Burning the Mass Media to the Ground

The Sydney Opera House’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas released its program today, and for many Melbournians, the festival’s most dangerous idea is that we would have to skip the AFL Grand Final to attend. The line-up features some impressive names pushing some controverisal wheelbarrows. Julian Assange, for example, will deliver the festival’s opening address on Friday, 30 September, arguing that WikiLeaks has not gone far enough. The following day, an Intelligence Squared debate will argue the proposition that the media has no morals. Things get really dangerous on the Sunday, when Jon Ronson will speak on how psychopaths make the world go ‘round (previously covered in the Dailies) and Slavoj Žižek, dubbed the 'Elvis of cultural theory’, will argue the case for communism. Here’s the full program.

Julian Assange recently made a (virtual) appearance as the keynote speaker at the Splendour in the Grass music festival in Queensland (keynote speeches are a recent trend at music festivals). He spoke about a generational change in perspective currently underway: “This generation is burning the mass media to the ground. We’re reclaiming our rights to world history. We are ripping open secret archives from Washington to Cairo. We’re reclaiming our rights to share ourselves and our times with each other - to be the agents and writers of our own history. We don’t know yet exactly where we are, but we can see where we’re going.” Here’s a report from Mess & Noise and here’s the YouTube footage.

For more on Assange and WikiLeaks, revisit these two Wheeler Centre videos/podcasts on WikiLeaks (here and here).

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