Addicted to novelty since 2001

My Project du Jour: iCryptex.com

I recently finished listening to The Da Vinci Code on audio. It’s really a pretty lousy book, and I’d have given up on if I wasn’t desperate for audio content.

The novel has two paces–top speed or turgid, and possibly the worst dialogue I’ve ever read. The book has some provocative though largely unsupportable ideas, and I can see why it sold so extraordinarily well. It was unfortunate that I’d, uh, liberated the audio book and listened to it–there’s no easy way to skim an MP3.

Yesterday I saw the movie. Director Ron Howard and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman have done an impressive job with the shoddy material. They’ve emphasized the intrigue while downplaying the art history lectures. It’s still pretty talky, but not nearly as bad as the book. The watchable cast makes a difference, as well. I think the critics are being undeservedly hard on the film.

There are plenty of amusing Da Vinci Code satires out there (the latest I saw was the trailer for The Norman Rockwell Code). I haven’t seen the one that immediately occurred to me, so I thought I’d throw something together.

I give you iCryptex.com.

It’s only the one page, and is intended to be a light-hearted take on the incredible loyalty that Apple products inspire. As a guy who runs a PR and marketing firm for technology
companies, I always admire the marketing force that are the Apple otaku.

I retrospect, I probably should have gone with www.AppleDei.com, but that occurred to me about two hours too late.

UPDATE: If you feel so inclined, maybe you should Digg this.

43 Responses to “My Project du Jour: iCryptex.com”

  1. Todd

    Cool parody page Darren – nicely done.

  2. Pikemann Urge

    Very cool. I like. Nice work. ;-)

    I had a different response to the novel than you. The depth of information contained in it was IMHO not enough! I guess you can’t please everyone. :-)

  3. Andres

    Dude: The book is great; it’s just that the audio version sucks! It really does. You should have READ it (like it’s intended to be – given it’s a book.)
    The narrator is extremely boring. Other than that, the novel is a great thriller, and thrillers are a great READ.

  4. Michael

    Agreed Andres. Darren: one should read books rather than listen to them.

  5. Plain Jane

    *tee hee*

    Very, very funny – and agree with Michael, read books (audios should be restricted to learning a foreign language). :D

  6. alexis

    Having just read the book, I agree with your opinions on it 100%.

  7. Elias

    What I found funny was that “Apple” was the actual word that unlocked the cryptex!

  8. James Bow

    Congratulations on getting good mentions on the Apple Blog and the Unofficial Apple Weblog. Good work!

  9. Cassie

    Darren,

    Very well done. I have posted it to my blog for all of my friends, family, etc. to see. You absolutely made my day!

    Jimmy Riddle – audio books aren’t just for “fags;” we dykes like them as well. FYI, just because one “listens” to an audiobook, does not mean they cannot read. Has it ever occurred to you that maybe, just maybe there aren’t enough hours in the day for everyone?

    I listen to audiobooks during my commute, and it’s quite relaxing. After looking at a computer screen all day, it’s nice to NOT have to “focus” your eyes on anything. Sometimes, I even read a long with the hard copy. I usually listen to audiobooks if I like the narrator; I like Paul Michael’s voice (narrated The Da Vinci Code), and his “character” voices.

    $0.02,

    Cassie

  10. Amber

    Well done! As an avid Apple Geek I always enjoy a good joke at my expense. Honestly. People who can’t laugh at themselves are the saddest people. Well, them and mimes.

    Anyway, great job.

  11. James

    Hello, I am the graphic designer for MacCompanion magazine and I ran across your Apple parody this morning while looking for DaVinci Code imagery to use on our cover for this coming issue.

    By chance do you happen to have a high resolution version of the iCryptex on hand? I would love to use it on our cover and would love to credit you and others involved and send some of our readers your way as a result.

    Please email me if you can be of any assisstance.

    Thank You!

  12. darren

    I replied to James there offline, in case anybody’s wondering.

  13. mcic

    Lol… awesome page. very well made!

  14. Falsoman

    Well, i love your parody. =) i did read the book and think it is fun but kinda lame, the movie is entertaining. By no means i think the da vinci code is a great book… something slightly similar but in my opinion better (also older and heavier) is The Foucault’s Pendulum or what ever translation it has in english. Is a book by Humberto Eco.

  15. Falsoman

    Sorry if i get a duplicated coment, i messed up my mail address… so here it goes again…

    Well, i love your parody. =) i did read the book and think it is fun but kinda lame, the movie is entertaining. By no means i think the da vinci code is a great book… something slightly similar but in my opinion better (also older and heavier) is The Foucault’s Pendulum or what ever translation it has in english. Is a book by Humberto Eco.

  16. Ashley

    I love the parody page. I did my undergrad thesis on Opus Dei and have been a devoted Mac User since birth. Nicely done!

  17. Oskar Syahbana

    I liked the book. My friend “read” the audio book and said the same thing you said, it’s boring. Maybe the audio book is boring.

    Great page anyway ;-)

  18. Matt

    The best part is the iPod ready cyllis. Listen while you bleed.

  19. James

    I loved the parody, very well thought-out and executed. ;-) And I totally agree with Darren on the book; it was a poor, clichéd, and stereotyped book… plus, all the ideas were stolen from “Holy Blood, Holy Grail!” in teh 1970s. But bah.

    I just thought I’d mention that “cyllis” is actually spelt “cilice”. (another reason why reading the book is better; you can’t spell strange words from audio. ^_^)

    Cheers,

    ~James

  20. darren

    James: Thanks for the tip–I fixed that spelling error.

  21. James

    Hey that James guy has stolen my gig. Is see no one has mentioned the similarity between the glass-cube entrance to the new Apple store in New York and glass pyramid of the Louvre.

  22. James

    Hey that James guy has stolen my gig. Is see no one has mentioned the similarity between the glass-cube entrance to the new Apple store in New York and glass pyramid of the Louvre. I think it’s clear we’re dealing with something more than skin-deep here, something going back hundreds of days, that could shake the core of the faithful everywhere and undermine the power of Apple’s design.

  23. Tim Baber

    Call me naiive but I claim the central theme of the Da Vinci Code is that organisations like individuals will sacrifice their ideals if they find themselves threatened. Apple anyone? It is all about power.
    (see http://web.mac.com/beachhutman/iWeb
    blog item on “the Da Vinci Code Secret” when it is working again ~ whhoooh.

  24. Albert

    Tienes muy poquita vergüenza tu, pero bueno hay genta para todo. lo mismo quieres un poquito de popularidad y carisma… si te pegas a los genios o lo mejor pillas algo pringao!!

  25. vanmojo

    Oh hell no! You can’t stop there!

    Buy the ticket, take the ride! You are morally obligated to go all the way with this parody!

    Please, for the sake of all us mac-cultists out there… we are ready to go down that road…

    mojo sends

  26. Ralph

    Audio book CAN be good or even great. I see two basic issues:
    1. The reader. Some time ago there was a public radio show called “Radio Reader”, as I recall. They choose good books and had a great reader. Does anyone know who that was? I listened a lot while driving. Sometimes I would up buying the book, for example “Miles from nowhere”, a book about a couple that bikes around the world. A great listen and a great read.

    On the other hand, bad reading sucks.

    2. The situation. If you have a long drive to work, audio books are great. If you need info now, audio books and podcasts are totally lame.

  27. Bozo

    For commuting audio books rule … if I try to read, I keep losing my place when people honk at me for drifting into their lane :-)

    If you want a new vein of audio material to tap try the works of Terry Pratchett at audible.com … a ton of high quality fantasy satire.

  28. geoff

    Death threats and desist noices requested?
    OK
    We will send the boys to work you over unless you keep on producing such fun pages! I admit I was clicking links for a minute or so before I spotted the disclaimer at the bottom. Well done!
    Book related “links” were well chosen. Fully agree with your brief analysis of the book, so sorry , I didn’t bother with the movie.
    But Terry Pratchett, Bozo? Diskworld is fun for the first four or five, but becomes hackneyed thereafter. Still, how many writers have succeeded with five funny books?

  29. Scott

    I’ve been a Mac user for about 11 years, and I love the parody page. That’s hilarious.

  30. Lalith

    hilarious.It must be your Academic sense of humour. Nice one.

  31. newlisper

    Brilliant. I had a go at parodying the text, but you’ve been much more of a renaissance man and parodied two things at once…

  32. Jon

    Nah, Pratchett’s best work is his most recent, and Tony Robinson is a great narrator.

  33. Tommy S.

    I agree man. The book sucks. The movie sucked as well. The only reason I bothered to finish it without going insane was the decent performance of Hanks.

    Had not the author simply tried to cash in on some stupid theories – or at least blow them out of proportion – by trying to show off fiction as fact, the book might’ve been an ok read. You know what, scratch that. The theories the way they’re presented are just ridiculous. Personally I love a good (fact based) conspiracy theory, but mindless babble is something we can do without.

    All-round a good site you’ve got here btw. I’ll be sure to read up on your stuff here…

  34. Chris

    I dislike Apple for two reasons.

    First, I’ve always felt they’re cultish. Your parody is dead-on in this regard. I doubt they’d still exist today if it hadn’t been for their brilliant strategy of offering large educational discounts, thus initiating children into the Cult of Apple at a young and impressionable age.

    Second, I used to date a woman who owned a Mac. One night I was at her house waiting for her to finish getting ready to go out. I’m a PC person, and at the time had never touched a Mac. Boredom and curiousity got the better of me and I asked if I could see what her Mac was like, to which she agreed. I started simple, by exploring the GUI and opening simple apps like the calculator. Then I tried opening the notepad… CRASH! A dialog box with a bomb on it appears. I call her into the room. She sees it and starts screaming hysterically, as if she was a mother and I had just slapped her retarded child. When she regained semi-coherence, she asked “what have you done?!?” To which I replied, “I just tried to open the notepad!” This started a prolonged and unwinnable argument, because according to her “everyone knows Macs never crash”, therefore I must be a liar who deliberately sabotaged her computer. The rest of the night was unpleasant, and I didn’t get any either. True story – Apple cockblocked me!

  35. Dizzle

    I am one of the Apple cultists some of you dislike. And I LOVED THAT PAGE. In fact, it will be a permanent link on my own cult site idrankthekoolaid.com

    Very cleverly done, made me laugh.

  36. Ryoga

    The history that Chris told above is awesome, very funny and yet it depicts apple users to near perfection, isn’t it funny that every time I come to an apple evangelized friend’s house their Mac freezes and they swear it only happens when I’m there?

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