Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Upside Down Land

I know Andrew Sullivan is Catholic and Catholics have different ideas about the inerrancy of the Bible than Protestants, but he's off his rocker here:
There's no evidence that the Garden of Eden was always regarded as figurative? Really? Has Coyne read the fucking thing? I defy anyone with a brain (or who hasn;t had his brain turned off by fundamentalism) to think it's meant literally. It's obviously meant metaphorically. It screams parable.
Hey, man, I agree. Don't take the Garden of Eden story literally. It's a metaphor. It's a parable. It didn't happen.

But then again, I'm an atheist and those beliefs are consistent with atheism. They are not, however, consistent with large swaths of Christian belief, which insist on a literal interpretation of scripture. Eve did bite the apple, Noah did survive the flood, Moses did part the Red Sea, etc.

Now there are some enlightened Christians who don't believe that stuff, but surely they believe in some of the most fantastic stuff in the Christ story, especially since without the miracles or the resurrection, Jesus would be just another rabbi from Nazareth.

Read Sullivan's blog on Sundays and you can see him swooning in the reality of the Christ myth, which I would expect most religious people to do on a Sunday.

I just don't expect them to argue on Wednesday to start calling the whole enterprise a "metaphor."

Who worships a metaphor? Christians don't.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Done With That

I am done, thank God, listening to the audiobook of Michael Connelly's The Poet, and's just not a very strong book. I can't believe it helped make his career.

It actually started out promising, a reporter looking into his brother's death, which looked like suicide but turns out to be murder. A serial killer is on the loose, and in what turns out to be a big red herring (I'm spoiling this, so...) he even introduces one, a pedophile photographer recently released from prison.

But somewhere along the line, something went wrong. Instead of a story about a guy hunting down the serial killer who killed his brother, it became this story about a reporter who wants to fuck this hot FBI agent. And to go along with this bad romance, there's a jealousy subplot about the FBI agent's ex-husband, also an FBI agent, also on the team. (Of course, he dies later. If you were God of your own universe, you'd kill him shortly after creating him too.)

And then, it's almost as if Connelly changed his mind about who he was going to make the bad guy. He started ticking off the rules. Gotta have a red herring. Okay, I'll make it my pedophile. He's a creep, but he's not the Poet killer. Good. Oh, shit. You're supposed to introduce the killer early in the story so the audience recognizes him. You can't just have him spring out early.

I got it. I'll make the hot FBI agent the killer. Give her some messed up history. Set her up with a few clues. Yeah...

But then he started writing the romance section. He found himself kind of falling in love with this FBI agent character. (She shows up in later books, so So he decides he can't make her the killer.

So his great idea? Make it her boss! The guy who's in charge of the investigation. The guy who is sitting in meetings going, "Okay, people, this is what we need to do." (The character really talks like that.)

Yeah, make it a big reveal. Just like the movies. Give it some scenic backdrop, in this case a damaged house on stilts in the Hollywood Hills, and some corny "this is why I did it" dialogue. Tie it all up nicely.

Ooh, wait, better idea! Make the hot FBI agent show up in the nick of time and shoot the bad guy, after he gives his speech, of course.

Now I don't know for sure if this was the thought process behind the writing of The Poet, but it sure seemed like it. Not a satisfying "read."