John Wick 3 reviewed

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This weekend David and I saw John Wick 3 at the cinemas. My other movie buddy was exploring the sights of Europe. I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about the sequel. Indeed it ticked all the boxes: a commercial, critical, and audience success. I was tossing between Detective Pikachu and Parabellum. What ultimately tipped the scales towards the latter was how it debuted at number one at the North American box office, unseating Avengers: Endgame. This was something that Pikachu wasn’t able to pull off.

 

Premise

The premise of the movie was another main drawcard for me. The picture could’ve been titled John Wick v the twerps, given the film’s plot. Towards the end of the second instalment, John Wick was rendered as ‘excomunicado’ after eliminating a member of the High Table. Here we find out that he has a $14 ‘billion’ bounty on his head. From the start, he has his work cut out for him, pitted against man-mountain Boban Marjanovic. While looking for help, he is met with constant adversity along the way, which the massive reward no doubt fuels. This episode had the feel of The Fugitive starring Harrison Ford, except Wick’s pursuers went well beyond the bureau. Furthermore, this third chapter reminded me of another Keanu film, Street Kings. He was basically a one-man killing machine there, usurping the system and taking out the trash.

 

 

Unrealistic but funny

He exhibits his fighting skills and gains the help of a few Good Samaritans along the way. There are several vehicle chase scenes, including a killer bike standoff where Wick tries to outclass six samurais. Johnathan is a fighter and gamely takes them on, whether riding on horseback, on a bike, or atop buildings. All through the movie Johnathan is a battered wreck, bloodied and knackered. ‘All this for a dog?’ ‘It’s not just any dog,’ he responds. The plot is very unrealistic as a bruised fighter cannot merely flick the switch and pulverise his opponents. Yet that’s the magic of cinema: we get to enter a realm where that’s not only possible, but the status quo. He is Lazarus reborn, an aberration whose only certainty is rising from the dead. Meanwhile, I also observed that this was a bit more humorous than its predecessors, with Lawrence Fishburne supplying most of the laughs. The fight scenes, while intense, also supplied some chuckles. In some ways, this outing reminded me of Jackie Chan’s action comedies.

 

Well-made

The critics consensus states that the film is brilliantly choreographed, and I couldn’t agree more. From the action sequences, to the theatre moments, from outdoor scenes to indoor pieces, the flick’s landscape is indeed well-made. In particular, there is a desert chapter where John wanders while on his last legs. The angles were beautifully shot and was made for the big screen. The Continental Hotel, a main battleground for most of the feature, also had those deceptive glassworks that was a sight to behold. The inclusion of various languages also adds colour. Javanese and Belarussian conversations breathe new life into this instalment.

Parabellum could be graphic at times, especially the nail scene involving an overworked ballerina. The latter’s suffering, though of brief screen time, proves that the director is willing to incorporate heavy issues into his work. There is also (another) dog scene where a guy kills Harry Berry’s canine. This turns into all-out war, and a reminder not to mess with man’s best friend. I found the movie to be about 55 percent action. From the trailer, I had expected it to be a bigger action flick. Keanu Reeves has now been part of two game-changing film franchises, The Matrix and John Wick. The latter series has re-established him as an enviable action star in spite his being middle aged.

 

 

Worth it

Before, I ended my viewing of John Wick 2 feeling disappointed. This was the case more so since I saw it in VMAX. Oddly enough and almost exactly two years later, I suspected that this production would leave me feeling the same way. Yes, it was clearly an overrated picture. Yes, I was disappointed. However, I didn’t go in expecting to see an Oscar Best Picture nominee. My friend said it was ‘okay’, a valid point. He called Hotel Mumbai and Avengers good, so he is perceptive about deserving movies. Still, all things considered, Parabellum was worth a watch; too good that they might even consider a future addition. You must note though that the franchise peaked at the original and went downhill from there. The critics and audiences may both beg to differ but I must stress that I’m not too sure about those glowing reviews.

Rating: 3.5/5

 

jw1

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My blog topics

This will be post no. 152 for me. Over the last few years, I have shared my thoughts on a lot of different things and have done this on a consistent basis. If you’ve been following my blog, you’re familiar with the things I write about. Call this your quasi-introduction to my themes.

1.Books. Since at least 2017, I have regularly shared my most recent reads on Mot Juste. That year was when I started taking reading seriously again, capping off the year with thirteen completed works. Usually these inventories would be in groups of five books. This year, I have done two such lists. I am two reads away from posting a third one. Books are easy choices since many bloggers could relate to your haul, even going for similar material.

2.Movies. Another easy choice, as there are many movie buffs out there, and the Hollywood pull steals movie hearts the world over. I’ve always been a film buff, whether by going to the cinema or through watching DVD’s. Looking back from the start, I evaluated such films as Monsters University, The World’s End, and Elysium way back in ‘13. It’s good to reward your readers by sharing your thoughts on the latest picture. Moreover, I always refrain from including any spoilers. At first, I struggled with crafting reviews that were devoid of any giveaways. There were not enough ways to express myself. However, through time, I gained my voice and have advanced the art of the spoiler free review.

3.Travel. I’ve been to a few places through the years, including Melbourne, Tasmania, and New Zealand. However, blogging about travel doesn’t necessarily involve visiting exotic locales. I’ve managed to share my stories: whether in Saturday class or dissecting State of Origin. While the pictures and descriptions matter, your story is still king. Besides, relying purely on travel isn’t very sustainable for the average Juan. Unless you are a regular voyager, you would end up posting infrequently. Such is the case with a fellow ‘traveller’ who was off with a flying start, but now tends to post in trickles.

4.Literary and throwback posts. Since six years ago, I’ve imparted some poetry, fiction excerpts, and short works through Mot Juste. In 2013, I revealed my experiences in Newtown and Auburn and anatomised Dead Europe. Last Christmas, I wrote about a hailstorm. Other times I did a retro post which considered the significance of a particular day or work. My blog has also been a showcase of my past efforts. Whether it was showing my work from high school, uni, and beyond, Mot Juste is a platform for my past, present, and future.

5.Posting in Filipino. I only started doing this a couple of years ago. My memories of a funny professor jumpstarted this. Soon I was writing about the kindness of strangers, my auntie and her farm as well as Buwan ng Wika (Language week). Writing in Filo makes it a personal crusade while also brushes up my command of the written language. Furthermore, it adds some colour. It has been a joy and honour to communicate in my language.

6.Culture & politics. Aside from loving movies and books, I’m also an avid follower of pop culture and politics. The most recent report that I could think of is my article on Assange. Of course, it hasn’t only been about Wikileaks. Donald Trump, Digong, Alec Baldwin, and Kim Jong-Un are just some of the big-name characters that I’ve tackled on my blog. I’ve also dealt with Qantas, the Egyptian revolution, and The Simpsons, to name a few.

In sum, Mot Juste is a melting pot of my likes, knowledge, and portfolio. The first one hundred and fifty posts seem like a blur, but each one of them matters.

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The mum post

mothers3

Over the past few years, there has been at least one occasion on my blog where I paused and paid tribute to all the indispensable mums out there. I thought the time was right for an encore, today being Mother’s Day and all. These are a few reasons as to why mothers are irreplaceable; ‘let us count the ways.’

 

Role models and gurus

They are our first role models. Prior to the age of housebands, mums were traditionally the one who spent more time with the kids. Whether biological or foster, grandparents or same old, aunt and stepmoms, they play huge roles in our upbringing. Whether tough love or gentle love, they always show us the way.

 

They are our first teachers. They help us through the baby steps until we could manage on our own. From rudimentary crayons and pencils, their prowess enables us to graduate onto bigger things. Not only do they guide us on how to paint; they are likewise our maths tutor, English professor, Science mentor, and Debating Club proof-reader. They are the masters of multitasking, and no challenge is too tall for them.

 

 

 

Giants and dreams

They support our dreams. From the get-go, they are our biggest coach, our most fervent supporter. They plant the seeds of our ambitions and never fail to guide us and pick us up after every fall. They cheer us on during soccer matches, taste our defeats during chess tourneys, even give us tips for drama class. Our success is theirs, and no one is more elated each time we win. Conversely, when things go bad, no one understands our pain more. No one is more willing to break down our missteps.

 

We ‘stand on the shoulders of giants.’ As mentioned earlier, their prowess enables us…This applies not only to our dreams, but also to our decisions. They show us how to make the right decisions, and we stand on their shoulders to fully see. As we become more seasoned, we are able to make these choices ourselves, something that wouldn’t have been possible without their help.

 

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Names and firsts

They could be even more: our first cook, seamstress, barber. We learn many recipes from her. Meanwhile, I’ve spoken to a few people around and many have said that their mums used to cut their hair. The mother is the epitome of the home, the veritable homemaker. Her presence brings light into most houses, her resolve steadies an unruly ship. She acts as a nurse and cares for the household. Her positivity is infectious, her work ethic contagious. The same applies regardless of setting: whether in a shack or mansion, a shantytown or Beverly Hills, mothers are the one beacon that is truly imperative.

 

There are many ways to call her. From mum to mummy to mama, we all have our own endearments. These labels may change from country to country, nation to nation, even region to region. However, that doesn’t remove what the name connotes: a pivotal figure who teaches us many things, who care for us deeply, who corrects our mistakes, who show us the ways of living. Think of it as a framework for our betterment.

 

Always

The role of mothers may have changed over the years. Feminism, women’s rights, and gender equality have all made their mark. Women are not only in the workforce, but in some cases, are on equal footing than men. Sporting events have awarded self-same prize money between men and women combatants, even though the former have a more arduous path to the title. Female artists are having more voices, even the power to decide Oscar winners. Yet while change is inevitable, some things never do in our hearts. Despite school, friends, college degrees, work, and our own families, we will remain the clumsy little kids who yearn to be in mum’s good graces.

From my heart of my hearts, I wish these one-of-a-kind women a HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

 

mothers

 

 

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Authors’ bazaar

Some of us love the thrill of a new author, while others flourish in the tried and tested. I tend to be both of these, although I lean towards the latter. Over the past year, I’ve been consumed with Michael Connelly’s projects, just as I’d been with John Grisham a lifetime ago. Since the New Year, I’ve only read a handful of names: Connelly (4), Brett Ellis (2), Andre Agassi, Kobe, and Jodi Picoult (2). While going through your favourite’s body of work is enjoyable, it pays to diversify your reading portfolio. Allow me to share with you a few of my top novelists.

 

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Michael Connelly. If you’ve been an avid follower of my blog, you’ll see Connelly’s imprint. Connelly’s name is present through every reading list that I’ve compiled. To be honest, I read my first Connelly about two years ago. I loved it so that I’ve taken in fourteen of the Harry Bosch series, two-thirds of the total. To paraphrase Professor Crawford (in Finding Forrester), his writing is something that we should all aspire for. I’ve reiterated how he has just the right balance of dialogue, plot, description, and character development. His books are hard to predict, even for a seasoned reader. His use of smoke and mirrors, and pulling rabbits out of hats, make him arguably the best crime writer alive. Some contemporaries may have sold more books, but none have matched the critical acclaim that has followed practically his entire output.

 

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John Grisham. I initially started reading Grisham many moons ago. I began with a battered copy of The Firm up until his latest release, The Reckoning. One must note that I never read any of his Theodore Boone series. Grisham is a prolific, master storyteller. He is on the rarefied field among those having the most book sales ever. Every year, Grisham’s latest becomes an instant bestseller and both his fans and critics eagerly await. All this has been done for an extended period of time. Grisham is notable for being the king of the legal thriller. Most of his novels have some legal bit, if not all. They often also contain male protagonists working against the system and fighting for the marginalised. In recent years, Grisham has elected to go with a couple of female leads. Grisham also alternates between big city scheming, and small-town politics. While his novels have been hit or miss among audiences, I have only failed to finish a few. This is a testament to his readability and sustained excellence. Out of over twenty Grisham novels, picking my fave is hard since so many of them are terrific.

 

jodi

 

Jodi Picoult. A recent addition, Small Great Things was my introduction to this writer’s universe. I remember chipping away at the book while I battled two colds. Not as engrossing as Connelly, but a lovely read regardless. I’ve done some research on her and found out that her books tackle contemporary issues. They are well-researched, and often involve the main character having a moral quandary. Some of these points include: youth suicide, mass shootings, euthanasia, and racial politics. I’ve only read two from her list so far, though I’m looking forward to reading a few more. Like Grisham, she has stood the test of time and each new book makes people talking.

 

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Matthew Reilly. I remember working on Contest, Reilly’s debut. Although a greenhorn at the time, Contest read like the work of someone who’s been penning novels for years. Through time, Reilly has produced two great book series: The Scarecrow one and the Jack West Jr. escapades. Having read all but one of Jack West books, Reilly’s work is adventure-driven – reminiscent of a Hollywood blockbuster. The latter series reminds me of Indiana Jones, complete with cryptic messages, car chases, and globetrotting. Reading Reilly is also supporting quality Aussie fiction. While having humble beginnings, Reilly shone to become a bestselling author. His story highlights the determination and patience to succeed in a small market.

 

AOL BUILD Presents: Mitch Albom "The Magic Strings Of Frankie Presto"

 

Mitch Albom. My former religion teacher recommended Tuesdays with Morrie to our class, short of calling it a must-read. Based on a true story, the book deals with complex themes such as ageing, friendship, and finding meaning in life. I may have read this after high school but as they say, ‘better late than never’. Since then, I’ve consumed four more of his books. They may be short reads, but they are powerful ones. Albom uses simple prose, but always with a fiery message. True events inspire some of his books, making them even more alluring. His characters and the situations they face, are very much relatable. As someone once told me, he read Tuesdays while sunbaking as it’s the perfect beach read. With similar themes and page counts across his portfolio, I guess you could say that about most of his work.

 

Honourable mention: Michael Crichton’s Rising Sun was among the first novels I finished, together with Harry Potter. I’ve managed to sneak many more of his work onto my reading list. His writing could be difficult to decipher at times, because of the science background. However, Crichton died in 2008 and has released nothing new this past decade. Obviously, there are a few other bestselling juggernauts who are not on this list. Kindly bear in mind that this is a very subjective collection.

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Avengers: Endgame review

Note: This is a spoiler-free review

The final chapter in the Avengers saga stormed into theatres last Wednesday. Hailed as the movie event of the year, Endgame was billed as the conclusion to 21 Marvel films. Like other instalments in the series, it had the year’s finest cast. I initially had my doubts about the epic, as it clocks in at a staggering three hours. Having absorbed what critics and audiences alike had experienced, Dave and I decided to give it a try. By audience standards, we were a little late as yesterday was the fourth day of release.

Drama

I found this frame surprising. There were more tense moments than laughs, making it more drama than family fun. Without Peter Dinklage and the guardians, Thor and Antman provided most of the humour. I would say that it’s predecessor, Infinity War, was more action heavy than this one. Moreover, Endgame was a lot less confusing with far fewer storylines and Avengers to follow.

Thanos the great

Every great movie has a killer villain, and Thanos owned his limited screen time. It would be awesome to have the ability to wind back the past and undo your flaws. There is no such thing as family to Thanos, nothing more significant than those bloody Infinity stones. He pulverises everything in his path, a veritable wrecking ball against the world. At the end of Infinity, he had conquered the world and pocketed all five Infinity stones. He had hoped to create a brave new world where half were eliminated and the rest would thrive. This didn’t work out in his favour, as we are met by a virtual wasteland as this movie commences.

Even as Thanos wreaks havoc on Earth, family remains a big selling point for Avengers. Hawkeye is devastated after his daughter vanishes. Captain America yearns for his wife. The Black Widow tussles with Hawkeye, as each does not want the other to perish. Antman wakes up to find the world and his family, a vastly different place. This desire for family sets up the drawn out sequences, which linger for most of the running time. The inner battle against losing family drives the team to make drastic last minute decisions.

Undo

Time travel is a vital piece in the Endgame puzzle. Antman originally pitched this idea to the group, but Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) shuts down his proposal. The latter gets almost the entire remaining squad to buy in, but Tony has his reservations. Tony finally changed his mind in the nick of time, even as the first few test runs have unpromising results. The search for more fuel leads the Avengers to carry out a heist, ultimately knowing that they are swimming in the river of time. Any slight shifts in the river’s current will be changed for good.

Still worthy

As mentioned above, Thor provides most of the laughs. His fatal error doomed the entire cosmos and no one was more devastated than Thor. He ends up finishing cartons of beer and has an unsightly ‘bill of rights’. Every time he shows off that gut, the crowd would titter. He refuses to converse and spends his time playing Fortnite. He doesn’t want to work out solutions; he becomes numb to the universe. After running away and repeatedly dodging his mission, he quickly changes his demeanour once his number was called during the moment of truth. We are as surprised as him when he finds out he is still worthy.

Final verdict

After three hours of must-watch drama, I expected an end credits scene. Half the theatre was still around so we decided to hung around some more. With a minute left, I guessed correctly that there wouldn’t be one. Maybe, after such a gripping final chapter, one last farewell was rather redundant.

I can’t remember entire sessions selling out, maybe with the exception of Part One. People wanted to see this movie right away, more than any other. There were viewings at 12:01am and still it didn’t matter. I would be surprised if this one doesn’t end up having the biggest opening weekend ever. There has been so much hype and smashing reviews for there to be any other outcome. Personally, I wasn’t disappointed, and neither was I blown away. The last saga reminded me of a prizefighter who morphed from a gung-ho brawler to a much steadier (and skilled) boxer. Witnessing the evolution was such a pleasure.

Rating: 4.5/5

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My Easter Five

coyote

Eight weeks have passed since my last inventory. During that time, bouts of illness slowed me down. Julian Assange was removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. The much-anticipated Mueller report was released, with many redacted pages. I reviewed Us and Hotel Mumbai, and I finished parts of five books. I tried reading more, from an account of the Australian outback to A Clockwork Orange. I found them both rather challenging and couldn’t get past the first two dozen pages. In chronological order, here is my Easter reading list:

 

  1. The Last Coyote (Connelly). The fourth book in the Bosch series is as stellar as any other. Coyote takes a more personal tack, as Bosch is suspended from the force and opens his heart out to the company shrink. Away from his day job, he then discovers that he has some unfinished business and takes it upon himself to find out the mystery behind his mother’s passing. He tries to confront the shadows from the past in his quest to find answers. He searches records, crashes a party, and even heads to Florida in a bid to uncover the wall of silence. In effect, he unmasks decades of corruption, cover-ups, and missing files. For Bosch fans out there, this is like the origin story. I know that Black Echo’s the first book, where we get introduced to the Detective and the tunnels underneath LA. In order to grasp the mind of Harry, his childhood, his drive to wear the uniform, this Genesis backstory is a godsend.

 

Rating: 4.5/5

 

  1. Small Great Things. I’ve already mentioned this book in a prior post. This was my first ever Jodi Picoult read. She writes more descriptively than Connelly and, as hitherto revealed, used lesser dialogue in this work. The story is a captivating tale of injustice, racism, and family. Published in 2016, Small Great was released in a time of heated racial tension. The novel is also very well-researched, a hallmark of Picoult’s work. I decided to give Jodi a go after consuming two thirds of Connelly’s Harry Bosch book series. Far from being disappointed, I asked myself why I didn’t do so sooner.

 

Rating: 4.3/5

 

  1. The Mamba Mentality (Kobe Bryant). Basically, a picture book, we are given a unique insight into one of basketball’s greatest minds. With five championships, a flurry of MVP’s, and countless other accolades, Bryant has established himself into a hoops demigod. After twenty ground-breaking seasons in the league, Kobe unpacks his vast knowledge of the game. He takes us behind the scenes on his greatest battles, his legendary fortitude, his most fearsome opponents, and the teammates, coaches, and critics who made him strive to be the best. While not as captivating as Bosch, the coffee table book is a welcome change.

 

Rating: 4.1/5

 

  1. The Black Ice (Connelly). Initially reticent to start on another Connelly, I made up my mind after reading twenty pages of A Clockwork Orange. The latter might as well have been written in Hieroglyphics; it sure wasn’t for me. Back to Bosch, and here we have an old book written over two decades ago, yet its relevance still persists. An LA cop is murdered; rumour has it that he crossed over to the dark side. Before being silenced, the detective was working on a new designer drug, which was the new craze. Harry tries to piece together the loose ends in the case, refusing to let command hinder him from his mission. He meets the widow and she intrigue him.

 

He decides to cross the border, knowing full well that the answers were there. There he gets more value for his dollars, even going bullfighting. He is warned to trust no one. He unravels a web of deceit involving Mexican police and American companies. A twist will surprise you right at the end, and in typical Connelly fashion, it’s a grand slam! It’s funny that Bosch has to go all the way to Mexico uncover the truth. Later on, Bosch would go to Vegas, Florida, Hong Kong, the Salton Sea, to name a few. The change in scenery adds new life to the chase.

 

Rating: 4.6/5

 

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  1. The Pact (Picoult). I’ve been hearing lots of good things regarding this book, so I decided to give it a try. The title alludes to the suicide pact between Chris and Emily, the two star-crossed lovers at the heart of the novel. From the beginning, we bear witness to Emily’s demise, which one local detective believes was at the hands of Chris Harte. The book alternates between an idealist past and an unbelievable present. The Pact reminds me a bit of Romeo and Juliet, with their fate sealed. The main difference between the two is that the Hartes and the Golds are the best of friends, which makes it unsurprising that Chris and Emily are soulmates. Meanwhile, the Montagues and the Capulets are mortal enemies.

 

I liked how the main character was named Chris, paving the way for my empathy. The way it was written, the flashbacks and flash-forwards, was quite entertaining. From their childhood to adolescence, school to home, this was as much about true love as it was about true neighbours. The nagging question was: how far would you go for true love? Would you be prepared to hide the truth, to dance with the truth, all just to prove your devotion to someone? While the love story was indeed captivating, the trial of Chris Harte for allegedly murdering his girlfriend was almost as riveting.

 

Rating: 4.4/5

 

I would’ve finished more texts had it not been for the hiccups. I look forward to sharing my post-Easter inventory further down the track.

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Anatomizing Assange

julian

In the past few days, it might’ve been mentioned on the news that one Julian Assange has been arrested in the UK. You may have seen pictures of a stubborn Assange being removed from the Ecuadorian embassy, despite his protests. At the same time, footage of him posing the V sign while being driven off is just as ubiquitous in the media. To be honest, I’ve shown limited interest in what Assange and his Wikileaks group has done over the past decade. I’ve never directly accessed his site and I currently don’t have any intentions of doing so. So why the sudden interest? For starters, Assange is from Australia. Second, I do not condone the UK police’s action in this case, as it is an affront to the free press.

 

The professor

I first encountered Wikileaks during one of my classes at uni. Our professor told us that the site has leaked highly classified documents on the US war on terror. Censorship permitting, she showed footage of American soldiers murdering defenceless Afghan women. We came to know Bradley Manning, the alleged conveyor of the x files. A year later, she told me that Manning has been arrested. She likewise stated that someone has released a manifesto. Ex-President Barrack Obama handed Manning a tough sentence, showing the world that they would not take this betrayal sitting down. On the very last day of his time in office, Obama absolved Manning of all his sins. Chelsea was free to leave.

 

 

The site

A few more years later, a classmate told us that he regularly checks out Assange’s testimonials on the site. At this time, Assange has been relegated to the Ecuadorian embassy in London. There were police stationed at the door, ready to pounce as Sweden had a case pending against him. Assange changed his look over the years, from a number three hairdo to a beard to his usual medium-length do. What couldn’t change was how he had to do all his work from the embassy, as venturing out would be problematic. The Ecuadorians put up with him, but instead of repaying their trust, he continued to leak confidential files. He was putting them in an unenviable situation, a zero-sum game. I was surprised that they were able to put up with him for many years. Alas, his luck ran out.

 

‘Citizenfour’

There would be no discussion of Assange without touching on Edward Snowden. They are both visionaries, some would even call them heroes. Wikileaks strives to expose what the governments want to seal forever. They have the right intentions in their essence, offering light when there is little. However, the means by which they go about this business is not right. For instance, why would they keep changing their domain name to avoid getting shut down? Why do they have to surreptitiously steal these files? They found the perfect catch in Edward Snowden, the erstwhile NSA employee who took from the gods and revealed the pretenses hiding beneath their cloaks. He introduced us to a world of deception and keeping tabs unlike any other. Snowden has chosen the right place to hide too. Tensions between Uncle Sam and Russia are shivering cold so it is the perfect hideout if you ever needed one. It’s also the biggest country on Earth, so even though half of it receives too much snow, it’s vast enough to offset that. Who could forget the airport fiasco, where Snowden was trapped for weeks, until Russia relented? Let’s also not forget that Snowden got himself an Oscar for his trouble.

 

 

No specials

Australia has maintained that it will not give Assange any special treatment. This did not raise any eyebrows, as politicians here have nothing to gain by helping him. Lending a hand would also not sit well with their allies. While being tried for a bail charge in the UK, Assange faces potential extradition to the Land of the Free. Being handed over to the Feds means that he would likely cop it like Manning: a long jail term. However, such a scenario could take a while to occur. His lawyers in the Union Jack could cause major delays, so prolonged that the White House might have new occupants after the fact.

 

Flickering light

Whether Assange is a hero, a traitor, or an ingrate, this does not excuse the actions of the UK police. They have been stationed outside the Embassy as though Assange committed a heinous felony. Even when the Swedish dropped their charges a few years ago, the British did not blink. This is like sports when defences do not make a play on the ball: it’s foul, it’s ludicrous, it ain’t right. Instead, we see Assange giving speeches in the balcony, posting testimonials online. He gets his ‘sunshine’ from the light on his lamp. When he looks down from his window, the uniforms are there. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? In this case, from the very start, Assange has been guilty until proven innocent. The day when the police finally nabbed him in London was a sad day for investigative journalism in general. While I didn’t wish that Assange had more time, I believe that a light had flickered and died. I hope that though oppression and mass surveillance may continue, so would the tide of opposition against it.

 

baikal

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