Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A COWLED ALBINO MONK WHOSE HOBBIES INCLUDE SELF-FLAGELLATION, MULTIPLE HOMICIDE, AND IRREGULAR LATIN VERBS: No, the New Yorker's Anthony Lane did not like The Da Vinci Code, and I think you'll like his not-liking-it:
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: “Renowned curator Jacques Saunière staggered through the vaulted archway of the museum’s Grand Gallery.” With that one word, “renowned,” Brown proves that he hails from the school of elbow-joggers — nervy, worrisome authors who can’t stop shoving us along with jabs of information and opinion that we don’t yet require. . . . .

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. Meanwhile, art historians can sleep easy once more, while fans of the book, which has finally been exposed for the pompous fraud that it is, will be shaken from their trance. In fact, the sole beneficiaries of the entire fiasco will be members of Opus Dei, some of whom practice mortification of the flesh. From now on, such penance will be simple -- no lashings, no spiked cuff around the thigh. Just the price of a movie ticket, and two and a half hours of pain.

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