Did anyone ever watch the sentimental, autobiographical Truman Capote short called “A Christmas Memory”? In it, an orphaned boy lives with a group of elderly relatives, one of whom is his best friend, an eccentric, childlike old woman known as “Sook.” They gallivant through the hills and dales together, buying whiskey and making fruitcase and chopping down their very own Christmas tree. That kind of sums up how Julian Assange’s Christmas, told in exclusive photos by Newsweek, makes us feel. Either that or like we’ve stumbled upon the WikiLeaks British Christmas Barbie.
The photos are too good not to look at. See Assange relaxing after hard day’s work; peering from chaffs of wheat with a thoughtful expression punctuated by a rakish cap; cozily reading his Christmas cards in the kitchen of the country manse (owned by friend Vaughn Smith) in which he is being held on house arrest as he fights extradition to Sweden; donning a Santa suit and a poet-turtleneck; and making small talk with his elderly companions around the Christmas dinner table. He also tosses firewood to earn his keep, collects eggs from the farm’s chickens, checks his online dating profile works on his memoir, and leaps a fence, folksily.
PR stunt? Page view win for Newsweek? Whatever, we are enthralled. Slideshow here.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 30, 2010