Da Vinci Whatever

First off, let me say that I avoided making this post yesterday because, you know, 6/6/06 is t3h ebil!!!1oneone!1! Oh wait, the only evil part is releasing a crappy The Omen remake and making Julia Stiles play a mommy role.

I was just really lazy and unmotivated yesterday, and today’s subject is a dead horse beaten to such a bloody pulp that I’ve put off writing about it for as long as I possibly can. This is why you’ve had to suffer through painful opening paragraphs that have absolutely nothing to do with what I’m writing about, other than the fact that The Da Vinci Code is, like the new Omen movie, an evil, life force-sucking vortex for commercialism.

old man Leonardo da Vinci Oh, good. You’re still here. I just wanted to catch your attention about the whole phenomenon that is Dan Brown’s take on Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and a certain Renaissance artist. (Here, read the whole load of informative DVC links Brownpau’s accumulated.) Just so you know, I read the book back in 2004 by borrowing an illustrated copy from a friend. While I appreciated the pace and twists of the novel, in order for me to be able to suspend my disbelief, my fiction should be sprinkled with factual information, not spackled with baseless assertions. Shouting “it’s historical fact!” several times isn’t enough. Also, Dan Brown can’t write.

Still, regardless of my lack of affection for it, The Da Vinci Code is a huge phenomenon, definitely affecting people’s lives. Imagine going on a tour of Europe — okay, maybe just France and the United Kingdom — and using a work of fiction to set your itinerary. You don’t need to imagine it: there are many tour operators offering a Da Vinci code tour, and if you’re not willing to shell out the Euros for a real live tour guide, there are self-tour guidebooks floating around out there.

(I’m well aware that there are tours of places where famous authors lived and where they set their novels; the Jane Austen Society of North America schedules tours of England. Still, Ms. Austen was very detailed and accurate about the England she wrote about. I can’t say the same for Mr. Brown.)

Apparently, attaching the name “Da Vinci” to anything is a surefire way of getting people’s attention. For example, spam emails have gone out inviting people to join a book club and offering a free copy of the book as incentive. (I wouldn’t sign up for anything that offered me a free Dan Brown book, but that’s just me.)

And in possibly the most ridiculous and most recent attempt to capitalize on the hype surrounding the book and movie, some baker created a diet based on the Golden Ratio. Sure, the disciples of Pythagoras believed this number Phi expressed an underlying truth about existence, the architect Le Corbusier based his system of architecture on the number, and Plato wrote some gobbledygook about two things being able to join together completely through the adaptation of this proportion. Still, nothing seems to be able to move units like “Da Vinci,” and the author and publishers of the diet book are hoping “to pique the interest of Da Vinci enthusiasts and weight-loss seekers alike.”

Da Vinci linguine The diet is 20 percent protein, 52 percent carbohydrates, and 28 percent fat. I guess in this low-carb world you can’t blame a baker for trying to create a market for his goods. This should also be good news for the established Italian pasta brand Da Vinci. Possible tie-ins should not be ignored. (There’s a Flying Spaghetti Monster joke in there somewhere, but I can’t juggle two heresies at once, dammit!)

Behold the awesome moneymaking power of da Vinci! Even better, behold the awesome attention-getting power of da Vinci! Let’s face it, why else did you read this post to the end?

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