I have about 20 pages to go before finishing Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. I cannot believe this book sold 40 million copies. Anything positive I had to say about it was burned away when the villain was revealed. I swear, it’s like Brown realized he was at the end of the book and had to pick a secondary character to be a villain, so he chose the one he thought would have the most shock value. And the explanation for how this person did the things s/he did … just pathetic.

And yet, I don’t blame Brown for the book becoming a phenomenon. He wrote what he wrote and, like all authors, hoped it would be a success. Sure, he made up stuff he presented as facts. He tried to convince us the Louvre still has bar soap in the restrooms and that you can read digits entered into a cell phone after the call is connected. His research is for crap, his writing often clunky, characters made of plywood and a suck-ass ending that makes Dean Koontz look like he knows how to end a book. But he’d never have to work again if he didn’t want to.

I blame the Christian right for that. Yep.

Back in about 1997 some shock-rocker named Marilyn Manson was slated to do a show in Oklahoma City. He’d sold about 200 tickets when the moral folks in these parts realized he was coming and tried to get the governor to cancel the show. (Surprisingly, Frank Keating didn’t do it.) Anyway, once the stink was made, tickets sold like crazy. Unfortunately, I was poor and didn’t get to go, but that’s another story.

I think the same thing happened with The Da Vinci Code. If people hadn’t made a stir about, it would have faded away quickly, the same way Brown’s earlier three books did. Instead, we’re left with this bit of tripe being one of the best-selling novels of all time.

We are one messed up society. I may have to reread The Exorcist just to cleanse myself of this book.

(And, by the by … would it really matter if Jesus and Mary Magdalen were married and had a baby? Would the admonition to do unto others as you would have them do unto you suddenly lose all validity if it came from the mouth of a married man?)

24 responses to “Arrrrrrrrrrgh!”

  1. I think the same thing happened with The Da Vinci Code. If people hadn’t made a stir about, it would have faded away quickly
    Actually, if I’m not mistaken, the book was a runaway success before the Catholic church got wind of it. If it hadn’t been so popular, they probably never would have heard of it.
    And, by the by … would it really matter if Jesus and Mary Magdalen were married and had a baby? Would the admonition to do unto others as you would have them do unto you suddenly lose all validity if it came from the mouth of a married man?
    Evidently so. I think the church doesn’t like the idea of Jesus putting his penis in a woman.

    1. Agree with that. They didn’t raise a stink over Holy Blood, Holy Grail, at least that I know of, and it was presented as an alternate idea, as history, not as fiction.

      1. Hmmm, I don’t remember either, but I would imagine they did.

  2. An article in the Houston Chronicle the other day claimed that, after 2000 years, the bloodline would be spread so far and wide that virtually everyone alive on the planet today would be connected to it. There’s no way to keep a bloodline limited to just a handful of survivors over that period. We’d all be related to Jesus. Also, of course, Judas, Pontius Pilate, Herod and anyone else who had children who had children who had…

    1. There’s no way to keep a bloodline limited to just a handful of survivors over that period.
      I suppose they could use inbreeding, just like with all royal families. Though even with cousins marrying cousins for 2000 years, the bloodline would dilute anyway. They would need brothers marrying sisters, but then the bloodline would be filled with so many birth defects, even possible sterility, that the line would most likely die out.

      1. And all it would take is one person to stray from the farm to start propogating a new branch of the family tree.

      2. Hold on a minute…hmm…a freak show of creepy mutant freaks, and it turns out to be Jesus and his inbred descendants – I got a bestseller comin’ on!

        1. I’m 1,000 words ahead of you! (Not really, but what a concept!)

        2. Didn’t Michael Moorcock write a story about a priest who goes back in time to meet Jesus and discovers he’s a mentally retarded hunchback who can only say his own name, and then the priest decides to take Jesus’ place on the cross so the religion could continue?

          1. That would be Mr. Moorcock’s BEHOLD THE MAN…but see, I’m thinkin’ Jesus as only Ed Lee could do him!

    2. Can you imagine the Jesus family reunions? That whole water-into-wine thing would come in really handy at the city park on the 4th of July.

      1. Not to mention the loaves and fishes thing.

    3. We’d all be related to Jesus.
      Hmm. That makes the idea of communion pretty interesting.

  3. Jesus
    To me I dont get the whole to do over Jesus and Mary and the potential kid thing. I mean, he was a man. Men want to have sex. He’s still the son of god. Does having sex make him not the son of god? Not in my eyes..then again, I’m not an uber-theologian or anything I guess.

    1. Re: Jesus
      I don’t get it either. People get married and have children every day. Walking on water, on the other hand…
      The point is, why should impossibilities be easy to believe and plausible things be unbelieveable? Oh boy, don’t get me started.

      1. Re: Jesus
        That’s a great point.
        I think X-Files tried to make that point, too: That if you feed the public a big enough lie, they’ll buy into it a lot easier than if you try to fib to them or — perish the thought — tell them the whole truth.
        Folks seem willing to rearrange the cosmos just so that they’re mythologies, theologies, and other ologies will not be disproved.

      2. Re: Jesus
        I liked the bit in the movie when Sophie tested out the water-walking theory.

    2. Re: Jesus
      I agree. Jesus was supposedly sinless, not catatonic. I would have tapped Mary Magdalene if I could. Who wouldn’t?

      1. Re: Jesus
        I guess the Apostle Paul would have passed on tapping her, if what I’ve read is true.

  4. I blame the Christian Right too, but also bad public taste (and they’re sorta the same thing).
    And let’s not forget, the Christian Right no longer consists of a minority of crackpots; they’re the mainstream majority, and they’re running the country. So when they wave their arms in the air and scream, a billion Faux News viewers are bound to say, “I don’t read anything but the Drudge Reort and Ann Coulter, but I gotta get THAT book!”
    Didn’t read it, haven’t seen it. The PREACHER comics dealt with similar subject matter, and I liked them–but they were well written/.

    1. But if the right was responsible for all the sales, that would have to mean the sheeple are ignoring many of their high priests who have called for boycotts of the book and film.
      Second time in two days someone’s referenced the PREACHER comics. I may have to take a look at those.

      1. Well, obviously, this is a Big Buzz book, and when the buzz hits it crosses a whole spectrum of segments. Whatever else oit is, the book is a true cultural phenomenon.
        I have no reluctance recommending PREACHER to you, Steve–very good material. But I think there are something like 13 volumes of reprints, so you might want to check the library first. I’d buy one, devour it, buy anoither, and so on. Couldn’t afford that now!

  5. I saw a talk show last month that had a representative from the Catholic Church. The guy said that the problem isn’t that Jesus might be married or have kids it’s that Catholics should be concerned about the book because it misrepresents their Church as a murderous institution and implies that the Christian faith itself is based on lies and coverups.
    He said that if Jesus was married that would be fine and it would be celebrated as well. It’s just that from his point of view it’s a concern because there is no actual evidence that he was but many readers think it might be true.

  6. Mortgage Jesus
    Yeah, if the big J had been married with a kid, he’d have been in there asking the moneychangers for an interest-only mortgage instead of kicking ass and chewing bubble gum. Don’t tell me otherwise. I am as entitled to my beliefs as any other.

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