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Saturday, December 4, 2010

"And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass...."

It occurred to me the other day that the name Assange could be read as a portmanteau of "ass" and "ange", the French word for "angel".  The Ass and the Angel.  I was sort of  thinking this might be an apocryphal book of the Bible until I took a look and realized the book in question is in fact Bel and the Dragon.  I was confused with Nick Cave's first novel, And the Ass Saw the Angel (a reference to Numbers 22:28).  Which reminds me of another French/English bad pun.  "Niqué" means "fucked" and "nicked" means "arrested"....so this Julian Assange guy needs to go hole up in a cave because he's gonna get nicked and he's certainly fucked.

Anyone else think those rape charges are trumped up?

Anyway, the bestiality of the ass and the divinity of the angel remind me of the conflicting feelings I have about WikiLeaks' most recent endeavour:  noble public service or dangerously irresponsible act?  Journalism or espionage?  The Ass or the Angel?  (Associationalist philosophy may come in useful in examining these seemingly contradictory viewpoints....)

Sometimes I feel one way, sometimes another.  But our boy Julian, a name whose origin implies youth and downy beards, is a young man.  Too young to spend the rest of his life locked up in a superprison somewheres under the Denver International Airport.

Pull the tiger's dragon's tail and whatnot.  In Bel and the Dragon, Daniel blows the whistle on the Persian priests who have long deceived the king (Cyrus) into believing a clay and bronze dragon idol eats the offerings put before him.  Using a clever ruse, Daniel proves the priests and their families consume the goodies instead.  For this, the priests and their families are put to death and Daniel is allowed to destroy the idol.

Not so for our poor Julien.  For lifting the veil he's either gonna rot somewheres in prison or wind up in concrete boots at the bottom of the Potomac, an offering to the water dragon who lives there: a consumer of souls, purveyor of lies and all around stinker.  "Veil" ain't an anagram of "evil" for nothing....

There are only two speaking animals in the Old Testament:  Balaam's ass when he and his master encounter an angel...and the deceitful serpent of Genesis.  Fancy that.

Interestingly, while the Biblical story about Balaam casts him as a villain, other sources speak of the blessings he brought upon the Israelites.

a)  Ass
b) Angel
c) Both
d) None of the above

Take your pick!

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