Dan Brown wrote fiction. A lot of writers do. It should be taken as fiction, and not offensive. In several notable movies, books, and videogames, America has put some heat on Russia, as well as other countries. You don’t see the other countries complain. They do something about it, or at least be the “bigger man” and not retaliate towards a senseless notion. Think about that, Philippine Government.Complaining is a sign of immaturity, it shows that the person (who complains) is lazy, and simply wants things changed to suit his/her preferences. Doing something about what a person dislikes is more mature, simply because that person becomes the change he/she wants to see. I have learned that the hard way myself. Think about that, Mr. MMDA Chairman.
If the Philippines does not want an image of negativity to be portrayed, ever, then MMDA better start cleaning up the rest of the country, because I’m sure that a lot of other novels (several of them, I have in my collection of books) have mentioned the Philippines as a rather shabby place. Again, do not complain. Do something about it. Think about that, Filipino populace.
We can’t all be good guys forever; someone has to be the bad guy for the greater good. I hope Dan Brown is laughing at the Philippine people who are hurt over his novel. I hope he laughs heartily, because I know that I am a Filipino and I will be laughing heartily with him. For this, I write a limerick:
I write this so they’d understand,
I curse to not make this so bland,
You get what you give, and they gave him no rib.
So there’s nothing for them to demand.
A book is a true work of fiction,
But for people with quite little diction,
They’d rally and fuss, and sometimes they cuss,
Cause’ they feel that they’re being picked on.
The truth is that they are such assholes,
Who complain about being called assholes,
They’d rally and fuss, and sometimes they cuss,
‘Cause they do what’s expected of assholes.
I write this because I’m afraid,
For a country that’s been so depraved.
With leaders like shit, and a faith that sucks dick,
We’re the prostitute that never gets paid.
I know that my limerick sucks,
For many who do give a fuck.
Wait till you see, there’s nothing wrong with me.
Even you’ll be afraid to cluck.
A good man had written a rhyme,
It hurts your pride, even mine.
I come from a place, that even I can disgrace,
The proud country that’s dragging behind.
A good man had written a book,
The Filipino people it shook,
I hope that with me, he is smiling with glee.
For the offenses that everyone took.
* ALL COMMENTS ARE NOT MEANT TO INSULT, THEY ARE JUST COMMENTS.
I’d first listened to Gotye back in High-School when my friend found out about them through the internet. I was reluctant at first to try the new music, since I fell in love with rap music during my High-School days. Gotye is an indie multi-instrumentalist that makes electronic music. I’m not sure if the relevance of my info is correct, but there appears to be more than one person making the music, however the singer is one person alone. Wouter “Wally” De Backer, the main and if I’m not mistaken, only guy behind the composition of the songs, was born in Belgium, however, had moved to Australia during the early days of his childhood. An avid fan of Depeche Mode, one could easily see with the music he does, where much of his inspiration comes from.
The first song I’d listened to from Gotye, was the song “Heart’s a Mess”, the third track, and my personal favourite from his second album “Like Drawing Blood” (the first being “Boardface”). From the odd music video to the simple tune and beat of the song, “Heart’s a Mess” could easily be claimed as one of the most brilliant works of music ever produced. With the rest having a rather jolly or considerably trippy feel to the music; this one song had touched my heart more than most songs out there in my over three-thousand song collection. An example of the more “trippy” style of his electronic beat and instrument juggling would be his song “Learnalilgivinanlovin”; the sixth track on that same album. With a catchy beat, and a rather odd set of treble-high sounds, the song had gained a lot of popularity, especially through the movie “Going The Distance”, where it featured.
Going back to “Heart’s a Mess”, it had garnered my favour considerably with the amount of power in the simplistic lyrics that could be clearly understood by the first time one would listen to it. Thought provoking lines such as “Let me occupy your mind, as you do mine” attract me severely up to the point of inspiration. It would, however be negligible to buy an entire album for the sake of a single song, but in this case, it would make a very powerful exception. Unlike most regular artists of late, Gotye features lyrics that carry a sort of profound essence, whilst maintaining a relatively playful beat. Especially with the higher tones, the most emotion-provoking songs from Gotye have almost a jolly atmosphere with the ominous backdrop of a rather malevolent nature. All of these, encompassed, produce the distinctly loveable sound that defines Gotye.
With the release of his latest album “Making Mirrors”, Gotye comes back to life with the same style, except increasing the amount of songs relative to the theme of “Heart’s a Mess”. With the seemingly normal music video of his song “Somebody That I Used To Know” (from “Making Mirrors”) featuring the, also indie, artist Kimbra, Gotye dominates the style of music he produces. Again, the lyrics are well crafted, as well as the playful connotation with the beat, reviving the essence of “Heart’s a Mess”, the song “Somebody That I Used To Know” may very well be the aftermath of the aforementioned song. Listening to them in sequence, one could see the two as each a half of a constellation. The only thing left for the listener to do would be to connect the dots. The next on the list would be the song “Eyes Wide Open” from the same album as “Somebody That I Used To Know”. Changing his style a little bit, from the two songs mentioned above, “Eyes Wide Open” features a catchy tune, obviously electronically generated, and comparable lyrics to that of “Somebody That I Used To Know”. Not the best, however still one of my favourites, garnering the third place on my list from Gotye. Truth be told, the two songs (“Somebody That I Used To Know” and Heart’s a Mess”) mentioned in this article may have been the mother of two or three of my short stories and poems.
I expect more great music from this artist in the months and years to come, currently leaving me with a good 4.95 out of 5 stars (rather precisely). There’s no overuse of much dramatic effects, just plain good music to help one think, or, more appropriately, feel the emotions that, although are relative with regards to each person, we all go through. I would, however, recommend the purchase of the album “Making Mirrors” to support this great artist. If not, you can check the links below for the music videos of “Heart’s a Mess” and “Somebody That I Used To Know”. I’d give you a standing ovation any day, Gotye. I hope you continue the music.
(c) Anachronic Works 2011
Dan Brown starts off his novel like any regular book or movie. It starts off with the NSA (National Security Agency) of the US, of course, encountering a serious code problem. The code was called Digital Fortress and it couldn’t be decoded by the NSA’s code breaking machine. Eventually they had to call on their top analysts to help. Commander Strathmore, the head of the NSA’s code breaking unit, calls on Susan Fletcher, one of their to analysts, who was the fiancée of David Becker, a professor who also had a knack for breaking codes. Susan later found out the maker of the code, Ensei Tankado, who was a former NSA employee. His reason was simple; vengeance for mistreatment. Ensei threatens to release the code to his partner, code named “North Dakota”, who would then release the code worldwide if Ensei should die. The NSA sees this as a threat to national security and tries to neutralize it.
Ensei dies of a heart attack. Strathmore sends David Becker to recover a special ring that Ensei had when he died, and in it was the code to unlock Digital Fortress. David finds out the Ensei gave the ring away and soon goes off in search of it. His trail of people though, is one by one being murdered by a mysterious assassin called Hulohot. Telephone calls are found between North Dakota and Numataka, as David searches. The calls reveal that North Dakota hired Hulohot to kill Ensei in order to get the ring and release the code sooner.
At the NSA, Fletcher’s investigation leads her to believe that a fellow NSA employee named Greg Hale is North Dakota. After a while, her traces lead her to see that North Dakota really is Ensei one and the same. Seeing her mistake, she looks back (figuratively) and finds out that Strathmore killed Hale, and made it appear like a suicide. She also finds out that Strathmore was the real antagonist who hired Hulohot through his pager. On the other side, Becker ends up killing Hulohot in a violent battle.
The plot thickens as we see that Strathmore was the man with the plan. Strathmore hires Hulohot to kill Ensei. Then he has Becker go after the ring while he tries to regain his lost honour by attempting to get into a relationship with Fletcher. He would then break the code and look like a hero to everybody. We also find out that North Dakota is not Ensei, but is really Strathmore, who calls Numataka, to release a chip with Digital Fortress to the public giving it a backdoor Trojan to be able to spy on any computer in the world that has the chip. Strathmore fails at seducing Fletcher, but succeeds in unlocking the code. Though little did he know that Digital Fortress was actually a computer worm that would release all the NSA’s information onto the World Wide Web. Strathmore commits suicide by letting the machine explode in his presence. The NSA disables the worm. David returns to the US, and is reunited with Fletcher.
The sad, ironic twist in the end was that Numataka was actually Ensei’s father who abandoned Ensei as a child due to his deformed face.
I personally found the book a little boring. Comparing to the other works of Mr. Brown, like the Da Vinci Code, and Angels & Demons, this one, I found a little uninteresting. I’ve watched enough spy movies, and read enough books with the same type of storyline to say that this is one of the plain and simple ones. This book will go definitely to my top 15 or so, but it’s not the best. It was a semi-predictable storyline, which is good and bad, but it still is predictable. Like the happy ending, it’s just another predictable addition to the storyline.
To tell you why I found this book uninteresting would be that the basic plot and introduction of scenes are that of a movie. The plain in-your-face type of introduction. You have the characters and the problem. Another reason would be the slight irrationality of it all. Think about it, the NSA hiring civilians to do their work? Not likely. All the more since the work was just a one time job that they’d call you to do every now and then for big bundles of money. It seems fishy. If the NSA were to do that, that would already be jeopardizing the country’s national security. For whatever you know, the man who is cracking the codes in the NSA’s office just might be paid higher by terrorists to plant a virus or a bomb there. Another reason why I found it uninteresting is the mesh of code-breaking, and love is not really my thing.
So far though, if considered fiction, which it is, it would have a good plot. Unlike many of the fiction stories out there, this one makes sense. A few loopholes here and there, but still, a good story is a good story. It is able to stand alone. Many novels I have read, I cannot relate to because the comparison or the descriptions are of another generation other than mine. For example, an author would put there that “the blast was as loud as a KISS concert”. Those who haven’t seen a KISS concert, like me, would not be able to relate very well and therefore it would defeat the purpose. This novel, I can relate to, there’s not too much senseless, time -based description. I do like the way Dan Brown had created the code, quite a unique way; very tricky to decipher, but not too tricky as to not lose its credible sense. Dan Brown has an amazing gift when it comes to coding, and cryptic mysteries, but this book will not really suffice.
It was overall an okay book. A 7.5 out of 10. It had some good twists. It also had some odd ones which make it unique. The storyline was a bit thrown off, but it was basically good. A good mental war story. It was able to make this reader’s mind twist around.
“Wars teach us not to love our enemies, but to hate our allies.”
-W. L. George
* This was made as a school paper so I wasn’t able to sarcastically comment the way I should.
** This was made roughly 3 years ago. But please, enjoy.
(c) Anachronic Works 2011