Update : Bradley is now Chelsea, and is living as a woman (as best you can in a male prison). This has toughened up the journalistic prose about her… Which is good for me… but I feel rather sad that it seems to have lessened her heroic/victim status in the eyes of her chroniclers… Leaking government information is not something I’m invested in – but I hate to see a betrayal – a taking up of a cause and a quiet backing away.
I feel distant from Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden. In fact – I’m very close to being actively repelled. I don’t connect to their stories at all. In fact – I don’t connect them to their stories at all – I’m too grossed out by their existence.
Which is mysterious. I don’t think they’ve done anything evil, and they seem ok when interviewed (a little geeky – fairly close to your mild American serial killer – but it’s not their fault I’ve seen a million true crime documentaries on cheap t.v. channels – they make everyone seem like a mild serial killer).
It bothered me. I wondered why… And after some thought – I blame their coverage in newspapers and online websites.
I don’t find politics sexy. I might let myself admire the morals of a politician when I’m feeling un-cynical ( I loved Ken Livingston back in the day, and I like Tom Watson now even if he is chasing a media profile) – but I don’t need them to be heroes. I want results. Or at the very least – I want the country to not completely go down the toilet. I value their skill or their achievements. I don’t need their poster on my wall. Within reason I don’t even need them to be nice people.
The cult of Winston Churchill bores me senseless. Che Guevara hagiographies can sod off. The idea that Margaret Thatcher was a cabinet sex bomb makes me queasy.
And I really don’t want to read ‘dribbly’ journalism.
The kind that tells you how puppy-eyed or sensitive or gentle someone is.
The kind where you worry the hack wants to lick their hero like a popsicle.
Brad and Ed get a hell of a lot of it. Showbiz hacks would be ashamed if they wrote such slush about a movie star. Since Julian Assange managed to offend British journalists and half his supporters – since he proved beyond doubt to have a grotesque personality – I’ve started to find him endurable. I don’t find the idea of power sexy, so I don’t find rebelling against power sexy… I appreciate that some people do – but for the sake of their causes they should remember that their fetish (& it is a fetish) doesn’t always translate.
For example (though hopefully from an art critic with a tiny bit of self-awareness about all this) : ‘He’s young. He undeniably looks idealistic, which is exciting…. Pale and committed he looks like someone who has made a dangerous resolution…. the aura of passionate intensity that Snowden projects…’
Keep the Mills & Boon for encrypted emails.