Monday, February 18, 2013


Well, just finished the Da Vinci Code, and all I have to say is...
Teabing really was was the Teacher? What?!

I suspected he would turn out to be the Teacher (the bad guy who orchestrated the murders and wants the keystone for himself) when Langdon first discussed going to him for help, because that's exactly the kind of predictable twist a hackula like Dan Brown would use.

Pictured: a Hackula. Sucks blood/at writing

I discounted that possibility after he entered the plot because his subsequent actions render that twist completely implausible. Teabing is kidnapped by Silas and his traitorous manservant Remy, who also take the keystone. Then, Langdon gets a message from the Teacher demanding a meeting. He reveals himself to be Teabing, meaning that he orchestrated his own kidnapping. He then demands Langdon and Sophie's help in deciphering the cryptex at gunpoint.

Uhm, excuse me, but what the holy shit is going on?

The two of them were already helping Teabing give him exactly what he wanted. Even if he thought they wouldn't be willing to reveal the secret to the world (which was his stated goal), he should have at least used their help finding it, since that's exactly what they wanted to do. Then, once he knew where the grail was located, there wouldn't be anything they could do to stop him from revealing the secret short of killing him. Worst case scenario, he could kill them... once they had helped him find it.

Alternatively, why not just kidnap Sophie and get Sauniere to tell him where the grail is himself? That makes a lot more sense than killing the only four people who know and hoping that they weren't lying or misinformed.

Another thing: What was the big deal with revealing the secret to the world when it had already been revealed?

"The royal bloodline of Jesus Christ has been chronicled in exhaustive detail by scores of historians." He ran a finger down a row of several dozen books.
Sophie tilted her head and scanned the list of titles:

Secret Guardians of the True Identity of Christ

Mary Magdalene and the Holy Grail

Reclaiming the Sacred Feminine

"Here is perhaps the best-known tome," Teabing said, pulling a tattered hardcover from the stack and handing it to her. The cover read:

The Acclaimed International Bestseller

Sophie glanced up. "An international bestseller? I've never heard of it." 

"You were young. This caused quite a stir back in the nineteen eighties. To my taste, the authors made some dubious leaps of faith in their analysis, but their fundamental premise is sound, and to their credit, they finally brought the idea of Christ's bloodline into the mainstream."

So, this secret that would shake the foundations of Christian faith worldwide had already been published internationally, without any impact whatsoever.

But, why should this make any sense? Dan Brown makes the most crazy and ill-informed New Age nutcase look like Richard Dawkins.

"No, Sophie... Saunière is not a Merovingian name."
Sophie wasn't sure whether to feel relieved or disappointed. Earlier, Langdon had asked an unusual passing question about Sophie's mother's maiden name. Chauvel. The question now made sense.
"And Chauvel?" she asked, anxious.

Again he shook his head. "I'm sorry. I know that would have answered some questions for you. Only two direct lines of Merovingians remain. Their family names are Plantard and Saint-Clair. Both families live in hiding, probably protected by the Priory."

And both are made entirely of drooling retards, since that's the only way that all of Jesus' descendants could be limited to two family names. 

Langdon held up his Mickey Mouse watch...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA... Ok, sorry. To continue:

Langdon held up his Mickey Mouse watch and told her that Walt Disney had made it his quiet life's work to pass on the Grail story to future generations. Throughout his entire life, Disney had been hailed as "the Modern-Day Leonardo da Vinci." Both men were generations ahead of their times, uniquely gifted artists, members of secret societies, and, most notably, avid pranksters. Like Leonardo, Walt Disney loved infusing hidden messages and symbolism in his art. For the trained symbologist, watching an early Disney movie was like being barraged by an avalanche of allusion and metaphor.

I  tried looking for something to validate this, but all I could find were dicks and boobs hidden in Disney movies.

The reason for that mysterious smile? Leonardo isn't wearing any pants.

"In terms of prophecy," Teabing said, "we are currently in an epoch of enormous change. The millennium has recently passed, and with it has ended the two-thousand-year-long astrological Age of Pisces—the fish, which is also the sign of Jesus. As any astrological symbologist will tell you, the Piscean ideal believes that man must be told what to do by higher powers because man is incapable of thinking for himself. Hence it has been a time of fervent religion. Now, however, we are entering the Age of Aquarius—the water bearer—whose ideals claim that man will learn the truth and be able to think for himself. The ideological shift is enormous, and it is occurring right now."

Uh-huh. Right, Teabing, and which university was it that fired you again?

A miracle, Lord. I need a miracle. Silas had no way of knowing that hours from now, he would get one.

Did... Did you just spoil your own book, Brown?

Asking Jacques Saunière to endorse a manuscript on goddess worship was as obvious as asking Tiger Woods to endorse a book on golf. 

Remember when Tiger Woods was famous for golf? I mean literal golf, not the kind of "golf" where you have to make sure you clean your balls before you go home. Uh... Which I guess is also literal golf. Nevermind.

From where Sophie was seated across the table, she could not yet see the text, but Langdon's inability to immediately identify the language surprised her. My grandfather spoke a language so obscure that even a symbologist can't identify it? She quickly realized she should not find this surprising. 

Well, no shit. I mean we're talking ab-

This would not be the first secret Jacques Saunière had kept from his granddaughter.

Oh. I was going to say something about how symbologists can't be trusted to speak on any subject other than how everything is secretly a vagina, but yeah, that too, Sophie.

... Sophie Neveu was light-years out of her league. If a British Royal Historian and a Harvard symbologist could not even identify the language—

Then we can safely conclude that it isn't a code for gods fucking each other.

By the way, it turns out just to be English written in reverse, which says a lot about Langdon's academic rigor; they tell elementary students about how Leonardo wrote in mirror-image cursive just to keep them from eating glue out of boredom.

Not a bold claim considering that most of what he knows is bullshit.

Several years ago, Langdon had attended an event at Harvard's Fogg Museum. Harvard dropout Bill Gates had returned to his alma mater to lend to the museum one of his priceless acquisitions—

Do I sense a patronizing tone coming from Langdon? Yes, Bill Gates did indeed drop out of Harvard because he couldn't wait any longer to start owning you and everything you love. I doubt he has any reason to feel inferior to someone whose greatest intellectual achievement is noticing that the Eiffel Tower looks like a dick. 

The Priory, like many European secret societies at odds with the Church, had considered English the only European pure language for centuries. Unlike French, Spanish, and Italian, which were rooted in Latin—the tongue of the Vatican—English was linguistically removed from Rome's propaganda machine, and therefore became a sacred, secret tongue for those brotherhoods educated enough to learn it.

Yeah, about that. Also, there are a few other European languages not derived from Latin, like German, Swedish, Hungarian, Finnish, Greek, Polish, Russian, Czech, Norwegian, Dutch, Basque, Irish, Welsh, Manx, Albanian, Armenian, Breton, Cornish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Danish, Romani, Slovak, Serbian, Bosnian, Croatian, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Icelandic... I mean, just a couple.

The ancients believed that the male was spiritually incomplete until he had carnal knowledge of the sacred feminine.

I can't really prove this assertion wrong because Brown merely says "ancients," as he does in many places throughout the book. Which "ancients" do you mean? Egyptian? Greek? Sumerian? Indian? Celtic? Any number of thousands of other peoples throughout Africa and Eurasia? 

"Without my femahneen side, I am NUSSINK!"

The Jewish tetragrammaton YHWH—the sacred name of God—in fact derived from Jehovah, an androgynous physical union between the masculine Jah and the pre-Hebraic name for Eve, Havah.


"For the early Church," Langdon explained in a soft voice, "mankind's use of sex to commune directly with God posed a serious threat to the Catholic power base. It left the Church out of the loop, undermining their self-proclaimed status as the sole conduit to God. For obvious reasons, they worked hard to demonize sex and recast it as a disgusting and sinful act. Other major religions did the same."

Here Brown is talking about Hieros Gamos. News flash, Danny boy: Christianity is monotheistic. Therefore, a ritual between a god and goddess would be, at best, completely meaningless, and at worst heretical. But it would definitely be totally hot either way.

Zeus playing "hide the tzatziki" with Hera

"Professor Langdon?" A male student in 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 than enough sex.

In other words, Langdon doesn't get invited to any parties.

"Go ahead," Teabing said without breaking stride or glancing back. "My lawyers will fricassee your testicles for breakfast. And if you dare board my plane without a warrant, your spleen will follow."

That's... oddly specific. Not liver or stomach or lungs or head or eyes or gallbladder or tongue. No, it must be the spleen.

"It's early on a Saturday," Teabing said, hobbling toward the entrance, "so I'm assuming we won't have services to deal with."

It's a good thing you saw fit to inform the reader other characters about what day it is, Teabing! Inside the church there's an altar boy, and this is his reaction upon seeing Sophie and Langdon:

(Teabing) stepped aside, flourishing his arm toward the attractive couple behind them. The woman was soft-featured, with lush burgundy hair. The man was tall, dark-haired, and looked vaguely familiar. 

Even London altar boys know who Langdon is! Being a Harvard symbologist is like being a rock star, only more obsessed with sex and not as intellectual.

"Robert, no!" Teabing exclaimed. "Don't! That's the Grail you're holding! Rémy would never shoot me. We've known each other for ten—" 
Rémy aimed at the ceiling and fired the Medusa. The blast was enormous for such a small weapon, the gunshot echoing like thunder inside the stone chamber.

I think it's funny when characters do this in works of fiction. "To show my willingness to kill I will SHOOT THIS INANIMATE OBJECT. Presumably this also extends to people so DO AS I SAY."

Nodding tiredly, Collet walked over to the base of the old ladder and grasped the bottom rungs. The ladder was an antique tapered design and narrowed as Collet ascended. As he neared the top, Collet almost lost his footing on a thin rung. The barn below him spun. Alert now, he moved on, finally reaching the top. The agent above him reached out, offering his wrist. Collet grabbed it and made the awkward transition onto the platform.

Oh, the things wrong with this paragraph. First, having him almost slip and fall off the ladder; it's done in movies to show how high and perilous a climb is, but we're talking about a two-story barn here. He might break a leg at worst. Second, "the barn below him spun," which looks like it should be a note in a screenplay for the cinematographer. Third, the entire passage does not do anything whatsoever to help us understand Collet or make the story any more compelling. This space could have been used for more pagan god sex but you wasted it on poorly done dramatic filler. Shame on you, Mr. Brown.

Did Hera find the tzatziki? I'll never know if you keep wasting my time with barn mishaps!

In fact, that passage shows everything that's wrong with The Da Vinci Code outside of the blatant disregard for superficial Google searches. It's almost entirely a heartless, intellectually shallow pulp thriller. The only good I have to say for it is that the movie had Amelie and Gandalf.

"So you see, Sauron is actually a phallic symbol. More Hobbit leaf, my dear?"

1 comment:

  1. I have been trying to get around to reading this for a long time. I even bought the book, even though I only paid 50 cents for it, I still paid for it and feel obligated to read it. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about a few years ago but this seems to have summed up why I can't get into reading it. I assumed the writing would be good since the book was so popular but it is really shite. Maybe I will get around to it at some point.