Julian Assange Named to Best Dressed List, Time's 100 Most Influential People

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Julian Assange joins U.S. President Barack Obama, actor Colin Firth and designer Tom Ford on a list of the 20 best dressed men in the world from the French magazine Le Figaro Madame, as reported by CNN Mexico. Placement on the list is something of a coup for Assange, whose look was described derisively by New York Times executive editor Bill Keller in his tell-all account of working with WikiLeaks. Assange, when he first met with Times men in London, was "lanky, with pale skin, gray eyes and a shock of white hair that seizes your attention... alert but disheveled, like a bag lady walking in off the street, wearing a dingy, light-colored sport coat and cargo pants, dirty white shirt, beat-up sneakers and filthy white socks that collapsed around his ankles. He smelled as if he hadn't bathed in days." As he became a "cult figure" with "his hair dyed and styled" he began wearing "fashionably skinny suits and ties." Now the transformation has paid off in magazine love. Additionally, Assange is included in "The 2011 Time 100" as one of "the most influential people in the world."

The official WikiLeaks Twitter account was giddy to point out Assange's inclusion on the fashion list: "Assange, Obama win best dressed men, but NYT editor calls Assange 'smelly bag lady'. Journalism!" As of yet, they have not commented on Assange making the Time annual event.

Translated from the French magazine to Spanish to English, Le Figaro Madame describes Assange as the "man with angel face and white hair so sexy that shook American diplomacy... With the look of a former student at Oxford, found the formula to intrigue computerized girls in uniform neo-Victorian."

Of course, rewarding the man for his cunning can get a bit uncomfortable when one remembers the potential rape charges Assange faces in Sweden. Brushing over that is always awkward. It's a problem Time runs into as well as the author Germaine Greer sort of rushes past the allegations too:

Egregious to the last, he is convinced that his prosecution for rape in the Swedish courts was engineered by vengeful U.S. intelligence, unable to grasp the plain fact that his callous treatment made two women angry enough to seek redress.

Both of these distinct honors, and their handling of Assange's complications, bring us back to what makes him so fascinating and so hard to write about. He's quite the character, an endless spark plug for gossip -- and that dancing! -- but both his work and supposed dark side, especially his treatment of women, deserve much more careful, measured consideration. Giggle at him, reward him for his skinny suits, sure, but just try not to forget the rest. To be fair, it's easier said than done.

[jcoscarelli@villagevoice.com / @joecoscarelli]



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6 comments
GregLBean
GregLBean

"made two women angry enough to seek redress"

Most men I know and especially Aussies achieve this daily by their very existence.

What is little recognised is that most Aussie women, and especially Germaine Greer, have a huge chip on their shoulder because Australia is a man's country where women are largely treated as second class citizens.

While that may not be PC it is fact! You can shoot me, as the messenger, or accept this tidbit of insight.

As a Canadian immigrant to Australia I was shocked to come to this realisation. Women in Canada are not treated as second class citizens and do not have a chip on their shoulder.

The upside of this situation is that Aussie women are some of the most aggressive fighters for women's rights in the world. The list of Australian women's rights activists is extensive. Even Aussie female singers fit this mold; remember Helen Reddy, "I am Woman"..hear me roar, in numbers too big to ignore!

Australian women also won the right to vote 18 years before women in the United States as a result of this same 'chip-on-their-shoulder' determination.

In summary, Germaine Greer and Australian women in general are aggressively pro-women's rights and so while what they say is often extreme in their pursuit of equality it does have the effect of balancing the otherwise male dominated world. And good-on-them for that!

It's just too bad that Assange is the current target.

bl1y
bl1y

Who knew that simply not wearing a condom makes you the best dressed.

Thinkyhead
Thinkyhead

Burger King certainly remembers Helen Reddy...

I am man, hear me roarIn numbers too big to ignoreAnd I'm way too hungry to settle for chick food!

Cause my stomach's starting to growl,And I'm going on the prowl,For a Texas Double Whopper!

"Man that's good!"

Oh, yes, I'm a guy!I'll admit I've been fed quiche!Wave tofu bye-bye!Now it's for Whopper beef I reach.

I will eat this meat(Eat this meat)'Till my innie turns into an outie!

I am starved!I am incorrigible!And I need to scarf a burger beef bacon jalapeno good thing down!

(Yeah!)

I am hungry!(I am hungry)I am incorrigible!

I AM MAN!

Thinkyhead
Thinkyhead

But you're never fully dressed without a smile.

Sebastian Castilho
Sebastian Castilho

That was the funniest thing ive read all day (well apart from what i read a little earlier that someone got caught with child porn because he didnt know how to use a screw drvier), and apart from the funny shit going on in Portal 2 which i played earlier.

But yeh overall, that was a very funny comment.

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