Tuesday, 9 May 2006

May 2006 is National "Run Over a Hulking Albino Monk" Month

Now a Major Motion Picture.....

Prepare yourself for the tsunami of runny shite about to crest and break across the anglosphere. Ya can run but ya can't hide. It probably won't kill you but it'll get in your hair, eyes, clothes, ears, nostrils, mouth, bed, shoes, socks, underpants, and brain. People you've known for years and would trust with your life will succumb, and you won't be able to tell who's clean and who's been tainted. Yes, like in Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I recommend you begin stockpiling those white SARS facemasks now - it's doubtful they'll be of much help but this is not a time to be taking chances.

Just two hours ago in Northland "Safeway" (that name is so not appropriate) I uncovered evidence that the food is contaminated. The germs are airborne you know. Direct contact is not necessary.


1. "Pretentious and illiterate verbal sludge"

A.D. Hope thought Patrick White was a hopeless case; luckily for Hope he passed away before Dan Brown arrived to besmirch everybody's eyeballs with "writing" like this:
'Do you approve?' Fache asked, nodding upward with his broad chin.
Langdon sighed, too tired to play games. 'Yes, your pyramid is magnificent.'
Fache grunted. 'A scar on the face of Paris.'
Strike one. Langdon sensed his host was a hard man to please. He wondered if Fache had any idea that the pyramid, at President Mitterand's explicit demand, had been constructed of exactly 666 panes of glass - a bizarre request that had always been a hot topic among conspiracy buffs who claimed 666 was the number of Satan.

* * *

Sophie sensed a rising air of academic anticipation now in both of her male companions.

* * *

The Tarot indicator suit for divine femininity is pentacles, Langdon thought, realizing that if Sauniere had been stacking his granddaughter's deck for fun, pentacles was an apropos inside joke.

* * *

Silas was stunned with the devilish simplicity. The brotherhood stopped at nothing to mock the righteous!

2. farrago of sexist claptrap thinly disguised as religious mumbo-jumbo

The big deal in the DVC is that Jesus is supposed to have had sex with Mary Magdalene, and then they had a little baby! And not only that, but TEH HOLY GRAIL which everyone is always questing after is not in fact a cup that Jesus & disciples drank wine out of, but Mary Magdalen's womb! According to the book the Catholic Church did a coverup and smeared Mary M by making her out to be a prostitute rather than acknowledging her as the vessel bearing Jesus's holy sprog. For my money that is a good deal more reactionary and misogynist than the actual Bible, where being a prostitute doesn't disqualify Mary M from being one of Jesus's best and closest friends (note: friend, not love interest.) Likewise the book's ntion of the Sacred Feminine basically boils down to the idea of the woman as incubator.

All this is served up for consumption with some pretty sickening mealy-mouthings about the mystical awesomeness of sex:
'Professor Langdon?' A male student at the back raised his hand, sounding hopeful. 'Are you saying that instead of going to chapel, we should have more sex?'
Langdon chuckled, not about to take the bait. From what he'd heard about Harvard parties, these kids were having more thn enough sex. 'Gentlemen,' he said, knowing he was on tender ground, 'might I offer a suggestion for all of you. Without being so bold as to condone premarital sex, and without being so naive as to think you're all chaste angels, I will give you this bit of advice about your sex lives.'
All the men in the audience leaned forward, listening intently.
The next time you find yourself wiht a woman, look in your heart and see if you cannot approach sex as a mystical, spiritual act. Challenge yourself to find that spark of divinity that man can only achieve through union with the sacred feminine.'
The women smiled knowingly, nodding.
The men exchanged dubious giggles and off-colour jokes.
Langdon sighed. College men were still boys.

(I had to wash after typing that out. Commentary seems superflous.)

3. Stupid about pictures

Dude....that picture of the Last Supper where disciple John is supposed to look like a woman because he has long blonde hair? I have shortish dark brown hair, I suppose that makes me a feller now. Has Dan Brown even heard of Peter Frampton?

4. Ecological desertification in the bookshops

I have made a controlled double blind (blind with hatred) study of this. The average Australian bookshop has on hand two or three copies each of a few hundred novels, and between fifty and three hundred copies of the DVC, plus tall piles of a dozen or so associated "Cracking the DVC" type publications. The DVC deprives hundreds of other books of space and resources. It KILLS, MURDERS other books before they have a chance to grow. And because books beget other books, the rampant unchecked spreading of this worthless parasite means that book diversity in the future is already seriously compromised. It should be stamped out. I wouldn't even care what books replaced it, as long as there were many of them. Can you picture how depressingly uniformly yellowy-brownish the op-shop book shelves of tomorrow are going to look?

5. It's crap and will rot your brain!
The DVC represents, to my mind, definitive proof that all arguments in favour of books-at-all-costs are dangerous and sophistical. To say, when your loved one picks up the DVC, "well at least little Roger is reading" is to commit a very dreadful mistake, Roger would be far, far better off watching Big Brother, or even appearing in it.

To adapt a funny about the novels of Jane Austen which Mark Twain was overly fond of trotting out whenever he could: The Da Vinci Code? Why I go so far as to say that any library is a good library that does not contain a copy of The Da Vinci Code. Even if it contains no other book.


Chuck said...

The book is a nightmare. Total crap, which is only illustrated by Tom Hanks' presence of the movie version of DVC. But the good news is that bookstore clerks are getting a workout lifting all of those boxes of books.

I've been intrigued by how many of my students have read it, which probably has more to do with the novel being about Catholicism than anything else.

Phantom Scribbler said...

I laughed, I cried, it became a part of me.

This post, I mean. Not the DVC. My father could make me borrow his copy, but he couldn't make me read it.

Kent said...

You know a book has issues when Woolies start selling it.

Helen said...

I notice the display case containing the DVC is next to the rack containing all the stuff that's not selling & is being chucked out at half price. So appropriate.

You nailed the gender politics of the Mary magdalene thing excellently, also the effect on booksellers.

I'm very disappointed in Mr Hanks.

elsewhere said...

So is Dan Brown today's Enid Blyton?

I liked this bit in particular: 'The women smiled knowingly, nodding.'

cristy said...

When Paul worked in a bookshop, he and the other booksellers used to have a competition to see who could divert the most people away from the DVC. His tactic was to tell them that it was truly awful and to recommend Foucault's Pendulum instead.

I understand that he had a number of successes.

Ampersand Duck said...

This is the post that needed to be written.

Sophie sensed a rising air of academic anticipation now in both of her male companions.

Ewwww... isn't that frowned upon in universities these days?

Cozalcoatl said...

I have a high tolerance for crap airport books but i haven't read this one..don't need to now either.
Walking through Central Station aka DVC Advert space i did notice that Ian Mackellan is in it....it almost makes it tempting. But XMen 3 is out soon so i'll wait for that.

Kate said...

I have not read it, and I will not read it. Not even if every other book in the world bursts into flame.

Kate said...

Also, this post has STRENGTHENED my resolve to never bend to the DVC juggernaut, thank you Laura.

Tim said...

"Thank you for confirming my prejudice towards all things DVC," I said, nodding upward with my broad chin that would stop at nothing to mock the righteous!

Pavlov's Cat said...

Sophie sensed a rising air of academic anticipation now in both of her male companions.

Yes, I'm with A. Duck, though I read it rather differently, possibly because of the word 'air', as in 'hot' and also as in 'gas' and 'wind'.

But however one interprets it, this sentence describes an experience I have had many, many times too often in the course of a colourful but uneven career.

Ron said...

This thread reminds me that I am yet to meet one person who admits to voting Liberal at federal elections!

Now hands up all those who watch Big Brother.

Kate said...

Heh. I don't care; if I cave in and read it just so I am better armed to judge it, then Dan Brown will win! No sir, I will not be duped into it.

jacqueline said...

I've read it! It is indeed awful and pretentious, and causes facial grimaces and the occasional involuntary tic. In the home stretch, where these supposed academics take FOREVER to figure out the final clue (a 5-letter word related to Isaac Newton), I was howling, "It's APPLE, fuckers! Hurry up and solve it so this will FUCKING END!"

... oh. Spoiler.

Anna Winter said...

Thought you would appreciate this random Dan Brown novel generator: http://tobyinkster.co.uk/Software/dan_brown/

JahTeh said...

As a writer, he's on a par with Colin Forbes. I read it because I didn't have to buy it but by the time I read his next novel I could see the formula in the works. That doesn't mean I'm not going to use my Christmas gold class ticket to see the movie because I want to see the places. I wonder how much I'll miss if I shut my eyes every time Tom Hanks is on the screen.

Just to completely destroy any credibility I have, I'm in the middle of finishing a post on Barbara Cartland and no you do not get a free barf bag.

angry bookseller said...

You are sooo spot on! I work in a bookshop and am sick of selling this piece of shite. And sorry if I sound so elitist but the bulk of the purchasers are just young dumb ass guys who probably only read two books in their lives - this Da Vinci bullshit book and some other book that "shows" them how to get rich quick. What really annoys me is that people read this and actually believe that it is true? What the hell is going on here? Like when September 11 happenend, the rush to buy Nostradamus' dusty old book of Criswell-like predictions took on ridiculous proportions. What was it that P.T Barnum said about "suckers"?

Hed Spacely said...

The DVC is Reverse Mental Diarrhoea. You want it to stop slipping into your brain, but the stream of crap just won't stop. God, why won't it stop.

Zoe said...

A brilliant post.

Oh, and I watch big brother a bit

dogpossum said...

This is wonderful:

"The brotherhood stopped at nothing to mock the righteous!"

It makes me smile, just reading it. Is it a comment on the patriarchy's anti-feminist strategies?

Tom Hanks: kiss of death. I lost faith with the great man who brought us 'Big' when he made 'Philadelphia'. That film made me gag: it was so almost not homophobic. Why couldn't Hanks have really been Lost on a dessert island or perhaps locked in the Big Brother House forever so we didn't have to watch his fillums? In fact, I feel/felt about Philadelphia the way you do about DVC, Mz Tartan.

Anonymous said...

I love the fact that the Cathlick church has asked for a title on the front saying this is a work of fiction.

So simple.

They are resisting. I wonder why?

I was really sorry the other writers lost the plagiarism case, even though they are dweebs themselves.

If there is a god, Dan the Dumb will spend eternity on a rock in hell, chanting the text backwards to himself for an infinite number of times.

- barista

Mindy said...

Jacqueline that was the best spoiler ever. I can proudly add never read the DVC to never watched Titanic.

R H said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
R H said...

I've deleted my comment. It was rude.

Yes, but it amuses me how people go on about how insensitive racism is for instance, but don't mind being insensitive about people's religion.

Cozalcoatl said...

I try to be vaguely tolerant of peoples beliefs (but i do mockerate i will admit).
When they decide that i'm immoral, evil and have no reason or capabilty to do good because i am a athesist, all bets are off.

R H said...

What's it to me?

Your beliefs are atheism aborigines and the low fat diet. Good for you.
So do I come on here sneering about that. I couldn't care less. You're no interest to me at all. But I'd be interested if I saw Jews spelt Joose.
You might think only poor dumb bastards pray, but if it helps them through life who is anyone else to go out of their rotten way to have a laugh at them.

Show some respect.

Lucy Tartan said...

RH I missed your comment that you deleted. (The internet connection at home is cactus) Probably a good thing, that. Are you talking to me or to Cozalcoatl? I don't presume to speak for her, but I do agree with you about people's religion being entirely their own business and not something they should be ridiculed for....with the proviso that they respect my right to make up my own mind as I do theirs. So I don't think preachers who accost you in the street or knock on your door deserve much consideration.

Lucy Tartan said...


Oh, and I watch big brother a bit

Just a little bit eh? Note that Ron asked about this in the same breath as mentioning people who vote Liberal, now there's a fascinating constellation of shamefulness for you.


this is the best comments thread ever. My home internet access is dead at the moment so I haven't had a chance to read what you all said until just now, and now there's no chance I can catch up, except to say thanks for the laughs.

R H said...

Cactus? Do you know Cactus Boy Civius. ha ha ha.

I was talking to the person directly above -not to God (with a big G) but Cuddlecoat, with a big C. Okay?


Well when I was a lonely youth living in Sydney and knowing no one I used to go into the city every Sunday night just to hear the street preachers. There were four of them; one on each corner of Pitt and Goulburn Streets.
They were marvellous. Enormously entertaining. But mind you, I never said "Yes to Jesus" although they kept asking me to.
I think maybe I said yes to Jesus when as a small boy I met a religious woman who was very kind to my poor mother, but it was many, many years later before I realised I'd said it.

Sorry to take up so much space.


Cozalcoatl said...

RH- you made a statement about people being insensitive about religion. I answered with the reason why i can be insensitive at times.
Show some respect

tigtog said...

A most enjoyable post. I agree that transforming Mary Magdalene into the Divine Womb is no less misogynistic than denigrating her as a prostitute, but I have to quibble as to the notion that this is entirely fabricated (although most of rest of the DVC stuff clearly is).

There is a large amount of scholarly support for the idea that the identification of Mary Magdalene as a prostitute in Catholic tradition (when the Bible only ever directly refers to her as a sinner) does seem to have been a later redaction to combat the Gnostic tradition of the Gospel of Mary. Accusing a schismatic group of venerating someone with a history of sexual impurity is a time-honoured divisive tactic.

R H said...

Me being vaguely tolerant of your hobbies wouldn't be enough for you cuddlecoat. And me being mockerate would get you hysterical. And you not being judged immoral evil and so on after publicising yourself as an atheist would cause you profound unhappiness -being about level with your butcher not noticing your new hairdo.

Cozalcoatl said...

Ummm ok...i'm glad we got that sorted

R H said...

You're welcome. Or what would I do.

For amusement.

FXH said...

Bless me father (or sister or mother) for I have sinned.

I read the DVC. I enjoyed it. Didn't think it was great. I wasn't expecting Ulysses or The Corrections or Name of the Rose or even a Henning Mankel Wallander let alone a James Lee Burke Dave Robicheaux.

I'll prolly go and see the fillum but only on a Cheap Chuesday.

The Crazy Purple Wombat said...

I love you - you are a kindred spirit and obviously I have stumbled upon another Melbournian! Actually I was doing some research on Boroondara Cemetery and came accross your photos & article!! Loved it! Will definitely book mark you & YES!!! Safeway has DEFINITELY been contaminated!!

Kent said...

doesn't take the DVC to contaminate food in Safeway.

Gerry said...

don't cry, little blossom! It's only a story.

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David said...
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Helen said...
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