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Previous comments (in reverse date order):
26 November 2004
John: There seems to be an unrelenting tide of negative publicity against the use of four wheel drive vehicles... The full text of Alexander's comments are available on a separate page.
October 7 2004
Dear John: Your image 'Inside the castle' of Thursday
September 30 is to me an astonishingly resonant echo of two Max Escher woodcuts
(Up and Down, and Relativity; especially the lower half of Up and Down):
You must have realised this, right?
John replies: No, not that I remember, and then again
maybe - shading through to yes. I have loved Escher's work since I bought
a book of his work in the late 1960s - and such powerful aesthetics inevitably
shape one's own.
20 August 2004
Sue Newell, Member of SustainAbility Core Team (May 2001-September 2003) until she left to travel around the world.
John: I found myself with some time on my hands last week so
I finally had a good look round your website. I enjoyed it because it felt
like being in your company. The voice and the words and themes were so familiar,
but I also admit to being more interested and curious in the personal bits
- seeing photos of yourself and Elaine, particularly on your wedding day and
reading her story, too.
14 June 2004
Sir Geoffrey Chandler
John: I see you as the wandering albatross dropping fertility-generating
guano wherever you land or hover. A dubiously accurate ornithological metaphor,
I admit, (given that) the thickest guano comes from more stationary birds.
But you will get my meaning.
06 June 2004
Julian Crawford, Sustainability Partner
Dear John: Stumbled on your web site doing some surfing - a
totally fabulous piece of indulgence! Congratulations. It is spritzy and fizzy
in the nicest possible way. An inspiration and a tonic. Well done.
19 May 2004
Soli Townsend, co-founder and Managing Director
Dear John: Congratulations on the new interactive feature! Have enjoyed the opportunity to rummage around in your brain (as this site feels like) but it was a rather one-way being John Malkovich experience till now.
Especially interested in your comments on The Day After Tomorrow. I have a theory that fiction influences us far more then fact and news. The loss in trust in corporations may have more to do with the recent trend for movie baddies to be businessmen rather the actual behaviour of corporates. If we can integrate sustainability messages into storytelling we may be onto a winner. This may be too much, but is The Day After Tomorrow the sustainability movements version of The Passion of the Christ?
John replies: Since Soli was one of those calling for an interactive feature, its great to have her kick it off. And having just downed a couple of Panadol, because of an incipient headache as I toil away on a report for the UN, I now know the problem: all those visitors tramping through my brain.
On the films front, my early experience with religions triggered a deep immune response, so The Passion of Christ which I havent seen and dont want to - leaves me deeply uneasy. Mel Gibson distorts history at the best of times, but when he does it in an area like this, God help us all. The Day After also distorts science, but then so do the paradigm shifts that periodically turn science inside out.
Recall the CFC and ozone depletion debate: we were told by the chemical industry that the sort of depletion mechanisms Rowland and Molina were proposing were scientifically impossible. Well, sadly, we found that they werent. And theres something about the supercell idea which features in The Day After which has me wondering.
Lynne (Elvins) adds: I like Soli's comment on the idea that business baddies in fiction are turning up the heat. But I was reminded that this is not new after reading The Grapes of Wrath (1939) and the wonderful descriptions of the 'bad' bankers coming to call in the debts. These fiction accounts are certainly something I think would be an interesting to use with students when talking about corporate responsibility.
John replies: Movies are usually symptomatic, not causative. The litany of corporate scandals, from Enron to Parmalat and now Shell, shows that fact can sometimes run well ahead of fiction. I havent seen or read the new film and book, The Corporation, but the thesis that corporations are psychotic (in a technical definition of the term) strikes a chord.