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.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Whole Lotta Dyin' Goin' On

Hello and happy Sunday, my increasingly dwindling readership! I hope you had a good week.

Okay so Mr. Stahley dies and Darrion asks Ryan what happens to him now and here's Ryan's response.

"I asked Bruce that same question," Ryan said. "The Bible is clear. When a Christian dies, he or she goes to be with God. That means there's a big reunion going on right now with your father and your other family members who were Christians."

And the collective response of everyone who reads this blog: What about your parents, you insensitive prick. You know, the people who raised you and loved you, who are now suffering for all eternity without end because Zod can't apply the brakes.

:deep breath: I know this kind of insensitivity is par the course for Ellanjay protags but it still shocks me for some reason.

Mrs. Stahley converts and Ryan and Judd talk. It's the usual kind of humble posturing you get from young Alpha-males in training.

"Yeah, Bruce always said God can do big things through you when you feel the weakest. That way he gets the glory."

And you'll note that God in RTCland gets all the credit for all the good and none of the bad. He gets credit for sparing Noah but not for the flood. Or if a firefighter rushes into a burning building and saves children, God was acting through him, but if a gunman shoots a busload of children, it is man using his free will to do evil.

Judd tells Ryan that Bruce is dead and we get one of the few instances of grieving in these books as Ryan grieves for Bruce. Oh and we find out that Bruce had three children before the Rapture slaughtered them.

Mrs. Stahley gives the YTF all her savings as a thank you for saving her so their money worries are gone. The chapter ends with this reflection from Judd.

He had lost a dear friend. He had seen Darrion, her mother, and her father accept the gift of salvation. He had witnessed Mr. Stahley's death and the death of others. He had seen destruction near his home and in downtown Chicago. In the midst of it all, he had seen the power of God's love at work in the lives of his friends.

Collective Response of everyone who reads this blog: When? When Zod slaughtered all your parents and siblings? When he sentenced Ryan's parents to an eternity of suffering? When he bombed the hell out of nine cities?

Head, say hello to Desk. I'm sure you'll have tons in common.

Next Chapter, we find out that Buck has a modicrum of sympathy for other people. Apparently he rescued Verna and brought her to his house. Though, I have a feeling he only did it so he could chalk another saved on his fuselage. Oh and hear Bruce talk about his brief talk with Carpathia.

"Last night in fact," Buck said. "He wanted to know about the coverage of the war here. His voice got real emotional when I told him. He said it was a tragedy."

"Makes me sick," Judd said. "Is that all he said?"

ARRGH! That's because it is a tragedy even if Nicky Alps is the cause of it. Nicky is showing more sympathy towards human life than the so-called heroes.

Oh and Nicky wants Buck to go to Baghdad and New Babylon to cover meetings. Nine cities are bombed and they're covering meetings. Oy vey!

But Buck opts out. Appparently even meetings are too scary for our Buck. Buck has decided to go to Israel.

Oh and we finally see Chaya. After forever hiding in the background, she has something to say. Apparently her father doesn't want her at her mother's funeral because she's a Christian now.

Oh and Token Jew's wife and family have been killed because he converted to RTC-anity. I have a feeling he'll demonstrate all the compassion and sympathy of a soapdish when we see him later on.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Those War-mongering Anti-war Activists

So Judd, Vicki, and Mr. Stahley are off in pursuit of Darrion, when they notice they're being followed by NWO goons. Judd suggests that they let the goons lead them to where Ryan and Darrion are and that's the end of that part.

Meanwhile Ryan and Darrion are hiding out from the goons and we get a brief Home Alone-style pratfall when one of the goons slips on some candy mixture that Ryan had put out to stop them. I've got to wonder just what kind of candy is that slick, but criticizing small details like that is like criticizing the paint job on the Titanic: there's so much wrong to deal with.

Ryan and Darrion escape the goons and :sigh: here comes Darrion's inevitable conversion. As much as y'all hoped it wouldn't happen because conversion for female characters in Ellanjay land equals losing compassion and brains, but only off-screen characters, aka characters besides the anti-christ and his goons, go to Hell.

"I need to tell you something," Darrion said. "I've made my decision."
Ryan sat up straight. "What do you mean?"
"You know," she said, "about God and everything. What you said makes a lot of sense. I think he did send you to tell me the truth. I'm ready."

Oh and did I mention the bombing just began? I know it's impossible to tell from that conversation but it did. Most sane people would be going "Oh shit!" Or even :gasp: :choke: worrying about their loved ones in a time like this, but Ryan and Darrion are above such paltry concerns.

Next chapter, Darrion and Ryan are recaptured. You'd think that the bombing would render the goons' concerns worthless but you're thinking wrong apparently. Don't worry though; Mr. Stahley shows up and they get away, yet again. Y'know this constant get captured/escape plot is getting really boring.

Anyway, they escape in time to watch a broadcast from Nicky Koryak, who blames the attack on the late Gerald Fitzhugh. Something tells me there should be an emphasis on late.

But anyway, Nicky naturally calls himself an anti-war activist and since there's nobody in the text who ever calls him on the whole "Man of Peace being a warmonger" bullshit, we're forced to conclude that Ellanjay thinks that all anti-war activists secretly hunger for war. Nicky also :gasp: :choke: asks that everyone work together for the common good. That's communism and we can't have that!

But Mr. Stahley, currently the smartest character in this story, is aware that his career with the NWO is over and he and his family had better escape before Nicky Kunlun decides to wrap up loose ends. But in the ensuing escape attempt, Mr. Stahley is shot, but don't worry, folks, he decides to have a conversion.

It's your standard prayer but once again, I have to comment on RTCs' tendency towards spellcasting. Remember in their world if you don't say The Prayer, you're screwed, but again, it has to be exactly the right words or the spell won't work. You can't just say, "O God save me!" And you certainly can't pray to Zod to call off the attack or spare those who haven't yet converted; what kind of satanic talk is that?