I just watched the video of Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, with my boyfriend. He looks like any of our cute, smart young friends in the security industry; we know quite a few guys like him. But he’s also special, because he’s done something that appears to be very, very brave.
I don’t think he’s a plant, or a Chinese spy, or a sociopath who wants attention. I also don’t think the data he leaked is a big deal, because I’m a tad jaded and always figured Panopticon was the status quo. Plus, as David Simon very intelligently explains, wholesale recording is nothing new. It’s actual listening without court orders that’s the really bad news, in terms of the wheels coming off our whole freedom deal.
But I believe that Edward Snowden feels he saw wrongdoing that was poisonous and that he had to make public. I believe he is a badass geek with a fine brain and serious principles. The video is absolutely tight, an incredibly well-stated message from a thoroughly articulate thinker who appears to have stepped up and given away the life he had for his principles. It takes Fox-level signal corruption to in any way construe that this guy wanted to give aid and comfort to anybody, let alone enemies of the nation.
I saw this article from The Atlantic and it happened to have to a sidebar with the header, “Millennials vs. Earlier Generations”. I didn’t watch the video, even though it appears to a straightforward economic projection, because I’m already plenty sick of hearing subtext about how Millennials are lazy and entitled. As a Generation X’er, I’ve dated Millennials for the last fifteen years, because I think they’re amazing. Millennials are the NOS turbocharger for the 21st Century, and Edward Snowden just flipped the switch.