The DeVinci Code is a bit of a storm in a teacup and yet says something about our time. Basically its your Dad’s Robert Ludlum (rather than Tom Clancy – not enough tech or family values) book with a theological bombshell rather than a nuclear one and still gets the girl at the end. It has become the world’s best selling hardback novel. Dan Brown, doesn’t write well, but does know how to pull the casual reader in and keep his yarn running along.
Much has been said elsewhere about the way that it draws on the Gnostic gospels, so I wont go into that here – I am not qualified to comment with any kind of authority on the accuracy or theological merit of the book.
What I found most interesting is the sub text which mirrors the war on terror, the white middle class end-boomer hero battles unknown religious forces ‘determined’ to keep its own believers enslaved in a deluded faith. I was struck how much of George Bush like view this is of Islam and the current war on terror. This might explain some of the books popularityJust in the same way that 1950s sci-fi films were a mirror held up to the audience of their own Cold War induced paranoia.
I am sure that Gnostic-based self help books will pepper the holiday reading charts this summer.
Coca-Cola have had a rough couple of weeks with their entry into the UK bottled water market. A few weeks ago the UK tabloid press ‘exposed’ Dasani as tap water from Sidcup, then the water mains burst in the town, now they have bromate contamination. Of course this did not stop me pouring petrol on the fire by bending over backwards to help a CNBC Europe researcher who phoned up looking for expert comment on how this may affect the Coca-Cola and Dasani brands, I managed to place Mark North, creative director of Henrion Ludlow Schmidt’s London office on the European Closing Bell programme as an expert commentator.
What really astonished me was that in less two hours after the story broke in the late editions of London’s Evening Standard it had appeared on 89 different news sites listed by Google News including the San Jose Mercury and Straits Times. There is no longer such a thing as a local brand….
Drum and bass pioneers Good Looking Records, owned by LTJ Bukem have a new website up and running. Apart from it being hard to get round it is interesting that they are providing their own music downloads for sale (1GBP a go). My personal recommendation is to get the vinyl re-press of Music by LTJ Bukem – an oldie by goodie and their fantastic new deep house sub-label Deep Rooted. You can find the site here.
Ok, hopefully by now you are getting use to my cack handed page formatting on this blog. On of my favourite columnists PBS.orgs Bob Cringely has written a very readable article about how EDS has messed up yet another government contract (US Navy and Marine Corp, not the kind of people I would like to mess with) which can be read here.
My inbox last night and today indicated the demise of two community sites Pollen and BuddyNetwork. BuddyNetwork was a virtual business community, for some reason I could never get the site to work on my browser. The site was a peer of the likes of ecademy, but a bit more funky.
Pollen was a community of taste-makers run by the people who run Sense Network. Members have been blended in to Sense. Pollen has been retired but may be back (like a rock star with a huge tax bill).
Just a quick note since I am dog tired. Apple this evening released 10.3.3 update for OS X. This provides security enhancements and makes the thing run sweeter in general. You need broadband or an understanding dial up ISP as the file is a whopping 58.8MB.
AlwaysOn Network have moved my contribution ‘Are we too complex for our own good’ on to a more prominent part of their front page under the opinion and debate section. You can go direct to the article by pasting this link into your browser here