Saturday, January 31, 2015

Hoping There's A Special Place in Hell for Such Awful Writers

Y'know how I said last week, that I was going to hold back on the rage and profanity, so when Dr. Rose is finally stuffed into the Fridge, my rage would be at its peak? Well for those of you who missed the rage and profanity last week, well this is the week it comes back. Just you wait, it's coming.

So Judd, being an idiot, sees Lionel missing and leaps to this conclusion: the GC found him, chopped off his arm, and dragged him away so they could guillotine him. Yeah, because that totally makes sense. The GC would totally go to all that trouble for one punk teenager as opposed to just emptying several rounds of ammunition into him.

Thankfully, Dr. Rose is here to serve as the bastion of sanity in this universe, pointing out to Judd that hello, there are only one set of tracks and a trail of blood.

They follow the trail of blood and find Lionel.

It was the most wonderful and terrible sight Judd had ever seen. The young man who had been with him since the start of the Young Tribulation Force—Lionel Washington, the strong, resourceful, solid, and steady member— stumbled out from behind a rock, his right arm held up in a wave, his shirt covered with blood. Judd’s belt was still tightly wrapped around what was left of Lionel’s left arm.

Woo...Though since when has Lionel ever been "the strong, resourceful, solid, and steady member" of the YTF? The only times I can remember him demonstrating any personality traits (and need I remind you, being Black doesn't count as a personality trait.) was in the early books when he was such a jerkass to Ryan that I kept hoping Ryan would snap and beat Lionel to death with his own Bible. But in subsequent books, it's been forever since he demonstrated any personality traits.

You also gotta wonder how Judd would describe Vicki if asked to. Probably refer to her as "the one with boobs" because being female is also a personality trait according to Ellanjay.

Anyway, Dr. Rose continues to be a caring physician, giving Lionel pain medication, as he and Judd carry him to Dr. Rose's car.

Lionel passes out when he's loaded into the car. Judd decides to do what everyone should do in a crisis and picks up the phone and calls Vicki. For those of you who don't remember, Vicki's idea of getting help for Lionel was not to call every Tribble she could think of to help organize search parties; her ideas of help was to think happy thoughts in Lionel's general direction. Anyway, they talk and it's really boring and unsnarkable, so let's fast-forward.

Dr. Rose doesn't take Lionel to the hospital, because he knows what would happen if Judd and Lionel showed up there without Marks. Dr. Rose instead takes Lionel to his house and starts treating him there. While Dr. Rose treats Lionel...well for those of you who were biting your nails raw wondering when we were going to get more Exciting!TV!Watching!Action, well don't worry. Judd takes time to flip on the TV.

The world was still in awe of the miracle workers. These false messiahs performed miraculous deeds for the sick, diseased, maimed, and disabled. One program featured a collection of video clips from around the world. After a miracle had been performed, the video made sure viewers knew this was all done by Nicolae’s power.

Okay, like I said before, I did fast-forward through Vicki and Judd's conversation, but now I feel a need to bring up a point mentioned in said conversation. Basically it's told through narration with Vicki filling in what had happened in Wisconsin. Judd then narrates that he couldn't believe how God had answered their prayers.

To which I say, how did God answer your prayers? Lionel had to hack off his arm with a pocket knife and probably would have died if it weren't for the efforts of a heathen. God didn't save your asses; Man did!

Not to mention, once again, God uses his supernatural powers to kill everyone, which is seen as a good thing. Whereas Nicky uses his supernatural powers to save people, and that's seen as a bad thing! No, that will not stop pissing me off.

We do get a cameo appearance from Z-Van, which makes me smile. I thought for certain they had shuffled him off-screen to whatever nether-space characters in this series go when they're not being mentioned. But for those wanting more bad lyrics, Z-Van's appearance is basically a cameo.

In fact, what happens is at the concert, we get a visit from two angels, one named Christopher and the other, Nahum. Because Ellanjay haven't overused that plot device--having angels appear, deliver a message, and leave without accomplishing Jack--at all. It's entirely fresh and original to anyone not suffering from Anterograde Amnesia.

As you guessed, nothing was accomplished by the angels' visit. All they did was show up, do a variation on "You need to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior," and leave.

I admit that, despite wanting to, I've held back on the salty language thus far. Don't worry; I'll soon stop.

Judd turns off the TV. Dr. Rose comes in and gives a rundown on Lionel's condition. Lionel's fine but take care of him so he doesn't get an infection. Then Dr. Rose asks, "You really know where my wife and baby are?"

Judd nods. Then Dr. Rose points at his Mark and says, "And because of this I'm not going?"

Judd nods again and I feel the need to post the entire end to this chapter. I try to avoid doing bigass quotes, but sometimes, in order to truly appreciate just how FUCKING AWFUL this book is, sometimes you need bigass quotes. Besides, I'm a firm believer in Misery Loves Company.

“I don’t get it. I’ve tried to help people. You’d think God would take that into account.”

“It’s not about doing good things.”

Before Judd could explain more, the doctor moved into the shadows. “I guess I had my chance.” His voice cracked as he spoke again. “Do me a favor, would you?”

“If I can.”

“Assuming you make it to where my wife and baby are, would you tell her I love her?”

The man’s voice trailed off, and he whispered something Judd couldn’t hear. It was clear he was in despair, and Judd wanted to say something to make him feel better, but what? What could he say to someone facing eternal separation from God and the people he loved?

Dr. Rose picked up the phone and dialed a number. “Judy, it’s Pat. I’m taking a couple of days off. I really need to be away. Don’t try my beeper or phone.” He put the phone down, climbed the stairs, and Princess followed, whimpering. The door closed.

Judd grew tired. He found a pillow in the living room and carried it to the stairs leading to the basement.

The gunshot startled him. It came from Dr. Rose’s bedroom. He dropped the pillow and took the stairs three at a time. Judd stopped at Dr. Rose’s door and shook his head. He didn’t look inside. He knew what he would find.


You have no idea how long I've scoured YouTube, trying to find the perfect clip to sum up the rage I'm feeling right now. I'm starting to think there isn't one. So, I'll provide two clips that kind of illustrate my reaction to this part: Here's a G-Rated Version. And for those of you less easily offended, the Uncensored Version.

And now, I'll do what you've all come to expect of me: get into an all-caps screaming rant.



Sorry about that. I think I've officially used up my yearly allotment of F-bombs and it's only the end of January. Heaven help us...

Though now that I've calmed down somewhat, we can play a game I like to play when faced with shitty art: Discontinuity For those unfamiliar with this game or too lazy to click on the link, in Discontinuity, basically you take the parts of canon you like, work with those, while ignoring the parts of canon you don't like. For example, let's go with the Donner ending to Superman II. Unlike the official ending, the Donner ending has a real sense of pathos with Superman and Lois Lane breaking up, whereas the official ending has the Amnesia Kiss, a truly stupid Asspull. Or for more examples, many people cling to the theory that Zion in The Matrix trilogy is simply a backup program created by the machines to convince the rebels that they've woken up and not fallen further down the rabbit hole. Or Anakin Skywalker was consciously or unconsciously manipulating Padme's emotions using the Force, which would totally explain all the inconsistencies in her behavior.

That's the beauty of discontinuity: when things don't go your way, throw out what doesn't work. Regarding the LB-verse, I've currently decided that Dr. Rose didn't actually shoot himself, but he knows that punk Judd won't leave him alone unless Judd thought he was safely damned for all eternity, so Dr. Rose fired into the ceiling, slipped out a window and he will soon meet up with Taylor, Hasina, and Joel, and together they'll mount a massive war against the Heavens. If nothing else, I imagine Judd dying and the LB-version of Dives and Lazarus plays out with Dr. Rose standing at God's side while Judd burns. Think of it as being similar to the afterlife I imagine for Fred Phelps, where he dies and sees Matthew Shepherd and Debbie Valgos standing at God's right side.

Yeah, I know, only one chapter, but I've reached my limit for this week. I need to drown my sorrows in whatever I can find. It's times like this, I shake my head and marvel at the guy who inspired this blog: Fred Clark aka Slacktivist. Because given that the wrongness in LB: the Kids is mild compared to the wrongness of the adult books...yeah, not going to say more.


Firedrake said...

"Clearly, the GC patrols carry tools for cutting off someone's arm that don't work for cutting off his head."

That stuff on the TV sounds like a Fifties propaganda film about how awesome America is. These guys really are a different generation even from me (born in the late 1960s) never mind the people who were kids when these books came out.

You know that time travel stuff never works. "So how did you meet?" "Well, funny story, we were both in physiotherapy because we'd been kicked down flights of stairs…"

Please accept this virtual pint of whatever you fancy.

Mouse said...

I suppose I really should hold off on Time Travel. If fiction has taught me anything, it's that Time Travel is fraught with confusing paradoxes that make my head hurt just thinking about it. Besides, I find myself thinking, suppose I actually did it, invented Time Travel and made it so LaHaye and Jenkins were never born. But wasn't the whole reason for my decision to travel back in time, the existence of their truly shitty books. So if I remove them from the timeline, Left Behind and its assorted spinoffs don't exist, so...oh, I'm going to stop now, because I'm starting to get a headache. I suppose there could be a chance that traveling back in time would simply create a new timeline and there wouldn't all those confusing paradoxes. I wonder if I should take that chance.

Firedrake said...

"There is another theory that states this has already happened."

It would be kind of amusing if the time paradox arose from when LaHaye was an gunner on Army Air Force bombers in Europe during WWII, rather than from the books.

katster said...

Hey Mouse, I think you've got the harder job in all honesty. I've read both the adult and kids books, and the kids books nearly had me throwing them across the room with the stupid like this -- whereas I mainly remember the adult books as tolerable if I disengaged the brain...

aunursa said...

In fact, what happens is at the concert, we get a visit from two angels, one named Christopher and the other, Nahum.

Christopher and Nahum also appear in the corresponding book in the main series. They are two of the three angels who appear to Tribble Ming Toy. Christopher notifies Ming that the author has whimsically decided that she and her mom will survive until the Glorious Appearing the end of Book #12.

Firedrake said...

"Christopher notifies Ming that the author has whimsically decided that she and her mom will survive until the Glorious Appearing the end of Book #12."

"Great! So now I have no excuse for not preaching the good word to everybody everywhere."

Blank Ron said...

It has taken me some time to calm down. And Ms Mouse, you are to be commended for your taste and restraint in expressing yourself about the fate of Dr. Rose.

The message, though, couldn't be clearer if it were made of transparent aluminum: Even if you're the Best Person In The Book, even if you're the very model of what Yeshua was taking about all those years ago, the SECOND you drink the Kool-Aid you will instantly be filled with existential despair at having been Oh So Wrong and want to off yourself for being an Awful Person. Because evangelical blather is just SO COMPELLING. Especially when delivered by a self-absorbed teenager whose idea of gratitude is to spend his time telling you how wrong you are about everything.

When I Win The Lottery I want to film all the books for the specific purpose of bringing back MST3K so that Joel (or Mike) and the bots can savage them to their snarky hearts' content. Oh, what a scene this li'l segment would inspire!

spiritplumber said...

The gunshot startled him. It came from Dr. Rose’s bedroom. He dropped the pillow and took the stairs three at a time. Judd stopped at Dr. Rose’s door and shook his head. He didn’t look inside. He knew what he would find: a picture of Nicolae and one of Jesus, shot through the forehead with the same bullet, and a note saying I AM COMING FOR YOU.