Under 30

I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Friday, May 19, 2006

Shameless self-promotion

Today's Under 30 column is on "The Da Vinci Code."

A sample:

At issue is author Brown's central plot device, which is a church conspiracy to cover up the "true" romantic relationship between Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene. Apparently, there's concern people might mistake this for fact.

I know the Catholic Church and its followers are known for reacting to movies, books and other cultural matters with calm and reason (cough, cough), but perhaps we are overreacting just a tad here.

"The Da Vinci Code" is not a documentary. We know this because (1) it stars Tom Hanks, an actor who plays fictional characters in movies about war, female baseball teams and romantic misunderstandings involving Meg Ryan; and (2) it is playing in the Fox Valley, and documentaries don't play here unless they feature Michael Moore or lovable penguins.

Yes, it's true some people have accepted "The Da Vinci Code" as gospel. A British survey found 60 percent of "Da Vinci Code" readers believe Jesus had children with Mary, while only 30 percent of non-readers believe it.

We have a word for a person who believes pulp novels and summer blockbusters are real: nitwit.

Also, check out the cover story for Fox Cities Weekend on the things we're least excited about this summer.


Anonymous rebizzle said...

isn't this book basically just a rip off of the last temptation of christ by nikos kazantzakis???

12:39 PM  
Anonymous joe said...

Not to change the subject, but since you made us sit through an American Idol post, can we have a "Worst of Steve Hyden" sometime soon? Those are my favorites.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous kbl said...

I have a word for a person who believes religious myths and allegorical texts are real: nitwit.

For some reason this sentiment doesn't seem to go over so well. Go figure. (Remember, it's just the thetans talking.)

2:03 PM  
Anonymous gavin mcphee said...

Actually, rebizzle, this book is a ripoff of the book "Holy Blood, Holy Grail". And a poorly written ripoff, at that.

And I don't think people are "nitwits" for believing what Dan Brown wrote. It's silly to take fiction as fact, but most of his story is taken from texts that are just as debatably accurate as the Gospels (like the movie "Stigmata"). And he does have the disclaimer in the inside cover that the book is factual in many areas.

I'm not happy about defending Dan Brown. He's a hack and a charlatan. But insulting readers/viewers who are open to other possibilities isn't very nice, either.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

Sorry, but regarding "The Da Vinci Code" as anything more than a fun page-turner is dumb, dumb, dumb. Some possibilities are simply more credible than others.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous gavin said...

The possibility of a 30 year old man getting married and having a child is less believable than a spirit who impregnates a virgin, then has him grow up to be half-god... only so the big deity can kill the little deity as a symbol of our sin?

(Of course, if you read the Bible, it does not say Jesus died for our sins or that Mary was a virgin... but that's the status quo, I didn't come up with that.)

7:03 PM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

Gavin, I know you're a genius and all, but look at John 3:16, dude. It's only the most famous Bible verse ever. "For God so loved the world he gave his only son blah blah blah."

1:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John 3:16 dude

5:49 PM  
Blogger klhp said...

I just saw the DVC yesterday. After the movie was over, the woman behind me said, "Well, how can I know if I liked it, or believed it, when I couldn't understand it? It would have been a much better movie if there wasn't so much french!"

I smiled to myself, as half of the foreign dialogue was, in fact, in Latin.

Oh -- and there were protesters outside the theatre with signs saying, "I love my Lord Jesus Christ! I REJECT the Da Vinci Code!" [sigh]

1:19 PM  
Anonymous gavin said...

Steve, I am aware of the Gospel of John - both the version I was raised with and the other versions.

If you're going to cite John as a source and deny the other sources, I see that your foundation is much different than mine and I have lost my last ounce of respect for you as a critical thinker.

I respect you as a writer, as a humorist, and as my fellow man. But if you can take the multiple-translated words of some guy as a fact and not the words of some other multiple-translated guy as even an option, I see you are a man of faith and not a man of science. And that is where you and I differ. My love for God is strong, but I will not accept the words of any preacher over the direct relevation of God through His works.

Good day, sir.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous gavin said...

And if your point was that this was proof he "died for our sins", that's a very loose interpretation.

Nor am I a genius. I just happen to have went to school for religious studies.

5:28 PM  
Blogger Steve Hyden said...

Um, what?

Didn't say it was fact, just pointing out a pretty famous Bible verse.

Sorry, didn't know Dan Brown was your boyfriend.

P.S. The previous sentence was a joke, an intentionally lame joke that a 5th grader would make. Just thought I would point that out since Gavin has lost the ability to read irony.

And I lost respect for you as a critical thinker when you put A Walk to Remember in your top 5.

1:24 PM  
Anonymous mr. gavin said...


Although you can only draw from the AWTR well so many times, especially when I already self-deprecate myself for it.

11:56 PM  

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