Sunday, January 23, 2011

Going Underground

Okay so welcome back to another Left Behind: the Kids post. I'm sure you're all thrilled.

Anyway the persecution of our brave heroes never seems to end. Next Judd faces down his history teacher, Miss June, who is described as a spinster. I could write a whole volume on all the sexist implications in that one word, spinster, alone, about how it implies that Miss June is only in teaching because she couldn't find a husband and fulfill her proper wifely duties, but I'll spare you. Just know that I really hate that word.

Before anyone thinks I'm reading way too much into their use of the word "spinster," consider the description Miss June gets.

His history teacher, an old spinster named Miss June, looked as if she had been through a war. Normally tidy and fastidious, today she looked disheveled. Her shoes were scuffed, her blouse wrinkled, her hair pinned in place without much thought.

I can't help but think Ellanjay are silently castigating Miss June for not looking neat and polished like a woman should, though when Bruce comes up to the pulpit looking disheveled, it's a sign of his manly virtue. :eyeroll:

Anyway, an anonymous girl speaks up and says she believes it's not a religious thing. Y'see she has the nerve to go to a church vaguely implied to be Unitarian Universalist and Miss June actually lets her speak, though her belief that it's not a religious thing makes sense when you consider that all the children have disappeared. No way could all of the children have been of the same RTC household as Judd, so it makes sense that someone not as schooled in RTC-anity wouldn't automatically come to the Rapture theory.

Anway, here's a snippet of the Anonymous Skeptic Girl vs. Judd conversation.

"We believe that everybody's the son of God, like Jesus. Buddha, Confucius, Muhammad, Jesus, all the great moral leaders and teachers."
Judd said, "So you believe Jesus is a son of God but not the Son of God."
"Not the only one, no. We're all children of God."
"So Jesus isn't God."
"Of course not, silly. God is God. There is only one God."

Anonymous Skeptic Girl (ASG for short) then goes on to say that her church accepts all sacred writings such as the Bible, the Torah, the Talmud, but she's cut off by Judd before she can finish her sentence because that's christianly thing to do when debating someone, so we don't know if she also accepts the Dhammapada or the Koran or the Bhagavad Gita though I think we can assume she does. If Ellanjay were better scholars, they could have ASG cite that many religions have a Christ figure in them and many holy figures, a story of a virgin birth, but since true scholarship is anathema to them, I'd wondered if even they're aware of that.

But the worst part is they can't even construct a decent argument for their side aka Judd. Judd's argument consists of saying, "Jesus is God. The Bible says so." He doesn't even try to pull out any verses from the Bible to back up his argument, though that probably wouldn't help much, or any other kind of apologetics or scholarship. Judd's argument is pathetic, the kind that would only work in a Jack Chick tract.

But Miss June quickly draws the argument to a close with her testimony.

Miss June was weeping again. "I don't see any humor in this! Aren't you people the least bit scared? I'm terrified! I can make no sense of this and there seems no recourse. If someone would come forward and take credit for it, make some demands, tell how he or she did it, we could get our minds around it. But this...this..crazy unexplainable mystery! Every morning I wake up and pray it was a dream, that it will end, that it will all be made plain. Talk about it, kids. Talk about how it made you feel."

These are normal human feelings Miss June is feeling in response to such a disaster but again Ellanjay have no sympathy for her, because she doesn't immediately fall on her knees and repent in the face of Judd's almighty awesome truth.

Anyway, Judd and Vicki meet up at lunch and formulate plans. Not for stockpiling canned food and bottled water or for doing something meaningful with their time, now that they know for a fact it's the end of the world, but for an underground newspaper. I know I roll my eyes at their so-called persecution, but I do have to commend them; they're doing a hell of a lot more than the adults. Think about it, if you knew that someone had less than seven years to live, that in seven years they'd die in say, a boating accident, wouldn't you do something to warn that person? Well what if the whole world was in that boat. Wouldn't the Christianly, nay, the human thing to do, be to warn the world, shout it from the rooftops, get the message out anyway you could? Yet the adults spend all their time worrying over whether or not to take a job from the antichrist, and not caring a fig about an entire world in danger.

:deep breath: Sorry about the paragraph of death but it is almost refreshing to see the kids trying to do something to warn people even if it's just an underground newspaper that will probably either get thrown in the trash or litter the hallways.

I'm fairly certain this is a sign of Stockholm Syndrome. These characters have irritated me enough that I want to throw a parade for any good thing they do.

Anyway we finally hear from the youngest members of the YTF again, which is good. I was starting to wonder/hope that they had disappeared into some black hole or something. Anyway, here's a sampling of the horrors that the YTF has to suffer through.

"All we hear is stuff about self-esteem and peace," Ryan said. "Makes me sick."

If only there was a gigantic eyeroll smilie here. I so need it right now.

I know "peace" is a dirty word among RTCs but I have to say, this hatred of self-esteem is kind of new. What's wrong with feeling good about yourself? Whoa...I think I just answered my own question.

Anyway Judd decides to browse the church directory mimicking the part where Buck did the same thing in the adult books. There's no mention of Rayford, thank God, though his daughter Chloe is hanging around the church at the time. In fact, while we've followed Buck's actions fairly closely, we haven't heard a fig about Rayford. I'm wondering if maybe LaHaye wasn't breathing down Jenkins's neck as hard, leaving Jenkins free to write a book where even the kids idolize his Sue.

He picked it up and saw Bruce, a bit younger and fuller in the face with a pasted-on smile. Surrounding him were his wife and children. What a treasure Bruce had lost!

First of all, the directory was taken a year ago, so how much younger could Bruce look. Second of all, pasted-on smile implies that it was a fake smile he was giving. Also, at least they cut out the description where his wife is described as "plump." Anyway, Judd also sees his parents and his twin siblings in there and doesn't immediately break down crying because he has the emotional capacity of a stone.

Anyway, Bruce talks about the two witnesses in Jerusalem, saying that a half dozen thugs tried to charge the witnesses and were burned alive. Once again, I find myself consulting Fred's snarking so I can figure out when I was told about this. Because I just remember the one guy being toasted, not half a dozen. So maybe we can chalk this up to continuity error.

Anyway, that's it for this week. I know turn the snark over to my faithful readers, the few, the proud.


Firedrake said...

But if there are no spinsters, how will we get cloth? It's a skilled business.

I think "self-esteem" is probably a dogwhistle for "progressive education methods" and getting kids to feel good about themselves rather than telling them they're failures. (Which is certainly not a perfect approach, but it's become politicised.)

Being strictly fair, I imagine practically everyone looks a bit older now than they did before the Event. Except our putative "heroes", of course, to whom world-shaking catastrophe is just an excuse for evangelism.

I cannot help but feel that someone here ought to propose putting on a show in the old barn. (Except that that might actually get some converts, and that would never do. What would Heaven be like if they let just anyone in?)

detroitmechworks said...

Oy vey...

First off, EllanJay pratically worship the divine trinity of Church, Family and MERICA!, so why the hell are they dissing the Unitarian Universalist church? I mean, it's not like many of the founding fathers were Deists/Unitarians... Oh wait... they were.

And I think we need a fanfic for Meta-Miss June. A teacher that actually cares enough about her students to discuss momentous events that the entire rest of the world seems to have dismissed with a crackpot theory put out by Nicky Shasta. Ya know, if this was a WELL written children's book there might be the standard "Kids can solve the problems the adults can't see" and the kids would come up with the REAL secret of what's going on. That's why they got rid of as many children as they could, because the children wouldn't have been fooled...

And as far as the two witnesses thing goes, I think EllanJay are claiming that running up and getting fried by the two witnesses is the new saturday night thing around Jerusalem. Lessee first the Trip and Die guys, then Disco Inferno boy... (I know that's tastless, but the gold chain is BEGGING for that joke) I figure this happens all the time. I'm surprised they haven't installed seating and started selling tickets for the nightly fireworks show.

Mouse said...

I also want fanfiction about ASG especially if you give her a name. I can't believe Judd doesn't know the name of someone he attends class with. The only way I'd buy that would be if Mount Prospect, aka Nicholae High, was a ridiculously huge school like the one I graduated from where we had five hundred something in my graduating class.

Ruby said...

Like Firedrake said, the whole anti-self-esteem thing is a conservative dogwhistle. The idea (put in the best possible terms) is that teachers are teaching kids to feel good about themselves instead of teaching them the three R's. Witness Miss June's exhortation to the kids to discuss their feelings. To us normal-type folks, this seems a rational and healthy response to an end-of-the-world tragedy like this, especially as most, if not all of these kids have lost family and friends. But to ultra-conservative RTCs, this is just a sign of Nicky's eeevil librul education system taking over. Miss June should be drilling the kids in spelling and smacking them with rulers, not opening up a discussion about emotion in the face of tragedy.

Mink said...

"All we hear is stuff about self-esteem and peace," Ryan said. "Makes me sick."

I don't often say this because 'hate' is such a strong word, but... Ryan is now a character I actively hate.

Has he friggin' forgotten that one of Jesus Christ's titles is PRINCE OF PEACE?! Has he forgotten, 'Blessed are the peacemakers?' Has he forgotten 'Look to the log in your own eye before the splinter in your brother's?' YES! He HAS! He HAS forgotten all that because LaHaye has a bloody great axe to grind and his precious widdle Rapture won't happen unless there's a mucking great war that KILLS a good chunk of humanity and it's all right if it's Christians killing EVERY-FRICKING-ONE ELSE, and when it's EVERY-FRICKKING-ONE ELSE killing Christians, why, they're already doing that, boo hoo, God have mercy on me a sinner-who-is-nevertheless-a-Real-True-Christian-who-has-said-the-magic-words! But we can't have peace, oh, no! Peace is wrong! Peace is evil! There will be no peace, because if LaHaye is going to get his Heaven on Earth where anyone who doesn't believe EXACTLY! LIKE! HE! DOES! is going to get shoved in a napalm barrel for eternity then there CAN'T be peace, there has to be violence, lots of violence, more violence than anyone can stand -- and then some more violence on top of that! LaHaye makes me sick with his passive-aggressive warmongering, the pretentious hyprocritical antichristian fool!




Er, sorry about that. :( Wow. I didn't know I had THAT button there.

Evil Paul said...

"All we hear is stuff about self-esteem and peace," Ryan said. "Makes me sick."

I think it's more a case of the victim emulating the behaviour of his tormentors in hopes of winning their approval. Poor Ryan, someone should tell him that parroting Judd & Lionel's talk will only reinforce their feelings of contempt for him. On top of that, nothing makes a bully worse like having a snivelling little sycophant around to egg him on.

@ detroitmechwork. I think there was a separate attack between the Trip & Die guys and poor Ayeee! It happened off camera (much to Fred's chagrin) and led to Stanton Bailey's "some kind of halitosis problem" comment (haw haw haw!). Only L&J could make fire-breathing prophets at the Western Wall so forgettable...

Mouse said...

Yeah, poor Ryan...damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. There's a reason I deemed him the series's butt monkey. It makes me wonder if Jenkins really hated some guy named Ryan.