Sunday, August 29, 2010

My Favourite Character

For those of you who were clammering in anticpation of more travel logistics, this is the chapter for you. Basically all that happens in this chapter is Judd and Vicki go back to O'Hare to get Judd's car. Oh and they say The Prayer and become Christians, but really that's it. Only someone as monumentally untalented as Ellanjay could make the apocalypse seem so boring.

But we are introduced to someone who's currently my favourite character: the cab driver. He's a walking cliche, the rough, tough cabbie, but right now he seems to be the only one, besides Ryan, who is affected by this disaster.

As the cabbie drives Judd and Vicki to the airport, we get this reflection from Vicki.

Now she realized, of course, that for at least the last two years--since her parents had become believers--she herself had been the problem. She had somehow realized that her life would not be her own if she became a Christian like her parents. They had told her and told her that she didn't need to clean up her life before she came to Christ. "Jesus accepts you just the way you are," her mother had told her. "He'll start showing you what needs to be changed and will hlep you change."

Okay, I'll give Ellanjay some credit here: that last statement is accurate. As we Christians are so prone to say, "The Church is a way station for sinners, not a country club for saints." Jesus didn't make the prostitutes promise to stop being prostitutes or the tax collectors to stop collecting taxes before he accepted them; he accepted them, warts and all. So as much as it pains me to admit it, I've got to give Ellanjay props.

Okay, I'll admit I have peeked at the wikipedia page for Left Behind: the Kids and apparently Vicki and Judd do hook up. But I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they don't hook up until the last year of the tribulation. I guess the thought of two ripe teenagers hooking up in the aftermath at so young an age, didn't sit well with Ellanjay, so at least we don't have to suffer through their attempts at romantic dialogue. :shudders in memory of Buck and Chloe:

Anyway, it's little details like these that make me like the cab driver so much. We ought to find it in our hearts to give him a name like we did for Jimmy Bats.

The cabby had fallen silent long ago. He kept taking huge swigs from a mug of coffee and opened his window so the cool night air filled the car. Vicki shivered and wished he would shut it, but didn't say anything. The way he looked, he'd probably been driving for twenty-four hours. She was not about to discourage anything that would keep him awake.

I suppose it is unrealistic that cab drivers would be working at all in the aftermath of the disaster--wouldn't it be more likely that their bosses would call them back to headquarters so they could get an accurate head-count on who's missing and who isn't--but still I like the cab driver because he is concerned with something besides himself. He reminds me a little of the lamp-lighter from The Little Prince.

Vicki then says The Prayer which once again, I have to give Ellanjay some props for: it feels a bit more natural and less wooden than The Prayer in the adult book. Kudos to Ellanjay for that much.

Anyway to wrap things up, they get to the airport and Vicki finds out that Judd too, has said The Prayer. So now they are both RTCs.

:shudders: I feel so unclean giving Ellanjay kudos. I hope this doesn't become a habit. :shudders again:


Anonymous said...

In my version, the cabbie is Kazra Zanjani, a recent immigrant from Iran. A whole bunch of people have vanished, and lots of his friends are panicking and running around like headless chickens, but he's seen war and shell-shock before, and he knows that the more people act normal the more other people will behave normal. So he's driving his cab, trying to make believe that the world is still going on.

"She had somehow realized that her life would not be her own if she became a Christian like her parents."

Ayup! And to me, and I suspect many others, that's a large part of the problem. Why should I give control over my life to someone who demonstrably doesn't make people's lives any better?

-- Firedrake

Ruby said...

"Now she realized, of course, that for at least the last two years--since her parents had become believers--she herself had been the problem."

Oh, yeah. Her parents go from abusive, neglectful boozehounds to sanctimonious, hypocritical RTCs who accuse their teenage daughter of being possessed by the Devil because she won't convert, but Vickie's the problem. Grrr...

Mink, Not A Kitty-Arsonist said...

And once again we're introduced to the concept of the no-its-not-magic-really-it-isn't-STOP-MOCKING-ME! that pervades both evangelical and pentecostal sects. (Though to be fair, the pentecostals take the "spiritual warfare" thing to levels that probably disturb even evangelicals.)

But think how much cooler Left Behind would be from a pentecostal standpoint! Demons swooping through the spiritual space, Buck physically crippled as he kneels there praying their hearts to protect him and his loved ones, the desperate attempts by Rayford to name-and-claim the airplane loo aboard Antichrist One before the legions of demons serving as its in-flight spiritual escorts take notice of him and TEAR HIS SOUL APART!

... Part of me is glad that someone as popular *gag* as LaHaye is not a pentecostal. But part of me thinks that Left Behind and LBTK would have been SO MUCH COOLER and thus less of a chore to read.

Anyway! Yes. Magic once again rears its head in Christian literature. It will be interesting in the coming decade to see how much this takes further hold in the pseudo-Christian/Mammonist/Biblist community.

Captcha: corshas
For some reason I giggle at this.

Anonymous said...

Mink, in my less charitable moments I like to think that the reason RTCs are so down on real magic is that real magic works so much better than what they can offer - and you don't have to give over control of your life and moral compass to someone else!

-- Firedrake

mmy said...

I feel so unclean giving Ellanjay kudos

But I have so much more respect for people like you who are intellectually honest. I don't want to read a mindless repetition, post after post, of how bad the writing/premises are. Filthy as it makes you a good critic is that you note the good, and not-so bad, as well as gleefully pointing out the horrid.

Ruby does that as well -- and I salute her intellectual honesty too.

Apocalypse Review said...

Following along with the actual books as I re-read these entries --

"I still have to try," Judd said. "I want to make sure it's OK and get it before someone steals it."

*facepalms hard* Judd, dude? It's in a parking garage that's so jammed up a would-be auto thief would go to much easier places ... like, gee, a car dealership?

She had somehow realized that her life would not be her own if she became a Christian like her parents.

This is actually gonna be the hardest part of the AU fic I'm writing. How do these newly non-douchey versions of Judd and Vicki reconcile what they've seen to the idea that maybe that weird preacher was right after all?

There are a lot of issues with forced consent to religious faith that L&J don't even try to explore.