Sunday, December 25, 2011

My Gift to You: a Three-Piece Snark

Well the YTF are out of danger and safely at a gas station. But all is not well. Y'see Taylor wants revenge against the GC; that unsaved heathen has the gall to want to actually :gasp: do something to thwart the GC as opposed to the YTF's strategy which is pretty much sit on your ass and twiddle your thumbs until TurboJesus comes. This of course makes him currently the only awesome character in this book. Basically Taylor's response to the YTF criticizing him for shooting missles at the GC is essentially my own: "Hey I saved your sorry asses so what are you complaining about." Though given that the GC is made up of eeevil hardened reprobates who refuse to kneel before Zod, why would they object to him killing them. It's almost as though they :gasp: care about the soldiers because they are humans and human life is valuable rather than their big saved or unsaved status.

The YTF watch the news and snicker as the newscaster does the standard "Freakish event happened/Zod not involved" story we've come to accept from the Ellanjay universe. Then Judd talks to John who has been forcibly drafted into working aboard one of the GC submarines which makes sense because again, they're evil despots.

They then read Token Jew's message which I won't snark because it's basically repeating what's already been said. Is it that difficult to remember the precise order of all the shit that's going to happen to you in the Tribulation that you need it repeated again and again?

Next chapter is told from John's perspective aboard the sub as it blows up an unidentified vessel. It's a fairly well-written scene but I can't vouch for the accuracy; I don't know anything about procedures related to subs. I have a sneaking suspicion that Ellanjay cribbed from a Tom Clancy novel.

So the YTF are meeting and for once, they're actually acting like teenagers fighting with each other over stupid things because they're stressed as hell over what's going on. But then evil bikers show up.

Back to John on the sub. Apparently they've just received word that a huge-ass meteor is headed to earth.

Okay so the gangsters are thronging the station and Pete goes out to confront them. The gas station owner tells them of a guy in Des Plaines who can help hide them. Vicki dyes her hair black and Judd gets a bad haircut.

Then they turn on the news and hear information about the incoming meteor which is a comet according to the news. Apparently it's the size of the Appalachian Mountains but the astronomers only just now spotted it and they predict it will burn up in the atmosphere. Y'know if I ever make a reality show out of these snarks, I'm going to see if I can get Phil Blatt aka Bad Astronomy guy to appear on my show and beat Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins with an astronomy textbook and a physics textbook. Me, if I had to pick a weapon, I'd do a college composition textbook.

The meteor/comet is going to hit at nine according to our brave heroes which currently means they have two hours left. I never thought I'd say this but this book is making the science in the movie Armageddon seem plausible.

Anyway, that's the snark and now I'll do my part in the continuing War on Christmas by saying, "Happy Holidays!"

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Zod: the Sadistic Sims Player

Sorry sorry again for the late post. I went into hibernation on Sunday. As to why I didn't post Monday, the only excuse is general laziness. Besides given how little is currently going on in these books were you really quivering with anticipation for my snark?

Well turns out rumours of Taylor Graham's death were completely exaggeratted. Turns out Hank'n'Judy, aka the uncaring sociopaths who cheerfully serve Zod even though Zod cheerfully murdered their son in the Wrath of the Lamb quake,saved him. They tried to convert him but given that there's no Super Special Awesome Secret Mark on his forehead, it apparently didn't take. Hank'n'Judy are dead though, murdered at the hands of the Nicky's Gestapo.

Lionel ties to convert Taylor but Taylor has the audacity to be concerned about the safety of his brother, Conrad, in the arms of the GC. So together he and the YTF start trying to plan how to get him out.

Anyway it's not looking good for the YTF. The GC are planning to rig up the rendezvous with snipers and make an example out of them, which is the first smart thing they've done so far. But the YTF are mustering forces of their own. Apparently Pete converted his fellow bikers to Anti-Anti-Christianity so they have them as support now. Again, this would all be suspenseful if: a) I gave a shit or b)I didn't know this series was forty books in length thus preventing a "rocks fall, everyone dies" kind of ending.

Next chapter, Conrad slips Mr. Stein the key to his cuffs and tells him to unlock them but keep them on as they head to meet up with the YTF.

Okay so the big rendezvous is going down. The GC wants them to turn themselves in but Judd's like "I'm not coming unless you send out Darrion and Mr. Stein." Meanwhile the snipers are in position and have itchy trigger fingers. But Conrad, who's currently carrying the YTF's collective braincells, ambushes the GC commander, without getting picked off by his fellow Morale Monitors or by snipers or the commander himself, and points a gun at him, causing the snipers to back down. But then, Taylor, currently being the resident badass, shows up in a helicopter and starts firing frigging missles at the GC. Not a bad idea, but y'know missles have the annoying habit of exploding and creating shrapnel that can injure the innocent comrades you're trying to save.

Anyway, the YTF get in the copter just in time for Zod to try to kill us all with flaming hailstones that turn into blood when they hit the earth. From the perspective of Judd, he remarks that it's like a video game, which says more than the writers intended. For from their perspective, God or Zod is basically a Sadistic Sims Player. Like said Sadistic Sims Player (SSP), Zod is all-powerful and can make your life hell for shits and giggles and no matter how Ellanjay try to rationalize it, that's basically his MO in the series.

Anyway, for once this is a two-chapter snark. I once again apologize for the lateness of this post and hope y'all enjoy it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

So the YTF are all "Snakes...why did it have to be snakes?" but eventually they go back into the cave and fall asleep.

Lionel reads Token Jew's latest email in which we find out two things: Chloe's knocked up and Token Jew is planning to go to Israel. Nothing in there about helping those displaced by the earthquake or even :gasp: gathering food and water for when the seas turn to blood.

Lionel also talks with Judd's friend Pavel who mentions that Carpathia's been reading Token Jew's website and is pissed about it. Not pissed enough to geolocate the hell out of it and make Token Jew "disappear." Again, for a world-wide dictator, Nicky sure is lame. Nicky's also mad at the head of the EBOWF because the Super-Pope (that's what I'm calling the head of the EBOWF) thinks he's bigger than him. Nicky also has missles pointed at space because he fears meteors from God. So after an indeterminate number of years, Ronald Reagan's Star Wars defense system finally comes to pass.

Okay Lionel finally got the supplies but most importantly, he charged up the all-important laptop so that the YTF won't miss out on Token Jew's words of wisdom. Again, for descendants of a religion based around the idea that man can interpret the bible for themselves and don't need a pope, Ellanjay sure seem to be into the same love of hierarchy of Catholicism.

Anyway Lionel makes it back and Mr. Stein and Judd talk about the whole 144,000 witnesses. Apparently they're the only ones protected during the tribulation; everyone else, even if they have the Super Special Awesome Mark of God, is screwed.

Next chapter, Mr. Stein and Darrion are still captured and the YTF are still in the cave trying to work out how to get to them. Also we find out that St. Rayford and Our Buck have kidnapped Hattie Durham. Anyway Judd makes a deal with the GC offering to turn himself and Vicki and Lionel in if they surrender Mr. Stein and Darrion. Of course the GC are planning a trap but no doubt our gang of plucky young heroes will be fine because Ellanjay are adverse to actually letting their heroes suffer.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Still Very Bored

Sorry, sorry for the late post. If you're wondering I haven't been killed in a freak gardening and/or vomit-choking and/or spontaneous combustion accident; just my computer is misbehaving. That out of the way, on with the new post.

Okay Vicki and the rest of the YTF are sleeping in the cave and as you probably guessed sleeping in a cave is very uncomfortable. This leads to her talking about her feelings for Judd which leads to me to scream at her to resist. Judd may not be as colossal a dick as St. Rayford or Our Buck but he's still pretty dickish.

Conrad meanwhile is still playing the double agent and doing a much better job than Lionel ever did at this game. Maybe by virtue of not being a main character that automatically makes him smarter than the other protags. Either that or the NWO is really dumb.

Okay next chapter, the YTF are still in the cave running low on food and water and they're still not sure if the GC is still looking for them because they have no way of communicating with the outside world. Now in the hands of a good writer, this would be a tense situation but again, the YTF are under divine writ of Ellanjay protection. So they draw straws to see who has to go back to the house to recharge the laptop (so they can read Token Jew's all important epistles) and get food. Surprisingly they're more concerned about internet than food, which makes me headdesk. If you're wondering, Lionel gets the short one so he has to go into the house.

Meanwhile, Morale Monitors decide to revist Mr. Stein suspecting that he knows more than what he's telling. Conrad is in a difficult position trying to help Mr. Stein while still pretending that he's a loyal GC patriot. Anyway, his section ends with one of the Morale Monitors pointing a gun at Mr. Stein's head.

I'm throwing in a third chapter because again, nothing is happening and nothing happens in the third chapter. Basically the YTF make it back to the cave only to discover it's full of snakes. Insert Snakes on a Plane joke here. Oh and Mr. Stein wants to go to Israel and be one of the 144,000 witnesses.

Sorry for the disappointing post. I'm starting to long for Rayford right now; he's so awful there's always something to talk about.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

So Very Bored

Okay so the NWO hit the Stahley hideout but never fear, not a hair on their RTC head is harmed; they escape through a secret tunnel into a cave, while Shelly, playing the innocent bystander, does her best "They went that-a-way" bit to throw them off. But even they are smart enough to realize that the NWO (played by the three stooges) aren't going to be fooled for long.

Okay so the cave led to the Stahley hangar and that's where the YTF are now, hanging out and reading Token Jew's website. Y'know they can't be suffering much if they have internet connection.

Oh and Judd reflects. Basically he's beating himself up because ever since Bruce died, he hasn't been keeping up with his Bible studies. Of course, given the amount of shit that's happened since, I'm not surprised.

Token Jew's message isn't really that interesting except to say that his explanation for the natural disasters in the world is the old "Devil did it" even though in the same paragraph, he says that God gave Satan power over the weather so really it is God's fault. But he does declare that the recent quake was an Act of God and that he's trying to grab peoples' attention. I've already addressed all the things wrong with that, so I won't bore you by repeating myself.

Token Jew continues his message with a lot of saber-rattling, before Judd stops reading and starts watching TV. Apparently, Ellanjay, realizing that in the adult books they didn't do a good enough job of showing how the NWO is evil, start showing all the evil TV programs on the EBOWF network. One is a game show where the winner gets to murder the loser. Yawn, so Ellanjay's seen Running Man. Another show is basically Saw. Another show was a seance. Yeah, because a bunch of freaks around an Ouija board is gripping entertainment. And the last show before they tune out is a program teaching viewers how to cast spells on their enemies.

Meanwhile, Conrad is with Mr. Stein and Darrion and is trying to work on a plan to get them out. Naturally, Darrion decides to rack up another one for Jesus, using the old Liar-Lunatic-Lord strategy. Unfortunately it works. :wipes away a tear: Bye-bye to the formerly cool Mr. Stein.

Basically the YTF modify their cave and Mr. Stein and Conrad get Darrion out using a strategy that Mr. Stein admits he saw in a movie when he was younger, which works because everyone holds an Idiot Ball in Ellanjayland. The chpater ends with the YTF realizing the NWO has sent dogs after them.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Wake Me Up When Stuff Happens

Another three-part snark...Wooo [/sarcastic cheer]

Okay not much really happens. Brave Sir Judd bravely hides in the Stahley's hideout and Shelly, Darrion, and Mark eventually show up. Don't remember who Mark is? Look at previous posts. I'm too lazy to type about a character Jenkins keeps forgetting about.

Meanwhile, Vicki is on trial and is offended that Mr. Stein keeps trying to save her life by presenting her as insane. His logic is that if she's declared insane, she'll just be sent to a reeducation center, which judging by what we've seen thus far, isn't too bad. It's better than being taken out back and shot, plus last time you were there, the worst thing that happened to you was that getting shivved. Anyone else wishing they could teleport Ellanjay into a Soviet Gulag or a Chinese Laogai so they can get some ideas as to what real suffering is like?

Lionel meanwhile, is plotting to spirit her out, currently making him the most active character.

The seeds for Mr. Stein's sadly inevitable conversion are planted as he goes to Token Jew's website (Vicki gave him the URL) and reads his message which is a standard Jesus-died-for-your-sins spiel that I won't bother snarking, except to note that even though Mr. Stein is an American Jew living in one of the most Christian nations on earth, he apparently hasn't heard of the novel idea that Jesus died for his sins.

Well I'll make this quick. Lionel comes up with a way to get Vicki out of the camp, which works, and Darrion comes to try to rescue Vicki and gets captured.

Okay so I lied: I'm throwing in another chapter because nothing happens in this fucking series. Sorry for the profanity, but I'm so bored and you're probably bored so you probably appreciated it.

Anyway, Lionel and Vicki escape and make it back to the hideout. Oh and Vicki talks back to Judd. I would have added a lot more profanity to the conversation, but it's nice to see Judd occasionally called on his manly leader bullshit. What happens is he's like why did Darrion do something so stupid and she responds essentially "At least she did something besides hide like a scared rabbit like you" and Judd gets pissed. This conversation doesn't last long enough nor does it have enough vitriol but it's still pretty sweet and about the only interesting part of this chapter.

Meanwhile, Mr. Stein is locked up and is starting to wonder about whether Chaya was right and I scream for him to resist, though I know it's doomed to happen anyway. Basically he has a short conversation about this with Conrad, and there's not really much to say except that he does note that God's the one causing massive amounts of suffering and death. Conrad points out that he's doing all this in order to get our attention and I can't help but think of a thousand easier ways of getting peoples' attention that don't involve killing two-thirds of the population.

Anyway, the chapter ends with Lionel realizing his radio has a tracking device: thus he led the GC right to their hideout. This should be fun.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lickable Toads or Metaphor? Take Your Pick

Lesson learned from Left Behind: the kids: Apparently Ellanjay thinks that everything's made of flint. At some point, Judd and Vicki reach the river and decide to ditch the jeep by putting it in gear and forcing a tire iron down on the accelerator thus causing the jeep to crash into a house which causes both the house and the jeep to explode.

To make this chapter short, Vicki and Judd wisely decide not to cross the river, but Vicki slips and falls into the river. Judd goes in after her, but the current is strong and he can't get to her before she's captured by the GC. This will probably come to nothing like all her previous captures, but it gives her a chance to rack up martyrdom points, though part of me wonders if she's now the new Butt Monkey now that Ryan's dead on account that she's a girl with girl parts and Judd's a mini-Rayford so he's contractually obligated not to suffer anything more than an inconvenience.

So Vicki is shocked, shocked that the evil despots who run the world-wide dictatorship that is the GC, aren't going to give her a trial. Instead, they'll turn her over to their squad commander who will decide what to do with her. Currently my eyes are rolling into the back of my head at Vicki's naivete: again these are despots, what was she expecting?

Judd makes it to the Stahley safehouse. Now to Lionel who tells Darrion and Shelly what happened to Vicki. They decide to seek help from Mr. Stein. Don't ask me what they think Random Jewish Citizen with No Known Connections to the GC will be able to do for them.

Judd meanwhile somehow still has internet connection and reads Token Jew's latest postings. Apparently Token Jew's blog is quite popular even though common sense tells us that the internet is for porn. Basically Token Jew is talking about Revelation 8 and 9. Let's look at these chapters shall we.

I'll spare you the bigass quote and tell you that interpreting them literally is a fool's game. Basically in order for them to make any sense, you have to conclude that John was using metaphor to speak to his audience or there was a lot of highly-lickable toads on the island of Patmos.

I'll sum up Token Jew's message: there will be a huge-ass hail storm mixed with fire that will kill a third of the trees and the grass. Then a huge mountain burning with fire will be thrown into the sea which will kill a third of the living creatures of the sea and sink a third of the ships. Then a star will fall (which hopefully won't be a weak-ass meteor) and turn a third of the water bitter. This star is called Wormwood. And if you're wondering, it is clearly stated that the angels will do all these things or in otherwords, God will rack up a higher body count than the so-called anti-Christ and while these deaths will happen everywhere, they'll mostly be concentrated on the poor and weak because being poor means you have less margin for error of any kind, godly or not. You can be a good, hard-working person and end up screwed all because you happened to be hit by a drought or a flood or something that was beyond your control, while the rich have the means to get to higher ground or take preventative measures. The TF and YTF can stock up on canned food and bottled water, but such means are beyond the reach of the poor who will suffer and die horribly for the crime of being poor. Isn't Zod wonderful?

Sorry for the long-ass rant but they really hit a nerve.

Anyway, I'll throw in a third chapter. I'll stop doing this some day, don't know when; maybe when stuff actually starts to happen.

So what is our manly hero, Judd, doing? Why he's bravely staying in the safehouse, surfing the internet (reading of course only material approved by Token Jew) and chatting with Pavel. Our Hero.

Basically he reads more about the judgments. Next, according to Token Jew, a third of the sun, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars will be darkened. It's yet another passage from Revelation that would make perfect sense if you lived in the first century and had their notion of cosmology, but once again doesn't make sense to shoehorn it into modern thinking. Once again, Judd doesn't make the connection that Zod is going to slaughter everybody which is okay because he's bigger than you and always will be; therefore, might makes right. No wonder Beverly LaHaye moved a thousand miles from her husband; if this is the kind of theology he believes in, then I shudder to think how he treats his wife.

Pavel talks about how Carpathia is rebuilding communications and airports to facilitate travel and Judd self-righteously goes on a rant about how he should be focusing on relief efforts. Really Judd? Because I haven't seen you helping the fire department put out fires or donating blood or being stretcher bearer or doing anything but bravely surfing the net and being a self-righteous ass. Can you tell I hate Judd? I know I'm really subtle about it but I do.

Mr. Stein visits Vicki and even though he's even eeevil heathen Jew, he still wants to help. Still he resists Vicki's attempts to convert him and right now, he's my favorite character.

The chapter ends with Vicki praying as the commander comes into the room to decide her fate.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Another Four-Part Snark or I've Never Been So Bored in My Life

As you guessed from the title of this post, this is a rare four-part snark, because nothing happens. I apologize if I cause worldwide blackouts due to terminal boredom.

You're probably wondering what Lionel's going to do about his GC gig now that he's got his memory back. Well, wonder no more: he's decided to be a double agent, working as a Morale Monitor but as an RTC. This is probably the smartest thing we've seen a character do so far; before you cite Our Buck and St. Rayford, remember that they never seem to do any actual double-agent type work and they continue to blab about God at every available opportunity and never get in trouble for it, even though they work for the anti-Christ.

So he and Conrad come up with a ruse to make their commander think they got into a confrontation with the enemy and narrowly escaped and it works and that's all that happens in this chapter.

Basically the GC have Charlie and with his talk about helping Vicki bury Ryan, now they think maybe she's responsible for two murders. Afterwards, Lionel tries to convert Charlie.

If you're wondering what Vicki and Judd are doing, they're hiding in the Junior-Hole-in-the-Ground trying desperately not to get caught by the GC. It's as boring to type as it is to read.

We do get a bit of a conflict as Vicki tells Judd to stop bossing her around the way he used to boss Ryan around. Judd says he's kicked himself a thousand times for the way he treated Ryan which is news to me; Judd's always been a mini-Rayford in that everything he does is right, even when it appears to be wrong, he's always in the right.

Anyway, end of chapter, Conrad converts and Judd and Vicki leave the shelter in order to seek out another, only for something to fall on Vicki's leg forcing Judd to carry her. I suppose they're trying to build more romantic tension between them but honestly, I'm so bored I'm practically comatose.

Last chapter, Vicki and Judd are on the run with the GC in pursuit. Lionel contemplates shooting Phoenix (aka the YTF's dog) in order to protect his friends. The GC searches the tent hospitals for Judd and Vicki but they escape by stealing the commander's jeep and oh god is this the most boringest section in the history of boring books. At least when you read the phonebook you get useful information that you can apply in your daily life; what do you get when you read Left Behind: the kids? You either get a concussion from bashing your head against the desk or you become comatose due to terminal boredom.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Strawman Always Has a Point

Okay so what comes of the woman accusing Vicki of killing Mrs. Jenness: as of the first part of the chapter, nothing. One of the GC medics realizes the patient is hysterical and tells Vicki to go away. But the medic in question has a smudge on her forehead which is probably the Super-duper Special Secret Mark that reveals to fellow RTCs that you are also an RTC. Remember kids, only RTCs are good people in this universe; everyone else is a harden reprobate. Even if Nicky Krieger were to cure cancer with his tears, he's still a bad person because of his unsaved antichrist status. Only RTCs can do good deeds and any deed done by an RTC is automatically a good one, even if it isn't.

Lionel is starting to remember bits and pieces of the past but still hasn't pieced it all together. And just in case you were wondering if the laser-guided amnesia had humbled him in any way, fear not: Lionel is as ego-centric as ever.

"We have to be careful not to come on too strong. We don't want to try and impress people with how important we are."

That sound you hear is me busting a gut laughing. Because we all know how intimidating than one of Carpathia's Youth. I'm sure the world quakes at your awesome powers of ratting out people. Lionel is really a black mini-Rayford some times.

Meanwhile, Judd's discussing going into hiding because the GC might start looking for him and Vicki might get in trouble due to Joyce accusing her of murder. I got to hand it to Judd if he really thinks the GC's going to find him that important in the aftermath of a massive world-wide quake, but again, he really is a mini-Rayford: everything revolves around him and despite all the suffering going on around him, he remains a good oblivious RTC. Not to mention that in spite of worldwide suffering, he has Immunity, so nothing bad ever happens to him.

Anyway, so the YTF discuss Joyce. Apparently Joyce did believe that Jesus came back but came to the conclusion that if all this suffering was caused by God, she wanted nothing to do with him. :stares in starry-eyed wonder: This is the most beautiful moment of my life...a rebel in this story, an actual factual rebel. As always in Ellanjay land, Strawman has a point.

But if you start to sympathize with Joyce, Judd has some words for you.

"That must be why she's trying to pin murder on you," Judd said. "She must hate anything that reminds her of the truth."


So Joyce isn't just traumatized by all the hell she's been through thanks to Zod, she's actively evil?!

Of course I shouldn't be too surprised: again, Ellanjay haven't figured out that you can passionately and sincerely believe in something that isn't the PMD seven-year-plan as laid out by God's Prophet, Tim LaHaye. Ellanjay still believes that all other religions, except for the Jews who are just ignorant of the almighty truth, are disingenuous, a way of sticking their fingers and their ears and going "La-La-La, can't hear you!" But of course when TurboJesus comes back, they'll all be sorry!

Okay deep breaths or else I'll never make it through this series.

Okay so the Vicki finally finds out about the Super-Special Awesome Secret Marks and now Charlie wants one. Conversion story off the port valve! Hard to starboard, crew!

Oh and Lionel gets a tip from Joyce that Vicki murdered Mrs. Jenness and goes to investigate, so the final surviving member of the YTF is finally joining up with the rest. I smell hijinks!

Sorry for summarizing, but the second chapter is really boring. Just a lot of talk with the Judd and Vicki trying to convince Lionel to get his memory back and he does. Wooo...Oh and to answer your question, Evil Paul, he was still saved even when he didn't remember it, which if you think the full implications of this through raises so many questions regarding Ellanjay's theology, and yes, he did turn before he did something really evil, so congratulations, Evil Paul, you win a No-Prize. Anyone you'd like to dedicate this to?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Anti-Christ is the Most Sympathetic Character

Okay I have a lot on my mind so forgive me if I make a few off-topic comments before I get to the book.

First of all, Rev Apoc, after I'm done with this week's post, I'll go to Right Behind and post the next part of your story. I encourage everyone to read his rewrite of Left Behind: the kids and leave a comment to encourage him.

Second, I saw Courageous with my boyfriend this weekend. I feel bad picking on this film. It's not some elephantine ego project gone horribly wrong or some Uwe Boll hack spewing out garbage so they can afford another solid gold yacht or something; it's a well-intentioned, good-hearted film with a good message. The trouble is, it's still a bad film. Not only could I predict every twist of the plot, but I could practically say the lines before the characters could. The acting is subpar and it's basically a sermon, which may work on Sunday as a Fathers' Day message, but it kills any chance of creating a compelling story. There were so many places that showed promise that any competent director could have taken and made good hay out of, like say a family dealing with the loss of a child, but these are set aside in favor of sermonizing. Not to mention, one of the things that kept bugging me was that even before they sign this whole father agreement, none of the fathers were really that bad. The main one says he doesn't want to be a good enough father, but he was active in his children's lives and he provided them with all the basic neccessities of life, so I don't see how the fact that he doesn't share his son's interest in running is a bad thing. In fact the only one of the bunch who really is a bad father, is the young rookie (implied to be an :gasp: agnostic though he doesn't stay that way for long) who fathered a child out of wedlock and abandoned her.

In short, if you want a good movie that deals with matters of faith and Christianity, see The Last Temptation of Christ or The Apostle.

Now that I got all that out of the way, to the snark.

Okay so Judd and Pete are at the gas station and they have to deal with some bikers who want to steal gasoline. This is less exciting than it sounds. Oh and we find out that Pete and his girl were :gasp: living together without :gasp: being married. Pete remains a good RTC, completely oblivious to the fact that the girl he loved is burning in Hell because she got flattened by a house before she had a chance to kneel before Zod.

So the girly girls, Shelly, Darrion, and Vicki, are gathered watching Nicky Gakkel's speech about the quake and making sarcastic remarks. Me, I can't help but note that the anti-Christ is probably being more of a source of comfort than these smirking assholes for Christ. He shows respect for those who believe in the whole Wrath of the Lamb thing and :gasp: urges tolerance towards them, that bastard! and gives the standard "We will rebuild stronger than ever" speech that every politician gives after a natural disaster. I wonder if this means that every politician who :gasp: shows compassion and doesn't use a horrific tragedy as an altar call is the anti-Christ.

Then Fortunado comes on and gives a speech about how Nicholae raised him from the dead and I have to agree with those who like him; the false prophet actually demonstrates gratitude, a trait none of the RTCs possess.

Lionel, if you're wondering, is still a faithful follower of Carpathia, but Conrad has his doubts, pointing out that Nicholae didn't raise the other people who were trapped in the building with Fortunado from the dead. Lionel then grills him about being a good Morale Monitor.

Judd finally gets back to the New Hope church, but Pete decides to go back and help the gas station owner.

Next chapter. Lionel is sent to Mount Prospect and is pretty much told to shoot any looters he sees. Wanna bet, like Evil Paul said, that he'll regain his memory before he does anything really bad like murdering someone?

Judd goes to his house and for once, Jenkins or Fabry steps off the narrative gas and we actually see some signs of mourning in the Ellanjay universe, as Judd goes in what's left of his backyard and studies the handprints in concrete, the only thing left of his family.

But then we're back to Lionel who's at the mall trying to stop looters. He fires his gun but misses and runs into a display and it's implied that he's starting to get his memory back.

Vicki and Judd find each other. Now back to Lionel.

It turns out the whole mall thing was a test to see how loyal they are to the GC, you know whether they'd be willing to fire on a human being. None of the Morale Monitors had actual bullets in their guns, only blanks.

Next Vicki tells Judd about Ryan's death and once again, we actually get someone demonstrating mourning in the Ellanjay universe, as Judd goes and visits Ryan's grave. Naturally he doesn't apologize for being a complete dick towards him (Need I remind you of the Calvacade of Assholery) but it's still a nice touch. I have a feeling though that after these initial chapters, Ryan will never be mentioned again in this forty book series. The chapter ends with some woman accusing Vicki of killing Mrs. Jenness and given the YTF's callousness towards her death, I can't blame her.

Sorry this post is so long; had a lot I needed to get off my chest. I only hope I didn't bore you.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It's a Good Life

Well, Vicki finally gets to Ryan's bedside and he croaks. RIP, little butt monkey. I wonder who's going to take up the thankless part of butt monkey now. Anyway, this is the post where I retired my Ryan tag.

Judd meanwhile is still with the biker, whose name is Pete. Pete keeps thrashing about, moaning about his girlfriend, which again means that while he's said The Prayer, Pete is clearly not a good RTC: if he was, he would just say, "It's good that you did that, Zod. It's real good" and accept that his girlfriend is in Hell. Pete decides to walk away from Judd but Judd follows him.

Meanwhile, Vicki is crying over Ryan's death and we get some more distinction between raptured and dead though really there isn't a difference. Gone is gone, after all. Just in this case, Vicki has a body to bury. Basically there are so many bodies that they've started burning them and Vicki doesn't want that to happen to Ryan, so she and Charlie sneak him out of the hospital so they can bury him.

Judd and Pete make it back to Pete's destroyed house, unearth Pete's girlfriend from the rubble, and Pete gives her a proper burial. Again, there's no mention that this girlfriend whom he loved so much, is in Hell, even though Pete himself said that he didn't think she knew about God. :headdesk: These characters are either sociopathic, stupid, or both.

Anyway, Vicki buries Ryan, gives Charlie a bible, and that's the end of that chapter.

Next chapter, we catch up with Lionel as he trains to become the GC equivalent of Hitler's Youth and I have a feeling, like Evil Paul, that for all Lionel's talk about how he supports Carpathia, he'll regain his memory before he does anything really bad. But that hasn't happened yet.

Judd decides to go back and see if Marlene has accepted Christ and Pete goes with him.

Vicki is reunited with Darrion and Shelly. Darrion's mother is dead, but like a good RTC, she doesn't care. But then again, she has to think happy thoughts and say happy things, lest she make Mister God real angry.

Judd gets access to a computer and starts looking up names of the YTF and the TF. Apparently St. Rayford's wife, Amanda, is dead. Oh Amanda Steele, we hardly knew ye. No seriously, we hardly knew her. Did she have any defining personality traits beyond worshipping the ground Rayford and Irene walked on?

Okay, I'm doing a third chapter. I'll stop doing three-piece snarks eventually, I swear.

Pete and Judd realize they have a mark on the forehead in the shape of a cross. After a quick jaunt to Token Jew's website, they realize they have the seal of God on their foreheads. They briefly mention Revelation, chapter 7, and I go to look up said chapter. Basically it talks about the 144,000 witnesses and only briefly mentions anything about seals or marks. Tell me, how badly do you have to torture scripture for Ellanjay's interpretation to make sense? Oh and Marlene converted.

Mr. Stein shows up again and right now, he's my favourite character. I know eventually he'll convert because all the damned are off-screen, but right now, I like him because he cares about people beyond his little inner circle. Basically he came looking for the YTF, because he promised Chaya he would make sure that they were okay. He resists Vicki's attempts to convert him though.

Judd talks with one of his converts, a boy named Pavel, who mentions that apparently Carpathia raised Leon Fortunado from the grave. Y'know I hate to be contrary (no I don't) but the anti-christ is acting more Christ-like than the actual Christ.

And that's it for this week. I thought about throwing in another chapter, but next week is Carpathia's post-earthquake speech and it's long.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Yet Another Three-Piece Snark

Okay we are starting on book #13 in the kids series. [stops to do a brief dance of joy] Only twenty-seven more books to go.

Okay so Judd didn't land in the water--the motorcycle did--but he's clinging to the broken side of the dam. Ellanjay try to build suspense but again since nothing bad every really happens to Judd--Ryan's the butt monkey of this series--I feel nothing for him. Just as he loses his grip someone rescues him and that's where his section ends. Current Excitement Level: comatose.

Vicki has a bad dream and decides to finally go see Ryan at the makeshift hospital. Again, you gotta feel for Ryan: he truly fits the definition of butt monkey that is someone who's dumped on by everyone.

Lionel is preparing for his new duties as a GC Morale Monitor but Conrad is curious about the Bible in his luggage. He wants to talk to Token Jew.

Turns out the guy who saved Judd is named Tim Vetter. Tim takes Judd back to his cave to meet his wife Marlene. Judd is worried that they might be GC but I'm willing to wager that they're secret Christians; why would a character named after the almighty Tim LaHaye be evil?

Vicki visits someone who was hurt but it turns out not to be Ryan. Yawn. Snore. MEGO. For an apocalypse story, this series is so dull.

Judd is questioned by Tim and decides to tell his story.

Vicki meanwhile upon being told that only the injured are allowed into the makeshift hospitals, fakes being injured so she can see Ryan.

Next chapter. Vicki goes to try to find Ryan but is arrested. I predict that nothing will come of this, just like nothing came of any of her other arrests.

Well, I need to eat a slice of humble pie because it turns out I was wrong. Tim and his family are eeevil GC supporters and plan on turning Judd over to the GC. Yes! Yes! [dances around] Maybe something will finally happen to Judd.

It turns out that Vicki isn't arrested but was just grabbed by some guy named Charlie who was driven crazy by the quake. Now in any other novel, this would end badly for Vicki, but instead of raping her or anything like that, Charlie helps her find where Ryan is.

Judd meanwhile is being guarded by Marlene and decides to try to chalk another one up on his fuselage by telling her about Jesus.

Vicki gets Ryan's letter. There's really not much to say except that it says she was like a big sister, Judd a big brother, and Lionel a good friend. Once again, I refer you back to the post entitled "Cavalcade of Assholery" so you can see what loving people they've been towards Ryan. Once again, the idea that you have to reject your previous family in order to be with your new one sounds like something from the Gospel of Jim Jones rather than Jesus.

And to make up for last week's abbreviated snark, a third chapter.

Judd escapes. I had hoped Judd would actually experience some suffering but once again, it fails to pan out.

Vicki talks with the nurse who lost her son when Zod slaughtered all the children. Thanks to Ryan, she's wondering if she should kneel before Zod.

Judd is fleeing, praying, and trying to tell Marlene about Jesus all at the same time.

Meanwhile, with the girly girls, Darrion wants to go see her mother but everyone's like "No! They'll arrest you." But for once, Darrion demonstrates that she cares about someone besides herself saying, "She'd do the same for me. Shelly and Darrion decide to go together to find Darrion's mom, but Vicki goes to see Ryan.

Now to Judd. He's back with the guy who gave him the motorcycle. The biker asks about his girlfriend and Judd makes this statement that should be jaw-dropping to anyone with a pulse.

"She was in the laundry room when the quake hit. She didn't suffer."

But she is suffering right now, suffering for all eternity, because she didn't accept Zod.

Judd wisely doesn't say the above, realizing this could hurt his quota. The biker shows how hardened a sinner he is by crying over his girlfriend's death but like Judd, doesn't make the connection that any five-year-old could make that his girlfriend's in Hell. Oh how I loathe every character in these books.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My Little Sociopaths

I know I say this a lot but these characters are sociopathic to the extreme. I know I need to stop being shocked by this or else I'll never make it through the series, but I can't help it. Every time I read these books I am reminded that these are supposed to be the role models for young Christians everywhere. Darrion, Shelly, and Vicki are sitting around talking about food when really at a time like this, they should be grateful to be alive, never mind what they're eating, when the discussion turns to Shelly's mom.

"Did your mom ever...I mean, was she..." Darrion stammered.
"Was she a Christian?" Shelly said.
"If you don't want to talk about it, I understand," Darrion said.
"It's OK," Shelly said. "Vicki knows I tried to talk to her. Sometimes she'd listen,
but most of the time she'd get mad.

And that mother who made that wonderful apple pie from scratch you were mentioning earlier, is roasting in Hell for all eternity, a fact which doesn't even register with any of the characters.

But that's a reoccuring theme in these books: horrific things happen but the heroes just chuckle about it. Don't believe me? Then read this conversation they have about Mrs. Jenness

"When we were on the bridge, it was like she was a little kid," Vicki said. "She froze. Couldn't move. Then we were in the water and I got out. But I felt guilty about leaving her."
"You can't force people to do what they need to do," Shelly said.
"The look on her face will haunt me forever," Vicki said.
"You know what I think?" Darrion said. "I think we ought to be thankful for the miracle that you're alive. You could have gone down with her."

Wow...Just wow...There's no compassion here, none whatsoever. I wish I could beat these characters with a hammer. I really don't know what else to say but that.

Judd meanwhile is at a dam dealing with the strangers who confronted him. Basically they want his bike and his stuff. Judd gives them food but refuses to hand over his bike. Basically Ellanjay try to build a little suspense by mentioning the middle of the dam is collapsed forcing Judd to have to jump it to the other side, but it doesn't work because Judd is basically a mini-Rayford as many commentators have put it. Therefore there really isn't any doubt over whether he'll make the jump or not.

Lionel, meanwhile, has decided to join the GC and is paired with Conrad and given a gun.

Ryan is on his deathbed yet is still trying to convert the nurse and I still can't help but feel that if he has that much energy, he can't really be at death's door. People on their deathbed are usually too preoccupied with dying to do much else.

Finally someone comes along and rescues Mr. Stein. But Chaya is dead and Mr. Stein demonstrates that he's a hardened reprobate in need of saving by having a human reaction to her death. He actually cries, the nerve of that man.

Next chapter is a one page epilogue. I would do another chapter to make this snark longer, but I don't have the next book yet, so I'm afraid this week's snark will be a short one. Basically all that happens in the epilogue is Judd makes the jump and survives, though he lands in the water, which I totally saw coming because as said before, he's a mini-Rayford. Nothing bad ever really happens to him due to divine writ of Ellanjay protection.

And that's it for this week. Sorry for the abbreviated snark.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

They're all NPCs

Okay, so I have to give Judd a few common decency points: apparently he waited with the biker for the ambulance to come and didn't just take his bike and run like I thought he would. As said before, it's getting to where I want to throw a parade every time the characters demonstrate common decency.

Anyway, the biker starts talking about the disappearances though you'd think a world-wide earthquake would have jarred that from his memory, giving Judd a chance to chalk up another for Zod.

"That's the key to understanding the vanishings," Judd said. "It wasn't just people who went to church or were religious that got taken; it was people who knew Jesus as their Savior."

So okay what about all the children and babies who disappeared and when I say babies, I do include fetuses and embryos? I doubt all 3 billion of Earth's children knew Jesus as their savior.

Before you respond with that whole "age of innocence" thing, a funny thing about that: it's not mentioned anywhere in the Bible. And it's my humble belief that if you have to resort to that kind of weaseling to try to explain away the cruelty inherent in your beliefs, maybe you should start asking some questions about said beliefs.

Oh and here's Judd's explanation of the Gospels. Note there is nothing in there about love or anything silly like that.

Judd explained the Gospel. "God created people to have a relationship with him, but people sinned. Since God is holy, he can't tolerate sin. When the time was right, Jesus came into the world and lived a perfect life. Then he died in our place and rose from the dead. Now if poeple ask for forgiveness, Jesus comes into their life and God forgives them."

Of course, the question is if Zod can't tolerate sin, then why did he create us to be a sinful people to begin with, isn't asked. Nor is it asked why he had to wait so many centuries to send Jesus and what happened to all those generations born before him. Are Elijah and the rest of the prophets in hell right now?

Judd then of course, leads the biker through the same prayer that all the other characters prayed because it hast to be that specific wording or the spell won't work and promises to go see the Biker's girlfriend and tell her about Zod, so I bet we have another conversion scene set up.

Not much happening on Lionel's end except that Conrad asks about the phone numbers and names in his belongings. Now to Ryan.

Ryan's legs are paralyzed and things aren't looking good for him. So he decides to write a letter to his friends. I can't help but think that if he has the energy to write, he can't be in that bad of a shape but what do I know.

Chaya meanwhile is still trying to convert her father and I have a sinking feeling that it'll work because all the damned are nameless and off-screen. Y'see Ellanjay aren't anti-Semites: they love Jews so long as they renounce Jewish teachings and stop being so inscrutable and Jewish.

Next chapter. Vicki, Shelly, and Darrion are talking about Our Buck driving his range rover near the church so we can cancel that candlelight vigil we had planned. Again, even the kids know to bow before the awesomeness that is Our Buck and St. Rayford.

Judd meanwhile searches the biker's home. He finds the biker's girlfriend dead and once again there's not a flicker of conscience from Judd. She's an NPC what does he care if she's damned for all eternity. So he grabs a few supplies and moves on, concerned more with logistics than his friends and he runs into three guys and that's the end of his section.

Lionel is going through his stuff trying to remember who he is, when his superior comes in and tells him that he's being transfered to a monitor station as soon as transportation is available. Lionel asks for permission to sleep on it, which makes sense: he's suffered a severe head injury. Why would the NWO even want to use him any more given how bad those can be?

Ryan writes his letter and asks the nurse if she knows Zod. Now to Chaya's section. Chaya is probably experiencing a human reaction to these events: given that she knows how much worse things are going to get, she's actually happy to be dying and going to Heaven. You'd think more of the characters would feel the same way and commit suicide by anti-christ but then we wouldn't have much of a story. Anyway, she's still trying to convert her father comparing him to Pharaoh who would not convert even after sign after sign, completely ignoring all the parts where God hardened his heart so he couldn't convert.

Anyway that's this week's offering. I encourage you all to read Rev Apoc's fanfiction for Left Behind: the kids at Right Behind.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Absence of Trauma II

There's a good description of the chaos and mess following the quake, which would work were it not for the fact that Ellanjay is busy going "Haw-Haw! Be glad this isn't you," as opposed to "The horror...the horror..." Once again, cheap slasher flicks empathisize more with their characters than Ellanjay.

Vicki runs into Shelly and they start discussing the eevil Mrs. Jenness. They wish her well but really they're laughing their heads off 'cause she's burning in hell. Don't believe me; read this conversation.

Vicki nodded. "I can't help feeling guilty about her," Vicki said.
"From what you said, you did everything you could," Shelly said. "And then some."
"It's not that," Vicki said. "Part of me is glad that she's not around to bug us. Isn't that awful?"
"We're both sorry she had to die," Shelly said. "I'm sorry she didn't believe the truth. But you can't make people believe."

No, Vicki, what's awful is that Mrs. Jenness is burning in hell, roasting on a spit, for all eternity along with Ryan's parents and nearly every other sane character in this book. That's what's awful.

Meanwhile Judd is running and gets caught by some rednecks. Naturally because he's so smart and brilliant, he decides the best thing to do when they've got a shotgun pointed at him is to mouth off to them. I suppose I should question why they have a gun in Nicky Dolomites's gun-free paradise, but I was so excited at the prospect of something actually happening to Judd that I didn't care. Unfortunately nothing does happen to Judd. The only reason he doesn't get his head blown off his shoulders is divine writ of Ellanjay protection. But luckily for him it turns out that Hank and Judy, as the rednecks are called, are secret Christians who are running an Underground Railroad for Christians. But that's not the truly appalling part of all this. What's truly appalling is that their son died in the quake and Hank'n'Judy don't give a damn. In fact after pointing out where their son died and telling about his death, Hank'n'Judy immediately launches into their conversion story, then tells Judd he can wear their dead son's clothes because they won't need them. Egads! These characters are sociopathic to the extreme.

Meanwhile Lionel has laser-guided amnesia has he can't remember anything prior to being at the training camp, though for some reason he remembers his own name.

Ryan is finally rescued. Now to Chaya and her father.

Chaya continues to not use contractions even though she is in her own words "bleeding internally." But she is ready to die which alarms her father for good reason imho. Chaya's all "You have to face the truth" which causes her father to roll his eyes.

Chaya says that God exists and deserves to be heard and her father says that God spoke to them through the laws and the prophets which causes her to launch into her Jesus spiel.

"Jesus," Mr. Stein muttered. "You think he's the answer?"
"What do you think about him?" Chaya said.
"He was a good rabbi. He taught many things about loving your neighbor. But he--"
"How can you call a man good who says he is God?" Chaya said.

Mr. Stein responds that his followers wanted to believe he is God and Chaya gives a variation on the liar-lunatic-lord trilemma saying, "If so why did his followers give up their lives for a lie?"

And of course, the response to this is that people can passionately and sincerely believe something that is wrong. There are after all, people who still believe Saddam had WMDs, despite mounds of evidence to the contrary.

Chaya then starts launching into the whole spiel on Old Testament prophecies because we all know that the Gospel writers were factually accurate historians who recorded exactly what happened and didn't decide to lift scripture in order to bolster their theory that Jesus was the Messiah.

Darrion goes in search of her mother. Next chapter.

Vicki and Darrion find each other and go off in search of Ryan and not much really happens.

Judd helps a biker and in return, the biker lets him take his bike. Thanks to the writers, Judd sure leads a charmed life.

Lionel still doesn't remember the YTF. Next character,please.

Ryan wakes up in a makeshift hospital set up in a furniture store. Again, occasionally they get the little details right, and I have to give credit where credit is due and admit that that detail works. Again, the hospitals would be too crammed to take care of everyone so they'd be setting up tent hospitals and makeshift ones all over the city.

Chaya meanwhile is continuing to preach and asks what will it take to get you to take home a shiny new Jesus today? Mr. Stein responds that if God himself would hold him down and tell him Jesus is the way, he would believe. Chaya then says a headslapper of a statement: Isn't that what he's doing? She then says this is all a gift and Mr. Stein responds the way any sane man would:

"This is a gift?" Mr. Stein yelled. "To have my wife taken from me and now my house and all my possessions destroyed?"

Chaya then responds with the Jesus as the passover lamb spiel before finally passing out and that ends that chapter.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Absence of Trauma

Okay so it turned out I was mistaken about the walmart gig: apparently I don't have to work weekends so I'll be able to continue to deliver my posts on time for y'all.

Oh and Apocalypse Review, after I'm done with this post, I will post part two of your rewriting of Left Behind: the kids. I encourage all my readers to go to Right Behind and read his posts; he actually turns Judd and Vicki into decent people.

So Vicki's wandering around thinking about the man she saw commit suicide and I can't help but think of an incredibly appropriate post secret that fits in perfectly here: Click to read

I post this secret because the God the YTF serve would send that man to hell just as he sent the man Vicki saw commit suicide to hell. Our compassionate deity...

Judd is swimming but Taylor gets swept away and Judd only feels a modicrum of conscience over this. Again, this is the morality the readers of these books are learning.

Conrad and Lionel meanwhile are struggling to escape when Lionel gets knocked unconscious yet again. He's getting to be as bad as one of the Hardy Boys when it comes to this sort of thing.

Ryan, meanwhile is still struggling when the house begins to fill with water. He begs his dog to help him and that's all that happens on his end.

Meanwhile, Chaya realizes the quake is over and tells her father and he is currently being the only human in this story. Pity the man; I heard he does eventually kneel before Zod though.

Finally he answered. "You are right; it is over," Mr. Stein said. "How can I go on? How can one man lose so much and still want to live?"

Admittedly this is rather self-centered as he's got to realize that this is happening all over the world so he ain't the only one who's lost everything, but humans tend to be self-centered at times, so I'll allow this.

Chaya is all "We have each other" but Mr. Stein goes "I have no daughter!" and I'm picturing him being played by Krusty's father.

Mr. Stein continues to say what we're all thinking.

"I suppose you believe there's some great plan in all of this."

Chaya can do nothing but say that "God is in control" which I can't imagine would be a huge comfort for reasons which should be obvious.

Darrion meanwhile decides to go in search of the husband of Mrs. Moore and that's all that happens in the first chapter. Sorry to do so much summarizing but there really isn't much going on.

Vicki continues to wander around like a shmuck, clearing not feeling any compassion for anyone's suffering, even when it is revealed that one of the dead is a baby. Now in this universe, the mere existence of babies should be a cause for excitement, after all Zod did slaughter all the others just a few years ago, but this passes without any notice from Our Heroine.

Meanwhile, Judd is still struggling in the water, wondering about whether Taylor survived, which means he's currently the only one showing compassion for another human being.

Lionel wakes up in a trauma tent, a detail which actually works considering what had happened. Given the magnitude of the crisis, the hospitals would be beyond swamped and they would probably have to set up tents to treat everyone else.

Ryan is still struggling. Next character, please.

Chaya is still arguing with her father about God and frankly I'm still with him on this. It must be frustrating to watch your child turn her back on the faith and embrace the merciless Zod who is more like something from Lovecraft than the Bible.

Darrion goes to New Hope church, finds the Mr. Moore dead, and that's it. Now I go to post Rev Apoc's latest chapter. Please read and review.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Earthquake! Part Two

Hi everybody! I just thought I'd warn you before we start that next week, I start a six-week gig with Walmart, so I may be late with next week's snark. Now I know Walmart is evil but when you're poor and live in a small town, you can't afford to be too choosy when it comes to jobs.

Now Evil Paul brought up an interesting question in the comments of last week's snark which I think warrants a little discussion.

So wait, is Lionel's being in the child soldier camp (pacifists use child soldiers? Whaaaa?) treated as a bad thing in and of itself, or bad because he's a child soldier on the wrong side?

Now I'm not sure how to answer it, but in a previous post, Judd objected to another character joining the militia movement, so it's possible that Ellanjay think that Child Soldiers equals bad, but I wouldn't bet the farm on that one.

Okay, enough delays, now to the snark.

Vicki's car is caught on a branch and she tries to save the eevil Mrs. Jenness but fails. And Our Compassionate Heroine doesn't even feel the slightest twinge of guilt over the fact that Mrs. Jenness is suffering without end all because she wouldn't kowtow to Zod. I know I say these kinds of things a lot but they need to be said, dammit.

But we get a moment of questioning and doubt. It's a brief flicker but it's there and it's nice to see the characters behaving less like Elsie Dinsmore clones and more like humans.

Did you bring me through all that's happened to let me die in an earthquake?Vicki prayed.

Granted you'd think she'd leap at the prospect of death because she'd get to be with Zod and be spared the horrendous suffering that will follow, but I still cherish these rare moments where the characters act like humans.

Now Judd'n'Taylor are still escaping and start discussing the quake. Judd is all "It's in the Bible" and Taylor's like "ORLY" but this attempt at conversion ends when Taylor is rendered unconscious when the ground opens up.

Lionel meanwhile, is struggling under a pile of rubble. Unlike Vicki and Judd, he demonstrates a little concern for his fellow man by planning to escape with Conrad and tell him about the Bible. Granted it's probably just to chalk up another on his fuselage and win bragging points, but these characters make me want to throw a parade every time they do something good. But there's a gas leak and an explosion follows.

Ryan is trapped. Now to Chaya. Her father is trying to free her and she tries to tell him about Zod, when another quake happens and there's no response from her father. Darrion meanwhile prays and that's all that happens on the minor characters' end.

Next chapter, apparently Ellanjay remembered the verse about stars falling to earth because meteors start hitting. Frankly I'm still disappointed they didn't take the Simpsons approach to that verse.

We get a vignette that's horrifying for all the wrong reasons. Vicki sees a survivor coming towards her and offers to help him, but he throws himself into a flaming crater. Now in a lesser human, this would be a horrifying experience that causes one to question the justice of Zod, but Vicki is an Ubermensch and is above paltry concerns. As Fred has said before, previous apocalyptic literature was about warning people, but Ellanjay are more concerned with going "HAW-HAW! Be glad this isn't you!" and yes you do have my permission to use a Nelson voice if you want.

Judd meanwhile tries to rescue Taylor. While doing so, he thinks of a skit on a comedy show that ran after Our Buck published his article. Basically in this skit, a lamb went on a rampage and killed everyone and I'm picturing it being like the bunny from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.Again, Judd's attitude is essentially "HAW-HAW!" Then the meteor slams and the asphalt melts and they have to run into the water.

Lionel meanwhile escapes with the other boys from the soldier camp. Ryan is still buried. Chaya's father meanwhile, is buried and begs Zod to kill him and starts ranting, saying, "If you are so good and merciful why are you doing this to us?" which is a justifiable reaction, but Chaya is all "Do not blame God," and I just noticed that none of the Jewish characters use contractions. I wonder if for some reason, Ellanjay thinks that contractions aren't kosher.

Chaya is all, "God is merciful and gracious and is calling to you." But her father says what we're all thinking:

"Mercy and grace are poured out with an earthquake?" Mr. Stein said. "Death and destruction are a display of love?"

Darrion meanwhile gets out of the shelter and sees the owner of the house flattened by a huge tree and thinks, "At least she didn't suffer," and if that doesn't make you :headdesk: then you're an idiot.

And that's it for this week.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Just thought I'd warn the easily offended I might get sweary again. Again, if you are easily offended, first of all, what are you doing reading my blog, and second of all, just scroll down past the sweary parts.

Our first chapter begins with a headdesk-worthy moment to top all headdesk-worthy moments.

So as you recall from the previous snark, the NWO have Judd, along with the documents that were in the safe that he was after, and they don't lay a fucking hand on him despite his long history of making traitorous statements against the NWO. This is making Chloe's torture look like Abu Ghraib. Basically all they do is threaten to send him off for reeducation, rather than torturing the living hell out of him to try to force him to name others or executing him or both. These NWO goons make the Psychlos from Battlefield Earth seem competent in comparison. Hell, even a villain from Power Rangers could make better use of this situation.

Lionel meanwhile is still in the child soldier camp and Vicki, the dumb broad, decides to reprint the Underground. No, mommy, no! Make the bad men stop with that overplayed plot device! But she gets caught by the eeevil Principal Jenness.

The next section begins promisingly.

For a whole week the Global Community tried to uncover more information from Judd, but he kept silent.

We would expect to hear about all the various tortures he endured, but of course, there's no details that follow and we are forced to conclude that the GC just asked him nicely. I see it going like this.

GC Goon: C'mon tell us already...
Judd: No.
GC Goon: I'll be your friend
Judd: No.
GC Goon: Aw...You're mean.

But we see Taylor Graham again. Unlike Judd he looks beaten up. They talk a little about how they wish they had the secret documents and how they can't clear Mrs. Stahley's name without them as though the NWO, when presented with said evidence, would just throw up their hands and say, "Okay you can go free," as opposed to say, inventing new charges against her or something like that. Basically now they're going to a Level Five Facility which is the Maximum level so maybe, just maybe, we'll see our protag actually suffer but I wouldn't bet the farm on that one.

So both Vicki and Judd are in the process of being transported, Ryan is at home being looked after by Zod-Only-Knows-Who because Judd's in prison, Vicki's being transported, and Lionel's in the child soldier training camp, so obviously no one's looking after him, when the quake hits. [starts to jump in her seat] Yes! Yes! Finally something exciting happens! But something tells me Ellanjay will screw this up somehow.

Second Chapter, the eeevil Mrs. Jenness is freaking out like any sane person would as the quake hits and the bridge collapses. Our Compassionate Heroine, seeing a chance to escape, considers leaving her but decides not to. This is supposed to be a sign of her virtue, but apparently we're supposed to throw a parade every time the characters act compassionate.

Meanwhile Judd and Taylor are thrown from the van into a ditch. Lionel saves Conrad from a collapsing porch. Ryan is trapped as the house collapses around him and Chaya, whom I'm sure you've all forgotten about, was at her old house getting a keepsake of her mother's, trying to talk to her father about Jesus when the quake hits and she is pinned under debris. Darrion meanwhile, hides in the basement of a congregation member's.

This Earthquake sequence actually isn't that bad because stuff is actually happening, even if it is a little tedious to have to read the same exact event from every single protagonist in the story.

I thought about adding a third chapter, but I think I've done enough for this week. Hmm...That was less sweary than I thought. Maybe I shouldn't make promises I can't deliver on.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Perverting the Prophets

I've started studying the prophets; between them and Fred's post called Downpresser Man, I can't help but notice that Ellanjay perverts traditional verses about the end of days. The prophets continually speak of a day in which the wicked shall be punished, the messiah will come, and there would be peace and justice at last, verses which have traditionally been a source of comfort, a reminder of no matter how cruel or unjust the ruler, their fall will come. Ellanjay on the other hand, is on the side of the Downpresser Man and therefore the end is a terrifying thought to them, because it means they will be destroyed and not worshipped anymore.

Okay, enough preaching, now to the books.

Ryan escapes from GC security with the help of Our Buck and they discuss his upcoming story.

"I'm taking Bruce's message and turning it into a cover story," Buck said. "I've assigned reporters from offices in several countries to interview different religious leaders. I'll include their answers in my article."
"What are the questions?" Darrion asked.
"Just one," Buck said. "Will we suffer the 'wrath of the lamb'?"

Buck's idea of interviewing different religious leaders would be a good idea if he was talking about say, how different religions view Jesus, but this is completely different. Buck knows this earthquake is going to happen just like he knows the real cause of the disappearances. Yet rather than using his journalism status as a bully pulpit, he's keeping this knowledge to himself. This would be like if there was a church arson and he knew not only the names of the perpetrators but their social security numbers, location, and brand of gasoline they used, but still chose to keep it from the cops and talk instead about other causes of fires like oil-soaked rags.

Meanwhile Lionel is in a dark van when he notices two boys in there with him. And that's all that happens on his end. Judd meanwhile leads a boy named Pavel to Zod.

Lionel and the boys decide to make a break for it while the men are busy. Lionel manages to get to some bushes and hears gunshots and that's the end of the first chapter.

Next chapter, Lionel and the boys are escaping through the swamp. They make it out to a general store where they share a drink. When the van shows up again, the other boys make a run for it, but Lionel, the idiot, just stands there.

If you're wondering what the TF and YTF are doing right now, they're mostly hanging out in the Hole-in-the-Ground, which is about as exciting as watching paint dry. Again, at least with paint-drying you can get high off the fumes.

Turns out Lionel and one of the boys, Jake, were captured and now they're at a GC training center where they'll be turned into child soldiers.

End of chapter: Judd finally decides to risk leaving the hangar and Ryan comes to rescue him. Only someone as monumentally untalented as Ellanjay could make the apocalypse seem so boring.

I've decided to throw a third chapter in. Basically Lionel talks with this guy named Conrad who is Taylor Graham's little brother and Judd finally gets the safe open, but fails to escape the GC dragnet.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Vicki is a Vulture

It's times like these I wonder why, oh, why did I commit myself to this project. But I did agree to do this as long as people would read it, so here goes.

There's a bunch of cloak and dagger stuff here, the usual stuff about secret combinations and such that shouldn't apply in a no-child post-apocalyptic world which I will mostly ignore because it's so goddanged boring. It's like reading a Hardy Boys mystery except that even the Hardy Boys occasionally did stuff; it was rare but it happened. Just know that Judd is still with the pilot and even though this is an eeevil NWO EBOWF world, Vicki and the others face no serious consequences for blabbing about Jesus at every available opportunity.

Anyway, Lionel is traveling with the friend (Nathan) when a man walks up, gives him a wad of cash, and suddenly starts calling Nathan "Chuck", and ends up being taken by a man named Tom. Something tells me that all though in the real world, this wouldn't end well for a teenage boy, in Ellanjayland, he'll escape just fine. Remember Ryan is the Butt Monkey of this series.

Meanwhile, Vicki, who for some reason is still in school even though the world has about five years or less left so there really shouldn't be any reason for her to attend school because there isn't going to be a goddanged future, is forced to, along with her friend, Shelly, attend an eeevil NWO assembly. Here's a part that not only made me headdesk, but is forcing me to swear like a sailor. I'm frankly not bothered by profanity--I've heard the full spectrum of every variation on every word--but for those who are, you might want to scroll down a bit because I'm about to get sweary.

The speaker began by asking how many people had lost family members and friends in the last two years. Every hand went up.


Oh and here are the words of an eeevil atheist. Look upon them and despair!

"You have the power within yourself to overcome anything," the woman said. "No matter how bad your situation, if you learn to trust yourself and your feelings, you can become the person the Global Community needs."

So it's the eevil atheists that leave people to their own devices. Funny, because in the real world, the RTCs usually say, "God helps those who help themselves" and leave you to hang. BTW, if you knew that phrase wasn't in the Bible, help yourself to bonus points. Even more points if you know who actually said it.

"I can tell you loved your brother very much," the woman said to the freshman at the front of the room. "And I can tell you where he is right now. You have him right in your heart. You have to keep your brother alive. And you have to trust yourself to do that."
Vicki rolled her eyes. She was up next.

And the message our compassionate RTC Vicki is going to deliver is that the freshman's brother is in hell being slowly burned alive at the hand of this compassionate Zod she serves. Our heroine, boys and girls.

So Vicki speaks up.

"Yes," Vicki said. "If you knew for sure where a person was after they had died, wouldn't that be the best hope of all?"

Because of course, the way to comfort someone who has lost a close friend and/or family member is to tell them said family member is suffering without end all because they wouldn't or couldn't kneel before Zod then try to chalk up another for Zod on your fuselage. That's the Christianly thing to do.

But of course, the eeevil atheists are shocked by Vicki's question and ignore her until they are forced to address her.

"All right," the woman said, trying to regain control. "If a person knew what happened after a loved one had died, in a psychological sense that would give him or her hope. But we have to deal with reality here. And the reality is, we can't know what's beyond this life until we've gone there."

Vicki in response to this is like "WRONG!" and when her classmates are like "Who died and made you God?" she goes into the "There is none righteous" spiel. The eevil Mrs Jenness tells her to sit down and surprisingly she does even though getting expelled would allow her to chalk up more martyr points on her fuselage, but I guess only manly men like Judd get that priviledge.

Anyway, the chapter ends with Lionel heading towards Memphis and Ryan being grabbed by Global Community security. Damn kid's getting to be as bad as Mokuba Kaiba when it comes to being kidnapped. I thought about doing a second chapter but this post turned out to be longer than I thought so you'll have to put up with just one chapter.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Three-Piece Snark or Oh God I'm so Bored

So there's really not much happening. The Stahleys return again and start making plans, Taylor Graham still has Judd and I'm bored to death. YAWN. MEGO

Vicki and Chaya go to the funeral of Chaya's mother and I'm surprised Chaya manages to avoid grabbing the mike and a preaching a sermon to these heathen Jews that are her relatives. She shows admirable restraint given that she's a character in an Ellanjay novel. I'm still shocked that they didn't have her relatives say, "You want that your mother should roll over in her grave," given their stereotypical view of Jews. Anyway, she reads a little scripture from Paul and that's the extent of her preaching.

Anyway next chapter, they discuss grief and it'd be nice if they showed grief instead of just talking about it. Oh and they have a brief conversation about Verna. Apparently she attended Bruce's funeral and when asked about what St. Rayford preached, she said this:

"She said it was strange, all those predictions coming true," Chloe said. "When I asked her what it would take to convince her about God, she said an earthquake would be pretty hard to argue with."

Actually an earthquake would be fairly easy to argue with. An eeevil atheist like Verna would just chalk it up to plate techtonics when RTCs know that plate techtonics is just a theory and earthquakes are really caused by Zod.

What happens next is a gunman shows up in Ryan and Lionel's room and you wouldn't think a gunman threatening to shoot some kids would be so boring but it really, really is. I'm starting to regret I posted Nostalgia Critic's Boring Song on a previous post and can't use it now.

Next Judd manages to find a supersecret panel in the garage which leads to a safe. It would all be so interesting if I gave a shit.

Chapter 26, we finally find out what the eeevil Mrs. Jenness has planned for Lionel. Is it the rack? Mere child's play. The Iron Maiden? Pfff...that pales in comparison to the true horror she has planned out for him: she's found a friend of his mother's willing to take him in. DUN-DUN-DUN!

Y'see being an eeevil atheist she has the gall to be concerned that Lionel is living with little to no supervision than that of Judd and Vicki so she actually tracked down one of his mother's friends from down south who actually seems like a nice guy who would make a good father to Lionel. But Lionel isn't pleased.

They also start discussing the whole Mark of the Beast thing. And taking what little cash they have left and converting it to gold though I really don't see what good that will do. Once the economic system has collapsed, gold will pretty much be as worthless as any other form of currency. What they should be doing is stockpiling bottled water and canned goods.

Well, I'm in a hurry to wrap up this son-of-a-gun so let's go. Mrs. Stahley is arrested by the NWO for the murder of her husband and Lionel goes with his mother's friend. And that's it for this week.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Interpreting the Book of Revelation

Sometimes after I've gone to the trouble of typing up these posts, other thoughts will occur to me. Right now, the one on my mind is this: am I the only one who thinks that Token Jew's family died, not because it was necessary to advance the plot, but because Ellanjay needed him to be able to serve as the new Bruce without a family to possible interfere or hold him back? Though so far Token Jew has demonstrated more emotion over the loss of his family than Bruce "Dead" Barnes ever did.

Also, let's make a list of movies or books or TV Shows Ellanjay should see. I will give two recommendations, both films.

Hotel Rwanda Once again, it shows a society completely shot to hell, but most importantly it shows just how useless and incompetent the UN really is, which would be a nice antidote to Ellanjay's belief that the UN is this all-powerful government entity.

Children of Men Shows what happens to a society when all the children are gone. The part where they see the first baby born in years is one of the most powerful moments of cinema.

You're probably wondering why all these tangents? Why won't I just get to the snark? Well truthfully there's not much to snark. A lot of pages, but nothing really happens.

Basically the TF and YTF minus Judd talk about Bruce and how much they mean to him and why do I have a feeling that after the funeral, he'll never be mentioned again?

There's more discussion about judgements and seven-part tribulations all of which makes MEGO. Oh and Lionel is told by the eevil principal to report to her office.

But it turns out that the eeevil pilot wants to use Judd. Apparently before he died Mr. Stahley uncovered some secret stuff about Nicky Grampian and the pilot thinks this is his chance to get it all out in the open. Why he needs Judd is not readily apparent? But in other words, he's a double agent.

Next chapter. St. Rayford reads about the martyrs and asks who would be willing to die for their faith? Ryan and Lionel and some nameless others stand up and you can't help but note that when eeevil muslim children blow themselves up in the name of their faith it's fanaticism yet when Christian children do it, it's faith. How about instead of dying for your faith you try living it instead?

Next, St. Rayford reads from Revelation 6:12-17.

12And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

13And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

14And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

15And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

16And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

17For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Now a sane person would know better than to try to interpret this passage literally. Everyone knows that stars are humungo balls of gas, incredibly hot and bigger than Earth, so even one falling would kill us all. So interpreting this passage literally is an idiot's game.

But of course, St. Rayford only addresses the first part, the only part that is actually physically possible according to the natural laws of the universe, by saying there's going to be a big earthquake called "the wrath of the lamb."

Meanwhile with Judd, Taylor Graham (I should probably stop referring to him as "the eevil pilot") tells Judd about Nicky MacGillicuddy's plans to form his own Hitler's Youth, a group of young people who serve him but wear no uniforms and basically rat out their neighbours. This is the only part of Nicky's plans that makes sense so far. I feel like giving him a gold star.

And that's it for this week. Have fun dissecting Ellanjay's latest failures of both thought and imagination.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

St. Rayford, avatar of the Holy LaHaye

There's a really weird mention in here about Nicky Apennines's health care plan. I have no idea why they put it in there unless they plan on saying that anyone trying to reform health care is out to get you. This would go well with their hatred of anti-war activists. Think I'm reading too much into this? Look at the quote.

"Should the death toll reach as high as 25 percent," the doctor continued, "we will need these new directives to govern life from the womb to the tomb. Our planet can be brought from the brink of death to a shining new state never before imagined."

So any reform to status quo is bad apparently.

Anyway so Ryan tells Judd and they decide to fake out the eeevil pilot by pretending that Ryan has appendicitis and make a break for it when the pilot lands the plane and get back to the church where they meet up with Token Jew and Rayford. That's right: LaHaye's Mary Sue surrogate finally makes an appearance in this novel. Okay he had been mentioned before but I'm counting this as a first appearance because it's the first time he's actually interacting with the YTF. Rayford suggests the kids go in the hole-in-the-ground but Judd isn't game for it saying that he believes Zod can use the kids as well as the adults.

Not much happens in the rest of this chapter except that Token Jew receives a picture of his dead family and for once we get a human reaction as he weeps over it.

Next chapter. Occasionally when you read these books, you will stumble onto one line that is just full of wrong. This one line happens in this chapter when we get mention of John and Mark, the other two members of the YTF who receive even less attention than Lionel and Ryan because Ellanjay doesn't know how to handle multiple characters. Anyway, it is mentioned that John is going to college. Now in any novel, this would be the practical move of a young man, but in a novel where the world has less than seven years to live, it just makes the reader :headdesk:. School only makes sense if the world has a future but it doesn't!

Next is Bruce's funeral and St. Rayford, avatar of the Holy LaHaye, uses this opportunity to preach a sermon. Here it is in all its one-paragraph glory.

"If you had asked people five minutes before the Rapture what Christians taught about God and heaven," Rayford said, "nine in ten of would have said to live a good life, do the best you can, be kind, and hope for the best. It sounded good but it was wrong! The Bible says our good deeds are worthless. We have all sinned. All of us are worthy of the punishment of death."

And all of you are going to die regardless of whether you said the magic words or not. RTCs' denial of the reality of death strikes again!

Also if none of our good deeds matter, then why do our bad deeds count so strongly against us? Why aren't our bad deeds equally worthless?

The funeral ends with Judd being arrested by the pilot. Something tells me, though, ultimately nothing will come of this. I cite as example Vicki's multiple stays in the detention center.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

More Sound and Fury

I'm back and ready to snark!

I've had some time to do some thinking. Part of the fun with bad books is mentally rewriting them into better books. So I have a question for all of y'all: how would you make Left Behind: the kids into better books. I admit I haven't completely thought it all the way through, but here's some of what I would change.

First of all, Judd and Vicki would hook up. In the aftermath of the Great Slaughter by Zod, their emotions would be running high and they would end up in bed together. Then as a result of their upbringing, they would feel guilty, have a quickie wedding to assuage their guilt, but said marriage wouldn't work out due to them being young and immature. Their relationship would end with bad blood between them.

Secondly, I would get rid of either Lionel or Ryan. Apparently, Ellanjay can't handle having four protags since it seems either Lionel or Ryan disappear for chapters at a time, so I would get rid of one of them. I'm leaning towards Lionel because I still remember the part he played in the Cavalcade of Assholery.

Again, my revision of the series isn't perfect--haven't thought it all the way through--but I believe it's so much more compelling.

Anyway Vicki gets off thanks to the social worker she converted. Now back to Israel where Judd is in prison.

Judd meets a guy named Michael while in prison who tells him about how he was converted by Moishe and Eli and how he helped Token Jew escape. The NWO goons question Judd and Judd threatens to leak the tape he has of them murdering Token Jew's family to the media. Naturally they decide to have Judd take them to the tape. Judd does but they do the whole "Remember when I said I'd let you go...I lied" bit, which really shouldn't surprise Judd, they are evil secret police after all, but it does. Luckily for him, the two witnesses breathe fire and kill them horribly.

So they escape and get back on the plane, but Ryan receives a call from Darrion. Apparently their pilot, whom they thought they could trust, is dirty, working with the NWO, so Ryan is trying to figure out how to tip off Judd without tipping off the pilot. Meanwhile Token Jew escapes to America with the help of Our Buck.

Sorry to do a lot of summarizing but there really wasn't much to talk about this week, a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing. But next week, we finally see Rayford make an appearance in these books. :cue dramatic prairie dog:

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Bad News Nobody!

I'm afraid there will be no new snark this week. I am currently on residency for my MFA and won't have time to write one tomorrow. There will be a new one next week. Until then, talk amongst yourselves about whatever.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

In Custody

Hello and happy sunday everybody! I appreciate the spirited comments we had going last week, but I feel I must clarify a few things.

What gets me about Ellanjay's view on The Prayer is that it is spell-casting in its purest form. Basically you are going to Hell and Zod can't do a thing about it--apparently his hands are tied and he can't break the laws he himself made--but if you say The Prayer, you can circumvent Zod and go to heaven. I haven't posted quotes with the prayer but it's always the same specific wording, because apparently saying, "O God save me," or "I'm not sure if there's anything out there, but if there is, save me," isn't enough for them.

So Judd and Buck and Ryan go to the Western Wall to see Moishe and Eli. They also take a tour of the most holy sites in Christendom and apparently see nothing worthy of note because there is no description. Once again, I wish we were in the hands of a decent hack writer like Dan Brown. At least he moves out of the way of the screen and lets the viewers occasionally see something of note.

Meanwhile, the girly girls, aka Vicki and Chaya, decide to revive The Underground. :massages temples: Not that lame plot point again! If you're wondering Vicki gets busted and is threatened with having to return to the detention center.

Judd tries to tell the NWO police that he knows of a lead on the murders of Token Jew's family but ends up busted as well. The NWO thinks that Token Jew murdered his family and has gone on the run, not an unreasonable conclusion to come to since he disappeared and they are evil despots after all. So I don't get why Judd, given how badly he seeks persecution to chalk up points on his fuselage, is so shocked, shocked, that he finds himself being put in detention.

Two chapters and nothing happens. I would have done a third but the next one's long. Sorry to disappoint for this week.

Oh and we do briefly hear from Lionel. Since he hadn't said or done anything, I was wondering if he had escaped to a better written book. But no such luck there.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Zod as Ron Lafferty

So Loretta decides to tell Verna her story about how she missed out. Loretta, as you would recall from the adult books, lost her entire family, parents, children, and grandchildren when Zod slaughtered them all in the Rapture. Fred calls Loretta "God's battered wife" and for good reason. There's nothing in there about the love of God in her conversation with Verna, just "he beats me but I know I deserve it anyway and I'm real sorry Mr. Lord that I made you so angry with me in the first place." What makes it even sadder is hearing it firsthand in Loretta's own words as opposed to in the adult book where it was told secondhand. I want to rescue Loretta and all the characters in these books.

"A couple of weeks before it happened, one of my daughters was over here with her children. I was reading one of those picture Bibles for little kids to my grandbaby. The child was no more than three years old, and she looked at me with these huge, brown eyes and said, 'Grandma, do you have Jesus living in your heart?' I was so pleased. I was glad my grandkids were growing up in a good home. And if I'd listened closer to what that little child was saying, I wouldn't be here today."

Let's play a game called Imagination. Imagine that cute little toddler as Loretta describes. You may add whatever features you like to said description, golden curls, heart-shaped face, whatever; I just want you to imagine a toddler. Now imagine that toddler with her throat slit from ear to ear. Why? Because that's what Zod did to her. Zod slaughtered Loretta's family. It doesn't matter if they were wisked to heaven, or had another car smash into them, the point is that they are dead, just as if Ron Lafferty had stopped for a visit.

I know I reiterate that point a lot but it needs to be said.

Meanwhile aboard the Stahley jet with Judd and Ryan, we get discussion of some new Carpathia policies. Apparently, he's striving for a cashless society. Given that it's currently 2011 and most of our transactions are made with credit/debit cards, I fail to see the threat. Oh and the whole ten regions with ten leaders is mentioned.

Now back to Verna and Loretta. We get to see that some of the RTC brainwashing is starting to take effect when Verna mentions that she's :gasp: jealous of Our Buck.

Verna stood and leaned against the wall. "It'll tell you the truth," she said. "I've been a little bit jealous of Buck's assignments. Buck is everything I wanted to be, and the more I look at his copy, the more it steams me. Compared to him, I feel like a college kid trying to put sentences together."

The few times we've seen Buck actually turn into a story, here's what we get.

To say the Israelis were caught off guard, was like saying the Great Wall of China is long.

:eyeroll: That sound you hear is Woodward and Bernstein, weeping over Buck's deathless prose.

Anyway so our brave heroes bravely watch Nicky Pamir's press conference and get back to discussing what's really important: Our Buck's career. Apparently Verna is currently in the position to make or break his career. So naturally the YTF are pleading with her to protect him. Oh and Verna expresses the radical idea that one guy controlling the presses is wrong.

"As much as I admire Carpathia and what he's been able to do for America and the world, I hate the way he controls the news. We journalists are supposed to be fair. Unbiased."

I have to admit: Verna is still a step above most RTCs. Again, RTCs don't object to a one-world press, just to who's running it. Nicky Sayan is evil; therefore a one-world press under his jurisdiction is wrong.

Okay, to wrap up the last part of this chapter, Judd and Ryan land in Tel Aviv, and the social worker wants to talk with Vicki.

Next chapter, the social worker has lived her life daring to think she will be judged by her works, but we all know it depends on whether or not you've said the magic words in the exact phrasing Ellanjay approve. Never mind if you're over the too-tall to be raptured age and are profoundly retarded and therefore incapable of understanding the magic words, let alone say them. Also never mind if you're one of many uncontacted tribes living in the Amazonian rainforest who have never heard of Christ.

But back to the manly men. Judd and Ryan are searching the ruins of Token Jew's house trying to find his children while a new character appears on the scene, someone named Samuel. Samuel then shows a videotape of Token Jew's children being killed and that's the end of that chapter.

Oh and I forgot to mention, the social worker opted to kneel to Zod. Still no word on Verna so maybe she'll escape.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Brace Yourself for the Death of Meta-Verna

Oh man, do I love all of my posters. I make a smart-alecky remark about my lack of posts and you guys turn out in droves. I love you all.

An interesting fact about this section of books which I haven't mentioned until now: beneath the logo mentioning Ellanjay, another writer is mentioned: Chris Fabry. I'm assuming Chris Fabry is the ghostwriter who got suckered into writing for this series because I can't imagine Ellanjay being able to churn out forty kids books in addition to a Zod-Only-Knows-How-Long adult series. This would fit in with Ellanjay's commitment to slapdash work, hiring a ghostwriter.

So Judd begs Buck to go to Israel but Our Buck says no, because he thinks he would be in danger, because apparently Judd's perfectly safe in a city that was just bombed. Also Vicki hears from the eeevil child welfare services who are justifiably concerned about a child living with little to any adult supervision.

Meanwhile, the remaining Stahleys are trying to escape the NWO net. There's a lot of talk and none of it interesting as they try to make plans. That takes up most of the two chapters but in the meantime, here's the setup for Verna's inevitable conversion. NO! I loved some of the Slacktivist's crews' depiction of Verna. Sorry if I can't remember all y'all's names but I loved them.

"That's a laugh," Verna said. "I've probably been to church about a dozen times in my whole life. And that includes weddings and funerals.
"My dad was an athiest," Verna continued. "My mom grew up in strict home. Her parents said it was evil to watch TV. Couldn't go to dances or drink anything stronger than Kool-Aid, and that may have been too strong, I don't know. When she got old enough, she turned her back on religion and said yes to my father. Then I came along."
"So you never went to church as a child or an adult?" Loretta said.
"The idea of attending church was never discussed," Verna said. "Wasn't an option."
"And what do you think about God now?" Loretta said.
"I don't think about it," Verna said. "I figure if there is a God out there, a force or a being of some kind, he'll weigh out my good and bad points."

You have to admit, Verna is the one making sense here. Loretta is apparently shocked that an athiest doesn't spend all her time thinking about God when really, to an athiest, the whole question of God is irrelevant. Athiests don't spend all their time thinking about something they don't believe exists. Also, Verna's idea of God judging by good and bad points makes considerable more sense than the magic words approach.

"But haven't you ever been curious?" Loretta said. "Most people look for some kind of deeper meaning in life than what they see from day to day."

Actually, by listening to this conversation, Verna is demonstrating more intellectual curiosity than most RTCs. RTCs never listen to the stories of people they try to convert all the way through because as far as they're concerned, the convert's story is irrelevant when really it is of upmost importance.

"I don't have time for deeper meaning," Verna said. "I do what I do and leave it at that."
"That seems kind of sad to me," Vicki said. "Mr. Williams talks about journalism as a noble profession. Seeking truth and all that but you're saying--"

"What I'm saying is that I find meaning in the work I produce and in my life with my family and friends, not some cobbled together interpretation of works written by a bunch of shepherds and fishermen." Oh how I wish Verna would respond that way.

"I think what Vicki is saying is that without some kind of deeper purpose, life is empty. To do what you do, you have to be motivated by more than just your paycheck, right?"
"Look, I'll admit I don't live the happiest life on the planet," Verna said. "I'm skeptical. I see the glass as half empty. But I like being this way."

And I like you this way, Verna, but I'm afraid you've got several strikes against you, according to Ellanjay. You're an uppitty female who has the gal to think they can boss around Our Buck, you're a female, you don't immediately bite the hook given to you, and did I mention you're a female character with brains in a story written by a pair of anti-intellectual misogynists?

But I peeked ahead at the next chapter and something tells me, Verna will be made to kneel before Zod.