December 13, 2010

Not the singularity, but it will set us free

Right now, I think I’m just a little be in love with Frank Skinner, so forgive me for quoting at length … Privacy lost, but you’ve got to love Wikileaks:
It's like when, in those years before the Reformation, a few brave seekers of truth printed and distributed Bibles in the vernacular, so that the people might read and judge for themselves rather than mutely accept the possibly jaundiced interpretations of their supposed betters - betters who stood to gain much from retaining the status quo.
The very name WikiLeaks reflects their brutal straightforwardness. They're completely upfront that the operation is about leaks and plenty of them.
It's a classic case of doing what it says on the tin.
In short, it's getting harder and harder for people, especially those in public life, to be unkind, deceitful, irresponsible or greedy.
People used to behave well because they thought God was watching. Now the secular world has come up with its own hidden observers.
The enigmatic elite, behind their smoke and mirrors, never pay homage to an intrusive truth. They rail at it and seek angry retribution. Let's face it, international diplomacy is just a type of lying. It's ridiculous that extremely important relationships between countries are conducted like a schoolyard romance - the fear of being oneself, the worry they'll dump you on the basis of a trifling misunderstanding and the terrible anxiety about what your friends think. If diplomats and statesmen refuse to embrace honesty, it's time that it was roughly imposed upon them.
It's true that the dispersal of significant information is a dangerous business, but isn't it time that, like those 16th-century reformers, we stopped letting a secretive elite decide what's good for us? WikiLeaks is scary. That which brings liberation can also bring bloodshed but, at the moment, I trust their motives slightly more than I trust those of any government.
WikiLeaks's aim is to illuminate, with a secondary recreational desire to embarrass. The aims of the world's governments are considerably less apparent - but not for much longer.
The truth has been released from captivity and is running wild and free. Our fear of its sharp teeth competes with our desire to look it straight in the eye.

49 comments:

  1. Jacob – post pending on the ill-informed Plibersek. Shameful that a minister knows so little yet insists on speaking.

    Yes, Skinner conflates secrecy and privacy, and skips over examples on the assumption that the connection is obvious.

    Secrecy and privacy should not be confused, but I’m also giving Skinner the benefit of the doubt.

    Women and children have been the primary losers over the centuries of secrecy being dressed up as respect for privacy: in the home, in institutions, in the church.

    So no, I can’t dismiss his arguments out of hand.

    "That's it, Tanya: Deep breaths, and try not to think about what you're saying."

    Hee hee.

    She followed that instruction to the letter.

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  2. Jacob3:04 PM

    Yikes, I've been blackberried...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Now, see, this is where things get freaky: when I posted my response, I SWEAR your comment was there ... I was looking right at it!!

    ------------
    Jacob revisited:

    Hmm, this is a very generalised and starry-eyed take on the matter.

    "...privacy also gave us sexed-up dossiers, bombmaking in Yorkshire bedsits and Josef Fritzl."

    No, to varying degrees, deeply disturbed criminality gave us all that. 'Privacy' let them get away with it for so long, but it also gives us those treasured moments with whoever. It gave Assange's Swedish ex-lovers the opportunity for what they're now hanging out in public. There's privacy, then there's secrecy, which may or may not, but probably tends to, enable criminality, etc.

    Anyway on a now familiar theme, Tanya Plibersek is the latest Gillard minister to display cluelessness on this topic. She "has defended the push to charge Julian Assange," but then says:

    "The Australian government has said that this is based on an original criminal act, which is a theft of classified documents," she said.

    "It's yet to be seen who has stolen those documents, and those are matters best left to the police, both in the United States and here."

    That's it, Tanya: Deep breaths, and try not to think about what you're saying.

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  4. I read that piece Kath.

    Yes, apparently if not for Private Manning, nothing of import would have ever appeared on Wikileaks, and Assange would be a non-entity.

    None of which is true, of course, since Assange and the site already had a growing profile.

    If it's all so trivial, just gossip, just words - why the hysteria?

    Was the video footage more gossip, more trivia?

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  5. Only 1100 - or 0.5% - of the cables have been published so far.

    248,900 to go.

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  6. Anonymous4:05 PM

    Poor old Bradley Manning - boy is he going to cop it in the arse.

    j

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  7. Glowing profile? Ya think?

    Hysteria? Beside the point..

    I am still waiting for someone to tell me how Assange has accomplished anything good with these mostly trivial leaks.

    Would you be happy if someone revealed your personal emails to others? I know that I damn well wouldn't.

    Where does one draw the line then.

    As for the video. (refer pprevious link Luke Walladge)

    "Assange has a clear and avowed bias, and allows it to affect WikiLeaks’s actions. In the case of their video release entitled "Collateral Murder" - a title clearly designed to convey that US soldiers acted outside the rules of engagement - it was not initially revealed that WikiLeaks had edited the video to slow it down and identify the Reuters staff and their camera equipment seen in the video."


    Assange is a deceitful manipulator twisting things to suit his own agenda.

    Perhaps part of the reason for the hysteria, Caz? He is not an honest man.

    And another thing, whilst I do not condone false rape accusations(that's what they appear to be.. hell hath no fury etc..)
    Had Assange had some moral decency and not hopped into bed with these two, on consecutive days, there would not have been any rape charge.

    Whilst Assange has broken no law, his behaviour is reprehensible here.
    Slept with one woman, then the following day went to the cinema where the other woman gave him a blow job, then had sex with her that night. Charming character..

    Was quite happy to string 'em along and use 'em up for his own gratification. Mind you those women were probably not paragons of virtue, either.
    How does this affect his professional behaviour?

    If he conducts himself in his private life in such a disgraceful and deceitful manner then I suspect he would have no qualms about being deceitful re his Wikileaks..

    It's not the sex that bothers me.. It's the deceit(the women never knew he had them both on the go at one time) and the utter contempt he showed for the feelings of these women.

    Only a root rat would applaud such behaviour..

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  8. One more thing, Caz. I wouldn't compare a decent journalist like Laurie Oakes with Assange..

    As you say,

    "Only 1100 - or 0.5% - of the cables have been published so far.

    248,900 to go"

    Speaks volumes I think.
    Most of those cables will more than likely be useless trivia.

    Anything of great importance there, and the shit would have already hit the fan..

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  9. My point Justin, is this man is not to be trusted. He takes no advice from others, and is in a position to manipulate and cause strife.
    JFK was a deceitful and hypocritical Catholic, I agree. etc..

    That was then this is now.

    I for one would not prefer more of the same.

    Be realistic Justin most decent men would not have a woman they hardly new go down on them in a cinema after having had sex the previous day with another woman. Sure some men would do this, but most would condemn that sort of behaviour. Assange used them and cast them aside.
    It's not as if he fell in love with another woman and had an affair.

    He's just an untrustworthy sleeze.

    When those women found out he was stringing them along they went to the police, knowing full well that Assange would cop it from the law.

    People are unwise to hold this man up as some exemplary hero. He is not..

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  10. Bloody hell, Justin's comment is gone and so is my follow up one.

    Just wanted to clarify my last comment by using Bob Hawke as an example.
    Yes he cheated on Hazel(who turned a blind eye to it all) for some years with Blanche, whom he later married. Yes it was wrong. But, people do fall out of love and affairs happen. People can identify with this sort of thing and so... tended to judge Bob less harshly.

    Assange on the other hand, just callously used these women(in tandem) who were seeking a relationship with him. He treated them both as objects and couldn't give a toss about their feelings..

    The man has no scruples...
    I wouldn't say that about Bob, though..

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  11. Anonymous7:24 PM

    Redux:

    Jacob - Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    Yikes, I've been blackberried...

    ReplyDelete
  12. Redux:

    Justin - Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 5:33 PM

    The Secret Iraqi Files: Al-Jazeera

    (URL here - http://tinyurl.com/288mjez)

    Sheesh, if I had a penny for every polly, cop, businessman, judge, lawyer, teacher and clerk who acted deceitfully when it comes to relationships with wives/partners then I'd have enough to by Western Australia Kath.

    Maybe start with the private lives of POTUS - JFK, his brothers, and his father were obviously not fit and proper people to run anything, and then there was Thomas Jefferson, Warren Harding, Dwight Einsenhour, LBJ, Bill Clinton and FDR - the list goes on and on.

    But then again maybe you are right Kath, maybe the world would have been better off without them; and in their place honest and faithful men.

    Sadly it just don't work like that.

    j

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  13. Can't find any of your "missing" comments Kath, all seem to be here ...

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  14. And another thing, whilst I do not condone false rape accusations(that's what they appear to be.. hell hath no fury etc..)

    Had Assange had some moral decency and not hopped into bed with these two, on consecutive days, there would not have been any rape charge.

    Whilst Assange has broken no law, his behaviour is reprehensible here.

    Slept with one woman, then the following day went to the cinema where the other woman gave him a blow job, then had sex with her that night. Charming character..

    Was quite happy to string 'em along and use 'em up for his own gratification. Mind you those women were probably not paragons of virtue, either.

    How does this affect his professional behaviour?


    He has broken Swedish laws Kath, notwithstanding that even the police there initially dropped the whole thing as there was "no evidence".

    Far more elaborate statements were only recorded a second time around when an enthusiastic female officer reviewed the paperwork and called up the two women.

    Much stronger statements have been made, only today, from Assange's Swedish lawyer, asserting that at least one of the women had grand plans and expectations of her encounter with Assange. (*Rolls eyes* - how old is that woman?) He is not able to be explicit about the evidence, of which he is fully privy, but is of the view that each of the women was, yes, jealous and pretty pissed off to discover that their "special time" with JA wasn't so special to him.

    Not a big deal for any man to do this Kath, at any age.

    Show me any man who enthusiastically uses condoms? JA is definitely guilty of being reckless with his own, and therefore other's, sexual health, but that's about it.

    How does this affect him professionally: exactly the same way as it affected Bill Clinton, who was POTUS for eight years; same as it did Bob Hawke, who was our PM for ... however long it was, about the same as Bill; same as it did for JF Kennedy, and on it goes.

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  15. Men have totally compartmentalized thinking Kath, they seriously do.

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  16. If JA is a sleeze for having sex with two women in one week, then that makes almost every man in the world a sleeze, as well as being unfit to fill any responsible job role.

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  17. Anonymous8:01 PM

    I take it you don't like Mr Likiwiks Kath.

    But what has a blow job got to do with raw data? JA is only acting as a conduit, and who cares if a conduit gets blow jobs at the flicks or not.

    Is he a hero?

    Many say so, and for a gutless wonder like me, I find it somewhat courageous of him to do what he does knowing full well that the Yanks will be really pissed - and give it to him in the arse.

    A fucking idiot, or a couageous freedom fighter - once again I couldn't care less.

    Many consider Nelson Mandella a freedom fighter - he was, but some say he had a dark past:

    Nelson Mandela is revered around the world as a beacon of moral authority but David James Smith investigates a buried past as those close to the statesman whisper of womanising, wife-beating and at least one hidden love child.

    Captain James Cook was a sleeze no doubt and spread the pox through out the south seas - a fact, and he died of the pox, so did Winston Churchill's father and many others we all know.

    I could go on forever but you get the drift.

    j

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  18. Anonymous8:08 PM

    If JA is a sleeze for having sex with two women in one week, then that makes almost every man in the world a sleeze, as well as being unfit to fill any responsible job role.

    Oh dear, iJustin is unfit to do anything at all. Not only has the sleeze done it on consecutive nights with different gerls. He's also done it with different gerls on the same night - at the same time.

    Their idea - but I was most grateful. I think they must have felt sorry for me - but what great sports.

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  19. Jacob8:10 PM

    "while [Bob Hawke's] career continued successfully, his heavy use of alcohol and his notorious womanising placed considerable strains on his family life."

    So on some accounts, Hawkie was a boozy serial adulterer through much his marriage to poor Hazel. It's just astonishing how such a sleaze managed to ascend to the Top Job. One can only wonder how it affected his professional performance.

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  20. Solomon8:16 PM

    I've always spaced out my romances. It would seem tacky otherwise. But I don't expect the same of women.

    We weren't lovers like that, and besides..

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  21. iJustin - and men everywhere salute you, and the kind women who took pity upon you.

    Jacob - Keating picked up the pieces, we know that, particularly in the last few years when Bob was back with Blanche, and feeling all sorry for himself because his daughter was using drugs. (I don't mean that last bit to be dismissive; it's his daughter he should have been thinking of, not himself. A very weak man, in many regards. Good PM though, for a least four of the years.)

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  22. And Sol - good for you!

    No, not all women "space out" their congress to socially acceptable lengths.

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  23. Anonymous8:54 PM

    That's one of the most wonderful things about women Caz; they do show their empathy in the most wonderful of ways. Sadly it does not always end up as it began.

    L'amour fait les plus grandes douceurs et les plus sensibles infortunes de la vie.

    C'est la vie

    j

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  24. Anonymous10:30 PM

    Wiki Rebels the doco:


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhTfOL9_HBE

    j

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  25. "If JA is a sleeze for having sex with two women in one week, then that makes almost every man in the world a sleeze, as well as being unfit to fill any responsible job role."

    That's BS Caz! (My man is not a sleeze ;) )
    Seriously though, that's a bit unfair. Not all men are like that.

    I'll tell you a story... true story.

    About a year ago hubby and I were sitting outside having a couple of wines..

    I said to him.. "You know from the moment I met you I never ever thought of having sex with anyone else.. even now..."

    I never expected a response... He is a straight down the line kind of guy.. And he never lies...( Sometimes that's good other times that's bad)

    But you know what.... He said to me.. and I will never forget it.. "Once I met you I never thought of having sex with anyone else.."

    I couldn't believe it I guess, and responded with .. "What, not in all these years?"

    He looked me straight in the eye and said. "No... not in all these years."

    Oh how my heart sang.. Felt like doing cartwheels.

    Ahh... enough of the mushy stuff, already..

    Where was I? Oh yes!


    It's not about the sex.. It is about the cavalier way in which Assange treats his fellow human beings. The deception. This guy couldn't give a fuck ;) He used 'em up.That's why they are so pissed off.

    What decent man of 39 would let a woman he hardly knew go down on him in a public place (cinema)
    Hey, even Hawkie would not decend to such depths.

    He ain't some horny eighten year old who can't keep it in his pants. Assange is 39.. ffs! Has a 21 year old son. Time to grow up and be responsible.

    So.. you really think that you can trust such a man? The guy has no scruples..

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  26. Let me put this another way..

    Why should I believe anything he publishes??..
    If ..he is not a man of integrity.

    And, I have no reason to believe that he is...(Unless someone can show me otherwise)

    I therefor take what he says with a grain of salt..

    Just as I would some celebrity gossip columnist..

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  27. Kath

    The veracity of what he publishes is not in question, by anyone: he publishes primary sources, period. If it were otherwise, the governments of the world would not be turning him into a martyr.

    As for the sex:

    - it would seem that the diversion has been very successful in besmirching his integrity with at least one person; job done

    - it's only sex

    - casual sex has been going on since before recorded time, it's ordinary, unremarkable

    - a man of 39 is still in his prime, quite a few years to go before his sex drive wanes

    - he is single, he can have sex with whoever he wants

    - both of the women were more than willing, they were the equivalent of groupies

    - one of the women had great expectations of being more than a groupie, which was childish

    - one of the women is not single, yet she wasn't averse to a bit of adultery - how about having a go at her?

    - both of the women are adults, they're not a couple of young things of whom JA took unfair advantage

    - why is is OK for a couple of adult women to conspire to take "revenge" on some guy just because he had sex with both of them? They were willing participants, not lied to or manipulated into congress. Again, it's only sex, one of them has a partner ... good grief! Revenge, for what? That he wasn't so enamoured that he fell to his knees and proposed? (They both would want to be homeless, with no income, living out of a backpack? That’s how stupid this is; bet neither would want that life, so why the carry on, why the revenge?)

    - come on, these adult women behaved like a couple of tanty throwing teenagers

    - the proposition that JA 'made' the women give him a blowjob in the theatre is supposition of the worst kind, and assumes a passivity on the part of the women for which there is only contrary evidence, on the public record

    - and what kind of man? Kind of like every other man who has ever had or wanted a blowjob in a theatre (hello Alana Morrisette!), or while driving, or in the shower, at the beach, at work, etc, etc.

    - what kind of women would willing - even of their own initiative - do that? Pretty much a one to one ratio with the men in the previous point.

    JA isn't married. He has no girlfriend. Why should he not indulge in consensual sex with women who, having only just met him, make themselves freely available?

    And no, not every man or every women has relentless casual sex, or any casual sex at all, but those who don't aren't better or more moral, nor does it make them truthful or caring, or oozing integrity, they just have different boundaries and personal preferences. So what.

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  28. And no, not every man or every women has relentless casual sex, or any casual sex at all, but those who don't aren't better or more moral, nor does it make them truthful or caring, or oozing integrity, they just have different boundaries and personal preferences. So what."

    I do not agree Caz. There are certainly varying degrees here. A person who uses another for their own gratification without a care for the feelings of the other person is an immoral, person. That, is not the decent thing to do.

    If they are immoral in their personal dealings then they most certainly will be immoral in their professional ones.

    Assange used these women. You harp on the sex, yet..you ignore the fact that he had two women going at the same time. They could only be classified as groupies if they were both aware that Assange was not being exclusive.

    If he was a man of integrity he would have been upfront with them both. He had no girlfriend, no wife. Why did he not tell them that he intended to have sex with others? Groupies know that their target is having sex with others.

    Each of these women thought that Assange was only having sex with them. He is gutless and deceitful. He wanted his cake and to eat it too. This was not a level playing field.

    Perhaps if he had been straight up in the first place the second woman may have declined to become involved with him.In any case his behaviour is reckless and puerile(std's anyone?)

    I am not disputing his virility.It's what's going on up top in his head that is the problem here.Not his ability to function as a man You keep glossing over this..Yet it goes to the very core of Assange's morality...

    Use a person up in your personal life.. then it so follows into every aspect of their lives.

    I do not think that one can separate personal integrity from professional integrity.

    Most of us usually have relationships with one person at a time.Others are in open relationships. Then there are the dregs who have many sexual partners, without concern or care for their partners. These people are dishonest and deceitful..

    Saying, that it is only sex, is certainly an oversimplification..

    Obviously these women wanted more than just sex out of the relationship...as stupid and slutty as they were. Why else would they have banded together after each found out about the other, to destroy Assange.? Jealousy..


    And, I did indeed say in an earlier comment that these women were no paragons
    of virtue... Like attracts like..however..

    The difference here is that Assange has put himself out in the public domain leaking private information (most of it useless snippets causing embarrassment to those involved.) Nevertheless it has the potential to develop into something more, particularly if Assange has his own agenda.. We saw how he twisted that video to suit his own ends. He is deceptive and unethical.

    Not a person to be trusted.

    Just out of curiosity, Caz, how many men do you know who are stringing along two women or more at the same time..??

    I don't know of any..

    It's JUST not the decent thing to do...And only a slag would do such a thing.. male or female..

    My own twenty year old neice was talking to me about the local town slut .. some time ago.. She is basically shunned by the more moral girls.. According to my neice the decent guys won't have a bar of her...Which leaves only the guys who will root anything in a skirt..

    Like attracts like..

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  29. Solomon6:38 PM

    Leave Alanis out of this.

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  30. Anonymous8:25 PM

    This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.

    When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "well nobody's perfect".

    Do not judge, or you too will be judged


    j

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  31. Jacob8:53 PM

    Well, I guess if Kath's any yardstick, the Swedish sex charges will make it very difficult for JA to get a fair trial in relation to the US espionage charges (pending).

    That, and the fact some prominent dipsticks in the US already want him toasted and/or garotted and/or poked with a poison umbrella on a dark, rainy London street, etc.

    Kath's and their, er, closely argued indictments have succeeded in giving JA my sympathy vote, at the very least.

    That's life in the gossip columns.

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  32. Kath - both women had sex with Assange pretty much straight away, without having ever met him before.

    They only had sex with him because of who he was and his status in particular circles.

    No different to a women who gives Bill Clinton a blowjob (these days, not so much), purely because he's, you know, Bill Clinton, or a drummer in a successful band.

    It's just as easy to suggest they were using him, for boasting rights (what other reason would they have; they didn't even know him long enough prior to having sex to ascertain whether or not they even liked him), and he returned the favor.

    He used them?

    Nah.

    Just not that simple.

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  33. Come on Sol, it was a great song, and still worth a listen after all of these years.

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  34. Solomon9:01 PM

    It is a great song. I also like "can't not" and "one" from the follow up album (with its ridiculous title), and some others.

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  35. Kath - actually you're dead wrong about that "private information".

    Please refer to, for example, the Western Australian State Government Records Act 2000 (all states and terrorities have similar legislation).

    Also refer to US legislation, state and federal, in particular legislation relating to their Presidents.

    All records belong to the relevant governments, which means they belong to the people.

    Every email, every file note, every policy, every contract I've ever written to, for and within government belongs to the government: there's nothing even a little bit private about it - all are "public records".

    If POTUS Obama so much as sends a tweet, it's a PUBLIC record.

    That's a fact.

    None of the current cache of leaks are private, they are owned by the government, under law, and therefore owned by the people.

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  36. "depraved chickenhawks"

    Thanks for that article, Justin, I'd been grasping for that phrase when I wrote "prominent dipsticks".

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  37. Bugger. We'd been doing so well. (Two gone!)

    *Precious gremlins, pretty gremlins, settle petals, we love you, yes we do*

    URL:

    http://tinyurl.com/2erzac8

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  38. Yikes, my comment on the blackburial of Justin's reference to that article has been blackburied.

    In cyberspace, noone can hear you scr

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  39. Anonymous10:37 PM

    More than depraved Jacob - these guys are fucking psychopaths - on a grand scale. And now they can't spin their way out of it.

    If we punters are expected to obey the law and to behave honestly then why not our governments?
    When governments can no longer conceal their deceptive and criminal behaviour, and are made to answer for it, then society will be truly free.

    Maybe we are at a cross roads here: a fight for honesty and freedom or increasing dictatorial behaviour by those who want to control us.

    Homo sapiens have been superlatively succesful in creating good stuff for society; let's stick with the good stuff and piss off everything else - including gutless and cowardly servants of the people; and our addiction to weapons of mass destruction.

    j

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  40. Interesting piece Justin, will have to re-read it tomorrow night.

    (It's that time of the year: 6 hours of drinking at the first of numerous work Xmas parties.)

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  41. Anonymous10:51 PM

    I got invited to one of those today Caz, this was my email reply:

    Steve: Thanks for the offer , but with me there, you will all have a very high risk of ending up in the clink before the evening's end. '-)

    Cheers cya Monday


    Steve's reply:

    You’re a dead set legend mate. It wont be the same without you, but it’s gunna be a big one!!

    And that's exactly why I'm not going - must be gettin old.


    j

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  42. Psychopathy, sociopathy... I don't have much truck with those labels, Justin. But whatever it is, those guys are feeding off of each other, or in competition with each other, or something, in a race for social kudos or votes or you-tell-me.

    "Patriotism as the last refuge of scoundrels" just seems inadequate for the kind of stuff we're seeing coming out of the US.

    // rant ends ///

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  43. "cya monday" ???

    It's Tuesday.

    How long and hard do your guys party?

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  44. "Well, I guess if Kath's any yardstick, the Swedish sex charges will make it very difficult for JA to get a fair trial in relation to the US espionage charges (pending)."

    Thanks for that Jacob..
    I happen to believe that the guy is innocent of those charges.

    Assange the slut fucker has similar morals to those women.. But he did not rape them.


    "Kath's and their, er, closely argued indictments have succeeded in giving JA my sympathy vote, at the very least."

    Save your sermons for someone who gives a shit you arrogant bastard.


    All talk and no action.

    I have provided links from people more learned than myself.. I know nothing.. I listen and learn..
    So far no one has provided any information that has proved Assange has been altruistic in his dealings.. There is much evidence to the contrary.. here..

    Such condescending, supercillious smugness is unbecoming..

    Don't worry I'll leave you all alone to piss in each others pockets..

    That's life in the gossip colums... ;)

    Feel free to talk about me amongst yourselves .. I'M OUTTA HERE.

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  45. Jacob6:44 AM

    "So far no one has provided any information that has proved Assange has been altruistic in his dealings.. There is much evidence to the contrary"

    Kath, no-one here I recall has ever said the guy's a Francis of Assissi.

    Arrogant bastard? Okay, guilty. Sorry.

    You just can't seem to stop going on about the S-E-X. If you don't stop it you'll go blind.

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  46. Anonymous7:32 AM

    Submitted by Kathy Farrelly on November 25, 2009 - 10:42am. re that Rann affair in SA.

    Well, Paul, the "hole" affair is just one big joke really, so I cannot take any of it seriously. Whether Chantelois had sex with that man has nothing to do with the public at large. Why on earth she chose to bare her soul on a national television network, beats the hell outta me!

    Mmmmm


    j

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  47. Jacob8:11 AM

    Arthur Koestler was one of the literary/intellectual heroes of my youth. Among a sprawling oeuvre, he wrote the novel Darkness at Noon, a masterpiece of mid-20th Century lit, and The Sleepwalkers, a study of the history of science and astronomy, flawed but still very influential, in which AK made Kepler and Galileo and all those guys come alive.

    After his suicide in '83, it slowly emerged from a number of tell-all books that Koestler was a serial philanderer, probable rapist and general misogynist.

    So, what does one do when a hero is demolished so comprehensively and devastatingly? Chuck out the good with the bad?

    Nah, of course you cherish the good while acknowledging the bad. And learn not to have heroes. And realise people can achieve moments of grace while also, sometimes simultaneously, being shits.

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  48. Anonymous8:29 AM

    Well stated Jacob; how many great composers, writers, actors, artists, teachers and brain dead AFL stars have been weakened by the flesh? Yet their work brings joy and enlightenment to many.

    j

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  49. Kath – you’ve almost got me feeling sorry for JA, and every other heterosexual man in the world: apparently they’re supposed to know the minds, hearts and expectations of women they’ve just met … by osmosis? That’s one hell of a burden to put onto any person. Even when people are unambiguously aware of another's expectations, and reciprocate them in some manner, doesn’t mean they’ll live up to them, even when they want to.

    Your comment questioning the altruism of JA was a surprise, since it has never, and will never occur to me to attribute any particular level of altruism to him or anyone in the public sphere.

    The closest I can think of as being (publicly) altruistic is the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation. Other than that, I’m coming up empty.
    I’d have to give it more than a minute’s thought to identify anyone else, or any organisation, in the public sphere acting with genuine altruism.

    (Small tip people: don’t anyone go nominating not for ,most of the profit /charitable organizations, which are a massive self-generating industry, competing for government and private sector funds and thus growing year after year exactly like any other industry.)

    Oh, here’s another: doctors without boarders; Fred Hollows foundation. See, there are some, and none of them resemble Assange or Wikileaks, or Openleaks, or award winning leak recipient Laurie Oakes, or Private Manning, etc, etc.

    Jacob – the sad thing is that there will always be people whose work or talents are admirable, brilliant, illuminating, breathtaking, and yet, within that small realm, there is, inevitably, some ugly and downright repellent stuff – just as there always is amongst a portion of the hoi polloi.

    Learning not to have heroes is a tough emotional and intellectual challenge. (Who doesn’t like having a hero or three?)

    Moments of grace within the vast flotsam of life are all the more worthy of acknowledgment, I think. They’re a gift: a moment to inhale, exhale and maybe even be a little – or a lot - in awe.

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