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.