So, here’s America’s deal this week: after getting our collective junk groped by the TSA last Wednesday–which Ruined Our Thanksgiving, in case you were wondering–our country just got its Gmail hacked and, oh shit! All that nasty watercooler gossip we Blackberried between UN meetings about North Korea is suddenly on the Internet. (Which North Korea has now, apparently.) Nobody’s happy about it, except maybe every other country on the planet.
By now you’ve heard of WikiLeaks, the shadowy international non-profit dedicated to airing the world’s dirty underwear. They dropped their latest joint on Monday: 200 of more than 251,000 American diplomatic cables (that were explicitly marked “do not leak to Wikileaks,” bro) containing our candid observations of other countries and frank assesments of other world leaders–meaning juicy American Diplomat chatter for the media to chew on, and a mess to clean up for the US. Iran went so far as to say the leaks are a “plot” created by the US Government to pursue political goals.
Man, that’s intense! You’re probably already frothing at the mouth with rage about it, or at least reaching for your can of aerosol mouth-froth. But who should you type caps-locked, nonsensical rants at about this issue? Nobody, because nobody cares! You should get off the internet and take a walk outside, after reading these five reasons why, without Wikileaks, absolutely nothing interesting would be going on in this country this week. At all.
Julian Assange is Batshit Insane
Julian Assange is the director of Wikileaks. In interviews, he seems like an intelligent and articulate guy. Outside of interviews, he seems like he could use a few good sessions of electroshock.
Thu 29 Jun 2006 : Krill to the baleen of the feminine
I’ve always found women caught in a thunderstorm appealing … I found myself loving a girl who was a coffee addict. I would make a watery paste of finely ground coffee and surreptitiously smear this around my neck and shoulders before seducing her so she would associate my body with her dopaminergic cravings.
That’s an actual post from his old website, where he also wrote poetry and many other slightly, well, off things. He also acts like he’s being constantly monitored and pursued by invisible agents. He also won’t tell you his age, and, much like a crazy hobo, will show up unannounced at your door carrying a rucksack. Plus: his hair, which probably singlehandedly deserves an entire section of this list. Look at it!
Oh, and he’s got an arrest warrant out on his head for rape allegations. Not cool. He’s also Australian, which, yeah. Having a crazy founder and director makes your organization interesting at least. Know what else keeps things interesting?
If WikiLeaks were a TV show, it would be the most explosive, never-saw-it-coming 2-hour season finale event in the history of the hour-long teen drama. It’s like 90210 and The OC had a baby-mama-drama-fueled love triangle with The Maury Povich Show, and WikiLeaks is their confused offspring. That’s because most of everything involved with WikiLeaks and their constant leakage comes tinged with the same sort of weird baggage their founder does. Meglomaniac leaders! Chinese hackers, hacking! Young, sexually-confused Army privates! At least when everything they do is mired in controversy it slightly dulls the pain of actually reading these boring-ass documents. Slightly. Be thankful you’re not that intern at the New York Times this week.
Spy Dreams, Fulfilled
Wait, boring? These documents aren’t boring! Look at all those weird acronyms and codes and important-looking words! Look at all that technical jargon! It feels like you’re in the CIA, reading all this privileged information. For about two minutes. Then you realize (a) it’s all on the internet for anyone to download, and (b) they’re mostly filled with stuff we can’t understand anyway, because we’re not actually in the CIA.
If you were hoping to crack open a fresh .zip from wikileaks.org and start reading about salacious war-crime coverups and Area 51 and how Michael Jackson’s death was faked, you’re in for a disappointment; most of the material is pretty bland (and all that stuff’s on Wikipedia anyway). Sorry to crush those childhood CIA dreams. But: you’re not a spy and you’ll never be a spy, you’re just an accountant at a mid-sized plastics manufacturer! Get back to work, man.
America Loves Gossip
Let’s be honest, our country loves scandal and gossip, and while this might not be anything like Brangelina baby pictures, the same psychological factors are at play. We have entire industries here that are built around our fascination with others’ secrets and misfortune. TMZ has skyrocketed in the past five years from a measly gossip rag website to a sizable company with legitimate mass-media heft, and that’s because we can’t get enough of that fresh, juicy drama.
Remember the Brett Favre dick-picture scandal and how quickly that blew up? That afternoon, millions of people around the world were crowding around cubicles looking at Brett Farve’s penis. Even dudes, dude. It’s not gay, and it’s not about looking at tiny cocks on Deadspin, it’s the fact that everyone now knows what Brett Farve’s penis looks like and he’s got to deal with it. When you’re at the top, everyone wants to bring you down, and everyone’s watching when you fall (or recover.)
If these were diplomatic cables from Turkey, it’s highly doubtful they’d have huge, ongoing national coverage from our biggest media outlets. Everyone would be like, “Oh, okay, Turkey,” and they’d continue on with their workday (looking at Brett Farve’s rooster.) But these are America’s diplomatic cables, which makes all the difference.
It’s Fun to Yell About
Remember that walk? You should probably take it now, before you turn into this guy. Yeah, there’s plenty of reasons to hate on WikiLeaks, but there’s also penty of reasons to not give yourself a heart attack over it. Be thankful we don’t live in China and this stuff doesn’t just get censored like it never existed. It does, and we have to deal with the consequences, for better or for worse. Might as well enjoy the ongoing tsunami of reporting and have something more interesting to look at in the paper than somebody’s black-and-white X-ray scanner junk, you know? Because nobody really wants to see that, except for the highly-paid perverts in the TSA keeping our nation’s privates safe. God Bless this leaky American mess.