Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Poor Ron Howard...

Did anybody catch Ron Howard talking about DVC on Leno last night? It was very odd.

First of all, the guy was so nervous he was talking in endless sentences, very fast and stuttery, telling long boring stories, all while hanging half off his chair. It was very clear that he was trying desperately hard to be light and gay, but his body-language had terrible stress written all over it.

I've seen Ron Howard promoting his movies before, obviously, and I've never seen him this out of sorts. It reminded me of an interview I saw with Tom Hanks last week. Although, Tom is a better actor than Ron, he still couldn't quite hide a studied, tense air of, "If I act like the whole thing is just a silly movie, maybe people won't think I know I made something blasphemous."

Leno pressed Howard a few times about the controversy in the project, and it was clear that there was a script in play in Howard's responses. (paraphrasing the words here for the sense they communicated.) "No, no, there was no real controversy....Everybody is just so excited to see it! The book has lots of fans. LOTS of fans!So, no, there was no real controversy! It's just fun and fluff! Everybody loves this book! LOTS OF FANS! And no REAL controversy! Only have had two wackos ever protest it. Everybody knows this is just good fun! Everything is happy happy. NOPE, NO REAL CONTROVERSY THAT I've SEEN! Just a fun, happy, fun movie!"

At one point when Leno was really pressing the point that some people would find the movie offensive, Ron kind of blew out through his mouth and nose, "Well, what am I a creative woos?" But the audience barely laughed. It was like Chicken Little asking, "What am I a scrawny little bird or something?"

It was strangely painful watching an otherwise nice guy with a guilty conscience basically hoping if he pretends it all isn't bothering him that he will convince all of us and himself too. It was icky and shameful and way too intimate for late-night.

As I was shaking my head watching him crossing and uncrossing his legs, and leaning half-over Leno's desk, I was thnking, "Either a) he believes that he really hasn't done anything to dishonor Christ and attack Christianity, and he is just having a really stressful bad day that is affecting him physically; or b) he knows he has blasphemed Christ, and attacked Christianity, but did it more for the money and not out of hate and so is trying desperately to distance himself from the message of his own work; or else c) He has an axe to grind against Christianity.

I am thinking that b) is the most likely here.

My sense is that Howard is not obtuse enough for a). He knows that the movie is denying Christ's divinity, and appreciates that making that case is a long, long dark way from Main Street, Mayberry.

I also didn't detect evidence of c). We have seen people who really have an axe to grind against the Church so often, and when they get a forum they manifest glee, not nervousness. An example is the Iraqi guy from Lost (can't recall the name now, sorry), who spent his recent fifteen minutes of fame over his role in ABC's Ten Commandments basically accusing Moses of having been a blood-thirsty terrorist. This guy's hatred of Christianity kept gushing out of his mouth in every interview. I kept waiting for him to curl his mustache and laugh evilly. He really had an agenda. This wasn't my sense with Ron Howard last night.

Nope, my sense was that Howard was projecting nothing so much as a guilty conscience. Which is, actually a good thing. It could be a moment of grace for him.

Howard wanted a huge money making blockbuster movie more than anything to move him closer to the Spielberg-type A-list Director gold standard. Howard has had critical success, but not huge box-office success. This also explains why Christians like Tom Hanks are acting in the film and are among those marketing the film. It's just money.

And, of course, people who do things they wouldn't normally do, just because there is a lot of money involved tend to be filled with a sense of loathesomeness and shame. Both of these things cause inordinate stress, which makes people act out, laugh too hard, speak too loudly, act defensive, and crave many, many voices to tell them, "You're okay. You didn't do anything wrong."

And so the folks who are making and selling this movie are needing the movie to open HUGELY so that the hordes of folks who stream through the theaters will be one big affirming chorus for them, of "See, we didn't do anything wrong!!! Could all these people be wrong?!! See?!!"

But then, there will eventually be a quiet Monday morning. Gotta dread that coming.
Let's pray for them.


F. S. Poesy said...

And, of course, people who do things they wouldn't normally do, just because there is a lot of money involved tend to be filled with a sense of loathesomeness and shame.

Reminds me of the old joke:

Q: Will you have sex with me for a million dollars?
A: For a million dollars? Sure!
Q: Will you have sex with me for twenty bucks?
A: Twenty bucks? What do you think I am, a prostitute?
Q: We've already established that. Now we are just dickering over price.

Anonymous said...

I noticed the same thing in an appearance last week by Tom Hanks on Letterman. a post on the topic, including a link to a video of the appearance so you can judge for yourself.

Thx Barbara for so clearly crystalizing what was bugging me about that appearance.

DVC said...

Response to the Christian naysayers:

I'm not sure what it is that you're all up in arms about. The story shouldn't be as threatening to you that you would spawn so many and such vociferous diatribes against it. The clamor you're raising is enough to make people want to find out if there isn't something to the information in DVC.

I personally feel it is a book which can shed more light on our religious history, and let people know that Christianity isn't all about pat stories, homilies, and commands to do this and that. Christianity is very much formed by humans, which that doesn't make it wrong, but it does open it up to interpretation, and allow for subjectiveness.

Ultimately everyone develops the religion that works for them, and I think shrilly demanding, condemning, and/or pronouncing who's going to hell and who's not is counterproductive. Truly, who is to say that your version of your beliefs is "the right version"? I think those things are about making you feel more comfortable and superior in your belief systems than they are effective tools for making converts.

From reading your essays about DVC it strikes me that you are threatened, and your belief systems are threatened, not Christianity. This whole question brought up by the DVC is because there is a resonance that is coming out of the information that is contained in it. Moreover, it isn't a resonance that is borne out of the devil, or some kind of anti-Christ movement, it is an ancient resonance that on a visceral level people are connecting with. They are tired of the canned stories and dialog that have sufficed for the majority of Christendom, for many, many years. At some level, one has to deal with the power bases that sects of Christendom have developed to support their desire for power.

So, I'm not convinced by your spiels against the DVC, it isn't the end of the world or Christendom if people find out more about the underpinnings of the Church and the times that preceded it and formed it.

Anonymous said...

DVC, your very post is precisely what Christians (and many others) who care about historical accuracy are up in arms about - you are examining the claims of this books as if they will shed some light on historical truth.

And that is so far from the reality that sometimes it's just hard to stay calm. So if some of us have, on occasion, gotten a little too spun-up then I'll just have to plead a collective mea-culpa.

Finding out what's what about the truths of the early parts of the church, and the cultures that formed it is exactly the very best thing that anyone could do.

There are so many good places to look. Why not rely on accounts of those who actually lived in those times? There are so many well-documented writings from that period - check out places like Mike Aqualina's blog for a Christian perspective, or Jewish historians like Josephusfor more reliable information.

Go ahead and seek the truth - that is noble (& I daresay essential), and God will honor your honest desire to seek truth.

But do yourself a favor and try to seek truth from places more reliable than a novel which is so easily shown to be just silly goo.

Here's three simple examples. 1) the novel attributes actions to the Vatican more than a thousand years before it actually existed. 2) the "priory of sion" is a deeply sinister organizationin the DVC, when in reality it was the invention of four Frenchmen in the 1950s, one of whom went to jail as a direct result of this hoax. 3) A key character in DVC is an albino monk from Opus Dei. Opus Dei has nevery had monks.

If a friend of yours lied to you about different stuff regularly, how could you trust them with anything they had to say? In the same way, how can anything that is so fraught with errors be a reliable source of history?

Anonymous said...

If you people would stop crying about the things that other people are doing and take that time to scrutinize yourself, you would find much more to work with.

Anonymous said...

not guts, judgement...i hope you come to know the Lord, Ron - why else are we here on this earth, i suggest you read your Bible (the truth), i know there's allot of good in you - you made a mistake with this filth of a movie, plase turn to God and His Son Jesus, you will never find happiness untill you do! money, fame, power mean nothing, we all die sometime, taking none of it with us...your memory of the fine roles you have played and the great films you have directed have been wiped away for those who believe and worship the one true God - who is slandered in this aweful and blastemous film - i will pray for you....

Anonymous said...

it isn't a resonance that is borne out of the devil, or some kind of anti-Christ movement, it is an ancient resonance that on a visceral level people are connecting with.

Sounds you might be talking about that good old "ancient resonance" between the legs, DVC. That's what it's all about, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Actually, i heard it was hemorrhoids...

Anonymous said...

Ron Howard is a Judas; hopefully he does not have the same end. Maybe there is a conversion out there for him.

And, with regards to the idea that this blasphemy is only "fiction" what if someone produced a "fictional" movie about Hitler, which made him out to be a misunderstood kind and generous person, who really was not responsible for the Holocaust?

Would something like that ever make it to screen?

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Seamus Breathnach said...

Ron Howard's Guilt Conscience And The Real Opus Dei Code

There are those who say that the Da Vinci Code is a mindless book, that the film should have a disclaimer, that Opus Dei is not a violent secret society and that the RC Church is not a malignant organisation.

The following is a twelfth century Bull entitiled Laudabiliter which was denied by the Vatican for centuries. It is now more or less admitted. And everyone who has heard of Northern Ireland, the war between Catholic and Protestants,and the Northern Ireland Agreement, which has sought to resolve these issues will have an idea of what this Bull did to Irish history.

Dan Brown did not make it up. It is real. The Gaelic people it affected are as defunct and gone from the earth as is the Mammoth. Not a thousand irish families remain with their native language. The Canon Laws of the Church and the Common Law of the English survives,but the Brehon Laws of the Gael are absolutely unknown to the Opus Dei appointed Judges of the irish Courts, most if not all of whom can hardly speak a word of Gaelic.

The same Bull sold the native Irish into slavery and prepared the way for a war that lasted for almost a thousand years and only ended with the Good Friday Agreement.

The programmatic lies and deceipts spread by the Vatican respecting the fate of the Gaelic people of Ireland is , in the author's opinion, repeated in East Timor, as it has been repeated throughout the world for centuries. The whole subversion of countries who do not wish to live under the yoke of the Christian conquest, have suffered the same colonial imperialiasm orchestrated by the RC Church, its trained Dominicans, Franciscans, Jesuits , the Knights of Colombanus, the Knights of Malta, and the universal scourge of Opus Dei.

In fulfillment of its traditional humiliating of the transplanted Irish, the RC Church , through its instructions to the Irish State, has not only ratlined the Nazis during WW11, while claiming to be neutral, but has also managed force taxpayers to make payments to the victims of criminal clerical pedophilic acts, while at the same time, the RC Church extensive properties in Ireland has increased tenfold over the past fifteen years.

Ron Howard never produced that film. And Dan Brown never wrote a word of, because neither Dan Brown nor Ron Howard knows the half of it. You have to live in a Catholic country -- I mean a Poland, an Austria, an East Timor, an Ireland, a Phillipine Island, to know what it's all about. Dan Brown and Ron Howard merely touched a nerve in the universally rotten nervous system of Leviathon. What the RC Church hates most is being found out and those who bark most are on the take!


Adrian the bishop, the servant of the servants of God, to his most dear son in Christ, the noble king of England, sendeth greeting, and apostolic benediction:Your magnificence hath been very careful and studious how you might enlarge the church of God here on earth, and increase the number of his saints and elect in heaven; in that, as a good catholic king, you have and do, by all means, labour and travail to enlarge and increase God’s church, by teaching the ignorant people the true and Christian religion, and in abolishing and rooting up the weeds of sin and wickedness.
And wherein you have, and do crave, for your better furtherance, the help of the apostolic see, wherein more speedily and discreetly you proceed, the better success, we hope, god will send, for all they which of a fervent zeal and love in religion do begin and enterprise any such thing, shall, no doubt, in the end, have a good and prosperous success.

And as for Ireland, and all other islands, where Christ is known, and the Christian religion received, it is out of all doubt, and your Excellency well knoweth, they do all appertain and belong to the right of St. Peter, and of the church of Rome, and we are so much the more ready, desirous and willing to sow the acceptable seed of god’s word, because we know the same in the latter day will be most severely required at our hands (p.35) You have (our well-beloved son in Christ) advertised and signified unto us, that You will enter into the land and realm of Ireland; to the end to bring them to obedience unto law, and under your subjection, and to root out from among them their foul sins and wickedness; as also to yield and pay yearly out of every house, a yearly pension of one penny to St .Peter, and besides, also will defend and keep the rites of these churches whole and inviolate.
We therefore, well allowing and favouring this your godly disposition, and commendable affection, do accept, ratify and assent unto this your petition; and do grant, that you (for the dilating of God’s church, the punishment of sin, there forming of manners, planting of virtue, and the increasing of Christian religion)do enter to possess that land, and there to execute according to your wisdom,whatsoever shall be for the honour of god, and the safety of the realm.
And further, also, we do strictly charge and require, that all the people of that land do with all humbleness, dutifulness and honour, receive and accept you as their liege lord and sovereign, reserving and excepting the right of holy church to be inviolably preserved; as also the yearly pension of Peter-pence, out of every house; which we require to be truly answered to St. Peter and the Church of Rome.
If therefore you do mind to bring your godly purpose to effect, endeavour to travail to reform the people to some better order and trade of life, and that also by yourself, and by such others as you shall think meet, true and honest in their life,manners and conversation, to the end the church of god may be beautified, the true Christian religion sowed and planted, and all other things done, that by any means shall or may be to God’s honour, and salvation of men’s souls, whereby you may in the end receive of God’s hands the reward of everlasting life; and also, in the mean time, and in this life, carry a glorious fame, and an honourable report among all nations.

Extracted from
The History and Antiquities of the County of Carlow
John Ryan, Esq., M.R.S.L.
(Dublin 1833); Pages 35 and 36

Seamus Breathnach