"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

"Da Vinci Code" Controversy Ends

There is such a thing as authority. And there is consequently such a thing as the authoritative settling of some contentious matter.

If, for example, some people think that owning other people is really not such a good idea, while others believe chattel slavery to be simply one more life-style choice, then you've got the seeds of a pretty good controversy. You can argue back and forth forever without a satisfactory, let alone conclusive, end to the debate. And so it helps to have the Union Army on hand. That is, while a great many details may have been left behind to work out, the Union Army pretty much settled – authoritatively – the question of slavery in the United States.

In matters of the arts (literary, cinematic, performing), The New Yorker magazine is the closest thing we have to the Union Army. And so it is with great pleasure that we observed that any controversy surrounding "The Da Vinci Code" (book and movie) has been authoritatively settled.

From “Heaven Can Wait,” which appears in the May 29 issue (and is available online):
The story of “The Da Vinci Code” goes like this. A dead Frenchman is found laid out on the floor of the Louvre. His final act was to carve a number of bloody markings into his own flesh, indicating, to the expert eye, that he was preparing to roll in fresh herbs and sear himself in olive oil for three minutes on each side. This, however, is not the conclusion reached by Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), a professor of symbology at Harvard, who happens to be in Paris. Questioned by Bezu Fache (Jean Reno), the investigating policeman at the scene, Langdon starts rabbiting about pentacles and pagans and God knows what. But what does God know, exactly? And can He keep His mouth shut?


There has been much debate over Dan Brown’s novel ever since it was published, in 2003, but no question has been more contentious than this: if a person of sound mind begins reading the book at ten o’clock in the morning, at what time will he or she come to the realization that it is unmitigated junk? The answer, in my case, was 10:00.03, shortly after I read the opening sentence . . . .


The film is directed by Ron Howard and written by Akiva Goldsman, the master wordsmith who brought us “Batman & Robin.” I assumed that such an achievement would result in Goldsman’s being legally banned from any of the verbal professions, but, no, here he is yet again. As far as I am qualified to judge, the film remains unswervingly loyal to the book, displaying an obedience that Silas could not hope to match. I welcome this fidelity, because it allows us to propose a syllogism. The movie is baloney; the movie is an accurate representation of the book; therefore, the book is also baloney, although it takes even longer to consume.


Behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, except at Columbia Pictures, where the power lunches won’t even be half-started. The Catholic Church has nothing to fear from this film. It is not just tripe. It is self-evident, spirit-lowering tripe that could not conceivably cause a single member of the flock to turn aside from the faith.
And there’s much, MUCH more. Read every word.

Comments on ""Da Vinci Code" Controversy Ends"


Blogger Yeoman said ... (1:53 PM) : 

Nice link, thanks.


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