Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Saint George


Our Man was honoured to be invited to join in a birthday bash for a certain George Orwell, who would have been 111 today if he had been able to defy the laws of nature as well as his writing has defied time. Check out Our Man's favourite Orwell quote as well as more considered fare from knowledgeable Orwellians over at ten minutes hate.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Monarch of the Glenn


He fears for his liberty if he returns to the United States, but sets up a nationwide book tour. He mocks the internet tycoons as hypocrites for selling off other people's privacy while demanding their own, but then sets up a news organisation funded by the billionaire founder of Ebay. He badmouths the mainstream media as lapdogs of the Washington elite, but happily walks off with their Pulitzer Prize.

I can't quite figure Glenn Greenwald out, but maybe that doesn't really matter. What does is this is the guy who got the biggest leak in the NSA's history and put it right at the top of the world's in-box.

For that alone, I think I can give his No Place to Hide 5 stars, general.

The second chapter on his clandestine meetings with Snowden and the behind-the-scenes shenanigans to get the story published are worth the cover price. His mixture of righteous indignation, naiveté and ego somehow combine into a winning eloquence through tirades against the farcical Fourth Estate. That this book is not perfect (there's no index and if I have to see another page of shoddy photocopies of NSA powerpoint slides...) is beside the point. This is not about the messenger, it's the message:

Which is, that for a while at least, the surveillance state can be stopped in its tracks by an individual acting on his conscience.