~ There is only one journey: going inside yourself. ~
- Rainer Maria Rilke


Evils of Fast Food ~ Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A recent article (from my ever-growing pile) states that according to a recent poll in the U.K., people regard fast food chains like McD's as being amongst the most evil of corporations. Nike is apparently also up there--perceived as being more evil than weapons/defence and tobacco companies. Interesting, non?

Just goes to show the power of high profile condemnation (Nike is still suffering its image failure from the old stigma of child labour and sweatshops, though it has long since taken steps to rectify the issues and ensure fair standards at its mfg plants, according to non-partisan assessment groups, and of course, there's _Super Size Me_ for McD's bad PR).

~Non Sequitur warning~
And then there's the endless _DaVinci Code_ hype. In the wake of two verbal recommendations (one at a party, and one by my cousin in Australia), I actually picked up a copy and read it recently. It's neat--we got the illustrated version for the same price as the regular one at Costco (i.e. same price as the regular one elsewhere). I was glad to have it on hand, so I could look at the images, in search of the specific details mentioned in the story.

It reminded me of _The Eight_ but less complex, with a tighter timeline and no shifting into different time periods. I liked _The Eight_ better, but DVC was a fun and fast read. I had to laugh at the character's description (tweed jacket and turtleneck but of course very sexy in an intellectual way), when I glanced at the authorial pic to find Mr. Dan Brown (great name!! How'd he come up with that?!) clad in tweeds and a turtleneck. Irony or wish fulfillment? Or does one have to choose?

The good points: a kind of neat conspiracy theory, very tight pacing, a fun read and some interesting facts that seem to be corroborated elsewhere and which were then woven into a rollicking intrigue. It certainly moved better than something like _Foucault's Pendulum_, which alas did get pendulous at times.

The more egregious flaws: sometimes the twists were very guessable (but it's always a balance between planting too much and planting too little, so I can sympathise with that shortcoming); characters were somewhat thinner than the paper they were printed on (another trade-off, this time between characterization and pacing) and I found some of the background exposition rather clunkily inserted. Most jarring were some of the "hero wows students in his class with obscure tidbit" sequences. I suppose some might think it nominally better to stick it into flashback dialogue than to have the info as straight exposition, but I have to admit, I'm not one of those, in this case at least.

And maybe I'm just disproportionate, but that ratio or whatever that was supposed to be found in various contexts, including physical proportions of the human body didn't work for me (I was curious enough to try it out). O disproportionate Su...! Alas.

::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 7:55 PM::::


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Anduril Elessar
Susan Deefholts

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