“the day will come when all the modern nations will adore a sort of American god, a god who will have been a man that lived on earth and about whom much will have been written in the popular press; and images of this god will be set up in the churches, not as the imagination of each painter may fancy him, not floating on a Veronica kerchief, but established, fixed once and for all by photography. Yes, I foresee a photographed god, wearing spectacles.
Gore Vidal, the chronicler of America, was a footnote to history many times in twentieth century. Eugene Louis Vidal Jr. was born in West Point in the year of 1935 to Eugene Luther Vidal and Nina Gore . Eugene Luther Vidal was an aviation pioneer and a former All-American quarterback who represented US in Olympics. His mother whom he detested, was a major socialite in Washington DC. His paternal grandfather, Thomas Gore, served in the US senate as member from Oklahoma. Gore Vidal first rose to fame not as a writer but as a young aviator.
Christopher Hitchens, in his autobiography Hitch-22, enunciates the contradictions of living the lives of Comrade Chris and socialite Christopher. Between the donkey jacket wearing Comrade Chris and dinner jacket socialite Christopher, he enlivened life with multifarious roles. In his extraordinary career, Hitchens redefined and owned the role of Public Intellectual by being a writer, a journalist, a broadcaster, a polemicist, a raconteur, a provocateur,and a pugnacious critic of culture.
From my childhood, I wanted to be a revolutionary to change the world I inhabited. And I’ve been looking through my vista for an uprising, but till now I’ve not heard any chants nor do I know the route to any “liberation” squares. But every morning my beloved newspaper brings me news about a revolution which has brought the Government to its knees. Is this a time to rejoice, or am I seeing the withering away of my beloved republic?
The Great Schism
We are seeing a schism in journalism, the fourth estate is moving to a landscape where the future of news will be determined. For the time being, the fault lines are not clear enough to segregate the parties. The old school is led by the once-omnipotent Rupert Murdoch, and the rival gang is evolving in Guardian.co.uk. In a conventional war, The Guardian doesn’t hold any chance against Murdoch’s wall. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is omnipresent and plays a major role in formatting the public opinion across the globe.
Unlike typical outlaws, Julian Assange is loved by people of far left to ultra-right. Assange, encompasses all classical emotions in one. He is a perfect cocktail made out of irony, bravery, tragedy, comedy and darkness. I would be surprised if his story doesn’t end up in Hollywood. This could be a great story for Aaron Sorkin's magic pen. This pale, long haired, blue eyed poster boy of modern day freedom has been offering us choices in various shades of gray. The freedom that he offers is unknown and so is he.