March 6, 2019
Article taken from Mashable.
The annual RSA cybersecurity conference is officially underway in San Francisco, and things have taken a turn for the weird.
In a packed convention hall in the city’s downtown Moscone Center, thousands of attendees gathered shortly after 8 a.m. on Tuesday for the opening keynote of an industry conference that draws security professionals from around the globe. And, because of course, Dame Helen Mirren was there to welcome them — and aggressively stroke their egos in the process.
“Many of you patrol a vast untamed wasteland on your own,” Dame Mirren cooed to what appeared to be a mostly male crowd. “You see the hope that you radiate has been felt worldwide by many souls you may never meet. Your sense of duty and goodness, like an eternal beacon, helps others find their way through the darkness.”
The crowd, perhaps never having had their eternal beacons so publicly complimented, ate it up. But wait, it got better.
“The collective brilliance of this conference has addressed major world problems, such as cyber fraud, espionage, theft, extortion, and election meddling on a grand scale,” she observed. “If you did not adapt and change, nations would drown. Our planet would be flooded by unreliable communication, and distorted by shifts in power.”
Toward the end of her rousing call to cyber greatness, Dame Mirren asked the crowd to take out their phones and find a photo that “means something special.” She then instructed the bleary-eyed, coffee-slurping security experts to show those seated near them said pic and to introduce themselves.
A surprising number did as instructed.
“See how deeply you see we are all connected,” Dame Mirren observed as the music swelled behind her. “Don’t be cynical,” she admonished.