TF: Private study sessions

Tribulation Force, pp. 404-406

The invisible, off-stage record-breaking crime wave sweeping the United States in our story, the authors say, provided the pretext for Nicolae Carpathia’s voiding of the American Constitution:

The only positive factor about Buck’s new position was that he now had the means to isolate himself somewhat against the terrible crime wave that had broken all records in North America. Carpathia had used it to sway public opinion and get the populace behind the idea that the North American ambassador to the Global Community should supplant the sitting president. Gerald Fitzhugh and his vice president were now headquartered in the old Executive Office Building in Washington, in charge of enforcing Potentate Carpathia’s global disarmament plan in America.

I’m struggling to make even a little bit of sense out of this nonsense. There’s a nugget of a reasonable idea in there. Mass chaos and an off-the-charts crime wave likely would produce calls for new leadership, and this is the first suggestion we’ve seen of the authors having Nicolae capitalize on post-Event chaos to seize power.

But to pull that off, one has to be the sort of leader people would be clamoring for. A “tough,” iron-fisted law-and-order leader could rise to power in the wake of an anarchic crime wave. A pacifist promoting universal disarmament and platitudinous bomfoggery could not. Nicolae couldn’t ride this crime wave to power. It would, rather, sweep away whatever popular appeal he might have had.

In any case, replacing the American government and the American system of government with the sovereign reign of a lieutenant of the global “potentate” would require a bit more than swaying public opinion. It would require a massive rewrite of America’s Constitution. That would either take a host of complex, difficult-to-pass amendments or one tersely blunt and impossible-to-pass amendment.

This/these amendment/s would have to work its/their way through all 50 state legislatures at a time when those bodies are already struggling to keep pace with the post-Event crises and questions like whether or not funds for now-vacant schools can be used for more police to contend with the crime wave. Some of those legislatures are still probably in the midst of special elections finally being held to replace lawmakers who disappeared in the Event but who could not be legally certified as dead until those legislatures also dealt with the thorny question of whether or not to certify as dead the millions who had disappeared.

So I don’t see this repeal of the Constitution speeding its way to ratification. Particularly not just to pave the way for the weak-on-crime reign of some foreign prince who the authors never even bother naming. The authors have the option of declaring all this a fait accompli by narrative fiat, but that doesn’t mean Nicolae would have the same option.

But even if we conceded all of those impossibilities — which we can’t, what with their being impossible — what sense does it make to put the now deposed president in charge of dismantling his former government? And what on earth is it supposed to mean that someone is “enforcing … disarmament”? I’m picturing the empty-handed agents of the new Disarmament Bureau confronting armed criminals, police and military personnel: “Hand over those weapons or we will be forced to demonstrate the moral superiority of our satyagraha.”

For Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, tyranny is unambiguously evil. True! They’re right about that part. But for LaHaye and Jenkins pacifism is also unambiguously evil. Why? They never explain. But since they believe that all that descends must converge, they imagine that the worst form of tyranny must also be pacifist.

Well, that’s not quite right. They don’t actually imagine this because it’s unimaginable. They just assert it without offering any imaginable explanation for what it’s supposed to mean or how it’s supposed to work.

Buck’s one act of resistance to Carpathia was to ignore the rumors about Fitzhugh plotting with the militia to oppose the Global Community regime by force.

This is not true. Buck’s main act of resistance against his new boss is one of sabotage — producing the shoddiest, least-attractive official OWG news organ ever imagined. That this act of sabotage is unintentional does not diminish its effectiveness.

Buck was all for it …

Also not true. Buck may be abstractly in favor of the intent of this insurrectionist plotting, but he does absolutely nothing to support it. That’s partly because he knows it’s doomed to fail — doomed, in fact, to play into the hands of the Antichrist. Buck knows what’s coming in the near future, and thus he knows what a debacle this will prove to be. He knows that the armed confrontation Fitzhugh’s raiders have planned will end in disaster as a futile waste of people and resources that could be put to much better use later if they were preserved instead of squandered in this way.

Yet he opts not to share this knowledge with Fitzhugh or his fellow plotters. He never tells them about the utter, counterproductive failure he knows will result from their plans. But still, he tells himself, he’s “all for it.”

Buck was all for it and had secretly studied the feasibility of producing an anti-Global Community Web site on the Internet. As soon as he could figure out a way to do it without its being traced back to his penthouse apartment on Fifth Avenue, he would do it.

So after more than a year and a half, this is what the Tribulation Force has accomplished in their task “to stand and fight the enemies of God”: A feasibility study.

I appreciate the idea of an anti-Antichrist “Web site on the Internet.” Buck could become like the Max Headroom or the Eyes Only of the Great Tribulation. But while the idea of an anti-Nicolae outlet has promise, it might not be anywhere as effective or damaging as what Global Community Weekly could become as a sneakily subversive official GC outlet. I wish Buck had spent a bit of time studying the feasibility of what he might accomplish in his current post.

Buck could, for example, use his position as publisher to produce an article supposedly debunking the prophecies he’s learning about from Bruce. The article would be a chance to list them all, purportedly in the interest of dismissing and ridiculing them, but providing only an overconfident and patently inadequate rebuttal. “While it’s true that these so-called prophets accurately foretold the destruction of the Russian Air Force, the Event itself and the rise of the Global Community, all with seemingly stunning precision, experts say this is all just coincidence. Whatever credibility they still pretend to have will be proven fraudulent in the coming months when their predictions of war, famine and a massive earthquake fail to materialize. …” That sort of thing. A veiled warning would be better than no warning at all.

At least Buck had convinced Potentate Carpathia that Buck’s moving to New Babylon would be a mistake. New York was still the world publishing capital, after all. He was already heartbroken that Chloe’s father was being required to relocate to New Babylon. The new city was palatial, but unless a person lived indoors 24 hours a day, the weather in Iraq was unbearable.

Here is something that might have seemed possible or plausible when this book was written in 1996. But it is impossible to believe now.

If you had said to me, in 1996, that with the full concentration of the United Nations and the infusion of several billion dollars it would be possible, in 18 months, to create from scratch a fully functioning, “palatial” modern city in the Iraqi desert, I likely would have agreed that it sounded possible. Several billion dollars, after all, seems like a lot of money, and it would sound like enough to plausibly enable the best and the brightest from every nation on earth to accomplish such a thing.

Now we know different.

After nearly a decade and hundreds of billions of dollars, Baghdad still lacks reliable electricity and water treatment. We now know, from the hard-earned lessons of experience from the American-led misadventure in Iraq, that what LaHaye and Jenkins describe here is beyond implausible. It’s simply impossible.

As a general rule, readers should be charitable toward authors undertaking the very difficult task of describing the “not-so-distant future.” See Dan Meth’s “Futuristic Movie Timeline” or John Pavlus’ “When the Future Expires” for illustrations of how very difficult such prognostication can be.

But I’m less inclined to be charitable toward Tim LaHaye because he does not claim to be making predictions. LaHaye claims that the world of the Left Behind novels is a certainty, prophesied by the very Word of God. That’s not true of every detail of his fictional landscape, and I’m still willing to cut him some slack on those incidental failed predictions. Like LaHaye and Jenkins, I would never have predicted the sudden and revolutionary proliferation of cell phones back in the mid-’90s when the first of these novels were written, but that technological detail isn’t something about which the authors claimed to speak with prophetic authority. (It’s probably also a bit unfair to chide them for writing, in 1996, about “a Web site on the Internet.”)

But the construction of “New Babylon” is something about which the authors claim prophetic certainty. LaHaye is not guessing or offering a speculative interpretation of how his alleged prophecies might unfold. This is something he says with utter certainty will happen much as it is portrayed here. The Antichrist, LaHaye says, will rise and will form a tyrannical one-world government that — absolutely, certainly — will be based on the site of ancient Babylon in the Iraqi desert. This, LaHaye says, is spelled out right there in the prophecies of the Bible.

You can look that up for yourself and find that, yes, the books of Daniel and Revelation do refer to Babylon quite a bit. If you read those books in their entirety, or if you’re at all familiar with the genre of apocalyptic literature, you’ll recognize the device being employed here. Apocalyptic writers who were writing to encourage others living under an oppressive tyrant couldn’t very well go around criticizing that tyrant by name.

Oppressive tyrants tend not to allow that sort of criticism. That’s part of what makes them oppressive tyrants.

So apocalyptic writers refer to past tyrants as symbols of the contemporary regime. Pharaoh was the go-to reference for the Israelites in the Bible up until their conquest and exile. After that, it’s usually Babylon. The book of Daniel uses Babylon as a stand-in for Antiochus Epiphanes. The book of Daniel Revelation uses Babylon as one of many elliptical references to Rome.

Tim LaHaye, however, takes a different approach to reading apocalyptic literature. For LaHaye, such writings are never about the world in which they were written, but only about a future world that none of the writers or any of their imagined readers would ever see. So for LaHaye, every biblical reference to “Babylon” means only that — the ancient city in what is now Iraq. Thus, he says, the site of that ancient city will be rebuilt — rapidly — into the “palatial” city of New Babylon, just exactly as described here in Tribulation Force.

Due to what we now know about building cities from scratch in the Iraqi desert, I’m prepared to close the file on this one. This is a false prophecy. It will not happen as Tim LaHaye predicts. It cannot happen as Tim LaHaye predicts. Tim LaHaye is simply wrong and his prophecy is not true.

That’s not unusual. Self-proclaimed prophets like LaHaye don’t have an impressive track record in predicting what the future holds. For all of the difficulty illustrated in the links above, science fiction writers and satirists have proven much more reliable prognosticators than people like LaHaye. Those writers look at what is and extrapolate what may be by following the trajectory as far as they can imagine. In doing so, both science fiction writers and satirists portray plausible futures that can teach us a great deal about the world we live in now.

So-called prophets like LaHaye, on the other hand, aren’t at all interested in the world we live in now. They’re not extrapolating from what is known, but rather asserting What Shall Be based on claims of special revelation.

That revelation turns out, in retrospect, not to be so special. When the words of such seers clash with the words of the satirists, you’re better off betting on the satirists.

Buck provides an update for the Rayford/Amanda ‘shippers:

Buck had been thrilled at how Rayford and Amanda White had taken to each other. That took pressure off Buck and Chloe, wondering about the future, worrying about leaving her father alone if they were ever to marry. …

And then Jenkins provides some unintentional catnip for the Buck/Bruce slash ‘shippers:

Buck missed Bruce more than he thought possible. Buck tried to see him every time he got back to Chicago to see Chloe. Anytime Bruce came through New York or they happened to run into each other in a foreign city, Bruce tried to make the time for a private study session.

Alas, those private study sessions are doomed to end in tragedy. But for those readers most concerned with the chaste soap opera of Tribulation Force romance, the final chapters of this book will be rewarding. There’s plenty of juicy details about hand-holding and even — gasp! — kissing as the romantic subplots become more of a preoccupation in these final pages than that whole End-of-the-World tangent.

Bruce was fast becoming one of the leading prophecy scholars among new believers. The year or year and a half of peace, he said, was fast coming to a close. Once the next three horsemen of the Apocalypse appeared, 17 more judgments would come in rapid succession, leading to the glorious appearing of Christ seven years from the signing of the covenant between Israel and the Antichrist.

Bruce had become famous, even popular. But many believers were growing tired of his dire warnings.

This complaint with followers’ fatigue with “his dire warnings” makes sense only once you realize that this isn’t really about Bruce. These new believers know what’s coming and desperately want to be as prepared as possible, so they would be eating up every detail Bruce could share with them about the “17 more judgments” about to hit them “in rapid succession.” They would be begging him for dire warnings.

But this passage is really about Tim LaHaye. Here, yet again, he indulges in one of his favorite poses — that of the brave, misunderstood Cassandra. LaHaye savors imagining himself as the beleaguered “prophet without honor” who speaks the truth even when people don’t want to hear it. Just because he has become “famous, even popular,” doesn’t mean he isn’t still being persecuted for his bold truth-telling.

This is one more instance of what has become a familiar refrain in these books: “You’ll see. One day soon you’ll realize that I was right and you were wrong and everybody who didn’t listen to me is gonna be really sorry but it’ll be too late and you shoulda listened to me when you had the chance, smartypants!”

I’ve struggled to describe that in a way that doesn’t make it seem juvenile, but that’s difficult because it is juvenile. “You’ll see and then you’ll be sorry,” just can’t be described in any way as a mature or healthy sentiment, but it’s one of the central themes of these books.

(P.S.: Post-posting fixes on the page numbers, Daniel/Revelation error. Thanks.)

  • Anonymous

    Hey you know Amon from the legend of korra is already a better evil overlord than nicky and that series hasn’t even got started yet

  • Rob Brown

    The thing I’m having trouble figuring out is what sorts of crimes would be common.  I was thinking of writing another fic for Right Behind (and btw, I’m amazed that there haven’t been any new stories since March!  What happened?) and considered having a conversation between a couple of the characters take place in a coffee shop.

    Then I thought about how the story would be affected if there were a holdup.  Because of both the crime wave being mentioned once again in the final part of TF, and also that I remembered Jessica’s (I think it was her who said this) tip about having somebody pull out a gun if you weren’t sure where the story should go next.

    Anyway, then I thought “Wait, why is this guy raiding the cash register at a small business?  There has to be a lot of abandoned crap he can just pick up and walk away with without having to threaten anybody.  Oh my god, this guy with the gun would be like Jimmy Bats!”

    So robbery and burglary are unlikely.  You’ve gotta figure that murder and rape would stay about the same, unless perhaps the trauma of the Event caused some people to snap and become mentally unstable enough to do things they wouldn’t have before.  Or maybe the stress of the Event made people more short-tempered and increased the frequency of assaults.  But still, I don’t see the connection between “lots of people die” and “people all across America start doing terrible things to one another afterwards”.  To compare the Event to 9/11 only much moreso once more, we didn’t see everybody victimizing one another in the aftermath of 9/11.  Quite the opposite, in fact.

    Is there a reason for this crime wave happening that I’m just not seeing?  Or is this yet another case of Ellenjay putting something that simply does not make sense into the story?

  • Anonymous

    Some more flash fiction. “Oh Jesus,” Sam muttered under his breath and Ben had to hide his smile. That could only mean Sam had spotted Buck. Ben looked to see Buck walking towards the elevator trying not to make eye contact. “I’m feeling punchy enough to go in the elevator with him and talk about my favorite Lady Gaga remix, but it doesn’t seem right to do that when we’re on our way to do a good deed.” 

    Ben chuckled, one of the things he loved the most about Sammy is how he could always make him laugh. Even at the end of the world. Ben who had never really known hurt or want, who’d went to the best schools, who’d become a top architect, who’d inherited his uncle’s penthouse had had a charmed time of it. And Sam had just been one more wonderful part of it. He didn’t know what he’d do without Sam, without his courage or his generosity. Sam who made him go out everyday, who was always looking for ways to help. Sam who insisted they give their car to The Reeds and delay fleeing to Ben’s summer cabin just a little while yet. 

    Ben had refused to jump on board with the Global Community’s rebuilding plans and had found his client list mysteriously dwindling. Taking the hint he’d closed his office and began to make plans to run with Sam. Sam said not yet. Sam worked in a bookstore, he wouldn’t hear of leaving his job when he married Ben, and he heard from customers and what could only be called now, sources, what was going on and about to go down. It’s how he’d found out about The Reeds and The Rushes Project. 

    One of Sam’s regulars was an old woman with bright brown eyes and an air of Hollywood glamour she carried even into her seventies. She was always smartly dressed in bold colors and rich fabrics, with a different brooch every day on her lapel. She had told Sam that she and some of the other volunteers had not liked how the new Global Community Monitors had been treating the children and families at Global Community Hudson Family Center. The questions the Monitors asked the parents, the way they treated the children not as people but future followers of “Potato” Nicolae. Sam smirked at that, he’d thought he’d been the only one to think that work when he heard Nicolae’s title. 

    The woman, Lenora Daniels, had quietly made inquiries into the possibilities for setting up refuges, the first had been readied, and her group was ready to start bundling families out of the city. They just needed vehicles, sturdy ones, that they could put dummy license plates on and ones that could be abandoned or dumped as the driver switched off into another vehicle to blur their trail. Sam said he’d ask Ben about their car, and after just 15 minutes of making his case Ben gave in and today was the day they were to drop off their Mercedes with one of Lenora’s Helpers. 

    Ben sighed as they rode the elevator, “You know I loved Alias and all that cloak and dagger stuff, but this is scary as Hell, I’ll admit it.” Sam kissed his cheek, “I know Benny, but I’m proud of you. And if things keep going on like this, we should start looking into going too, or least moving someplace where they won’t find us.” 
    “Good luck with that.” 
    “Yeah, I know but ‘Nora’s got connections, it’s not just The Reeds, there’s a lot more…” Sam trailed off, Ben knew Sam was involved a lot more than he let on, and was trying to protect him, well that could be a fight to have when they returned. 

    They exited into the garage to see Buck still fussing trying to get the cover off his ungainly SUV, it seemed to have gotten snagged on a corner. Both clutched each others arm to keep from laughing. “Need some help?” Sam asked innocently. Buck spun around like a startled deer, and stared at them wide eyed in terror, he gulped, “Um, no. Thank you for asking…” he struggled to save face, “…Jesus loves you, have blessed day.” And he turned back to fighting with his car. 

    Inside their car Sam muttered “What a fucking tool.” 
    “Yup.” 

    Sam drove towards the park and stopped their car near the entrance closest to the Angel of the Waters fountain. A beautiful young woman with braids falling down her back was reading on a nearby bench. Sam got out of the car and linked his arm through Ben’s. “We’re just on a stroll in the park.” Ben nodded, his heart hammering in his ears. Sam casually walked by the girl, and without missing a beat slipped the keys into a purse open at her side, he didn’t even break his stride. They kept walking until they reached the fountain. 

    “Jesus Christ, I don’t think I can do something like that again.”
    “I think you can, I know you can…and you’re going to have to.”
    Ben stared at Sam, “You’re part of The Reeds aren’t you?”
    “I told Lenora she could hold a meeting in the shop after we closed, I stayed to listen and that was that.” Sam looked down, “I take back that last part about you having to do stuff like that, if you want out now, I’ll go.” 
    Ben up at the angel, this was still one of his favorite places in the city. The sound of the water, the musicians busking for change, and that strange, enigmatic smile on the face of the angel that had tantalized and comforted so many times over the years. He almost thought to ask her out loud what he should do. He kissed Sam gently, “You’re non negotiable, I guess this means I’m in too. We better get a cab home.” 
    “Maxie is waiting in hers for us.”
    “Maxie?” “You’ll love her, Lenora met her two years ago when she was coming home from some party, they started talking and ended up closing a bar together.””Oh Sam, if you didn’t exist I’d have to invent you.”
    “Damn straight.” 

  • Will

    Also, since all the RTCs are gone to heaven, the only people left in the US are godless communists who hate America, and can’t wait for the UN to take over the country.

  • Anonymous

    Buck has essentially two options about how he can run his paper.

    1) He can print the Truth. This will almost certainly get him killed. He could possibly go with a tiny fraction of the Truth, and hope no one notices.
    2) He can subversively constantly ‘disprove’ rumors that are, in fact, the Truth, along with constant hints that he is under government control and can’t print the Truth. Those crazy lying kooks he’s constantly having to disprove. He can do that by, as
    someone else above pointed out, pointing to their absurd predictions of earthquakes
    and whatnot.

    He can even make a huge joke out of it, like everyone did
    in the real world with the recent predicted (non-)apocalypse. (This, of
    course, pretends that Buck was smart enough to keep his connection to
    the Church secret…he really hasn’t been.)

    And these can even be combined…slip tiny parts of the Truth in there, and then have massive over-corrections saying that was incorrect. Or even ‘We have been told that that was incorrect.’, which is an interesting phrase when read carefully. Do that along with weird underreactions like not printing news of the earthquakes when they do happen.

    Yes, a fairly hilarious way of getting the news out there, to signal there is something else going one, would be to overcensor the paper, well past what the government actually requires.

    Week 1: Haha, these idiots thinks there’s going to be an earthquake, along with a bunch of other wacky beliefs.
    Week 2: We have been told that those people are known traitors. Disregard what we said.
    Week 3: *Earthquake happens*
    Week 4: Earthquake? What earthquake? That was a very minor earthquake, and we don’t know what you’re talking about with people having predicted it?

    If you control a newspaper, if you control all the news, you can make it look like a schizophrenic and paranoid and outright evil government is attempting to censor you to cover things up, and the funny thing is, it would be really hard for Nicky to fix.

    Buck, of course, take the third option and decides he’s just going to print antichrist sanctioned lies. Way to go, hero of the story.

  • Anonymous

    Jessica_R Today 02:11 PM: It’s good except for this part, which is not credible …

    Buck spun around like a startled deer, and stared at them wide eyed in terror, he gulped, “Um, no. Thank you for asking…” he struggled to save face, “…Jesus loves you, have blessed day.” And he turned back to fighting with his car.

    Our hero would never blow his cover by divulging that he’s a Christian or attempt to share a message of salvation with sinners who — according to his theology – deserve eternal torment.

    edited (damn Discus)

  • Anonymous

    DavidCheatham: If you control a newspaper, if you control all the news, you can make it look like a schizophrenic and paranoid and outright evil government is attempting to censor you to cover things up, and the funny thing is, it would be really hard for Nicky to fix.

    I think that would be an extremely difficult and challenging thing for a journalist to do in order to make his readers understand his real message – and certainly far beyond the ability of our hero.

  • Anonymous

    One really nice detail in the V for Vendetta movie is when Natalie Portman’s character and V are watching a news broadcast and Natalie mentions you can tell the story is a government sanctioned lie, because the newscaster is blinking rapidly, she always does that when the story is bullshit. A nice way to show how people try to survive and still preserve the truth in totalitarian environment. And an idea utterly lost in today’s Liars for Christ atmosphere. 

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    The thing I’m having trouble figuring out is what sorts of crimes would be common. 

    I wrote something over at that other place that hinted at some of this, but I’ll spell it out here.

    1.) Drugs. Lots & lots of drugs. And drinking. You have an entire planet in mourning for its lost children, a massive economic, personal, spiritual Depression on a global scale. Some will turn to God for succor, and sometimes, the opiate of the masses is just opium.

    1a.) Because people are drinking more to numb the pain, expect more auto accidents, especially hit-and-runs. (I imagine more than a few elementry school playgrounds would have drunken drivers plowing through them in half-blind rage)

    1b.) You’re grieving, you’re self-medicating with alcohol and drugs, and so is your spouse/partner/baby’s daddy/baby’s momma, along with your mother-who-used-to-be-a-grandma, your father-who-used-to-be-a-grandpa, and your brohter-who-used-to-be-an-uncle. I’d expect an uptick in domestic violence. Not just assault, but murder as well.

    1c.) Every industry that sells to children or families has gone belly-up, and there’s massive unemployment as every grade school teacher and day care worker is out of a job. But drug dealers don’t take unemployment checks or credit, so expect a rise in property crime. At first, it’s looting of the Raptured folks, but very quickly it would shift to property crimes like theft and mugging.

    1d.) With empty houses, and economic collapse driving folks into foreclosure, expect to see more people squatting in houses with unclear ownership. In those conditions, money that was going to homeowner’s insurance is now spent on a different kind of “insurance”; squatters would be well armed, and post a lot of “no trespassing” signs.

    2.) If you really want to believe the whole “God is no longer present” stuff, one reasonable consequence is that people would be more self-absorbed, and much more likely to look the other way. Today, if you smashed a car window and stole the stereo, if someone saw you, they would probably call the police, maybe even take your picture. Post-Rapture, between the absence of God and the general grief, they’d just shrug that it’s not their car and move on. So personal crimes like assault and rape would probably slowly creep up, as the “good samaritan” factor dropped off.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    The thing I’m having trouble figuring out is what sorts of crimes would be common. 

    I wrote something over at that other place that hinted at some of this, but I’ll spell it out here.

    1.) Drugs. Lots & lots of drugs. And drinking. You have an entire planet in mourning for its lost children, a massive economic, personal, spiritual Depression on a global scale. Some will turn to God for succor, and sometimes, the opiate of the masses is just opium.

    1a.) Because people are drinking more to numb the pain, expect more auto accidents, especially hit-and-runs. (I imagine more than a few elementry school playgrounds would have drunken drivers plowing through them in half-blind rage)

    1b.) You’re grieving, you’re self-medicating with alcohol and drugs, and so is your spouse/partner/baby’s daddy/baby’s momma, along with your mother-who-used-to-be-a-grandma, your father-who-used-to-be-a-grandpa, and your brohter-who-used-to-be-an-uncle. I’d expect an uptick in domestic violence. Not just assault, but murder as well.

    1c.) Every industry that sells to children or families has gone belly-up, and there’s massive unemployment as every grade school teacher and day care worker is out of a job. But drug dealers don’t take unemployment checks or credit, so expect a rise in property crime. At first, it’s looting of the Raptured folks, but very quickly it would shift to property crimes like theft and mugging.

    1d.) With empty houses, and economic collapse driving folks into foreclosure, expect to see more people squatting in houses with unclear ownership. In those conditions, money that was going to homeowner’s insurance is now spent on a different kind of “insurance”; squatters would be well armed, and post a lot of “no trespassing” signs.

    2.) If you really want to believe the whole “God is no longer present” stuff, one reasonable consequence is that people would be more self-absorbed, and much more likely to look the other way. Today, if you smashed a car window and stole the stereo, if someone saw you, they would probably call the police, maybe even take your picture. Post-Rapture, between the absence of God and the general grief, they’d just shrug that it’s not their car and move on. So personal crimes like assault and rape would probably slowly creep up, as the “good samaritan” factor dropped off.

  • Anonymous

    After I reply to a comment, my comment is not connected to the initial comment.  Is anyone else experiencing this problem?

  • Anonymous

    After I reply to a comment, my comment is not connected to the initial comment.  Is anyone else experiencing this problem?

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    After I reply to a comment, my comment is not connected to the initial comment.  Is anyone else experiencing this problem? Yes. It’s why I’ve been using blockquote and/or italics and quoting the post I’m responding to.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    After I reply to a comment, my comment is not connected to the initial comment.  Is anyone else experiencing this problem? Yes. It’s why I’ve been using blockquote and/or italics and quoting the post I’m responding to.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    After I reply to a comment, my comment is not connected to the initial comment.  Is anyone else experiencing this problem? Yes. It’s why I’ve been using blockquote and/or italics and quoting the post I’m responding to.

  • Matri

    I wrote something over at that other place that hinted at some of this, but I’ll spell it out here.

    All of these are waaaay beyond the mental capabilities of L&J. And they spent 16 books proving it.

  • Matri

    I wrote something over at that other place that hinted at some of this, but I’ll spell it out here.

    All of these are waaaay beyond the mental capabilities of L&J. And they spent 16 books proving it.

  • http://ifindaudio.blogspot.com/ Murfyn

     As soon as he could figure out a way to do it without its being traced back to his penthouse apartment on Fifth Avenue, he would do it.This would be a good generic excuse.  When will x accomplish y?   As soon as x could figure out a way to do it without its being traced back to x‘s penthouse apartment on Fifth Avenue . . .

  • http://ifindaudio.blogspot.com/ Murfyn

     As soon as he could figure out a way to do it without its being traced back to his penthouse apartment on Fifth Avenue, he would do it.This would be a good generic excuse.  When will x accomplish y?   As soon as x could figure out a way to do it without its being traced back to x‘s penthouse apartment on Fifth Avenue . . .

  • Anonymous

    Can you make it to Charleston?

  • Anonymous

    Good catch annursa, next time I should try to find a way to say that Ben and Sam were baffled by Buck standing there looking alternately terrified and smug and go into Buck’s traditional Sheriff of Nottingham’s “Oh if only I could get at him!” inner monologue about by golly how he wished he could be a courageous Christian warrior but you know, he’s got dry cleaning to pick up. 

  • chris the cynic

    An Online Web site on the Internet?  Nonsense.

    -

    When I try to think of how I would do Buck’s website thing it sort of breaks down because if I were doing this Carolyn Miller would have already started the most trusted source in anti regime news.

    It would have worked like this:

    When Miller tried to get Buck to look into the story her husband had been working on when he was murdered, Buck would have hung his head and confessed that he swore never to report on that story to save himself.  Carolyn would have decided to pursue the story herself in spite of the risks. Buck would have helped her get started by connecting her with relevant sources, mostly out of guilt and shame.  She would have proven herself a braver person and a better reporter than Buck without, you know, being a reporter.

    Anyway, at this point Buck wouldn’t be trying to figure out how to set up an anti-GC web site, that would have been around for quite a while now.  Instead he’d be trying to figure out how much sensitive information he could funnel to Carolyn without having GC realize he was the one doing it, he’d be trying to let the truth bleed through and intentionally doing any cover ups or PR spin less than well.  Not so badly it was clear he was doing it on purpose, but bad enough those who were paying attention would be able to tell there was more to the story.  He’d be trying to seed his articles with specific words or phrases that, when put into a search engine, would steer people to Carolyn’s website.  He’d be trying to say as much of the truth as he could without getting caught.

    And all the while he’d be constantly unsure whether he was doing too much, to the point Nicolae would execute him (Nicolae has dealt with reporters he doesn’t like before) or not enough.  He’d have the decency to agonize over the possibility he wasn’t doing enough.  Being a spy shouldn’t be easy.  (Every time Cameron heard and ambulance he wondered whether another soul was being sent to Hell because he had lacked the courage to openly proclaim the truth.  Was it true that he did more good undercover in the Antichrist’s employ, or was that just what he told himself because it was more comfortable than the alternative?)

    -

    New Babylon is difficult to work with.  The various Antichrists I imagine deal with it in different ways.

    Nick Andes sees it as bothersome chore.  He has to build his capital there because if he doesn’t keep up his end then God might start improvising and it’s hard enough to prepare when he knows what’s coming.  (Do you have any idea how hard it is to build underground shelters enough to protect all humans and livestock from a sun that would scorch them to death in seconds?  Well, do you?  What about preparing for a global earthquake?)  He’d rather be using the resources to help people or prepare for what is to come, but if he has to build a city in the desert then he will.

    New Babylon will be built well (Nick doesn’t believe in shoddy work) but it will be built to the minimum acceptable specifications because he has more important things to do than building a lavish a city in the desert.  It will be solidly built, but as spartan as he can get away with because he doesn’t have time for frills.

    The Antichrist from A World Without God would have built the city himself, because he’s magic.  He would have pulled building materials from the bedrock and shaped them to his whim.  (I picture them bursting through the desert sand while he makes motions like a conductor.)  And he’d probably melt the sand, just because.  New Babylon would be an imposing city marked by twisting jet black stone spires.  It would be disturbing to behold and follow no recognizable pattern.  Any human being viewing it would find it deeply unsettling.

    The unmapped labyrinth beneath the city would have a different structure, as if the various passages were created by being gnawed out by some unknown creature.

    It wouldn’t fit with his PR, but entrance into New Babylon is by invitation only.

    You wonder why there’s never any video or still photos of what the city looks like?  Well I’m sure the secret police would be interested to know that.  Remember, they know exactly where you are, they know when you are sleeping, they know when you’re awake, they know when you’ve been bad or good.  No, there’s nothing sinister about that at all.  This is what you wanted.  You remember the lawless times.  You remember what it was like before the secret police.  Isn’t life so much better now?

    The Antichrist from the story where that involves air conditioners where he orders his entire army to walk away from the last battle because they never wanted to fight in the first place wouldn’t know he was the Antichrist yet and would be confused why his former boss (one of the disappeared) had built an entire city in the Iraqi desert.  (The whole temple thing he gets, boss was a Christian who wanted to further what he saw as his God’s plan which apparently required a temple, but why rebuild Babylon?)  But if that location works well for directing recovery efforts (being, as it is, closer to the center of the world’s population) he’s got no problem working from there.

    There are probably others, but those are the ones that come to mind.

    -

    Something else does occur to me, New Jerusalem is supposed to drop from Heaven preassembled.  Perhaps the forces of Hell have preassembled their favorite city and it will burst fully formed from the sands.  Possibly looking like a Hellish Borg Cube (New Jerusalem was to be a cube) though I’d actually prefer something with a pyramid or two in it.

  • Anonymous

    I think that would be an extremely difficult and
    challenging thing for a journalist to do in order to make his readers
    understand his real message – and certainly far beyond the ability of
    our hero.

    I am confused by this. Who are you referring to as ‘our hero’? ;)

    However, I must point out that ‘extremely difficult and
    challenging things’ are sorta kinda what stories are _supposed_ to require of people. I know this story has lowered our standards a bit and we just wish the ‘heros’ would do _anything at all_, but in actual fact, they’re supposed to be doing _difficult_ things.

    But that requires a story with actual protagonists, which I think an argument can be made that these novels do not actually have. We have viewpoint characters, but not actually a protagonist.

    This is because we do not have a ‘Conflict’ of any sort. Sure, we’ve got someone conquering the world, and eventually we might have natural disasters, but as of yet, we have no conflict. Of course, to quote TV Tropes, ‘If you don’t have conflict, you don’t have a story.’.

    So we ended up with a fictional non-story, like a Star Trek Technical Manual or a copy of Heinlein’s Future History timeline, with a very thin framing device of people living through it. (As I took the tour of the warp engine, I noticed that there were force field emitters around the base of the tower. I asked the guide what this were for, and he explained…)

  • Anonymous

    I think that would be an extremely difficult and
    challenging thing for a journalist to do in order to make his readers
    understand his real message – and certainly far beyond the ability of
    our hero.

    I am confused by this. Who are you referring to as ‘our hero’? ;)

    However, I must point out that ‘extremely difficult and
    challenging things’ are sorta kinda what stories are _supposed_ to require of people. I know this story has lowered our standards a bit and we just wish the ‘heros’ would do _anything at all_, but in actual fact, they’re supposed to be doing _difficult_ things.

    But that requires a story with actual protagonists, which I think an argument can be made that these novels do not actually have. We have viewpoint characters, but not actually a protagonist.

    This is because we do not have a ‘Conflict’ of any sort. Sure, we’ve got someone conquering the world, and eventually we might have natural disasters, but as of yet, we have no conflict. Of course, to quote TV Tropes, ‘If you don’t have conflict, you don’t have a story.’.

    So we ended up with a fictional non-story, like a Star Trek Technical Manual or a copy of Heinlein’s Future History timeline, with a very thin framing device of people living through it. (As I took the tour of the warp engine, I noticed that there were force field emitters around the base of the tower. I asked the guide what this were for, and he explained…)

  • Anonymous

    I’m not entirely sure how far I’m going to go with it- I’ll probably use the four horsemen in some form, perhaps as Great Old Ones but maybe just as lesser demons.  The reason I picked Yog is that one can supposedly gain knowledge of other times by sacrificing to him, so it makes sense that he’d be behind prophecies of that sort (though Nyarlathotep was probably involved somehow, as he does most of the Outer Gods’ dirty work for them).  I haven’t read that much of Lovecraft’s original work, so most of what I know is from the descriptions in the RPG rulebook.

    The main antagonist, though, would be a human.  Here’s my thinking:

                A spell,
    calling Yog-Sothoth, is cast from a stone tower in the Colorado Rockies, near
    Colorado Springs.  It allows Yog to take children from all over the world and any others he deems worthy.  A preacher who’s a big
    wheel in the movement (think Dobson, Haggard, etc.) would compile lists of respectable members from all over and use his daughter as a
    sacrifice to bring on the Rapture. 
    However, he volunteers to stay behind so that he can lead others to salvation.  He should emphasize that he
    misses daughter greatly, but is also proud of her for what she’s done and
    believes she will receive great glory, though he didn’t tell her in advance
    what was happening (parallel with Isaac?).  The spell is
    taken from the Necronomicon, a copy of which is held in their archives in
    Colorado, but they believe it to be a Gnostic text written by early
    Christians, and see the spell as a prophecy regarding the End Times.  He casts the spell to bring about the Rapture, seeing it as helping along the world’s salvation (think Fred’s references to the Hellmouth).

    Session 1: Girl gone missing in
    Charleston.  Daughter of major
    religious figure from Colorado, staying with family in Charleston.  Reported to police, but one member of
    the church (deacon, a Bruce Barnes character who will wonder why he was left behind, and face a lot of internal conflict over it- hopefully one of the players will agree to play this character) contacts the other PC’s for help.  He has to do this privately, b/c the
    church leaders wouldn’t approve of outsiders getting involved.  He wants a back-up in case the police
    can’t do it.  Of course, PC’s find
    her being held by a Serpent Man and kill him, then take her home.  She is put on a plane back to Colorado,
    but it takes them several hours to figure out who was behind the Serpent
    Man.  Eventually, they find out one
    of the pastors ordered it.  They go
    to confront him, but show up to find an unattended lawnmower (yes, I’m stealing from A Thief in the Night- sue me).  Spot Hidden check or specifically
    stated request finds pile of clothes. 
    Dodge roll to avoid car crashing into them- notice Jesus fish and
    various religious bumper stickers. 
    Woman asks for her child, says she was playing jump rope.  Spot hidden sees jump rope with
    children’s clothes in a pile.  At
    this point, end session 1.  Where
    to go next is up to the players.

                The
    villains, meanwhile, are regrouping. 
    The preacher summons demons to protect him (four horsemen of the
    apocalypse?) and begin gathering followers, converting them to his brand of
    Christianity.  He becomes a warlord
    throughout the Rockies and spreading into the Great Plains.  There are other gangs, but none can
    compete with his demons.  Obviously, though, that is limited, so his reach has boundaries.  On the other hand, the extremely magical events may have broken seals on various Great Old Ones, but they’d more likely be rampaging, and not part of an organized hierarchy.  The PC’s are in Charleston (my hometown- it’s fun to play in your hometown), and must
    contend with the chaos.  They may
    try to build their own gang, get in with another, or simply stockpile and hide
    out.  Being Investigators, however,
    they should eventually start looking into the cause of the Rapture.  At some point, they find a list of all the members of the
    church in good standing was sent to Colorado Springs, and it matches exactly
    the people disappeared, save for children.  Other churches have the same thing.  This is Death Note-ish.  Once they realize the connection, they
    should eventually head for Colorado Springs.  They have to go there to find the prophecy and realize what
    happened.  One of them will take or
    copy the book, and eventually find it is from Yog-Sothoth.  After that?  Maybe raise an army, maybe try to assassinate the leader,
    maybe go after the Horsemen.  It’s
    the players’ decision.Any feedback?

  • spinetingler

    Which Charleston?

  • Anonymous

    SC.  We’re already playing one game set there, and it seems to help with immersion.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    I’ll add that the ‘insane zealot’ version I wrote of Nicky would build a massive city of gleaming stone, steel, and glass. The city has to be built quickly, so why not hire every laborer in the region, even make arrangements to have many more brought in? The mythical man-month? Why not test it in real life? New Babylon would be known as much for the slaves who died in the desert to build it as it would be renowned for it’s glorious, first-world splendor. He would drain Arabia and beyond of it’s people, grind them into dust, and use it as mortar for his glorious city.

  • Joshua

    Is Sumerian even a Semitic language?

    You have tickled my current Wikipedia obsession-of-the-week. No, Sumerian has not been plausibly shown to be a member of any known language group. It’s an isolate. When the later Akkadians rose into power, their language wound up blending with Sumerian. Their language was Semitic, but that’s the closest you get.

    However, there is a definite cultural link between the Sumerians and the ancient Israelites, shown in the earlier parts of Genesis. Things like the story of Noah, and dropping many Sumerian place names in the origins of Nimrod and Abram. Probably filtered through later Semitic peoples like the Akkadians – compare the birth stories of Sargon and Moses, for a start.

  • Rob Brown

    Some good points there and ones I hadn’t thought of, obviously.  Thanks.  While I don’t consider drugs to be causes of bad behaviour in and of themselves, being under the influence isn’t going to make you behave more responsibly by any means, and of course there are plenty of deaths and violence caused by people who drive drunk or who turn mean when they drink even WITHOUT a Rapture/Event driving them to it.

    I have another question about 2.), though.  Are you saying that people would be apathetic because they wouldn’t believe there was a God (any more)?  Even having seen how rotten humans can be time and again, I’ve gotta believe that the people who are good would behave that way regardless of whether they had the carrot of heaven and/or the stick of hell pushing them in that direction.

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps the forces of Hell have preassembled their favorite city and it
    will burst fully formed from the sands.  Possibly looking like a Hellish
    Borg Cube (New Jerusalem was to be a cube) though I’d actually prefer
    something with a pyramid or two in it.

    My first thought was a New Las Vegas.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Also remember to an RTC “Crime Wave” includes such things as clerks saying Happy Holidays, women in comfortable shoes in positions of authority, and Muslim community centers opening without protest or threats.

    I have some degree of professional authority and my shoes are comfortable.

    Wait…oh shit, the Rapture happened already, didn’t it?

  • Persia

    Of course, all of this involves thought and empathy, which is probably why we haven’t seen it in Tribulation Force.

  • Persia

    I would wonder if some of the Christians-in-name-only would act out because the rote phrases they said in Church didn’t save them, and the thought of God not existing would push some people toward apathy. It’s not pretty, but in the wake of such massive trauma, it’s certainly possible.

  • Anonymous

    However, I must point out that ‘extremely difficult and challenging challenging things’ are sorta kinda what stories are _supposed_ to require of people. I know this story has lowered our standards a bit and we just wish the ‘heros’ would do _anything at all_, but in actual fact, they’re supposed to be doing _difficult_ things.

    I’m thinking about satire that is so good that people think that it’s for real, real stories that are so bizarre that readers think they are from The Onion, and opinion pieces written such that readers cannot tell whether the writer is serious or sarcastic.  Any piece designed to feign censorship could be easily misinterpreted by the intended audience. In some cases that’s not a swipe at the writer’s ability.

  • Anonymous

    However, I must point out that ‘extremely difficult and challenging challenging things’ are sorta kinda what stories are _supposed_ to require of people. I know this story has lowered our standards a bit and we just wish the ‘heros’ would do _anything at all_, but in actual fact, they’re supposed to be doing _difficult_ things.

    I’m thinking about satire that is so good that people think that it’s for real, real stories that are so bizarre that readers think they are from The Onion, and opinion pieces written such that readers cannot tell whether the writer is serious or sarcastic.  Any piece designed to feign censorship could be easily misinterpreted by the intended audience. In some cases that’s not a swipe at the writer’s ability.

  • Anonymous

    Also remember to an RTC “Crime Wave” includes such things as clerks saying Happy Holidays, women in comfortable shoes in positions of authority, and Muslim community centers opening without protest or threats.

    This, I like a lot – the idea of Buck as unreliable observer.  There actually is no “terrible crime wave”, just happy and free people going about their lives, but through Buck’s newly RTC’d eyes he sees only a hellish anarchy teeming with permissiveness and sin.  (As a bonus, this also explains why no “real” crimes are ever shown on-screen, as it were.)  It’s all he can do to shut out the horrid, horrid debauchery by locking himself in his Fifth Avenue penthouse 18 hours a day.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Are you saying that people would be apathetic because they wouldn’t believe there was a God (any more)?  Even having seen how rotten humans can be time and again, I’ve gotta believe that the people who are good would behave that way regardless of whether they had the carrot of heaven and/or the stick of hell pushing them in that direction.

    I think that an event like the Rapture can cause that kind of apathy in both religious and atheist people.  Millions of adults world-wide were made to disappear, and every single child was whisked away instantly with nary a trace.  Divine intervention is the only thing that could explain such an event, it provides very strong evidence for the existence of God (or sufficiently advanced aliens with teleporters.)  

    But the crux of it is, not only does God exist, but God is also a contemptible asshole.  He hates you and he took your children away.  Prayed all your life, did many good deeds, and felt that you were secure in your spiritual destiny?  Sorry, God still hates you and nothing you can do will change that.  Athiest, never believed in God, never saw any reason to?  Well, God has just announced himself to you in the most dickish way possible, and if you ever hated the idea that you were at the mercy of a big bully in the sky, that belief was just validated.

    In any case, it is enough to drive people to lash out.  Who cares anymore?  The universe is all one big joke, and all our lives exist only at the whim of some sick bastard of a deity.  When you get to that point, a lot of people will just go “What’s the use?” and just stop caring what happens to them or what happens to others.

  • Anonymous

    “Is Sumerian even a Semitic language?”

    I don’t know–I don’t know much about Sumer. I DO know that ‘sumo’ is not a Semitic word, and that ‘qesheth’ means ‘bow’, so that when in 2 Samuel there is reference to teaching ‘qesheth’ to the sons of Judah, this means teaching them to shoot, not some reference to a secret martial art.

  • Anonymous

    This, I like a lot — the idea of Buck as unreliable observer. There actually is no “terrible crime wave”, just happy and free people going about their lives, but through Buck’s newly RTC’d eyes he sees only a hellish anarchy teeming with permissiveness and sin. (As a bonus, this also explains why no “real” crimes are ever shown on-screen, as it were.)

    Buck and Rayford may also be creating a crime wave the same way people create kidnapping epidemics–by selective reading of the news. If you think the world around you is pretty stable, a double homicide in your city, say, may be tragic, but doesn’t reflect a world in breakdown. If someone (BRUCE) has told you that one consquence of the post-Rapture situation will be rampant crime, that homicide, combined with every other crime that’s reported on, will build up into your mind to proof of complete societal collapse.

    I have to say, though, that given the complete flux society finds itself in, plus no kids, I wouldn’t be surprised if people were acting out more than strictly usual. 

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    I don’t consider drugs to be causes of bad behaviour in and of themselves, being under the influence isn’t going to make you behave more responsibly by any means

    I tried to make the point that the uptick in drinking and drug use was self-medication for grief. When you’re drowning your sorrows in alcohol, sometimes that’s numbing the pain but a side-effect is lowered inhibitions, which can lead to acting out your grief in a variety of ways otherwise unimaginable when sober. Like plowing the family Volvo through a set of monkey bars…

    Are you saying that people would be apathetic because they wouldn’t believe there was a God (any more)? 

    No, I’m saying if you accept the presumption that there was a presence of God on Earth before the rapture, and after the Rapture that presence withdrew, then there ought to be some effect related to what we might call “Godly” behavior. The most plausible effect, the one that fits in best with most folks view, is that the presence of God is felt when we act according to “the better angels of our nature”. Or, in cartoon terms, imagine that everyone’s shoulder-angels vanished, leaving behind a sign saying “vacant, post no bills”.

    If we accept Fred’s “Jesus in a funny hat” perspective, the noble (Christian?) spirit that gives us cause to act with mercy, kindness, and love toward strangers would be absent, withdrawn by its creator. The spirit that told us “Love Thy Neighbor” has left the building; the inspiration behind “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” has packed up and taken all that thought and sentiment with him. People could still choose to love their neighbors, but it would be a choice of reason, not faith, a decision couched in the practical, not the spiritual.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NYIMSCWWLA5XTAYXL3FXNCJZ7I Kiba

    I still can’t figure out why, if there is supposed to be an unprecedented crime wave, anyone would move into a 5th Avenue penthouse. It would seem to me to be the least safe place to live if you didn’t want to get mugged, shot, or robbed. I would expect Bucky’s penthouse to have been robbed and possibly burnt down by the time he came back from his Middle East excursion.   

  • Panda Rosa

    “Llap Goch”… I keep thinking “lip gloss”. That can’t be right, can it?

  • chris the cynic

    Fred has talked before about the idea of total depravity vs the idea of utter depravity.

    Total depravity being the idea no part of a human being is untouched by sin so let’s forget about trying to figure out which part is the sinful part.  There’s good and bad in everything, moving on.

    Utter depravity being what people like L&J seem to believe in, where people are horrible horrible inhuman creatures and if they didn’t have the holy spirit in them holding back their wicked fallen natures there would be no good.  God is like some kind of a dam holding back all of the really bad parts of your personality.  When the rapture comes and God skips town that dam breaks down, the darkness floods into your being, and then you succumb to your satanic baby killer nature.  Sure, you’ve never had a desire to be a serial killer before, but that was because God was there to protect you from yourself.

    One area where I think it would be great to play this up would be in the reaction to the event. L&J portray the event as if it didn’t change people’s lives at all.  What if it didn’t?  What if people responded to the disappearances by just ignoring them and going on with their lives?  It wouldn’t work for everyone, teachers for example, but what if those whose lives were changed considered the event only in the most callous selfish terms of how it affected them.  Not, “Oh my god the children are gone!” but instead, “Now I have to find a new job.  Fuck.”

    What if instead of the lack of grieving parents being something largely ignored it had been played up as a sign of how far humanity had fallen.  Formerly loving parents didn’t care that their children had apparently vaporized.  And those who still had (older) children showed the same lack of concern for them.

    If that had happened you’d be convinced that the godless world was horrible before the authors had a chance to mention the crime wave.

    -

    I lost the internet for a few hours.  This was on topic when I started writing.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GVT7C7S6IP2OC44PFUZGAJ4OBM JohnK

    Jenkins and Buck can’t resist the glamor of wealth and all of its trappings. It’s sort of like how Buck keeps taking gifts, rides, and perks from someone he knows is the Antichrist; sure, it might make more sense not to take money and favors from someone that you’re afraid is going to corrupt your soul and damn you to Hell forever, but if he didn’t do that he would have to scale back his jetsetting rich boy lifestyle.

  • Ima Pseudonym

    [blockquote]What if instead of the lack of grieving parents being something largely
    ignored it had been played up as a sign of how far humanity had fallen.
     Formerly loving parents didn’t care that their children had apparently
    vaporized.  And those who still had (older) children showed the same
    lack of concern for them.[/blockquote]

    Then these books, and by extension the authors, would be a hundred and fifty times better and far less absurd than they actually ARE. 

  • Ima Pseudonym

    My HTML skeelz are teh suckz.  

  • Joshua

    Use angle brackets, not square brackets. Square brackets are typically used in examples because not everyone knows the secret codes to getting < and > characters to appear in an HTML page.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Really not surprised. Look at LaHaye and Parshall’s book, Edge of Apocalypse. Joshua Jordan is an extremely well-off man and L & P go to some lengths to get the reader to identify with him.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Oh, say, folks?

    I was going through some of Fred’s old entries, and way back at the very beginning he notes that LaHaye and Jenkins aren’t even original hack writers; the character of Buck Williams seems to have been a pale copy of a much better version.


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