than We Wanted to Know … Or On Second Thought, Perhaps We Did!
enough, those in power also take baths and go to the potty. If we watch them 24
hours a day, they will certainly be found in a politically deadly position. If
they filmed us going to the potty, we wouldn't be able to face going to the
office. If they published all of our telephone conversations, no one at the
office would want to see our faces."
By João Quadros
Translated By Brandi Miller and Patrícia
Viana de Lemos
All this week, WikiLeaks has
been disclosing more than 250,000 secret documents from U.S. embassies and
consulates from around the world, and gave them in advance to El País, The
Guardian, Le Monde, the magazine Der Spiegel, and due to
confusion over the address of Revista Maria, the almanac Borda d'Água.
[Editor's Note: The
author is joking that, given all the gossip in the U.S. diplomatic cables, it
was sent to a women's/gossip magazine called Revista Maria. He adds
that because the cables were improperly addressed, they ended up at theBorda d’Água almanac - a
publication utterly disinterested in gossip. The Borda d’Água is the oldest almanac published in Portugal, traditionally
read by farmers and old people.]
U.S. administration strongly criticized the attitude of WikiLeaks. This is a
classic case of global policeman and world gossip.
The disclosure and contents
of the documents allow us two and a half conclusions:
1 - WikiLeaks is run by
2 - The majority of
spies/diplomats write the kinds of reports that glamour-hairdresser Suzette would
write if she weren't so busy giving extensions and fixing bangs;
2.5 - Julian Assange sounds
like a name for a kind of hairspray.
It's all quite sad and petty.
The motivation of the newspapers and WikiLeaks is a shame beyond Watergate. The action of the spies
is how 007 would have behaved if interpreted by Margarida
Carpinteiro [a Portugal soap opera actress]. The next newspaper to publish
everything that WikiLeaks provides should come with the offer of free underwear
for politicians and a bottle of Visadron eye drops for looking through keyholes.
It's all anecdotal. The
Guardian tells Le Monde: "Did you know that crazy guy Qaddafi can't
travel without a voluptuous Ukrainian nurse?" Le Monde responds:
"Oui! He must be the only Libyan who doesn't have trouble getting on an
aircraft with a bombshell!" And they both laugh. Then Der Spiegel
goes and says: "That's why he recently asked the Non-Aligned Movement to
accept Ukraine … to its bosom!" And nobody laughed. But the German is used
Why don't we all go have a
drink from the KinkyLeaks cup and discuss Berlusconi's andropause and Merkel's
megapause? Or how Medvedev is Robin to Putin's Batman - a phrase that, if said quickly
enough, sounds like pet rocks on your tongue.
If we're to continue with the
"Big Brotherization" of politicians - and now include countries (anything
goes - including exposing military strategy in Bosnia to what former Health Minister
Maria de Belém said when her voluminous hair got caught in a door), nobody is
safe. Because, strangely enough, those in power also take baths and go to the
potty. If we watch them 24 hours a day, they will certainly be found in a
politically deadly position. If they filmed us going to the potty, we wouldn't
be able to face going to the office. If they published all of our telephone
conversations, no one at the office would want to see our faces.
I don't advocate that one
shouldn't "go after them" and that we shouldn't try to discover, and
reveal, rotten apples if they exist; but not at any price. And, even at any
price, as great as my curiosity is, there are things I'd rather not know - as
there are in these cables.
On the other hand, I'm
anxious for more gossip - just because it makes good material for jokes. As my
building gossiper says, who was once a consul in Lagos [Nigeria]: "You can't live with
it and you can't stand living without it." She also says that the blonde girl
on the 5th floor … Oh! Wouldn’t you like to know?! That's what you really wanted.
But enough for today.
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