Ok, I've been impressed with Edward Snowden just like the next guy.
But so I was with Mao, Ho Chi Minh, and most of the 'anti-imperialist' propaganda at that time. As a kid, I've been known for sporting a keffiyeh in school at times in support for the Palestinians' cause and for participating in pretty vile chants against the US team when the ice hockey world championship was held in my hometown. I even was a member of the 'Soviet-Austrian Society', whatever that was ;-) I didn't particularly like David Bowie (gasp!) and I still think that CBGB was one of the greater cultural gifts to society. I learned French to be able to read the 'Originals' only to totally unlearn it over time because nobody speaks it except the fucking Frogs themselves. I traveled the USSR of Brezhnev, stayed at the Chelsea Hotel in NYC and was drugged and mugged in a Dominican titty-bar.
I wouldn't want to miss any of it. Also, with that kind of experiences under the belt you'll never quite lose the spirit of it, no matter where life takes you later on. So I sort of cheered Snowden as well of course. While I don't regret anything, i.e. having all these sometimes quite radical opinions, I did learn to differentiate though. I'm not paranoid and conspiracy theories of any kind really are one of my pet peeves. But I've found that it's often worth to look for hidden agendas (if there are none, even better).
And especially with Snowden, I had an uneasy feeling almost from the beginning (not so with Assange, btw.) What finally did it for me was when it was always about the 'Obama administration' this, the 'Obama administration' that. Never the bureaucracy, or the military, or the system, or whatever. Also wtf happened to the 'Military Industrial Complex'? No, it was unfailingly 'Obama' and always perfectly timed for the news cycle, too. So, do I think that Snowden has a hidden agenda? Well, to be honest, I don't know and actually I don't give a fuck. But I do think he is not one of the good guys really. Only, try to discuss this in 140 characters now that the blogosphere is kind of dead :-)
So why do I bother you with this shit you're probably asking by now? Thing is, I had a couple of books that accompanied me on my travels and one of them was a compilation of poems and short stories by Charles Bukowsky. It had just been published in German at the time (I didn't speak English then, wasn't as cool as French). Fortunately, I couldn't personally relate to the abuse and the addiction and to his life in general but it was the first piece of literature that really found its way into my heart. I still feel it shaped me somehow and I will forever hold it precious even if I haven't read it for quite some time now.
And then I find Snowden and Bukowsky sort of raised to the same level basically in 'Requiem'. I don't criticize, nor do I want to challenge you or whatever. Just wanted to tell you that it made me think again of a very interesting time in my life of immersing in a strange unknown world and slowly learning to be tolerant and not (too) judgemental. And that it strangely hurt me, kind of desecrated Bukowsky if you know what I mean. That's all.
As always, thank you for listening,
PS, I found this a couple days ago (sorry, couldn't resist): http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116253/edward-snowden-glenn-greenwald-julian-assange-what-they-believe . Do I know who the writer is or if he has a hidden agenda? No again, and I don't care either. But it's an interesting read nevertheless I think.
PPS Also, eagerly awaiting 'Lust' :-)