Arts + Music » Arts + Culture

The Warhol Gang

Peter Darbyshire (HarperCollins)

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This allegory opens with a worker for a “neuromarketing” company. He works under the codename Trotsky. The company measures his brain-wave response to big-brand products. Trotsky stumbles into an anti- consumerist underground led by a guy named Che. Trotsky renames himself Warhol. The resistance comes to believe he leads a fabled faction, the Warhol Gang. Briefly, Trotsky/Warhol becomes the revolutionary hero. Then it falls apart on him. The revolution becomes institutionalized, the new officialdom. If Darbyshire didn’t deliver his symbolism with such heavy-handedness, this could’ve worked; could've woken up more people to how cheaply and blindly (to the intellectual cost) more and more people are creating and communicating from behind symbolic layers, such as screen-names for online commenting.

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