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Monday, June 05, 2006

Thoughts for Monday

1. MSN.com has a news story titled "Conquering Cancer in Unusual Ways: What 2 Survivors Used: Prayer, Enemas & More." Funny how prayer seems equivalent to an enema here, and it's also a little strange that they'd think prayer was some exotic form of treatment.

commaAnd when, oh when, will people learn the value of a comma? I think we all know what they mean. It should read "Prayer, Enemas, and More." But the way this is written, it sounds like the treatment is either enemas and something additional, or enemas and more enemas. OK, that's enough about enemas for the first thing on Monday morning. The truth is, their editor apparently had a hard time coming up with a title.

2. The DaVinci Code. I finally bit the bullet and read the book because there are too many people asking me if this is accurate. Or worse, there are a lot of people that ask me if it's accurate, and then add that they suspected these allegations all along.

I was surprised, because I had heard it was good. I'd rate it as OK. The DaVinci Legacy by Perdue was a more enjoyable read. And as for Brown, his book "Deception Point" was a much better novel as well.

Perhaps I say this because I have studied much of what he addresses in the book, and I know that he has a mixture of fact, speculation based on fact, and outright fiction (which is a nice way to say he made some of this crap up). After a while, I could see why this book irritated some people.

There are too many gullible, naive people in this world to not be adversely influenced by the horsepoo that he merrily throws around. If they don't know world history, if they haven't studied secret societies, and if they don't know the scriptures (and the history behind them), it would be easy to snow them. And truthfully, how many of you (and you are the intelligent minority) have this background? As Brown so tellingly writes, "How dark the con of man."

Now I see why there are books coming out to refute Brown's assertions.

Here's one example of Brown's childish deception: In the beginning of the book, he has a note which reads "All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate." And I agree that it's true. What he doesn't tell the reader is that the rituals are inaccurately ascribed to groups that don't practice them. Additionally, his description of the artwork is certainly his own interpretation, at best. Although it may be true that he sees these paintings a certain way, that doesn't mean he's right.

It would be equivalent to my writing this book about the school system in Pinellas County: At the beginning of the book, I could put the same disclaimer that Brown did. Then in the book itself, I would talk about cannibalism and detail a cannabilistic ceremony, then allege that Superintendant Wilcox snacked on the leg of a third grader every morning. Then (as Brown does) I could shrug my shoulders when questioned about this allegation, and say that I leave it to experts to determine if this is correct or not. My attorneys would be hip-deep in lawsuits by sunset.

I could go on and on, detailing his mistakes, but I'll leave that to people who've written entire novels to rectify his gross negligence. If you're interested in pursuing it further, go to my post here and click on the links I've provided.

29 comments:

R2K said...

As to prayer, I don’t really see why people think prayer works for slow things where the cause and effect of the cure are harder to test (thus the link with prayer is still possible) yet I know very few people would get on an airplane if they knew the pilot would simply take off, and pray that god lands for him. Would you drink shark fin soup? Some people think that cures cancer also, why don’t half of Americans think of that as a cure? Most people seem to discount all of the superstition but that which they prefer, or that which was drilled into their heads when they were very young.

Both prayer and enemas will fail to cure disease (if prayer worked, you would think at least one person with aids would have been cured by now) and that is why they are linked. They are both the result of people who are not doctors, trying to retain some control when the medical technology to cure them is beyond their ability to understand or assist. If you are very sick, you want to think you can do something to help it along.
There are many cures online about how a clean diet will stop all disease (Even Bill Maher, a guy I generally like to watch on HBO, suggests this), or how injecting hydrogen peroxide into your blood will cure aids. At least, I should say, prayer wont kill you like these might (unless you are on that airplane, or unless you only pray and avoid real medical treatment which few people of faith seem to do).

It is sad that science still tries to prove that prayer does not work (and indeed a recent study found this, yet again) when frankly that time should be spent on something like new ways to treat cancer.

Maybe how you feel about people who believe the DaVinci code is history, I feel about people who believe prayer works and that god will do what they say because they ask.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Alex, Thanks for the interesting opening. It will probably cause some debate. Have you seen this article on the recent prayer study (which didn't prove that prayer works). Personally, I would say that prayer only works if you truly believe. I suspect many of these people who were praying didn't truly believe. In fact, to be honest, *I* don't even know if my beliefs are strong enough to make prayer efficacious.

Mindless Dribbler said...

Ah...I liked Browns book only because I'm ignorant to most of the historical facts he's inaccurately portrayed and possibly because I didn't read the other book first :)

Saur♥Kraut said...

Mike (MD), ;o) Sometimes ignorance is bliss, huh?

United We Lay said...

Since I have't written even one novel, I'm really no one to talk, but it seems to me that Dan Brown's novels all follow the same format.

Saur♥Kraut said...

UWL, interesting observation. I haven't read enough to say you're correct, but you have a point (from what I've read so far). It's kinda like the old Harlequin Romance novels: same characters, basically the same plot, slightly different settings. And like some of the seedier romance novels, The DaVinci Code includes nasty sex.

R2K said...

It does!?!? The film didnt have any to speak of... DAMN YOU Richie Cunningham!

Saur♥Kraut said...

Alex, *LOL* The funny thing is, Dan Brown didn't even make it interesting. Just weird. That's probably why Howard left it out.

Scott said...

Here is the thing, The Da Vinci Code is fiction. It is there for entertainment only. People in the Church just get there underwear in a bunch and overreact to these things. By trying to refute everything in the book they just gave it more publicity than he could have ever hoped for. Kind of an interesting phenomena.

As for the Power of Prayer... that is interesting. I am not a religious man but I do believe that people who believe that if a person believes that prayer is helping them then it will work. The power of positivity and positive energy from those around you has to help.

Scott

Mike said...

I never considered this book as anything but fiction and like you just thought of it as ok. Angels and Demons was more entertaining by him and would make a better movie than Da Vinci Code.

Reverberate58 said...

I haven't read the book or seen the movie. Hubby did read the book and said he found it to be pure fiction. He just shakes his head at all the people who are worried that it might be taken as the real thing!

I agree with Scott that prayer is a positive thing and lots of people praying for someone gives them good energy and peace of mind so that they can concentrate on getting better. It may not save but it does help!

United We Lay said...

It includes the sex for a specific purpose, though, so I don't think it's excessive. I think if people are influenced by a work of fiction, it's their own fault. Have you read The Red Tent? It's prety good.

Saur♥Kraut said...

UWL, I think it's excessive because it's obviously there for prurient purposes only. And he doesn't even make it interesting. If the story does as well without it, it really doesn't need to be included (IMHO). I never read The Red Tent. I'll have to check it out!

Reverb & Scott, I agree, prayer (if made by a true believer with strong faith) can be an awesome tool. But notice the "if".

Mike, I don't remember if I've ever read "A&D" but I'll have to check and see.

Scott, the publicity/bad movie thing happened before with "The Last Temptation of Christ". Similar theme, similar quality. ;o)

United We Lay said...

Don't you think that if it was sex for sex's sake he would have made it interesting? Idon't know, I think he did it to illustrate a point, and maybe add a ritual that may seem natural to some in the situation that it's in, but not to others. If he was adding it purely to entertain, there are several more places he could have added it.

Saur♥Kraut said...

UWL, yeah, but it seemed so pointless and unnecessary. Additionally, it was completely false. And history (when dealing with religion and sex intertwined) has shown repeatedly that it's unhealthy (STDs, etc). For him to treat an orgy as a religious experience was just plain silly. Humanity outgrew that, not so much due to the church, but due to common sense.

Lee Ann said...

I saw The DaVinci Code (movie) the other day. It was interesting and entertaining. I just don't understand why people are so hyped up over it. It is fiction. It is a book and a movie period (not comma!) ;)

Fred said...

I enjoyed the book, but will avoid the movie. Books are always better, in my opinion. I agree with Lee Ann...just why the heck can't people see these movies for what they are? Do we have to take everything so danged serious?

I would read your book on the school system, btw, I bet it would be very good.

D-Dub said...

I would talk about cannibalism and detail a cannabilistic ceremony, then allege that Superintendant Wilcox snacked on the leg of a third grader every morning.

I knew it! I freakin knew it!

Ellen said...

I still haven't read the book, or had a chance to see the movie.
However, my son works at a movie complex, and went to see it (for free) in his spare time. When I asked him about it, he did say he liked it, but knew it was a piece of fiction. He also said it was worth going to see the movie, as it played well, but it didn't change the way he felt about his religious beliefs. To him, it was only a Hollywood story.... just as the Star Wars 6-pack was.

As far as the power of prayer... Sometimes it is comforting for people to know that others are praying for you...not so much that they will cure you, but that they wish you well in all the drudgery you are facing.

Bryan said...

I haven't read the book but from what I've heard, doesn't it have to do with the false notion that Jesus married Mary Magdalene, and that they had children? If so, then this is called "Anglo-Israelism" or "British-Israelism", which was totally debunked by Biblical scholars long ago. Nonetheless there are still a great many influential people in the world who believe this heresy, including the British Royal Family. In fact, the British Throne is also erroneously called the "Throne of David". Some end time theologians believe this is how Antichrist will be able to deceive the nation of Israel into believing he is the Messiah, because of his supposed Jewish ancestry.

And yes, a study of the secret societies and a good knowledge of the Bible (this is usually enough all by itself) is vital in order to be able to distinguish fiction from reality.

Senor Caiman said...

Saur,

Excellent post.

I remember getting an "F" on a paper for not using commas one week and getting an "F" the next week for using too many commas.

The comma can be frustrating indeed.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Mr. Gator, F! Kidding! You get an A+ today. Go to the head of the class.

Bryan, yup, the same premise. As you say, easily disproven.

Ellen, yes, just knowing someone is praying for you is comforting, isn't it? And I think a lot of people (if they like the movie at all) won't be taking it seriously.

Batman, ;o)

Fred, the world is full of Drama Queens. We get one regularly in Sweet N' Saur, for instance. I'd write a book, but who would really read it? I'd only be saying what others have said before me. Of course, it would have to be more humorous than Dobson, I grant you.

Lee Ann, I dunno if I'll go see it. I like Tom Hanks, but the book was drab and the movie's getting horrid reviews. You liked it? Did you read the book first?

The Lazy Iguana said...

When anyone asks me about that stupid book, I give the standard answer "I do not give a crap". I do not have time to discuss crap with morons. They would not understand what I am saying anyway.

But I am going to buy the video game anyway.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Lazy Iguana, the game didn't look all that good to us(?) Have you seen any reviews yet? Maybe it's better than we thought.

Jamie Dawn said...

Maybe Brown needs us to pray for him and force a few enemas on him. :)

KristieD said...

I actually enjoyed the book. i havent seen the movie. until i came across your site, i never knew that there was another person that had written another, almost identical book. I never assumed any of this book was pure fact tho-- it was in the fiction section of the bookstore where i purchased it and Fiction=fake. So, and i may be alone here, i really dont get why everyone is so upset. Maybe i just havent been paying as much attention as i should have been. I dont have my copy of the book right now- so i cant check to see if he says somewhere in it that is A COMPLETELY TRUE and ACCURATE account of all things religious, historical and otherwise w/fictional characters. I dont recall that being there, but i suppose i could be wrong. Its a book. Its for enjoyment. Other people have written books that seem very much true in some aspects, but it is used for the benefit of the story and no one was in such arms over it. Again, i may be alone in my opinions, but i dont get it.

mal said...

My family has a long Masonic tradition. For obvious reasons, it is not one that I have pursued *G*. Over the years I have heard all sorts of dark influence attributed to the higher degrees. It is always good for a chuckle from me. Dad is a 33rd degree and picturing him as a member of centuries long cabal that pulls the strings is like picturing Mickey Mouse being sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice. Entertaining, but not very believable.

AQ said...

I love the comma. I share your frustration, too. Whatever happened to grammar in school?

Haven't read the DaVinci Code or seen the movie. I'm more inclined to read it, but at this time, I'm hooked on blogs. I suppose I need to find out what all the fuss is about.

Brianne said...

I'm with you on the comma issue. I absolutely loathe when commas are either omitted or misused.

Call me a little obsessive, but poor grammar, spelling, and punctuation really get on my nerves.