Yesterday, President Obama mentioned a “holy grail.” What does it mean exactly?

In a speech yesterday, President Obama called tax cuts for the wealthy the Republicans’ “Holy Grail.” The term is so rich in myth and history that we can’t resist the opportunity for elucidation.

For the record, the President was using the term “Holy Grail” informally and figuratively. In his quote, the reference implies “any greatly desired and sought-after objective; ultimate ideal or reward.” We are more interested in the context where the grail involves blood, perilous quests, and knights.

Historically, the Holy Grail is believed to be the cup or bowl that Jesus used at the Last Supper. According to legend, the cup was given to Joseph of Arimathea, who donated his tomb to receive Jesus’ body. The lore continues that the grail was eventually transported to England.

The grail (which derives from the Old French graal, “cup,”) became a key subject of many medieval legends. It often takes the form of a sacred cup, chalice, or vessel. It is the object that the Knights of the Round Table clamored for because of its suspected powers, such as the ability to regenerate life. Only a knight of pure virtue could find or eventually possess it. The most famous contemporary reference to the grail is in the blockbuster “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.”

While President Obama would certainly appreciate the possession of the legendary artifact, it’s likely that he would be perfectly happy to gain something equally elusive; political compromise.

New cruise boat launched on bet tourism tide is turning

The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA) June 27, 2002 | Becky Kramer Staff writer Tourism magnate Duane Hagadone stood waving on the prow of the Osprey, while cables slowly lowered the 45-ton cruise boat into the Spokane River.

The newest addition to the fleet of Lake Coeur Cruise boats hit the water with a splash. Soon, it was turning circles in the river.

“You think of kids spinning in the parking lot. This is the grown- up version,” chuckled Cindy Ulen, who came to watch the boat’s maiden voyage.

The 149-seat Osprey was launched Wednesday amid gleeful fanfare that included a champagne christening, and expectations for a better tourism season. As the cruise boat glided serenely along the tree- lined river, industry officials said they’ve turned the corner on a rocky 18-month period marked by declining hotel-motel receipts in Kootenai County. website coeur d alene resort

“We’re back to slightly better than last year,” said Hagadone Hospitality President Jerry Jaeger, commenting on business at the Coeur d’Alene Resort and the Coeur d’Alene Inn.

Although the privately held company doesn’t release revenue figures, Jaeger said revenues dropped significantly between September and March.

Every room in the Coeur d’Alene Resort was full on Sept. 11, but occupancy plummeted to 20 percent in the weeks following the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center.

“We really depend on that fly-in traffic,” Jaeger said. “We had groups booked from the East Coast, and the airports were closed.” “People just wouldn’t get on an airplane,” said Hagadone, chairman of the Hagadone Corp., which owns Hagadone Hospitality.

After years of steady growth, the 2 percent tax collected on Kootenai County’s hotel-motel revenues was down in 2001. The decline actually started last summer, as fewer families took out-of-town vacations and companies cut back on meeting travel.

The trend continued this year. Receipts collected through May of this year are down another 10 percent, compared to the first five months of 2001.

Hotels are only one of the sectors affected by softness in the tourism market. Lodging accounts for about 30 percent of a traveler’s spending. Transportation, meals, shopping and recreation also contribute to the final tab, said Jonathan Coe, general manager of the Coeur d’Alene Area Chamber of Commerce. coeurdaleneresort.net coeur d alene resort

“It’s coming back, though I wouldn’t say it’s coming back in a rush,” Coe said. “It’s a slow, gradual return.” Timing of the rebound is tied to the Coeur d’Alene Resort’s large influence in North Idaho’s tourism industry. The resort caters to corporate, fly-in travelers, and that segment has been slower to bounce back, Coe said.

As for leisure travelers, North Idaho should see some spin-off traffic this summer and fall from visitors retracing the Lewis and Clark trail, said state Tourism Director Carl Wilgus in an interview from Boise.

“If it’s going to be a hot summer, people will go where they can be cool. And if that’s not ocean beaches, it will be lake beaches,” Wilgus said.

If those tourists hit Lake Coeur d’Alene, there’s a fair chance they’ll end up on a cruise. The Coeur d’Alene Resort’s five cruise boats ferry about 150,000 people on the lake each year.

“It’s the largest freshwater fleet in the western United States,” Jaeger said.

Coeur d’Alene Lake Cruises have been a fixture on the lake since the 1920s, when John Finney started a pleasure boat excursion. Finney’s nephew, Fred Finney, eventually purchased the company and later sold it to Hagadone Hospitality.

Fred Finney built the entire fleet of cruise boats in operation on the lake. And he still runs the operation as general manager. During the summer, he runs his office out of one of the boats.

“It’s the best job,” said Finney, as he piloted the Osprey toward the dock at the Coeur d’Alene Resort.

This sidebar appeared with the story:

BEHIND THE HEADLINES Tourism took plunge Occupancy at the Coeur d’Alene Resort plummeted to only 20 percent in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Wednesday’s launch of the Osprey signals that tourism in North Idaho is on the rebound.

Becky Kramer Staff writer


  1. (>'-')> -  May 15, 2013 - 4:55 pm

    I do not have a set political party that I must vote for every time election day comes around; however, since I live in an overwhelmingly Democrat state, I am not often convinced of one party’s superiority.

    @fred: Not all Republicans approve of everything that their party does. If one Democratic representative in Congress decided to go, say, run someone over with a semi truck, would all the Democrats in the United States approve? no.

    @pie: yeah, why don’t we all just assume that all Republicans are religious and all democrats are not. after all, it is perfectly logical, especially considering the fact that there were 313.9 million people living in the United States in 2012.

    @Bill Kasel: did you really think the davinci code was fact? most people do not believe that there is a “daughter” of jesus and mary magdalene. maybe you also believe that Cinderella is real, hmm? after all, if it’s printed in a book, it must be a fact.

    @jmbsoulja: many people would argue that obama is not doing a good job as president. that does not mean that they are racist, as you so blatantly hinted. it simply means that they think obama is a bad president.

    @Travina Hogue: lots of people think the president should be doing things differently. people have been complaining about presidents for over 200 years. deal with it.

    @Tina: when you are alluding that someone is ignorant, it is a bad idea to use the wrong form of a word. instead of “possible”, it should be “possibly”. “possible ever would have” is bad grammar. just because someone does not like president obama does not mean that they are ignorant.

    @Patty Ruland: yes, they do go to school. they just don’t listen. I have firsthand knowledge.

    @garret_is_smith: yes, that is quite annoying, isn’t it? america is turning into a multilingual nation.

    @dorothy: one of the “real reasons” people don’t like him is because he has pushed the united states into even greater debt. president washington warned the united states in his farewell address against political parties, foreign alliances, and debt. look how well america’s followed his advice these past 217 years since then. we are just using our “freedom of speech” (sound familiar? it should) to counter obama’s policies.

    @Orange Cat: yes, i do think we should get some “new blood” after 159 years of republicans and 221 years of democrats, especially now that we have all strayed off the historical path of ideals. the democrats once advocated slavery, and now look who’s president.

    @bobby g: some people (like me) actually found it quite enlightening.

  2. johnpaul -  May 21, 2012 - 6:15 am

    good one i learnt a lot about….! which i wasn’t knowing

  3. XfildChild -  March 23, 2012 - 12:59 pm

    Wow, hot topic! I agree with Garrett. Also, I really liked the Da Vinci Code.

  4. Francis -  April 22, 2011 - 6:29 pm

    The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.

  5. unknownperson -  December 15, 2010 - 8:57 am

    to smoothius-
    i am being nice i am not trying to sound rude i am just getting my point across.. i think

  6. John G. Freeman -  December 14, 2010 - 8:17 pm

    It was tragically incorrect to label Obama ‘President’ – and this must stop everywhere, as the same laws that create that Office and its role also state “[I]f the President elect shall have failed to qualify [before the beginning of the term of the Presidency], then the Vice-President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified” (20th Amendment, Section 3). It could not have been more clear when it became common news knowledge that a Hawaiian Elections supervisor publicly stated that there was no evidence that Obama was born in Hawaii or in any other State. The 20th Amendment required completion of the documentation-certification process in all States – not just Hawaii – before noon, January 20, 2009; therefore, as Obama did not qualify in any State, the then Vice-President elect was both ordered and ordained by law to be Acting President “until a President shall have qualified,” regardless of whether Biden, Obama, or anyone else might or might not ‘act like a President’.

    While I certainly do not demean etymology, I note that it’s ironic that a forum of definitions would make such a gross terminological error regarding current reality while building a definition for another word that might regard lore in a recent comment. Whereas defining ‘holy grail’ might be edifying, “exactly” understanding ‘President’, directly reflective of a status of a breach of a nation’s security, as defined by its authority, the U. S. Constitution, should have been Dictionary.com’s author’s ‘holy grail’ in writing “Yesterday, President Obama mentioned a ‘holy grail.’ What does it mean exactly.”

  7. Sofiahorse -  December 13, 2010 - 5:32 pm

    sadaf Mannan- -_-
    unknownperson- -_-
    sofiahorse: :D

  8. Sofiahorse -  December 12, 2010 - 12:23 pm

    bryan, thank you for thatt
    and bobby g for ur info i read every letter there. so shut up.

  9. bobby g -  December 10, 2010 - 10:36 am

    hey “WordPi”-

    get a life dude. nobody’s trying to read your essay / comment.

  10. Barred-Coded-ed -  December 10, 2010 - 10:15 am

    i’m shocked that feedom of speech is considered “bashing”….where is the fun these a days?…i remember having a load of laughs “bashing” former P.Bush…and i wasnt told i was a racist…now when ppl talk of a difference of opinion its called Racism?…what does it make me, an african american, and when i contribute to this “bashing” and i disagree with those hush-puppie democrats am i still a racist? and just so its noted it was the Democratic party that broke apart the Union in 1860…their policies havent changed much snice…they seem intent on “divide and conquer” tactics…if P.Obama has grievances with history he should chose another party…..or make them pay up….

  11. alynn -  December 10, 2010 - 8:33 am

    I see much anger here, but some hope. As an English teacher and poet, 1) I am glad people are interested in words and learning; and 2) that folks as young as 10 are getting emails from word.com. I am very encouraged! Oh, and by the way, I enjoyed the DaVinci Code, and think some people have a bit too much time on their hands (wordpi).

  12. Curly -  December 10, 2010 - 8:08 am


    Please change the semicolon in the last sentence to a colon. Thank you!

  13. smoothius -  December 10, 2010 - 7:07 am

    i read no mention of perhaps the best fictional movie regarding the holy grail and the knights of the round table that quested for it
    in my opinion the best told film story of king arthur and his knights. a must see. may be hard to find now, it’s quite an old movie, but if you can find it, it is well worth watching

    and my oh my people! can’t we all just be nice?

  14. Parch -  December 10, 2010 - 6:03 am

    Well said. In fact it was so well said, that you didn’t leave anything for me!

    *what he said* ^^

  15. sooner than -  December 10, 2010 - 5:12 am

    “pure virtue” means a virtue that is pure.

  16. Pie -  December 9, 2010 - 4:12 pm

    Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden were both Senators, authors of legislation, keepers of the purse, prior to sitting on the Executive Branch. Neither of them “inherited” a poor economy. They were both complicit to it’s creation. Yesterday Obama said that the Bush tax cuts are a necessity to a healthy economy. Somewhere someone was trying to exploit voter ignorance.

  17. WALNUT -  December 9, 2010 - 3:44 pm


  18. JfromI -  December 9, 2010 - 3:22 pm

    @ Sasha: I’m sorry you assume that everyone has the same knowledge that you have. It’s quite possible that others (especially from other countries) haven’t been exposed to the commercial use of the Holy Grail, which is how a lot of people have heard of it. Please refrain from being ethnocentric under the guise of criticizing dictionary.com as writing “unhelpful articles”. On forums there is never a shortage of people who like using the Internet’s anonymity to act nasty toward others.

  19. Ben -  December 9, 2010 - 1:42 pm

    All opera lovers know the grail is guarded by Parsifal in WAGNER’S OPERA “PARSIFAL”

  20. Dnd -  December 9, 2010 - 11:50 am

    I just happened in, and was entranced to see how many people have too much time on their hands (like me).

    First, the Holy Grail has long been symbolic of the vessel holding Christ’s love and sacrifice. Real or mythological, Christians and Moslems alike contested for years access to its possible hiding place (yes, I know it was instigated by the Popes, but…)

    Second, DaVinci Code is a work of fiction, as are Harry Potter and Indiana Jones, and to get so worked up about this seems to be like spitting in the wind.

    Third, the US economy IS NOT a work of fiction. Although Mr. Obama inherited a failing economy, he’s perpetuated it. Why so much hate and discontent from so many of you? The clowns in Washington, Republican and Democrat alike, are only looking to feather their own nests, and couldn’t care a fig for any of us, except in November of even years. Then, we are like long-lost cousins. In the final analysis, they’re all a bunch of crooks.

    Fourth, if any of you are taking pot shots at another submitter, please follow three basic rules:
    a) Check your grammar – don’t let McSoft do it;
    b) Check your spelling – again, don’t let McSoft do it (e.g., your vs. you’re for possessive second person, as opposed to contracted you are);
    c) Watch your language. There are young readers here, and there is absolutely no need to let your keyboard drive you into the use of off-colored word usage. We all know them, and are no longer shocked by them – we just remember that the IQ chart is a bell-shaped curve, and we can identify who resides on the left side of the curve.
    d) OK, make it four. Let’s leave the political demagoguery elsewhere.

    ‘Nuff said

  21. John G. Freeman -  December 9, 2010 - 11:37 am

    Correction: “The 20th Amendment required completion of the documentation-certification process in all States – not just Hawaii – before noon, January 20, 2009….” [error in the year]

  22. Saf -  December 9, 2010 - 11:36 am

    @Travina Hogue

    Are you seriously saying that we have to support the president because he’s the president? The founding fathers would have a collective aneurysm if they heard American citizens talking like this (unless you aren’t actually an American citizen — please let that be true).


    I don’t even really care about politics, and even I am exhausted by the idiotic insinuations (or outright accusations, in some cases) that everyone opposed to Obama is racist. The notion is not only untrue, but ridiculous.

    I am of mixed Eastern descent. If I went around accusing everyone who didn’t like me or agree with me of bigotry, they’d rightfully stop taking me seriously — because my claims would have no credibility. However, if I had millions of loyal supporters to bark “RACIST!” at everyone who stood against me, then eventually people would become so afraid of being stigmatized as a bigot that they’d stop speaking out against me publicly. Sounds like a bully’s dream come true.


  23. I.D...k -  December 9, 2010 - 11:32 am

    so much for seperation of church and state…where is the ACLU when you need them?!

  24. Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry -  December 9, 2010 - 11:21 am

    It was common practice for soldiers to breach enclaves and steal the “spoils”– and then make up rowdy-drunken accolades for their booty, while caring naught but as captors for their persons taken. Likewise Daniel:5 wrote of the end of the Chaldean reign over Babylon…

    St. Paul decried the practice of the soldiers….

    REF: Mar 15:24 ‘And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.’

    REF: Dan 5:3 “Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which [was] at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them.
    … Dan 5:5 “In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.”

    REF: 1Cr 10:21 “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.”

  25. Ghostface Killin -  December 9, 2010 - 11:04 am

    What does Jesus Christ giving his life to save humanity from eternal damnation have to do with extending tax cuts to the richest of the rich in America?

  26. Bryan H. Allen -  December 9, 2010 - 10:18 am

    WordPi, though you are more verbose than even I am, I learned much from your sketch. Though peripheral to the subject Holy Grail, it was well worth reading. Now, if ever I feel motivated to learn more about the worse-than-useless /The Da Vinci Code/, I have your useful leads.

    “fred”, your lack of integrity to write “THE Republicans helped fund the legal defense of Ted Bundy” (emphasis added) is perturbing. A correct and trifling statement would be “Some/A few Republicans …”. (The serial murderer’s public persona included involvement in Republican politics. If it had been Democratic politics, likely some disbelieving Democrat would have gone to his defence. What foul polemic would “fred” have made of that?)

    In the highest politics, winning is not the main thing, it is nothing, either in the battle or the war. Rather, successfully persuading one’s fellows to rise coöperatively and self-sustainingly to the heights of refinement of the public weal is a good first approximation.

  27. Don Paco -  December 9, 2010 - 9:39 am

    For WordPi: Thank you so much, you speak truth to the ignorant.

  28. Orange Cat -  December 9, 2010 - 9:34 am

    Who gives a darn about Democrats or Republicans? They are all liars and all have their own agenda. They do not seem to give a heck about the lower class at all and just want to line their own pockets with tax payer money. So let vote em all out and get some new blood in.

  29. Saf -  December 9, 2010 - 9:32 am


    Thanks for the tirade. It was a bit breezy, but it made me want to look up Pierre Plantard on Wikipedia, which I did, and it was an entertaining read. I do love a good hoax.

    I’ve never read or cared about Dan Brown’s novels, or the Priory of Sion, or any of that nonsense — but for an entertaining take on “The Grail” as a secret society dedicated to preserving the bloodline of Christ, I’ve always enjoyed the Preacher series of comics/graphic novels. It’s about as depraved and sacrilegious as you could imagine, but blackly funny in a sort of Bill-Hicks-and-Shane-McGowan-do-Fear-and-Loathing sort of way.


  30. Felicity Hunter -  December 9, 2010 - 9:16 am

    Ava, I sure hope you have or will convert to Christianity. It’s the best & most important choice you’ll ever make in your life time. FOR REAL.

  31. Dorothy -  December 9, 2010 - 8:57 am

    I love this column, and I learn so much. Too bad we have so much prejudice and animosity in our country against President Obama. He’s probably the most intelligent president that we have ever had. His agenda includes compromise in order to accomplish things for the good of the majority! This shows a compassionate, intelligent person who cares about his fellow man! I think we all know the REAL reason for this anger and prejudice against him! Get over it; he won!

  32. Garrett_is_Smith -  December 9, 2010 - 8:54 am

    I meant Armenian. Yes, I misspelled it; at least I try! And I needed to have capitalized “Spanish”.

  33. Garrett_is_Smith -  December 9, 2010 - 8:49 am

    Hey, Garrett from a few posts ago. Don’t you hate it when people spell our name with one “r” or one “t”? Or you go back and forth with them arguing that your name is not “Gary”? Dictionary.com should do a blog about why people refuse to take the time to pronounce something correctly more than once. Furthermore, why immigrants come here and do not even try to learn the language, in the majority of cases, but rather demand that everything be translated into their native language. I’m not going to go to your country and force and sue you guys to put English or Amenian everywhere! Why do I always have to sit through some spanish phrase telling me to press one for more assistance? Why can’t english be first? To continue using English, please press the dictionary.com bookmark you know you have; for Spanish, Bulgarian, Greek, French, Dutch, Chineese, Pig Latin, regular Latin, Tagalog, German, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Celtic, l33t speak, Engrish, Spanglish, creepy uncle, the noises you make when you have the shits, jerking grunts, or your girlfriend’s fingerbangin’ moans, please press “Alt” + “F4″.

  34. artsole -  December 9, 2010 - 8:46 am

    by the way, the Holy Grail resides in Scotland….. I’ve met her!

  35. unknownperson -  December 9, 2010 - 8:39 am

    WordPi you write a lot to show your knowledge but you need to stop being a smart ass all the time and really harry potter?what are you 5? in some history (not the Da Vinci Code so keep your socks on wordpi) the holy grail was stated as a women and the symbol for grail was also the same symbol for women. and was to believe that it was Marry but know one would know because he was supposedly not aloud to have a women and it was also believed that at the last supper there was no cups or wine. and Obama used it to show greed and ya he is a poor sport but if he believes that then he just needs to stop complaining and do something about it!!!

  36. artsole -  December 9, 2010 - 8:28 am

    someone asked how Monty Python got their name………..it started as a British TV series in the late sixties, ‘ Monty Pythons Flying Circus’. I understand that their is no real logic to the name, only that the original writing team, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, John Cleese et al, just thought the name sounded funny. I once heard one member of the team say that monty was a loose reference to LordMontgomery and that ‘monty python” sounded like a sleazy entertainment agent. I’m english by the way and don’t understand american politics
    but isn’t the US run by Wall ST and not a president?

  37. JC -  December 9, 2010 - 7:58 am

    Is there just no escape from vile political commentary?

  38. Big D -  December 9, 2010 - 7:52 am

    More like a HOLY FAIL! Ha -I’m in Lol-lywood

  39. Quizzoid -  December 9, 2010 - 7:27 am

    Always good to get a refresher on historical terms, no matter how basic they might seem – there’s always someone that doesn’t know.

    Oh, and WordPi – why did you basically copy and paste the article “Decrypting the… Da Vinci Code!” by Christina Pantzou (Source: Sunday Newspaper “Eleftherotypia” – “Epsilon magazine” Insert –Issue No.707, 31st October 2004, page 36.)?

    You should at least reference your sources lest people think you are taking credit for someone else’s work.

  40. Patty Ruland -  December 9, 2010 - 7:11 am

    Please tell your editors that “Holy Grail” is ALWAYS capitlized.

    Do people go to school these days?

  41. Daniel -  December 9, 2010 - 7:00 am

    Why do Republicans and Democrats have to be so ugly towards each other. After all, we all want the same thing: economic prosperity, peace, freedom, the end of poverty, fairness, opportunity, etc. We differ only in how we feel are the best ways to accomplish these things. Neither party is 100% correct. No one person has all the best ideas. Some ideas will work. Some ideas will fail. If we realize that and try to work together towards the common goal, we just might accomplish something. It doesn’t help to call names. All Democrats are not sore losers who don’t have a clue, and all Republicans are not greedy warmongers that only look out for their rich comrades. Grow up, people.

  42. Parch -  December 9, 2010 - 6:54 am

    Why does everyone get so angry about “tax cuts for the wealthy”?? the wealthy people in the country are the ONLY ones paying the taxes! at the moment, 47% of all americans pay NO FEDERAL INCOME TAXES! that means 47% of people have “no skin in the game” (Thanks, Joe Biden)

    The disdain that the liberals show for taxpayers is amazing. is there something backwards and off with letting people keep more of the money that they earn? tax cuts stimulate job growth (proven by Reagan).

    have you ever worked for someone poorer than you?? Grow up, move out of your parent’s basement and look at economics how it is. cold, unfeeling, REACTIONARY economics.

    Capitalism is boss.

    (the Davinci Code was fiction. stop trying to cite, or “disprove” a work of fiction)

  43. Tina -  December 9, 2010 - 6:27 am

    @ Soubriquet, Yes you really need to listen to yourself isn’t there enough hatred in the world and U need not to be airing your feeling of how ignorant your really are by bad mouthing someone that surely have a great more education then you possible ever would have….Since I am not hating on how dumb you sound a “President, having comment that makes him come off as a five year old.”—Obama is not the sore loser I do believe it’s you that is the sour loser my friends get an education and stop the hating……

    There are people in the world that will never change no matter what happen and I am happy to see that you use words that I am sure (Soubriquet) didn’t quite understand because when your ignorant your just ignorant….Some folks (in my Obama voice) just will never get it; God Bless America right..

  44. Travina Hogue -  December 9, 2010 - 6:25 am

    First: I think it is important to consider the benefits of Dictionary.com. I appreciate learning new facts and words on a daily basis.

    Secondly: I have a problem with people bashing the president a) he is the president and We the people must support him regardless..- Yall supported BUSH! B) Has it been forgotten that Our President Barack Obama inherited this economy, he did not create it. Thirdly: as by some of the post I have read, we need to patronage Dictionary.com more because it seems to me ignorance is bliss!

  45. Sadaf Mannan -  December 9, 2010 - 6:21 am

    @Sasha, people these days have to grow up.

  46. Sadaf Mannan -  December 9, 2010 - 6:19 am

    @ soubriquet, sore loser huh? apparently, he did not lose the election, so think before you speak, you talk of meaningless nonsense.

  47. Edward -  December 9, 2010 - 6:17 am

    Maybe Dictionary.com won’t have a Republican writing about a Democratic president next time.

  48. Brainstrain -  December 9, 2010 - 5:33 am

    Obama constantly pushes class envy on the ignorant. Someone having more money than someone else is not a bad thing. He makes it out like it’s immoral to be rich. I say it is immoral to tax one person more than another. If it wasn’t for rich people, most of us wouldn’t have a job in the first place.

  49. jmbsoulja -  December 9, 2010 - 5:15 am

    @ Soubriquet you just haten on obama that man is doing a good job in office you probably dont like him because he is black.

  50. Jason -  December 9, 2010 - 5:04 am

    I greatly appreciate everything that this website has taught me and I would like to return the favor. In the final sentence of this blog post, the writer committed a grammatical error pertaining to punctuation; they used a semicolon where only a hyphen or colon would have sufficed. Semicolons are used to separate two independent clauses or the items in a list if individual items already contain commas (the latter case exists in order to allow grammatical clarification).

  51. grace -  December 8, 2010 - 11:54 pm

    Obama is so stupid. The amount of people who are truly wealthy in this country is a very minute percentage of the population, and the amount of those who are Republicans is even more minute. Obviously tax cuts for the wealthy is not where the Republicans’ power lies, if they even have any, because we have a Democratic president!

  52. Bill Kasel -  December 8, 2010 - 10:51 pm

    The Holy Grail is the Delphic acroamatic knowledge of the existence of the daughter of Jesus with his follower Mary Magdalene and their lineage.

  53. Pie -  December 8, 2010 - 10:50 pm

    WordPi are you an angry person? Dan Brown, really? …anyway, I believe that Obama used the word Holy Grail for two reasons. One, to express solidarity with those that would like to have a larger percentage of the wealth generated by an individual whose wealth they covet. Two, it is sarcasm in the sense that the core of his constituency often mock the religious beliefs of their opposition. He could have said “The Republicans are like a one trick pony, they only believe in freedom, both economic and religious” but then everyone would know exactly what he meant. This is counter to the behavior of a tried and true POLITICIAN. Its funny how he originally portrayed himself as something new.

  54. darrell -  December 8, 2010 - 9:49 pm

    his idea of compromise is bending over for anyone

  55. WordPi -  December 8, 2010 - 9:21 pm

    It is particularly sad to find statements such as: “Historically, the Holy Grail is believed to be the cup or bowl that Jesus used at the Last Supper.” This has nothing to do with history; it is a western medieval legend. (I underline the word “western” because medieval times in the East were most certainly not dark or backwards, despite what certain western historians attempt to say). According to some researchers, the Holy Grail is a metaphor for the arrival of Christianity in the West. One way or another it is only a legend which is as a matter of fact completely irrelevant to the Christian faith.

    Because inevitably some idiot will come along to mention the “Da Vinci Code” (oops, oh no, I’m sorry someone already did of course) and tap their nose all-knowingly that they possess knowledge that no one else seems to possess (amazingly there seem to be millions of such idiots in our world today) one should probably make a few clarifications.

    On researching the sources of the book “The Da Vinci Code”, the researchers finally stumbled onto the Conservative Right-Wing person of Pierre Plantard, who seems to be the one who provided the “sources” that Dan Brown presents as historical documents. The imaginative and the real, myth and history, all randomly combined in a narrative that puts the adventures of Indiana Jones to shame. However, an ensuing, second examination (with the assistance of specialists) of the “Da Vinci Code”, revealed that it is actually a medley of esoteric references, unreliable sources, recycled old conspiracies, undocumented metaphors and – the most dangerous of all – extreme, right-wing references cloaked with literary brushwork.

    Snow White eating the poisoned apple: an allegory that referred to the fall of Eve in the Garden of Eden? Mary Magdalene sitting next to Jesus in Da Vinci’s painting of the Last Supper? Walt Disney – an occultist who, from his very first movies has been sending us strange messages?
    The glass pyramid of the Louvre was constructed on the instruction of Francois Beran – also called “The Sphinx”, because he was initiated into terrible secrets?

    In his world-wide best-seller, Dan Brown, an English teacher in New Hampshire and a graduate in the history of art, is toying with our need for miracles and mysteries, by speaking of anagrams, coded messages, hidden secret signs…right before our very eyes.

    His essay is nothing more than an adult version of Harry Potter, basically focusing on the quest for the … Holy Grail and the descendants of the union (!!) between Jesus and Mary Magdalene, sprinkled with “profound” metaphors that are nothing more than a recycling of old familiar arguments found in Religious fantasy literature, according to the comment by Michel Kessnel, Dean of the Catholic University of Lyons: “Knights of the Temple, Zion, Holy Grail, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Vatican’s secrets, the occultism of Da Vinci. The wife and children of Jesus…The only thing missing is Jesus’ twin brother!”

    A cleverly thought-out text, which could have easily been taken as just another fantastic story if only Dan Brown had not insisted on the historical veracity of his sources in the introduction of his book.

    Despite the tens of books in circulation which have debunked his assertions, he has miraculously convinced his readers to such a degree, that not too long ago thousands of tourists swarmed in droves to see the places where the “events” in his book took place, eager to “see” for themselves all those secret signs at last.

    How were they to know, that the only person responsible for all of this, was a Conservative Right-Winger Frenchman? Apparently, Pierre Plantard was the man who concocted the sources that Dan Brown presented as “historical references”, as revealed by the journalist Marie France Esteguan in the «Nouvel Observateur».

    In 1956, he registered in Haute-Savoie the Article of Association of a newly-founded organization: he called it the Priory of Sion and declared himself its head, with the title of Grand Magister. A few years later, together with another eccentric personality –the Marquis Philippe de Chérisey- they “manufactured” a series of documents that supposedly revealed the whereabouts of the Holy Grail, the existence of a line of descendants from the marriage of Jesus to Mary Magdalene and their incorporation in the Merovingian Dynasty (which apparently was Plantard’s lineage also!), the founding of the Priory of Sion in 1099 by Godfrey -supposedly for the purpose of protecting the secret of the Holy Grail- and a list of the Grand Masters of the organization, amongst whom were included Da Vinci, Botticelli, Newton, V. Hugo, Jean Cocteau…..

    In the mid-sixties, Plantard and Chérisey deposit these documents in the National Library of Paris. These are the renowned “Secret Files”, which Dan Brown invokes in the introduction of his book as being the unshakable historical evidence of everything that he has recorded, the journalist Marie France Esteguan concludes. “What a pity! The much-praised secret brotherhood of the “Priory of Sion” is nothing more than an average, mid-20th century, bourgeois society, founded by an extreme-right personality who poses as a descendant of Jesus, and a member of that superior race of “Illuminati” who hold the fortunes of the world in their hands!”

    If the murky Plantard is indeed the latent “protagonist” of this book, Leonardo Da Vinci is the obvious one. However, he too is presented as a somewhat obscure personality, i.e., the conspiring guardian of the formidable secret of the Priory of Sion, who, through his artwork, attempts to convey……encrypted messages. This apparently occurs with many of his paintings, such as the “Mona Lisa”, the “Last Supper”, or the “Lady of the Rocks”, which –according to Brown- contain symbolisms of the divine female element that the Church had forsaken.

    Unfortunately for him, the specialists insist that Da Vinci was a rationalist who was totally indifferent to such theological disputes: “When executing significant orders on religious themes, Leonardo would work under the close supervision of a group of theologians, who left nothing to chance”, claims Antonio Natali, the head of the Department for Renaissance Paintings of the Uffici Art Gallery in Florence. “His symbolisms are confined to the established Roman-Catholic mentality of his time”

    Serge Bramley, one of the most respected Da Vinci biographers, also added the following comment, thus clearing the scene: “Maybe in his artwork Da Vinci did resort to various sleights in order to attribute mystery to his paintings. But in real life, he was anything but a mystic. He was an absolute rationalist. Furthermore, in his notes, he referred to the necromancers, the alchemists and the astrologers with anything but flattering words. Da Vinci had absolutely nothing to do with any secret organizations.”

    If Dan Brown had not reassured the reader -from the very introduction of his book- that his sources were absolutely reliable, we would have considered the book a pleasant, adventurous, fantasy-filled narration, if understandably offending to Christians (imagine if I make up a story about the mother of the person who wrote this article on dictionary.com and called her a prostitute; a real person involved in a mythical story that offends her).

    But when he mixes history with myths and draws a large portion of his “sources” from dubious circles with dangerous ideologies of “young Messiahs who will bring a worldwide prevalence of values” (which is something that he also did in his book “Illuminati”), then his story –whether voluntarily or involuntarily- is not so innocent….

    According to Dan Brown, in Da Vinci’s painting of the “Last Supper”, the figure with the long red hair depicted on Jesus’ right is not John, but Mary Magdalene, while between the bodies a “V” shape can be discerned – the symbol of the divine female. But A. Natali, the head of the Department for Renaissance Paintings of the Uffici Art Gallery in Florence, responds accordingly: “The characteristics may appear somewhat feminine, but that does not mean that a woman is in fact depicted there, much less Mary Magdalene. Besides, the disciples of Jesus have been placed in groups of three, each group forming a pyramid shape. This was the “visual style” that Da Vinci wanted to give to his painting. It is only logical, that between two such pyramids that meet at the same Base will necessarily form an angle that reminds one of the figure “V”. This does not mean it is a reference to any feminine element.”

    This painting depicts John the Baptist blessing Jesus, instead of the opposite, as Dan Brown asserts, while for the first time, Jesus is depicted without a halo. “No hidden meaning”, says Da Vinci’s biographer, Serge Bramley. And Frank Zelner, author of a treatise on the painter’s art, adds: “It was an artistic challenge; he wanted to portray the divine, without resorting to traditional forms. He also devised another form: the positioning of the four faces form the sign of the cross. As for the infant blessing the other, it is the smaller of the two, therefore it must be Jesus.”

    The life and the history of Plantard begins in 1940, in occupied Paris. He wrote enthusiastic letters to Petain, urging him to “stop the war that the Jews provoked”, stressing that he “had at his disposal about one hundred men, all dedicated to our cause”; he published anti-Semitic magazines such as “Vaincre” (which he re-circulated in the 1980s); with the assistance of the German occupational forces, he took over buildings that Jews lived in; he headed several small nationalist groups and secret societies -along the lines of knightly brotherhoods- whose purpose was the “ethnic cleansing” of his country, and he began to sign with the name “Pierre de France”.

    In short, the millions of readers who love the man behind this book, are supporting the fanaticism and bigotry of an extremist nationalist figure who is an anti-Christian and anti-Jew racist.

  56. Kate Mag -  December 8, 2010 - 8:03 pm

    liked your conclusion, “While President Obama would certainly appreciate the possession of the legendary artifact, it’s likely that he would be perfectly happy to gain something equally elusive; political compromise.”

  57. Writ -  December 8, 2010 - 8:00 pm

    Snide? sore loser? Is there never to be common sense among those who allow their prejudices to overrule their intelligence.

  58. fred -  December 8, 2010 - 7:59 pm

    Given that the Republicans helped fund the legal defense of Ted Bundy (yes, the serial killer Ted Bundy), and have generally demonstrated a disdain for what can be described as socially moral outcomes, surely if they are pursuing the holy grail, it is only to take a dump in it. Perhaps the only collective action they would approve of ?

  59. Bryan H. Allen -  December 8, 2010 - 7:53 pm

    Please Sasha, everyone starts infancy with a knowledge-blank brain. For one, some children may read the HotWord column. Also, no one can envy the writer’(s) job to prepare a fresh column nearly every day. One’s pride and condescension do not motivate less fortunate people to elevate themselves, my dear.

    Have you ever heard the concept of turning a disadvantage into an advantage? If you already knew everything about the legend of the Holy Grail (really?), then could you not innovate a research project for yourself to find new information or new or divergent questions about it? Could you have innovated a more à propos phrase for the president’s speech writers? Could you have just breathed a sigh of relief that today’s column did not put your mind through the meat grinder? Inter alia.

  60. Sammy -  December 8, 2010 - 7:21 pm

    This is a good article. Informative and helpful. :)

  61. Allan -  December 8, 2010 - 6:50 pm

    I kinda liked Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It made more sense than the Obama Administration. Congress acts like the Knights That say NHE!!

  62. Robert -  December 8, 2010 - 6:35 pm

    Perhaps the President was speaking figuratively; however, the literal meaning does reflect the actual political system. You wrote, “It is the object that the Knights of the Round Table clamored for because of its suspected powers, such as the ability to regenerate life”, which is quite possibly what many Republicans feel the promise of tax cuts will do for their party in the next election: give them power and renewed life.

    Nice article.

  63. tyanna -  December 8, 2010 - 6:31 pm

    the story is cool and it is good but it helped me what i neede to do thankyou!!

  64. Monty -  December 8, 2010 - 6:29 pm

    I’m even more curious to know how Monty Python got their name, actually.

  65. tyanna -  December 8, 2010 - 6:28 pm

    this is awesome information

  66. 2soubriquet -  December 8, 2010 - 6:19 pm

    Sore loser? Really? Aparently he didn’t lose the presidental election. I don’t see what he’s so sore about.

  67. Russell B -  December 8, 2010 - 6:13 pm

    Yes Jamie, it is helpful. I like it too. One day, I hope to be as smart as (a previous poster). Thank you, “Hotword”, for elucidating.

  68. HOLY GRAIL | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  December 8, 2010 - 6:06 pm

    [...] “Cup of Compassion” — That’s out of fashion for the Republican way of being. — ” Masks of God” referenced but Odd — in the JCF Hero’s Journey Quest. — Parsifal Obama might be a head above the rest — The attempt to be the Unifying Element to Bring the sides together — “heiros gamos” the Sacred Marriage to calm the stormy weather. — Bama Lama Ding Dong is working with mythology — it’s too bad the Republican party is stuck up their own Ass trology. — As Mazeloeb took over Rupert and he’ll never understand — The Holy Grail or the Great White Whale a metaphor on demand. –>>Rupert L.T.Rhyme [...]

  69. Garrett -  December 8, 2010 - 5:45 pm

    I think that rich republicans shouldn’t get tax cuts and the Indiana Jones is a good series. I dont’t know what to say about the holy grail:)

  70. Sofiahorse -  December 8, 2010 - 5:04 pm

    btw what is the movie Crusade…. im only ten… CHEEEEZE

  71. Sofiahorse -  December 8, 2010 - 5:03 pm

    Sasha that comment was mean, i dunno what holy grail means until i read this… :’(

  72. LaQuilla -  December 8, 2010 - 4:45 pm

    Soubriquet needs to grow up. That comment really shows how ignorant u truely r. Get on his level and stop all the hating. Obama rules!!!!

    another 4 years… Oh yes we can

  73. Ava -  December 8, 2010 - 4:40 pm

    Thanks. I learned something new today. I only knew part of that, not having had a Christian background.
    Don’t be haters, be glad that people are learning all their lives.

  74. jamie -  December 8, 2010 - 4:17 pm

    i love it here. it is helpful for beginners like me.

  75. tnito -  December 8, 2010 - 4:16 pm

    iv seen the last crusade!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! pretty good movie !(:

  76. Soubriquet -  December 8, 2010 - 4:08 pm

    I like The DaVinci Code.
    Obama’s comment was a bit snide. His comment makes him come off as a five year old. It also shows that he’s a sore loser.

  77. susan -  December 8, 2010 - 4:08 pm

    hahaha i know he would apriciate political compromise
    i enjoyed this artical as i’ve enjoyed many u have
    offered TY HOTWORD

  78. unknown -  December 8, 2010 - 4:06 pm

    The holy grail is displayed in the movie Monty Pyton and the Holy Grail also.

  79. Sasha -  December 8, 2010 - 3:57 pm

    Who doesn’t know what the Holy Grail is? Where does dictionary.com find the people who write these unhelpful articles?

  80. george -  December 8, 2010 - 3:55 pm

    this is awesome information

  81. DANIEL -  December 8, 2010 - 3:43 pm

    Thanmk you for not mentioning, “THAT BOOK/MOVIE


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