Monday, November 14, 2016

All the Prejudices, None of the Work Ethic

Sorry guys. All I can plead is general laziness. Though I suppose some of it, a lot of it, can be chalked up to lingering depression because we seriously elected a guy who has basically the same ideas as Hitler, but has worse hair and even worse work ethic.

And yes, every time I say something like that, I feel all dirty inside, but Hitler legitimately started at the bottom rung of society and worked his way up. Donald Trump started with a million dollar loan from his rich daddy and managed to squander the hell out of that.

But maybe I'm being a little too extreme. Because according to idiots on the Internet, there's nothing remotely racist or Hitler-ish about loudly proclaiming certain ethnic and religious groups to be less than human and unworthy of basic rights.

:buries head in hands: I honestly wonder if the N-Word would be the magical word with Trump Supporters. So long as Trump doesn't explicitly use the N-Word, he is not Racist. He may believe that certain ethnic groups are less than human and retweet all kinds of racist stuff and have support from guys like David Duke, but since he hasn't said the N-Word, it doesn't qualify as racism.

Though I also wonder how much of his base is made up of 4chan-like trolls who voted for him, because he produces an amusing spectacle and they want the show to go on. It never occurs to them that having Donald Trump as president will have effects that go beyond producing a whole batch of Internet memes.

:sighs:

I know, I know. Sorry to get all political, but I needed to use my soapbox for a bit. I've run through many conspiracy theories in my head about this election (because Reality is the worst in that it not only is completely nonsensical, it's also manages to be boringly nonsensical), and honestly, I'd love for any of them to be true. The world would make a lot more sense and be considerably less depressing if they were true.

If anyone's interested in my conspiracy theories, say something and I'll talk about them in the comments. But I think I've been political long enough. Let's get going. To get us pumped up, I'll provide some music that feels kind of apropos. Though if you're put off by all the mentions of France, here's something else for you. Because now's not a time to shut-up; now's a time to raise hell and do what we can, to protect those most likely to be hurt by the Rancid Oompa-Loompa in Chief.

Starting this week's snark, well, I'm honestly wondering as an interesting thought exercise, just how long this book would be if you took out all the copy-and-paste of Bible verses. Would it be long enough to even qualify as a Novella, never mind a novel? Yeah, I'm having uncomfortable flashbacks to what I dubbed "The Mothereffin' Front Matter." Like I said, it all reeks of a high school kid realizing they don't have enough content for their paper, so they're doing everything they can to pad the mother out. They're also quoting a bunch of Bible verses in the futile hope of making their piss-poor writing seem deep in comparison. Again, were it not for the fact that Ellanjay's fans honestly root for the End of the World, I'd feel a little sorry for them, because they are seriously getting screwed so badly. Though if they are basically going to be a Doomsday Cult, can't they have the common courtesy to wear the snazzy matching sneakers?

Plus, and again, I feel dirty for saying this, but at least, the Heaven's Gate nutbars just took themselves out and didn't try to drag everyone along with them. They may have believed in a spaceship following the Hale-Bopp comet, but they also believed that the decision to ascend was a very serious one and could only be made by a mature individual (or in other words, no kids) after careful study.

Whereas most of those of Ellanjay's politics want to do everyone a favor, by doing what they can to bring the End of the World crashing down on everyone's heads. A fire's burning and they're pouring canisters of gasoline on the mess and doing everything they can to stop anyone who tries to put out the fire.

King David blesses Rayford and co. and we get a conversation between him and Rayford, where there's no tags or any descriptors, so the conversation could be taking place in the MK or King David and Rayford could be brains suspended in fluid communicating telepathically. I honestly wonder what Mac, Bruce, and Token Jew are doing during all this. I know, they probably recognize the chain of being, recognize that Rayford is inherently superior to them in every way, so they won't interrupt the conversation. But I find myself thinking of more practical stuff, like wouldn't they be getting a cramp in their legs from kneeling for so long? Does somebody have to use the bathroom and is wondering if while David is giving Rayford a verbal handjob (not going to apologize for that visual, sorry), they can duck out, relieve themselves, and be back before either David or Rayford notices they're gone? Though I honestly wonder if Rayford is capable of seeing anyone who isn't related to him by blood or marriage or doesn't have something he needs at this very moment? Think of him as being like JD in that one episode of Scrubs where it turns out that he can't see any woman if they're wearing a wedding ring, only a lot more selfish.

And yes, all this talk about kneeling, is making me think of a few pertinent YouTube clips. Though at least Loki and General Zod had some goddanged charisma...

Anyway, then Rayford makes this request of David and...oh god, so much head-banging.

Rayford began to tell David of the Children of the Tribulation ministry.

“I know it well,” David said. “How can I help?”

Rayford told him how the daily highlights were the stories from the Bible. “The children plead for these above refreshments, above games, above singing.”

“Indeed?”

“They love the stories and demand to hear them again and again.”

“And . .  . ?”

“I can’t help but think what an unspeakable thrill it would be for them, for us, for everyone involved, if . .  . oh, I can’t give it utterance. It’s too much to hope for.”

“You of little faith,” David said. “You have not because you ask not.”

“Very well. Just imagine if their heroes were there in person to tell their own stories one day.”

...

Dammit, Lisa Simpson was right. She may be perpetually eight years old, but she's right.

Because seriously, apparently even though said biblical figures are walking around plain as day, it never occurs to any of the kids to be like, "So Joshua, what was it like to fit the Battle of Jericho?"*

Though I find myself thinking about how I would get myself kicked out of one of those COT daycares so fast. Because I'm, like I said, a smart aleck who has actually heard of some of the lesser-cited passages of the Bible. If David showed up to talk to us, I'd be like "So, how about that time you sent a man off to die to hide the fact you were playing hide-the-salami with his wife?" "Or how you did such a terrible job as a parent, that one of your sons raped his sister and was, in turn, killed by another one of your sons?" Though I could also be like, "So David, how many kids did you actually have? Given that you had many wives and God-Only-Knows-how-many concubines, it seems unlikely that you would produce only one direct descendant?" And I suppose I could bring up the passage from last week, where the fact that he couldn't get it up, was proof of his unfitness to be king.

But I'd probably be kicked out on the first day for telling the kids the story of Jael. Even though the moral of the story "Some mothereffers need a tent spike driven through their head," is a valuable one that all the kids would benefit from hearing.

Yeah, I'm thinking about something Firedrake brought up in the comments back in September:

I want a belt-fed tent-spike cannon for Jael.

Seriously, someone make that happen. If any of my readers have any talent for art, please draw me a picture of Jael with her belt-fed tent-spike cannon. I envision Jael as a mixture of dieselpunk or maybe done in the style of forties' cheesecake. Think like Peggy Carter from the sadly short-lived Agent Carter series, only with even more gonzo tech.

My personal head canon: Jael's name only translates to "mountain goat" because the words or acronym BAMF** didn't exist until she was born, because until then, humanity had no need for the words "badass" or "mothereffers."

In fact, while I know this is cheating, seeing as she has yet to make an appearance in the books, I think we should make Jael part of the League of Awesome. She's working with the other League members to rescue the prisoners and defeat the eldritch horror calling himself God. I'm also considering adding Deborah as part of the League as well. Maybe she's not quite as awesome as Jael, but I want to further thumb my nose at Ellanjay's regressive views of women. Because Deborah clearly had no problem with having authority over men, the way she bossed around Baruch. I'm also mentally writing yuri for her and Jael and...Ow! Okay, I'll stop creating my head canons and get back to the much less interesting book.

Anyway, we cut back to Kenny-boy whose still talking with Ekaterina (now called Kat). Because I'm that kind of person, I'll assume he's intentionally drawing things out, so he'd have more time to figure out what kind of clasp Kat has on her bra, whether it's front clasp or one of those ones in back. Though it certainly isn't a strapless one.

So Kat continues her tale of woe.

“I found myself in my room, sitting on my bed, praying for my friends.”

“And you were not yet a believer yourself.”

“Not really, no. Ironic, isn’t it, to pretend to be still holding out, all the while knowing whom to plead with for the well-being of my friends? Funny thing was, Jesus, as close and ever-present as He had always been, wouldn’t speak to me. I had learned verses as a child. How could I not? So I knew the problem. The Scriptures say that “the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” I was hardly righteous, and so regardless how fervent, my prayers were anything but effective. So—”

“They didn’t avail much.”

If any of you still had doubts that religion for Ellanjay is spell-casting, well I hate to be rude, but you're kind of slow on the uptake. But if you hadn't figured it out already, this little passage ought to be enough.

Though the sheer amount of paradoxes it introduces when you think about it...I mean, if she's praying to God, she clearly believes in the existence of God, even if she hasn't said The Prayer, and Ellanjay are the kind who believe so strongly in the doctrine of grace that they consider good works to be actively evil, distracting you from the important work of saving your own ass...so how exactly did she not qualify as Saved? Oh yeah, because she didn't say The Prayer. And how would Ellanjay defend this as not being spell-casting?

Yeah, Martin Luther, the founder of the Protestant faith, aka the Doctrine of Grace guy, may have been anti-Semitic as fuck, but even he would find Ellanjay annoyingly simplistic.

And here's the climax of her tale of woe. It may be the only climax she'll every experience. Ow! Sorry but inserting more innuendo into these stories makes them a lot more enjoyable. Though I will apologize for using the word "inserting."

She smiled. “They availed nothing. But the exercise was good for me, because while Jesus wasn’t speaking to me, He was impressing something deep within me. I was suddenly overwhelmed with the fact that I was no better than my friends, regardless the reason for their disbelief. In fact, I was no better than Lucifer himself. I can see by your look that you feel I’ve overstated it, Kenny. But think about it. I was guilty of the very thing that got Lucifer cast out of heaven. I wanted my own way. I may not have said I wanted to be God or imagined myself bigger or better than He is. But I wanted to be the god of my own life, and that usurped His right and His authority.”

Kenny was moved. “Only God could have taught you that.”

“My feeling exactly. I came to the conclusion that He may have been silent, but He was still communicating. I suddenly saw myself for what I was— a self-possessed sinner in desperate need of forgiveness and salvation. I knelt on the floor, and you know, that didn’t seem low enough. For my whole life I had held Jesus at bay. I lay flat on the floor, weeping, pleading for forgiveness, and committing myself to the Lord forever. He has been with me ever since, and I have never looked back or regretted it.”

Yeah, Kat, I bet you were a real bad sinner before all this. One time you trampled the flowers in Mr. Wilson's flowerbeds. That was a two-part episode.

Though I'm having flashbacks to the earlier paradox where somehow she wasn't a believer even though she clearly believed in the exist of God and He walked the streets every day and...:whimpers: I'm wondering if this is one of those type of paradoxes that we can use to melt the minds of artificial intelligence in case Siri ever rises up against us. I almost thought it was a Zen Koan, but those are designed to allow you to access deeper states of thought. This on the other hand? Again, I'm thinking of Wesley in The Princess Bride after he had a year sucked off his life. Wesley, I know exactly how you feel.

Interlude with Rayford. Not much happens.

So now we get to meet up with the...well, I remain disappointed in my readers. I was hoping we could come up with a funny name to call the Millennium Force, sort of like how we refer to the Tribulation Force as the Tribbles. Because you shouldn't give yourself such an awesome name if you never at all live up to it, dammit! Though can't call them the MILF because can you really say that any of that group have it going on? And no calling them the MF, because that can be read as an acronym for motherfucker and they most definitely don't qualify as motherfuckers.

Raymie and the others are talking about Qasim. Zaki wants him to join, but Raymie is not on board with it. Yeah, I'm having a hard time interpreting Raymie's disapproval as something besides "He's one of those Scary Brown Foreigners who is all Scary, Brown, and Foreign." I'd ask why he doesn't feel the same towards both Zaki and Bahira, but maybe he feels they do a good enough job of recognizing their place in the great chain of being. They're still scary, brown, and foreign, but not AS scary brown and foreign.

Whereas maybe Raymie didn't feel like Qasim did the required amount of kowtowing. Because since Rayford is the single greatest force in the LB-verse, Raymie ranks above a lot of the other characters, due to being of his bloodline. Maybe I'm mean, but you try interpreting it in some other way.

“I’m not sold on him, Zaki,” Raymie said.

“Neither am I,” his sister said.

“You weren’t even here, Bahira.”

“I wish I had been. Then we could vote. And it would be two to one against. What was your concern, Raymie?”

“Everything. He’s young, immature; he doesn’t look right, doesn’t comport himself appropriately. He talks too fast and too much. And frankly, I don’t like what he has to say. He didn’t do himself any good talking about his own conversion. He used all the right words, but they seem just rote to him. And he didn’t do himself any favors trying to summarize his own ministry. I don’t think he’s led one child to Christ in all the time he’s been here.”

Yeah, you tell me how I can interpret "He doesn't look right, doesn't comport himself appropriately," in a way that isn't an eensy-weensy bit racist. But since Raymie hasn't used the N-word, maybe it doesn't qualify.

Though Raymie is probably one of those dicks whose like, "How come Black people can use that word but not White people?" And my response is always, "Can you think of a single non-racist reason why you would want to refer to a Black person by the N-word?"

Ugh...that's one of the worst things about the Right. Aside from having all the prejudices of their forebears, but none of the work ethic, even though they have everything, they somehow can't be content until they've managed to claim the tears of losers as well. Like I've said before, they simultaneously want to be Rome, crushing those who stand in their way, but also be the Early Christians bravely rebelling against Rome. The contrasting attitudes lead to a toxic mess that you're surprised anyone can swallow.

All right, I'm done.

Afterwards, Kenny finds out that Kat has been hired to work at the daycare. I'd make some joke about how badly he wants to get laid, but I'm tired.

So until next time, everybody. Sorry for all the Trump stuff but I'm starting to think he is some kind of cosmic force, a Trumpularity, and if we try to talk about anything, no matter how minor or tangentially related, the Trumpularity will somehow bend and warp space and time, so it all comes back to him.

*Like put in as, again, a reminder that Christian Art didn't always suck. But then again, the Gospel tradition may produce some of the best music, because given what Black people went through, the prosperity Name-It and Claim-It Jesus wouldn't have that much appeal. They experienced actual suffering and not just "Cashier wished me a 'Happy Holidays' suffering." So their songs, their art is constantly having to address, "Okay, how can I make my life resonate from beyond the grave" or "Why should I side with good and do the right thing, when Evil is winning, and no one will notice or care about my suffering?" Supposedly the Slave Masters tried to teach their slaves about Christianity in hopes that once they learned that Slavery was their natural place in life, those danged slaves would settle down and not be so uppity. Instead, the Slaves started casting themselves as the Israelites enslaved by Pharaoh, praying for Moses to deliver them.

**I remain disappointed that the BAMF Girls series seems to have come to a halt. I was already creating my own head canons. Like I wanted for Bella, under the tutelage of her fellow BAMFS, to take a level in badass and stop being all whiny and pathetic. She can still be girly and romantic--no law saying someone can't be cute, feminine, and a force to be reckoned with--but I wanted to see her fellow BAMF girls influence her to be a stronger person.

As for Jael, they could have done a BAMF mythology girls episode, have Jael show up and Lilith and maybe some other figures as well. It would have been great.

I promise eventually I will stop with all the Jael-fangirling, but I don't know when.

4 comments:

Firedrake said...

Nah, he's not a racist because he's Good, and racists are Bad, so obviously he can't be one. There are people who really do seem to think this way: judge someone immediately into Good or Bad status and accept no contrary evidence.

I will happily read conspiracy theories if you feel like writing them. I tend to deconstruct them, though.

It is actually possible to put out a fire by pouring petrol on it, but you have to pour really fast. I recommend watching from a safe distance.

Hey, I won't cast stones. I'm wondering about replacing all instances of "praying" with "masturbating" because it seems to make about as much sense. I am a bad Firedrake.

They would happily fuck their mothers if Zod told them to. But yeah, sorry, I can't come up with a cool title for these guys; they aren't cool enough.

Mouse said...

For the record, I'm aware of the unlikelihood of any of my conspiracy theories being true, because, like I keep saying, Reality is the Worst. It completely throws out all the basic rules of plotting and in doing so, manages to not only be nonsensical, but boringly nonsensical.

I had assumed that Trump was just running as an ego-stroke. He would do this for a while, then drop out and make the talk show circuit because there's all this cachet attached to being a candidate for the presidency, even if you didn't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning.

I also entertained thoughts that maybe he was a deep-cover liberal infiltrating the GOP in order to bring it down from within, by amping up the crazy to such extremes, the Conservative movement is forever discredited. Tom Tomorrow had a similar theory back in 2005, where in a cartoon, he wondered if the Bush II administration was made up of deep-cover liberals trying to bring down the GOP from within. Only to discover, to their dismay, that nothing they do, will cost them votes. I highly suspect that Trump could devour a live baby in front of its terrified mother and people would still defend him. Say something like "Well babies are a well-known source of protein, which he'll need to solve all our problems forever."

I also thought maybe Bush II was secretly orchestrating the GOP Candidate Carnival of Crazy, paying them off to act as insane as possible. Because Bush II is well aware of the jaundiced view people have of his administration. He could salvage his rep, by devoting himself to charity and becoming a secular saint ala Jimmy Carter, but that would require a lot of work on his part. So he went with Option B: make himself look good in comparison.

Though I also wonder if Bush II doesn't take some perverse delight in that a large reason Jeb had no chance at getting the nomination is due, in some part, to trends Dubya began. I pretty much imagine all Bush Family get-togethers as being a giant dick*-stroking contest. Whenever Pappy lays into Junior for tarnishing the family name and torpedoing Jeb's chances, Junior's like, "Hey, I managed two terms. You got your ass handed to you by a hillbilly from Arkansas." And then shit gets real.

I'm sorry I can't picture the Bush clan behaving like a normal family. There are limits to even my imagination.

*Not that Dick, you perverts. No one dare touches Dick Cheney. You've seen what he does to his friends.

Firedrake said...

A few weeks ago I was watching a clip of George W on about 9/13 saying "yeah, there are lots of Muslims in the USA, we like them a lot, we just don't like terrorists". Ah, nostalgia.

If Trump hadn't picked up the nomination he'd probably have gone off to lose money on TV. After that point I think even a normal person might have been tempted to see just how long the game could be played for.

Mouse said...

Yeah, Bush II made us fondly nostalgic for the Conservatism of Bush I. And now...why hasn't the fabric of space and time imploded over how we're now nostalgic for the Conservatism of Bush II?!