Of Masons and Morons.

For those of you who are not quite willing to jump on the Da Vinci bandwagon, regardless of how good your aunt from Wisconson says it is:

The Truth is Out There.


28 Responses to “Of Masons and Morons.”

  1. ubernacht Says:
    February 28th, 2006 at 12:37 pm

    …what a great opener:
    "ANYONE who has ever had their thoughtful "Where is my life going?" wander up Edinburgh's Royal Mile interrupted by an obese American couple in matching cagoules demanding the way to the Castle is in for a shock…"

  2. podle Says:
    February 28th, 2006 at 12:47 pm

    Perhaps now is a good time to start spreading the rumour that the holy grail is there – but that it appears only once in every hundred years because of an ancient curse.

  3. FunkyPlaid Says:
    March 1st, 2006 at 1:42 am


  4. catness Says:
    February 28th, 2006 at 1:24 pm

    This summer I was on a plane, and I was reading this book. A very well behaved and seemingly smart 10-13 year old across the aisle asked me if I liked the book, because he was planning on reading it. I told him I was enjoying it a lot, but that the real fun would be in researching the *real* stories behind all the things that got mentioned in the novel. The kid thought about it for a moment, and then said that sounded like a good idea.
    Now, originally I thought that I was derailing the unqualified support I see people who've never read speculative fiction are giving this book. However, I may have just sent him to Scotland. Oh, Midlothian!

  5. FunkyPlaid Says:
    March 1st, 2006 at 1:44 am

    Well, if the precocious little fuck actually makes it over there, you can be proud that you have amazing powers of coercion. I'm duly impressed!
    Next time, though: Milan. There's just more to see.

  6. eskimolimon Says:
    February 28th, 2006 at 1:52 pm

    Why "obese American tourists?" – a little unfair, I think. I used to meet a friend at the Louvre Pyramid every Friday night, and when I was waiting there were usually a half dozen or so people with copies of the Da Vinci code, usually counting the number of f*$€ing glass tiles on the pyramid.
    I didn't see one obese American – quite a few foxy Italians though.
    Besides, if you were really obese, you wouldn't leave your hotel if you made it to Edinburgh, it's one of the hilliest cities in Britain.
    Besides (2), a Scot should be in no position to attack Americans for being fat, the Scottish diet is famously the worst in the western world!
    Sorry for the sense of humour bypass 😉

  7. FunkyPlaid Says:
    March 1st, 2006 at 1:52 am

    You've got good points here, and you're very fair, as ever.
    Sadly, I hate fair, and that's why, to me, this article is a perfect example of the dour and biting wit of the Scots, and yet one more reason that the Scottish tourism industry does not necessarily have to take precedence over other, more important paradigms the country so desperately needs. I'm still trying to get over the Harry Potter thing.

  8. eskimolimon Says:
    March 1st, 2006 at 2:45 am

    I'm neither obese nor American, in case you wondered!
    It's just that I find that smug and complacent British anti-Americanism very tedious. At least in France, their complaints about all things US are tied to France's inferiority complex.
    I love Scotland, I lived in Edinburgh for six years, and my dad's family are from there. I agree that tourism isn't the most important thing Scotland needs. And I supposed I rolled my eyes as much as anyone when some girl with a rucksack, college sweatshirt and ultra-short shorts would ask "Excuse me, is this the train to Eden-Burg?"
    Must have been in a bad mood last night. But back on topic, Da Vinci Code is shite, Rosslyn Chapel is magnificent.

  9. hermiston Says:
    March 1st, 2006 at 7:10 am

    Might she have asked for the train to DunEdin, or did she genuinely not know? The article slipped into stereotypes sadly too common in Scotland, but atleast it didn't drop to Danish levels. Perhaps Scots should be more sensitive, American investment via tourism or otherwise helps as much to support those important cultural paradigms as much as they undercut them. But talk about inferiority complexes and loud mouths and Scottish psyche bears resemblance. Throw obese into the mix and Alex Salmond's image positively begins to emerge.
    Having said that, how far does Mr. Hanks fit the illustrated type, or Mr Brown, or his protagonist(i haven't read the book, I don't know his name)?
    I liked most the picture. Hasn't Mona got such very nice teeth for a C14th maiden?

  10. eskimolimon Says:
    March 1st, 2006 at 8:43 am

    I always thought the kind of man who ended up with Audrey Tautou would be younger, more handsome and with better hair… more like me, in fact 😉

  11. hermiston Says:
    March 1st, 2006 at 9:45 am

    have I been living in a hole under the ground under a medieval church for however long? I didn't know she was in it! Damn, now I might have to go see it after all…

  12. FunkyPlaid Says:
    March 2nd, 2006 at 4:55 pm

    HA! Love the Salmond poke. Hm…isn't that an entrée at the local M&S? Salmond Poke?
    I liked most the picture. Hasn't Mona got such very nice teeth for a C14th maiden?
    It's a MAN, baby! 🙂

  13. FunkyPlaid Says:
    March 2nd, 2006 at 4:43 pm

    There were short-shorts involved and you rolled your eyes? What a waste of ocular prowess!

  14. thistlelurid Says:
    February 28th, 2006 at 3:49 pm

    My mother, a voracious reader, engaged me in quite a discussion about
    this book over xmas….it has been on my list-for the pile-for the queue…
    but never purchased. I think the real research should be into why
    DaVinci's Inquest ever made it on the air…now THERE'S a mystery!
    (fork…in …..the…..eye)

  15. FunkyPlaid Says:
    March 1st, 2006 at 1:49 am

    And coming this fall: DaVinci's CockFight!
    DaVinci's Paper Airplane Contest!
    DaVinci's Hemorrhoid Operation!
    You get the drift…

  16. pvcvirus Says:
    February 28th, 2006 at 5:56 pm

    Ah dont! I loved that book 🙁

  17. FunkyPlaid Says:
    March 1st, 2006 at 1:45 am

    And we still love you, Angela. You'll excuse my biting criticism, then. I'm an angry, angry man.

  18. pvcvirus Says:
    March 1st, 2006 at 5:45 am

    That's ok, it's one of the reasons I love ya!

  19. marasca Says:
    February 28th, 2006 at 6:44 pm

    Awesome. I especially like: Wait, I hear some cry, everyone knows there is no smoke without fire. Wrong. There is no smoke without idiots who can't tell that it is not smoke but in fact the mists of time.
    One of the people who had my house before me left behind a copy of The DaVinci Code. I read the first page or two and couldn't bring myself to read any more. Dan Brown is just… a terrible writer. I would never be able to get past his writing style enough to enjoy the story, as ridiculous as the story may be.

  20. FunkyPlaid Says:
    March 1st, 2006 at 1:46 am

    You know, I've never even tried. And reviews like this ensure that I won't. Thanks!

  21. darkstones Says:
    March 1st, 2006 at 3:23 am

    Ah, but what you don't realise is the the book is deliberately awful in order to make conspiracy theories seem ridiculous. This is of course because people were getting too close to the truth… 🙂
    Someone gave me a book called 'The Davinci Cod' for xmas this year, whic I found mildly amusing. <a href="http://www.orionbooks.co.uk/MP-35815/The-Va-Dinci-Cod.htm” target=”_blank”>http://www.orionbooks.co.uk/MP-35815/The-Va-Dinci-Cod.htm
    I think I might amuse myself this year by hanging around Roslin and making up semi plausible tall tales.
    For example.. if you you look at a map of West Lothian drawn before the war, you'll see that Edinburgh airport is actually based on a Templar preceptory (which is true). However, there are hidden patterns in the layout of the runways. A line drawn extending from Runway one passes through 'the mysterious' Inchkeith island, a line drawn extending from Runway 2 passes through Roslin Chapel. The Chapel, The Island & the Airport form a 'perfect' triangle, at the exact centre of which, is, ….., Edinburgh Castle! (which is false, but nearly true, therefore it might be true). Of course, the current owner of Roslin Chapel was the architect of the new airport control tower (not true), whose unusual design is reminiscent of an inverted drinking goblet, or perhaps the grail itself… the significance of this is obvious, etc etc.
    If you don't believe me, judge for yourself:
    I coud have a lot of fun with this 🙂

  22. FunkyPlaid Says:
    March 2nd, 2006 at 5:01 pm

    Oh, man! I never saw the resemblance before.
    You know, just looking at that picture makes me thirsty for the Blood of Christ.
    Doesn't Appleton tower fit into this equation somehow, by God?

  23. darkstones Says:
    March 2nd, 2006 at 9:06 pm

    Well it's funny you should mention that, because the Appleton Tower and it's environs are indeed a clue to a prophesy. Here's how to crack the code…
    Appleton Tower's full address is Appleton Tower, Crichton Street.
    'Appleton tower' is an anagram of 'To Tewplar Open'. Rotate the 'w' 180 degrees (note the masonic connection) and you have 'To Templar Open'.
    Next, you have to consider the area next to Appleton Tower – George Square. This of course refers to the famous T-Square used by George Washington at the founding of the American Capital. The most important building in Washington is the White House, whose cornerstone was laid on the 13th April – the exact 485th anniversary of the excommunication of the Knights Templar. From this it is obvious that the Whitehouse is the focus of Templar activity in the US.
    Put it all together and what do you get? It all obviously points to the fact that whoever lives in the Whitehouse is the head of the Knights Templar – George W Bush.
    But what does 'To Templar Open' mean? It's a reference to the days of the crusades, when the Middle East was open to the Knights Templar, but it's also a prophecy that the Templars will once again return to those lands.
    What we are witnessing is in fact the Fifth Crusade, led by Bush against the infidel. The tower was named after Edward Appleton – but it's no coincidence that his middle name was Victor. Edward Victor Appleton Tower is an anagram of Templar Victor Opened War Dot (dot is obviously a full stop)(and again the w rotates 180 degrees)
    The final proof is to take the first fourteen letters of the address of Appleton Tower (note that 1+4 = 5 ie the 5th crusade) and then add in George Bush's famous middle initial. Unbelievably, the letters can be re-arranged to spell out this dire warning.. 'We want petrol opec'.
    It's all there if you know where to look 😉

  24. FunkyPlaid Says:
    March 2nd, 2006 at 10:27 pm

    Oh my stars and garters, you're a clever one!
    This kills me. You must write a book. Or, you must find a hobby. Your choice.

  25. darkstones Says:
    March 3rd, 2006 at 5:57 am

    I think the reason all these Templar conspiracy writers get away with it is that there so much historical information about the Templars, that with a little imagination, it's easy to cobble together wild speculations that on the surface seem to be credible. It's very similar to classic economic theory – most of which makes assumptions that seem reasonable within the context of the theory, but make the theory totally unworkable if applied to the real world.
    One thing that always cracks me up is 'The Holy Blood, Holy Grail' book. The book's main blurb states that the Templars had a secret that if revealed, would bring the Church crashing down in ruins. The book then proceeds to reveal that secret. Hmm, the Church seems to be still going, yet none of the many theorists seem to regard that as relevant. Go figure..
    With your vast knowledge of Scottish History, I'm sure you could come up with a few convincing tales too 🙂
    I'll leave you with a humorous anecdote about Roslin Chapel. The Templars still hold secret ceremonies in the crypt there. No one is allowed in to watch. However, I've been told that the ladies in the gift shop watch the whole thing on the security CCTV. 🙂

  26. jacesan Says:
    March 1st, 2006 at 9:36 am

    I still haven't read that book. I've heard it's good, but mostly from people with different reading taste than mine.

  27. noire_blanche Says:
    March 2nd, 2006 at 4:05 am

    Actually, out of curiousity, I read it. My flatmate got it from her coworkers as a birthday gift, so it was lying around the house.
    Good thing you never did.
    It was so so irksome to read! Iconology (the way it was developed as a discipline and taught by my professors at Utrecht university- very cynical men & professional sceptics) was my major for a while, so I studied it pretty intensively. Dan Brown's use of the term is so totally wrong and outdated, I was just stunned how he presents it as fact in his 'bestseller novel'. I'm amazed he gets away with it! Not to mention the conspiracy bit and other nonsense & cliché's that are in the book.
    I detested the way all through the story (it is just a very silly story, after all) he 'explained' different terms he used and gave introductions and background 'information' like it was in any way truthful. Such a know-it-all attitude. Much needed for the 'dumb reader', naturally. The book is so for the uneducated reader who gets mostly fed rubbish but has no clue. And they actually go around counting the glass panes of the Louvre pyramid? OMFG.
    Ack! Yes, I'm still irked. Muchly. : D

  28. FunkyPlaid Says:
    March 2nd, 2006 at 5:32 pm

    Wow, Jessica! I don't think I've heard you so outspoken against anything!
    I like hearing it, though. I was worried that you weren't really a human being. Internet distance, and all.
    So I take it you won't be reading Da Vinci Code 2: Electric Boogaloo?

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