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17 January 2013

Narcotizing Armstrong Assange and Swartz

The Oprah-enhanced and arranged confessions of Lance Armstrong along with reports on the money-machine allegedly promoted by professional publicists invites comparison with the evolution of WikiLeaks from a daring individual effort by Julian Assange, rooted in a life-long preparation for defiant stardom, into a worldwide cash-generating phenomenom for the media and ambitious writers, liberationists, academics and, as ever, a few deep-pocketed philanthropists -- both supporting and opposing WikiLeaks.

Aaron Swartz allegedly liberated a book titled Marketing Rebellion which claims that the inate merits of a rebellion is not what determines its success but the publicity campaign necessary to stand-out among many competitors. That expert publicity is essential, no matter the noble message.

Marketers customarily advocate this view, as do publicists, advertisers and most of all the media.

The down side of the argument is over-selling, over-reaching, over-dependence upon ever-increasing demand for greater publicity of an initiative to counter staleness and decreasing public interest -- worse, drop off in prestige and funding. More doping among team members and cover-up network by officials, publicists, supporters and Livestrong in Lance's case, more bizarre behavior and accusations of conspiracy by Julian and his followers. Exaggerated publicity to feed the money-machine all too often this leads to destruction of the initiative, as if the very means to assure success inevitably lead to failure.

Doping is an apt metaphor for this addictive power-enhancing arc. Dope peddlers, advisors, publicists, media, need only to inject a free sample to hook a user. Withdraw the dope, the acclaim, the attention, and the user begs, whores, steals, lies, buffoons, whatever it takes to regain the illusion of Princely power.

Lance and Julian -- with Aaron -- are to be esteemed for demonstrating the ups and downs of exploitation by narcotizing Machiavellians.