Thursday, May 25, 2006

Di Vinci's Code and other thoughts

I have thoughts, in a general way, on the 'up-roar' over the Di Vinci Code. 
I have always found the ability of the Catholic Church to create an 'up-roar' over something to be near amazing.  I read the first book in the Robert Langdon series 'Angels and Demons' and found this book to be a facinating read.  I did learn some historical 'facts' about the Catholic Church that I didn't know and found the book to be entertaining.
I read 'Angels and Demons' first because I wanted to read 'The Di Vinci Code' and the 'Angels' came first in the series.  I haven't finished the second novel yet, but I have been enjoying the story.  In many ways the story is very similar in format to the first novel.  I did enjoy the movie, even though it is supposed to be a near slave-ish adaption of the novel.  ( I will state more when I am finished with the book.)
The thing that I find most facinating is that people have taken a single page of the book, which is not part of the story, and taken it to say something it doesn't.  The page states that the artwork and architectual descriptions are all accurate, the secret organizations all have existed and that the 'secret rituals' as described in the book are all true.   Think about that statement for just one second, that a part of the novels are true, does not make the books true, or anything other than a novel.  If I wrote a 'science fiction' novel and stated that all science concepts that are discussed in this book are true based on research, would that make the entire story I wrote about true?  Of course not.  The problem is that the books 'call in to question' the central fact/view about Jesus, and that is his divinity.
At the end of the movie Wife said "Well X was revealed, so isn't that saying that it is true."  As I don't know if every body reading this has seen the movie or read the book I won't reveal the 'big secret.'  My first response was that revealing X didn't mean anything outside the context of the story, as the story never says that it is a real fact out side the reality that the movie creates. 
My second response was that the ideas that the book put forth in a story form are nothing that hasn't been discussed for close to 2000 years.
The people who are having a problem with the story have one of two problems they are either weak in their own belief in their religion, or they believe that everyone else is.  That final fact is really the whole point of the 'up-roar' anyway. 
A couple of other items quickly.
1. Apparently Alberto Gonzalez and the rest of this administration is not content with just subverting the separation of the branches or the 4th Amendment, they now feel that they have to possible lock up reporters for information that they print that relates to National Security.  The problem is that this Administration believes only things that are harmful to their own operations are of National Security importance.
2.  I am not happy with the entire tax bill that was past recently.  And the first thing that is ridiculous about it is the name, 'Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2006.'  Please call the bill what it is a tax cut.  Some of the provisions I don't have a problem with.  The extension of the Educators Expense adjustment, the extension of the Tuition and Fees Deduction(adjustment).  I do have a major problem with the extension of the Capital Gains tax reduction, and not because I think it is a bad thing, but because it is not a good financial plan at this point.


Re: Davinci Code. Have you read sholem Asch's Mary. It's also an interesting piece of fiction.
Re: Tax bill. I think the capital gains tax reduction is a good thing as more taxes get paid as people are more willing to trade stocks when the capital gains tax is lower.
No I haven't read that, but I will see if I can locate it and read it after I have cleared my piles of books.

As for the Capital Gains Tax reduction, I didn't say I thought the concept was bad, just badly timed. I also think that the theory of 'more trades and more investment in business' is really a false argument. I feel that that you are correct that people are more willing to make trades, but I would rather see tax breaks and reductions for the people who need them the most, and lets be honest, the people who get the most benefit from a lower Cap Gains tax are not the people who need the tax reductions the most.
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