Monday, May 28, 2012

RIP Power Couple of Awesomeness

Sorry, sorry if thing's are going to be erratic for a while. Again, I'm in the process of working out some stuff regarding school so it may be a while before I get back on a regular posting schedule. Besides have you really been dying to read more about the Pirates Heroes who don't do anything?

Well, fear not, fellow readers: Lionel escapes with nary a hair on his head damaged. Though it turns out that Mr. Stein's money was gone, so they can only hope that Hasina will help them out for free. If I were writting these books, I would have it turn out that Hasina and Taylor are too busy helping out the poor and wretched and sabotaging the GC in any way they can to help out our heroes, but I have a feeling that despite being a heathen infidel, Hasina realizes that rich Americans matter above all other lives and she'll airlift them out and once she does, at no small risk to herself, the YTF will continue to snigger about her behind her back. Because that's what good RTCs do: mock the cherished ideals of those who do not believe as they do.

Meanwhile at the school, Melinda is starting to show signs of having sipped the Flavor-Aid as she and Vicki discuss the prophecies. Melinda hasn't kneeled before Zod yet but it's only a matter of time. But most importantly, someone is finally realizing that all these judgments (which need I remind you, come from God) are going to affect things. Granted, it's pretty damn stupid that they are just now realizing this, even though after Wormwood poisoned the water, they should be rationing their bottled water and using it solely for drinking; or in other words, bathing and showering would become a thing of the past. But apparently the one that finally makes someone sit up and take pause is the next judgment which will darken the moon and stars and sun. Mark, the character who is finally showing some brains, realizes correctly that this means that the earth will essentially go through a deep freeze and things will get a heckuva lot colder. Melinda, acting truly dumb because only one member of the YTF is alloted brain cells at a time, says that they live in the woods and can just chop down some of the trees to keep the fires burning, but Mark shakes his head and basically says that people are going to die. While I'll admit that's a pretty huge "Duh..." statement given how many disasters have struck back to back, killing who-only-knows how many people, I'll still allow this line because finally, an acknowledgement of the massive casualities that would result from one of the disasters. Still part of me has to wonder, do the RTCs ever give any reasons why all these disasters happen back to back within the same short time period? Because I don't claim to be an expert on disasters, but I'm fairly certain that if God wanted to smite the heathens back to the stone-age, it would only take one of the so-called judgments to render life on this planet, moot. Heck, the whole Wormwood thing would be more than enough to finish us off.

[plug]Once again, you want to see well-written young adult fiction about teens facing the end of the world-type disaster, read the Last Survivors series by Susan Beth Pfeffer, not this crap. [/plug]

Back to Israel. Judd is talking on the phone with Hasina and oh, how I wish that she or Taylor were the stars of this series instead of such a weaksauce protagonist like Judd. Again, they actually do shit.

But to my surprise, Hasina doesn't immediately start kowtowing to Judd and doing whatever he asks. Probably because exciting shit that would be nice to actually witness firsthand instead of just hearing about it from Judd, is actually happening. Basically the GC are storming the place complete with all the violence and gunfire that entails and why oh why do we have to read this from Judd's perspective again? Why exactly couldn't Hasina and Taylor be the heroes of this series instead of the Tribbles? Even though Ellanjay distances us from the scene by having us learn it by having Judd overhear it through the phone, it's still a damn effective part of the novel as the GC struggle to subdue Taylor and Hasina and they confess their love for each other, before Judd hears the sound of gunshots and hears a GC Goon say that the suspects are dead. Oh and if you're wondering, Judd did try a last-minute thief-on-the-cross kind of conversion with Hasina and Taylor but both essentially said, "Save your breath."

:fans self: Wow...Hasina and Taylor are so awesome I nearly swooned especially when they both told Judd where he can stick his conversion attempt. Did I not tell you how utterly awesome they both are? I was going to find a clip from the MST3K episode where they riffed on Puma Man, the one where Crow, after watching Vadinho kick serious ass, says, "Our hero is this guy. I think it's time we've accepted that," but I couldn't find the clip. Still, given how very, very awesome they are I must honor them with a YouTube clip so you can feel what I'm feeling right now. Characters as awesome as them deserve to have a Scottish man playing "Amazing Grace" on the bagpipes as a send-off. I would also see to it that they be nominated for sainthood so as to represent all of us brave souls still plodding through these books, but I don't know how to go about such things. I'll just lie down and say, "Wow..." for a little longer though.

Next chapter. Faced with the whole prospect of a massive freeze, Vicki and the rest of the YTF not important enough to go to Israel, start getting to work, chopping and gathering firewood and for a brief period, a few of them act like actual teenagers, wondering if this is all necessary, griping about work, etc. If you guessed the ones behaving like teens instead of Elsie Dinsmore clones were the ones who have yet to convert, aka Melinda and Janie, you were right! Go upstairs and collect your No-Prize.

Meanwhile in Israel, I have as much trouble believing it as you do, but Judd is actually stunned by the deaths of Hasina and Taylor. The cynical part of me just assumes that he's concerned because he lost his ride out of Israel and that's probably true, but dammit! It is nice to see him demonstrate a brief flicker of human emotion. Also, he starts to regret being so harsh towards Vicki about the school and wishes he could fix things between them. We could only wonder what Token Jew would think about Judd conceding that a weak, womanly female with female parts could be right about something.

Judd and Nada discuss her brother, Kasim. For those who can't remember, Kasim was her heathen brother who died unconverted in the Wrath of the Lamb quake. One of the things she mentioned was that Kasim, as a GC guard, had a penthouse apartment bigger than their house. Can't help but note that Nicky Amaro's strategy of giving his employees all these perks probably works better than Zod's convert-by-killing strategy. Anyway, Nada proves she's a true RTC by essentially showing no compassion for her brother saying that he'd seen Token Jew's broadcast so he had his chance to convert.

Back at the school. Janie's being a typical teenager by slacking off from work but of course, in the eyes of Ellanjay, this is only further proof of her reprobate nature.

Back to Israel. Lionel and Samuel talk about Jesus and Samuel finally stops being one of those inscrutable Jews and converts, even though he knows this will cheese off his father. I am just disappointed that it turned out that the verse Lionel slipped in his pocket wasn't Ezekiel 23:20.

And that's it for this week. Please do your best to properly eulogize Hasina and Taylor.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Ugly Americans in Israel

Oh geez, sorry, sorry, sorry for it being so long since the last post. By now y'all are probably searching through obituaries wondering if I died in some freak gardening/vomit-choking/spontaneous combustion accident. We'll I'm afraid nothing like that. I'm afraid all that happened was a whole mess'o'shit regarding school hit the fan combined with general laziness and a tendency towards clinical depression and that explains why I'm so late with the post.

I guess you've all been wondering what's been happening in the LB:TK universe. Well the truth is nothing. Nothing ever happens in these books. Even the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything occasionally did something. Basically right now all that happens is Mr. Stein talks about stuff that would have been interesting to see first-hand but boring to read someone talking about. Y'know I wonder what my Creative Writing instructor would think if I showed her these books and told her that these were best-selling books.

I'll make it short. Our Buck and Token Jew escaped thanks in part to the help of Mr. Stein and others. Also, Chloe was separated from Our Buck and I have a feeling that nobody will be the least bit concerned about a pregnant woman trapped in the middle of a riot. Anyway, Mr. Stein is captured and is tortured by his captors and yes, he is shocked, shocked! that the evil one-world government bent on wiping out RTCs, would torture an RTC in hopes that he'd reveal something that would lead them to the leader of this renegade sect. After that, he feels pretty lousy until he hears a voice in his head singing the Doxology (how I hate that such a nice bit of poetry is associated with this drivel) and goes into such a deep sleep, his captors think he's dead. Mr. Stein wakes up in the morgue and is smuggled to a funeral home and is smuggled out of said home to a safe house. And let me just say my summary of events is a hell of a lot more interesting than the way Ellanjay tells it. :sigh: Now back to the Girly Girls.

As you probably guessed, nothing is happening. Melinda apologizes for running off and causing a lot of trouble. Apparently now she's opposed to the GC but she's still not an RTC, so yeah...they probably regard her as a damned infidel like Taylor even though Taylor is a hell of a lot more awesome than all of the Tribbles combined. All that happens after that: they discuss the email received from a GC address and write back asking to know more about the sender's intentions. Now back to the dudes.

Samuel calls and tells them that the GC are pissed and looking for Token Jew everywhere and monitoring all the airports so the YTF and the Tribbles aren't going anywhere. Mr. Stein does have money but he stashed it at the university. Then suddenly they have a lightbulb moment and decide to call Hasina aka the second half of the Power Couple of Awesomeness. I could get into a long rant about how the YTF are such assholes speaking disdainfully of Taylor and Hasina's beliefs until they get into a bind and decide to run to Taylor and Hasina for help but then again, this is kind of par the course for the Tribbles. Next chapter.

Vicki receives another email from the GC written by someone claiming to be Carl aka that guy John saved on that ship. He wants to meet the YTF and in a rare show of intelligence, the YTF considers the possibility that this might be a trap and responds cautiously. But I'm going to put on my bookie eyeshade and bet that it isn't because everyone knows bad things happen to NPCs or to bad people who deserve it, not to good RTCs like the YTF. Again, readers might give up hope if they found out that persecution involves more than just receiving a glare from an overworked cashier after you criticized him/her for not saying, "Merry Christmas," after ringing you up.

Back to Israel. Nada is gone and Jamal is pissed. Basically Nada, in the previous chapter, had decided to go and retrieve Mr. Stein's money, reasoning that she'd attract less attention than some American tourists. But Jamal is pissed about his daughter putting herself in danger and we find out why. Basically the whole family accepted that TurboJesus was the way, the truth, and the light, but there was a holdout: Nada's older brother, Kasim. He believed in Carpathia and became a GC guard. But that didn't stop Nada from going to him on duty and preaching about Zod. Naturally Nada didn't face any consequences because the GC is absolutely helpless in the face of a teenage girl and couldn't dream of doing something like imprisoning her and torturing her so she'd name names. But anyway, Kasim ended up being squished in the Wrath of the Lamb earthquake and like every good RTC, no one in his family is like, "My son/brother is in hell for all eternity. The kid who I walked to kindergarten and taught to tie his shoes is being tortured for all eternity because a building fell on him before he could convert." I know I keep reitterating this point over and over again and everyone, including me, is probably tired of it, but it needs to be said, dammit!

The Manly Men decide to go after Nada to make sure she's okay. They draw straws and Lionel gets the short one, so he goes to help Nada. Back at the school. Conrad decides to check out the fancy box he found a couple of chapters ago. The YTF wonder if it's the safe that Z was talking about. I nearly suffer a concusion when I bang my head against the computer after falling into a boredom-induced coma.

Back to Israel. Lionel puts on a long robe and turban to disquise myself. I grit my teeth as Lionel thinks about how goofy he looks and wonder if Ellanjay assumes robe+turban=Muslim or if they are aware that such attire is more fitting for a Sikh. Nothing like Ellanjay's cultural insensitivity to raise your blood pressure a few degrees. Lionel searches the campus using Mr. Stein's tips but well, the chapter ends with the alarm going off and the possibility that we might actually have something interesting happen in the next chapter. Though I wouldn't bet the farm on it.