Win a date with Julian Assange—sort of

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What's the occasion? Assange's official announcement that he is a candidate for senator in the next Australian elections.

It’s a dream date: Matching wits with the best in a Google Hangout, wrestling with the meaty political questions of the day alongside four other crowdsourced intellectuals chosen by engaged netizens; then being whisked by jet across the vast ocean to glamorous London Town on an all-expenses-paid trip. There, you’ll get some actual alone time with your international man of mystery, Julian Assange.

OK, perhaps we're stretching this a bit. Because the entire thing is sponsored by the very serious Deakin University, the ninth-largest university in Australia, on the occasion of Assange's official announcement that he is a candidate for senator in the next Australian elections. 

This is srs bsns

The campaign is a Twitter hashtag #AskAssange as well as an OurSay event. The online platform encourages participants to submit questions to a given public figure, in this case Assange, and to use their seven default votes to upvote those questions they think are worthwhile. Instead of attracting boatloads of bright-eyed students, fangirls, or WikiLeaks party faithful, the questions tend toward the fraught, the personal, and the downright nasty. 

The currently leading question, from Dor Batcyka: "Could you comment on the paradox of Russia, a country with atrocious and often violent attacks on free speech, granting Snowden temporary assylum [sic]? As well as the geopolitical game of musical chairs you helped orchestrate?" It currently has 524 votes and six comments, the first of which is Amit Chaundry's: "This touches on a very important issue, and the fact that assange remains relativdly silent on this signals one thing - ILLUMINATI."

Of course it does. 

Presuming either Chaundry or Batcyka would care to meet Assange, we can look forward to an entertainingly contentious Google Hangout and an even more fraught and Scorsese-like face-to-face encounter soon. It’ll have all the spontaneous joy of meeting your new mother-in-law without the consolation of having a spouse to complain with later. 

Voting continues until 10pm next Monday, Aug. 12. The Hangout takes place on Google+ on Friday, Aug. 16. 

The showdown? That's yet to be arranged. 

Photo via Goldie/Tumblr

julian assange
As security concerns mount, Julian Assange regains the spotlight
Julian Assange is everywhere and nowhere right now. The complex WikiLeaks founder has spent the last year living in asylum inside the Ecuadorian embassy, avoiding extradition to Sweden on sex charges and in fear of being sent on to American authorities.
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