Sunday, October 9, 2016

The TOLjugend

Happy Sunday, everybody!

Let's put on some music to get us pumped up and get to it! I will agree with xkcd
that's it's very rarely worth it to read YouTube comments (in fact, don't ever read the comments at all), but I thought this one was charming:

I looked up good AC/DC songs and every single AC/DC song came up...the most accurate I have ever seen google

Thought I'd give you a bit of levity, because this I've said before, some a-holes do some build up first. Ellanjay are the type who come right out of the gate with it.

IN MANY ways, Rayford decided, what had become known as the Cendrillon Jospin tragedy became a catalyst for good.

I know not everybody's as nuts about profanity as I am about profanity (you have no idea how happy I was, when for once, science backed a vice, rather than spoiled it for me) but really the only response I could give to this line alone was, "Fuck you, Rayford."

Because he is such an asshole, probably the kind of guy for whom the word asshole was invented. As such, I have no difficulty picturing Rayford doing any and all of the things mentioned in the Denis Leary song. Rayford parks like the guy in the red car and uses the Dickhead lane on the highway, patting himself on the back all the while for being so much smarter than the hoi polloi. Good luck trying to get him to tip more than ten percent, even though he sent the poor waiter in and out of the kitchen who-knows-how-many times, because something was slightly off about the placement of tomatoes on his burger. In fact, you should be grateful if Rayford managed to put out actual money, as opposed one of those tracts that look like money but aren't.*

Like I've said before, you can write stories with an asshole protagonist. Again, I cite as example, Seinfeld. But Seinfeld worked because everyone involved, knew these characters were assholes. They knew while Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer may see themselves as the mistreated heroes of their own stories (and really, everyone sees themselves as the hero of their story), the truth is nope, they're assholes.

Again, asshole protagonists don't work when the writers are just as wrapped in delusion as the characters, and don't realize they've written an asshole. And if you're going to write an asshole, remember, fiction has to be more realistic than reality. Like I keep saying, if you make them an asshole, at least make them a larger-than-life one, rather than the boring everyday kind you go to entertainment to escape. Tony Stark is an ass, but at the same time, he's charming enough that you understand why people would want to hang around this guy. Heck, the whole plan behind Tony Stark was to create a character the readers wouldn't like, then make the readers like this character, which is pretty awesome. Not quite as cool as Captain America's origin**, which has him punching out Hitler right on the front cover and from there on, is nothing but page after page of Nazi-punching action, all this months before America actually entered WWII, but still pretty cool.

That's one of the things I love so very much about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Because Tony Stark is the kind of character who could have easily wound up being insufferable. Arrogant as all-get-out, classic womanizer, major ego problem, but while I'm totally on Team For The Love Of God, Why Hasn't Someone Gotten Tony Into Therapy, I still have no problems following this character. Though seriously, Tony probably should have gone to therapy after Avengers I. Certainly after Iron Man 3 and the fact that no one suggested it to him after Age of Ultron...yeah, I'm really looking all side-eyed at all his friends.

tl;dr, it all comes down to awareness. Since Ellanjay are part of a subculture that rewards you for having a complete lack of it, everything about them is painful, ESPECIALLY the writing.

As if the first line wasn't painful enough, here's the rest of the paragraph that goes with it.

Good that most in the kingdom did not even know was needed. Somehow, over the first century of the Millennium, the citizenry had taken for granted that what they were experiencing was merely a picture of heaven. Every adult was part of the fold, and the precious children who weren’t soon would be, largely due to the ministry of COT. People had begun sending their offspring there daily.

:Sideshow Bob shudder: Oh, so many jokes that I could make, none of them at all appropriate. Though dammit, I can't seem to escape all the creepy sex stuff. Since I already talked a few weeks ago a little about how the intersection of religion and power, leads to children being horribly abused, I request permission to bow out and shudder for a while. Maybe while scouring my flesh with steel wool.

Outside Israel, no similar ministries had sprung up— at least ones of that magnitude. So to learn that Cendrillon was only the first of many to die at age one hundred— and such deaths began the day after her funeral— spread alarm through Eden. If in the very capital of the world, where Jesus Himself ruled from the throne through David and where the greatest outreach to children was headquartered, there could be hundreds— yea, thousands— dying lost, what did that say about the rest of the world?

I'd make some quip about the number of bumper stickers on the back of Rayford's (and by extension, Ellanjay's car), but it's probably safest to say that Rayford's car is entirely bumper stickers. And of course, he would have a Calvin peeing sticker, because it's like a requirement for a-holes to either have a Calvin peeing sticker or a Confederate Flag Sticker on their cars. If someone has both, it's totally okay to run in the opposite direction. Times in life, forget honor, forget dignity, just GTFO. Honor and dignity won't help you much if you stay.

Though again, the characters themselves keep admitting that this story makes no goddanged sense, again, making me wonder, why the hell this book exists. Can't think of a single excuse except "Filthy filthy lucre." Because Janitor not believing in the moon makes more sense, than the TOL rebellion. There's some twisted logic in saying that the moon is just the back of the sun, but the TOL see and talk with TurboJesus and Zod on a daily basis.

Not believing in them would be like if I were to say, "I don't believe in chairs." Then the other person would be like, "What are you sitting in?" And if I were to say, "I'm not sitting in anything," while my feet are resting on the floor and my butt is touching the cushion of a chair and my back rests against it...I'd say something about psychosis or dementia, but probably even people suffering from either of those conditions would have a greater grip on reality.

Like I keep saying, A Children of the Goats or something like "I believe in you. I'm just not afraid of you," from Rise of the Guardians kind of rebellion would work. But it would force Ellanjay to actually hear the other side's argument and maybe concede that the Strawman Has A Point on some stuff, which we all know they can't do.

So instead, we have a sliver of the population's children being so grotesquely delusional, they can't in anyway be receiving adequate input from their senses, who will be punted into Hell for having some horrific psychological condition, even though if Zod and TurboJesus wanted to, they could easily repair whatever function in the brain has gone wrong, with none of the unpleasant side effects associated with antipsychotic meds in our world. Yet they don't, because, well, just see the Denis Leary song.

Ray-Ray is being all manly, talking about how it certainly adds to his call. Saintly Irene is mentioned, but I was more curious about another issue, so I took advantage of the "Search Inside This Book" feature.

I was wondering if Amanda would make any future appearances after TurboJesus showed up and Chaim read Ray-Ray that verse about how no one will be married in Heaven. Turns out she isn't mentioned again until about 96% of the way through the book. Even though you'd think as Ray-Ray's second wife, she mattered a little. Heck, I'm wondering why Ellanjay bothered to have Ray-Ray remarry, given that Amanda gets killed not too later on. Me, being the kind of person that I am, can only assume Ho Yay. Wanted to assert that despite Ray-Ray's obsession with masculinity and doing everything he can to assert what a manly man he is, Ray-Ray is most definitely not Gay. He barely cringes when he performs his husbandly duties. :laughs than cringes: Give up, guys. I'll repeat what I say about A Separate Peace: there is probably Gay Porn out there that is less homoerotic than the interactions between your characters.

Then we get this weird bit with Token Jew.

“No, I daresay it will not. I am intrigued, however, Rayford, as you do not qualify as a ‘son of Israel.’ You see, Isaiah writes of you as a stranger and the sons of Israel as priests and ministers of God.” Tsion opened his Bible. “The prophet is writing to Israel, not to Gentiles, when he says, ‘Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the foreigner shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. But you—‘ emphasis mine—’ shall be named the priests of the Lord, they shall call you the servants of our God.’  ”

I have no idea why they have this bit in there. From the looks of it, it will Go Nowhere and Do Nothing, just like everything else in this series. I have no idea which part of the convoluted PMD mythos this goes with. Best guess, maybe it's another attempt to desperately assert that they are totally not Anti-Semitic.

Thanks to Google (because while Ellanjay mention it's from Isaiah, they left out chapter and verse numbers), my best guess as to which bit Token Jew is citing (because Isaiah is hella long with some 66 chapters) is Isaiah 61, verse five, and good lord, that's some impressive quote-mining/point-dodging going on there.

Because read any of the material actually surrounding their bit and you're given a completely different impression from what Ellanjay seem to imply. Ellanjay envision all this as merely a new kind of hierarchy, where everyone is assigned a new position in the chain of being. Everyone has people below them, who must answer to them, and they, in turn, must answer to the people above them and so on and so forth. They can't envision Heaven as anything other than a luxurious corporate team-building exercise.

Whereas Isaiah speaks of it almost as a form of Jubilee, where everyone will have what they need and there will no longer be masters and slaves or any need for prisons or prisoners. Heck, the Gospel of Luke has Jesus himself quoting the opening of Isaiah 61, so it's not like these are rare, obscure verses no one has ever heard of. It's not quite John 3:16, but it's fairly well-known.

Token Jew, remembering that his position in the hierarchy means that he is, at all times, subordinate to Ray-Ray, immediately sets about mollifying Ray-Ray's wounded ego.

“Well, I don’t know, especially if it is God putting this on your heart. As you know, as a Gentile you are an adopted child of God. I don’t suppose the Lord would preclude your doing missionary work, especially now. Zechariah prophesied that missionaries of the kingdom would find eager ears among the nations. He wrote: ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Peoples shall yet come, inhabitants of many cities; the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, ‘Let us continue to go and pray before the Lord, and seek the Lord of hosts. I myself will go also.’ Yes, many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord.” Thus says the Lord of hosts: “In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’  ”  ’  ”

“Well, again, Tsion, I am not a Jewish man. Perhaps I’ve intercepted a call that was intended for you.”

“You know better than that. Seek the Lord with all your heart, and I know you will do what He asks.”

If you can find a way to interpret this passage so Token Jew isn't basically giving Ray-Ray a verbal handjob, reminding him once again that he is the single greatest human and no one has as great a...knowledge of the Bible as he, I'd like to hear it.

Though because I'm an anal-retentive English Major, let's use Google and try to find that passage Token Jew is citing from Zechariah, shall we? Again, have to use Google, because Ellanjay can seldom be bothered to cite chapter and verse numbers, making it clear that for all their talk about how you should read your Bible, they really don't mean it.

Near as I can tell, Token Jew is quoting the tail end of Zechariah 8. You can read through the rest of that chapter and see how well Ellanjay's version lines up with the original text. Me, I'm just going to take Ellanjay's approach to scripture, pick and choose a few I like, ignore the other verses in the chapter or historical context, and use it to cover my ass and justify everything I do. The verse I've decided to use? Galatians 5:12 all the way! Because I'm that kind of person.

Next we cut to Raymie, Bahira, Zaki, and Kenny. They're hanging out, chest-beating about how it's so sad that Cendrillon and everyone else will burn in Hell. Then Raymie notes how their little group matches the original gender makeup of the Tribbles (three dudes and one lady) and decide to start something called (and I kid you not) the Millennium Force.

:massages temples: Oh lordy...Now I got to think of a stupid nickname for them. Can't go around calling them something as awesome as Millennium Force, because that would imply that they'd actually do stuff and be G.I. Joes for Jesus, which we all know isn't true. Instead, they'll bravely do nothing, except occasionally think disdainful thoughts in the enemies' direction. If you're going to give yourself such an awesome testosterone-packed name, you have to live up to it. Since we know they aren't going to, let's come up with a new name for the Millennium Force, something like Tribbles. Right now, the best I got is MILF, but that feels unfair to MILFs everywhere; can you honestly say that any of the characters in the LB-verse have it going on?

So there's the new homework assignment for my readers: come up with a better, more accurate name for the Millennium Force. Oh and no using the obvious profane words that can be shortened to MF; again it would be an insult to mothereffers everywhere! Because Ellanjay really do believe that saying something, makes it so. Therefore, Brave Sir Robin really is brave, because the song mentions the word Brave by his name so often.

Since Kenny is the only one with a non-glorified body, he gets to be all Undercover and infiltrate the TOL. I ask my readers with heart conditions to brace themselves, as he reveals the horrors he's uncovered so far.

“Ignace and Lothair Jospin are deep into the Other Light,” he reported, “but the underground nightclubs in Paris and elsewhere are merely a front. They are frequently raided and revelers arrested and imprisoned. Those who commit actual crimes have been known to be put to death by lightning, God dealing with them immediately as He did to Ananias and Sapphira of old.”

So you hear it right straight from the word/pen/whatever the hell Ellanjay use to write: it's okay to go to clubs, to dance, and enjoy alcohol. Because they just explicitly mentioned that the people who go to these clubs, while they're arrested, it's not considered enough of an offense that warrants an immediate smiting.

Yeah, no matter how hard Ellanjay desperately try, the TOL rebellion sounds suspiciously similar to the Swing Kids of Nazi-Era Germany. No points for guessing which side is which or which side you should be on.

Though when they mentioned Ananias and Sapphira...that's when I started cackling with glee. Because Big Mistake, Ellanjay, bringing that up. Y'see I've actually read my Bible and I know that the bit with Ananias and Sapphira is in Acts 5. And I know that providing a link is sufficient, but I like to really drive a point home, so I'm going to quote the bit with Ananias and Sapphira as part of my post.

5 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.

3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”

5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.

7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”

9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”

10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.

Yeah, it should be clear that Ananias and Sapphira weren't smacked down, because they failed to say The Prayer with the precise amount of sincerity demanded, or enjoyed that devil music. They were smacked down because they basically stole from the poor, withholding money that would have been used to care for the needy in their midst. The closing verses of Acts 4 make it even clearer:

32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.

Yeah, variations on this passage keep appearing in Acts, talking about how everything was held in common and shared, and money from the sales of land and possessions was put into the common pot and distributed to those in need. It seems to be kind of important that it keeps getting brought up. And I picture a lot of RTCs tugging on their collars, trying desperately to find a way to weasel out of those verses, by going, "Well that's different because..." Because it turns out you only need to consider historical context when it comes to verses about taking care of the poor. All the other times, a straightforward reading will do, but verses on caring for the poor and needy? Not so much.

And given that a certain Oompa-Loompa running for president has bragged out not paying his taxes, thereby leeching off of the money and work of others, while with-holding resources that could have been used to care for the poor and needy...Y'know what, I'd better just stop there. Because I know there are legal cases that have established that making a threat against the life of the president, even in jest, is illegal, I'm not sure if the same standard applies to presidential candidates. I'm just going to hum Downpressor Man and walk away.

But if that isn't horrific enough, there's more.

“The Other Light is, in essence, a secret society within our own. It is spreading worldwide, largely through computer technology and encrypted messages. The bushy-haired one, Ignace, and the redhead, Lothair, are slowly bringing me into their confidences. I feared at first they would make me prove myself by coming to Paris and engaging in some debauchery, but that— so they claim— is beneath them. Their current deal is a missive called ‘If It’s True . .  . ,’ which they send to carefully selected dissidents. The gist of it is that if it’s true that the opponents of Jesus die at age one hundred, the efforts of all must be redoubled before they die off, in effect martyring themselves for the sake of the final effort at the end of the Millennium.”

Yeah, it's so secret that they do things like operate businesses easily accessible and known to the public. Oh and "computer technology and encrypted messages?" Yeah, I'm almost masochistic or sadistic (I'm not sure what) enough to ask Ellanjay to define what exactly those two things are and how the eeeevil TOL are using them for their own benefit.

Oh and Kenny's bit about how "I feared at first they would make me prove myself by coming to Paris and engaging in debauchery?" Yeah, you can't mask, like at all, how disappointed Kenny is that he didn't get to engage in debauchery. It's the problem you keep running into with fundamentalists of any stripe: it's not enough for them to merely practice their faith, or just wear their burqas or whatever their equivalent is, in peace. Fundamentalists just feel that it's not enough to be holy; in fact, they simply can't be holy, so long as there are other people out there, having fun and flashing their oh-so seductive ankles.

Though again, if it bothers you that much, Kenny, your subculture firmly believes that no sin, however serious, permanently separates you from God, so long as you ask for forgiveness afterwards. So you can have your debauchery, so long as you make sure to pray for forgiveness for it as soon as it's done. If anyone judges you, produce crocodile tears about how you're not perfect, just forgiven, and the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Or you could just tell yourself that you're committing debauchery for Jesus. You're only having all this sex (because of course, it would be sex, if we asked Ellanjay to define their terms), in order to gain information about the enemy and reach lost souls for Christ. Sometimes it's easier to reach lost souls, by giving them a reach-around, rather than a Jack Chick tract. :slaps shelf: Dammit! Maybe I should have started a tag/counter for all the times this creepy sex stuff kept coming up. I'm not too far in the books that I can't and I've always been kicking myself for not doing a Butt Monkey counter after Ryan died in Left Behind: For Kids.

Oh and that bit about how they're sending out their missive to carefully selected dissidents? Uh, if they're already dissidents, then wouldn't sending them the pamphlet be kind of redundant? Say what you will about Jack Chick, how probably no one has ever been converted by picking up one of his comics, but Jack Chick does have the right idea in suggesting that you leave them out in public places for anyone to see and read. Plus, Jack Chick has that gonzo insanity that almost makes me want to declare him as some kind of Outsider Artist. But that would feel like an insult to guys like the Salvation Mountain Dude aka the only part of the navel-gazing adaptation of Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild*** that was interesting. From what I heard, none of the stuff in that scene was scripted. Crew just set up the cameras and let Leonard Knight speak for himself, which is pretty cool. It is the only part of that movie that feels natural, not like some teen/twenty-something's puerile romanticism about how life is painful because they're not happy.

Bahira does another Signal from Fred, being like this doesn't make any sense. Luckily Raymie is here to mansplain for everyone.

“I know what you’re saying, Bahira,” Raymie said. “But like my brother-in-law said at Cendrillon’s funeral, these people already know who Jesus is. They don’t doubt His deity. They don’t like it. They oppose it. That their comrades are dying at one hundred only convinces them of the rightness of their cause. So, Kenny, how do they plan to overcome the ultimate prophecy, the final reward for their leader at the end of the Millennium?”

Yeah, they're really opposing TurboJesus and Zod by...uh, Ellanjay, it only counts as opposition or resistance, IF THE PEOPLE INVOLVED ARE ACTUALLY SLOWING DOWN OR HINDERING SOMEONE FROM DOING SOMETHING!

If it was like ako's Children of the Goats, where the kids start digging holes, trying to rescue their parents, friends, and family from Hell, that would be resistance. If they stood up in the temple and said to TurboJesus "You're wrong and what you're doing is wrong," that would be resistance. And of course, if, like in Spiritplumber's bit, dissidents got together and used their technological resources to defeat the eldritch horrors holding everyone captive, that would be resistance.

Say what you will about the TOL, but they aren't burning down churches, forcing RTCs to, regardless of their personal beliefs, go dance at nightclubs or imbibe alcohol. TOL are just like, "You guys can sit around and sing about Jesus. We want to actually enjoy paradise." Because again, with the TOL, as long as all the participants consent, nothing they do is harmful. In fact, it's probably healthier from a psychological point, to admit that you like grooving to some music with some actual rhythm to it, enjoy the heady feeling alcohol gives you, and the aesthetic pleasures to be had from looking at or touching someone you're attracted to, rather than Ellanjay's brand of dour puritanism, where you spend all your time, sitting and seething over all the fun you're not having.

But like I said, Fundamentalists can't just wear their burqas and shut up about it, because they can't be truly holy as long as other people out there, are flashing their ankles.

Raymie says some more word salads that confuse the crap out of me.

“Naturally, their biggest fear is losing all their forces at the end of every century. Eight more of their generations will die out before the final one, and that one will not even be born until nine hundred years into the millennial kingdom. They’re the only ones who will be alive to join Satan in waging his war against Christ. These people aren’t stupid, though. They recognize that each succeeding generation is way more populous. They expect billions of potential adherents to their cause by the end of the Millennium.”

So what's the TOL's angle here? They plan on defeating Zod by having as much raucous sex as they can, produce as many children as they can, raise them to be hardened atheists, and in turn, have them produce even more kids, in order to keep up the population numbers?

Given that the passage afterwards, where even God demonstrates that he is subordinate to Rayford, by giving him a special message, says something about the population is expanding exponentially, color me confused. The creepy first chapter had the characters bragging about how they're no longer capable of sexual attraction for the person they love, so who exactly is having all this sex and producing all these kids?

I'll assume the "No Sex" rule only applies to RTCs. So again, Ellanjay undermine their case. RTCs spend their time in paradise, preaching and singing hymns. TOL rock out, dance, drink alcohol, and enjoy lots of raucous, screaming sex and since this is paradise, there's all the fun, none of the drawbacks of our world. And I freely admit that I haven't been a horny teenager in a while, but which one sounds more appealing? Again, like I keep telling the COT, just do what you want and pray for forgiveness afterwards. That way you can have your cake and eat it too.

Here's the TOL's eeeevil scheme as summed up by Kenny:

“Their plan,” Kenny said, “is to keep passing down their doctrines and arguments and plans and hopes so that the newborns become well versed and ready by the time of the final conflict. It’s lunacy, I know, and it’s destined to end as the prophets have foretold. I mean, we wouldn’t have to do anything. We could sit on our hands and watch, and the result would be the same. But what about those who might otherwise have chosen Christ and are instead influenced by these monsters? That has to be the reason we still have work to do, even in the kingdom.”

"They are using the intellect and skill with language given to them by God Almighty in order to express their opinions in order to make themselves better understood. Those monsters!"

Sad part is, I did actually find myself making that kind of argument with an idiot in one of Fred's threads.

Gene Roddenberry, you sad naïve fool. You believed better technology would lead to an increase the ability to communicate and being able to communicate more, would make it so that religious and ethnic strife would be a thing of the past. Sometimes I want to invent time travel, just so I can print off some online comments on a news article where race is a tangential factor and read them to you, while pointing and laughing until I dry-heave.

Yeah, I have no difficulty accepting that the instant Ultron gained access to the Internet, he was like "You people are monsters" and "All of you must die!" I find myself thinking the same thing at times.

Kenny talks about how they need another person with a non-glorified body to go undercover. One of them suggests a friend, Qasim Marid. No points for guessing his ethnicity. Bahira has doubts about him and later on, they'll be confirmed to be totally true.

The last section, Ray-Ray and the other tribbles are celebrating the Feast of the Tabernacles. It's all going good, but everyone's concerned because Egypt didn't send any representatives.

Oh and yeah, more and more proof that paradise sounds about as exciting as being stranded in an airport after a flight delay:

Bruce, who had been the first martyr from the Tribulation Force, told of his experiences in heaven, many of which naturally coincided with Irene’s and Raymie’s, though from his unique perspective. And since he and Rayford had briefly greeted each other after the sheep-and-goats judgment in the Valley of Jehoshaphat nearly a hundred years before? “I was immediately assigned to Africa, serving on a development team. It’s as rewarding a task as I’ve ever enjoyed. I worked myself to a state of refreshed exhaustion every day, if you know what I mean. The Lord gave me gifts I never would have expected, and He helped me exercise them to the fullest from day one. I built roads, helped construct buildings, even worked on power grids and helped neutralize and dismantle weapons. I can’t wait to see where He assigns me next.”

“Me either,” Mac said. “I’ve been toiling away in my area of expertise all these years, living in what used to be Russia. We’re working on building airliners for the whole world.”

The lack of imagination is actually painful. A five-year-old's version where there's lollipop trees everywhere, would actually be better than this.

But Saintly Irene interrupts the menfolk, by saying there's a priest at the door. Everybody get the obligatory jokes ready, even though there's probably no longer any rabbis to throw into the mix. Still pastors though.

And that's it for this week. Need to regroup.

*If I was God and this rapture had to go forward, I would totally make sure to rapture everyone, except the people who leave tracts that look like money as tips or have a car with the bumper sticker that says "In Case of Rapture, This Car Will Be Unmanned" just to mess with some people who deserve it.

**Wasn't sure how to fit in even more cool facts. Like the Captain's creators, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, were both Jewish and would do their part fighting in WWII. Also, that first issue sold an amazing amount of copies, even by the standards of the time (when a lot more people read comic books). Kirby and Simon received death threats and bomb threats (because the Nazis had quite a few American sympathizers), but the mayor of New York was like "The NYPD's got your backs. Keep up the good work." Coolest origin story ever!

***Whatever the flaws of Jon Krakauer's book, at least it admitted that this kid died young and horribly and tore an irreparable swathe of harm in the lives of those dumb enough to know and care about him. The movie is nothing but preening, puerile romanticism from beginning to end.


spiritplumber said... And here's how TOL is doing 900 years in.

Mouse said...

I'm totally in favor of reading and sharing your rewrites, Spiritplumber, but I find the navigation kind of confusing? Which ones are the new ones with Cendrillon and which ones should I read? I'm not an RPG geek, sorry. I'm completely unpopular and most RPGs require you to have at least three friends to play them.

Firedrake said...

It's true: in many ways, a tragedy can become a vehicle for propaganda. (Obvious examples are obvious.)


Doc Savage for most of 1941 was fighting agents of "an aggressive European power". I've always liked that. By 1942 it was Nazis of course.


What does it signify if you have a sticker of Calvin peeing on a Confederate flag? (Mind you, I know a guy who has Truck Nuts for his Smart Car specifically to annoy the rednecks.)


Well, they'll marry you when you're tryin' to be so good
They'll marry you just like they said they would
They'll marry you when you're tryin' to go home
They'll marry you when you're there all alone
But I would not feel so harried
Everybody must get married


I dunno, you say Millennium Force and I think of that film from 1989.


"Oh, no, we don't use debauchery as an inityation. That's only if you feel like it. No, you just have to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. It's all in the Bible."


"Their plan,” Kenny said, “is to keep passing down their doctrines and arguments and plans and hopes so that the newborns become well versed and ready by the time of the final conflict." So, um, just like Kenny then?


"I’ve been toiling away in my area of expertise all these years" - another entry in the Things No Human Being Would Ever Say stakes.

Mouse said...

Re: Calvin Peeing on a Confederate Flag sticker:

Now that's a conundrum. On one hand, you still might as well go and pee on Bill Watterson's copyright lawyers, but on the other hand, given how mad it'd make can try to polish that turd all you like, Confederate Apologists, but every state that seceded from the Union, released a manifesto stating why. All of them mentioned the North's refusal to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act and lack of support for slavery. So, as Jon Stewart would put it, saying the Civil War was about slavery isn't politically correct history, it's correct correct history.

spiritplumber said...

It took a good while, but I've finished Cendrillon's story. It clocks out at about half the length of "Kingdom Come" and contains a few silly capers, a few heartfelt moments, an Artificial Valkyria scene, and amateur rocketry. Oh, and cookies, because this is Left Behind after all...