Skip to main content
Now building my TET.Life Store.

Book Review: Identity Crisis by Ben Elton

Identity Crisis by Ben Elton.
I'm a fan of Ben Elton's work, particularly his ability to tell a story that taps into an aspect of the zeitgeist of the day. In Identity Crisis Ben weaves a story around social media outrage and its influence on shaping almost everything from the mainstream media and celebrity down to individual everyday people.

The book also explores the minefield of gender identity as modern inclusiveness clashes with traditional thinking.

In the story, Mick Matlock is an old school Scotland Yard detective, investigating a murder with no clues, when he inadvertently becomes the focus of social media outrage for victim blaming.

As his investigation continues the body count increases with each new victim seemingly a casualty of social media outrage. Mick begins to suspect much more is going on.

Initially I found this book a little difficult to stay hooked into. Whilst I use social media I'm not as hooked into it as people who live on their phones and computers seem to be.

While social media does influence much that happens in the real world, with trending hashtags and viral posts, I'm somewhat frustrated by the arrogance of social media's self importance. Especially given that the most vocal on social media are often the worst kind of people imaginable... and they're the ones shaping the conversation.

Identity Crisis is very much focussed on these people and their influence but it goes much further into how their outrage can be manipulated and leveraged to affected things with much higher stakes than just causing offence.

I honestly don't care much for people who get offended or outraged on the internet. Fortunately the books main character, Detective Matlock, doesn't either, which helped to keep me reading.

Once I got into the main part of the story, I definitely enjoyed how everything begins to unfold. Seeing behind the curtain of how social media manipulation could (and probably does) happen (maybe with a lower body count though).

My only gripe is that I felt the ending didn't really resolve itself in a satisfying payoff. It's not terrible but it's one of those endings where I (at least) thought 'Is that it?' The ending kind of cuts itself short in terms of the characters in the sense that, it took me quite a way into the story to really invest in them, and now it's done? Maybe I just wanted a little more time with these people.

Overall a great read. Especially, I would think, if you're neck deep in social media participation and haven't really thought about why certain topics, hashtags, and posts, suddenly start gaining traction, while anything you try to make viral struggles to even be seen by your own social media 'followers'.

Identity Crisis is available from Amazon.

* This post contains affiliate links.

Comments


Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET

Popular posts from this blog

Guest Post: MY SOOPER DOOPER NEW CONSERVATORY/ART STUDIO!

Today's guest post is by Artist, Writer, and Mental Health Advocate, Jo B Creative who writes for her blog, Creating My Oddessey.

You should see our (almost) brand new conservatory, half of which is my art studio. 'Lucky me!' I think to myself. Not every creative bod can boast that. It's HUGE! Like a giant greenhouse.

We first moved to our pleasant cul-de-sac house - great for raising kids - when our son, who's on the cusp of thirty-one, was four. One of the main reasons that we wanted it was that, apart from its location on the fringes of a historic market town in rural Hampshire, UK, it had a sizable conservatory looking onto the back garden. It was brown wood framed and had a corrugated transparent roof sloping down from downstairs ceiling height. On the face of it, it doesn't sound that glamourous, but we loved the idea of a conservatory. Luxury! I even liked the red brick walls which it was built against - the original exterior of the house - and the light …

Finding Time to Skate - Swap a Skateboard Session into Your Weekly Workout Routine

A common problem among skaters dealing with work/life commitments (typically older skaters with families, careers, or both) is finding the time to actually spend on a skateboard. In fact, life in general getting in the way of skateboarding, is what often leads so many to drop out of the sport, only to rediscover it later, once everything else starts to even out.

I'm certainly in that category. Never really giving skateboarding away altogether but only using a skateboard to get from A to B, when I didn't have a vehicle, for many years. In the last couple of years I've been trying to get back into the sport properly, i.e. building up my trick list and skating for fun and not just to get from A to B.

The problem is I have so many interests, projects, paid work, and more, that I would often leave skateboarding to the end of my day. Kind of as something to look forward to. Except I wouldn't be that motivated to really improve because my mind would be fried from everything …

Filming Myself Skateboarding - Finding a Balance and a Reliable Video Editor Phone App

I like filming myself skateboarding. The problem is I'm not interested enough in the filmmaking  process to film great shots or tell a compelling story each video to compensate for my lack of ability on a skateboard.

It's not that I'm bad at skateboarding, and I understand there is an audience of people who like to watch how other beginner (or aging relearner) skaters progress. I'm part of that audience.

As much as we love watching pro skaters video parts and competition runs, for many of us that level of skating isn't as relatable as watching someone going through the same struggle we're having with trying to land basic pop shove-its and kickflips.

I recently broke the drought of not making skateboard videos for the past six months by posting a new driveway skateboard session that I filmed, edited, and uploaded from my phone. You can watch it below.



This video would have had a bit more of a story had the bit in the middle, where I gave my initial thoughts on …

The Star Wars Saga: Episode II, Attack of the Clones *All Spoilers*

Continuing my series of posts, as one of my local TV stations shows every Star Wars movie in order, every Saturday, for the next six weeks leading up to the release of Star Wars, Episode VII, The Force Awakens, here is my response to and thoughts on Star Wars, Episode II, Attack of the Clones.

After The Phantom Menace I just wasn't interested in seeing Episode II in the cinema. I don't think I made any effort to see it or even had any anticipation for it's release.

Embarrassing Yourself with Doof Doof Music

Ever since Spinal Tap popularized the notion of turning an amp up to eleven audio systems have been rising to the challenge of louder, more awesome sound.

In particular, car audio systems have embraced the notion of the bigger the noise the better the sound must surely be. What I'd like to know is, if these sound systems are so good, why do they make all music sound the same... Doof, Doof, Doof?

You've all heard them. Pimped up cars, with audio systems seemingly worth more than gold, volume blasting way past eleven. Sound waves booming long before you make a positive visual on the car... Doof, Doof, Doof.

It has to be the audio system right? Surely all these people can't be playing the same tune? Doof, Doof, Doof.

Could it be that the more money spent on a car sound system the less musical range it will actually play? Maybe these people can't afford to buy music after purchasing the audio system so they all play the same demo track? Doof, doof, doof.

In my own car I have a…

The Star Wars Saga: Episode 1, The Phantom Menace *All Spoilers*

One of my local TV stations is showing every Star Wars movie in order, every Saturday, for the next six weeks leading up to the release of Star Wars, Episode VII, The Force Awakens in theaters this Christmas.

I plan to watch each film, at least two of which I've never managed to watch all the way through. Then I thought I'd blog about each movie here. Not so much a review but more my thoughts about the film, ranging from what I like, to what I see as a problem and maybe my thoughts on original trilogy re-releases and updates.

This post I'll start with Episode I, The Phantom Menace but first, a little history of my fandom.

Skateboard Trick Tips: Two Ways to Ollie North (Ollie One foot)

Ollie One Foots, otherwise known as the Ollie North, is one of those skateboard tricks you learn and then tend not to do very much as more interesting trick challenges grab your attention. However it does look really cool if you learn how to kick your front foot well past the nose of your skateboard.

I was inspired to make my video below, showing two different techniques to achieve a successful Ollie One Foot, when I not only saw that Braille Skateboarding's Tutorial used a different method to the one I had learned but also, when I looked at various other video tutorials, I discovered yet another technique, with no one using the method I had originally learned.

Braille's method is to simply Ollie and drag your front foot past the front of your board.

The second method I came across in several video tutorials is to Ollie, drag your front foot and tap your front toe downward, mid drag, causing the front of the board to drop away from your foot. I demonstrate this method in my v…