Wednesday, April 6, 2011

E is for espionage - In libraries, by librarians and in pop culture.

I've always thought I'd make a pretty good spy or intelligence agent. I love searching and finding information, I love gadgets, not so fussed on guns, but I imagine the real work of the governmental intelligence community is far removed from the romanticized gun totting spies of popular culture. Most of it would be spent behind computers, writing reports or combing through screeds of information, making connections between people and information; similar to what librarians do actually.

However, I'm sure I'd get a huge wake-up call if I ever had to do real espionage.  I would have to believe I was doing the right thing if I ever did this type of thing, and I can imagine that could get pretty tricky, no mater how nationalistic you are. Keeping your moral compass true, and working for humanity, not just a political ideology or regime, would be important to keep sane.

Maybe I'd be better sticking to corporate espionage, which made a cool premise in the movie Duplicity.
Clive Owen and Julia Roberts, corporate spies.

Libraries have been used for intelligence gathering since there have been intelligence agents. Libraries are a treasure trove of information, which could be used against the community or even country they serve. There is a fascinating book called Librarian spies about Mary Jane and Philip Keeney who were apparently part of the Silvermaster spy ring in the 1940's. I'm yet to read the book, have you read it?

I'm not going to get into the rights and wrongs of the whole wiki-leaks saga on this entry, except to say if the information was so important to national security then the countries concerned should have been more careful.
I note how Wikipedia distance themselves with "WikiLeaks is not affiliated with Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Foundation." on the entry for wiki-leaks.

Some of the information leaked was pretty damning towards certain government polices.

But on a lighter note my favourite pop-culture spies have mostly been women, but I believe I can definitively say Sean Connery is James Bond.

Outside the Bond francise the best male spy has to be Matt Damon as Matthew Bourne.

My favourite female spies are either Jennifer Garner's Alias, or Peta Wilson's La Femme Nikita.

Do you have a favourite T.V or movie spy?

Bridget Fonda in a remake of the French La Femme Nikita

Damon as Bond, very exciting
Luc Besson's La Femme Nikita has at least 3 remakes

Sean Connery is James Bond.
This 90s series was excellent with the Australian Peta Wilson

Jennifer Garner as a CIA agent, one of favourite shows


  1. I think it would be fun to combine scavenger hunts and laser tag, making an interesting / pseudo realistic spy game. You have things you have to find, riddles you have to solve, and things you have to do all without getting tagged by the opposing team. Just imagine the amazing race with laser tag or paint ball. EPIC!

  2. Sounds cool, maybe with GPS units players could use a whole city to play, or maybe an augmented reality version, where players hold their phones over city landmarks to get clues etc. Have you heard of, great excuse for a hike!