John Zmirak writes amusingly of a lunch he had with a fellow who happened to be an old friend of Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, of course. The friend relates some amusing anecdotes that apparently reveal Brown’s character as a writer, making him look more like the producer of undistinguished potboilers who happened upon a controversial bestseller rather than a raving anti-Christian with an axe to grind and a theory to push.
“I knew him for years. He started out as a joke-book author.” Ted said, dunking a clam-strip in tartar sauce. “Some of the jokes were funny. But he wanted to be a novelist. He kept pestering me about it, so finally I gave him this paperback, Writing the Blockbuster Novel, by Albert Zuckerman. It’s a paint-by-numbers guide on how to write a page-turner. One important part of the formula was: Find a villain your readers can safely hate. A few months later, Dan brought me this manuscript to read—and it followed the formula precisely … as if he’d poured Jello into a mold. ...”
But the bit that I really wanted to comment on was the conclusions Zmirak came to based on this information.
It convinced me that admirable efforts such as Amy Welborn’s to refute the assertions woven throughout the turgidly typed pages of The DaVinci Code might just be beside the point. It’s probably not worth protesting this silly, mercenary book—or the boring movie made of it by hack director Richie Cunningham… I mean, Ron Howard. If you know someone gullible enough to take a pulp airport novel as “evidence” that Jesus Christ was not divine—but rather a horn-dog rabbi eager to “hook-up” with a former hooker, in order to father a race of bumbling French kings…do you really think the answer is to argue with him? Using, you know, reason? You might just as well pick up the book, smack him on the nose and say “No! Bad! No! Very bad!” That’s likely to be more effective, and a heck of a lot more fun.
While it may be fun to ridicule those who believe the DVC baloney, it doesn’t do the object of ridicule any favors and leaves them in a position potentially to endanger their salvation. That’s not very funny.
A kind of gnosticism
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