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“LET’S NOT PRETEND FOR A MOMENT I’M A NORMAL PERSON,” Julian Assange says in Risk, in what is either a rare moment of unvarnished honesty or an attempt to impress Lady Gaga. Few people would try to out-weird Gaga to her face, but as we learn in Laura Poitras’s latest documentary, Assange is one to try. It’s October 2012, and the publisher of WikiLeaks has already been hunkered down in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for months, making the “Born This Way” chanteuse a welcome celebrity visitor. He is fresh off the release of yet another classified document dump on his activist website; she is fresh off the release of a new perfume line at Harrods down the street. Their conversation, as captured by Poitras’s team, digs deep, very deep. “What’s your favorite food?” she asks him.

Assange opens his mouth, and a roving, almost nonsensical monologue comes out, followed by the comment that he’s not a “normal person,” which seems a hubristic thing to say to a woman who has lately accepted a music video award wearing a dress made out of raw beef, complete with a flank-steak handbag.

full: https://thebaffler.com/the-future-sucked/julian-assange-banality-of-access
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