Sunday, March 9, 2014

Magic vs. Science

Sorry about the late post. I was busy yesterday and forgot.

I went to Wikipedia to look up a few things about the series. Yeah, I know I'm subjecting myself to a lot of spoilers, but really is there anything to spoil? If you want to know what happens to a character in Left Behind, all you have to do is know their role in the plot. Frankly I was surprised that Jenkins actually went through with killing Buck given that he is clearly meant to be his self-insert. But then again, Buck gets a Super Special Awesome Upgraded Body for dying a martyr, so everything still turns out well for him in the end.

Anyway, the character I was looking up in particular was Natalie. Because I was under the impression that she was a teenager and/or very young. Wikipedia didn't give me her exact age but didn't do anything to sway me otherwise, so as far as I'm concerned, Natalie's young.

The point I'm trying to make in all this rambling is that if Natalie is so young, then why is it that everyone seems to defer to her. I have no problem with Nicky Alleghenies using child soldiers, but why would they have any real power? Shouldn't all the major decisions about who to arrest and question be made be people higher up in command? Plus again, no one seems to notice how awful she is at her job. How many people have escaped under her watch?

Natalie walks down the cell block to talk with the others. She promises Bo that she will get him and Ginny out, and talks with a newly converted prisoner (yes, we get to see the conversion scene and its the same as every other one in the series), before talking with Zeke.

Zeke surprisingly doesn't want her to try to spring him, saying that it's time he made his stand and that springing him would cause too much trouble.

After she finishes talking with Zeke, she receives a phone call. Apparently the GC are finally putting two and two together and realizing that Natalie might be a mole. Gee, you think?

The second chapter begins with questioning from Jim Dekker aka the guy who's accused her of being part of the YTF. It starts out promising with him basically calling her on her bullshit, but I'm afraid I have to spoil it for you guys. Jim takes off his hat and it turns out he has the all-important Zod-mark. So yeah, potential source of tension strangled in its cradle before it could every really begin.

He agrees that Zeke is too high-profile to bust out but agrees that they might be able to rescue the others. He then gives her something called the Cube to send to the YTF, which she does.

The cube if you're wondering is a animated program that walks you through Ellanjay's theology. Which as I remind you isn't the VeggieTales "God created you and he loves you very much" but "God loves you which is why he's trying very hard to kill you horribly so that none should perish but all shall have ever-lasting life."

The snark seems a little skimpy so I think I'll give you a little more.

Next chapter begins with them distributing The Cube but only to the right people, of course, even though there's no reason to be afraid of sweet, sweet martyrdom. But Colin has an idea.

Colin Dial walked in smiling. “I just talked with my friend who helped me find this equipment. I told him what Dekker created, and he’s found a truckload of some personal digital organizers. You could give one of those to a person on the street if you want, or pull it out and use it as you’re talking with someone.”

“I just saw a report about the satellite schools,” Conrad said. “They’re starting up again. We could pass those gadgets out to people going inside.”

Personal Digital Organizers? Are they talking about Palm Pilots? That sound you hear is me laughing derisively.

It also makes me wonder what's going on in the adult books. Are they even doing anything to try to get word out like the YTF or are they just smirking about how they've got it all figured out?

They get another message from Token Jew. Basically up next is Nicky defiling the temple which as I recall, means pig-riding. I can hardly wait.

“You might be right,” Vicki said. “Tsion teaches that God’s people will be supernaturally protected.”

“What does that mean?” “Do you remember back before the disappearances when Israel was attacked?”

“You mean all the bombs that fell but didn’t kill anybody?”

Ah yes, those bombs that didn't cause any change whatsoever in peoples' faith. I remember those.

Vicki says God and his angels will protect the Jewish people, but we all know this protection doesn't last long. As Gershom Gorenberg puts it, "Left Behind is a five act play in which the Jews either convert or die in the fourth act."

Natalie receives word that she's going to receive the mark soon.

What has Judd been doing you ask? Well he's been hanging around with Z-Van and thinking about Chang. And we meet Cyril Bernard, aka Z-Van's agent, whom I'm forced to picture as Bernie Taupin based on the description given.

Cyril dressed in colorful clothes and huge glasses. His shoes sparkled and he smelled of too much cologne. “This project is going to be, without a doubt, the greatest album in the history of modern recording,” Cyril said in his heavy British accent. “It represents the two greatest comebacks—”

Did I not tell you he's basically Bernie Taupin?

What happens next is Fortunado holds yet another audience full of Exposition.

Apparently a lot of people are building Nicky statues and I can't really blame them. After all, Satan's managed to witness to people without killing them horribly which is more than Zod can do.

Fortunado brings up the possibility of fake marks.

Fortunato addressed the possibility of counterfeit marks. “While it may be impossible for any but highly skilled and trained observers to tell a fake mark from the real, biochip scanners cannot be fooled.”

They keep using terms like biochips, but as Firedrake has put it, the whole Mark of the Beast scenario really has more in common with magic than science.

The chapter ends with Judd saying, "Chang doesn't have much time" and I think that's a good place to leave you all this week. Sorry again for the late post.


Firedrake said...

Spoiler: all the good guys go to heaven, all the bad guys go to hell.

"I'll put it under my hat. They'll NEVER think of looking there!"

"God loves you. Even though you're a worthless piece of crap. That's just how much God loves you. Yay God!"

Ride the pig! Ride the pig! Ride the pig!

aunursa said...

Frankly I was surprised that Jenkins actually went through with killing Buck given that he is clearly meant to be his self-insert.

Early in the series, Bruce Barnes tells Rayford, Chloe, and Buck that 75% of the population left behind will be killed during the Tribulation. "Chances are, only one out of the four of us will survive to the Glorious Appearing."

Jenkins has written that he knew early in the series that Rayford would be the one survivor.

And I suspected as much. Book #1 begins with Rayford's perspective. And 8 or 9 of the sequels begin with Rayford. The other three earliest members of the Tribulation Force meet each other through him. So it was natural that he would be the only one of the four to reach Book #12 alive.

Brin said...

Cyril Bernard [...] said in his heavy British accent

Is this supposed to be some sort of attempt to dodge accusations of racism? Everyone gets ridiculously stereotyped names equally? (Although, I don't know, have we had any Eagle McJingoists yet?)