Friday, May 12, 2006

London Day One

Utterrly tired from my flight. No sleep. I stumble around my sister Leslie's flat, talking on the phone and trying to drum up some free theater tickets or at least good seats. On the flight over I finish The Da Vinci Code. (** 1/2 out of 4). I can't tell you the really absurd part of the book without spoling the finale. But trily the controversy is silly. The spoiler is at the bottom and clearly marked so skip it if you want to see the movie first.

I'm getting really sleepy around 2:30 p.m. so I decide to wander around a bit. I'll get a drink, maybe step into Hatchard's (a wonderful book store) for a minute and then walk to Wyndham's Theater where the revivial of Sondheim's Sunday in the Park With George begins previews tomorrow. Their phone has been busy all day and I really do need tickets to that one.

I only get as far as Hatchard's. Bookstores are like black holes to me, or more accurately time machines, my own personal TARDIS. I step in, browse around for a minute, pick up a few books so I don't run out of reading while I'm in Cannes (the local English bookshop charges exorbitant prices) and as I'm at the counter paying I casually ask the man what time it is and he says 7 p.m. Good Lord. I rush home and Leslie has been there for an hour or so waiting. More games.

SPOILER FOR THE DA VINCI CODE

Don'r read on if you don't want to know the entire plot. In "Angels & Demons," there was a renegade priest, by Dan Brown went out of his way to depict most of the cardinals as peacful, loving men who wouldn't resort to assassination (four top cardinals were burtally murdered by the Illuminati -- we thought) for any reason. And it turned out that the Pope (who himself was murdered before the book began) was very liberal and loved science, which is what drove the renegade priest mad. In short, murdered Pope and most cardinals good; one wacko bad.

Now in "The Da Vinci Code" we are squaring off against Opus Dei. Laughably, the real villain isn't Opus Dei or even the Vatican: it's only a renegade Opus Dei bishop and his albino ward who themselves are suckered in by an atheistic baddie who wants to destroy the Church. Again, Brown goes out of his way to show most of the faithful as genuinely religious, he depicts the new Pope as very liberal and he even takes the time to present a reasonable broad brushstroke depiction of the complaints and thoughts of the real Opus Dei. Mind you, Opus Dei doesn't come off well -- the book indulges the liberal fantasy that the new Pope would send them and their billions of dollars packing. (I could only wish.) The book overall is less ludicrous than "Angels & Demons" but only just. Still numerous silly, clunky bits of dialogue. But it would be churlish of me to pretend I wasn't page-turning there for a bit.

1 comment:

Seven Star Hand said...

Hello Michael,

It is quite a joke that the Vatican and Catholic Church have the gall to accuse the author of a novel of attacking their fantasies and dogma. Remember that this is the same organization that manufactured fake relics and miracles for many centuries. This is the same group that massacred and tortured people for seeking the truth and having a mind of their own. This is the same group of deluded deceivers that makes more noise about a fictional book and movie than about child raping priests, aids, famine, or even the Holocaust! At what point does the Vatican's behavior go from the absurd to simply purely evil?

It is undeniable the New Testament is framed by symbolism and allegory. The same is evidenced in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Gnostic texts, biblical apocrypha, and other related texts. All ancient religious, mystical, and wisdom texts have been shrouded in mystery for millennia for one primary reason: The ability to understand their widely evidenced symbology was lost in antiquity. How do we finally solve these ages-old mysteries? To recast an often-used political adage: It’s [the] symbology, stupid!

It's amazing the Vatican still tries to insist the Gospels are literal truth. It is beyond obvious they are replete with ancient Hebrew symbology. Every miracle purported for Jesus has multiple direct symbolic parallels in the Old Testament, Apocalypse, Dead Sea Scrolls, and other symbolic narratives and traditions.

Likewise, the following Washington Post article ( The Book of Bart) describes how many changes and embellishments were made to these texts over the centuries, unequivocally demonstrating they are not original, infallible, or truthful.

What then is the purpose of "faith" but to keep good people from seeking to understand truth and wisdom? It's no wonder the Vatican fears the truth more than anything else. Now comes justice, hot on its heels... (symbolism...)

Revelations from the Apocalypse

Here is Wisdom!!