May. 29th, 2006

oneirophrenia: (Ahnold)
I actually made it out to the theatre last week to see the movie. It is a good movie. It's even a somewhat moving movie. Tom Hanks is boring as hell in it, but we've got Audrey Tautou (YUM) and Sir Ian McKellen (the coolest gay man on the planet, hands down) and Jean Reno (the coolest French man on the planet, hands down) to make up for Hanks' incredibly wooden performance. But the movie's not about characters--it's a plot-driven vehicle involving puzzles...more an Agatha Christie mystery film than anything else, even if some of the puzzles are ridiculously easy to solve. Mind you, I've been an avid fan of Templar/Grail lore for years, have watched virtually every Discovery and Learning Channel programme concerning the "DaVinci Code Question," and have read every extant Gnostic gospel as well as Holy Blood, Holy Grail...so my understanding of the symbolism in the film was almost complete. The film has been described as anti-Catholic, but it manifestly is not: Opus Dei is shown to be acting completely outside of Church authority; in fact, one of the Opus Dei "conspirators" notes that if the Church ever discovered what they've been doing recently they'd all be excommunicated. Historically...well, it's a movie, people--based on a novel--which itself was based on "nonfiction" book based on a con some French guy came up with in the 1940s to sucker the French government. But who cares!? It makes for a neat plot and that's all that counts.

Some Christian reviews of the film, such as this typically ludicrous over-reaction, are actually amusing to read. It's amazing how well people can delude themselves with promises of "the Truth" and go batshit crazy when that "Truth" is questioned. Remember the words of Pilate, people: "What is truth?" Nobody knows. Anyone who knows the known historical facts of the Council of Nicea knows full well then that the Bible is not the Truth, but just a collection of documents that an extremely divisive, disagreement-riddled, and chaotic "conference" decided to canonize in the name of having a convenient set of standardized Scriptures with which to govern the newly-formed Roman "Church." No historically-verifiable records of Yeshua ben Yusef's actual teachings or daily life exist, period. It's possible he was married to Mary Magdalene, but can that ever be proved? No. It's just as likely that he wasn't married (and, as an Essene, there was a pretty good chance he was devoted to a celibate life). The only thing we can definitively say about Jesus was that he was Jewish reformer whom the ruling Sanhedrin took a disliking to over his rabble-rousing, was handed over to the Romans for disciplining, and was crucified. The end. "Christianity" as Jesus preached it was nothing more than a reformed Judaism. It caught on outside of Palestine and Roman-occupied Israel primarily due to Jesus' followers, who almost certainly distorted his original message completely--probably to make a buck (call me cynical, but I don't think there's ever been an honest proselytizer in the entire history of humanity). If it weren't for that goddamned son-of-a-bitch Saul of Tarsus, Christianity as we know it would not exist--he is more responsible for the development of Christianity into the travesty it is today than Jesus himself. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that were Jesus to have observed Saul's mangling of his original teachings, he would spit in the bastard's face. (Yeah, I know...I'm getting vituperative here: but I really, really, really do not like St. Paul's ideas. I sincerely hope that somewhere both he, the Emperor Constantine, and St. Augustine are roasting over an eternal BBQ.)

I'll give this film, and the novel it's based on, one thing: it's helping to undermine a lot of Christians' smug, comfortable assurance that they have a monopoly on "The Truth." And its given more intelligent, thoughtful Christians something to talk about and ponder considering the history of their faith. Thinking about what you believe, and why you believe it, is a Good Thing. Me? I have no faith period. But Church history is fascinating! Anything that gets people interested in the history of their ideas, cultures, and so forth cannot be bad. The Truth is not out there (sorry, Mulder)--but 2000 years of incredible history is. And if this film serves to stir up public interest in history, then I say, "Hell yeah!"
oneirophrenia: (Contemplative Doctor)
I fall to pieces
Each time I see you again
I fall to pieces
How can I be just your friend

You want me to act like weve never kissed
You want me to forget, pretend weve never met
And Ive tried and Ive tried but I havent yet
You walk by, and I fall to pieces

I fall to pieces
Each time someone speaks your name
I fall to pieces
Time only adds to the flame

You tell me to find someone else to love
Someone who'll love me, too, the way you used to do
But each time I go out with someone new
You walk by and I fall to pieces

---

Well...not totally, but still....Country's only good if it's depressing.

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