Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Why I haven't Read The DaVinci Code

I was recently asked if I was going to see the upcoming film The DaVinci Code. It might also be asked if I have read the book by the same title. The simple answer to both is no. Here is why.

If I have foreknowledge that something is gravely anti-Catholic, anti-Christian or morally deprived, I avoid letting Hollywood or publishers think I approve or desire such material. And since the first language of such industries is the almight $$$, the simpliest and clearest way to relay this message to them is to not support them financially. Hence I will not be spending $8 to see the film or the $14.97 at Amazon.com for the book.

So, what if I could see the movie or read the book without sending any money out? I must say I have never done so with a book nor do I think I would be so inclined. A book is generally a longer commitment than any film with much more time and energy put into it. A movie you can squirm through for 2 hours and put it behind you if you have to. A book takes much more and I do not have much of a stomach for spending such time invested in something that I know is going to spew garbage at me, especially when I know there are so many better ways I could have spent all those hours I spent reading. I've been told the mystery element to the book is quite good, but I never would be able to get past all the lies it would be woven around. As far as a movie, generally I will watch it IF I can catch it on cable. The reason being that, having no control over what the stations choose to air and not being able to get only those channels I would watch, I have no say over whether or not my cable/satellite provider will be airing it and my not watching it will have absolutely no impact on their doing so again. (If we cut back our channels any further we will lose EWTN, so no lower will we go.) Also, it is a fair criticism that one cannot make a full review, and hence condemnation, of any film or book without having seen or read it themselves. So, watching such a film on cable, I can make a full personal opinion of it without contributing any $$$ that would not have been taken via my provider even if I hadn't watched it.

I have seen the films Priest, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Order, and others. My most hated had to be Dogma. I've seen each of them once and that is all I care to see of them. And as an informed parent, I can state that none of my children will be seeing any of them.

Now, there are people for whom it makes sense for them to pay to see such films or read such books. Such people might be movie or book reviewers, priests and professors. Why? Others look to them for their opinions in these media. Students need informed commentary from professors. Laity need truth from their priests on these issues. The community needs to know what is being put forth in such movies and books. The simple and real fact is that if those we trust to give us honest guidelines and recommendations regarding films and books did not do so, every individual would become an innocent pawn at the money-hungry paws of Hollywood and the media. Is there a book a parent should not read before allowing his or her child to read it? Never. How about a movie a professor should recommend without having seen it? How ridiculous!

So while I may yet see The DaVinci Code (if I can stomach it) when it comes on my tv, I will not be patroning it before then.

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