Saturday, September 20, 2014

Poor Evangelical Tools

So Cyrus and his loyal rednecks are storming the hole-in-the-ground where Vicki and her friends are hiding out. Whatever will they do?!

Vicki's genius plan is to go to Cyrus's hideout and witness to the others there, while Cyrus and his band of mooks have their attention focused on Vicki's hideout. I know there are probably tons of holes in this scheme but given how rare we ever see any kind of strategic thinking in these books...I'm going to let it slide. Besides given that, to paraphrase a commentator, modern militia movements are heavy on the Red Dawn and light on the Che Guevera, it's possible this strategy would work.

While this is going on, Judd decides to talk to Lionel about whether he should stay in France or go back to America. Lionel is not pleased at the possibility of Judd staying and because I like to add more slash to the LB-verse, I'm going to assume it's because he wants to know Judd in the biblical sense and doesn't like the idea of competing with Foreign McForeign for the privilege.

Judd is like "Perryn's death really affected me and I feel like I owe his dad" and I'm like really? You saw Perryn for all of five minutes before he was murdered. You two never exchanged a word of conversation with each other. All you know about him is what other people have told you. So what the Hell, Judd?

Judd gets all emo and wonders just what they accomplished in Israel. I'm wondering the same thing, but then again these are the Heroes who Don't Do Anything. He talks about how they rescued Z-Van from the rubble of the earthquake, but that led to Z-Van taking the Mark and becoming one of the Legion of the Damned. I am like o_O at this statement. Is Judd saying the Christian thing to do would have been to let Z-Van die slowly from being crushed by rubble? But Lionel's like, "If we hadn't rescued Z-Van, Westin wouldn't have become a believer."

Judd then asks, "So why did God send us here?" Lionel says "For our protection," though given that all these disasters are affecting the entire Earth, I don't see how they're safer in France than they are anywhere else. Lionel stands by his decision to GTFO back to the states as soon as possible. Judd asks about bringing the French believers and Lionel, in a rare show of intelligence, is like "Which is easier, smuggling three people back to the states or a crowd?"

The section at long last ends with Judd wondering what he's going to do. Now, we cut back to Vicki.

What we have is an action sequence. I'm going to fast-forward through most of it, because like I said before, action scenes in these books are dull as hell because nothing ever happens. I know RTCs blanche at the thought of anyone's kids reading Harry Potter, but at least JK Rowling knows there has to be a chance of lasting physical and/or psychological harm coming to her characters. That's why her action scenes work whereas Ellanjay's can DIAF.

Vicki and the others are trying to get into Cyrus's hideout, when Tanya hears her father over the radio, causing her to pause. The others work at trying to break the prisoners out of the underground base while Tanya talks with her father over the radio.

I'll admit I don't like Cyrus as much as I used to, ever since he went into melt-down mode. But given how utterly unlikeable the protagonists are and how unlikeable their beliefs are, the reader is forced to side with anyone who doesn't immediately kowtow to the Tribbles simply because that's their only option. Granted what will happen to Cyrus is either he'll convert and lose what little shading his character has or he'll be punted into hell, after which Tanya won't give a lick about him, even though he's her father.

Tanya, following the RTC standard of aiming for emotional wounds, decides to talk about her slaughtered raptured mother. Cyrus mentions that her mother had some crazy beliefs and wanted to share them with her children, but he refused to let her tell them, and she being a good RTC wife obeyed him, writing them down in a letter. Tanya's like "A letter?" and Cyrus wins a few character points by giving a fairly accurate summation of RTC beliefs.

“Yeah. Doesn’t make much sense. Just a string of verses and some gibberish she copied from the radio. I do think God will accept her, even if she wasn’t thinking clearly.”

I like that last line. When a gun-toting redneck shows more compassion than your protagonists, something is wrong.

The chapter ends with Tanya going, "I have to find that letter."

The second chapter...more action scenes for me to fast-forward through.

Tanya and Vicki and the others are trying to get into to Cyrus's hideout and bust out the seven people he's imprisoned for being rebellious. Frankly I think it's rather kind of Cyrus to imprison rebels rather than doing what most militias would probably do which is shoot them. Again, they're a paranoid group of Christian/Hindu Survivalists; they probably believe mercy is one of those effete European possibly homosexual ideals.

I'll sum it up. Cyrus is storming Vicki's hideout but Vicki makes it out of his hideout with not only the seven rebels but the all important letter.

Once Vicki and the group of new recruits are safely back at their hole-in-the-ground, we get Exciting!TV!Watching!Action. What's on the news, you ask? Well, it's a discussion with a director, Lars Rahlmost (giving us the chance to play "Guess the Ethnicity!"), discussing his documentary on Nicky's resurrection.

The documentary also has a clip where an RTC preaches about how Nicky's the anti-Christ before being hauled off and killed on camera. I'm assuming Lars Rahlmost is supposed to be the GC's Michael Moore so I gotta wonder why was this footage included? If Satan's trying to recruit as many people as he can for the battle against God, he probably wouldn't want his propagandist sharing the sacred truth for the entire world to hear.

The chapter ends with Tanya reading her mother's letter and crying. If you're wondering, the letter's the standard altar-call kind of witness we get in every book, even though you'd think if her mother really wanted to influence her children, she'd cite Zod saving Israel from being nuked miracle or even just make a list saying, "Here's what's going to happen." Like I've said before, while these books are supposed to help young believers evangelize, they do a piss-poor job of it because the deck is stacked; unlike the readers, the characters of these books have seen incontrovertible proof of the existence of God. The readers will probably go their entire lives without seeing God swat aside nukes, so this fails as a tool of evangelism.

1 comment:

Firedrake said...

The thing with Perryn could just be Judd's inevitable PTSD kicking in at last.

I think that in most circumstances someone ranting on camera about how the World President is the anti-Christ doesn't really do his own side any favours.