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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Monday, November 12, 2007

If You Say So....

Usually when we watch CNN to determine our prayer schedule we feel alarmed or sad. Today, although we'll be taking a run at quite a few things on Wolf Blizter's report of the day, we haven't stopped laughing at the latest attempt to wrench even more cryptic nonsense out of Leonardo's famous "Last Supper" painting.

I'm not one of those hand wringers all upset about the "Da Vinci Code". The hand wringers that are all upset about it are upset because the premise of that silly book is that Mary Magdelene and Jesus were married. I'll admit hearing anyone's jaws flap about that causes me to pinch the bridge of my nose with my thumb and forefinger.

But only for a moment because if you ask one question about the silly book, "how do you know Jesus and Mary Magelene were married?", the answer is that Leonardo da Vinci knew all about it and he painted codes into the "Last Supper" so that he could clue people in on this big shocker.

I'm not sure how anyone stays on that train. Senor Da Vinci could just write right across Jesus' forehead, "I am married to Mary Magdelene", for all I care. What does he know? Last time I checked, Leo was not waiting tables at the Last Supper. If anyone needs further proof, next time you see the book in a book store, take stock for just a moment of your surroundings. You will find you are standing in the fiction section.

Today, on the same day there was a UFO conference in Washington with some very serious people, a breathless girl on CNN also told us there is yet another code in the famous "Last Supper". Could it be even more controversial than the "Da Vinci Code?"

I don't see how, seeing that, for the millionth time, Leonardo De Vinci did not actually attend the Last Supper...but okay...let's have it:

This new crackpot has decided that Leonardo put a musical code into the work. If you draw a staff across the painting...actually across the bottom part of the painting...then the bread and people's hands line up and form musical notes.

(I'm not sure why he didn't draw the staff any higher and count people's eyeballs and hairlines as the notes, but he didn't. He picked the bottom part of the painting.)

Then you read the music backwards, as Leonardo liked to write backwards.

Then you play the tune.

"The result is a 40-second "hymn to God" which Mr Pala described as "like a soundtrack that emphasizes the passion of Jesus"."

If part of the Passion of Jesus was listening to a tuneless group of notes, I suppose it does.

We had managed to keep a straight face until they played the tune. There was a music critic on there who actually did manage to keep a straight face the whole time as he explained that Leonardo was a fine lute player and was a hit at parties when he would improvise. The music critic wasn't able to explain why the tune that came out of the painting didn't sound like anything. If Leonardo had run through the streets and asked a number of people to sing one note and then rang back into the house and played each of the notes, it would have probably made a better tune than the bread and hands number. I saw a cat play the piano on YouTube that worked out a lot better.

The aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind had a much better tune going on for themselves.

Maybe they should have gone for the eyeballs and hairlines. Maybe they should have played the tune forward.

The music critic tried to explain it anyway as "Gregorian Chant".

Gregorian chant sounds like the jitterbug music next to the backward bread notes.

The whole story kind of trailed off at that point, because even if such a silly notion is true, which it so obviously wasn't, it still wouldn't tell us anything, like that Jesus actually went back to heaven on a UFO or something. All it tells us is that Leonardo should stick to painting and inventing and leave the music to the monks.

We have time for a question:

Sister, I have a question that is off subject. You have mentioned your scapular before, and I have also noticed others in the blog world mention their personal scapulars. I looked them up on Catholic Online, but I managed to get myself even more confused. Could you perhaps explain these to me (or us)?

I love talking about the scapular and I have more than once.I

Let me know if you have more questions.


CSS said...

What a great post! I had a good laugh :) You made my morning.

Kathy said...

But he must have been there, otherwise how would he know that they all sat on the same side of the table?

Anonymous said...

Now I REEEEEEALLY wish the sound were working on my computer.

Margaret said...

My godmother just recommended your blog to me, and I love it!

People get all uppity about the DaVinci Code because they confuse "respecting my faith" with "treating as holy and untouchable the same things I treat as holy and untouchable." And because a lot of people who have a bone to pick with Christianity have used it to play the "look at all the evil things the Church does! And they hate women!" card yet again.

It's tedious.

Laura Michele said...

thank you so MUCH for seeing the Davinci Code for what it is..
I got so tired of people getting so worked up about it!! It was great to hear you remind us that he was not waiting tables at the last supper, what does he know. HILARIOUS!

Anonymous said...

Would it be a sin for me to say that I hate that book? Because I do.

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

I don't get worked up about the Da Vinci Code because it's too silly (and too poorly written) to take seriously.

I think that one reason that a lot of people got upset and wrote rebuttals of it is that so many people (including some Catholics) have so little historical background and so little ability for critical thinking, that, even though they know it's a novel, they swallow the premises it's based on. They think it's based on historical fact. Which is just frustrating!

And it says something about our educational system.