Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

the da vinci wankfest...

Seems every blogger has to do a dummy spit about The Da Vinci Code. It's de riguer apparently. Therefore I now have to get into Da Vinci Code mode myself...

Let me start with the obligatory statement "I've never read so much crap in all my life."

But I'm not talking about the book....

I'm talking about the armchair critics of the book...

So many pseudo-intellectual book club types it makes my head spin. Every sophisticated* blogger in town seems duty-bound to dump on the book. And how they go on and on and on and on about the evils of the book...

You've heard a fair chunk of that sort of tripe at the last five dinner parties you were so desperate to get away from so I won't bore you with it, but there was one classic bit of intellectual snobbery which I just have to share with you here. Not sure where I read it, might have over at Lavatory Rodeo, the main roost for that type of narcissistic nitwit. (Bugger, I just Googled "Lavatory Rodeo", and found that the reigning idiot residing at the opposite end of the cesspit spectrum, Tim Blair, has beaten me to it. Bugger...)

But back to the classic bit of intellectual snobbery: It's the proposition that it's books like The Da Vinci Code which, by being on bookshop shelves in large numbers, are denying valuable shelf space to more "deserving" books...

These snobs have utterly lost touch with reality. They have become deluded by their own spin and they are spinning like tops. They are in La La Land. They completely fail to understand that if bookshops stocked only works by literary and intellectual giants (much like themselves, of course - see the narcissism here?) there'd probably only be three bookshops in the whole of Australia. The rest would have shut up shop due to insolvency.

Idiots...

It's the potboilers which keep neary all bookshops alive and viable, thereby allowing them to also present tidbits and savoury morsels for the enjoyment of snobs, pretenders, poseurs, and sophisticates - at premium prices (just as it should be).

*A little education might be appropriate here about the word "sophisticated"... As an adjective describing people, it means to have been corrupted, misled, fed full of sophistry, made artificial. To put it bluntly, it means to be full of bullshit. So now you know what people are really saying about you when they tell you you are "so sophisticated." You also know what sort of an imbicile you are dealing with, when you realise someone is busting their gut to become more sophisticated.

Back to Da Vinci Dreaming... So here we've got a bunch of literary sophisticates arguing about how many words can dance on the head of a pin (and which words they should be), but wait... The Hills are alive with the sound of another kind of music as well...

The von Crap family of religious nutters are in full song as well, denouncing the book as the work of the devil. Do you get this? The purveyors of the best selling work of fiction ever written are having a go at a book which might well become the penultimate best selling work of fiction ever written. And that's not so bad if we look at it from the point of view that this might be mere penis envy between purveyors of fiction, but what gets my goolies is that the bible bashers are frothing at the mouth, warning that The Da Vinci Code is a mere work of fiction standing on a few historical facts, whilst failing to issue the same warning about the Bible. Talk about seeing the speck in their brothers' eyes whilst failing utterly to consider the beam that is in their own eyes...

So many idiots, so few bullets...

5 Comments:

Blogger Mike B) said...

I haven't read the book nor do I plan to see the movie. I did see Scorsese's "Last Temptation of Christ". I enjoyed it, but I didn't take it as serious history.

I just finished COLLAPSE by Jaren Diamond. Pity more people don't pay attention to that work than to Dan Brown's fiction.

May 30, 2006 4:34 PM  
Blogger JahTeh said...

I read this and Angels and Demons which is next on the film list. They weren't all that bad and it sent me looking through my art books for the images so it wasn't an entire waste of time.

It's like the crap about Harry Potter, the kids loved the books and went on to read other authors so if one adult reads the DVC and then goes on to read more, good.

Shane Warne says he's never read a book, we should send him a copy....in a plain brown wrapper.

May 30, 2006 7:52 PM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

Ah, vintage Gerry.

I think you have correctly grasped how many pins need to be stuck into balloon headed arguments.

My personal take on the enormous animus that seems to have broken out like wild fires in a dry world is that playing with other people's myths, as Brown does in his book, will be taken as heresy rather than fiction. The hair will go up on the backs of all those with some personal stake in the myths and the distinction between fiction and fact, already in poor repair among such persons, will break down further as they begin yapping and biting at anything that comes near their "truth". The notion I have in mind by the phrase "personal stake" is not something that is universally or intrinsically a part of holding religous beliefs. I suspect their is a distinction one can make between a religious upbringing that is years of exposure to "this is what we believe and this is how we use it to understand how to act in the world" as opposed to "all these stories are literally true and you had better BELIEVE every word". The latter would either make you crazy or desperate not to read too closely since interpretation is out of your hands. The latter is the miserable stake that one can have in the myths even though they may have little exercise in tolerance or compassion that were supposed to be the world-saving end products of the religion.

The Star Wars movies, positted "the force" and made it part of the core of the story. No mention of god or christ or anything...and what did church leaders say then? Liberal spritual leaders embraced the movie as confirming the value of faith and powers outside of one's self while a few boneheaded fundies went off about its "atheism". It made nowhere near the stink that has arisen for The DaVinci Code. I mention Star Wars because I think it illustrates the same point...many religious people don't recognize metaphorical levels of argument but if you couch the story in terms of their particular myths [which to the rest of us, are just metaphors anyway] and they suddenly recognize hostility.
How did the atheists handle "the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe"? Its symbols were fantasy but its allegorical content were widely recognized. Were conventions and news conferences called to denounce it?

May 30, 2006 9:50 PM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

And yes, I think the publishers are delighted to take advantage of the "controversy" ...it will sell books and
only healthy book stores can stock the books that live in the shadow and margins of the market.

As a person who single handedly keeps Barnes and Nobels cash flow plump in their technical books section, I still suspect that "breadth" is an appealing aspect of a bookstore...It takes the expectation that I might find anything and maybe something new and unheard of just to get me to come through the front door...but when I leave, it is usually with a bag full of best sellers.

May 30, 2006 9:58 PM  
Blogger GreenSmile said...

Hmmm, that is best selling technical titles...y'all probably don't buy a lot of books on Java and Perl.

May 30, 2006 10:00 PM  

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