Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Insert Witty Post Title Here

Since I'm going to start providing links to various media, maybe I should place a warning: some of these may not be Work-Safe, so be careful. Don't want anybody getting fired because of my posts.

So the sun has finally risen and naturally because Ellanjay don't understand how the sun works, snow melts almost instantly. But I'll give them a little credit in that they acknowledge that all this snowmelt could have problems: the river is rising and the American YTF are wondering if they need to move to higher ground. This is what would happen if all the snow melted at once. So I'll give Ellanjay a half-point because they got something half-right.

But enough about boring stuff like whether or not Our Brave Heroes have to evacuate due to rising waters; the important thing is that the generator is running again so they can get their all-important emails again. I know y'all were just biting your nails raw in anticipation.

As you guessed there's more emails from that Carl* guy who I still don't give a rat's ass about even though the YTF are endlessly debating whether this guy's on the level, whether he's trying to trap them, and Oh God, how little do I care about this.

The America-based YTF find out that Carl's heading their way and that apparently the GC are staying away from Chicago due to reports of a whole lotta radiation downtown. As you probably guessed, this radiation thing is mentioned in passing and no one seems to care about what this means for the people living in the area or what's going to happen when the radioactive cloud reaches them because Ellanjay are fucking morons who didn't think about stuff like this and think we'd rather hear about a character we'd long since forgotten about and his fucking emails!

Okay, deep breath..

Okay, so not really much is going on in Israel. Samuel apparently wants to be called Sam and they're still kicked out of Jamal's house. To my surprise, they aren't talking too nastily about Jamal. Ever since reading the last chapter in which he kicked them out, I was bracing myself for pages of the YTF whining about how Jamal is TEH EVOL!1111 for kicking them out because he felt they were a bad influence that was putting his family in danger. Frankly, because I hate the YTF and I like being contrary, I was fully on Jamal's side: the dude has lost one child; is it so horrible that he wants to protect his remaining one? But actually, the YTF, while they're still not "Yea, we got thrown out," are understanding of his desire to protect his family.

Lionel does ask Judd if he does have feelings for Nada. Judd admits that he likes her but only as a friend. Nada is also described as being a "knockout" which, given that we have no further clues about what she looks like, is about as meaningful as Hattie's description of being drop-dead gorgeous. We can surmise, however, based on her name and the fact she was mentioned as having an Arabic accent, that she is of Middle Eastern descent and though I know eventually, Judd will be married off to Vicki, I almost want him and Nada to hook up. Make the story less predictable. Though I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't have a romance between her and Lionel; they're both ethnic which makes it okay.

The section ends with an interesting note in which Judd rejects the idea of dating Vicki because in his words, "They fight too much." There's so much we can read into that, given Ellanjay's views on women, especially ones that don't bow and do as the menfolk say, but I think we should move on.

In America, the YTF are doing a bible study. Naturally, Melinda and Charlie are listening closely, while Janie stares off in the distance. Astute readers can tell that Ellanjay are using this as an indication that Melinda and Charlie are slightly less eeevil than Janie, but I'm going to just assume that Janie is just sick and tired of hearing the same few verses taken out of context over and over again, because is it really that difficult to remember the horrible shit that's going to happen to you?

Token Jew basically says to keep an eye on the sky and says that three more horrible disasters are going to happen and given that the whole world probably looks worse than Afghanistan under the Taliban rule, is anyone going to notice a few more disasters? But then again, we've already talked many times how Bruce "Dead and Useless" Barnes and Token Jew are really awful at their jobs.

Anyway the section ends with Janie rolling her eyes at all this, but Melinda's all "I don't know. They've been right about everything thus far." So yeah, inevitable conversion coming up...

Anyway, in a rare show of courage, Judd, following Lionel's advice, decides to go back to Jamal's and talk to Nada about his feelings. This also marks a rare show of sympathy from an Ellanjay character in that Judd is demonstrated as caring about the feelings of one of those shallow, fickle, overly emotional creatures known as women. I honestly don't know what to think about what's going on except to assume that this is the Ghostwriter's doing again.

Anyway, the scene between Nada and Judd is actually fairly decent with Judd doing his best to let Nada down gently, but naturally, she is hurt and tells Judd to leave. Once again, I do have to commend that for once, the plot isn't bowing to the wishes of mini-Rayford aka Judd. Nada is upset and the plot acknowledges that she is justifiably upset: she's had her heart broken. It's nice to have a female character go against a male character's wishes and not have her lambasted as the Whore of Babylon (cough:Hattie:cough) for daring to go against him. Nada has every right to be upset--broken hearts are never fun--and the book acknowledges that.  We also finally get some description as to what Nada looks like: she has long brown hair and dark brown eyes. It's not much but I'll take what I can get.

But Nada does get a nice dig in at Judd asking "How can he hope to fight against the GC when he can't even stand up to her father?" and while I quibble about that "fighting the GC" part because you know Judd wouldn't last long if he experienced actual suffering at their hands, it's still nice to see that arrogant turdblossom get served every now and then.

The chapter ends with another appearance by Mr. Stein. He's grown a beard and his face is all lit up, which naturally means that he's gone off the deep end. Surprise, surprise, I'm right. Apparently he received a vision from Zod telling him to go into Africa and witness to people living in the deepest jungles who haven't heard of Christ. God also told him to take Judd with him. I could quibble that Africa isn't as dark and isolated as they used to be (it'd make more sense if they headed into the Amazon rainforest), but once again, I'll overlook it because finally, someone is thinking what about isolated tribes who haven't heard of Christ?

I've peeked a little ahead at the next chapter. I'm not going to snark it because this snark's long enough as is, but apparently Judd thinks Mr. Stein has gone off the deep end. Frankly, I'm not sure why: isn't seeing visions traditionally been a part of the Christian religion? What is it about Mr. Stein's vision that makes Judd go, "Oh hell no!" Me, I think it's because going to Africa, without the basic technology that a rich American would be accustomed to, would be a sacrifice on Judd's part and Judd's too weaksauce to make that sacrifice. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it until we find out otherwise.

*For those wondering, yes, I am picturing Carl as being Carl Carlson from The Simpsons. Why? Because I'm a lifelong Simpsons fan and because it adds a little diversity to Ellanjay's whitebread world.


Firedrake said...

Yeah, that whole thing about only the protagonists being important, and the background megadeaths casually dismissed... it reminds me of the (to my mind unjustified) criticism of the "cosy catastrophe" school of British SF after WWII (The Day of the Triffids being the canonical example), in that Our Heroes carry on living more-or-less normally while everything else falls apart. But it also reminds me of what used to be called sociopathy, the idea that only "I" am important and everyone else is just there to provide a background for me.

Yeah, I'm with you and Fred on this one: bible study at this point is kinda irrelevant. For the *TF, what they need is a precise checklist of what's going to happen when, something like this two-part chart: http://www.calvaryprophecy.com/timeline1.htm and http://www.calvaryprophecy.com/timeline2.htm . (Only, y'know, done by someone with better layout skills.) The raw biblical text isn't really important any more now that it's been decoded; there's literally no virtue in training people up in RTC doctrine and things like the mindset for "literally" interpreting the Bible to mean the Rapture, since they're Saved already, and that time could better be spent on teaching them how to fight the Antichrist.

If they were going to fight the Antichrist. Which of course they aren't.

Apocalypse Review said...

Huh! Scarily decent writing with Judd being confronted with his flaws and having to think for a while.

Are they still seriously studying the Bible after all this time? By now these smart kids should have memorized the damn thing.

Argh, Judd/Vicki power couple headcanon, why do you diverge so much from the almost sort of glimmering possibility in these books.