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Monday, May 29, 2006

Da Vinci Code, Poussin, and Arnold Wagner

I haven't read the book, and I won't be going to see the Da Vinci Code movie. It's mainly balderdash and besides, do you really think we Scots want you lot to know that the Holy Grail is buried in the fake wall at Roslin Chapel?

I have very few connections with Roslin, apart from the Robert the Bruce death mask inside the place. My ancestor, McKie, shot the Bruce standard of two crows killed with a single arrow. It's a cute little place, but basing the company that made Dolly the Sheep a stone's throw from the Chapel that boasts the DNA-Helix inspired Apprentice Pillar seems a little, well, stage-managed. Don'tcha think? And isn't it odd that The Queen's bodyguard, at a time of tensions with some Middle Eastern factions, should be a member of the St Clair family, owners of Roslin Chapel?

Anyway, I digress, when I was younger (a long time ago) I read The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and it had the same imaginitive leaps in the narritive as the Da Vinci Code. I was interested in Rennes Le Chateau, not least because a relative has a house in Rennes, but because that really was an interesting little tale, but 'Et in Arcadia Ego', the painting by Poussin was the thing that most caught my eye because I like that strange painting. I mean, a Sheperdess standing beside two men in Masonic poses pointing to the inscription 'I too am in Paradise' - what is that all about?

So, anyway, Celts, and things mystically Celtic, and my chum, cartoonist Arnold Wagner, author of The Idiots Guide to Cartooning. Where does it all tie-in? Well, Arnold told me a while back he was reading up on the Celts, and I just wondered if he had any room inside that head of his for any more knowledge. If you want to know anything about cartoonists, about cartooning, about pens, about nibs, about just about anything in this business you can ask Arnold and if he isn't too busy, and even often when he is, he'll tell you what he knows. He is a mine of information, and tremendously good-hearted about sharing it with you.

So anyway, Arnold's ill at the moment. Despite this he managed to pop round the boards he frequents and I wouldn't be at all surprised if he even updated his blog (he's that kind of guy). Why, he even apologised to me for not getting round to doing his Cartoonfiend interview on account of - his being ill at the moment. I tell you, they made human beings from better stuff in those days.

I'm about as sure as I can be that this is just another little test that Arnold will come through with flying colours, and just to help him on his way I'm sending modern-day digital prayers and good wishes, and ancient Celtic mystical fluences all the way to the US to wish Arnold a speedy recovery. You know, the www is already a lot duller while he's offline.

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