A bar of soap
Today I just have to tell you all about a blooper that I found in a book published in 2003. I have read this book several times and seen the subsequent movie several times also. I never even thought about the plot point that used a bar of soap to remove a tracking device from the hero’s pocket.
In case you have not guessed, or do not read books, the story is Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code.
In the story, our hero and the “girl” are trapped in the Louvre, and he needs to throw off pursuit by the police who are stitching him up for murder. The heroine takes action and goes into the men’s restroom in the main gallery of the world famous Louvre, and finds a convenient bar of soap that she can hide the tracking button in, and throw it out the window at a passing tarp covered truck.
What is wrong with this scenario? In the days of cell phones, laser etched keys, and computer use, bars of unsanitary soap would not be found in public restrooms.
When I was traveling Europe in the late 1980’s, most of the public restrooms even sold you the sandpaper packets they called toilet tissue, and there were liquid soap dispensers if any kind of soap was offered. Now even cash strapped libraries have high tech hand dryers and nary a bar of soap in evidence.
Moving on into the rest of the book, Dan provides us with a bit of sadism when his killer keeps torturing himself with knotted whips and spike laden thigh belts. We know there are kinky things going on in religious outfits, and the stories of corruption in Vatican circles keep oozing out of Rome. This corruption always revolves around power and how to keep it.
Dan’s premise of there being descendants of Christ running around alive today is another little fairy tale that people just seem to love to believe. The gymnastics and puzzle solving that the author goes through to end his little romp becomes a bit silly, but then it is a novel. Some people like to think it is all real and get on talk shows to refute books that deal with fiction and not facts. When we purport to deal with facts it is labeled Non-Fiction!
I think that there have been millions of books sold on the subject of Christianity, and to think that it has all been based on fictional premises is to my mind a bit too un believable.
The Christ story was stolen from the fable of Mithras, and that was based on the Ancient Egyptian tale of Isis and Osiris. Check these out in Wikipedia.
My literature teacher used to claim that many a college professor made a living on dissecting Charles Dickens’ stories, and the same can be said for books relating to religions. Millions and millions sold!
That is why I prefer to read all the Harry Potter sagas over again once in a while. There we get the battle between good and evil, an examination of inner character, and exposing the workings of fascism. Just because we identify with the little wizards and witches of Hogwarts does not mean we are without morals. These books are light enough in the message without being tedious, and children the world over have loved them.
Mr. Dan Browns’ books on the other hand like to scare the readership and pretend that the books are all about fighting evil through boilerplate storytelling.
A new author on the block is Paolo Bacigalupi. His books for Young Adults uncover social problems and never are preachy. I have read Ship Breakers which discusses the apocalyptic life of the planet after the oil runs out, and The Doubt Factory which has our hero teens fighting Big Pharma.
These scenarios are what I call “ripped from the headlines”. We do have problems of drought, climate change, animal extinction, and it is up to us to try to save ourselves. No god or goddesses in these books! Paolo writes for teens, but adults can dig these books too. They remind us that someone is worried about how we are going to survive in the next 50 years with environmental degradation, political skullduggery, and predator pharmaceutical companies always ready to never give the customer and even break.