America's second favorite committer of treason, Julian Assange, is to speak and be interviewed at SXSW on March 8, the Austin mega-fest has announced. Obviously he won't actually be there, as he has been a geographical prisoner since 2012, trapped inside the Ecuadorean embassy in London by a now presumably very bored police force.
SXSW had this to say:-
The anti-censorship activist will engage in this extremely rare public interview to discuss the pervasive spread of surveillance, advantages and abuses of the digital age, and the future of democracy.
Now, I have several theories relating as to why this is happening. Conspiracy theories, if you will.
First, given the presence of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald on the bill, aka the man who broke the Ed Snowden story, SXSW clearly could not get a hold of Ed Snowden. And with good reason, because if I was stuck in Russia I would definitely keep my head down for fear of it suddenly disappearing. So they turned to Assange, the "old man" of upsetting America by showing people what the U.S. government was actually doing.
Second, and following on from the first, Assange is probably desperate for publicity by this point, given that Snowden is now way more famous than he ever was. It's literally only minutes before Assange is given the reins the next time Jon Stewart goes on holiday, or appears on The View to share the Ecuadorean cooking he has been forced to learn during his long stay inside a small building. He's got to be bitter about Snowden getting to stay in Russia, which is presumably a lot bigger than an obscure embassy in London. So why not remind people you exist? I mean, there can't be much to do inside the Ecuadorean embassy.
Third, if it's not solely a publicity stunt, surely, SURELY this is the moment that Assange busts out. Think about it. It's late at night in the U.K. All the police outside will be watching the interview on their smartphones, just in case he says anything nice about them and how extraordinarily vigilant they are. This is the perfect moment to sneak out the back door.
Just prerecord the whole thing. Do the speech first, then when it's time for the interview part it can become clear the whole thing is on a prerecorded loop. Chaos reigns as the police realize they've been tricked. A cackling Assange speeds off into the distance, to catch a helicopter bound for Ecuador. Or even Russia, so him and Snowden can have a fight to the death, to decide once and for all who is the biggest leaker of the biggest secrets. The winner will lead the other side in the eventual worldwide revolution against U.S. foreign policy. It's box office. Mega, mega box office.
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