Sunday, August 1, 2010

An Interlude Preceding the Storm

This will be a short post because it's a short chapter. I thought about combining two chapters but it turns out the next one is really long. So please accept a brief pause before we get to the actual story.

Anyway what we get is one last brief look at our protags in the last few hours before the Rapture.

Judd, as you recall, is on a plane piloted by Rayford Steele. And we get a brief appearance from Fred's favourite character. And of course, everyone's favourite GIRAT is there.

"I'm a writer," Buck said. "With Global Weekly."

Wow, Judd thought. A big shot. And not that old.

This is clearly set in Fantasyland. How many teenagers even care about journalists, much less know their names? But then again, we've already seen that a requirement of this world is that everyone bows to the greatness that is Rayford and Buck.

Now to Vicki.

Anyway apparently her parents' conversion has completely changed them from the drinking, carousing trailer trash stereotype to Assholes for Christ. I am, once again, in complete sympathy with Vicki.

When she went to church, she hated it. Sometimes her mother looked at her to see if she had listened to what the pastor had just said, and at other times her mother leaned over and whispered the pastor's last sentence. "Get out my face!" Vicki hissed at her.

And the audience is in complete sympathy with Vicki. I'm pretty sure when Jesus said,"Go and make disciples of all the nations," he didn't mean, "Be an asshole and be sure to violate their personal space."

Anyway, she keeps trying to push her father's buttons and what happens is this:

"I think the devil's got a hold of your soul and he won't let go!" her father exclaimed.

Sorry to use emoticons but there's no other way to convey it. This is my expression on my face: O_o

So Vicki can't just be bitter that it took you guys until now to clean up your act or that you're constantly in her face about everything, she has to be possessed by the devil?! There are no words.

But Vicki has a pretty good response.

"What?!" she said. "You really believe that, don't you? You think we're living in the dark ages and maybe I'm a witch, is that it?"

And the world cheers for Vicki and begs her to resist the authors' plan to turn her into a Stepford Wife.

Anyway, not much happening on Lionel's end, just more mentions of his Uncle Andre's whispering whiny laugh which makes it clear that his status as a great storyteller is an Informed Attribute.

Now to Ryan.

There's not much going on at Ryan's end either, just that his mother suggested he go to church with Raymie Steele, and he hears some sirens off in the distance.

Man, this was a pointless chapter. I should have just watched paint dry. At least I could have gotten high off the fumes.


Apocalypse Review said...

*is immediately dead of massive LOL*

What did me in was the insistence that paint drying would have been more fun XD

But srs, Judd doesn't strike me as someone who would much care about a big-shot journalist unless he'd seen the person on TV.

This, incidentally, is why Buck being a TV news reporter would have worked way better. Judd could say, "Holy shit, you're that guy I see on the news on TV!"

As to Vicki, oh god, how did I not remember her mom re-whispering everything the priest says? That's so rude and annoying. And her Dad slipping right back into dated Holy-Roller rhetoric?

Not much to say on Lionel or Ryan, but ISTR (SPOILERS) that Lionel's uncle ends up in a bad way in that book, does he not?

Anonymous said...

So please accept a brief pause before we get to the actual story.
You mean there's going to be one? After all, Fred's up to almost 300 pages of TF, and there hasn't been a story to speak of yet.

And I'll bet Ellenjay are the kind of writers who think it's easy to write for children, because kids don't know any better and will swallow anything a grownup author tosses at them.

Yeah, right.

Please tell me Vicki doesn't get Stepfordized; she seems to be the only sane character in the bunch.


Mink said...

I think 'gluk' has become the universal reaction to LeHaye's assumptions in his writing.

I remember at about the time I was going to (a military) college, I had a friend who went from D&D-gamer, wresting-fan, rather-free-thinking... to charismatic evangelical, I think. (I think the Necronomicon had something to do with it.) (No, really.) (Okay, no, not THAT Necronomicon.) Looking back on it, I can only recall the saying (paraphrased) that the most zealous of believers is the convert. I have very little doubt as to his fervor or his desire to see others be spared an eternity of hellfire. But I think ultimately his good intentions led me away from Christianity in general.

There is a prayer that pentecostals insist that if you cannot say it, you are possessed. Now, this is a weird sort of psychological two-step. You read that line and think, "Whoa, heavy!" and that underlines everything about that prayer. It makes you pay attention to what you say in the prayer. It makes you think; at least, if you have an ounce of sane critical thinking skills, it makes you think. And you start to read the prayer word by word and line by line. And it is a *scary* thing. If you take promises seriously, then you really don't want to say it. Lines about giving yourself over body mind and soul to God, saying that you will never make an error in obeying God's word, surrendering all your free will for the Guy in the Sky.... I'm not remembering it clearly (probably for very bloody good reason) but even this can't do it justice. It's serious stuff.

Anyway, you read it through and you're terrified, you're scared, you think that there's no way you can read this and mean it, you're only human. And some of the lines are just torture to say because you know that you're a flawed human being, imperfect in every way, and even though some small part of your soul is saying that God loves you no matter what, imperfections and all, the prayer is having you say that you will be nothing but perfect for God.

So, the impression I get, is that most people who have a modicum of reading comprehension and take things like promises seriously, can't or intrinsically won't say the prayer out loud. Hence, OMZod, YOU'RE POSSESSED!

Sigh. And all that unpleasant memory comes back when hearing Vicki's parents badger her and berate her, and her father saying that she's got a devil in her and he ain't letting go, which is theological moo-poo-poo and the father should be given corporal punishment for saying that*....

There just is no way around it. All the wrong people go to Heaven for all the wrong reasons in LeHaye's world-view. I really can't blame those who look at this theology and decide that it'd be better to burn in hell than be associated with the people who get into this heaven. Still, it's important to remember that LeHaye is at best a biblical literalist, not a Christian. :(

P.S. The captcha for this post is 'rarlings.' For some reason I find that word utterly adorable.

* - Which just makes a case against those evil child protective services who'll try to take kids away from their god-fearing, rod-not-sparing, properly-disciplining parents!

Mink said...

I wrote a large post, but Blogger eated it. :(

I'll make the short form, then: Long ago, a friend of mine converted to charismatic evangelism or some flavor of that, which combined premillenial dispensationalism with pentecostalism. (I think it had something to do with the Necronomicon.) (No, really.) (Okay, maybe not THAT Necronomicon. Long story.)

tried to get me to read this prayer which, it was claimed, could not be said by anyone who was possessed. This right off the bat makes someone read such a thing a little bit more closely, and the prayer itself went beyond fire and brimstone, essentially being a promise to be absolutely perfect for God.

Any sane person would realize that there's no way to make such a promise. And if you take making promises seriously, you can't say it, you just can't. You're a flawed, imperfect human being and despite a little voice in your soul saying that it's okay, God loves you just the way you are! you still can't read this prayer.

Ergo, you're possessed. It's a horrible little trick of memetic warfare and looking back, all I can think of is that such things make us all the spiritually poorer. Fortunately, I dont remember the exact wording -- funny, that -- but I do remember being absolutely uncomfortable with myself in not being able to say it.

I got better.

And it sucks that Vicki doesn't look like she will. She'll just be turned into a Stepford Christian, since this is LeHaye's world and either you're an asshole who gets into Heaven, or you get your face eaten by horses. Or something. And TurboJesus hates you.

Ruby said...

What is odd is that for a moment, the interaction between Vickie and her dad...rings true. Dad is an Asshole for Christ, Vickie is (correctly and righteously) indignant and resentful...

But then we realize that Vic's dad will be proved Right All Along, as he gets zoomed to Heaven and Vic gets to stick around for the Tribulation.

I just finished listening to The Rapture, and it is simultaneously boring and disgusting. On the basis of that book, I can only assume that Vic's dad will be given a nice shiny crown for at least trying to convert his heathen, devil-possessed daughter.

Mouse said...

You tried to read The Rapture?! I don't know whether to pity or admire you for your effort. I suppose we should be grateful LaHaye is virulently anti-Catholic otherwise we'd have to read long lists of Catholic Saints getting crowns.

Anonymous said...

The more of this stuff I read, the more convinced I am that the Rapture is not so much "Jesus coming to get us before we die" but "the toxic meme sweeper trying to make the Earth a better place".

-- Firedrake