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.