Sunday, April 16, 2017

Kenny's Gonna Go Out, He's Gonna Let Himself Get, Absolutely Soaking Wet!

Hello and happy Sunday everybody! I haven't gotten around to my annual viewing of The Last Temptation of Christ, but I will eventually. Again, the RTCs who got up in arms when that movie came out, clearly didn't see it, because Scorsese's film is a deeply reverent story. It has great respect for who Christ was and what he represented, and it may be the only movie Jesus, who didn't seem about as lively or charismatic as cardboard. Willem Dafoe is probably entirely too Aryan to play a Middle-Eastern Jew, but you understand why people would want to follow his Jesus. Too often, media adaptations of Jesus have him as lively as cold gravy, woodenly reciting lines copied and pasted from the Bible.

Okay, now that I've sung the praises of some good art, now I'll talk about some bad. And yes, for all those wondering, I did interpret the first few lines of this chapter in a dirty way. I thought by now you knew I was a dirty-minded perv who loves adding more Yaoi to the LB-verse!

CAMERON WILLIAMS sat steely eyed and somber in Kenny’s living room as Chloe wept. He didn’t know what to think.

I freely admit I may be reaching here, but c'mon! I can't be the only one thinking that all these tears and strum und drang is because Kenny had just come out as Gay. At least that's my head canon, because again, I love adding Yaoi to the LB-verse. Though it's entirely too easy to add Yaoi to the LB-verse. No matter what they may say, Rayford and Cam-Cam show considerably more chemistry with each other than they ever do with their designated love interests. As said before and will be said again, writers of Christian Fiction™ are the best creators of unintentional Ho Yay around.

Okay, the next few lines means the Kenny's "I'm Gay" scene exists only in my head, but there's a reason they call it head canon. Hence all the stuff about the League of Awesome.

His son was denying everything, which he would do whether innocent or guilty. Admittedly, the document that Qasim Marid claimed he had retrieved off Ignace Jospin’s desk in Paris had so many glaring incriminations in it that it could easily have been a setup. But who would do such a thing, and who would know enough details to pull it off?

Between this paragraph and subsequent ones, where Kenny is "That's not true!" and Chloe's like "I'm all weak and womanly, but I believe him" then Cam-Cam says, "Of course you do, and I want to, too,” I'm forced to have sympathy for Kenny simply because of how quickly his friends and family are to immediately believe the worst about him. I know said sympathy will last about as long as a drop of rain in the Mojave desert, but still.

For the record, my exaggeration of Chloe's line, is barely an exaggeration at all.

Heck, even Kenny calls Cam-Cam out on all this.

“You want to, Dad? My word is not good enough for you? You always taught me to live in such a way that if someone brought a charge against me, no one would believe it. What have I done, how have I lived, that makes no one but my mother believe me?”

It is admittedly a satisfying line, but you know Kenny's going to face consequences for this, as he just questioned the word of Cam-Cam, aka his father, aka one of the most powerful beings around which this universe revolves.

Because seriously, Cam-Cam, can you point to anything that might raise questions about your son's faith? Did you find some dirty magazines of girls without clothes on, hidden underneath his mattress? Or worse, dirty magazines of boys without clothes on? Did you find some bottles that prove Kenny's been drinking something much stronger than grape juice? Did you find copies of Richard Dawkins's oeuvre, Christopher Hitchens' oeuvre, The Origin of Species, along with fiction that acknowledges the very real suffering that comes with being alive, stories where sometimes people do bad things not just because they're Baddy McEvilpants, but because humans are flawed creatures who do not always behave well under times of physical or emotional stress or both? Or did you find a box of condoms and proof that Kenny has committed the greatest sin of all, having sex with a willing participant and :gasp: Enjoying it, even though wearing a rubber greatly reduces the likelihood of children being produced from the sinful act of coitus.

Even Chloe, the perfect Stepford Wife, is like, "What the hell, Buck?!" But fear not, Cam-Cam continues to be an asshole.

Cameron sighed. “Maybe I know something you don’t, Chloe.”

“Oh, great!” Kenny said. “There’s more?”

“I got an anguished call from Abdullah this afternoon. He saw you at TOL headquarters in Amman today, Kenny.”

I suppose Cam-Cam had to step up to the plate. His son is being all willful, trying to defend himself against unjust charges, rather than just meekly apologize to Daddy, even though he hasn't done anything. And Chloe is forgetting her job is to be an obedient Stepford Wife and a convenient beard, by defending Kenny. But Chloe's judgment is probably considered suspect, what with those pairs of X chromosomes warping his brain.

Kenny is like, "Hello! I was infiltrating!"

But Cam-Cam points out that a nameless techie (your call whether it's Chang Wong or Donny Moore) discovered that the eeeevil email from the previous chapter, was sent from Kenny's computer, thus proving that Kenny is even more eeeevil that Adolf Q. Stalin-Pot. Whether he out-evils the Greatest Eeeevil of all in Kingdom Come, aka Qasim, remains to be seen.

Kenny continues to have my sympathy, by defending himself and pointing out quite obviously that "You know we don't keep our doors locked around here." Also, again, this is a computer, not Fort Freakin' Knox they're talking about. I doubt Kenny has even the most basic of protections on his computer, like a password or a PIN that has to be entered. If he does, they're probably idiot ones like "password" or "1234."

Kenny is all, "Is this a case I can take before a judge?" I, like everyone else, is like, "This could be solved in all of five seconds!" All Kenny has to do, is something like this.

Kenny: Hey God or Jesus, am I a traitor?

God or Jesus: No!

Kenny: [turns around] See, I told you.

Most Idiot Plots could be solved in five minutes by having the characters talk to each other. Given how very little time it would take to solve this one, Idiot Plot feels entirely too meager a descriptor. We may have to invent an entirely new word in order to fully capture the overwhelming amount of Stupid.

Chloe and Cam-Cam tell Kenny that they are putting him on a suspension until all this is worked out. Kenny continues to defend himself and :gasp: Have a Point!

They sat in silence a long time. Finally Kenny spoke. “It seems that with all the people you know, all the people you’ve worked with, we have access to spiritual power few others have. If everybody who’s worked with you and believed in you and supported you in the past would cooperate in prayer, I don’t believe Jesus would let this injustice stand. Do you?”

Cameron and Chloe looked at each other. Then Cameron addressed his son. “They would all have to know everything, Kenny. They would have to see all the evidence.”

"Which neither would have any problem doing, since they are Omniscient beings capable of seeing everything that goes on in the world."

That's what my version of Kenny says anyway. Of course, my version of Kenny by now would have just given his parents the finger and left to meet up with his boyfriend, Carl, to go watch Black Sabbath perform.

Before anyone says anything, I'm terminally unhip, so I don't know what rock band the RTCs are all up in arms about. When I was in high school, it was Marilyn Manson and Eminem who were warping and corrupting the youth of today, turning us all into sociopathic mass murderers. But I don't know who it is now. So I chose Black Sabbath, because of how they made so many RTCs lose their collective shit over them. Since this is Heaven, they are all aged down, so Ozzy is still the Prince of Darkness, rather than some barely coherent former reality TV star.

Oh fine, because I'm endlessly self-referential, he's actually going to see Z-Van. Haven't worked out how Z-Van escaped being punted into Hell, but I don't really care, so long as everyone remembers that he looks like Madonna Dahmer. I respect everyone's right to choose their own head canon, except where that's concerned

As for the name of Kenny's boyfriend? Just gave him the first guy name that came into my head. I thought about pairing him with Qasim, but given how shitty Kenny and everyone else has been towards him, Qasim could do so much better. Then again, maybe some of this stems from the deep loathing Kenny has towards his own sexuality. Once he gets away from Cam-Cam and Chloe, gets some decent counseling, he'll come to terms with his homosexuality. Then he'll seek out Qasim to apologize and...

Oh fine, I'll stop with the Yaoi head canons. At least for now, anyway.

Kenny ends his conversation by saying this.

“Dad, I’ve got nothing to hide. What have I got to lose? I believe Jesus is here and on His throne and that lies will be exposed. I’m open to anything.”

:shakes head: As said before, all Kenny has to do is shout, "Hey God, are any of those rumors about me true? And by rumors, I'm not referring to the ones about my love for Liza Minnelli, leather, and musical theatre."

Then God would shout, "No!"

And Kenny would turn around and be like, "See?"

Then God would say, "But you do look damn good in leather, though."

Yep, my vow to stop with all the Yaoi head canons didn't even last the section. I should probably be ashamed of myself, but I'm not. I just hope I'm not stoned to death by the QUILTBAG crowd for all the stereotyping/cheap jokes. Though at least if I am, I should take comfort in knowing that they will be some fa-abulous-looking stones.

Kenny goes back to his room and writes two emails, one to the other Millies and one for Kat. Then, and I kid you not, Ellanjay basically copy-and-paste 1 Corinthians 13, aka the love chapter, aka probably the best part of Paul's writings, the one where he comes the closest to conveying the life-changing magic and love of Christ. They somehow got paid for doing this, even though your average drug dealer demonstrates better work ethic. Yet for some reason, the drug dealer is the one who goes to prison. A massive Bible quote won't make your writing seem even more deep by comparison!

:runs outside to scream for a while:

Well, now that's done, let's see what else we have to deal with. Well, there really isn't much more. There are a few bits and pieces with Abdullah and I have a feeling we'll eventually revisit his Asshole-for-Christ campaign. Other than that, there is a short section with Kenny, where I make juvenile jokes until he gets to the part where he compares himself to Jesus, then I'm like "Seriously?!" As a fun activity, I'll provide the paragraph in question. Think of it as being like one of those paper placemats some restaurants have to entertain the kids, while they wait for their food, only instead of a wordsearch or a maze, this one is called "Mark the spots where Mouse made juvenile remarks and snickered like Beavis & Butthead."

Though I am not kidding about how Kenny-boy compares himself to Jesus.

Kenny arose not refreshed but with an interesting new outlook. It was as if the Lord had spoken to his heart even as he slept. It was the strangest feeling— something that those like him were unlikely to grasp without an ordeal such as the one he was enduring. He was getting a taste— albeit a very small and entirely less violent one— of what it must have been like for Jesus to be betrayed and abandoned by His friends. Of course, Jesus was mocked and spit upon and struck, had a crown of thorns thrust into His scalp, had His side riven by a sword, and was eventually put to death.

Well, I'm going wind up in Hell. Do I at least get to trick out the handbasket I'll be traveling in? I've thought about putting flame decals on mine as a joke, but it may be one of those things that's so on the nose, it'll make the demons poke me harder with their pitchforks.

If you're wondering, the original title I had in mind for this post was "RTC-Man Has A Point" in reference to all my usages of "Strawman Has A Point." But then I kept making all those Gay jokes and well, :points at post title: that's where I wound up. So I'll give my readers an informal poll. You can say it's another activity for Mouse's Fun Activity Book for Dirty-Minded Pervs and Already-Corrupted Youths.

Question is, should I have gone with the original post title instead of diving headfirst into Gay jokes? One last one for the road from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.


spiritplumber said...

The SMBC comic is pretty much why I had to start Left Beyond Quest in +900 instead of in +93, the game would have been too easy otherwise :) (In LBQ, nobody thinks to use Divine lightning for power, although it's generally a moot point since there's sunlight 24/7 so solar panels make the most sense).

And your current pick for a title is fine! :3

One thing to note is that this is probably the first time in Left Behind in which a MAN disagrees with a woman (and they're both glorifieed to boot) and, surprise of surprises, the woman is factually correct! (Not going to say that she's right, CAMERON WILLIAMS is right by definition).

Headcanon: Chloe either did the smart thing and privately asked Jesus, or used her considerable (offscreen) brainpower to figure out that this is a poorly enacted false flag op. OTOH, Bucky went with his gut instinct as the Greatest Investigative Reporter of All Time, and well, the shoe seemed to fit, so let's ignore the obvious hole in it, his first impression couldn't possibly be wrong!

TOL is really going to have to pick up the Idiot Ball later on in the story in order to lose to these people...

Then again, by rights, Kingdom Come should be the story of how TOL starts small and ends up winning over more than half the Earth's population despite an obvious longevity disadvantage.

Then then again, I'm still holding out hope that KC is a subversion of the rest of the series.

Hmm. Who might Carl be.

Melvina said...

Spiritual... Power... Do they think that God works like the spirit bomb in Dragon Ball Z? That's literally what it sounds like. Do they really not have any understanding of how relationships work? Whenever they wanted something from their respective parents as children, did they have to gather up all of their siblings and get everyone to beg and plead to their parents in the hopes that their parents would notice and turn a merciful eye while they endured in the throes of their affliction? Or, conversely, if that's how they think parents ought to act, then I feel super sorry for Ellenjay's children.

Mouse said...

Melvina, my mind goes more to Captain Planet and you have to admit, there are some parallels. If the teens combine their powers, they summon Captain Planet to take care of their enemies; if the Tribbles combine theirs, they summon Zod or TurboJesus.

My favorite thing about that SMBC comic, is what I picture happening off-panel with the recruitment. "I'm sorry, son, but you're not in. You're just not Gay enough." "But my entire wardrobe is made up of leather and Liza Minnelli CDs. The ghost of Liberace won't stop showing up at my house and telling me to tone it down."

Anonymous said...

So, why isn't every criminal or quasi-criminal dispute referred to TurboJesus? He's supposed to be both Omniscient and Good (yes, I know, assumes facts not in evidence) and nobody questions his right to electrocute people for sedition, so you'd think he'd have a full docket. Is he too lazy to be bothered? Or do his worshipers, for all their hosannas, have a few doubts of their own?

spiritplumber said...

Arynne, supposedly because criminals automatically get zapped by TurboJesus already.

Quoting from earlier in the book:

Kenny bore the only nonglorified body among the four, and that had given him entrĂ©e to a world in which the others would never be welcomed without suspicion. “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.”

Note the part where people who ARE NOT COMMITTING ACTUAL CRIMES by the Millie's very admission, get harassed, arrested and imprisoned. (And this is why I think KC is a sendoff of the previous LB books... either that or L&J think that 1984 had a happy ending)

Anonymous said...

Ugh, I had forgotten that part. So any lawbreaking is punished by instant execution without trial, and anyone doing anything the public disapproves of is imprisoned (also with no trial, apparently)...and this is the world they want to live in? I'm tempted to agree with you about it being a sendup.

Anonymous said...

(Also, I note that revelry isn't punished even by TurboJesus--who, after all, "came eating and drinking" according to Matthew--but by the literally holier-than-Thou humans. Yeah, I think the writer may have been in a puckish mood.)

Mouse said...

I think you guys give Ellanjay too much credit, assuming that KC was written as some kind of subtle jab at the PMD mythos.

"Ugh, I had forgotten that part. So any lawbreaking is punished by instant execution without trial, and anyone doing anything the public disapproves of is imprisoned (also with no trial, apparently)...and this is the world they want to live in? I'm tempted to agree with you about it being a sendup."

Actually RTCs probably wouldn't object to that sort of thing. Like I've said before, the Right doesn't object to tyranny, so long as it's done by the right people for the right reason. Soviet dictators running roughshod over the rights and lives of their people in the name of communism, which was wrong because it was done in the name of communism. Putin runs roughshod over the rights and lives of his people in the name of unfettered free market capitalism and cronyism, but that's okay because it's in the name of unfettered free market capitalism and cronyism. It's the reason they object to Sharia law, not because they believe in free speech and women's rights, but because Sharia law oppresses people in the name of Allah, not Jesus.

Applying that logic, it's not wrong for the Millies to run roughshod over the TOL's right to free assembly and :gasp: live their lives in a manner they see fit without harming anyone or damaging any property, because the TOL are exercising their rights in the wrong way to the wrong incoherent belief season.

Cheezits said...

"It was the strangest feeling— something that those like him were unlikely to grasp without an ordeal such as the one he was enduring."

Wow. Poor, poor Kenny! Of course no one in their perfect society has ever suffered such an Epic Ordeal as he has. Yea, verily, no one but Jesus himself could imagine such hardship. Oh, yeah, I guess Jesus had it a little harder what with that business about being crucified and all. Whatever that could mean to someone born and raised in a world where nobody suffers so much as a hangnail. Pain is something that used to happen before Jesus made everything right.

I have to wonder if this book is the authors' way of driving home the point that in their vision of God's Kingdom, life is so boring that interesting fiction is impossible.

spiritplumber said...

"It was the strangest feeling— something that those like him were unlikely to grasp without an ordeal such as the one he was enduring."

As opposed to TOL members who are routinely harassed, discriminated against, and occasionally killed without trial.

(Actually while we're at it - potential plothole found - wouldn't people have died before Cendrillon, since they got zapped and such?)

Firedrake said...

"So let's take a look at this situation. Up to now, total number of people who've fallen away from the True Zodly Path: zero. And now we have a document that's been compiled by known liars, telling us that one of our guys has lapsed. How reliable is that likely to be? Eh, we're RTCs. Nuke 'em all!"

Then God says "what, there are some of you who don't love Liza Minelli? Nuke 'em all!"

"It was as if the Lord had spoken to his heart even as he slept." Y'know, said the voice in his heart, there's all that drain cleaner under the sink, right next to the coffee pot, almost as if it had been divinely ordained.

spiritplumber said...

Is there demand for me running another game set in Kingdom Come?