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