L.B.: Super powers

Left Behind, pp. 415-417

Nicolae Carpathia has super powers.

Usually, I don’t have a problem with stories involving super-powered characters. I’ve been reading and enjoying such stories my whole life. Whether it’s Peter Pevensie or Peter Parker, Harry Potter or Buffy Summers, I’m game. Just provide some kind of explanation (radioactive spider, the Chosen one, cosmic rays, the effects of our yellow sun on the last son of Krypton) and set out some basic rules and limitations so that the power, and thus the story, isn’t completely arbitrary and I will gladly come along for the ride.

The other thing I’ll need to consent to such stories is a bit harder to describe. The storyteller needs to provide some indication, some clue, that this is that kind of story. This can be some basic genre shorthand or some other kind of signal, but it has to come fairly early on so that I don’t feel betrayed when suddenly one of the characters begins doing things that no ordinary human can do. There’s probably a name for this or some better way of describing it, and for that I’ll defer to those more immersed in the theory and the study of such stories, but what I’m getting at is that it’s no fair to have Miss Marples suddenly explain in Chapter XXXII that she was able to solve the mystery by using her X-ray vision. That sort of thing violates a reader’s trust. Pull a stunt like that and your super-powered character is in-credible rather than incredible.

Our question here is whether Nicolae Carpathia’s sudden manifestation of super powers presents this sort of betrayal. We’ve only just begun to see the full extent of his mind-control mojo at work. In the remaining pages of this volume, Bruce Barnes will babble a bit of pseudo-scriptural phlebotinum to provide a half-hearted explanation for Nicolae’s powers, and then those powers will be displayed unambiguously. Is that fair?

On the one hand, this seems like the worst sort of ninth-inning rule change. We’ve been told — on the back cover and in the story itself — that Left Behind is supposed to be a ripped-from-the-headlines style thriller set not just in a world like our own, but in the very world we live in. Not the world we live in plus X (where X is magic, vampires, superheroes, etc.), but simply a fictional version of the world we live in. Changing the name of Newsweek to Global Weekly doesn’t violate the terms of that agreement, but changing the laws of physics does.

Set aside for the moment the authors’ woeful inability to portray this or any other world accurately or believably. That’s not the issue here. The issue here is that they’ve told us all along that this story was set in a world in which we know there’s no such thing as super powers or mind-control mojo, and then suddenly — when they’ve plotted themselves into a corner and there’s no other way to escape — we meet a super-powered character who is able to work his mind-control mojo and thereby to prevent their nonsensical plot from grinding to a halt. That sure seems like cheating to me.

But on the other hand we’ve also been told all along that this will be an explicitly supernatural story. From that perspective, complaining about the sudden appearance of a character’s supernatural powers in Left Behind would be a bit like complaining about the existence of paranormal phenomenon on The X-Files. Yet Nicolae’s super powers still seem to be in a different category from the book’s other supernatural events. There’s a big difference between making God a character and allowing God to act with divine powers and the idea that the president of Romania can also do miraculous, godlike things. A monster of the week with telepathic abilities would be part of the bargain for viewers of The X-Files. If Mulder and Scully had suddenly begun using telepathy, that would have violated the bargain.1

The authors would argue, I think, that giving Carpathia miraculous abilities is fair game because he is the Anti-Christ. Since Christ was able to perform miracles, his evil twin should have the same abilities. That would be easier to swallow if Carpathia’s Antichrist powers more closely paralleled the sorts of miraculous deeds attributed to Jesus Christ.

In the Gospels, Jesus is tempted by Satan in the wilderness to perform miracles in order to amass power. The Antichrist, one would expect, would have succumbed to those same temptations.2 We should be seeing the Antichrist performing antimiracles — perversions and inversions of the miraculous signs and wonders told of in the Gospels.

Unlike John of Patmos or the author of John’s epistles (the only place the word “antichrist3” is used in the Bible), LaHaye and Jenkins don’t really seem to regard the sense in which the Antichrist is Christ’s opposite. That opposition is hard to miss in the book of Revelation — beast vs. lamb, power vs. love is one of the book’s central themes — but L&J seem to have missed it both there and in their representation of it here. Their Antichrist is an anti-christ, an anti-messiah, in the sense that he is a false liberator who brings slavery. But where Carpathia chooses to pursue power, those who oppose him do the same. L&J’s version of the evil beast will be defeated, ultimately, not by the lamb, but by the good beast. In Left Behind, good triumphs over evil not because it is intrinsically different, but because it is simply more powerful. God has a bigger gun than the devil.4

But however the authors mean to account for it, the bottom line remains this: Nicolae Carpathia has super powers. Their story — meant to present what they believe are real events that will really happen sometime soon — has a character with super powers in it. Make of that what you will.

It’s not clear whether Nicolae has been using those super powers in the preceding scenes. It’s impossible to believe that the ambassadors of every nation on earth would have been willing, or thought themselves able, to abandon their respective nations’ sovereignty and capacity for self-defense just because they were asked politely to do so by a handsome young polyglot, so it sure seems like Carpathia’s mind-control powers must have been at work at the United Nations.

Then again it also seems impossible that people the world over would be “in a mood to party” upon hearing that their nations, languages, religions and currencies were about to be replaced with new, one-size-fits-all global versions. So is Nicolae somehow projecting his mojo over the airwaves, enchanting the globe via satellite TV? If so, why isn’t Buck affected? He hasn’t yet performed the counter-spell invoking the protection of the Holy Spirit, yet he alone doesn’t seem thrilled with Carpathia’s announcement of global dictatorship.

It’s been five pages since the last phone call, so the phone rings and Buck seems guarded and sullen as he discusses the announcement with his old buddy Steve Plank.

“Pretty exciting, isn’t it?”

“Mind-boggling.”

“Listen, Carpathia wants you here Monday morning.”

“What for?”

“He likes you, man. Don’t knock it.”

It may just be my imagination, but Steve seems to be sounding a bit more hip-cat since he went to work for the Antichrist. In the next page, he will use the word “hustle” as a verb.

Steve explains that Carpathia is planning a meeting with “his top people and the 10 delegates to the permanent Security Council.” It seems from the way they discuss this that those delegates will be selected by Nicolae, rather than appointed by their respective nations. Whether this is how L&J imagine the U.N. works now or if this is meant to be understood as one of Carpathia’s “reforms” isn’t clear, just as it isn’t clear why a Security Council is even necessary now that all the member nations have been disarmed and subsumed into the OWG.

They briefly discuss the role of Jonathan Stonagal and whatisname Todd-Cothran, though Jenkins seems to have lost all interest in trying to make any sense out of their conspiratorial conspiracy of conspirators. He seems relieved to have rendered them redundant and no longer seems to care whether or not they still seem menacing and mysterious. Steve half-heartedly tries to drum up a bit of the old menace by telling Buck that “nobody tells Stonagal” what to do.

“Not even Carpathia?” Buck asks.

That should be, for him, a rather pointed question. As Steve is well aware, Stonagal and Todd-Sidekick tried to kill Buck with a car bomb just a few chapters ago. The only reason he’s not still running for his life is because Carpathia apparently intervened on his behalf, convincing Stonagal to let Buck live in exchange for Buck’s promise never to report on their murky dark doings. So when Steve answers, “Especially not Carpathia. He knows who made him,” you’d think a reasonable response on Buck’s part would be to go back into hiding. Instead, he agrees to go to the meeting and to sit in a room with the two men who killed his friends Dirk and Alan and very nearly killed him as well.

For what it’s worth, Steve reassures Buck that Carpathia, although unable to control Stonagal, is:

“… honest and sincere, Buck. Nicolae will not do anything illegal or underhanded or even too political. He’s pure, man. Pure as the driven snow.”

Sadly, Buck will soon learn what readers figured out hundreds of pages ago — that Carpathia is neither honest nor sincere. That’s a shame. He’d be much more interesting if he were. Then at least we might be able to grasp some motive behind his grasping for power. There could be a compelling story in the tragedy of an honest and sincere man who sought unlimited power in the hopes of achieving unlimited good, of fixing the world through brute force. But that would have made Carpathia the good beast and, as we’ve already seen, the part of the good beast is already taken here in Left Behind. In the authors’ view, fixing the world through brute force is God’s job. (Makes one wonder what they think all that business with the cross was about.)

Steve tells Buck that he will be the only reporter present at this meeting of the new global cabal:

“What’s the catch?”

“No catch. He didn’t ask for a thing, not even favorable coverage. …”

Because, you know, for Steve and Buck, the idea of exchanging access for favorable coverage is no big deal.

“… not even favorable coverage. He knows you have to be objective and fair. The media will get the whole scoop at the press conference afterward.”

“Obviously I can’t pass this up,” Buck said, aware his voice sounded flat.

Buck isn’t the only one who seems aware that this all sounds flat and unenthusiastic. Jenkins will reprise this entire conversation in the next chapter, and he seems to put a bit more effort into it the second time around.

“What’s the matter, Buck? This is history! This is the world the way we’ve always wanted it and hoped it would be.”

“I hope you’re right.”

Steve means it. One, unlimited, unaccountable and all-powerful global government enforcing one world language and one world religion really is “the world the way [he's] always wanted it to be” because Steve is an Imaginary Liberal. Imaginary Liberals are all closet fascists, don’t you know. If you want to know how they really want and hope the world to be just take the opposite of everything they say and conjure up the most illiberal nightmare conceivable — a world without civil liberties or democracy or freedom of conscience. The fact that liberals all speak and act against such a nightmare scenario is simply evidence of their duplicity.

Imaginary Liberals are thus irredeemable, which is why Buck here has to be shown as less than enthusiastic about the IL dream come true. Buck is destined to be redeemed, so he has to be shown to be a not-really liberal member of the liberal media just as he had to be shown to be a virgin bachelor playboy.

Steve says there’s one final favor Carpathia has to ask of Buck:

“He wants to see that stewardess friend of yours again.”

“Steve, no one calls them stews anymore. They’re flight attendants.”

“Whatever. Bring her with you if you can.”

“Why doesn’t he ask her himself? What am I now, a pimp?”

Stews?

Buck objects to being viewed as a pimp. He may also object to Hattie being viewed as a prostitute, although he never says so. His unprecedented siding with Hattie here reflects the authors’ notion of chivalry, not some kind of feminism. If the little ladies want to be called “flight attendants,” then we should humor them.

“C’mon, Buck. It’s not like that. Lonely guy in a position like this? He can’t be out hustling up dates. …”

“I’ll ask her,” he said. “No promises.”

“Don’t let me down, buddy.”

Normally, I’d agree that world leaders “can’t be out hustling up dates,” but there’s nothing normal about Carpathia’s position. It’s not like he has to worry about his reputation or about getting re-elected. He’s scandal-proof, untouchable. Plus everyone who would have had some moral objection to his sexual escapades disintegrated last week. If he wanted to Nicolae could Casanova his way through the Manhattan phone book (alphabetically, of course), sweet-talking women in nine languages (eight of which are soon to be forbidden). If the People magazine thing and his Redford-ish looks didn’t work, he could just put the mind-whammy on ‘em.

But even though he could have any woman in the world, the only one he wants is Hattie. Just as the only reporter he wants present at his big meeting is Buck and, later in the series, the only pilot he wants to hire is, yep, Rayford Steele. There are still 4 billion people on earth, but Carpathia is working closely with the authors to ensure that only a handful of them are ever involved in this story.

- – - – - – - – - – - -

1 This may actually have happened in Season 9, but by that point I’d gotten almost as confused and off-track as the writers.

2 I suppose that Carpathia’s enlisting of Rosenzweig’s miracle formula franchise is vaguely like turning stones to bread, but he’s just piggybacking on somebody else’s miracle there and there’s little to indicate that this dubious parallel is intended by the authors.

3 Antichrists, actually, plural. Which is more than a bit troublesome for the PMD mythology.

4 Or put it this way, in LB, Frodo uses the ring to destroy Sauron. That doesn’t make for the same story with a different ending, that makes for an entirely different story.

  • http://users.livejournal.com/_dahne_/ Dahne

    Re: I Am Legend alternate ending:
    Holy crap! I didn’t even dislike the movie (the book was good, but its Neville was pretty hard to like), but that’s a thousand times better, what with actually going somewhere with all the plot threads that were just dropped. Why in the world didn’t they go with that one?

  • inge

    Praline: Exactly why do you have to tell the kids you’re using birth control at all?
    Sooner or later they will figure out they would have a brood of siblings by now if something wasn’t going on. Birth control being one of the least creepy somethings.

  • sophia8

    aunursa, ask and ye shall receive. This article was published today, too.
    Yuck. From that article:
    “I doubt if they average one child per every pair of “significant others” (or whatever they’re calling their transient liaisons these days).”
    I’ve been in my current ‘transient liason’ for only around twenty-seven years now. Think it’s time for me to move on to my next liason, maybe?
    “The left, however, seems determined to treat young women (and men) as wayward children to be propagandized, contracepted, sterilized, and aborted out of their inherently pro-natal convictions. Having adopted a de facto one-child policy themselves, they are hell-bent on imposing it on the rest of us. So they continue to propagate the myth of overpopulation, zealously support Planned Parenthood and other government-subsidized contraception and sterilization services, and bitterly oppose any restrictions on abortion……
    Like the barren Ms. Joyce, unmarried and childless as she enters her thirties, they propagate aging and outmoded ideologies instead of making babies.”

    Projection, much?

  • Anonymous

    Sophia8, what about that repulsive article suggests projection? Are you suggesting that the “unmarried and childless as she enters her thirties” was really the author’s self-description?

  • Jeff

    Yeah? That it’s okay to blow up a building and kill hundreds of people out of sick twisted race-obsessed hatred, as long as you didn’t know your victims might include photogenic tousle-haired tots?
    I don’t **think** Technomad is saying that. I think he was replying to a post that MvVeigh may have target the Murrah building in specific because of The Turner Diaries, which he wouldn’t have done if [a] there’s no day-care in the diaries, and [b] he didn’t know there was a day-care in the Murrah.

  • Fraser

    Among other bullshit in the article, the UN does not support China’s one-child forced abortion policy according to our own state department, but since the religious right thinks otherwise, Bush cut the funding anyway.

  • hapax

    I don’t **think** Technomad is saying that.
    Fair enough. As should have been obvious in that (and the subsequent) post, Technomad managed to punch a lot of my personal buttons.
    The big shiny red ones.
    With DO NOT PUSH !!! written above them.
    In six languages (plus Braille).
    Arranged alphabetically.
    (Sorry!)

  • sophia8

    Sophia8, what about that repulsive article suggests projection? Are you suggesting that the “unmarried and childless as she enters her thirties” was really the author’s self-description?
    No – the author is male, so I wasn’t suggesting that of him. Apropos of that particular line, I should have pointed out that anyone who resorts to ad hominem is clearly losing the argument.
    I guess I used the wrong term. He describes all all Catholic and Mormon families as happy and fulfilled, without exception; if he really believes that, he’s living in fantasyland – a land where women happily fullfill their natures by bearing all the babies that God sends them.
    Holding such a fantasy requires belief in an evil counterforce that is forcing all the world’s women into denying their innate pro-natal desires. The pro-choice movement fits into that role nicely – all those defiantly unmarried, childless women must either be sick or evil (according to the fantasy) and are manipulating all other women to reject children, and in the process reject GOD.
    Now, I wonder why this man is so upset by that idea…..

  • Vashti

    Is Skyknight a Cyberman?
    Or a Discworld Auditor?

    I’ve read some thoughtful approaches at the philosophy the Vulcans might have, and Skynight’s comments remind me very much of those.
    Am I warm?

  • Tonio

    The big shiny red ones.
    The jolly, candylike buttons.
    Now, I wonder why this man is so upset by that idea…..
    Because he wants the women to bear HIS children?

  • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

    Inge: Birth control being one of the least creepy somethings.
    Come now, my child,
    If we were planning to harm you
    would we be waiting for you here by the path
    in the very darkest part of the forest?
    (Kenneth Patchen)

  • Jeff

    In six languages (plus Braille).
    Arranged alphabetically.

    I would expect nothing less from a librarian!

  • Vermic

    “I doubt if they average one child per every pair of “significant others” (or whatever they’re calling their transient liaisons these days).”
    Say what one will, but “Transient Liaisons” would make an awesome title for an album.
    @Praline: The same reason you’d spend every Friday for years doing unpaid work demonstrating how much you dislike a book. Sometimes you may think that what the book stands for deserves a public attack.
    Well, OK, maybe, but I still don’t see how that justifies Casper Van Dien. Nothing justifies Casper Van Dien.

  • Jeff

    “Transient Liaisons” would make an awesome title for an album.
    Might I suggest “Domestic Union” as the band?

  • Ken

    I’ve never read the Turner Diaries (and desperately don’t want to) but that is pretty much what I remember of them. — Ursula L
    I have only seen one copy of Turner Diaries and that was when one of the more fringy dealers at a gun show saw me wearing a Confederate Grey kepi (made by a re-enactor friend) and tried to push a copy on me. You meet all kinds at a gun show.
    (Incidentally, the big gun shows like the ex-Pomona one in Vegas are gold mines for everything from militaria collectibles to outdoor equipment to history to re-enactor groups to rare books, not just guns & ammo. I picked up a couple first-edition rare books at Pomona years ago.)
    I suspect there is some (psychological) protection against would-be RTCs trying to reenact the violence of the post-Rapture Tribulation Force simply because there is a clear “rapture must happen first” context to that violence. And the people who believe L&J will believe that they will be among the Raptured – which will hopefully mean that they won’t do stupid things trying to prepare to live in a violent post-rapture world. — Ursula L
    This is what I mean when I say that the PMD Christian End-of-the-World choreography is at its core a passive one. The PMD Checklist has to be gone through in order, whether in Left Behind or the real world, and PMDs will tend to passively wait for Jesus to beam them up. They won’t try to fix things (because The Checklist says everything has to get worse), but they usually won’t try to hurry things along directly.
    But the things Fred has reported of PMD leaders trying to influence the current US administration’s foreign policy to be one that would meet their idea of what it should be to hasten the Rapture/Tribulation is scary enough. And I could see some PMD nuts deciding that they need to, say, assassinate world leaders who aren’t setting policy to meet the standards needed to bring about the Rapture. — Ursula L
    Actually, the Shia Islamic equivalent of PMD Apocalyptism — the “Twelfth Imam” cult of Iran — has me a lot more scared than any set of American PMD nuts. Twelfth Imam beliefs actually call for maximizing chaos and bringing about Armageddon so the Twelfth Imam Mahdi (Shia Islam’s conquering Messiah figure) will arise out of his well in Qom (or wherever) and lead Islam to triumph at the world’s end. This cult has BIG-time followers in the Iranian government, including Edgy Adji himself. It’s even said the Iranian government has graded and paved a triumphal highway from the traditional site of the sacred well to their capital, and dropped a signed statement of loyalty down the well to show Imam Mahdi that he has loyal followers for his Armageddon army.
    If even half of this is true, then Iran is actually RULED by “Islamic PMD Nuts” with a much more pro-active angle on the End Times, and given their behavior since Khomeini founded the current regime, I wouldn’t put them past using the nukes they’ve been wanting for some time to “speed up the End Time clock” and figure they’re doing God’s Will.
    Only thing worse than a monster who thinks he’s right with God is a monster who KNOWS he’s right with God.

  • hapax

    It’s even said … [apocalyptic speculation about Scary Evil Muslim Kooks]
    Yes, but is it said by [shifts eyes] SOME?
    You know… as in “Some say that…”
    Of course, I won’t *really* be convinced until “it” is said by…
    [shudder]

  • hapax

    …”SOURCES”!!!

  • http://jesurgislac.wordpress.com Jesurgislac

    Ken: If even half of this is true, then Iran is actually RULED by “Islamic PMD Nuts” with a much more pro-active angle on the End Times, and given their behavior since Khomeini founded the current regime, I wouldn’t put them past using the nukes they’ve been wanting for some time to “speed up the End Time clock” and figure they’re doing God’s Will.
    You know, people keep saying this: it’s almost as if they don’t know that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, is a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and has issued a fatwa declaring nuclear weapons to be un-Islamic. There are plenty of things to worry about with Iran, but not that they’ll defy the will of Ayatollah Khamenei and start developing nuclear weapons. Yet this is publicly available information, and – relatively speaking – quite reassuring. It’s almost as if the mainstream media actually want us to be afraid of Iran.

  • borealys

    Meh, I think this bit:
    The left, however, seems determined to treat young women (and men) as wayward children…
    smacks rather a lot of projection.

  • Bugmaster

    I’m way late to the discussion as usual, but I’d still like to weigh in on the discussion of intelligence and loneliness:
    I myself am not “gifted” by any means, but I have a couple friends who are, and who could legitimately be called “geniuses” (genii ?). From talking to them, I’ve gathered that the problem with being orders of magnitude smarter than other people is that other people become boring. On the one hand, you can predict, with a high degree of certainty, what they will say or do in the near future, so conversations with them become somewhat one-sided. On the other hand, they’re not interested in the same things as you are (particle physics, math, genetics, whatever), so there isn’t really much to talk about. I think the attraction of institutions like Mensa lies in the fact that they concentrate all the lonely smart people in one place, where they can meet each other — though this is pure conjecture, since I know virtually nothing about Mensa itself.
    I realize that it’s politically correct, and perhaps even polite, to pretend that intelligence is a myth, and that everyone is equally smart in their own way… But I don’t think that’s true. Some people are a lot smarter than others; I know this because I’ve met them, and they’re much smarter than me. Sure, you could argue that the Mensa test or the standard IQ test or the SAT test or whatever doesn’t really measure anything useful, but that’s not the same as saying that intelligence doesn’t exist.

  • aunursa

    Thanks, Karen.
    The left, however, seems determined to treat young women (and men) as wayward children to be propagandized, contracepted, sterilized, and aborted out of their inherently pro-natal convictions. Having adopted a de facto one-child policy themselves, they are hell-bent on imposing it on the rest of us. So they continue to propagate the myth of overpopulation, zealously support Planned Parenthood and other government-subsidized contraception and sterilization services, and bitterly oppose any restrictions on abortion.
    Somes liberals but certainly not many, do support abortion, contraception, and other measures in part, out of a concern about overpopulation. So I wouldn’t agree with the author’s generalization. That said, her characterization of liberals’ attitudes toward their own children is not nearly as severe as you had suggested when you wrote that RTCs believe that liberals want a world, not with fewer children, but with no children…
    in the mind of the RTC’s, and, I think, most hard-line social conservatives, we liberals really do want a world without children. Even if we have kids, if we put them in daycare or public school, we don’t love them. They can’t imagine that we could love our kids, and kids in general, and still reject their version of the proper relation between men and women.

  • Josh

    Can I show off the length of my Slacktivist addiction? In answer to the question above–the first commenter Fred banned was a Christian who signed his comments “oh”, but I believe was named Josh (no relation); the guy kept advocating, well into the Iraq war, that the U.S. invade and liberate a different oppressive country every year. IIRC, he also had the problem of misrepresenting/caricaturing Fred’s and other liberals’ views as really nasty.

  • Spalanzani

    Aha, thank you Josh. This really should all go in the notebook, along with other important events in Slacktivist history.

  • inge

    On the article sohia8 quoted: out of their inherently pro-natal convictions
    I would like to know how they determine that “young women and men” (note: no qualifier here like “some”, “many”, “most”) are inherently “pro-natal”. I’d bet that a significant number of people, even those that like (and have) children, are not that hot on births as such.
    Plus, who needs to be “propagandized, [cut further verbs for not making sense]” out of their desire for childen when they do not have anything resembling economic stabiliy until they are in their late 30s?

  • Chris

    @Inge: the last point needs to be re-emphasised again and again and again and again.
    Going way back this thread… I for one am going to say Triforce instead of Tribulation Force from now on.

  • Tonio

    The only “inherently pro-natal conviction” is when some people seem hell-bent on getting others to reproduce. When you’re single and not dating, they ask when you might meet someone. When you’re dating and not married, they ask when you’ll get married. When you’re married and childless, they ask when you’ll have children. When you’re a new parent, they ask when you’ll have more children. It’s almost like they view other people as biological Pez dispensers.

  • Froborr

    I will freely admit to being massively squicked by the idea of pregnancy — it resembles the film Aliens way too much for my tastes — and to being viscerally anti-child (from the inherent amorality and self-centeredness to the distorted body proportions, they’re like parodies of human beings) and anti-teenager (adult size and hormones coupled with a child’s self-centeredness, cruelty, and ignorance). My liberal friends (who share my views about overpopulation, support for a woman’s right to choose, and reaction of disgust to people who have dozens of kids) think I’m crazy. They all *want* kids, which I regard much the same as I regard someone who wants to be wrapped in plastic and pissed on by their sex partner.

  • Froborr

    Tonio: I don’t *think* this is your intent, but do please try not to fall into the trap of equating marriage with reproduction. I would like very much to have a child-free marriage someday, and while I don’t face anywhere near as much difficulty as I would if I were pursuing a same-sex marriage, there’s still a great deal of social pressure against THINKERhood.* Not to mention how bizarrely hard finding a woman who doesn’t want to be infested, hormonally reprogrammed, and then torn open by a chestburster is.
    ——————————
    *Two High Incomes, No Kids, Early Retirement

  • Tonio

    do please try not to fall into the trap of equating marriage with reproduction.
    Not me, but the people who exert the social pressure. My point is that they have an agenda for others, and if you structure your life in some way that doesn’t involve both marriage and reproduction, they will give you a hard time.

  • Lauren

    Not to mention how bizarrely hard finding a woman who doesn’t want to be infested, hormonally reprogrammed, and then torn open by a chestburster is.

    I met one once, so they do exist!
    I always thought she was crazy, though. I’m majorly squeemish about the idea of pregnancy, but I still plan on having a couple of kids someday.

  • Chris

    I’m female, and I really don’t want to have kids. It’s not the pregnancy and childbirth that squicks me so much (though I’m not too keen on it), it’s the giving up a sizeable portion of my life for the next eighteen or so years in order to care for and raise a new person.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/ Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    Yes, but is it said by [shifts eyes] SOME?
    You know… as in “Some say that…”
    Of course, I won’t *really* be convinced until “it” is said by…
    [shudder]
    …”SOURCES”!!!

    hapax wins my internet with this two-part post.
    Somes liberals but certainly not many, do support…
    and aunursa should reread hapax’s winning post.
    If you or anyone else can provide a link to a conservative article or website that indicates that liberals hate children, I would appreciate it if you would email the link to me at aunursa (at) comcast.net.
    Also aunursa should reread aunursa’s own post.
    (And what’s with the sudden insistence all over recent threads that people email you stuff? Are you starting an e-stamp collection?)

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/ Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    Also, “THINKERS” sounds a lot like “Brights” – a way for a group of like-minded people to congratulate themselves for being the only right-minded people in a world full of lunatics. Or something.
    Not that I have a leg to stand on, understand. “Liberal” originally meant “generous”, after all. But there’s a reason I don’t call my non-child-having self “child-free”. There are certain attitudes I don’t want it assumed that I share.
    (“Parodies of people” indeed. Pfeh.)

  • http://scyllacat.livejournal.com Thalia

    I want to go and live where the child-free live. Because apparently all of them are up to their armpits in breeders and pressure to reproduce. They can’t even go to the grocery store because of all the crotch-spawn begging for treats and manipulating their slave-parents.
    I can’t figure out how I can’t find a breeding partner and I’m still stuck in the world of partying heavily until dawn and using all my income on myself. I think we need an Exchange Program.
    So, how About it, Froborr?

  • http://www.TheGoldenDance.com Michele

    > I’m female, and I really don’t want to have kids. It’s not the pregnancy and childbirth that squicks me so much (though I’m not too keen on it), it’s the giving up a sizeable portion of my life for the next eighteen or so years in order to care for and raise a new person.
    My feelings exactly!

  • chmood

    Tonio: “Any examples of movies that kept the overall feeling and message of the book while having only a superficial resemblance to the plot?
    Jesurgislac:: “The movie Starship Troopers, which is made as a recruitment propaganda film for the militaristic state Heinlein describes in the novel of the same name.
    I think you miscomprehend the novel entirely

  • cjmr

    I wonder what this thread is going to look like when Fred deletes all the comments Scott made after Fred told him he was banned?
    I look forward to finding out.

    It looks really, really weird, actually…

  • cjmr

    The anthology is A Child’s Anthology of Poetry, ed. Elizabeth Hauge Sword
    …adds to Amazon wish list…

  • http://mikailborg.livejournal.com/ MikhailBorg

    Well, except for the really awesome planet factory special effects and the much better soundtrack.
    And Mos Def as Ford, Bill Nighy as Slarti… heck, I enjoyed pretty much all the casting. And the Heart of Gold was pretty cool, in fact. And I liked the Vogons. And the Guide sequences. Hmm, maybe it didn’t really suck all that much. :)

  • http://jesurgislac.insanejournal.com Jesurgislac

    Complaints about the film version of HHGTG reminded me irresistibly of the fans of the radio series complaining about the TV series, back about 25 years ago.
    How time flies. But I know where my towel is.

  • hapax

    None of those versions of HHGTG can compare to the VR I downloaded directly to the chip in my brain.
    Mmm. Fairy-cake…

  • cjmr

    But I know where my towel is.
    I don’t. cjmr’s daughter keeps wandering off with it and not returning it.

  • http://jesurgislac.insanejournal.com Jesurgislac

    So that’s where you got the laser nipples!

  • hi

    hi my name brandon i have powers im not crazy im 11 years old i could use fire,water,moving things,and wind

  • hi

    please right back


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