What a jolly romp Inception is, eh, film fans? A bit like reading a copy of Monocle after watching The Matrix and falling asleep on a train.
I enjoyed it in lots of ways (apart from its handling of the female characters, which was standard action-movie sexist tosh, and let's not even bother trying to apply the Bechdel test), but the most enjoyable aspect for me was its unintentionally hilarious depiction of the sort of thing that goes on in the world of business.
Now I've worked in 'business' for most of my adult life, so I reckon I'm fairly au fait with its daily rhythms and preoccupations. And this may surprise you, but my experience doesn't exactly tally with the depiction presented to me last night by Messrs C. Nolan & co.
If business was *really* like Inception, it would go something like this:
INT. MEETING ROOM - DAY
MARKETING DIRECTOR (terribly serious expression, portentous tone of voice) Jake, I need to know what Mega Corp. are planning for next week's product launch.
JAKE: Oh, my mate works for Mega Corp, I'll ask her, shall I?
MARKETING DIRECTOR (even more serious): No. Your friend could have been compromised. Or... worse.
JAKE: I could ring Bill McBill at PC Answers, he'll have had a press invitation.
MARKETING DIRECTOR: No. McBill can't be trusted. He's been to too many Mega Corp events. Brain got fried at that last wireless mouse launch. Can't even recognise his own children now.
JAKE: Er, I could ask on Twitter?
MARKETING DIRECTOR No. (Shouting) No! That's a trap, too easy. Jake... Jake... I need you to assemble a team. The finest people you can find. Hire them if you have to. From exotic foreign countries, if you have to. This is mission-critical.
JAKE: Right, OK, and, er, what would you like them to do?
MARKETING DIRECTOR: I need you to get inside the mind of Mega Corp. Find out what they're planning. Breakfast at the Lanesborough? Balloon flight over Hertfordshire? Go-kart racing in Nuneaton? We just don't know, dammit.
JAKE: You want me to assemble a team of mind-readers?
MARKETING DIRECTOR: More than that. I need you to lay a trap. Find a way to draw them in, reveal their H1 marketing plan. Get someone who can design an MMORPG, the best there's ever been. And a hypnotist. And an acrobat. And someone who can synthesise a new strain of MDMA that's stronger than LSD but subtler than Summer Meadow Fairy Liquid. And someone who can drive a van. And some really big weapons.
JAKE: (scribbling in notebook) What sort of weapons?
MARKETING DIRECTOR: Doesn't matter, as long as they're really big.
JAKE: And you'd like this done by when? Only I've got that contact report to write up by lunchtime.
MARKETING DIRECTOR: We only have two days. Here's a new suit, a first-class ticket to Bulawayo and passports in twenty different names. Good luck.
JAKE: Are you sure you wouldn't just like me to look on Facebook?
MARKETING DIRECTOR: (Portentous) Good luck, Jake.
UPDATE: Emordino draws my attention to this Inception spoof in the New Yorker, along the same lines but about a billion times better. The end bit is the best.
adventures in retail
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