08 December 2010

How to Take a Leak

At some point in your life, and indeed, in all our lives, there comes a need to pee. I've put together this helpful guide so when that time comes, there's no confusion. Let's begin by discussing the different ways to take a leak:

  1. Due to a crippling fear of the bacteria present in public restrooms, you could hold it in throughout the entire day, shifting uncomfortably in your seat, wincing dramatically at each pothole, until you're home, safe to whiz in your obsessively disinfected bathroom. There's a chance you'll die because your insistence on stringent hygiene practices has created the next superbug. But probably more likely is that one day your bladder will burst and you'll die of peritonitis. Bummer.
  2. In an idealistic, yet misguided attempt to assert your individual freedom, you piss whenever and wherever you please. Maybe like that crazy astronaut lady you get some adult diapers. Or maybe you go right in your pants. Either way, there will come a time when changing your diaper/pants becomes an inconvenience and disrupts your daily life. And on that day, sitting in your soaked garments, you'll realize all your friends have left you, because you're the person who fucking pees their own pants/diapers.
  3. Do the animal thing and mark your territory. In many ways, this is exactly like the second method discussed, except you're either arrested or get your skull caved in pretty soon after you pee on someone.
  4. Pee on some dude's carpet. (Only applicable if you are in a beloved Coen Brothers film).
  5. Use the toilet like a normal person.
Think for a minute: which option would you choose? Now imagine that instead of urination, I'm talking about the recent Wikileaks debacle/cyber war, because that is what I'm talking about. Think again which option you'd choose, because they all still apply (OK, not the fourth one).

Do governments need to be transparent? Of course. If they're not, it's like holding it in, even though you need to go real bad. Eventually, there's an accident, and you've got a leak. In this example, the leak is the person in the US State Department who gave Wikileaks all those diplomatic cables. Taken to the extreme, any government that successfully keeps an increasing number of secrets from its people while still ostensibly being a government by, for and of the people will explode internally, and then you've got a whole other mess on your hands.

Well, hopefully not literally on your hands, because that'd be pretty gross. Anyway, it's real real bad.

Of course, government, by nature, cannot function by relating the minutiae of its day-to-day affairs. A truly "open" government is, at best, a mere pipe dream; at worst, entirely non-functional in the global community. What nation wants to conduct affairs with the political equivalent of a tattle-tale? Nobody, that's who. And that's why an "open" government inevitably has a national security problem.

The problem in this situation is that Julian Assange wants the US government to be open in the way he thinks it ought to be. In an effort to force that to happen, he— well, technically Wikileaks. Assange is the founder and public face so he essentially is Wikileaks— have released all sorts of secret, classified documents. I hope to whatever god will get the job done some of them were on microfilm.

The point is, Wikileaks' release of US State Department cables is like Wikileaks attempting to mark its territory in the realm of international politics. It's them peeing on the leg of the US to assert their dominance. And that means Assange's threat of a "poison pill" is like him saying, "I just drank a liter of Mountain Dew and ate a pound of asparagus, and maybe I'll crap on you as well." The attack by Anonymous on Visa would be like a Wikileaks crony coming by to pee on you as well.

Attempting to force, or actually forcing a government to become transparent accomplishes two things: 1) As in scenario two, it turns that government into the guy with pee all over him who nobody will be friends with and 2) It makes that guy and anyone afraid they might get peed on super pissed off. The final result is a whole lot of fighting, zero "open" governments, and widespread anarchy. If you ask me, that's what Assange really wanted all along.

Because option four was a joke, let's bring this metaphor around to the last option: using a toilet like a normal person. Is it true that lots of people in governments are assholes? Yes. Does political corruption exist? Of course. Does this mean maybe some more transparency is needed? I think so.

On the other hand, is a totally "open" government" a realistic expectation? No. Do we want to know every little detail about what our government is doing? Probably not. After all, fucking Justin Bieber is still more popular (at least, Twitter-wise) than Julian Assange and Wikileaks.

What we need are governments strong enough to not be anxious about an away toilet situation. We need governments strong enough to be honest with the people who elect them. But we also need governments mature enough to avoid wetting their bed and smart enough to know when holding it in means you won't miss the good part of the movie. We need governments who are savvy and able to keep the secrets that need to be kept in order to keep safe not only their own people, but people across the world.

And that's how you take a leak.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Julian Assange is a naive, idealistic pisser? It would seem he takes the approach of loading an air tanker with urine and dumping it indiscriminately on a densely populated city, as opposed to simply taking a leak. His is the bladder to end all bladders, not an annoying piddle which keeps you from falling asleep. It's the kind of piss shower that's good for everyone, whether they know it or not. "Urine is good for the complexion. Stop your whining, urine is sterile. Animals drink their own urine."

Let's be glad that Julian Assange isn't an asshole. It could have been much worse.