Now, in yet another effort to throw yet another fig leaf over their corporate brand they have announced the following effort for Banned Books Week:
To Kill a Mockingbird. Of Mice and Men. The Great Gatsby. 1984. It’s hard to imagine a world without these extraordinary literary classics, but every year there are hundreds of attempts to remove great books from libraries and schools. In fact, according to the American Library Association, 42 of 100 books recognized by the Radcliffe Publishing Course as the best novels of the 20th century have been challenged or banned. Google Book Search is our effort to expand the universe of books you can discover, and this year we’re joining libraries and bookstores across the country to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Banned Books Week – a nationwide initiative to help people learn about and explore banned books. You can start by browsing these 42 classics – books we couldn’t be more pleased to highlight. — Google press release.
And the irony flowed like herring. Hey, can someone ban The Da Vinci Code? Cuz it’s terrible.
*I’m looking for a graphic for the Penguins. Anyone care to suggest or submit one? There’s a free T-shirt in it for you. (At right, our first submission from Mr. Impatient. Thanks, Mr. I!)
Collateral Damage's in-laws stopped by the Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland, something they've been doing for many years whenever they visit the UK. They report the town and the chapel have been overrun by Da Vinci Code tourists (they had to tell me it was in the book. Apparently it shows up after page 8, which was how far I'd read when I threw it against a wall). The townspeople have not been hesitant to make a pound or two off this phenom and the local pub serves things like "Da Vinci Code Chicken." Another local has posted a sign that reads "Da Vinci Code Horse Manure, 50P" over a regularly refreshed pile of the stuff. A shovel is provided but it appears you have to bring your own container.
(BTW, apologies for my abscence. It's been one of those weeks.)
To pretty much no one’s surprise, reviews for the “Code” are in and are tepid at best (OK, so this one is from the “Catholic News Service,” you don’t think they’d hold a grudge do you?). Imagine my surprise. That said there is some actual news relating to the book that makes Tom Clancy look like a good writer:
“Da Vinci” unites Indian Muslims and Christians In India, “Islamic clerics promised to help Christian groups launch protests if the authorities did not ban the screening of the controversial film.” Let’s try to show it in Iraq and see if that does any good. Can’t really make things worse. I for one am willing to join any protest over the quality of the writing in the book. And Tom Hank’s hair.
Reading “Da Vinci Code” does alter beliefs: survey “The Da Vinci Code has undermined faith in the Roman Catholic Church and badly damaged its credibility, a survey of British readers of Dan Brown’s bestseller showed on Tuesday.” Reading a book will change your beliefs? Somewhere Martin Luther is laughing his anti-Semitic butt off.
People are now twice as likely to believe Jesus Christ fathered children after reading the Dan Brown blockbuster and four times as likely to think the conservative Catholic group Opus Dei is a murderous sect.
Well, it has certainly altered my faith. My faith in the fact that I had a rough idea of how credulous people are.