Monday, June 8, 2009


My wife and I went to see the movie ANGELS & DEMONS at the Empire Theater last week. A curious thing happens when we go to the movies, I have noticed. My wife stays with me when in the ticket line, but upon reaching the ticket booth she moseys on into the lobby to await my arrival with the tickets in hand. I purchase the Senior's rate, of course---it's cheaper. I'm alright with that. It's one of the perks of being of an older age. I was talking to an old buddy of mine recently who told me his wife who is close to 60 years old does not like to be referred to as "Senior". AHA! A light went on in my otherwise befuddled mind. I believe I now understand my wife's hasty departure when the ticket booth looms near. The pimply-faced youth managing the transaction of money and tickets gives a sly glance at you in order to confirm your request for the senior's rate. With me this glance takes a nano second. I would imagine, with my wife's disposition, a look by a witless youth to confirm age could be extremely dangerous for him/her. They could very well end up with those tickets stuffed away in an embarrassing part of their anatomy. So for me, that's one mystery solved.

My wife enjoyed the movie ANGELS & DEMONS, very much. I didn't all that much. I just find that director Ron Howard is so blah; I don't think he has an artistic flair at all. His movies are so straight and narrow, and so boring. But it was cool to see parts of the Vatican destroyed.

ANGELS & DEMONS is written by Dan Brown, as is THE DA VINCI CODE which was a major bestselling novel published in 2003. Both novels center around the so-called secrets and subterfuges brewing beneath the otherwise wholesome facade of the Catholic Church. One has to tread lightly with such a subject in the fear of evoking God's wrath, so to speak. But Dan Brown holds back nothing and therefore received scathing criticisms from not only the Church, but scholars and historians too. Dan Brown is smart; he's a multi-millionaire now.

Dan Brown got the material for his novels from a book published in 1982 called THE HOLY BLOOD AND THE HOLY GRAIL by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, & Henry Lincoln. This book claimed that Jesus survived the crucifixion, married Mary Magdalene, moved to France, started the Merovingian dynasty, and ended his days as a security guard at the Louvre( I made that last part up ). Like all conspiracy theories, these wild assertions are all ungrounded, based on speculations and jaded interpretations. Take for instance the Priory of Sion which is a secret society who purportedly holds all the information on this great secret. This was later revealed to be one of the greatest hoaxes of the 20th century. The Knights Templar were wiped out not because they possessed information and artifacts(Grail) that threatened the Church, but because in effect they were the first multi-national company who grew so much power and riches that they threatened the Church and certain countries with their influence. They had to go. And actually when it comes down to it, does anyone really care?

Both books by Brown are mysteries for all that. They contain the classic plot outline of sleuth, companion---female love interest, bodies piling up, time running out, twists and turns, dynamic ending. But with the Brown books you have this element concerning a secret well hidden from the public, which is like peeking at something you shouldn't, making the novels unique and exciting even though the "secret" information is distorted and groundless.

The novels are fun, but shouldn't be taken seriously.

Next: Two favorite authors

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