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.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

War is Peace

Yeah, sorry to be so late with this post. It's been a weird week. Not to mention a week so infuriating that I have come dangerously close to suffering a ragerysm (rage-induced aneurysm). But anyway forward into the breach fellow snarkers.

So we cut back to Vicki and co. They've been watching the entire gathering on TV and they are shocked! Not by the GC brutally taking care of a threat by opening fire on a stadium full of people, but by Nicky Cardamom using foul language! Violence is okay, but heaven forbid the incarnation of Satan use bad language. That might have scarred a few children for life assuming there are even still children in this world.

There's a brief interlude where Vicki explains to Melinda about the whole Jesus as the sacrificial lamb bit, of course ignoring the whole question as to why Zod couldn't change a rule that he himself wrote. Thankfully though we don't have to linger long on this when we can read about the YTF watching Nicky's response to the speech.

Anyway so Nicky decides to talk about what happened and of course, the YTF snicker and make sarcastic remarks the entire time, ignoring the unpleasant fact that Nicky is considerable more sympathetic.

Nicky talks about how all the other religions have managed to live in peace except for RTCianity. Then he describes RTCianity as a sect with its roots in historical Christianity and I roll my eyes and say, "Yeah, if by historical you mean dating back to the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. If by historical you mean say first century Christianity, you wanna be the one to tell Ellanjay or should I?"

Nicky also says the usual BS about how this is a perversion of centuries of Christian thinking and talks about how God is a god of love aka that typical hippie bullshit that leads to people assuming hippie bullshit like that Jesus ever said anything about the peacemakers being blessed by God. We don't go for that crap in the good ol' US of A.

Anyway Nicky Rocky says he encouraged this public gathering of people opposed to him and even televised it because he wanted Token Jew and his followers to join him. He says he would not have forced Token Jew to join him and I suppose we're supposed to roll our eyes over Nicky's duplicity, but would Token Jew really be any different if he was in Nicky's position of power? Would he really let those who disagreed with his views of God yet were otherwise peaceful live and practice their faith in peace and not persecute them in any way? Again as said before and will be repeated many times as necessary, Ellanjay and his followers don't object to a One-World Theocracy so long as the right person with the right beliefs is running it.

Out of curiosity, who wants to tell Ellanjay that while Spain and other Christian nations were torturing and persecuting the Jews, those Islamo-Commie-Nazis that made up the Ottoman Empire allowed freedom of religion?

I say this because even Nicky Denali points out that the Gruesome Twosome have killed more people who disagreed with them than Nicky. But even though he believes that Token Jew and the Gruesome Twosome along with their followers tried to kill him, he's still going to very eeevilly grant them permission to continue their gathering, complete with cameras and the full protection of GC security though only for 48 hours.


This is...I don't even need to get into how incredibly stupid this is, do I? I mean even that dude who ruled Turkmenistan and named a bunch of months after himself is smarter than Nicky. Preschoolers with their arms and legs tied together and armed with their safety scissors are scarier than Nicky. Wet cardboard painted hot pink and lime green presents more of an obstacle to the RTCs than Nicky.

Newsflash to aspiring writers everywhere: you don't create suspense by making your villain so stupid your average newborn could outsmart them.

I decided to do another chapter unlike next week in which I only did one. So the gang in Israel end up in the seamy side of town which contains such evils as bars, fortune-telling shops, tattoo parlors, and strip clubs all of which makes me go :yawn: :snore: Let me know when they mention something that isn't found in your average everyday reasonably sized city. It's like those recordings which claim to be of people in hell but really sound no worse than what you'd hear in a busy bar on a Friday night. Anyway they go to see the Gruesome Twosome rant like mental patients and said prophets torch some GC soldiers.

Not much to say except that we have yet another reiteration on how if you do one bad thing Zod hates you unless you kowtow and promise never to make him so mad again. So yeah, I know you've probably guessed it by now but according to God's prophets, Gandhi is in Hell and will be there for all eternity for the crime of being a Hindu and creating one of the largest democracies on earth without firing a single shot, whereas Fred Phelps will get a one-way ticket to Heaven when he dies because he after all, has said the words which makes him a Christian.

The chapter ends with Judd talking to a GC guard, who is a lot more shaken by all the shit that's gone down despite no doubt being an eeevil heathen. Judd tries the typical God-loves-you and all this horrific suffering is him trying to get your attention spiel, but the GC points out that those comrades of his who confronted the prophets wouldn't be dead if it weren't for Zod. I'm going to name this dude Cornelius (why? Read the chapter of Acts after Peter receives the okay to eat shellfish) and add him to my list of favorite characters along with the Power Couple of Awesomenesss that is Hasina and Taylor.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Why Zygotes Are More Evil than Nicky Mountain Range

Couldn't help but be disappointed with last week's comments turnout. Sorry if I come across as an unpleasant whiner but I thought that post would garner a little more attention. Ah well, I guess "Ellanjay hates the poor" isn't as original message as I thought. That bit of whining out of the way, let's see what joys await us this week.

Nicky proves just how eeeevil and what a harden reprobate he is by daring to :gasp: give a speech at the Gathering about peace and love even going so far as to cite the words of some Islamo-Commie-Nazi who said some typical Islamo-Commie-Nazi bullshit about "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God," when in reality it is the Captains of Industry who are blessed for they are the creators of jobs.

But we have little time to linger on the crowd's response to said speech, not when there's awesomenesss afoot. Judd meets up with Taylor "I'm too awesome for this story" Graham l. Taylor is planning to shoot down the helicopter Nicky rides in and naturally Judd is opposed. He justifies his newfound belief in the sanctity of human life by thinking that if the copter went down, the Two Witnesses would be blamed for it and killed, but though I don't claim to be an expert on Ellanjay's ridiculously convoluted interpretation of the Bible, don't the Gruesome Twosome eventually get martyred for their faith? So in short I fail to see the threat.

But I think the real objection Judd has to Taylor's plan is that St. Rayford may be piloting the helicopter. :cue dramatic prairie dog: Not Rayford! Everyone knows that kids everywhere bow to his innate superiority even though he's barely had enough screen time to qualify as a main character and the readers of this series can be forgiven for having forgotten he even exists.

But anyway Judd decides that he can't let Taylor shoot down the helicopter. Now to Lionel...

He's still in the stadium listening to Nicky Ahaggar very eeeevilly brag about how he's rebuilt infrastructure thus saving lives instead of letting everyone die as God intended. Okay he doesn't actually say that last part but it would be such a stroke of genius if he did, if someone pointed out that currently Zod is in the lead in terms of death count. I wish I could give exact numbers but so far Nicky, in order to consolidate his eeeevil rise to power, has killed two cronies plus a few bit players and a few that can be attributed to overenthusiastic soldiers rather than him. Zod, well, Fred estimated that there were an estimated 3 billion children dead at his hands and that's of course not including the pre-born which is a category so loosely defined that even fertilized eggs count (though they probably can't be defined as zygotes at this
point) plus taking into account those deemed "Christian" enough to be raptured and those killed in the massive worldwide quake, along with the flaming hailstorm, the ROD, and the whole poisoning the world's water supply, well, it's clear that Zod makes Nicky Cederberg (whose supposed to be worse than Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot combined) look like a rank amateur in comparison.

Okay, deep breath otherwise we'll never get through this.

So Nicky is all sweetness and light until someone gives him a bottle of water which turns to blood when he drinks it. Now if I was in that audience I would roll my eyes and go :yawn: Ozzy was doing that before Nicky's gay daddies.where achieving at a Level Five Blasphemy Level. But because all RTCs are basically variations on June and Ward Cleaver, everyone is shocked. Nicky then further spoils any villain cred he might still have by getting all petulant and pissy stomping around talking to the Two Witnesses about how he should have them killed, but since he hasn't gone so far as to make the worldwide media under his control stop broadcasting their message...well at this point, I think a shorter list would be of villains who were less effective than Nicky. There are freaking Zygotes out there who probably have done more evil than Nicky and they don't have worldwide control of the media, a gestapo, or the massive infrastructure that manages to survive several Acts of Zod back to back. They also don't have functioning brains either.

Anyway Judd rats Taylor out to the GC securit and oh, how my hatred for him continually grows. But the GC responds by finally doing some on-screen evil though only NPCs will die and their deaths will not be lingered on nor mentioned after this chapter and of course, you have to question the effectiveness of open-firing on a stadium full of people in terms of, y'know, PR, but finally some actual evil from the embodiment of the Prince of Darkness.

And if you're wondering, this provokes no form of reflection from Judd even though the eeevil GC was letting their enemies hold a public gathering denouncing their leader and probably wouldn't have attacked if Judd hadn't tipped off the authorities about Taylor. Our Hero, folks, already responsible for more deaths than the anti-Christ and he's only eighteen.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Return of Token Jew or the Gathering

Vicki decides to tell Melinda her story in order to win yet another convert. Thankfully this is told mostly in a few lines of summary so we don't have to suffer through yet another reiteration of stuff we already know. I can't help but note that while Vicki is seen doing more conversions than Judd, it seems she's only shown converting other women. Guess Ellanjay take the whole "no woman should have authority over a man" very seriously.

Anyway Mark interrupts her before we get to the all-important prayer. Y'see he wants to put some parameters on who they allow to stay at the school, pointing out that unbelievers like Melinda And Charlie could endanger them, thus reminding the young RTCs reading this book that Christian hospitality means you only have to help your own; everyone else is an unperson, so you are under no obligation to rescue those left homeless or sick as a result of Acts of Zod because Zod hates everybody.

Another thing, since Zod poisoned everybody's water, shouldn't the YTF be trying to make their supplies of bottled water last as long as possible through rations? Baths and showers should be a thing of the past as water would be too scarce to use for anything but drinking. But then again, there I go again, worrying about silly things like the consequences of a world-shattering event.

But anyway, the manly men (Judd, Mr. Stein, and Lionel) are in Israel and like before, they see nothing worthy of note even though they are at one of the most holy sites in all of Christendom. They might as well have just saved money on airfare, stayed home, and gone to the local 7-11 for all the effect the Garden of Gethsemane has on them. BTW, who wants to tell Ellanjay that the keys to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre are wielded by the hands of a filthy Muslim. Every since Fred did a post on that I've wondered what would happen if someone told them. I'm betting there'll be some head-exploding action myself.

A man wearing a hat comes looking for them. But fear not, he has the Super Special Awesome Secret Marks that reveals he is a follower of the one true faith as laid out by God's prophet, Tim LaHaye. Said hat dude has what is possibly the most Jewy McJew names in the series, yes, dear readers, even more Jewy than Chaim Rosenweig. Don't believe me? Here's his name: Yitzhak Weizmann. Hat Dude (I'm going to keep calling him that, thank you) takes Our Brave Heroes to Hebrew University so they don't have to spend another night sleeping out on the streets (all hotels are booked apparently) because heaven forbid Our Band of Plucky Young RTCs be forced to suffer minor discomfort in the aftermath of a worldwide calamity. Remember if persecution required sacrifices beyond just being an asshole towards the overworked, underpaid cashier who has the gall to wish them a happy holiday or voting for Republicans in the hopes that they might eventually appoint justices who might overturn Roe vs. Wade, well let's see how long RTCs stand for their faith.

Okay so Vicki holds a meeting and to her credit, she and most of the YTF decide to open the school to anyone who wants to come. But Mark has reservations and decides to leave in search of his aunt for reasons that are not adequately explained. Back to the men.

Okay all they do is pray before this massive meeting featuring Token Jew and the Gruesome Twosome along with other RTCs from all around the world. I'm only assuming the reason that Nicky Chittagong is letting this worldwide gathering happen and not say arresting everyone or dropping a nuke when they're all at the gathering spot, is that he's got people recording the names and is informing the secret police in their home countries who needs to be made to "disappear." I have to believe this or else I'll go insane from how despite how Nicky Matterhorn is supposed to be worse than Adolf, Stalin, and Pol Pot combined, I can think of villains on Captain Planet, who were more of a threat than Nicky. Heck, Squatt and Baboo from Power Rangers were scarier and they had maybe one braincell between the two of them.

Okay so next chapter, they're at the stadium where everybody hears what's being said in their own language. The speaker gives a prayer describing Zod as a God of new beginnings and second chances which makes me, the surly, sarcastic reader of these books add, "excluding people who died as a result of the disasters caused by Zod because they died before they had a chance to take advantage of said second chance, not to mention, all the poor, who ate suffering because Zod's disasters destroyed what little societal infrastructure they had and now they can look forward to death by starvation or death from poisoned water." Either way, this gathering won't really reach them because they don't have radio or television so the desperately poor are screwed either way. But as RTCs know, the God of the Bible hates poor shmoes living in places like Somalia or Haiti. Why do you think he made them poor in the first place?

They then sing "Amazing Grace" even though given what they're up against "Be Still My Soul" might be more appropriate.

I would snark Token Jew's speech except that for the most part, it's a standard altar call speech you might hear at Bible Camp, which given that they are already believers (that's why they're at the speech) and they are going to have to live through massive suffering for five more years before the world finally ends, it seems a tad inappropriate.

But there is of course a part where he basically says, "you're either with us or against us," otherwise known as the gospel according to George W. Bush. He says this because he knows all those heathen Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. don't really believe in what they say; they just hate Jesus. Oh and Token Jew claims that those assembled in the stadium survived all the horrific Acts of Zod because Zod chose to spare them and give the middle finger to all those third-world nations because everyone knows Zod loves America above all other nations so naturally he'd make sure his chosen were either Americans or people who recognized the inherent superiority of America above all other nations. Why do you think the prophet John talks continually about how important America is in the book of Revelation?

But Leon Fortunado shows up, bringing the Super-Pope with him. But the Babelfish spell doesn't work on Leon and the Super-Pope so they're forced to rely on translators. The Super-Pope asks Token Jew to join the EBOWF. Naturally, it doesn't go over well, so Carpathia enters. The chapter ends with Judd spotting Taylor creeping along the back of the stadium. I would question how Judd can see one person in a hugeass crowded stadium, but to hell with it. I'm already excited because Taylor's going to appear in next week's snark and Taylor, by virtue of being the only one who does shit in this universe, is awesome. It can't be said enough.