The Grail Code 
Grails everywhere you look

Since we’ve been taking a rather long break, let’s start with a nice new roundup of holy-grails-of to get back into the swing of things. Just by looking for “holy grail of” on the Web, I came across hundreds of things I never knew existed. Here are a few from the first two or three pages of results:

The Holy Grail of RuneScape

The Holy Grail of Searching Within Videos

European club football’s holy grail of winning the Champions League

holygrailnetworkmarketing.com

Holy Grail of CSS layouts

The Holy Grail of Snare Drums

The Holy Grail of Horticultural Accomplishment: Grass That Never Grows But Is Always Green

The holy grail of environmental site design

The “Holy Grail” of In-Game Advertising

The so-called “holy grail” of electric solid-body guitars

The “holy grail of espresso machines”

“Holy Grail” of baseball cards (our boy Honus Wagner, of course, says the proud Pittsburgher in me)

Now, I hardly need to tell you that the one thing all these holy-grails-of have in common is that they won’t fix what’s wrong with your life. They won’t fill the aching hole in your heart. You might find the Holy Grail of Snare Drums in a flea market for five dollars, and tomorrow you’ll still be the same miserable sinner you always were.

And yet, even as I say “I hardly need to tell you,” I know that a lot of us need to be told. Here in the United States, especially, material acquisition has become so much the driving force behind everything we do that it even seeps into our religion.

A few years ago, I was flipping channels on the television when I came across one of those TV preachers who preach a simple message of prosperity. If you invest in God (in the form of a check made out to the TV preacher), God will return your investment with interest—not just in spiritual gifts, which are worthless on the open market unless you have a good agent who can get you a weekly TV show, but in hard cash. And as the preacher yammered on, I grabbed a sheet of paper and scribbled down what he was saying, because I thought I’d never heard anything quite so funny:

“Somebody out there needs a car. I was just at the car show, at the state fair, and let me tell you, those cars weren’t made for the sinners, they were made for the righteous! Someone out there—you’ve never had a new car. You can change that! That thing that’s kept you from having a new car, you can lose that!”

“Those cars weren’t made for the sinners” is a phrase that still pops into my head at the oddest times. Not long afterward, that particular preacher went down in a sex scandal or an embezzlement indictment or one of those other things that bring down TV preachers—I forget exactly which. But I discovered, to my dismay and slackjawed amazement, that his message was right in line with what a lot of people who call themselves Christians believe. If you’re good to God, God rewards you with material possessions. Have these people never read the book of Job?

Which brings me around to an entirely different subject: why people don’t read. We’ve been hearing a lot of surveys lately saying that our teenagers would rather eat live weasels than read a book. (And we’ve seen Harry Potter sell more books than God, which tells us a thing or two about how seriously we should take these surveys.)

As it turns out, I have a number of opinions on the subject of why young people don’t read as much as we’d like them to. So the next few days will be back-to-school days here at GrailCode.com. I hope you remember where your locker is.

2 Responses to “Grails everywhere you look”

  1. The Grail Code» Blog Archive » Silly or not silly? Says:

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(C) 2006 Mike Aquilina and Christopher Bailey