L.B.: Heebie-jeebies

Left Behind, pp. 440-442

Buck felt more alone than ever on the flight home. He was in coach on a full plane, but he knew no one. He read several sections from the Bible Bruce had given him and had marked for him, prompting the woman next to him to ask questions. He answered in such a way that she could tell he was not in the mood for conversation.* He didn’t want to be rude, but neither did he want to mislead anyone with his limited knowledge.

Why the brush-off? His dodging of this woman’s questions would seem to be, from the authors’ own perspective, a shirking of responsibility. I realize that Buck is not yet a fully certified convert, but he has already decided that the stuff he’s reading there is the Most Important Thing. When someone asks you a direct question about the Most Important Thing, it seems cruel not to tell them what you know, even if your answers are only partial or limited (as opposed to having un-limited knowledge, which the authors seem to suggest is a possibility).

So here is this poor woman. She witnessed the Israel miracle and then The Event, and she’s started putting two and two together. Now she’s desperate for answers and she turns to Buck Williams. He’s got Bruce’s annotated Bible right there in his hands. He’s just finished what amounts to a three-day seminar, complete with Bruce’s “crash-course in prophecy” and one, maybe two viewings of the ICR video. He is, in other words, the perfect person to begin to answer her questions. Yet he doesn’t.

The morning before he was “moved to tears” by Chloe’s story, in which she said that she believed his presence in the airplane seat next to hers was a sign from God. If he believes that to be true, then surely it was also God’s divine plan that he is again, just a few days later, in an airplane seat next to a woman full of questions about God. But if Buck’s presence in the next seat was a sign of God’s love for Chloe, his presence next to this woman would seem to be a sign that God, like Buck, doesn’t care what happens to her. (What if this woman gets off the airplane, walks out of the airport and gets hit by the hypothetical bus?)

I’m also not sure what to make of the apparent warning there against evangelism by those with only “limited knowledge.” Throughout the rest of the book, this is presented as a universal, unavoidable duty for every believer. But here they seem to be saying it’s better left to the experts. Odd.

The frustrating thing here is that this woman’s questions would likely have been very similar to the questions Buck is asking himself. She would have provided a convenient means to present Buck’s inner monologue as an actual dialogue, a conversation. But instead he blows her off and goes back to sulkily asking himself rhetorical questions in what seems like the voice-over narration of a bad movie. (I really believe that Jerry Jenkins has a Post-it note stuck to the monitor of his computer reading, “Tell, don’t show.”)

Sleep was no easier for him that night, though he refused to allow himself to pace. …

This is, like, totally different from the bit in the last chapter where Buck was up all night, unable to sleep as he grappled with these same questions. In that scene, Buck was pacing. Here, he’s not. See? Totally different.

He was going into a meeting in the morning that he had been warned to stay away from. Bruce Barnes had sounded convinced that if Nicolae Carpathia were the Antichrist, Buck ran the danger of being mentally overcome, brainwashed, hypnotized or worse.

There is that, of course. But keep in mind that Buck is also headed to a meeting where he will be sitting alongside Jonathan Stonagal and Todd-Cothran for the first time since he’d been forced to fake his own death and travel incognito because they planted a bomb in his car. This is the same Todd-Cothran, you’ll remember, who telephoned Scotland Yard to inform them that he’d be murdering one of their policemen and there was nothing they could do about it. Yet Buck doesn’t seem to be the slightest bit anxious about seeing these men face to face. He had promised — cross-my-heart, pinky-swear — never to write anything bad about them and in exchange they had agreed not to murder him in cold blood. Buck sees no reason not to take them at their word, so he’s not nervous to be meeting them face to face.

As he wearily showered and dressed in the morning, Buck concluded that he had come a long way from thinking that the religious angle was on the fringe. He had gone from bemused puzzlement at people thinking their loved ones had flown to heaven to believing that much of what was happening had been foretold in the Bible. He was no longer wondering or doubting, he told himself. There was no other explanation for the two witnesses in Jerusalem. Nor for the disappearances. …

So he now believes the “religious angle” should be central to his article on the disappearances. He believes, in fact, that there could be “no other explanation.” Yet he doesn’t end up writing any of that in his article. He treats his readers just like he treated that poor woman on the plane. He has the answers, but he’s not in a mood to share them.

But hold that thought, I’m getting ahead of myself.

We get another half-hearted attempt at the Stonagal-as-Antichrist red herring. This, again, seems utterly lame at this point in the book, since everyone with even half a brain already knows without a doubt that Nicolae Carpathia is the Antichrist. What kind of moron could possibly think otherwise?

Buck still leaned toward Stonagal. …

OK, then. So our half-witted hero heads out the door:

He slung his bag over his shoulder, tempted to take the gun from his bedside table but knowing he would never get it through the metal detectors. Anyway, he sensed, that was not the kind of protection he needed. What he needed was safekeeping for his mind and for his spirit.

The “safekeeping” he refers to there is the divine protection that Bruce told him would come with his conversion. If I were him, though, I’d also be loading up like the Winchester brothers, taking salt, garlic, holy water and maybe even some chalk for pentagram-drawing, just in case.

But now we turn to something interesting. Or, rather, we turn to something that might have been interesting:

All the way to the United Nations he agonized. Do I pray? he asked himself. Do I “pray the prayer” as so many of those people said yesterday morning? Would I be doing it just to protect myself from the voodoo or the heebie-jeebies? He decided that becoming a believer could not be for the purpose of having a good luck charm. That would cheapen it. Surely God didn’t work that way. …

At first glance, this seems almost like a direct response to our criticism here of the mechanistic magic implied in the authors’ idea of what constitutes salvation. Throughout the book the authors repeatedly and consistently portray “praying the prayer” as a transaction, almost like an incantation that binds God to the spellcaster’s will like a djinni. Pray the prayer, get the salvation. This passage might be LaHaye & Jenkins’ way of saying that they don’t really mean that.** But then we read the rest of the paragraph:

… Surely God didn’t work that way. And if Bruce Barnes could be believed, there was no more protection for believers now, during this period, than there was for anyone else. Huge numbers of people were going to die in the next seven years, Christian or not. The question was, then where would they be?

So the authors are saying, explicitly, that we must not say the magic words as a temporal “good luck charm.” God doesn’t work that way. The magic words are meant to be an eternal good luck charm, protecting our souls from the voodoo and the heebie-jeebies of the afterlife.

The authors here are treading carefully to avoid the more interesting question here, one that is suggested more strongly in the following paragraph:

There was only one reason to make the transaction, he decided — if he truly believed he could be forgiven and become one of God’s people.

What really matters to L&J is whether or not Buck “truly believes” — whether or not he is, like Rayford, passionately sincere and sincerely passionate. My Calvinist brother calls this “Great Pumpkin” spirituality — the idea that our sincerity, rather than God’s grace, is the decisive factor. I’m very much not a Calvinist, but I agree that such Great Pumpkin spirituality makes no sense. Jesus’ parables are filled with characters begging for forgiveness for the most selfish and venal reasons imaginable, yet that never matters in those stories.***

But even though Buck uses the word “forgiven” here, it hardly seems like he really thinks forgiveness is something he needs. We don’t even get the half-baked sort of thing we got with Rayford, where he seemed to be repenting of his own awesomeness. Buck seems to think that God’s grace works like a personal line of credit — that it’s only offered to those who can demonstrate they don’t really need it. In Buck’s scenario, God is willing to save those who ask unless they really need saving, because “that would cheapen it.” Or something.

One can imagine a more interesting version of this story in which Buck, desperate to save his own sorry hide, was perfectly willing to beg for help in the cheapest, crassest way imaginable, and primarily for the most selfish of motives. What would come next? Would the receipt of such unmerited grace force him to change and grow? Or would he be able to maintain a selfish ingratitude (“Thanks for the eternal salvation — sucker!”)? That would of course be a very different story requiring very different authors than the ones who gave us this book.

God had become more than a force of nature or even a miracle worker to Buck, as God had been in the skies of Israel that night. It only made sense that if God made people, he would want to communicate with them, to connect with them.

Unless, of course, those people are seated next to Buck on an airplane, in which case they’re S.O.L.

Buck entered the U.N. through hordes of reporters already setting up for the press conference. Limousines disgorged VIPs and crowds waited behind police barriers.

Police barriers. A red-carpet entry for a press conference by the new secretary-general. That might have worked as a satiric device meant to describe Nicolae’s movie-star-like popularity, but I don’t think that is what was intended. The authors seem to imagine that this is what life is like all the time for politicians and diplomats.

Buck saw Stanton Bailey in a crowd near the door. “What are you doing here?” Buck said.

“Getting autographs,” Bailey says. “Omigod, did you see Richard Holbrooke? He’s so dreamy!”

OK, not quite that, what the authors actually have Bailey say is this:

“Just taking advantage of my position so I can be at the press conference. Proud you’re going to be in the preliminary meeting. Be sure to remember everything. Thanks for transmitting your first draft of the theory piece. I know you’ve got a lot to do yet, but it’s a terrific start. Gonna be a winner.”

This is impossible. Buck hasn’t written even a rough outline of this article yet, let alone a first draft. We readers know this. We’ve been with him through every step of every day since the article was assigned and he hasn’t written a thing. He hasn’t had time.

Based on Bailey’s reaction, the Rapture theory doesn’t seem to be a dominant theme in Buck’s first draft. This is also impossible. Apart from his coworkers, the only person Buck has interviewed so far for this article is Rayford Steele. He hasn’t talked to any scientists about the possibility of an “electromagnetonuclear” incident, or to any UFO theorists or anyone else about any other possible explanations for the disappearances. So how can he have written a first draft that gives those other theories greater weight than the only theory he has researched? And if he really believes in that theory, if he really believes “there was no other explanation,” then why doesn’t he make that case in his article?

Like Bruce and Rayford, Buck seems far more interested in being initiated into the secret prophecy knowledge of the Tribulation Force than he is in sharing that truth with anyone else, whether it’s the woman next to him on the plane, or Hattie, or the readers of Global Weekly, or even his boss and his coworkers. After all, if he shared this secret knowledge with everybody, then there’d be no one left for him to say “I told you so” to.

“Thanks,” Buck said, and Bailey gave him a thumbs-up. Buck realized that if that had happened a month before, he would have had to stifle a laugh at the corny old guy and would have told his colleagues what an idiot he worked for.

We might have mentioned this before, but Buck Williams really is a douchebag.

– – – – – – – – – – – –

* This scene’s inversion of the usual nightmare-seatmate dynamic also seems like the premise for a comedy sketch (NOTE: Fixed scrambled names, but it’s still not really that funny):

PASSENGER 2: Say what’s that you’re reading? Is that the Bible?

PASSENGER 1: What? Oh. Oh, yes. It’s the Bible. … I’m sorry, I’ve got a lot of reading to finish here and I just wanted to …

PASSENGER 2: Oh sure, sure. No problem. Sorry.

P1: …

P2: Sorry, I know you’re trying to read, but I couldn’t help but notice your lapel pin. That little fish, that’s like a Christian thing, right? Like a “born-again” thing?

P1: Yes. The fish is a Christian symbol. Yes. Now, I’m sorry, but do you mind? (gestures back at the book)

P2: Oh right, sure. Sorry.

P1: …

P2: So how’s that work, anyway? Getting “born again”?

P1: Look, really, I don’t mean to be rude, but I’d really just like to sit here quietly and read until we get to …

P2: Hey, that’s cool! I didn’t notice that before.

P1: Excuse me?

P2: Your T-shirt! It looks just like a Budweiser T-shirt, but I just realized it actually says, “Be Wiser” — oh, and instead of “King of Beers” it says “King of Kings!” Cool. I guess that means Jesus, right? And that I’d be wiser if I … Hey, wow! Are those gospel tracts in your bag? Can I have one of those?

P1: Oh for God’s sake! Why do I always end up next to you people?

** LaHaye and Jenkins seem dimly aware that critics of their books exist, and they seem to have a vague sense that it would be good to respond to those critics. But they never quite do. The closest they come is passages like this one, or the earlier scene where Chloe objected that this apocalypse seemed hard to reconcile with “a God of love and order.” No one responded to Chloe’s objection, she just seemed eventually to drop it for no apparent reason.

*** The difficulty in those parables for my Calvinist friends arises from what happens next. The selfish servant, motivated only by a desire to save his own behind from prison, throws himself on the mercy of the king, but the king forgives him anyway. A nice Calvinist parable if it stopped there. But the story doesn’t stop there. “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors,” we Christians pray, and we read “with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” And sometimes I wonder if the whole Calvinist/Arminian reframing of the question isn’t just a means of avoiding what that seems to entail.

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  • hapax

    Twere I at 10:57. Tonio, I had always assumed that Myers was trying to do a Scottish accent.

  • McJulie

    re: Bert the chimney sweep
    As a child, I sort of missed that Mary Poppins was actually supposed to be taking place in England.
    (It seemed to me like it was taking place in Disneyland, really. A lot of those mid-60s fantasies strike me that way.) I knew of “suffragettes” as an American thing, but not an English thing.
    Sure, some of the actors have English accents, but a lot of American actors back in Ye Olden Days performed with a kind of pseudo-English vocal coach (I assume) accent, so accent alone didn’t clue me in.
    I think I vaguely assumed “New York” as the setting. I didn’t know enough of either New York or London architecture to recognize the difference.
    When I have seen it as an adult, of course I recognize that it is supposed to be London. But somehow I can’t fully convince myself that it is London. It still seems like Disneyland. They don’t have a “London Square” the way they have a “New Orleans Square” but if they had one, it would be like Mary Poppins.

  • damnedyankee

    Americans taste like sweet pickles and mayonnaise?
    Ick! I’m sending me back! And waiter, don’t come back until you bring me a me that tastes like pork ribs smothered in smoky barbecue sauce!

  • http://www.kitwhitfield.com Praline

    Americans taste like sweet pickles and mayonnaise?
    Well, metaphorically; in reality, they probably do taste more like pork ribs if you cook ’em up. It’s that hamburger-sandwich relish I think of as particularly American. Pickles from sweet rather than sharp or spicy vinegar, mayo, mild mustard… It’s a distinctive taste that you don’t get in many other cuisines. I’m fond of pickles, anyway.
    Like I said, that’s figuratively. I haven’t yet tried going around biting actual Americans – though if they elect another Republican president, I might have to start.

  • damnedyankee

    If Praline bites me, do I become a wereauthor, hammering out tight plots and believable characterization by the light of the full moon? Howling at the editor’s suggested changes and stoppable only by a silver deadline?
    OK, OK, I’ll stop…

  • SchrodingersDuck

    Fat Bastard is meant to have a fairly strong Glaswegian accent – Glasgow having a stereotype of crudeness, violence (the only football teams in Scotland that count, Celtic and Rangers, are both from Glasgow, and “Old Firm” derbies were notorious for degrading in rioting – it doesn’t help that Celtic is traditionally Irish Catholic and Rangers Unionist Protestant) and fast food (it’s the city that invented the Deep Fried Mars Bar), which are basically the three building blocks of the character. His accent’s fairly convincing, if a tad watered down, and it occasionally seems to slip into a strong Lancashire accent – think Peter Kay.
    Shrek also has a Scottish accent, although it sounds more Highlands than Glasgow: there’s a much stronger Irish-Gaelic influence in Highlands Scottish, and you can hear it in Shrek’s slightly higher voice, less stilted speech patterns and the Gaelic tendency to round all consonant sounds (jam to cham, Jesus to Chisas).
    The Austin Powers accent is much harder to place, but it has elements of Liverpool and London (not Cockney). I don’t think it’s meant to evoke a place so much as a time, though – it’s very “Beatles meet The Who” to my ear, which doesn’t say much about location, but just screams Swinging Sixties Mod.

  • SueW

    It’s not that he overdoes the accent, it’s that it’s totally unlike how real Londoners speak.
    If he had talked like a real Londoner, Americans wouldn’t have understood a word ‘e said. :-D Heck, I had a hard time understanding my ex-boyfriend (who grew up in Paddington, I mean, Padd’n). Then again, I suspect most Brits couldn’t understand him either.

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

    The ancient incantations, ‘So, where do you get your ideas?’ and ‘I’d love to write do that if I had more spare time’ have been found to be particularly effective.

  • damnedyankee

    Glasgow having a stereotype of crudeness

    So Inspector Blair in M.C. Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth mysteries is something of a Glaswegian stereotype?

    Deadlines only drive us into a frenzy. To stop us, you need a sacred prayer. The ancient incantations, ‘So, where do you get your ideas?’ and ‘I’d love to write do that if I had more spare time’ have been found to be particularly effective.

    Duly noted for my next convention. If I’m later found in the morgue with Warren Ellis’ handprints ’round my throat, you’ll know that I applied the wrong stopping incantation.

  • http://www.kitwhitfield.com Praline

    What is it with people thinking that making fun of other people’s regional idioms and accents will seem endearing?
    I have no idea, but I agree, it’s tiresome. To me, it suggests the rather provincial idea that there’s something inherently odd about not being from around ere. Hence, if you like somebody, it’s disconcerting that they speak differently, and mocking their accent is inviting them to join you in the foreign-accents-are-funny club, where you can all laugh together at everyone who speaks differently from you, like you suggest. I remember Oprah Winfrey remarking that she once joked to her neighbour that, while her neighbour’s sheep tended to have white faces, Oprah’s tended to have black ones, and that perhaps they knew they belonged to a black family – to which the neighbour responded, honestly meaning to be friendly, ‘Oh, but I don’t think of you as black!’ It’s perhaps an attempt to coax people into being honorary whatever-accent-you-haves. Which, of course, they won’t want to do unless they agree with you that their accents are abnormal, which they won’t.
    Or, perhaps, it’s just a way of dealing with an underlying discomfort with a different accent; you can’t stop noticing it, so you make a joke of it.
    It might even, in America at least, be an expression of an attitude I got a whiff off from a lot of American tourists when I worked in a shop in Covent Garden: America’s the real world, everywhere else is a sort of theme park, where people pretend to be foreign for the purposes of entertainment – but they probably speak like normal people when their backs are turned, the way Disneyland employees take off the Mickey ears when they go home for the evening. On some subconscious level, I wonder if mocking someone’s accent is a way of suggesting that they drop the act. Except, of course, it’s not an act.
    (That may be an attitude other nations have as well, but Americans are unusually insulated from other countries; most television and movies have local accents, successful foreign movies get remade, and so on. In other countries, the media at least gives some kind of indication there’s more than one accent in the world.)
    In any case, it’s kind of rude.

  • SchrodingersDuck

    Now, if y’all’l ‘scuse meah, ah gotta add some cah-yohn peh-pah and ohn-yohn to mah ahwn-deweyh!

    See, Raj, that makes no sense. You shouldn’t need to add any seasonings to a proper andouille sausage.
    Ah, I thought Raj was saying “underwear”, and the idea of adding pepper and onion to one’s underwear is… confusing and disturbing, to say the least. That clears things up a little, although I confess I still have no idea of what andouille is (I’m guessing some sort of Cajun sausage, am I right?).

  • SueW

    Oprah has sheep?

  • pointatinfinity

    Praline: He’s just all-American in every line and gesture… it’s actually a good working theory, because he definitely ain’t from around ‘ere.
    Praline, that post was fascinating. I love that deconstruction of mannerisms. *joins Praline fan club and attaches VOTE FOR PRALINE sash to the kite string to fly over town* (I confess I’ve actually never seen Mary Poppins. My Fair Lady, though, can we talk about that too?)
    Indeed, I love getting a detailed analysis of what most people take for granted — like language structure, or body language. I guess it is a part of not having stuff come intuitively: some people can communicate without thinking how they do it, while others of us are left on the outside looking in and wondering if we’ll ever learn. A friend of mine phrased it as us not having the hardware built in, so we have to learn how to emulate it in software by figuring out what exactly the hardware does in order to write the emulation program.

  • Amaryllis

    Praline: Hi Amaryllis – is that your real name? :-)
    Nope. I promised the people I share the computer with that I wouldn’t use my real whole name on blogs. Though I don’t actually know why they care; it’s not like our mutual last name isn’t all over the Net anyway.
    “Amaryllis” occurred to me as a flower name at the time when you all were using floral variations, as including my real first name, and as the kind of flower I wouldn’t be if I were a flower– bright and showy. I’m more of the shrinking violet type myself.
    I’ve never met an Amaryllis in real life.
    Great Vandyke-as-Bert deconstruction. You’ve convinced me.
    But I always assumed she was putting the sash on the kite-tail to advertise the message proudly over London. A whole suffragist family! I remember (haven’t seen the movie in many many years) having the impression that the sash was shredded or tied so as to be unreadable, indicating that she’d been brought to see the error of her ways. Now that I think about it, she reminds me of a milder version of Mrs. Jellyby in Bleak House, keeping her mind on her cause while her children were unhappy and her household was neglected. And the requisite happy ending had her returning her attention where it belongs, on husband and children. Of course, Mr. Banks was also taught a lesson about balancing family and work, so maybe it wasn’t all that much of a gender thing. But still, we know that Mr. Banks, after the kite-flying break, was going back to his job in the bank, with a promotion. Will Mrs. Banks keep attending suffragist rallies? I don’t know…
    cjmr:We looked at some houses in Old Laurel when were moving out of the condo, but they were either too expensive to buy, or too expensive to keep from falling down between purchase and moving in.
    Yes, we used to rent one those falling-down historic houses. When the owner died and we were offered the opportunity to buy the house from the estate, we took a good look at just how dilapidated it was, and bought in Anne Arundel County. (For the British among us, that’s Anne aRUNdle, not ARUN-del.)

  • yeltar

    On the “The City” phenomenon:
    As {er, someone} pointed out, the nearest large city to any surrounding area normally becomes “THE City” in local reference. I grew up in central Oklahoma, and our “The City” was Oklahoma City. And still is, to me and my siblings; no matter where else we’ve lived–and it’s literally been all over the globe for one of us–if anyone says “The City” in conversation, we will all know that means OKC.
    Now I’m wondering about another phrase: “The CitIES.” My daughter just finished school in a town a bit south of Minneapolis/St. Paul, and of course refered to those two cities in the plural–their accepted nickname is, after all, The Twin Cities. I wonder, though, if this occurs in other areas where two large but distinct cities are close together? For instance, Dallas and Ft. Worth are about the same distance apart as Minneapolis and St. Paul… but are they ever refered to as “The Cities”? North-central Texans, what say y’all?

  • Jeff

    Only Northern Californians call San Fransisco “THE City” (you can hear the capitalization)
    No, that’s only San Franciscans.

    I grew up 50 miles north and I always called it THE City (see also: Journey)
    But it’s only Southern Californians that call 101 “The 101”.
    We have fun here in LA, because all our freeways have at least two names. My favorite is the “San Diego Freeway” that doesn’t get anywhere near San Diego.
    BTW, how many current or former Bay Area residents do we have here?
    [raises hand] Grew up 50 miles North, and spent every minute I could in THE City.
    Real fun was the I-5, which was ‘The Golden State Freeway’ north out of downtown, the ‘Santa Ana Freeway’ until it merged with the I-405, and the ‘San Diego Freeway’ after that.
    I think the I-5 becomes the “Golden State” again after merging with the I-405. I’ve never heard any freeway other than the 405 called the “San Diego Freeway”.
    I always say SF Bay Area too because there are some east coast “Bay Areas”.
    They don’t count. Are you nuts???!!!
    I haven’t yet tried going around biting actual Americans
    You get a better sense of our flavor if you lick us! [BEG]
    OK, OK, I’ll stop…
    Please don’t! That was fun!
    Praline: Have you watched “My Fair Lady”? Did Lerner and Lowe get the accents right when Higgens is announcing where everyone is from? (I presume Harrison’s accent is good; what about Hepburn’s?) [to expand on pointa’s question]

  • JayH

    damnedyankee: If Praline bites me, do I become a wereauthor, hammering out tight plots and believable characterization by the light of the full moon? Howling at the editor’s suggested changes and stoppable only by a silver deadline?
    If so, Praline, will you please bite me?
    Oh dear, that doesn’t sound right…

  • cjmr

    BTW, how many current or former Bay Area residents do we have here?
    I lived in Berkeley for three months one summer, does that count?

  • http://www.kitwhitfield.com Praline

    Aw, thanks, Pointaffinity! Let us be information buddies. :-) I think a lot of us have the hardware operating at a subconscious level – I’m sure that if you encountered someone pretending to be from round your way, you would at least have the feeling there was something off about them. It’s just a question of what you’re used to.
    From what I can recall, Hepburn’s accent was reasonable if a bit overdone when she was speaking RP, and dreadful when she was speaking Cockney. She doesn’t look English at all, of course, but she’s so pretty it’s more or less worth it. Rex Harrison was speaking in his normal voice – possibly not his childhood accent, as he grew up in Liverpool, but he would have had years to polish his RP, so yes, he sounds right. I’m not familiar enough with the film to say whether he gets everyone else’s accents right, but based on the accent Hepburn turned in, I doubt the director was over-finickety.
    Now that’s a film with a horrible sexist ending. One totally tacked-on at the last minute as well; Shaw’s play ended entirely differently.

  • Hawker Hurricane

    Jeff: after 22 years in San Diego, I’ve never heard the I-5 called the San Diego Freeway *here*. It was a LA name.
    (Grew up in LA, lived there from 1963 to 1984, lived in San Diego from 1986 to present. Visited many other areas, sometimes for months at a time.)
    Praline: GB Shaw lived long enough to object to the changed ending IIRC. It didn’t help.

  • http://jamoche.livejournal.com jamoche

    For instance, Dallas and Ft. Worth are about the same distance apart as Minneapolis and St. Paul… but are they ever refered to as “The Cities”? North-central Texans, what say y’all?
    No. “DFW” as a whole, Dallas or Ft Worth otherwise.

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

    Oh, add me to the Bay Area listing. Grew up in Orange County, came up to SF for school and to get the hell out of Orange County.
    So, where do you get your ideas?
    Oh, god, that’s horrible. Do people actually ask you that?

  • Ryan

    And I don’t know any San Franciscans who call it “Frisco” – in fact, they usually cringe if they hear a tourist say that!
    Okay, well then that’s one thing Mario Is Missing got right. But I wouldn’t have thought to call it “Frisco” if you hadn’t brought it up!

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

    On andouille: Behold!
    I was made immensely more cheerful when I learned that the Whole Foods in Boulder carries andouille year-round and not just at Mardi Gras. Also “Cajun Peel-n-Eat Shrimp.” But I was made very, very jealous when, on a visit home, I discovered you can walk into the Metairie Whole Foods and buy a couple of well-seasoned boiled crabs for a fairly reasonable price and just take them home and yummmmmmm. Ah well. Win some, lose some.

  • Caravelle

    And I shall now balance this by responding to a post on the last page of a dead thread :
    (That may be an attitude other nations have as well, but Americans are unusually insulated from other countries; most television and movies have local accents, successful foreign movies get remade, and so on. In other countries, the media at least gives some kind of indication there’s more than one accent in the world.)
    That would very much depend on the country in question and its language. I’d say France for instance is a lot worse, though not for the same reasons.