Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Moral Ambiguity is of the Devil

Yeah, yeah, I'm late with the post. Sorry about that. But before you criticize me, just ask yourself: do you really think this snarking job is easy? Sitting in my pjs, eating junk food, guzzling Coca-Cola, and trying to think of new ways of describing just how utterly incompetent Nicky Drakensberg is? Really the only way Zod triumphs in this story is because the Father of All Lies is dumb.

Anyway in the previous chapter, Vicki and co. received an email from a GC military installation. The only reason I didn't mention it in the last snark was because I was so busy ranting and raving about how Nicky Entoto fails at basic villainy. I have a hard time believing he'd stay in power for seven minutes let alone seven years.

Anyway they bravely watch Token Jew on television talk about how a third of the stars and the moon and the sun will go dark and all that business about the mark of the beast. Once again, is it really that difficult to memorize the order of all the horrible shit that Zod's going to inflict upon the world? Not to mention with all the world's water poisoned, shouldn't everybody be pretty much dead by now? Why would we need anymore horrific disasters to finish us off?

Next day, the plot-induced stupidity temporarily releases its hold on Lionel, who wonders why Nicky Kilimanjaro is broadcasting the whole gathering. But Judd provides the answer to this question and as you probably guessed, it's pure weaksauce. He says Carpathia wants to keep track of what's being said at the meeting. Of course, I bet all my fellow snarkers can point out the flaws in this strategy. Such as apparently electronic bugs do not exist in the Left Behind universe. Also, apparently he can't have the guards he has protecting the RTCs at the Gathering report on what they see and hear. Also, seeing as Nicky Lebombo is the anti-Christ and must slavishly follow the plan as laid out by Zod, shouldn't he already know everything that the RTCs will say or do and everything that'll happen between here and when he gets punted to Hell?

Cornelius is there and he's starting to wonder if Judd's onto something. No! Run away from the RTCs! Once you join them, you'll stop being a compassionate human being and turn into an RTC automaton who only wins because the authors' are on your side.

Token Jew ends the gathering with another altar call and a repeat of that whole thing about the stars dimming because apparently an RTC's short-term memory is worse than that of the Drew Barrymore character in 50 First Dates

Anyway, well apparently Cornelius drank the flavor-aid because he now has the Super Special Awesome Secret Mark. But they don't have long to savor their triumph because gunfire breaks out. The GC are finally doing something sensible by trying to kill Token Jew. I would point out that they could do something more discreet, something that would result in less collateral damage such as having a sniper pick him off at another location or poisoning him or making him "disappear" or something a lot smarter than spraying the stadium full of bullets, but right now I feel like throwing a parade every time the GC does basic villainy.

Meanwhile on the home front, Vicki hears noises coming from Melinda's room and goes to investigate, only to find the dog bound and gagged. Oh and Melinda's escaped as well.

Next chapter, Cornelius was shot and killed in the confusion and the GC are very eeevilly trying to pin this on the RTCs. Why this surprises our heroes I don't know. You'd think, given how much they crave martyrdom, they wouldn't be so shocked when someone decides to give it to them. But Samuel, who was in this series several books from now and hasn't been mentioned until now decides to help Judd and Lionel escape. For those, who like me, have completely forgotten who the hell Samuel is, he's the guy Judd gave the videotape that revealed how Token Jew's family really died.

Meanwhile, Vicki and co. set in search of Melinda.

Samuel if you're wondering, still doesn't have the mark and says that his dad is with the GC yet he's still willing to help them escape. At first, when I read this, I cheered, thinking we we're going to get another Taylor but I should know better. First of all, even as Taylor proves to be more awesome than all the Tribbles combined, you can hear Ellanjay tsk-tsking about how he very eeevilly insists on trying to stop a worldwide dictatorship. Second of all, the whole "willing to help even though he's not an RTC and his dad's a member of the GC" thing reaks of moral ambiguity and you know how Ellanjay feel about moral ambiguity. They subscribe to the gospel according to George W. Bush: you're either with us or against us. So while I know some of y'all may protest, I'm going to tell the end of the chapter: turns out it was a trap and Samuel turns them over to his dad. This will probably come to nothing just like all the umpteen other times the YTF were captured by the GC. For a dictatorship run by the anti-Christ, they sure seem afraid to do something as basic as, say, waterboard their prisoners.


aunursa said...

So our kids are more shocked at which turn of events: That they are being blamed for Cornelius' death? Or that the son of a GC would actually be working against them?

Really the only way Zod triumphs in this story is because the Father of All Lies is dumb.

Left Behind meets Spaceballs.

Apocalypse Review said...

I'm really surprised L&J haven't explored more of the "against the GC but aren't RTCs" type people. I guess for them a binary mode of thinking about the sides in battle is easier.

Firedrake said...

Maybe they've learned, unlike the RTCs both here and in the real world, that torture doesn't get you good information... nah.

AR, I think that they are indeed using a strictly binary approach: nobody can be good without God, so anyone who's being good must be an RTC even if he's appearing not to be; conversely Godlessness is such an important thing that other distinctions are basically irrelevant.

aunursa said...

They probably think they're covered by the "against the GC but aren't YET RTCs" type. (e.g. Chaim, Hattie, Albie)