Saturday, February 23, 2013

Cultural Insensitivity Ahoy!

Judd is tossing and turning thinking of what Lionel said. Sometime during the night, he gets up and notices that Sam has left. He wakes Lionel and they search and find a note left under Sam's pillow.

Lionel and Judd,

I know you won’t like this and you may not understand it, but I have to talk with my dad. I keep having the dream and it scares me. One of the verses I’ve read lately is in 1 John. It says, “Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear.” So I think God wants me to face this. If I don’t, I’ll live the rest of my life wondering about my dad.
You don’t have to worry about me giving you guys up. The GC can do anything they want, but I’ll never give them any information about the Force.
In case something happens, don’t come looking for me. If I can make it back to you, I will. I still dream about visiting the schoolhouse in the States.
God bless you. Thank you for showing me the truth and for being my friend.
In Christ,

Much as it pains me to admit it, I have to commend Sam: he is actually trying to show Christian Witness unlike the rest of the TF, who are happy to hide and smirk about how they've got it all figured out. Granted, Sam loses a few points in that he's only concerned about a blood relative, but still.

Still, Lionel is pissed and blames Judd. But before they can do anything, there's a knock at the door. They open it, only to find Mr. Stein. For those of you who've forgotten, he and Judd parted ways when Mr. Stein decided to go deeper into Africa to witness. Where in Africa? Wouldn't know because Ellanjay, like so many other hack writers, treat Africa like a monolithic country when in reality it's a continent made up of 54 countries.

Meanwhile, on Vicki's end, the kids are getting a minivan and preparing to go visit other churches. Not much really happens and there's really no snarkable material except that apparently instead of dollars, we have Nicks now. This amuses me because you'd think it'd be easier to just convert to an entirely electronic money system, which would fulfill the Mark of the Beast part of the prophecy, rather than going to the trouble of minting a new monetary system after yourself. But as Fred has so eloquently illustrated in his snarks, Nicky's rather bad at this Supervillain scheme.

But anyway, meanwhile on Judd's end, he and Lionel and Mr. Stein talk about their adventures and before I begin snarking Mr. Stein's testimony, I've got to warn you: if any of you have issues with blood pressure or ulcers or anything aggravated by rage, please have your medications on hand. I don't wanna be responsible for hospitalizing anyone.

So here it goes.

“As I traveled farther into the country, things became spiritually darker. In one village, I noticed there were very few young people. I learned that these people had been terrified by the Rapture of their children. They knew nothing of the true God and believed a spirit had stolen their children in the night.
“So, when the other judgments came—the earthquake, the stars falling from the sky, the darkened sun, and so forth—they believed the spirit wanted their older children. To please this angry god, they planned to sacrifice one child each day.”

That sound you hear is me grinding my teeth. Nice job, Ellanjay, painting an entire continent as a bunch of goat-herding, spear-wielding primatives...Have you ever heard of Nairobi? As in the largest city in Kenya? Believe it or not, Africa does :gasp: have cities, complete with trained professionals. They aren't all a bunch of brutes stirring missionaries in pots.

Though if we are talking about the less-traveled parts of Africa, I can point out that much of Africa is Christian. In fact, in some places, they're so Christian that they persecute witches, thus taking your theology to its logical extreme.

But most importantly, given how much time has past in the Ellanjay universe, and if they've really been sacrificing a child a day, how is it that they still have a population? Or do they think Africans reproduce by dividing in two like flatworms or by budding?

Sorry for the long-winded rant but they hit a nerve.

“I spoke to them and told them that the Great Spirit was almighty God and that he took their children because he was kind and loving. Their sons and daughters who had vanished were safe in heaven.”

That still doesn't change the fact that Zod killed their children. They're children are just as dead as if a nuke had been dropped on them.

But if you're wondering, those silly, superstitious Africans immediately bow towards white man's knowledge the inspiring word of Zod and convert.

Judd then asks Mr. Stein how he got back from Africa. I'm kind of wondering the same thing. I can't help but be marveled at Nicky Rieseferner's infrastructure which manages to withstand several acts of Zod back to back. The entire planet should look worse than post-earthquake Haiti, yet they still have internet, running water, and flights to and from where they need to be.

Next chapter, anyway, Mr. Stein starts to feel that Zod is calling him to go north so he does, winding up in Casablanca. Someone wanna tell Ellanjay that Casablanca looks like this so maybe they'll stop acting like Africa's the darkest continent or something?

Anyway, in Casablanca, he gets hired onto a crew only to discover that they're smuggling heroin and cocaine. Surprisingly, when they discover that Mr. Stein's an RTC (unlike the rest of the YTF, he preaches to anyone within earshot) they don't throw him overboard like real smugglars would do.

A storm breaks out and the men are afraid, but Mr. Stein says that according to the scripture, no one can die during the period following the locust attack. This amuses me and makes me think of that one episode of Family Guy where Peter takes over as Death. Naturally because Peter doesn't want to kill anybody, problems soon arise as people start to think the laws of life and death no longer apply. I can't help but think of something similar happening in the Ellanjay universe. Not to mention, you'd think this might shake a few skeptics. Wouldn't someone be like "Hey I was riddled with bullets in a gang shoot-out yet I'm not dead" and think that's just a little bit odd? It's almost like Ellanjay doesn't think through the consequences of the stuff they throw into their story but that can't be the case. :eyeroll:

Long story short, the entire crew converts and throws their cargo overboard. Now I know my readers are thinking that throwing drugs overboard probably isn't the smartest thing to do, but the nameless crew, still showing more stones than all of the TF put together, decide that they're going to go to Greece to witness to the buyers, believing that no one is so bad that they can't be saved. My response is: what about the anti-Christ? Does this mean if the TF witnessed to him and he converted that Zod's entire plan goes out the window? Or is Nicky Cordillera just puppet who can't do anything except what he's been programmed to do and will be punished for playing the part Zod created him to play?

Anyway, Mr Stein somehow wound up back in Israel and his tale is so inspiring that Judd and Nada decide to have a talk about their future.

Judd nodded. “I want to be just like him. He’s singleminded and won’t let anything get in the way of doing what God wants.”
Nada stared at Judd. “What does that do to us? Am I a distraction?”
Judd smiled. “You’re a good distraction. But I’ve been thinking a lot about Pavel and Sam. Lionel’s called me on this a couple of times and I think he’s right. I’ve let down my friends. Being with you is great. Our friendship means a lot to me, but right now it just seems . . .”
“Yeah, exactly.” Judd paused and looked into Nada’s eyes. “Maybe God wants us to work together. Maybe he wants us apart. I don’t know which it’s supposed to be. But whatever God wants, that’s what I want.”
“I understand,” Nada said. “Me too. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t hurt. I felt like we were growing together. Let’s not tell anyone about this until we’re sure what God wants us to do.”
“Agreed,” Judd said. “Let’s be totally committed to doing what God wants us to do from now on.”

Nada's taking this "I'm dumping you for godly reasons" thing awfully well. Me, I'm starting to wonder if I need to dust off my Ho Yay tag in that Judd seems to care a lot more about what his male friends think of him than what Nada does.

So that's the snark for this week.

1 comment:

Firedrake said...

I think it was probably after this book was written that RTCs got all enthusiastic about Christian brotherhood with Uganda (on the grounds that the latter was planning to make homosexuality punishable by death).

(This is probably still a better treatment of people suddenly not dying than Torchwood Miracle Day.)