Skip to main content

Undiplomacy

A lot of fuss over this Wikileaking resolves down to the core question of secrets: should there be any kept?  I recall the 1992, and prescient, cyber-espionage thriller, Sneakers, which explored a world "without secrets" - a trope of many thrillers being the code-breaking device that renders all codes defunct.  The Enigma machine was built to render all Nazi codes transparent, and that was viewed as wholly to the good.  However, a thought experiment would quickly reveal that if all our private thoughts could be overheard, chaos would ensue - same for our private conversations?

It seems to me that what has been flooded out is eyebrow raising but confirms what we have suspected - that diplomats spy, and that some dodgy leaders and nations really are, well dodgy, and that some world leaders favour "voluptuous" Ukranian medical companions.  Privacy and secrets are the enemy of "truth" - but Ibsen, in the The Wild Duck, has Gregers destroy lives when he explodes life-lies that sustain necessary illusions - for coping with the too much reality that presses us on as humans.  Is Wikileaks a modern Gregers, showering us with the dubious gift of near-omniscience?

Ms. Clinton argues that this is an attack on the world system, but it seems a system that floats oddly above the heads of its citizens, one full of rude claims about fellow politicians.  What may disappoint some conspiracy buffs is how bland most of the revelations are - except for the question of Iran.  There we see potential for a coming war.  That's something good to know.  One last thought - Wikileaks may soon be out of a job: when all the world's secrets are out in the world, it is time to recycle Pandora's box and close shop.  Truth will become designified, emptied of its rare value.  Lies and secrets, if truly rare, would become the new strange value.  The best way to keep a secret, of course, is to tell no one.  Not even yourself, as Freud, that early Wikileaker, observed.
1 comment

Popular posts from this blog

AMERICA PSYCHO

According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…

DANGER, MAN

Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…

OSCAR SMOSHCAR

The Oscars - Academy Awards officially - were once huge cultural events - in 1975, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Shirley MacLaineandBob Hope co-hosted, for example - and Best Picture noms included The Conversation and Chinatown. Godfather Part 2 won. Last two years, movies titled Birdman and Spotlight won, and the hosts and those films are retrospectively minor, trifling. This year, some important, resonant films are up for consideration - including Hidden Figures and Moonlight, two favourites of this blog. Viola Davis and Denzel Washington will hopefully win for their sterling performances in Fences. However, La La Land - the most superficial and empty Best Picture contender since Gigi in 1959 (which beat Vertigo) - could smite all comers, and render this year's awards historically trivial, even idiotic.

The Oscars often opt for safe, optimistic films, or safe, pessimistic films, that are usually about white men (less often, white women) finding their path to doing the right thin…