...from Saul Williams
As the media sways between reporting on the huge disservice Julian Assange has done to government secrecy and posting the secrets, as Interpol tries it's hardest to track him, as the American government places him on the top of their most wanted list, and as the barefoot bandit sits alone in a cell awaiting trial- I would like to take a moment to admit that these guys are pretty much heroes in my book... and I don't think I'm alone. The hacker is the digital dignitary of the i-generation. These are the same guys I seek out to help me burn hard to find dvds onto my hardrive, the same guys who help me get music off of my ipod and into my itunes. They save me from waiting lists and long lines at the genius bar and overpriced software, they help me replace lost and mistakenly deleted files, and if I had the savvy they did, if I could prove that the government was lying about the number of civilian casualties during a seven year war that I thought was wrong from the start, if I could help make this “Age of Transparency” a bit more transparent, I would gladly play my part. I'm not an anarchist. I shy away from most labels, yet register as a democrat when it means I can vote for someone I believe in. I've got my own set of contradictions. I'm also a musician and know damn well that I wouldn't like someone breaking into my computer and leaking my music before I decided it was time. But I have also celebrated the fact that I could now give away music for free by doing just that. And that freedom is the result of the hard work of people I do not know: programmers, engineers, fellow makers and creators, artists of the wire who dabble between worlds and understand codes where I see chaos. I respect them. Those that can capitalize on it and use it to their advantage are the pioneers of our time and those that would use it for the greater benefit of humanity, are the heroes.
Most of my heroes have been arrested. Many have stood on the wrong side of the law. And the law has not always stood for truth. The law has stood for control, dominance, and sometimes even manipulation. Law, at it's best, has served to protect. Yet it has also served as a means of restricting growth and has not always seemed to change at the rate of human consciousness. Some laws have some catching up to do. So do some governments. So do some people. And I'm sure that in some regards I am also one of those people. If I was in the military and believed I was protecting and serving my country by fighting in a war and some hacker gave away the correspondents to our barracks or fire-power, I imagine, I'd be pretty upset. Yet, I find it hard to be upset when I think the best support for our troops would be sending them home and enlisting them in college. If you want to help rebuild the infrastructure of a country send engineers, send teachers, build hospitals (no preachers).
But I digress. And who says I understand how to fight disingenuous governance, poverty or hate? I'm just saying I understand the importance of counterculture, of those who prefer boom over pop. Hardcore. Underground. The ones who dare to question and expose, who put their lives at risk, like soldiers fastened to their beliefs, but who fight alone or in small packs of the daring and courageous, Those who stand up and speak out even when the masses seem apathetically addicted to the status quo, which is probably good for business. And I'm not anti-good business. I'm just for new business models. And new fashion models, while you're at it. They don't have to be so skinny!
But the reason that I'm writing you Santa is because Kanye already rocked a red suit, I wanted to suggest a yellow cape, something with fringes, maybe a few feathers or ornaments. It's not like you have any connection to Jesus so you might as well change your shit up and get on some newness. The way I see it, you're another one of them do-gooders. You give kids something fun to dream about while we adults scramble the meaning of things. Things like the meaning of power, or the role of responsibility within it. Things like the power of the imagination and the beauty that can come about when you engage it. Anyway, it's nice to have someone to write to sometimes and I thought you might like a letter that wasn't asking you for anything. Do your thing, big guy, my son is counting on you.
My love to the Mrs.
shamelessly jacked from Saul Williams' Facebook Notes
4 December 2010.