Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Birth of Meta-Ryan

Unfortunately, this is primarily a Judd chapter. Those who have read my Judd posts will know that I don't much care for Judd, mostly because he is badly written. Again, he feels like the quiet Jesus Freak's attempt to guess what it is like to be the big man on campus.

After watching the video, Judd is reflecting on his own sins. One of the main problems with this series is that while the adult books at least had their characters admit to some serious sins, though not the right ones, Left Behind: The Kids is not only shoved into the Christian Lit section but the Kids section as well. Therefore, the sins the kids admit to are paltry ones. About the worst thing Judd did was commit credit card fraud and try to fly to England and :gasp: sip champagne and ignore his parents. Hardly stuff that warrants being tortured for seven years over.

But even Judd admits he's not completely on board with God right now and we see a flicker of true rebellious thought:

Whatever happened to the idea that God loved everybody and didn't want anybody to die and go to Hell? What kind of a God would leave a sixteen-year-old kid without his family?

Unfortunately Ellanjay quickly clamp down and squelch any rebelliousness from their protag.

Judd knew he wasn't thinking straight. In fact, he had to admit he was being ridiculous. But just then he didn't like God very much. He was mad at God because there was no one else to be mad at.

So Bruce Barnes asks the kids to share their stories. Ryan goes first.

"I don't know what I think about all this stuff you've been saying, Mr. Barnes. If it's true, I don't think either of my parents went to heaven. For sure my mom didn't because she was killed on the road sometime this morning. My dad was listed with the passengers that went down in a plane crash. I don't think he would have been one of those who disappeared. I mean, he was great and I loved him, but he never said anything about being a Christian or even going to church."

And for that crime, his parents are suffering forever and ever without end. I know I keep repeating that a lot but since the book never touches on that subject, someone has to. I mean, we're not talking about Adolf Q. Stalin-Pot or someone like that, but ordinary people who sins were probably limited to flipping the bird at someone who cut them off or taking an occasional glance at Playboy. Only someone like Adolf Q. Stalin-Pot would wish an eternity of suffering upon someone like that.

If you're wondering, Lionel has immediately accepted the truth which causes this outburst from Ryan.

Ryan leaped from his seat and ran out, shouting through his sobs. "It's not fair! It's not fair! This is crazy! Why would God do this?"

And the world cheers and roots for Ryan, who is currently, though only twelve, being the voice of sanity in an insane world. Not to mention, he's the only one acting like he's really lost someone.

I know we normally do Metas for female characters because they are so abused by Ellanjay but I think we need a Meta-Ryan.

Judd, Bruce, Vicki, and Lionel watched him go. "Aren't you going to try to stop him?" Judd asked Bruce.
Bruce shook his head. "He'll be back. Where else does he have to go?"

Bruce, I hate to break it to you, but you're not the Pope of Mount Prospect. There are probably dozens of other churches around sheltering those left behind and offering real comfort as opposed to your taunting, "Well aren't you sorry now" kind of comfort.

Now I want someone to write a fanfic where Ryan runs away only to stumble into Lord Asriel, from His Dark Materials. Someone write a fic where they mount a plan to rescue the kidnapped and kill God. I hated Lord Asriel in Philip Pullman's books because he was a self-righteous dick but right now, compared with the God of this book, he should be nominated for sainthood.

Vicki meanwhile, is sitting on the truth, but she still hasn't said the prayer. Neither has Judd. Despite earlier saying that they shouldn't make hasty decisions, Bruce is putting the pressure on them. You have to wonder, was this book edited by monkeys or was it even edited at all?

And that's it for this week. Inspired by Pius Thickenesse's blog on Edge of Apocalypse (sorry if I misspelled your moniker), I thought I'd issue forth a challenge. If any of my faithful readers, the few, the proud, want to write fanfiction for Left Behind: the kids, email me and I will post it on my blog. If you want to borrow my Lord Asriel idea, go for it. Heck, I'll even let you get away without having to explain how he wound up in Mount Prospect.


Anonymous said...

"Where else does he have to go?"

Oh, I don't know, maybe to a place that's actually trying to do something about the immediate problems rather than using it to scare kids into servitude?

-- Firedrake

Mink said...

"Where else does he have to go?"

How. Bloody. CALLOUS. And more than a little creepy. All things considered, no wonder Bruce got left behind. He's such an ass here.

If all these schmucks didn't reappear in the great Hereafter, I would say that Bruce is purposely sabotaging the theology of the 'Tribulation Saints' because this line right here makes him out to be a jerk.

This was a good chapter full of meta, though. These are questions people would ASK when this sort of thing happens. Questioning faith, questioning God, questioning EVERYTHING.

Ruby said...

It sure is. Callous AND dangerous. Sure, Bruce, you asshat, just let a grief-stricken CHILD who has nowhere to go, wander around the dangerous streets of our newly-apocalyptic world. Nice.

Mink said...

But this is the Tribulation! That huge crime-wave and horrible violence only happens elsewhere, out of sight. Bad things don't happen to soon-to-be-converted RTCs unless they're directly poking the Antichrist--

Oh, wait. 'Tribulation.' Right. Let me try again.

But this LaHaye's version of the Tribulation! That huge crime-wave and horrible violence....

apocalypsereview said...

"Where else does he have to go?"

When I saw that, I wanted to facepalm SO MUCH because Milquetoast-y Bruce in canon seems to have become Jerky Bruce.

Ok, people who know me over at Slacktivist know my handle's from Harry Potter.

Bruce's attitude towards children reminds me of a Lite version of Severus Snape, who emobodied misanthropic favoritism to an unhealthy degree.

And that makes me wonder if Brucemeister thinks it makes him feel powerful to be an asshat to teenagers. That's pretty sad, all things considered.