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.