Saturday, November 24, 2012

Now with more Bitterness and Sarcasm!

When we last left our brave hero, he had just found Jamal and his family tied up and they're currently being questioned by GC Deputy Commander Woodruff and experience tells me that Ellanjay will take advantage of a situation that lends itself to tension and milk said tension for all its worth and won't let it peter out into nothingness like so many other situations.

In case you're new to this blog or suffering from massive head trauma that was sarcasm. Given Judd's status as mini-Rayford, there's no way anything serious could ever happen to him. The world may be coming to an end, but Judd will walk away with nary a scratch.

Judd, being the tactical genius that he is, decides the smart thing to do is confront the Deputy, saying this:

Judd took a step into the room. “I was on the phone when you killed my friends Taylor and Hasina. You said they resisted arrest and you were forced to kill them. You lied.”

Since when were Taylor and Hasina aka the Power Couple of Awesomeness, friends of Judd's? Didn't he spend all his time trying to convert them and rolling his eyes when they refused to take the bait?

Naturally, the deputy, rather than doing the smart thing and just shooting Judd where he stands, gets into an argument with him even though, hello, he's the man with the gun. He should be dictating how things go. This is like all these Mary Sue fics in which the Sue, who is supposed to be considered witty but really comes across as a petulant bitch, smarts off to a character and the character, rather than rolling his/her eyes or tearing the Sue a new one, reacts with either stunned silence or starts sputtering. But then again, as Fred has already pointed out, the Left Behind series is basically Mary Sue fiction for Ellanjay.

So Judd says, "Walk out of here and leave my friends alone," which would be badass except that he's Judd and not Liam Neeson, so the Deputy's response should be to say "No" and shoot him. No wait, he should shoot Judd then say "No."

Naturally the Deputy calls him on his bullshit, but rather than shooting him, he gives Judd enough time to release one of the demon locusts on him. Judd unties Jamal and his family while the deputy writhes in pain and I shout, "See this is why you should have shot him while you had the chance!" This series would be much improved if anyone involved had read the Evil Overlord list but to be fair, given that this series has to follow the template as laid out by God's Own Prophet, Tim LaHaye, we probably can't afford to actually have smart villains who pose a threat to the playable characters.

In America, Vicki and Lenore are taking care of Melinda and Janie and bravely watching the news as they tell us what we already saw happen: demon locusts stinging people. So yeah, nothing happens.

Meanwhile Carl and Mark are outside Chicago. Mark is demonstrating a rare level of intelligence in that he's reluctant to take Carl back to the hideout, even though Carl said The Prayer and he has the Zod-mark. Z tells him that means Carl's okay and talks about how with the gold coins, he was able to buy and deliver food and supplies to RTCs around the country. He mentions Pete coming to deliver them and that's it on this section.

Judd and Jamal regroup and head towards Hat Dude's (aka another character whom you've forgotten about) house. Naturally, Jamal has stopped being all inscrutable and foreign and now kisses Judd's ass like everyone else in this series, thus losing the few cool points he had.

Mark and Carl meet up with Pete. They talk about delivering supplies and Pete offers to drop them by the schoolhouse.

Chapter two, apparently Lionel's haunted by all the people he saw being tormented by the demon locusts. I could go into a rant about how he shouldn't be kowtowing to the person who sent them, but it is so rare for a character to demonstrate basic compassion for their fellow man that I'm willing to give Lionel a few points here.

Hat Dude is reading Token Jew's blog and we learn that apparently the locusts can only bite you once, not that that's much comfort to its victims. Also, we get this headbanger of a quote:

“If Tsion is right that these are demons, these creatures must be going crazy. They hate believers. They must want to kill us, but they are under instructions from God to torture only unbelievers.”
“What Satan means for evil, God is using for good.”
“Exactly,” Yitzhak said.

Yeah, it's good that you allowed these insects to bite unbelievers and poison them with a venom that makes them want to die but are unable to achieve the sweet release of death, real good that you did that.

There's a reason I pictured Zod in this series as the vindictive Anthony from It's a Good Life in previous posts.

Naturally Lionel loses what few points he gained by complaining about how he'll have to endure five months of that noise. Poor, poor Lionel's delicate ears. I don't know how they'll stand five months of people screaming in agony from the venom. My heart bleeds.

Oh and here's Token Jew's message. Let's take it apart, shall we?

I beg of you not to look upon God as mean when we see the intense suffering of the bite victims. This is all part of his master design to turn people to him so he can demonstrate his love. The Scriptures tell us God is ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in kindness. How it must pain him to have to resort to such measures to reach those he loves!

It hurts us to see that even those who do receive Christ as a result of this ultimate attention-getter still suffer for the entire five months prescribed in biblical prophecy. And yet I believe we are called to see this as a picture of the sad fact that sin and rebellion have their consequences. There are scars. If a victim receives Christ, God has redeemed him, and he stands perfect in heaven’s sight. But the effects of sin linger.

Y'know I'm sure everyone's tired of me using the abusive spouse analogy but I really can't find a better one. Again, Token Jew's message can be summed up as "He beats me but I deserve it and besides Zod is bigger and more powerful than I'll ever be."

I wonder how Ellanjay line up their perspective of Jesus with the Jesus of the gospel of John, who after telling the Pharisees "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone," told the woman caught in adultery that he doesn't condemn her and to go and sin no more. Do they not see the massive disconnect? Of course they don't; they probably don't read any of the verses outside the ones that support their philosphy except the ones against homosexuality.

Oh, dear ones, it thrills my heart to get reports from all over the globe that there are likely more Christ followers now than were raptured. Even nations known for only a tiny Christian impact in the past are seeing great numbers come to salvation.

Wait, is that even possible? I mean, remember Zod slaughtered bamfed all the children and given all the disasters that have struck the Earth back to back, again, I have to say, is that even possible? I'm surprised the Earth still has a population after all this.

Of course we see that evil is also on the rise. The Scriptures tell us that those who remain rebellious even in light of this awful plague simply love themselves and their sin too much. Much as the world system tries to downplay it, our society has seen catastrophic rises in drug abuse, sexual immorality, murder, theft, demon worship, and idolatry.

Remember, if you don't immediately fall to your knees and shout hosannas to Big Brother Zod, then you're full of hate and evil. It doesn't matter if you're Mahatma Gandhi or if you simply believe that Zod killing everyone you care about is incompatible with the God you heard about.

Sorry to be all bitter and angry, but this chapter is really getting under my skin.

Always test my teaching against the Bible. Read it every day. New believers—and none of us are old, are we?—learn the value of the discipline of daily reading and study. When we see the ugly creatures that have invaded the earth, it becomes obvious that we too must go to war.

Too bad none of the YTF actually take his advice and read their bibles. Maybe then they'd discover just how horrible Token Jew's interpretation is.

Vicki is in bed thinking about the day's events. Apparently during the day, Conrad, Charlie, and Darrion had played a game with the locusts, seeing who can hit the mosts locusts with a baseball bat. But Shelly made them put a stop to it.

Anyway, Vicki finds Janie trying to swallow a handful of pills in order to make the pain go away and Vicki being the compassionate human that she is, tries to make an altar call. But Janie manages to hold onto her cool points and says that if Zod did this to her than she doesn't wanna connect with him.

“That’s not true,” Vicki said. She grabbed a Bible. “God could have wiped out everybody who didn’t believe in him. Instead, he’s being patient with us.”

“How do you figure that?”

Vicki turned to Second Peter. “This was written a long time before the disappearances, but it’s still true. It says, ‘He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent.’ A little later it says, ‘The Lord is waiting so that people have time to be saved.’”

Janie rolled her eyes. “God is stinging us and putting us through earthquakes because he cares? I say that’s a weird way of showing it.”

Oh Janie, how I love you right now, but I have a feeling that unlike the Power Couple of Awesomeness, you're not going to escape becoming a lobotomized follower of Zod. Still if Zod doesn't want anyone to perish than why does he keep trying to kill us all through poisoned water and space objects? I know I say that a lot but it bears repeating.

And that's it for this week. Sorry if I came across as too angry and bitter and not funny, but again, Ellanjay really got under my skin.


Firedrake said...

It's what they do. It's just more and more of the same old message. I've occasionally been in a position to help battered women, and the thing that I found most hugely frustrating - and I don't think I'm alone in this - is that the commonest refrain was just what you've pinpointed here: it's not so bad, he's got my best interests at heart, it's because I get things wrong.

And I know the L&J answer is "God's morality is not our morality"... but all that means to me is that we've become better than Zod. If all this stuff is "necessary", then Zod isn't all-powerful; if Zod can change the setup, then it's choosing not to. Either way, that's a thing to fight.

rikalous said...

"The Scriptures tell us that those who remain rebellious even in light of this awful plague simply love themselves and their sin too much."

"remain rebellious even in light of this awful plague."

"even in light of"

That really just sums up the awfulness of the whole attitude right there, doesn't it.

Only tangentially related to the demon locust poison, platypus venom is so painful that the amount of morphine necessary to make it stop hurting is greater than the lethal dose.

FIredrake said...

rikalous, one of the things I find really quite interesting about this whole setup is that, even after all the people who believed just on the basis of faith have been removed from the equation, this god is still too scared of... what?... to send an unambiguous message.

aunursa said...

Naturally, the deputy, rather than doing the smart thing and just shooting Judd where he stands, gets into an argument with him even though, hello, he's the man with the gun.

Scott: What? Are you feeding him? Why don't you just kill him?
Dr. Evil: I have an even better idea. I'm going to place him in an easily escapable situation involving an overly elaborate and exotic death.
Scott:I have a gun, in my room, you give me five seconds, I'll get it, I'll come back down here, BOOM, I'll blow their brains out!
Dr. Evil: Scott, you just don't get it, do ya? You don't.

aunursa said...

Yeah, it's good that you allowed these insects to bite unbelievers and poison them with a venom that makes them want to die but are unable to achieve the sweet release of death, real good that you did that.

This supports my comment in a recent Slacktivist thread...

God is a six year-old boy.

rikalous said...

@Firedrake: Yeah, you'd think something along the lines of "Christianity is the true religion" writ in the sky in letters of fire (all viewers seeing it in their native language optional but highly recommended) would do the trick.

aunursa's mention of Dr. Evil makes me think that the whole unnecessarily complex and hurty rigaramole seems very cartoonishly villainous. It's like the supervillains that invent incredible technology like shrink rays or Turing-Test-passing robots and uses them to rob banks and fight superheroes.

Firedrake said...

The usual explanation of the lack of obvious message is that people need to have faith, but in this case those people have already been taken. So that test has already come and gone, and the only reason left for allowing Satan to mess things about and try people's faith is... er... hang on, isn't this god meant to be omnipotent, so why does it have to allow all the suffering rather than producing by other means whatever good effects the suffering might have engendered...?

aunursa said...

In the Left Behind series, God actually DOES prove His existence with definitive signs and miracles. But it happens in Book #12 AFTER the deadline for the undecided to choose to accept Jesus has passed.

Thrownaway said...

One of the thing that gets to me about all of these little conversations is that they really treat the bible as if context means absolutely nothing. The verse they quote is nice all by itself but not only is the context and source not mentioned but the usage here seems wildly inappropriate.

The whole 'No, not one' jam doesn't really work while they are actually in the middle of the most blatant sinner/saint winnowing process ever conceived. Apparently 'no not one' does not mean what we think it means.

Apocalypse Review said...

Janie rolled her eyes. “God is stinging us and putting us through earthquakes because he cares? I say that’s a weird way of showing it.”

That's pretty spot-on.

And actually this is why I don't know how to write characters in a tribulation who could legitimately want to become believers if this kind of crap gets dumped all over people. D:

Apocalypse Review said...

The usual explanation of the lack of obvious message is that people need to have faith

@FireDrake: And this is what drives me absolutely batshit fucking nuts when the answer to my simple question, "Why doesn't the God/Gods/Goddesses/Multiformed Deities/whatever you believe in just DO SOMETHING TOTALLY OBVIOUS?"

is, of course...

"You need faith first and then you get shown!"

No no no nononononono.

The universe should not operate that way! Whether I believe in something or not shouldn't affect something that is going to happen.


Firedrake said...

Apocalypse, the thing I'm trying to get at goes even further: all the people who could be convinced by stories are already dead and have their exclusive country club memberships. All that's going on here is the chance to get a second-class seat. So why is faith even important any more?

If I write a Tribulation book, it will be about people trying to be nice to each other in despite of "God".

Anonymous said...

I really have to wonder why someone would go through the exercise of reading a book only to be intentionally too obtuse to "get it".