aside, I’ll return our discussion to that bespectacled gentlewoman so sneakily peeked at in our last address, that mentioned Madame being the innocent, the Christian, the adored and desired, our friend and teacher, the electrically eclectic Marilyn Monroe - actress, philosophess, and all around good guy.
So, round up your uncle, get your cat out of the washing machine, and rub your finger on your mouse-wheel, as I, the Cage-Mage, take to the operating table with my first ever posthumous review, and sift the pulp of popular opinion from the juice of Marilyn Monroe, her journey, her chronicle, and her legacy.
First, I think, it’s important that we defined the good Norma Jeane Mortenson; slyly become the glassy Marilyn Monroe. Was she but an image? A Joseph Goebells-esque caricature of the ideal capitalist, and American woman? Or, was hers a libertarian campaign, serving to refuel the virtue of independence, and to reignite the contrarian’s dignity? Marilyn’s commentary on her own beliefs, made in the closing of her final interview, goes as follows:
“What I really want to say: That what the world really needs is a real feeling of kinship. Everybody: stars, laborers, Negroes, Jews, Arabs. We are all brothers. Please don’t make me a joke. End the interview with what I believe.”
~ Copied hot from Wikipedia.
Now, while this might seem like an acutely intellectual, and radically advanced notion, it is in fact utterly redundant - there is almost no one who would have disagreed with this off-topic outburst. Really, Marilyn had all the revolutionary merit of a college kid, blazed and politicking at 3am. The cold, listless reality is that she would sooner have been scoffed at in bars and coffee houses across the nation; made a ‘joke’, even. This declaration of hers, as with her famous, “if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best”, an idea so clearly skewed by her celebrity status and neurotic psychology, mostly surmises her grand additions to Western thought. I called her a ‘philosophess’ in my rambling introduction, and I’d be offended if no one took offence to the arbitrary feminization of that word, but I’ll be both unsurprised and offended when no one takes offence to the suggestion that she was somehow a philosopher in any right. When you look to her advice on your immediate world, and on how to feel about that guy who’s always harshing on your buzz with his constructive, and incisively accurate, criticisms, you’re caught in a wave of powerful, seemingly self-evident ideas. But, in the real, middle-class world, no one can afford to believe things like this;
“When it comes down to it, I let them think what they want. If they care enough to bother with what I do, then I’m already better than them.”
In that abundant narcissism, and within that indigestible non-sequitur between “If they care”, and “I’m better than them”, we can’t fail to recall that these are the thoughts of a woman with an illicit drug-dependency, a woman who paid her way out of mental institutions, and a woman who fucking killed herself. So, how to rank this benevolent avatar of promiscuousness? Well, I like the guy. Despite what I’ve said, Monroe has some uniquely redeeming aspects, and I’ve waited until now to mention these because, well, if the correctness of these things requires any explanation, then I just don’t like you. Marilyn freely associated with members of the gay community, and with communists; this in an era where suspicion, paranoia, and McCarthy were rampant. She was likewise active in the campaign for a controlled and morally sensible nuclear policy, even securing a discussion on the subject with President Kennedy, by obvious means.
Essentially, her intention merit’s been a difficult egg to juggle, as, post-investigation, I found her downright apolitical. However, with respect to the friends she chose, and to the causes she supported, I’m letting her snuggle into a cosy and unimposing 6/10.
Coming now, finally, to the Madame’s practical merit, we’re no longer asking who she was, but asking what she did. What did she do for you, for me, for America, and for the world? Well, she was an actress, a model, a singer, a sex symbol, and, yes, an example of social propagandism. She effectively perpetuated a shame culture, arguing for the ridicule of introverts, and childishly glorifying the traits of ‘bitchiness’, melancholia, and corset-strangled waistlines. People like her, no matter their willingness, do not benefit the world, and almost exclusively decay it. She’s due an unfortunate tumble down the bum-littered back annals of negative-meritia, district 3/10.
Practical merit: 3/10
Intention merit: 6/10
Hot from my mouth, to your ears, that’s the Cage Equation, and you were asking for it.