Friday, May 19, 2006
TDVC THE MOVIE
opens today. The spin in Dom's blog is that the early reviews are bad so the movie may not have a chance. Or, conversely, the later reviews will uphold the party line that is anti-Christian, and so will be positive despite a bad film.
Jesse Walker at Paranoia on Main Street takes a slightly different tack. He believes this movie is not going to follow the red state-blue state divide, but rather a different divide that I tend to think is more accurate:
If there's a conflict here, it doesn't pit heartland churchgoers against the Hollywood/MSM secular elites of Michael Medved's fever dreams; it's a divide between orthodox Christians and New Agers, coming at a time when the New Age has deeply penetrated Christianity itself. Look at the ranks of the Da Vinci Code believers—yes, this potboiler's thesis has attracted actual believers—and I suspect you'll find a lot of people who were high on the angel craze 10 years ago.
One group you're sure to discover is Catholics disillusioned by their church's recent sex scandals, now primed to believe in all sorts of improbable Vatican cover-ups. When pundits try to explain this book's remarkable success—over 40 million copies have sold so far—one of the first factors that comes up is its publication date. It was released in 2003, on the heels of the biggest uproar to hit the Holy Mother Church since Vatican II.
Hollywood didn't cook up this movie to insult the great American mainstream. It made it because the great American mainstream had bought millions of copies of the book, making it a genuine grassroots hit even among people who don't ordinarily read at all.... This isn't some edgy indie flick from Darren Aronofsky or a subversive genre exercise by the Wachowski brothers. It was made by one of L.A.'s most middle-of-the-road directors, Ron Howard...
Oddly enough Walker offers another viewpoint that seems to dovetail with the material in this blog over the last week:
Inadvertently, he landed in the perfect position to launch a cult. Since it doesn't claim to be the literal, infallible truth, The Da Vinci Code isn't easily damaged by the sort of skeptical inquiry that digs out contradictions or obvious inaccuracies in holy texts. Like many writers before him, from H.P. Lovecraft to Robert Anton Wilson to Neal Stephenson, Brown has written a yarn that will attract believers no matter how many times its author assures them it isn't true. In this case, unlike the others, the author isn't eager to make those assurances.
There are people who believe Middle-Earth is real, too. I doubt they fall neatly into camps of Red and Blue.
That, in essence, is what I see happening. A cult is developing, similar to the cult centered on Lovecraft/Cthulhu, and it will not be defeated by tales of inaccuracy, because those who embrace it will be quite willing to admit to its inaccuracy while at the same time embracing it.
In chaos magick this thinking is called "simultaneous belief." It explains why TDVC has gained such extensive popularity much better than anything else I've seen. One puts on a belief as one puts on a dress for the prom. A person chooses to believe it in the way that a person enters a role-playing game by taking up the identity of a character. The lines between myth and reality are blurred to the extent that dual realities exist in the mind of the believer.
I think that is the consequence of the Western civ. doctrine of relativity that Benedict repeatedly speaks against. Pluriform truth.
Ultimately it is the doctrine of the enemies of Christ who are willing to settle for dual status as godhead for the present. As we were told in Eden, "You, too, can be a god." Once the deceiver has convinced men that he is equal to Christ, the next step would be a rise above Christ. The blueprint for that is already written in Theosophy. It looks to me like it is being written into the American Dream. And Jimmy Akin seems to prove my point.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!