National Does A Judas

Popular = Good Life.

Well, it’s finally come full circle. Da Vinci Snot  the film  has been released. And did you get a shot of that train delivering the privileged few from London to Cannes? Tom Hanks looked overly debonair and Ron Howard, that freaky child actor who was constantly the subject of my spit balls on the TV screen when I was kid, looked so… At least glamour isnt a pre-requisite for showing up at Cannes. And to top it off, I thought the gerbils that were stuck up my ass would come flying out and singing after witnessing that publicity stunt.

For a while I thought that the filming of Dans plagiary would mark the end of this really big and neat-o popularity display. I thought finally I could find some peace from all the imbeciles coming to me with: Tommi, can you explain to me again the story of Mary having to wave through storm and peril while pregnant on her refuge seeking trek on a donkey (the same one JC used, btw) from Jerusalem to Egypt after the crucifixion? Or they would ask: Tommi, could you explain to me again the conflict Jesus had with his disciples, especially that big-war-mongering-assassin-leader-type-guy, Peter? And then there is my favourite: Tommi, tell me again the story of Jesus’ resurrection and who he sees first so as to create a metaphor reincarnating the concept of Adam and Eve and paradise.

You see, it all began in 2004. Da Vinci Snot, the book, was quite popular but I had promised myself a long time ago to avoid certain things because life is too short. One of those things is: Don’t read books that adhere to a formula meant only to sell books. And. Popularity can be the evidence you need in judging whether or not a book is worth reading.

Now don’t get your thongs all in a wilily. I got nothin’ against others reading this krapp. In fact, its a great source of personal entertainment because 1) even though I don’t fan the flames of Schadenfreude, that stuff is really hi-larry-us; and 2) I’m the guy who read almost all the secondary literature Dan Brown stole from.

At this point in my failed life Dan Brown’s plagiarism will go down as a personal highlight since for the first time I can openly share my knowledge and very few among the college educated working class compulsives can come near my intellectual prowess on the subject. People who read Da Vinci Snot see right away when they look at me that I’m a guy who knows more than, goodness forbid, Dan about this subject. But enough about moi.

Irony as truth and justice and…

The other day my lovely girlfriend returned from a business trip. As usual, when she arrives from a hard day of work, I have a bottle of Proseco chilled and am waiting to serve her a glass while asking whether or not she’s had a bad day. She usually responds in the positive – she’s desperately optimistic – and then sips from the glass and I observe how the Italian sparkling wine soothes her lovely but over worked soul. On this day, to my reluctant surprise, she changed the subject to one of my favourites.

“I have something for you,” she said.

Like a kid expecting wonders from a father who travels too much I became overtly excited. I stood back and sipped my whiskey to keep calm. My chick handed me a small paper carton with Neuhaus and Lufthansa written on it. Since she’s on an eternal diet, she brings me the delicious chocolate that business class provides you after paying inflated prices.

“Thank you very much,” I said, putting the chocolate on the counter thinking that she was also the one that wants me to go on a diet.

We continued the small talk regarding her business trip until it bored both of us. Then she realized something.

“I have another gift for you,” she said.

She turned and ran off to the foyer and returned with an English copy of National Geographic with the cover title The Judas Gospel. I had seen the magazine lying around various bookstores. An intellectual like me should have such stuff simply sent to him. Right?

The first thing I asked my chick was if she had paid for the magazine.

“No, I took it from the hotel in London,” she said.

Good.

The next morn, with coffee and toast, I embarked on reading NGs article. My conclusion from a wannabe journalistic point-of-view: the article sucks. My conclusion from a worstwriter’s point of view: the article sucks. The author of this article makes a living at this and I can’t – that should clarify everything. I could have written it better using my toes, finger-paint and stealing pictures from pre-school bible study books. The timeline covering two pages was ok and also the small picture of Judas by Leonardo was nice. But the rest was junk, junk, junk. This is why I stopped reading NG and others like it. Let me give you an example that I’m sure the author came up with all by his lonesome:

The notion of gospels that contradict the canonical four in the New Testament is deeply unsettling to some, as I was reminded at lunch with Meyer at a Washington, D.C., restaurant. Brimming with enthusiasm, the ebullient academic polished off a plate of chicken salad while discoursing non-stop on the beliefs in the Judas gospel. This is really exciting, he exclaimed. This explains why Judas is singled out by Jesus as the best of the disciples. The others didn’t get it.

The lunch time crowd had emptied out, and we were alone in the restaurant, deep in the second century A.D. when the maitre’d hesitantly handed Meyer a note. It read simply, God spoke a book. The cryptic message had been called in anonymously, with instructions that it be delivered immediately to the diner who had ordered chicken salad. Someone seated nearby had apparently thought Meyer was casting doubt on the Bible as the word of God.

Excuse me for a moment while I write and express my frustration in French: What the fuck does the author of this article – and tried and true “journalist” – think he’s writing about? Back to English: Isn’t this article supposed to be about a historical find?

Ok. What are we dealing with here? This is an article about an old document. You don’t have to sell me that. Just write me something interesting about it. Interesting doesn’t equate with popular. Interesting in this context is facts and research.

Anyone see the irony here? NG releases its May 2006 issue to correspond with the release of Da Vinci Snot. And thats fine. Get on the band wagon. But NG has had the Judas document for… how many years now? Ok, I’m down with this increase your numbers kinda thing – but then to have the author, Mr. Andrew Cockburn, include the above mentioned passage? What the hell for? Oh yeah, because, according to popularity statistics, the compulsive workforce, especially the higher academics, will think its cute.

National Geographic  you suck.

Its not enough that the moguls of media rule the collective imagination of useless eaters and compulsive labourers. But now, in all walks of print and publishing, the same shit gets regurgitated over and over and over and over – independent of the context so the creators of this krapp can look cute. Cute equals popular. Da Vinci Snot is bad enough with its conspiring innuendo and silly mockery of albinos and written at the same level as pre-school bible study picture books. But when a half-witted journalist thinks while typing an article about a significant historical find: Hey, why not put a little Da Vinci in there somewhere…

Man, when will this end?

If this is what the compulsives of this world want, then who am I to judge. But when a journalist tries to copy the same shit that another pop author already copied, well, I’m a bit at wits end here. If this continues then my fear that the world can only get stupider is coming true. Dan Brown, with his wife hidden behind a curtain and his publisher sucking cocktails in Barbados, will probably receive an academy award, a Pulitzer and Nobel Prize. He will then run for public office as a republican in the US northeast and eventually win the presidency by a very small majority because he has promised lower taxes and fuel efficient hotrods and and and and…

Yeah. Let’s all really get into not what Judas could have been but what he actually did. We do it to each other every day of our lives. So, like Donna Summer sings, Lets Dance. Lets do the Judas…

Rant on.

tgs