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L.B.: Keep an eye on the Jews

Left Behind, pp. 54-57

Here the story switches back to Buck Williams, who is proud to have been “the first passenger from his flight to reach the terminal at O’Hare.”

The others apparently didn’t realize it was a race. They were slowed by the steeplechase of human misery along the way, not realizing that the needy and the suffering were obstacles to be avoided instead of opportunities to help, they couldn’t keep up with Buck. Suckers.

The Greatest Investigative Reporter of All Time knew better than to allow himself to get bogged down in the spontaneous outpouring of solidarity and mutual aid that often follows the shared experience of mass tragedy. He races back to the terminal and straight to “the exclusive Pan-Con Club,” where he can check his e-mail without distraction from the moans of the hoi polloi.

What Buck finds is two messages from his boss at Global Weekly, Steve (“dumb as a”) Plank — the World’s Worst Editor.

Buck first reads the message Plank sent to “all field personnel.” This first message actually contains a bit of common sense. Plank tells his reporters not to try to get to the office in New York, but to report from wherever they are — “on-the-scene stuff, as much as you can transmit.”

Aside from the odd choice of verb (“transmit?”), this seems like a good move. The mass disappearances are a global event without an apparent epicenter. The story is everywhere and reporters can cover it from wherever they may be.

Plank also tells his staff to:

Begin thinking about the causes. Military? Cosmic? Scientific? Spiritual? But so far we’re dealing mainly with what happened.

It’s not until we read the next message, addressed specifically to Buck, that readers begin to realize that Plank is actually insane and a raving anti-Semite conspiracy theorist. It starts off reasonably enough:

Buck, ignore general staff memo. Get to New York as soon as you can at any expense. … You’re going to head up this effort to get at what’s behind the phenomenon. … Whether we’ll come to any conclusions, I don’t know, but at the very least we’ll catalog the reasonable possibilities. …

But then Plank takes a sharp turn through the looking glass:

I do have an ulterior motive. Sometimes I think because of the position I’m in, I’m the only one who knows these things; but …

The remainder of the e-mail — three pages long — has nothing to do with the disappearance of more than a billion people, including every child and infant on the planet.

Instead, Plank speculates about what he sees as the really important stories — stories about Jews, international bankers, the U.N. and international Jewish bankers at the U.N. Plank suspects that those Jewy Jews are up to something. He’s not sure what it is, but his nose for news tells him that it’s a bigger story than the anguish of every parent on earth. After all, these are Jews we’re talking about, and if something Jewish is afoot, then he needs his best reporter on the job:

… Political editor wants to cover a Jewish Nationalist conference in Manhattan that has something to do with a new world order government. What they care about that, I don’t know and the political editor doesn’t either. Religion editor has something in my in box about a conference of Orthodox Jews also coming for a meeting. These are not just from Israel but apparently all over …

Plank apparently believes that New York is a city of 10 million gentiles. I can’t begin to describe how incoherent and bizarre the rest of this e-mail is:

… and they are no longer haggling over the Dead Sea Scrolls. They’re still giddy over the destruction of Russia and her allies — which I know you still think was supernatural, but hey, I love you anyway. Religion editor thinks they’re looking for help in rebuilding the temple. That may be no big deal or have anything to do with anything other than the religion department …

Because, you know, the destruction of one of Islam’s holiest sites couldn’t possibly have any political ramifications …

… but I was struck by the timing — with the other Jewish group meeting at pretty much the same time and at the same place about something entirely political. The other religious conference in town is among leaders of all the major religions, from the standard ones to the New Agers, also talking about a one-world religious order. They ought to get together with the Jewish Nationalists, huh? Need your brain on this. Don’t know what to make of it, if anything.

There’s no indication from Plank, or from LaHaye and Jenkins, that the chaos and mass disappearances might have altered the schedules of any of these upcoming conferences. Global gridlock and the closing of all airports couldn’t possibly interfere with a meeting of the Parliament of World Religions. And while such conferences usually only merit passing mention in the paper — perhaps a paragraph at the bottom of Peter Steinfels’ Saturday column — Plank views this meeting as rivaling the disappearances for the attention of his star reporter.

It’s impossible even to critique these pages. They are awesomely awful. L&J get nothing right in this passage. Nothing. The content of the exposition they cram into this section is as bizarre and inappropriate as Plank’s e-mail itself. We have the editor of a national newsweekly displaying none of the perspective or knowledge such a person would need for the job. In a book full of grotesque cartoons and tortured caricatures, Plank may be the strangest creation of all:

I know all anybody cares about is the disappearances. But we need to keep an eye on the rest of the world. You know the United Nations has that international monetarist confab coming up, trying to gauge how we’re all doing with the three-currency thing. Personally I like it, but I’m a little skittish about going to one currency unless it’s dollars. Guess I’m still provincial. …

The three currencies, we later learn, are dollars, marks and yen. Yes, this book was written in 1995. No, that doesn’t excuse L&J from failing to anticipate the adoption of the euro.

… Everybody’s pretty enamored with this Carpathia guy from Romania who so impressed your friend Rosenzweig. He’s got everybody in a bind in the upper house in his own country because he’s been invited to speak at the U.N. in a couple of weeks …

Yeah, a Romanian lawmaker making a speech to the U.N. That’s Page 1 stuff.

… Nobody knows how he wangled an invitation, but his international popularity reminds me a lot of Walesa or even Gorbachev. Remember them? Ha!

WTF? It’s surreal. Who can possibly defend a passage this awful? How did 40 million readers plow through these pages? And what horrible aesthetic, mental and spiritual scars do they bear as a result of this ordeal?

 

  • nitpicker

    so is Buck a raving anti-semite, or is it just his boss? Does L&J grace us with his reaction to reading such unforgivingly open bigotry? Is there a perplexed furrowing of his mighty brow at the obvious madness that has overcome his editor, no doubt caused by the sudden and inexplicable loss of the ones he loved?
    Or did only part of him get Left Behind?

  • Stephen

    I’ve long known that Christians will excuse any type of mediocrity as long as it’s “Christian.” This has allowed the somewhat successful careers of many somewhat talented artists, musicians and writers.
    Apparently, what has been lacking on the path to Christian superstardom is blatant bigotry towards the only people/religious group that shares the same heritage as Christianity.
    However, I’d say that Lahaye/Jenkins manage to capture the present state of journalistic standards pretty well. . .
    Stephen

  • temima

    Considers Jesus roasts those ‘who didn’t help the Jews,’ I’d think that it is more a clumsy attempt to mock “International Jewish Conspiracy” theorists. The scary thing is Lahaye and Jenkins may have actually known some of them in the same social/religious circles.

  • Michael

    Surely this UN taking over the world / one world government / new world order / European or communist takeover of America schtick is not a christian or apocalyptic thing, but rather a natural outgrowth of the anti-communist “survivalist” books from the ’80s? You know, militias, Timothy McVeigh, that kinda thing.

  • Josh

    I must admit, I am addicted to these little vignettes from such a well written novel. However, I missed the first few entries. Is there a link that has all entries, if not, can you post one. Thank you so much for sacrificing yourself by actually reading this drivel, and entertaining us with your analysis. On a related note, you must check out this site on the rapture. It is not satire, but is quite funny. I am reasonably sure this guy has read all the LB series. I think I found the site from World o’Crap, or some other blog.
    http://www.raptureready.com/rap2.html

  • lightning

    I’ve long known that Christians will excuse any type of mediocrity as long as it’s “Christian.”
    Replace the word “mediocrity” with “crap”. LB is Hemmingway compared to some of the stuff out there. And don’t even think about “Christian rock”.

  • dan

    I don’t get the implication – are Gorbachev and Walesa considered to have been bad guys? Should we be worried that this Romanian guy will also turn into a major reformist who brings democracy and freedom to nations of people?

  • Patrick J. Mullins

    Stephen and Lightning–
    “I’ve long known that Christians will excuse any type of mediocrity as long as it’s ‘Christian.’”
    That needs an enormous amount of qualifying to not be a blatantly nonsensical sentence. I no longer consider myself a Christian, except what humanistic residue I find coincides with other thinkings; and insofar as since I was raised one, I may still have some sense of kinship that is closer to Christians or lapsed Christians than it is to other groups. This is certainly common among all religious and formerly religious groups, including Jews.
    But you cannot possibly be referring to 2000 years of Christendom and its magnificent artists or even many Christians today. You must be speaking of fundamentalists who have few artistic standards and who can often be anti-Semitic as well.
    Because it would certainly be equally as true–and therefore equally meaningless–to say that “I’ve long known that Jews will excuse any type of mediocrity as long as it’s ‘Jewish.’”
    After all, there is J.S. Bach, just to set the greatest “Christian” musician up to put all the rest in relief. Anyway, the list of great Christian artists is endless–whether Auden, Balanchine, Beethoven, Raphael,
    Dionne Warwick, just as is the Jewish list with Leonard Bernstein, Judy Holliday, and Saul Bellow, Isaac Bashevis Singer and a million others.
    “what has been lacking on the path to Christian superstardom”
    What on earth does that mean, Stephen? If there has been “superstardom,” and I assure you there has, there has been nothing lacking. There have even been Christian “superstars” as bright as Barbra Streisand.
    Admittedly, Pat Boone and Anita Bryant are mediocre (to bring it up to the 20th Century pop), but so are Joan Rivers and Judith Krantz.
    As far as I’m concerned the journalists I most often turn to–Paul Krugman, Joan Didion and Richard Goldstein–are Jewish and Christian (she’s Episcopalian), so I can’t see what your point could be.
    Those kinds of statements detract from what Fred is pointing out as the core ideologies (if they can be called that) in these repellent texts–and semi-literate as well, apparently.
    It is important not to ignore history when making big generalizations–despite the fact that we live in an era in which the last week is often cancelled out by the next day’s media, and that there is much talk of the “end of history” by thinkers who DO know what they are talking about.

  • Eli

    Josh – Just click on the category title (Left Behind) at the end of the post; it’s a link to a page that collects all of Fred’s LB material.
    Michael – I think there’s always been a lot of overlap between the McVeigh/militia guys and the Lahaye/Hal Lindsey flavor of End Times watchers, in terms of their notions about the UN.

  • Constantine

    The use of “Carpathia” as a Romanian surname continuously gets on my nerves. I know that not every Romanian has a patronymic -escu surname, but “Carpathia” is a sort of comic-book name… it’s the sort of name a writer would come up with if he had to make something up quickly on the spot and didn’t bother to wonder what a Romanian-sounding surname would look like. I know it’s a minor issue, but it really irritates me.
    We all thought that “Global Weekly” was a cheap knock-off of Newsweek. Now we find out that it’s actually a fringe conspiracy-theory rag whose editor obsesses about Jewish Bankers.

  • the other michael

    I’m hoping Fred fills us in soon on where this wacko fits in — is he an L&J channeler or just badly written comic relief? I’m fighting my instinct to automatically assume the worst about these guys (not sure why…).
    also, IIRC, the GIRAT is actually what L&J call Buck, sans irony (of course). Is Plank actually called the World’s Worst Editor?
    Apropos of nothing, I had a Musicology professor named Steven Plank (Planck? can’t remember the spelling offhand), who I believe would be quite amused…
    m

  • twig

    “That needs an enormous amount of qualifying to not be a blatantly nonsensical sentence.”
    Here’s my personal qualifier. I love complicated Christian theology, such as I’ve seen of it and have been able to understand. I think that some of the most insightful people in this world are Christians, and their contributions provide a view on the human condition that raises us all up as human beings.
    I also really like Moby.
    However, anything Christian related with the word ‘Extreme’ in front of it, anything trying to be ‘edgy for the kids,’ anything with a shiny logo or neon colors or that has a modern theme or looks like a magazine or talks in ‘our teen language’ or has a bracelet or jewelry or a coffee cup attached to it (hi, Passion of the Christ)… is useless non-spiritual bullshit pandering for cash.
    Also, Creed sucks. And I’ve yet to meet an evangelical ‘born again’ person who actually managed to keep their sense of humor after that rebirth.
    Also, Creed really, really sucks.
    So much.

  • nitpicker

    Stephen:
    Go to the left behind thread/section thingie and read Fred’s post about the misreporting of dispensationalist theology as representative of christian or even evangelical christian thinking, thought or belief. painting every catholic/baptist/protestant/fundie or whatever by the brush coloured Left Behind is unfair to everyone involved and leaves you spattered with the debris of ignorance and bigotry you are trying to disdain.
    And am I the only one who has a very faint urge to actually read this book? just to verify it’s awfulness, but paying for it seems just WRONG though, Again thank you fred for biting this bullet for the ‘masses’ like us, words can not describe the debt we owe you. It’s like a car wreck, totally fascinating in it’s awfulness.

  • none

    nitpicker–Get the stuff out of the library if you have to read it–that way it at least doesn’t get paid for again. To respond to your desire to read it, I looked at the NYPublic Library Catalog just now, and was horrified to find that there are fully 78 listings for LaHaye alone, I didn’t even bother with Jenkins. Even if you were in Two Egg, Florida, your library will help keep you from making a donation to this viral project–and you probably wouldn’t want your friends to see it on your bookshelf–unless you wanted to do a kitschy tableau of 2004 Americana with Thomas Kinkaid’s “Cobblestone Brook” or “Lamplight Bridge.”

  • Shocke

    I’m a bit confused here. Since L&J are open World Government Conspiracy nuts, and one of the most blatant of Left Behind’s myriad purposes is to show the evils of the UN and international co-operation, I see the editor here as a Cassandra figure, someone whom the story gods Lahaye and Jenkins have gifted with the truth about the coming horrors. If so, does this mean L&J are as supportive of this character’s rampant anti-semitism as they are of his politics? I guess I have trouble accepting this book being such a best seller if it really is that blatant. At least, I have a thin shred of hope it’s not as bad as it appears.

  • Nate

    I haven’t read the books, but come from a similar background, and the setup makes perfect sense to me.
    L&J are trying (extremely clumsily) to set up the major conflict of the books here. The Orthodox Jews and their conference are the Good Guys, the (liberal and pacifist I’ll bet) Jewish Nationalists, the UN Unified Monetarists, and the conference of All The Other World Religions Including Apostate Christianity are the Bad Guys. Eventually the three groups will merge. (Why? Because all opponents of the Good Guys must inevitably be linked in Badness. Same pattern and logic as in Frank Peretti.)
    I’ll bet you a large pizza, keep reading and you’ll see. Since there are no True Christians left (they’ve all been raptured), the Orthodox Jews are going to be the only points of Grace left in the world. They will become Messianic Jews before the end. The Liberal Jews will become Evil Humanists.
    And the book spends so little time on the human impact of the disappearances because frankly, they don’t come into the theology at all. It’s all about the power politics afterwards. (One reason why I’m not a rapture believer – it’s a fear-and-power- soaked doctrine for survivalists).
    L&J are certainly paranoid conspiracy theorists, but the Jews as such aren’t the bad guys in their theory, rather they are seen as a locus of conflict. It’s not quite anti-semitism, it’s more subtle than that. *Liberals* are the enemy, whether they be liberal Jews or liberal Gentiles.

  • Jeff Keezel

    Somebody above referred to the Jews as:
    “the only people/religious group that shares the same heritage as Christianity.”
    For the record, the Muslims are also of the same heritage as Christians and Jews tracing their lineage back to the same Abraham. They also are just fine with Jesus – consider him a terrific prophet with much good to say…thekeez

  • Constantine

    the Muslims are also of the same heritage as Christians and Jews tracing their lineage back to the same Abraham.
    While they may say this about themselves, Muslims are more like cousins, really. Though the Muslims did adapt many of the surrounding Jewish and Christian traditions they encountered in Arabia, there’s no direct connection between Islam and Judaism (or Christianity), any more than Christianity is directly descended from Platonism.

  • Eli

    I think Nate’s got the right idea. I’ve only read the first book, but there’s already some Orthodox hero action, and as I understand it this increases later in the series, though, of course, the righteous Jews all convert to Christianity [as Lahaye sees it]. Basically they’re there to represent the Old Testament, and Lahaye’s apocalypse is supposedly (though tenuously) based on bits of OT prophecy.
    I’m pretty sure L&J intend the editor to be a firmly secular (thus doomed, IIRC) guy with no strong opinions about anything, whose position in journalism [as L&J imagine it] makes him a good conduit for exposition. Fred’s point seems to be that a person who talked as Plank does in real life would come across as pretty creepy – but the authors don’t seem to realize this, so intent are they on setting up the reader for big events.
    Plank’s instant focus on Carpathia addressing the U.N. makes no more sense than his instant focus on the Jews – except in the minds of bad writers stumbling through a plot – but the former is just a “whaa?” moment while the latter has unfortunate connotations in real life. The same is true of the role of Israel in modern Christian fundapocalypticism, not just in this book; guys like Lahaye see Israel and the Jews as a plot device, period, and part of the plot requires a lot of people to die in the Middle East…

  • Beth

    Nate,
    Your ‘Orthodox exception’ doesn’t absolve L&J of anti-Semetism. Neo-confederates may speak of “good negroes” who know their place, but that doesn’t make them any less racist. Excepting Orthodox Jews on the assumption that they too will “know their place” in the coming End Times is equally bigoted (and no comfort to the approximately 90% of Jews who are not Orthodox). The underlying assumption is still that Christians are good unless corrupted by liberal humanism, while Jews are evil unless saved by Messianic orthodoxy.

  • Stephen

    This may come too late for people to read it, but I agree that my statement was much too broad.
    The problem seems to be that Christians will accept any kind of contemporary crap and celebrate it as long as it follows a few simple formulas that identify it as “Christian.” Usually these same people will dismiss the great works of Christian literature, music and art as not being “Christian.”
    My remarks were intended to refer to the last 45 years or so, as some Christians have worked to develop an entire alternate universe of stores, music, books, news, movies, food, etc. that will someday allow them to completely disconnect from the actual world their Savior tells them to love.
    Peace

  • Keith

    L&J do have a latent strain of anti-Semitism. A good friend of mine read the first to LB books, in an attempt to try and fathom his mother’s fervent appreciation of them and rabid souther n baptissm in genreral. He was blown away at the antisemitsm lurking just bellow the surface of these books. I’m glad Fred is reading these books so we don’t have to but is ometimes fear for his sanity. I do hope he is tempering this with some good writing.

  • mecki

    57 pages down, 263 to go.
    Fred, you’re a hero.

  • Barry

    As regards the I’ve long known that Christians will excuse any type of mediocrity as long as it’s “Christian.” statement, I think that it holds water. What’s more, I think that it transcends the boundaries of Christianity.
    I lived in Israel in a community largely populated by Orthodox Jews from the US and other English-speaking countries. I have been inside many of their houses and I’ve been to many Judaica art fairs. I’ve also spent a lot of time in Israeli art and Judaica shops that cater to Orthodox Jews (English-speaking and not).
    Simply put, their taste is lousy. Everything aesthetic object has to tie into a very explicit religious theme. You’ll find very few paintings of trees for trees’ sake. Ritual objects all tend to be made of heavy silver with ugly engravings of grapes, etc.
    Everyone also has the same art objects made by the same 20 or 30 ‘artists.’ Essentially, it appears to be a result of groupthink and a fear of being different. The ‘approved’ objects won’t offend visitors’ sensibilities, and they reflect the idea that the owner of the object fits into the mainstream conception of what it means to be an Orthdox Jew in that community.
    Their taste in literature also bites. Popular children’s books don’t simply feature common activities or themes that just happen to involve Orthodox Jews. Instead, the books all have heavy-handed moral themes and are poorly written. The ultimate reason for kids’ books to exist is to inculcate a specific lesson and a broader viewpoint Aesthetics, entertainment value, stimulation of creative thinking are irrelevant, as is the idea that a children’s book can exist as an artistic statement. The simplest and cheapest way to get the point across is the best way to do it. It’s a shame, since Jewish lit for children that is directed at kids across the Jewish spectrum (and written by Jews from across the spectrum) includes some of the most wonderful children’s literature around.
    Lastly, the Orthodox Jews I know generally want to make themselves seem as pious as possible. Maintaining an interest of art for art’s sake detracts from Torah.

  • Thlayli

    I’ve finished the second book (that’s three hours of my life I’ll never get back). Relating to the topic at hand, the Tsion Ben-Judah episode is, even by LB standards, completely ridiculous. It’s a perfect example of what Roger Ebert calls an “Idiot Plot”, i.e. a plot that would only happen that way if everyone involved were a total idiot.
    *** SPOILER WARNING ***
    It’s pretty much a given in theological circles that the Gospels were carefully constructed to make Jesus’ story conform to the various Old Testament prophecies about the Moshiach. Even if one didn’t know that, one would be unable to look into Christianity for more than five minutes without running into the contention that Jesus was in fact the fulfillment of said prophecies. I mean, that’s kinda basic, isn’t it?
    Fortunately for L&J’s purposes, though, the learned Rabbi Ben-Judah is a total idiot. He spends three years researching the OT prophecies, and concludes: “Golly, Jesus fits all of these! He must be the Moshiach!”
    Yes, I understand the book’s audience believes the NT is a work of journalism, but do they seriously expect that the Jews will believe that, too?
    *** END SPOILER WARNING ***

  • Legomancer

    I have a friend who converted to Judaism not long ago and with it, also converted to conservatism. Why? Because like him, the Republicans hate Islam and love Jews. It’s sick, though, that the right continues to pretend to care about Israel and the Jews while at the same time secretly despising them and knowing they’re doomed, simply because the Jews play a role in their twisted apocalyptic fairy tale.
    I continue to be boggled as to why anyone who isn’t a straight rich white male Christian would have anything to do with the right wing, since the conservatives clearly couldn’t care less about anyone who doesn’t fit that description.

  • anonymusrex

    That’s the million dollar question, Legomancer.
    Actually I should qualify that; for the middle and working class, that’s a very good question, for the Halliburtons of the world, its the multi-billion dollar question.

  • Nancy Lebovitz

    In re loving crap as long as it’s Christian/Jewish/whatever: As Sturgeon’s Law says, 90% of *everything* is crud.
    In re anti-semitism in LB: the breakpoint for me was the stuff about the Israelis inventing a miraculously good fertilizer which led to political problems because they neither shared it nor sold it. In other words, the intelligent/greedy stereotype was in full play.

  • Legomancer

    “As Sturgeon’s Law says, 90% of *everything* is crud.”
    Legomancer’s addition to Sturgeon’s Law: “Which is not to say that the other 10% may not ALSO be crap.”

  • Chris

    L&J are anti-semitic in the same way that they are anti-Catholic. They simply are tone deaf to anyone who doesn’t fit their pre-conceived ideas. Jews are simply Christians who don’t realize it. Catholics are pre-evangelicals. That Jews might not want to be Christians and might prefer their heritage as is thank you very much is simply not in the mind set of L&J. Everyone secretly wants to be a fundamentalist or else they are Satan’s catspaw.

  • emjaybee

    Chris nailed it. Exactly. Many fundies refer to Christianized Jews as “completed” Jews, after all. Fundamentalist Christians see all other faiths as either their predecessors who can be converted, or their demonic enemies.
    It’s so funny the memories these thread bring up. I remember my absolute certainty that the Rapture would come and things would happen pretty much as the LB books predict. I was only 10 when my Dad started teaching me fundamentalist eschatology, and I had no critical way of analyzing it.
    Looking back now, I have to wonder just how sincere the beliefs of all those grownups talking about the End Times was. Because if I were a grown believer, I would have a lot of doubt-stifling to do, all the time.

  • Dreyfus

    Just to be pedantic, I think the first person to use the term “idiot plot” was sf writer Damon Knight, in one of the book reviews in his collection _In Search of Wonder_. Ebert was a sf fan back in the day, so he may easily have read it.

  • none

    The latest SoJo Mail had this blurb, for the interested (its an ad, but nothing I have any financial stake in):
    Do you get questions about the Left Behind novels? Does your church focus too much – or too little – on the book of Revelation? In God’s Time, a lively church-based adult education course from Wesley Seminary, takes direct aim at this challenge. Ten class sessions cover Craig C. Hill’s acclaimed In God’s Time: The Bible and the Future, which Tony Campolo called “balanced and inspiring and helpful,” challenging the “right-wing political mind-set” of popular End Times books. Rowan Williams called In God’s Time both “admirable” and “excellent.” Please see http://go.sojo.net/ct/67q-Oks1CjHU/ for information about enrolling your church.

  • bellatrys

    emjaybee – do you remember the Y2K stuff? A lot of grownups in my parish and environs were all het up about it. Some were afraid, some were thrilled that the Rapture was on its way. (Yes, I’m Catholic. This stuff has seeped over here for years.) An intelligent 13 year old (my godson) said to me around that time, I don’t know why everyone is convinced that the computers will all stop working, or if they do, why that will make civilization break down. Of course, this kid knew a lot about computers, and read very widely, and observed the everyday world closely.
    A lot more so than these So-Called Adults.
    Adults are just big kids, really. That increase in years entails increase in wisdom/prudence/charity all the other cardinal virtues is just a good PR stunt. They indoctrinate us with this when we’re too young to be able to disprove it. Thus you see so many people in denial about things like the fact that we have greedy lunatics in charge of the country, or that someone like Tucker Carlson could be such a soulless bastard, even in the teeth of much evidence.

  • none

    bellatrys,
    Your godson may be intelligent, but he missed the boat on the Y2K computer bug. Without massive patching in the late 90′s a lot of computer programs would have stopped working, and while it wouldn’t have destroyed civilization, it could have created some major problems. A lot of major programs were written in the 70′s and early 80′s when the year 2000 seemed a long way off, so they used 2-digit years. In the computer’s ‘mind’, the year couldn’t go above 99. That would have created some pretty unpredictable results on 1/1/2000.

  • Eli

    Put another way, bellatrys’s godson had the great good fortune to be too young to have had any contact with the grim, dumb, and very verbose world of COBOL mainframe programming.

  • http://akma.disseminary.org/archives/001485.html AKMA’s Random Thoughts

    Links

    Slacktivist has been updating his Left Behind blogging. Ben linked to a compilation of “Top 100” lists, one of which correctly notes that “Chestnut Mare” is among the very worst, although the rest of that list’s constituen…

  • TheRequisiteJew

    Yes, but, a lot of the computers that dealt with medical information, monetary information, ect, were already re-programmed quite a FEW years before 2000. My father, who still works in IT for a bank (poor man) changed some of the relevant software in 1998. And this is a small, unimportant bank. A lot of people were prepared for the y2k changeover. And while a lot of things would have crashed, the big things would have kept running. And even if we had had a lot of problems, I still never understood “world ending”. It was like a sci-fi novel – take away one thing and everything ends. But eh, I also don’t understand COBOL, so…
    And yes, I think there was a great degree of anti-Jewery, although obviously we weren’t the only group attacked. I’ve never read the series (although I know plan to, for further understanding) but just the summaries make me ill. This work is FAR worse than an havoc that could have been wrecked by the Passion of the Christ, IMO. Also, evil banker Jews? That’s still really prevelant? I didn’t know it was still that bad… Oy vey. Baldwin was right on the money.

  • melissia

    “so is Buck a raving anti-semite, or is it just his boss?”
    Yes.


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