Sunday, March 19, 2017

#Heaven-World Problems

Hey Everybody!

Well this week is made up of the sad, pathetic desperation seen in videos by Pick-Up Artists. Don't worry the YouTube link doesn't actually take you to actual pick-up artists; I have too much self respect and too much respect for my readers to put either of us through that. Just that there's something so unbelievably pathetic about all of it, how for all their efforts to be like, "I am Manly and Powerful, dammit!"...well, the fact that one of them created a female persona to explain why he finds cunnilingus undesirable and another mentioned in the video describes sex as shoving a meat cylinder into a hole and delivering a genetic package, let's just say Dave Barry's bit about "I AM THRUSTING MY MASSIVE KNOCKWURST OF LOVE INTO YOUR PASSION PERSIMMON!" actually sounds more appealing and less creepy.

But yeah, that's because it's never about sex with pick-up artists, just about trying desperately to overcompensate for deep-rooted insecurities. Though congratulations, guys. You may have made an unintentional case for celibacy, because if the choice is between sex with you or no sex at all...well let's just say the Catholic Church finally has a way to deal with a shortage of priests, monks, and nuns.

In short, yes there will be Creepy Sex Stuff this week. I don't know whether you should or shouldn't thank me for this.

The cartoonish machismo starts from the very first line.

KENNY HAD cleared several days off so he could complete his clandestine mission to Paris, but almost as soon as he got there he heard from Ekaterina, asking whether he could return and postpone his trip.

Yes, Kenny's mission to Paris really is clandestine, seeing as it will take place under a cover of daylight via a commercial airline and he's already told all his friends and family where he's going and when he'll be back. Also, he is in no danger of dying whatsoever and in fact, doesn't really have to do anything because TurboJesus will pitch his enemies into hell for him. We should all dream of having Kenny's courage and fortitude in the face of unspeakable fear and suffering.

Yeah, I know, I'm laying it on pretty thick, but hey, it's what I do. I'd say this is the equivalent of a six-year-old boy pretending his cardboard box in his parents' backyard, is secretly a hut deep within the Amazon rainforest, but most six-year-olds have enough self-awareness to know that they are only pretending. And however irritating and immature a six-year-old may be, there is hope that they will eventually grow the fuck up and stop being so irritating.

For those of you wondering, Kat didn't ask Kenny to delay his trip, because she's all weak and female and feared for his safety in a First-World Nation that as all the amenities of modern life. Though France does :gasp: have a government-paid healthcare system (aka Universal Healthcare), making it so that everyone has their medical expenses covered by the government and can receive necessary treatments even if they are :pearlclutch: poor. With that in mind, you can understand why Kat might be concerned.

The reason Kat wants Kenny-boy to hold of on his trip is because King David is coming to one of their talks. :whimpers: For the record, his visit is in the next chapter, which I probably won't get to this week. More and more, I'm starting to think that maybe I should actually go through with an idea I've suggested before, where I cut and paste Kingdom Come into a new document, but remove the Mothereffin' Front Matter and all the stuff where Biblical Figure just copy and pastes from the Bible. I am really serious as to whether this book would be long enough to qualify as a novella, minus those materials. But we'll talk about this more later on. In the meantime, let's get back to tearing this chapter a new one.

Kenny-boy tries to reassure his terror-stricken female fearful lady love interest.

“But I prayed about this, sweetheart. I know this is where God wants me, and I have to think that if I make this sacrifice, He will somehow make it up to me.”


“Who knows? Maybe by giving me an audience with David as He did my grandfather. I guess someday I’ll have all the time I want with all the biblical characters.”

“I know you’re right, Kenny. And you’ve taught me that God favors obedience even over sacrifice. That’s just hard for me right now, because I was hoping this news would be enough to bring you back to me.”

You have no idea how much I pointed and laughed at all this until tears were streaming down my cheeks. Again, he's going to France, aka a modern country which has both email and telephone which he could use to stay in contact with Kat. Also it has running water, paved roads, electricity, and has been in a state of relative peace since the end of WWII. Since then, their conflicts have been mostly overseas with little, if any, effects on the home front. You are not parachuting behind the Iron Curtain, where Khrushchev's men might make you "disappear" or force the US to exchange a prisoner in order to free you.

I could go on and on about all this about how Kenny's not going to the beaches of Normandy, circa June 6, 1944, or Iwo Jima, circa February 19, 1945, but I think I've pulverized this dead horse into glue.

I freely admit I chose examples from WWII because Ellanjay and their ilk consider that the most manly of wars or the Good War, as it is called. Though no one actually called WWII, the Good War, when it was actually being fought. Only when Vietnam went south, did anyone start calling it, the Good War. During WWII, the thoughts were generally more "Are we going to lose this fight?" and "Will our boys come home from this?" the same as in most wars.

Oh Kenny is really making a huge sacrifice, having to miss out on hearing David's copy-and-paste. Sure he could pick up his Bible and read it for himself, but that smacks too much of effort and he might stumble onto one of the "bad" passages. When it comes to suffering for the sins of humanity, Kenny's got Jesus beat.

OW! Okay, I may have gone a little too far with that. But I can't say I regret it too much. As much as it pains me to defend the Tribbles, at least, they were sort of experiencing actual suffering for their faith. Granted it only happened off-screen to NPCs, but Nicky had outlawed the practice of any faith save for the poorly defined EBOWF/Worship of him, so this "Durr...I'm a rebel!" pose made some sense.

:sighs: One last rant before I finally move on: how many problems could we solve by giving RTC farts one-way tickets to Saudi Arabia, China, or North Korea? If they manage to escape, maybe experiencing actual persecution for their faith, not just "Cashier saying 'Happy Holidays'" persecution, will have given them some much needed perspective. If nothing else, they'll be trapped in Third-World Hellholes and the rest of us can finally get stuff done, without having to deal with them throwing hissies over every advancement in human rights.

The section ends with a shocking announcement: Qasim has taken the week off and won't be there when King David shows up! :cue Dramatic Prairie Dog:

Abdullah's Asshole for Christ campaign continues. I'm having flashbacks to Nicky's regime where for all the wargle-bargle about how eeeevil he is, Nicky was surprisingly respectful of the rights of a group that continually calls for his overthrow and tries to undermine his government in whatever ways it can, allowing them to have a massive public gathering and broadcast their message all around the world.

You can see where I'm going with this. Mudawar and Sarsour have been ridiculously respectful towards someone who, at best, regards them as prospects and, at worse, sees them as dirty godless heathens deserving of nothing but hellfire and damnation for all eternity for the crimes of :gasp: enjoying music with an actual beat, enjoying alcohol, enjoying sex, and saying "Y'know a guy who kills people for disagreeing with him, isn't a good guy."

I am trying to picture the horrors of a TOL regime. Will banal praise choruses be outlawed in favor of music with a beat that addresses the reality of human feelings? Do armed guards show up and say to terrified men, "You will do cunnilingus, not the traditional missionary!" after which the man is like, "But that would be sex performed strictly as an act of love, without any possibility of reproduction!" and all he can do is sob, as the TOLstapo give him and his wife, contraceptives, vibrators, and lubricants.

For those of you wondering, "Mouse, aren't you exaggerating just a little too much?" First of all, why would you think that? and Second of all, I most definitely am not. Forget the League of Awesome, Mudawar and Sarsour should be nominated for sainthood for having resisted the urge to taser the living crap out of him. At least, Thor is pretty to look at, dammit!

Anyway, here are quotes from the section for your perusal. After I post them, I will move on. I just feel like spreading pain around and making sure everyone appreciates the Assholery of Abdullah. Fear not; not even context makes Abdullah's remarks seem less assholish.

“You heard me, Mudawar. I repeat my pledge from the first. I am here under assignment from almighty God. You may be under some illusion or delusion that you— in some moment of madness or genius— decided to allow me in. But the fact is, the Lord has ordained it.”

“Oh, I know you can. But you also know that I would then be stationed in front of your door with my little table and my Bible and my smile, and I will be greeting your honored guests every time they enter or leave. And we both know people are somehow drawn to me.”

“— but a word to the wise: If I were you, I would represent my presence in your offices as your idea, a stroke of brilliance, going against the grain, zigging when the rest of the world is zagging. If you can’t persuade your mentors there’s some benefit to the cause in this, that you have somehow convinced me that my time is better spent here than trying to persuade the same target audience, then perhaps you are not qualified for the role you have been given. Give it some thought.”

I'm just going to post a clip. You totally know why I'm posting this clip.

The next section, well, I hope my readers have their heart medication ready as they see the horrors Kenny faces. He has to stay in a hotel in Paris and the mass transit system makes it easy for him to meet up with Ignace and Lothair with no problem!

And if that isn't bad enough, he endures some minor questioning at their hands. Just listen to the horrible slurs they sling towards Kenny's general direction.

“Hey, guys,” Kenny said, pretending not to notice that they didn’t look happy.

“Just sit down,” Ignace said. “Who do you think you’re kidding anyway?”

“I don’t follow.”

“You don’t follow. You make noises at our cousin’s funeral like you might be one of us, you string us along by e-mail, we get absolute zilch from you— even though your buddy Qasim vouches for you with his life. And how hard do you think it was for us to figure out that your parents— your parents— started COT? And now you want us to believe you’re sympathetic to the Other Light?”

I think I'll retreat into my League of Awesome headcanon for a bit, before trying to take this on. A gal can only handle so much excitement.

On an entirely unrelated note, if I keep communicating in nothing but brutal sarcasm, will I reach the point where I will be unable to communicate in any other form? I wouldn't mind it so much, except that I keep getting dragged out of the house to talk to other people and they may find it somewhat off-putting. Though that problem may quickly resolve itself.

Luckily Kenny has Zod to provide his Saving Throw.

Busted. What could he say?

He breathed a silent prayer. “Lord, what now?”

“Take the offensive,” he heard in his soul.

“Believe what you want to believe,” Kenny said. “But you’d better not have wasted my time, dragging me all the way here just to tell me you don’t trust me. There are plenty of people in other TOL cells who do trust me. And as for where I’m embedded, where do you think you’d get better information?”

Ignace and Lothair respond by printing up a directory of COT employees, complete with addresses and information on salaries. In my headcanon, they laugh derisively as they do. Because even they are like, "You haven't given us any information we couldn't get elsewhere, so why the hell should we listen to you in the first place?" So much Signal from Fred...

But here's the TOL's Final Solution.

“Mexico,” she said. “Drugs, parties, alcohol. We spread the word quietly, and kids who feel oppressed by their parents or by society or by the church come in droves. We get ’em on our mailing lists and go after them with intellectual arguments.”

"They use their skill with the written word to express their opinions on something that matters to them, while enjoying intoxicants and celebrations. This makes Auschwitz seem like a summer vacation in comparison!"

Okay, I might have gone too far with the Auschwitz comparison. I apologize. Though of all the stuff listed, they probably consider "intellectual arguments" to be the most eeeevil and depraved of the TOL's activities.

Kenny, playing the part of infiltrator, offers them a better strategy. Because for some reason, RTCs are allowed to lie, even though they couldn't back when they were facing actual persecution.

“It shouldn’t be that hard. If you’re right, you’ll be convincing. And what you have going for you is the age of your audience. They’re our ages. If they haven’t become believers already, you know they’re searching, wondering, thinking, wanting to use their brainpower. They’re going to be vulnerable to a message that goes against all the rest of society. There’s glamour in being a revolutionary. Tap into that.”

And now I'm laughing until a I cry again. Whenever I find enough air to speak, I'm like, "Physician, heal thyself!"

Because tapping into the glamour and allure that comes with being a revolutionary, is pretty much exactly what the RTC subculture does. Though the TOL has a better claim at being revolutionaries, seeing as they are actually suffering for what they believe and again, not just "Happy Holidays" suffering. Again, the RTC subculture longs simultaneously to be the Roman Empire with great military and financial power, so they may crush those who stand against them, but they also want to cast themselves as the plucky Christian rebels bravely standing up in the face of Roman Oppression. It all results in a toxic, incoherent mess of a belief system.

And that's it for this week. Until then, I hope you light a candle for the suffering Kenny is facing.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

To the German Commander. NUTS! The American Commander

Hey, guys! Sorry to be late. Combination of general laziness and life kicking my ass. And increasingly I wonder if I should create a character tag for Abdullah. I've been trying to be careful with those, because I created one for Tom and Josey Fogarty because I thought they might actual matter, given how much stage time they were getting in the early books, only for them to disappear and not return until damn near the end. Though I really should have started tagging Taylor and Hasina earlier, just as I should have started a Butt Monkey Is Dead Count to keep track of how many mentions in the series Ryan received after he had died.

This week's snark is mostly taken up with Abdullah trying to convert Sarsour. And personal head canon is that Mudawar or Sarsour or somebody has called the TOL Panthers to deal with Abdullah. In said head canon, they are tasering him and being like, "You have been told repeatedly to leave, yet you wouldn't listen," because like I said in previous posts, given that the police force for the Millies pretty much exist to harass the TOL for exercising their right to free assembly and probably doesn't do jack to serve and protect them from criminals, the TOL created their own police force out of sheer necessity, a force that I'm referring to as the TOL Panthers.

And before any of you are like, "But Mouse, why would they even have crime and criminals in Heaven?" need I remind you that the book has repeated shown that Heaven has all the petty annoyances of Earth, so it's not too far-fetched to think that they would still have crime?

My head canon: while the RTCs have no problem being Brownshirts and crushing dissenters, when it comes to investigating actual crimes committed against members of the TOL, they don't do a damn thing about them. Think of it as being like the central thesis of the book, Ghettoside, where it basically says that the inner-city ghettos suffer simultaneously from Too Much Law Enforcement and Not Enough Law Enforcement. Law Enforcement in that area has no problem coming down on its citizens like a ton of bricks over penny-ante stuff like drug and theft charges, but when one of them is murdered, they don't really do a lot when it comes to investigating and tracking down the murderer.

So like I said, my theory is that the TOL are in a similar approach and they realize that they can't count on the RTCs for jack. Hence the TOL Panthers who serve as a visual warning to the RTC cops (the way the Black Panthers did with their open-carry stuff) and they act as cops, arresting those who pose a threat to their citizens/communities. And there are more checks on their power, because the TOL government is better-run than the RTCs. RTCs are okay with oppression and human rights violations, so long as they are done by the right people for the right reasons. But the TOL acknowledges the reality of abuse and how power lends itself to abuse and therefore, again, they have this thing called checks and balances.

Oh, okay, I'll stop with the headcanons and get to work. Though since I can smell the Conversion story coming right off the port-valve, probably ought to not let Mudawar and Sarsour into the League of Awesome. For the record, current League membership (off the top of my head) is: Taylor, Hasina, Cendrillion, Joel, Aron, Dr. Rose, Verna,the unnamed Jewish soldiers willing to give their lives for their faith Loretta, Jael, and Deborah. And I admit I did include those last two, because like I said, I often wonder how the RTCs explain those two away. Deborah clearly had no problem having authority over men, bossing around Baruch like crazy, and Jael? She drove a tent spike through a man's head. It's safe to say that she's okay with having authority over men.

Abdullah decides to talk with Sarsour. Sarsour is all "Yeah, yeah, you tell a good story, but don't get the idea that you're getting to me." Abdullah is like, "It's not your mind that I care so much about. It's your heart. That is what God is after too." And yes, I only posted that bit so I can link to Mola Ram from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Sarsour talks about how his parents know he is not a believer, but don't know the full details of his work, because, to use his words, “It would be cruel to tell them. They know I am not a believer, that I have a lot of questions and accusations against God. That hurts them enough. I don’t need to nail the final lid in their coffin.”

Uh, I believe the idiom is "to be the final nail in their coffin," not "nail the final lid in their coffin." I know, nobody but me is anal-retentive enough to care, but I like to start with penny-ante complaints before going to the main course.

As you can probably guess, what follows is Abdullah doing Ray Comfort-style evangelizing. He's all patronizing, going on about how they don't stand a chance, and of course, completely missing the point of their rebellion. Again, standing up for what you believe in, whether you have a snowball's chance in hell of winning, is something most people refer to as being heroic. Again, choosing your own way to burn rather than betray the ideals you hold dear, is considered brave.

Oh and when I talk about standing up for what you believe in, I hope you realize I am not referring to that Kim Davis shitstorm. First of all, no matter how much she and the others pretended otherwise, she wasn't likely to die for refusing to do her job. She might get fired, but that's different from, y'know, dying. Also, wouldn't it have been more martyrrific to quit your job in protest and send out some editorial or something talking about how it's all the Gays' fault? But the truth is Kim Davis wanted to have her cake and eat it too, to not do her frigging job yet somehow be able keep her job with all the benefits it entails.

One of the most tiring aspects of these types of Kim Davis self-martyrdom-type stories has to be how even though they blather on how they aren't afraid to stand for Christian principles, whenever the authorities are like, "You want to martyr yourself over something completely stupid? Be my guest," they are all shocked, shocked by this. Say what you will about Christian Martyrs or Catholic Saints, but they at least understood the basic idea that the authorities might actually shrug their shoulders and be like, "Okay, if they want to die, take 'em out to the chemical sheds and shoot them." The RTCs are basically perpetually four-years-old and while holding your breath or screaming until you pass out, might get you that Barbie or Batman figure, it's not likely to convince the authorities to violate the rights and dignities of a minority group, no matter how much you hate them.

Though one of Abdullah's quotes does confirm that a key step of the TOL's plans, involves sex, lots and lots of mind-blowing, headboard-banging, sex. The TOL is probably eeeevil enough that not only do they have sex and enjoy it, they also have oral and anal sex and enjoy it, even though there's no possibility of reproduction with those. Worst of all, they also enjoy sex with someone of the same sex! I would have Toccata and Fugue in D Minor as the TOL's theme music, but since Bach was a Christian and at one point, served as a Cantor, composing music for church services, I probably need to come up with some other theme music. Though Bach was a Lutheran and the churches he composed music for, were also Lutheran. Anybody know where the Lutheran Church fits in the RTC subculture? Because we know they grudgingly tolerate Catholics, despite centuries of hatred and mistrust on both sides, because now they share a common enemy in Roe v. Wade, but the hatred still remains and they still have a general distaste for anything that reeks too much of popery or Catholicism. But I don't know enough about the Lutherans to know if they fall into the "Not Evil But Suspect Due to the Catholic Nature of their Faith" or if they are Real True Christians.

Anyway, here's Abdullah's quote:

“Listen, let’s say you’re right. Let’s say that despite all you TOLers dying off at the end of your hundred years you are somehow able to keep this torch burning down through the centuries as the population expands. By the last century of the Millennium, you have amassed this great army, and all right, let’s say that against all odds and logic and prophecy and the very Word of God, your side prevails. Let me postulate that those of you who thought this up and schemed and strategized are still dead and still in hell and that your leader does not have the power to resurrect you. Convince me I am wrong.”

Like I keep saying, the RTCS keep undermining their own case. Because if given a choice between eating steaming piles of fresh produce and singing hymns or enjoying alcohol and having lots and lots of sex, most would choose the latter.

As you can probably guess, the whole discussion has that tone with Sarsour saying something and Abdullah being like, "Are you sure?" and I think it's safe to say that he drags out the syllables when he says it, this making it sound like the nattering whine of a mosquito. Though now that I think about it, I thought Abdullah planned on witnessing to the TOL, yet all he's done is harass Sarsour and Mudawar. Yeah, they're TOL, but Abdullah could :gasp: leave his office and go talk to other TOL members. Again, what does it say about your character when they're too lazy to rant and rave on a street corner like so many other religious nuts?

And of course, Abdullah's bit would be nothing but variations on Pascal's Wager. Even though the obvious flaw with Pascal's Wager is that given the various deities around and the potential consequences of not worshipping them, wouldn't it make sense to worship all of them, be like Homer and go "Jesus, Buddha, Allah, I love you all!", just to cover your bases?

Also, like I keep saying, the problem isn't that the TOL or all the other rebels don't believe in God. Ignoring the fact the whole MK factor, where they see and talk with Zod and TurboJesus and other biblical figures on a daily basis, in the previous books, they've received incontrovertible proof of the supernatural again and again. The problem is the nature of this god they've mentioned, a petty tyrant who decides to reach the lost by killing them horribly so He can torture them forever, who ties your salvation to specific words in a specific order and if you haven't said them with the precise amount of sincerity demanded, welcome to Hell, mothereffer! if he was a human dictator, say Saddam Hussein, he would be considered monstrous, but the thing is, however bad Saddam was, there was a natural end to his villainy, unlike with Zod.

Though again, maybe I should retract that last bit. Like I keep saying and will keep saying, the Right's fanboyish love of Vladimir Putin proves something I've long suspected about the Right: they're not opposed to tyranny and human rights abuses, so long as they are being done by the right people for the right reasons. The Soviet Dictators ran roughshod over the rights and lives of their others in the name of Communism, which makes their actions wrong. Putin does it in the name of unfettered free market capitalism and cronyism, which makes his actions right.

And for all their wargle-bargle about Saddam Hussein or various other tinpot dictators in the Middle East, they are oddly silent when it comes to Saudi Arabia, aka a country which is every bit as repressive and fundamentalist Islamic as many of the countries we're at war with, and possessing ties to terrorist organizations. And the unpleasant truth regarding Saddam and quite a few of the tinpot dictators is that initially the US funded and backed them. The only reason we turned on Saddam, was because he bit the hand that fed him when he invaded Kuwait. But the Saudis know their place, know better than to outwardly rebel against the US, so the US backs them and turns a blind eye to their atrocities.

Point is, like I keep saying, traditionally the people who stood up to tyranny, said "Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise." or "Nuts!" are seen as the Good Guys. Standing up and saying "No!" to the all-powerful tyrant, regardless of your chances of winning, is pretty heroic. It is an implicit understanding that there are things in life more important than personal safety, values worth fighting and dying for. And I managed to make this rant without linking to clips from The Avengers or Power Rangers. You're welcome!

Abdullah is all "What if I had died in the Rapture? I would have been lost forever!" tacitly ignoring the fact that if he did die in the Rapture, it would be God's fault, because he can create the world in seven days, make it look billions of years old, even though its only six thousand years old, and violate all known manner of natural laws, but he can't apply the brakes.

Sarsour returned to his seat and seemed to study Abdullah. “Why does this trouble you so? Why don’t you just leave me to my hopelessness, my wrongness, my— as you call it— foolishness. What am I to you?”

“You’re my friend.”

“Ya Bek, I am your enemy. I disagree with everything you say. I mock your God. I accuse Him. I hold Him accountable.”

“And I am instructed to love my enemy and to pray for those who spitefully use me.”

That sound you hear is me pointing and laughing until I injure myself.

And because I can't go one post without indulging my Captain America fangirlism, it's probably safe to assume when Abdullah is all "You're my friend," he doesn't mean it the way the Captain does. Because we all know, again, Abdullah is just doing the RTC version of The Requirement. If he doesn't be an Asshole for Christ and try to unload some product on Sarsour, then they will both burn in Hell. But if Abdullah does The Requirement and Sarsour doesn't take the bait, then Sarsour still burns in Hell but Abdullah is off the hook because he gave the heathen a chance to save himself.

[TANGENT Regarding Captain America fangirlism] Even before Civil War came out, I felt the final fight scene between Cap and Bucky did illustrate some basic facts about his character. For all his optimism and high ideals, Cap was willing to push them aside and be pragmatic, do whatever he has to, to stop the helicarriers from killing a whole lot of people, even if it means beating the snot out of someone who is the closest thing he has to family*. Heck at the beginning, he did offer Bucky a chance to walk away from all this and only got down to business when Bucky made it clear he wasn't going to.

But after the world was saved, the helicarriers are going down in flames, then the Cap starts trying to reach his buddy again, even though part of him probably knew full well that Bucky might very well kill him.

Though like I keep saying, we must never forget that Captain America secretly hates America.[/TANGENT]

Abdullah reads the letter his wife left, before getting bamfed into Heaven. As you probably already gathered, it is further proof that Abdullah and his family were, at one point, SOOPER SCARRY MOOSLEMS!!!!111 I already knew it as did my readers, but I felt like pointing it out. It relates to one of the questions I have regarding this series. We know Ellanjay didn't envision cell phones, Internet porn, even the Internet in general. Hence why Left Behind (published in 1994 when those tech were still on the horizon) doesn't have them. Granted no sci-fi writer can bat a thousand when it comes to predicting trends of the future, be it far-off or not-so distant**, but they usually put forth some effort.

My point is, I'm kind of wondering when the first few Left Behind books were published, how much Islam-bashing there was in them? Yeah, the Muslims had always been considered suspect (much in the way they considered Jews and Catholics suspect at best, until they found a way to co-opt them), but until Sept. 11, it wasn't a major tenet of their subculture. So long as you hated the Gays and Abortion, said, "Jesus!" a lot, and always voted Republican, they were willing to consider you an RTC. Then September 11th happened and now hating the Muslims became another sacred tenet, making it so that people pant with desire for the genocide of 1.6 billion humans and still be considered RTCs. So aunursa or somebody with scary encyclopedic knowledge of this series wanna help me out? Tell me how heavy the early books were on the Muslim-bashing.

I could do my rants about how the largest Muslim population is in Indonesia and the they only object to Al-Qaeda or ISIS or [Insert whatever group of radical Islamic terrorists here] because they're killing and oppressing people in the name of Islam, not Christianity, but I won't.

I'll ignore much of his wife's letter, save for this one part:

As I have said over and over, the difference between what you call “our religions” is that mine is not religion. I have come to believe that religion is man’s effort to please God. I had always been bound by rules, acts of service, good deeds. I was trying as hard as I could to win the favor of Allah so that in the end I would find heaven on earth.

Ah yes, the old RTC argument about how their religion is not religion...that variation of the No True Scotsman fallacy never gets old.

Oh and for the record, do you know what Arab Christians call God? They call him Allah, because Allah is the Arabic word for God, you morons! I can dust off another rant about "Racial and Religious terms" but again, I make some effort at not repeating myself.

The section with Abdullah ends with this exchange:

“That’s it then, Sarsour? The end of our discussion?”

“It hasn’t been a discussion, sir. It has been a sermon. Why waste your time here with just the two of us? Why are you not out preaching to the masses? There are a lot more undecided young people out there than in here, and they have to be more open-minded than we of the Other Light. We ought to know. They are our audience, our prospects.”

“You are my prospects,” Abdullah said. “I am here in obedience to my Lord Christ, who knows best.”

Again, even the Good Guy character is tacitly admitting to being lazy. Because Abdullah said God had called him to witness to the TOL, yet all he had done, was exactly what Sarsour said: hang around him and his cousin and boss them around. Again, the old "stand of a street corner and rant" method may be irritating as hell, but it would be more consistent with what Abdullah believes and hey, standing and ranting would require some stamina, unlike sitting in a basement office and being an asshole towards a couple of people, who again, have been awful generous in allowing you to hang around and talk endlessly about how they're going to burn in Hell.

Like I keep saying, in my head canon, Sarsour and Mudawar have been polite for as long as they could, trying to basically say, "Hey, we don't want you on our property!" which they have every right to, because again, it is their private property, but since Abdullah keeps steam-rolling over their objections, one of them has signaled the TOL Panthers, who are preparing to move in.

There's an interlude with Kat and Kenny. Kat is all weepy and womanly, concerned about how Kenny is going to infiltrate the TOL meetings. Kenny is all manly and is like, "Hey don't worry." For those of you wondering, here are the brave blows against tyranny that Brave Kenny has bravely made thus far:

“I gave Ignace and Lothair some very innocuous information about COT. I merely told them where it was, how many children we hosted, how large the staff was, and that the big deal now had been the visits from biblical heroes. They were not impressed. Ignace fired back a message that said, ‘Tell us something we don’t know. Tell us something that not everybody in the world knows. And tell us in person.’ I think he was really surprised when I told him I would be there tomorrow. I believe they were really starting to suspect me.”

Again, a quote I made in a previous post about how the Millies Brave Stand against Tyranny would involve lying which they would define as "Saying the Church Bake Sale has been canceled, when :gasp: it has not," isn't too far off the mark. For all my exaggerations, I'm rarely, if ever, too far off the mark.

Though of course, the TOL will still keep Kenny around, even if he has no useful information to give him. Again, while he isn't the highest people on the RTC Hierarchy (Rayford and Buck are), he does have the blood of the two highest-ranking members running through his veins, which puts him ahead of a lot of people. Maybe even ahead of Creepy Raymie, seeing as Raymie only has the blood of Rayford running through his veins and is only related to Buck via his older sister's marriage.

The chapter ends with a conversation between Bruce "Useless" Barnes and St. Rayford.

“You know what I miss?” Bruce said late one night in the Negev as he and Rayford sat outside by a small fire. “Darkness.”

The rest of the team slept in the massive trailer, heavy shades pulled against the daylight-like beaming of the moon.

Rayford chuckled. “You know what the Bible says about that. Men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil.”

“Yeah, I think I was the one who taught you that, Ray. And yep, that’s me. Evil.”

“I know what you mean, though, Bruce. I’d love a starlit night to aid my sleep. But you’ve been to heaven, where there is no night, not even shadow. Were you tired of it there?”

Bruce shook his head. “Heaven is different. And I can’t wait till the books are opened and all the believers go. As fascinating as this world and this kingdom are, I can’t think they hold a candle to the next.”

They chatted long into the night, plotting the coming weeks of their mission. Bruce told Rayford of Kenny’s call. “Think of it, man. Who’d have ever thought I’d officiate your second wedding, your daughter’s, and her son’s?”

Conversation put in as a reminder that Ellanjay are like, "Sweeping vistas of the night sky that attest to the beauty of the cosmos are all fine and good, but dammit! I need something to disrupt my natural circadian rhythms! Life's just not good unless there isn't always the possibility that I can stare at something and go blind as a result!"

And that's it. I'll try to get the next post out at its usual time, but I make no guarantees.

*For the record, even before Civil War really cemented it, I was always more Team Steve/Bucky rather than Steve/Tony. It always seemed kind of one-sided between Steve and Tony; Steve doesn't seem to be as obsessed with Tony, the way Tony is obsessed with him. Seems more lingering Daddy issues than anything else. Again, someone get Tony Stark into therapy!

Whereas Steve and Bucky have so many years of shared history with one another. Bucky is now officially the last person around who knew Steve back when he was a 95 lb. asthmatic. Even if he didn't want Steve going to war, Bucky still probably thought he was a great person, the kind that the world needs more of.

But Civil War really drove the point home. Both of them, Steve and Bucky, are willing to take their knocks. They won't enjoy it, but they'll take 'em and deal with it. But the surest way to get either of them into "Oh fuck you!" mode is to go after the other guy.

And for the record, I will refer to my ship as Steve/Bucky because pairing names are freakin' stupid! I may have only a few principles, but I stand by them, dammit!

**I am a bit disappointed that since suicide booths were supposed to have come into being in 2008, we're not going to get Futurama's vision of the Future. Yeah, it would suck being ruled by the insane head of Richard Nixon, but it would have sweet guys like Fry in it. Plus, Futurama's version of Richard Nixon is actually more toned down, when compared to the actual Richard Nixon. Again, closest thing we'll ever have to having a Bond Villain as president.

We're also not likely to get the Power Rangers SPD version, which is set in the year 2020 and has humans and rubber-suited aliens generally living and working together in peace. Given that people with a higher melanin count still have to say, "Black Lives Matter!" and that "Killing one race at a disproportionate rate than others, is bad," it's probably not going to happen.

On the plus side, Skynet is supposed to have come online by now, so we lucked out there. Before anyone says anything, as far as I'm concerned, the Terminator franchise ended with Terminator 2. The people involved had the sense and realized, "Y'know we've told two good, self-contained stories with this concept. There's no need to run this franchise into the ground with unnecessary sequels that retcon all the good films!"

Sunday, March 5, 2017

I been chewed up and spit out and booed off stage

Hey everybody! How's life treating y'all?

As you guessed, I couldn't think of a title, so I went with a line mentioned in a rap song I linked to.

Well for those who missed the creepy sex stuff, you get some of it at the beginning.

OVER THE next several days, Kenny vacillated between the thrill of his relationship with Ekaterina— they had both professed their love by now and had begun enjoying brief good-night kisses— and a dread over what he was going to do about communicating with Ignace and Lothair Jospin. There would soon be no more putting them off.

I would say that this passage is a little racy for Christian Fiction™, enough that the Bluehairs would faint, but it feels wrong, calling a passage this creepy, racy. I'm having flashbacks to a strip from Something Positive. No points for guessing which character in that strip represents Kenny. I will assume however that every RTC house is decorated like Augusta's. That's my head canon and I'm sticking with it.

The next paragraph in Kenny's section...In an attempt to curb the relentless negativity, I will say that even though it involves phone calls :whimpers: they are told in narration, thus sparing the readers the boring back-and-forth. It's not much of an accomplishment, but I'll take it.

He had an idea, a fun one he thought Ekaterina would love, but also one that might help him find valuable counsel. He wanted to update Bruce Barnes, his parents’ old friend, on him and Kat and see if he was willing to officiate at their wedding someday. But maybe Bruce would be a good adviser too. Kenny got Bruce’s number from his mother and called him in Osaze. Bruce was in the middle of a project but promised to call him back that evening.

You're making plans for your wedding even though all you guys have done is held hands and kissed (briefly with none of that sinful tongue involved) and odds are, you haven't ever been alone together? Heck, everyone thought you two sitting together at a public event with thousands of people there, was racy.

Then again, given the mindset of the RTC subculture, which leads to them doing stuff like Purity Balls, this does make sense. :shudders: Like I keep saying, it always winds up being about sex with them. They hate and despise the desires of the flesh, even though it is something hard-wired into us by evolution. So they sublimate these desires in hopes of making them go away. But doing so, only leads to them coming out in even more disturbing ways.

I freely admit that I do not have kids. Given my history of mental illness, I find myself wondering if I should really inflict myself on an innocent child. Plus, with school or other jobs, if you wake up feeling like absolute shit, you can call in sick and spend the day lounging around. There's no such thing as calling in sick when you're a parent. Even if you have some kind of Martian death flu, you still have to get out of bed and take care of the kid, because like I've ranted before, even though humans made it to the top of the food chain, everything about small children seems contrary to the rules of survival.

Anyway, my point is if given a choice between Nelly and the Purity Balls' attitude towards sex, I would rather my kids side with Nelly. I would make sure they knew about contraceptives and condoms, but Nelly being all "Let's get it on, baby," seems a heckuva lot healthier mindset.

I wonder how long until Rap or HipHop stops being the eeeevil corrupt Negro Black African-American music that is corrupting our youth. Is the fact that White People like Eminem are performing in that style enough to de-evilize it or will we have to wait until my generation is in power for that genre to become edgy but safe enough not to corrupt the next generation, like what happened with Rock music. It's the age-old tradition: when it's a predominately a Black artform, it's an eeeevil, corrupting influence on the Youth of today. When White dudes like Elvis step in, it's still edgy and eeeevil, but when marketers start using it to prove that they are "hip" and "with it"*, in order to rope in young people, it gradually becomes interwoven into the culture. Until the marketed generation is in power and is doing the marketing. Then it's all, "Why can't the kids of today listen to nice, safe music like I did? Stuff like songs about shooting men in Reno just to watch them die or enjoying raucous sex?"

I know, I know, I talk too much. But high on my list, if I ever conquer the world is no more articles about the generation gap. They never say anything new and just serve as a source of welfare for lazy-ass journalists. Just change a few words, the name of the tech those crazy kids are using (which was developed by the previous generations) and type whatever bullshit name you're labeling them with, and you're done. Probably if we translated cave paintings, they would be ramblings that go, "Bah, those crazy kids with their bizarre insistence on walking upright and using fire. They'll never experience the joys of E.coli."

Because the chief thing all those generation gap articles ignore, is that the people writing them and whinging about the kids today, raised said kids. If those kids are really as spoiled and entitled as you claim, doesn't that reflect poorly on your generation? You were the ones who gave us trophies for everything, apparently. Though I keep wondering when I'm supposed to get all those participation trophies I'm entitled to. Apparently I was supposed to receive them for doing everything, including breathing, but all I ever got were stickers on my homework and the occasional ribbon. And when I did get those participation ribbons, I knew they were bullshit from a very young age, just as nearly every kid I've ever known. Kids aren't rock-stupid; we know which awards actually mean something and which are just "You participated."

The nonstop excitement of Kingdom Come continues in Chloe's section. Chloe thought that the phony report on Kat had blown over, but just when she thought it was safe to check the inbox, there's another one.

But that day her in-box had brought another upsetting note. Unsigned, of course. Cameron had told her she ought to institute a policy that she look first to see if suggestions or complaints were signed and summarily trash them if not. “If a person isn’t willing to stand by what he says . .  .”

This note read: Kenneth B. Williams is your culprit in the Risto personnel matter.

:Dramatic Prairie Dog:

Ugh, when a guy who willingly wrote a line like "To say the Israelis were caught off guard, is like saying the Great Wall of China is long," is being a voice of reason, you know you have problems.

Because I feel a need to point out that with the so-called phony Kat report, Chloe had no difficulty finding it plausible enough to check into. If she didn't, she would have just looked it over, rolled her eyes, and thrown it away, because chances are, if Kat really was all lazy and such, Chloe would have caught her in the act or someone at the daycare would have said something to her.

Though given the insane amount of laziness Ellanjay demonstrate with every chapter, them ragging on people for being lazy, feels really rich, like Snowflame saying that you should cut back on all the cocaine. I thought about using a real world analogy like Woody Allen criticizing someone's bad parenting, but it felt wrong. So I went with Snowflame, because more people should know about that never-ending bit of WTF. Though said comic does fail, not only as a superhero comic, but as a PSA. It clearly demonstrates that snorting ridiculous amounts of cocaine gives you superpowers.

Yeah, another reason I'm not having kids: I'd be a terrible influence on the next generation.

Given that Kenny is, you know, Chloe's son, you'd think the letter would have even less concern for her. She's probably had to stop him from committing Onan's sin over Kat and therefore, knows he wouldn't try to get her in trouble.

But that would make too much sense.

That made no sense, of course. Ludicrous. And yet Chloe carried the crumpled note around all morning. What was she supposed to do with something like that? Finally she paged Cameron. “It’s not urgent,” she said. “But when you have a moment . .  .”

Now we cut to Abdullah, who is still on his Asshole for Christ campaign.

It felt weird to Abdullah to be strolling to “work” every day with a portfolio full of papers and his Bible, setting up shop, as he liked to call it, in the enemy’s lair. It violated every boundary of logic he had ever been aware of, and yet God knew. His ways are not our ways, Abdullah reminded himself.

I'd like to remind you that said enemy is letting you use his facilities to promote your views that God loves you which is why He must kill and torture you horribly for all eternity. Whereas you guys keep siccing the police on them whenever they try to exercise their right to free assembly. It will never stop being about Projection when it comes to the Right, will it? Like I keep saying, maybe it's comforting for you to believe that everyone is just as awful as you are, but it sucks for everyone else.

Though from the looks of things, even though Abdullah is in "the enemy's lair," I'm not sure what exactly he is doing. He seems to just sit in an office, rearrange papers, and talk to Mudawar and Sarsour. I had joked about how he was going to stand on a street corner and rant and rave about how they are all sinful sinners who will burn in Hell. He would be an Asshole for Christ if he were to do that, but it would be less lazy than sitting in an office. Standing on a street corner and ranting and raving would require some endurance and strong vocal cords and it probably wouldn't accomplish much, but it would still be some actual effort.

It's another thing I keep saying about the Modern GOP: they have all the prejudices of their predecessors, but none of the work ethic. Strom Thurmond holds the record for longest filibuster and what he was filibustering against, was Black people being able to vote, but at the same time, he did actually filibuster, rather than pout, cross his arms, and say he was going to do it. He may have been horrible, but he was willing to put forth some effort to fight for what he believed and polish his beliefs, however turdish.

I have similar thoughts regarding Richard Nixon. Yeah, he was a moral sewer of a human being, the closest we'll ever have to having a Bond villain as president, but given the amount of effort and planning he put into his villainy...again, you're glad he was stopped, but at the same time, you have some grudging admiration for him. Though that time you considered killing a journalist who criticized you by coating his steering wheel with didn't get the hippies, like at all, did you, Nixon?

I keep trying to think of a pop culture metaphor for the GOP of old versus the modern-day version. I can't find one that completely fits. The best I can come up with is, it's the choice of being ruled by Tywin Lannister versus being ruled by Joffrey Baratheon. They are both horrible and it would suck being ruled by either of them, yet Tywin Lannister has intelligence to his villainy, is one of the Magnificent Bastards in the Game of Thrones universe. He is cold and ruthless and has no qualms about using whatever means he has to, to destroy those who oppose him, but there is planning involved and he wouldn't just throw a massive hissy fit and commit over-the-top, meaningless brutality. He is horrible, but there is planning and design to his horribleness, not just brutality for the sake of brutality.

Whereas Joffrey Baratheon is a spoiled brat sadist who does nothing but throw over-the-top hissy fits that lead to people being horribly maimed and killed, which does not help morale at all, and only serves to make his position and life in the Seven Kingdoms even more precarious. Were it not for the fact he was surrounded by good advisors who did their best to ameliorate the problems he created, Joffrey would have been overthrown pretty fast. He is an older version of the kid who rips the wings off butterflies for the fun of it, except that most butterfly-rippers don't have the resources to do more than that. The same cannot be said about Joffrey.

Though I am being somewhat inaccurate. Abdullah is doing something. He brings Mudawar coffee just the way he likes it from his favorite vendor. As for Sarsour, he brings him his favorite hummus. In order to provide y'all with an opportunity to laugh at people who deserve it, here's how Ellanjay describes Sarsour's favorite kind of hummus.

To win over Sarsour while stringing him along daily with snippets of his own story of his raptured wife, Abdullah discovered Sarsour’s love for a particular kind of hummus, a mash of chickpeas and sesame seeds flavored with garlic and lemon. When he ducked out for Mudawar’s drink, he would also bring back that treat for Sarsour.

Uh, Ellanjay? According to the dictionary, hummus is basically mashed chickpeas and sesame seeds flavored with garlic and lemon. So what you guys are saying, makes about as much sense as saying, "Abdullah brought Sarsour his favorite kind of water, a mixture of two parts hydrogen with one part oxygen." Okay, I am exaggerating, but still.

I would commend Abdullah for taking time out from being an asshole to be considerate of the needs of others, but given that he is only doing this in order to rack up converts, rather than to just be kind, he's still an asshole.

Though given that one of the LB-verse has Token Jew taking Our Buck to a restaurant in Israel, which serves him such exotic, tradition Israeli cooking as bread and sliced apples, this is something of a step up for Ellanjay. It's not much of a step, but hey.

We cut to Chloe and Our Buck talking about the eeeevil letter in the report box. Much as I hate to admit it, Our Buck continues to make good points, basically saying, "Just throw it out." Though he promptly loses whatever points he has gained with the next paragraph.

Cameron sighed. “Before the Rapture, I would have blamed it on the wiles of the devil, devising time wasters to keep us from what’s important. It’s almost worse to know he has nothing to do with it. This is the flesh. Why don’t you ask Kenny if he knows of any enemies who might have some motive for getting him into trouble?”


Egads...I'm not even sure where to begin with all this.

Though yeah, you guys did spend a lot of time doing what was important during the Tribulation. I mean, someone had to escort Nicky around the world so he could commit horrific atrocities and serve as his personal propagandist. But to be fair, occasionally the Tribbles thought disdainful thoughts in Nicky's general direction, which totally counts as bravely standing up to tyranny.

Ah, Nicky, you probably could have defeated the RTCs if you just stuck Scratch-and-Stuff stickers at the bottom of swimming pools, or wrote "Want to keep an idiot busy all day? See other side for details" on both sides of dollar bill. Given that an anonymous report is Serious Business! can any of you deny the inherent truth of my previous statement?

Kenny and Kat are walking around :gasp: holding hands and we get this nice bit from Kenny.

That seemed to satisfy Kat, and they spent the dinner hour with her parents, talking openly about their future. Nothing was official yet, of course, but their conversations had progressed even to the logistics of where they would live. Kenny wanted to make his actual proposal something dramatic and special.

"She is of the opposite gender and tolerates my presence. Clearly that is a sign of undying love!"

Kenny-boy goes to meet up with Creepy Raymie who is holding a meeting. But Zaki, the guy who recruited Qasim (aka the Worst Person in the World**), hasn't been sipping the right brand of Kool-Aid.

That night Raymie called a meeting of the Millennium Force, and it was clear Zaki was not happy. “You still pining over your buddy?” Raymie said. “I don’t get it. All of us except Kenny here have glorified minds, and you’re still obsessing over what I had to say to Qasim.”

Zaki shook his head. “I felt ganged up on, and I know Qasim did. I want to go on record that you overreacted and that you had no right to ban him from our meetings.”

Yeah, I'm sure you really had to be emotionally cruel and kick Qasim out of your Sooper Sekrit Clubb for being somewhat hot-headed, because...:cue tumbleweed gif: I'm sure you really felt great anguish over that decision.

But Bahira has some words for her wayward brother.

“He didn’t belong here!” Bahira said. “He was never a member, and Raymie made it clear he was not to even pretend to represent us, but still he did just that! He called himself our TOL infiltration expert!”

"He committed the greatest crime of all: showing support and trying to help us! History must never forget Qasim's atrocities!"

Though I do feel a need to point out that Qasim was the one who brought you the TOL's manifesto. Granted, said manifesto was dripping with Strawman Has a Point, but he still actually brought you useful information. What has Bahira and Creepy Raymie done in the great battle against the TOL's tyranny? :cue tumbleweed gif again: It's probably a case of Qasim thinks he's a Main Character and is doing Main Character stuff, despite not being a Main Character. This is something the Millies can't let go unpunished! Kenny-boy and Creepy Raymie can act like Main Characters by virtue of having St. Rayford and Our Buck's blood in their veins, but Qasim isn't related to either!

Though in fairness, Creepy Raymie only has St. Rayford's blood and is only related to Our Buck by his sister's marriage to him. Since Kenny has both Rayford and Buck's blood in him, does that give Kenny-boy a higher ranking in the LB-verse hierarchy or what?

They talk for a bit and there's this moment, which confused the hell out of me.

“Guess that means a green light from us,” Raymie said. “Be careful and keep us posted.”

“Of course,” Bruce said. “Kenny, I would be honored. And I agree it’s a nice touch, tying your wedding to that of your parents. But you must get Ekaterina on board. She may have another idea. It has to be her call. I won’t be offended either way.”

While they were connected by their implanted cellular phones, Kenny filled Bruce in on the situation with the Other Light in Paris.

This through me because I thought Kenny was at a meeting with Creepy Raymie, Bahira, and Zaki all hanging around. So when they mentioned Bruce, I was like, "WTF?! When did he show up?" Did he just beam in there like something on Star Trek? Has he been quiet the entire time, not even making breathing noises?

Then I realized that Kenny-boy is communicating with Bruce over the skull phone and I'm like, "Okay so did Kenny put Bruce on speakerphone somehow?" Because the dialogue seems to imply that Kenny had been talking with Bruce, but nothing before gives any indication, no part where Kenny is like, "Hey I'm going to have to put you on hold here?" or he says, "Hey I'm talking with Bruce. Maybe he can help us," before going to speakerphone. This kind of error is so bad, I can't even find the words for it. If I try, my keyboard will probably go on strike and all I'll be able to do, is type nonsense like apsodinf;aosijfab.

Though the MK having skull phones...given that spiritplumber said that Jenkins considers the LB-verse to be a sequel to the Shitstain Trilogy...well, I'd wonder if there's a deeper meaning behind the skull phones, but that may be giving Ellanjay too much credit.

Though it probably is some kind of telepathic uplink ala the Borg. Bruce, as a servant of TurboJesus, is allowed to be a part of said link, the better to disseminate orders, lest the drones forget their place. And Bruce is in turn monitored by others who all answer to TurboJesus. The only ones who aren't linked, are St. Rayford and Our Buck, because they outrank everyone in the LB-verse, including Zod and TurboJesus. As such, the arc of the universe bends to their will and they have no need of the telepathic uplink.

The section ends with Chloe talking to Kenny-boy. Even Kenny-boy is like, "Seriously?!" in response to all this. They talk for a bit about Who Could Have Done Such a Horrible Thing? but Kenny is like, "Just forget about it." In my head, Kenny leaves and he and Our Buck start making plans to have her put in a home, because Dementia has clearly set in. Before anyone says, "But Mouse, this is supposed to be Heaven!" given that it's already been shown that Heaven has all the annoyances of Earth, is it too much of a stretch to believe that Dementia is still a thing?

And that's it. Have fun and stay out of trouble.

*Yes, you may say them like Doctor Evil would, complete with the finger quotes. In fact, you would be remiss in your duties if you didn't.

**You have to admit that this video with Keith Olbermann laying into Glenn Beck, feels kind of quaint given that we're now in the Trump-era. Trump could unhinge his jaw and devour a live newborn baby in front of its terrified mother, and he would still have supporters. They would be like, "Hey, babies are a well-known source of protein, which he will need if he plans to solve all our problems forever." Though if the baby devoured, is a PoC, good luck getting them to express any opinion on it.