Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Pots, Churches, and Kettles

Wow, where exactly do I start with this hot potatoe?
  • The Book - I read it about two weeks ago. At the very least, it's an excellant thriller. Going beyond the basic plot, I really like the historical information in the book. Lots of word origin stuff, background on various religions, etc.
  • The Movie - it was screened today at Cannes. Looks like it's getting about 85% bad/indifferent, 15% good reviews. Word is that Cannes is the proverbial 'tough crowd.' Average people will have to wait till Friday. I can generally trust that if the reviewers like it, I'm going to freaking hate it (ex: The Piano). Conversely, when the reviewers hate it (ex: all Adam Sandler movies) there are pretty durn good odds that I'll love it and be tracking the DVD release date.
  • The Buzz - A Cardinal in the Vatican says that Catholics should boycott the movie. Multiple Far East Catholic groups are throwing the inevitable fits and demanding the movie be banned from those countries. Ugh.
  • Kettle, Pot're black. So, it's cool when the movie supports your particular groups views (ex: The Passion of the Christ). But, boy, if that movie does not directly support your views, then it seems like you are obligated to demand the movie (or book, or TV show, or whatever) be banned immediately. And, if we are to take a cue from our Muslim friends, then immediately break all commerical ties with whatever country created the 'offensive material', demand the creators be killed via Jihad, and generally completely disrespect the laws of that country (i.e. Freedom of Speech).
  • And finally, a bit of Common Sense - Sir Ian (of LOTR fame) stars in The Da Vinci Code. Making light of the current controversy about the movie/book, he said something to the effect of "Do you know anybody that can walk on water? No? Well, then the Bible should have a disclaimer stating that it is a work of fiction." And the best one yet....when Ron Howard was asked about the controversy of the movie, he responded "if you think you will be offended by this movie, don't go see it." Wow, good for you Ron. I can't wait to see what the "I'm born to be offended" crowd has to say about that. Probably that Ron Howard is trying to violate their Freedom of Watching Movies That I Already Hate Before I See And Am Guaranteed To Complain About.

What I find especially interesting about this whole deal with the Da Vinci Code is the Church's reaction to it. These guys are screaming bloody murder...why, exactly? What is it that they are so afraid of? Their parishioners might do some thinking about the origins of their faith? Holy Crap, not that!!! That those poor, malleable minds might have some tough questions for the local priest? Wifey and I talked about this book with some co-workers this afternoon after work. For an hour. We had a wide-ranging, thought provoking discussion. No hurt feelings. No lawsuits. Nobody changed their religion. Just a nice discussion. For an hour, four adults had a enlightening civil religious conversation. All because of a fictional book. How dare Dan Brown.