Your RDA of Irony

Holy Ghostwriter

Turner Classic Movies will broadcast “The Adventures of Robin Hood ” tonight. So you can expect William Donahue and the Catholic League of Decency to picket the studio because all those Hollywood producers (that is spelled J-e-w-s) never depict Friar Tuck as handsome as Robin Hood.

Donahue’s current crusade is a public boycott of the movie version of “The Golden Compass.” Although the film has been sanitized to an ecumenical blandness, it is based on a book said to be critical of a totalitarian theocracy with excellent artistic taste. That obviously rules out Mormons, Southern Baptists and Moslems. You can bet your Bernini who that leaves.

“The DaVinci Code” also was a target of Donahue’s wrath. He was outraged by the film’s premise that Jesus would have dated a Jewish girl, a scandal hushed up by the Church’s version of Neo-Cons, Opus Dei. For all of Donahue’s fulminations on the talk shows, he did not harm that film’s popularity. Neither did the contemptuous reviews of the critics.

The “The Da Vinci Code” was ridiculous. But that is exactly how Opus Dei planned it. If the nefarious organization couldn’t suppress its scandalous secret, at least it successfully conspired to have the worst possible director make the movie.

Opus Dei would have preferred Ed Wood, but his cryogenic chamber beneath the Vatican failed. The Society nearly picked Garry Marshall; he would have transfigured the sinister plot into a puerile comedy. But there was the fear that the public would love Julia Roberts as Mary Magdalene.

The French members of the Society wanted Woody Allen to do the film. His Jesus would be an elderly Jewish neurotic who fancied himself being pursued by attractive and much younger shiksas. No one would see the film because they had already seen it a few dozen times before.

The more enlightened members of the Opus Dei–the ones who concede Galileo was right–actually wanted Peter Jackson to make “The Da Vinci Code.” Yes, the film would be a hit–but no one would believe it. Furthermore, the Treasury really would have benefited from the commercial tie-ins (McDonald chalices, Da Vinci jeans with codpieces.) Cardinal Ratzinger warned this faction, “Stop thinking like Jesuits.”

No, “The Da Vinci Code” required someone who could turn any plot into a catatonic muddle. And, when every other director in Hollywood was threatened with excommunication or another 2000 years of persecution, Ron Howard was offered the film.

Unfortunately, the film was so popular that Hollywood has to produce a sequel. If you don’t mind my trying to make a fortune, I can offer the studios these possibilities:

The Ameche Code: When read backwards in Latin, the script of “Heaven Can Wait” reveals that all of the moguls of Hollywood were descended from the Virgin Mary’s older sister Marla.

The De Niro Code: Forming Greek letters, Martin Scorsese’s ear hair reveals the truth about Jesus’ death. He was not crucified but shot in the head six times and His body was left in the trunk of a chariot.

The De Grassi Code: The discovery of Jesus’ high school yearbook shows the picture of a Messiah who couldn’t cure his own acne. You can see why He was not picked to be His homecoming’s King of Kings.

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