NRA: Squeezing the stallion

Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist, pp. 8-10

Today we deal with three pages. They involve at least two warheads exploding in American cities, yet they remain primarily preoccupied with traffic.

A traffic jam is presented as the primary obstacle facing our protagonists near Chicago, and traffic conditions are the only details provided in the report they hear of the perhaps-nuclear bombing of New York City.

We’ll get to that, but first let’s deal with the misogyny, because these three pages offer a condensed version of the gender stereotypes that pervade this entire series. More than anything else, what we encounter here is a contrast between Buck and Chloe — between man and woman, husband and wife, male and female.

The contrast is not subtle. The male is presented as heroic, resolute, resourceful, brave and take-charge. The female is presented as dependent, dithering, distracted, fearful and passive.

Here is what we read about Chloe in these pages:

Chloe snuggled close to him. “What do you mean ‘when we were first married’? We’re still newlyweds!”

… “Buck,” Chloe said, “our home. Where will we live?”

… It was like Chloe to worry about her home. … She had made their ridiculously expensive Fifth Avenue penthouse flat her own.

… “What are we going to do, Buck?”

… Chloe shrieked and buried her head in Buck’s chest.

… Chloe gasped … “What are you doing, Buck?” Chloe said.

Buck is given much, much more to say and to do. He’s in charge. He’s focused on the problem at hand and takes action to address it because he’s a manly man and that’s what manly men do.

And lest you doubt his manliness, Jerry Jenkins falls back on one of his favorite devices — the piloting of a powerful engine as a symbol of male virility:

Buck had never had patience for traffic jams, but this was ridiculous. His jaw tightened and his neck stiffened as his palms squeezed the wheel. The late-model car was a smooth ride, but inching along in near gridlock made the huge automotive power plant feel like a stallion that wanted to run free.

That has all the subtlety of an Extenze commercial. But the Extenze commercial is intentional, and therefore not nearly as funny.

Except this isn’t really funny either. Yes, at one level it’s hilarious — just look at the verbs in that paragraph: tightened, stiffened, squeezed, inching. Or the adjectives. And I don’t think any of that is deliberate or conscious. That stiffening as palms squeeze the smooth, huge stallion is the authors exposing themselves. Or, rather, it is the authors exposing the insecurities that underlie their patriarchal ideas about gender.

That insecurity is revealed at every step in these pages, as each of those helpless, shrieking questions of Chloe’s is countered by an assertion of Buck’s resolute, masculine know-how:

It was like Chloe to worry about her home. Buck was less concerned about that. He could live anywhere and seemed to have lived everywhere.

… “What are we going to do, Buck?”

Buck wished he knew what to say. He usually had an answer. Resourcefulness had been the trademark of his career. Regardless of the obstacle, he had somehow made do in every imaginable situation or venue in the world at one time or another.

… Chloe shrieked and buried her head in Buck’s chest. Buck scanned the horizon for what might have caused the concussion.

It seems the authors don’t know how to make Buck look brave except by making Chloe look frightened — or to make him look smart except by making her look dumb, or to make him look strong by making her look weak, or to make him seem big by making her look small. (And if that last one seems like an implied cheap shot or a bit of too-easy armchair psychiatry, re-read that amazing paragraph about Buck’s “huge automotive power plant.”)

It’s impossible to reconcile the portrayal of Chloe here with the very first thing we learned about her back in the first book. I’m sure I read more into it than the authors intended me too, but in our first glimpse of Chloe, she seemed impressive.

In the immediate aftermath of the Event, when the entire world was paralyzed with shock, chaos and grief, Chloe Steele, 20, somehow made her way from Stanford University to Mount Prospect, Ill. That’s about 2,200 miles, and Google maps says it would take a day and a half to drive it under optimal, non-apocalyptic conditions. That’s about what it took Chloe — at a time when no planes were flying, the railroads were shut down, the highways clogged with horrific accidents and driverless cars.

The authors didn’t explain how Chloe managed this, which somehow made it more impressive. She’s Chloe Steele — that’s how she did it and that is all you need to know.

I miss that Chloe — the smart, independent, omnicompetent young woman we thought we were meeting when she first showed up in Book 1. It’s a long way down from that initial appearance to this scene portraying Chloe as a helpless, shrieking, submissive little wife.

“Resourcefulness had been the trademark of his career,” we’re told here about Buck Williams. That, too, is difficult to reconcile with what we saw of Buck back in that same point of the first book. While Chloe was mysteriously skipping from Palo Alto to Chicago, it took Buck forever to get from Chicago to New York — this despite his having a massive expense account and the ability to charter a pilot. That expense account seems to be Buck’s idea of “resourcefulness” in a crisis.

A trademark of Jerry Jenkins’ career as a storyteller is his preference for telling over showing. It’s not just that he tends to tell readers one thing about his characters while showing them the opposite, but also that he doesn’t seem to realize that it matters quite a bit who is doing the telling.

These three pages heaping praise on Buck and belittling Chloe are presented from Buck’s point of view. It’s Buck Williams here who is praising himself. And it’s Buck Williams here who is making Chloe out to be a pathetic, whimpering, dependent child. Jenkins seems not to be aware that by presenting these opinions from Buck’s perspective he is inviting us to distrust, discount and disregard them. Or, rather, to disregard their face-value meaning and to reinterpret them in a way that accounts for Buck’s self-interest.

In other words, what Jenkins thinks he’s telling us is that Buck is a resourceful action hero while Chloe is a helpless little girl. But what he’s unintentionally signaling to us, instead, is that Buck is a pompous jerk who doesn’t respect his wife.

Brief detour here back to Creative Writing 101. Let’s say you’re writing a story with a character named Jim and you want your readers to regard Jim as brave. You can go about this in several different ways:

1. Show Jim doing something that requires bravery.

2. Have another character in your story describe Jim as brave.

3. Have the omniscient narrator of your story tell the reader that Jim is brave.

4. Have Jim tell the reader that Jim is brave.

Those are listed in order. The first is the most effective approach; the last is the least effective. The last one, in fact, can be counter-productive.

In these novels, Jenkins often goes with No. 4. He’s also fond of No. 2, but even then it comes across more like No. 4 because what we get is either Buck’s glowing praise of Rayford or Rayford’s glowing praise of Buck. That mutual admiration society lacks credibility because one gets the sense that what each character admires most about the other is that character’s reciprocal admiration for him.

Once again let me remind you that Jenkins charges $3,500 for the “Craftsmen” level writing courses offered by his “Christian Writer’s Guild,” but that those courses are only available to those who have successfully completed the $1,000 “Apprentice” and $1,280 “Journeyman” level courses.

I believe there’s a lot we can learn about writing from Jerry Jenkins, but not through those courses.

We haven’t yet discussed what actually happens in these three pages of Nicolae, so we’ll revisit them next week.

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  • Parasum

    Where are Gloria Tesch, Chris Paolini &  SMeyer when they’re wanted ? 

  • Derekl1963

    “We haven’t yet discussed what actually happens in these three pages of Nicolae, so we’ll revisit them next week.”

    So why then did you waste everyone’s time repeating what you’ve beat to death twenty seven times before?  You shouldn’t be taking the authors to task when you, yourself, commit such sins.

  • Helena

     Not everyone has read every single Left Behind recap, and some things are important enough to bear repeating. Sexism can basically never be discussed too many times, considering that it detrimentally affects half the people on earth at a minimum. That’s not true of Left Behind’s repetitive details of fictional travel plans and phone calls reiterating previously established plot points.

    Also, way to be rude.

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

    Still, I hope Fred at least includes a few extra pages next week in addition to these three.

  • Liz Coleman

    I hate to say it, but even I, a founding member of a BDSM club, would be uncomfortable checking out erotica from the library. It’s totally irrational, but I’d just keep thinking, “someone else has wanked to this.” I’d imagine the molecules of their passionate breath embedded in the pages, and it would just be distracting.

  • Anonymerl

    Oh hey, founding members of BDSM clubs and slacktivites unite!

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    There’s a nuclear war or incipient nuclear war, and all Rayford and Buck can do is act like it’s a normal traffic jam with the nuclear war as a minor inconvenient backdrop, as though it were like a multi-car pileup on the highway being the thing slowing people down.

     
    Worse, in my experience ordinary decent people don’t piss and moan about multi-car pileups on the highway cos they’re aware that someone might have just died, which puts running late into perspective.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    For this entire traffic scene (which has lasted months) I’ve been wondering why the text kept referring to the car by its make. Not once, but constantly. Rayford steered the Lincoln. The nobodies pretending to be somebodies waved down the Lincoln. And so forth.

    This struck me as odd, because around these parts you call a car a car, in first, second and third person. I don’t drive my Toyota, I drive my car. So I figured it was a regional thing and, not knowing what type of car a Lincoln is, got nothing else.

    Now I see that it’s apparently a big-arse powerful monster car. Which makes me wonder why four people renting a vehicle to drive through the suburbs need such a beast, but this week’s soft car porn suggests that whenever they referred to the Lincoln I was supposed to think “ooh, big powerful car–impressive”. (And now I finally Google the thing and learn that it’s described as a luxury car).

    So our heroes are driving a too-large luxury power beast which I’m evidently supposed to think is cool. Same goes for references to the ridiculously expensive apartment. Instead I think “what a pack of tools”. Definitely values dissonance going on here.

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

    Oh yeah. I remember when I first saw a Lincoln Navigator back in 1995 or 1996 (ish).

    I went like this, literally: O_O

    I was frakkin’ appalled by such an ostentatiously useless piece of shit for an SUV.

    At least a Lincoln Continental (high end bigass car) can work as a legit-ish status symbol. The only thing good about a Lincoln Navigator is how much the douchebag factor gets multiplied if someone actually puts truknutz on it and drives like the law doesn’t apply to them.

  • The_L1985

     When I first saw the Cadillac Escalade (a couple years pre-Navigator), I realized that the SUV had gone too far.

    It’s supposed to be an off-road vehicle.  If you never drive off-road, but you need to carry lots of people on a regular basis, GET A VAN!

    Also, 2 adults and 2 children does not qualify as “lots of people.”  I’m talking about bringing half the Scout troop or kiddy sports team somewhere.

  • Mau de Katt

     <blockquoteFor this entire traffic scene (which has lasted months) I’ve been
    wondering why the text kept referring to the car by its make. Not once,
    but constantly. Rayford steered the Lincoln. The nobodies pretending to
    be somebodies waved down the Lincoln. And so forth.

    This reminds me of an episode back  in my younger days.  My dad had just joined the Navy as a mid-ranking officer because they needed doctors really bad, and we had moved into a hotel room a couple of days before we were supposed to be sent out to Okinawa, where my dad would be stationed at the Navy hospital there.  

    We lived in a small town out in the southeast plains of Colorado, and the Navy was treating my dad pretty darn good on this “outward bound” stage (for instance, they flew us out to Oki on one of those big-headed Pan-Am jumbo jets).   We’d already sold the family cars, so they’d given Dad the use of a rental car for those last few days — a Lincoln Continental.

    I was a Freshman in the High School band, and we were playing at a football game on our second-to-last night there.  So Dad drove me and my sousaphone to the local school football field in that Lincoln, and I do have to say, I felt pretty darn cool as I got out and unloaded my instrument from the back seat, while all my schoolmates looked on.

    Of course, I was a 14-year-old girl in a small farm-n-ranch town, so I at least had an excuse.

  • P J Evans

     More: Lincolns are a too-large luxury power beast preferred mostly by people who are older and more conservative (and wealthier, usually). Lincolns are used for limousines, too.
    I doubt that Ellanjay even want to be seen in a Toyota.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    It may just be me (It may just be me being an east coast liberal elitist), but I’m inclined to think of the Lincoln as being not just a “luxury car” but as being a sort of intensely blue-collar middle-america sort of “luxury car”. Like the kind of thing that a good, loyal, Red-State, NASCAR-lovin’  Real American working at Wal-Mart (39 hours a week so he doesn’t qualify for full-time benefits) dreams of someday owning.

    A Lincoln is a high end Ford. It’s a car you consider desirable because a Real American would never drive one of them Furrin cars. BMW? Mercedes? I think SOMEONE has forgotten which side we were on on Dubya Dubya Two. Volvo? Isn’t that a part of a lady’s anatomy?

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    No, you’re totally right – my father was the son of those sort of Red State Real True Americans (before even NASCAR or Red States), first to go to college in his family, and a Cadillac (Cadillac:GM::Lincoln::Ford) was his ultimate “made it big” symbol. Which of course he had to buy before he could quite afford it. (Why yes, he and Rayford would’ve got on like gangbusters.)

  • The_L1985

    This is even funnier when you consider that the Volvo logo is the scientific symbol for “male.”

    And my dad, who was born and raised well away from the Mason-Dixon line, still drove a Lincoln when he came into money.  It’s not a Southern thing.

    Most Southerners will simply dream of a bigger fancier pickup truck.

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    (And now I finally Google the thing and learn that it’s described as a luxury car).So our heroes are driving a too-large luxury power beast which I’m evidently supposed to think is cool.

    Specifically, a middle-class luxury car. It’s the sort of thing the target audience aspires to move up to after years of secondhand Fords. In a Mythbusters/Top Gear crossover, they’d compete to see how creatively they could blow one up – they’d never actually drive it.

  • The_L1985

     My parents had a Lincoln Town Car (1985) when I was a tiny tot.  I remember Mom complaining about how she couldn’t fit into parking spaces half the time.  It broke down a lot.  We traded it in for a Saturn when it was only 8 years old because we were tired of walking home from places and we thought Saturn cars would be The Wave Of The Future.

    I don’t consider it a coincidence that every single car my folks have purchased since was made by a Japanese company.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Who enjoyed Fred’s post this week more than any of Derekl’s contributions to the comments section?

    What’s with the sudden return to hate on Fred, Derekl? He’s not even arguing against right wing economics this time.

  • Ima Pseudonym

     Brave sir Cameron ran away.
    Bravely ran away, away!
    When danger reared its ugly head,
    he bravely turned his tail and fled.
    Yes, brave sir Cameron turned about
    And gallantly he chciened out!
    Bravely taking to his feet
    he beat a very brave retreat,
    Bravest of the brave, sir Cameron!

  • Ima Pseudonym

     “Chciened.”  errr…that’s an Argentinian bird well-known for its bravery.  Yeah, that’s the ticket…

    Ye gods and garters, I suck. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sue-White/1605859612 Sue White

    The late-model car was a smooth ride, but inching along in near gridlock made the huge automotive power plant feel like a stallion that wanted to run free.

    I’ve never had much patience for bad writing, but this is ridiculous.  Thousands of people have  just been killed or horribly disfigured, and this is all he is thinking about.  His “huge automotive power plant”, and the inconvenience of a being in a traffic jam.  And who the hell describes a car that way?  L&H ought to stay away from metaphors, and stick with phone calls.

  • KarenJo12

    On fancy cars:  I drive a 2010 Cadillac SUV.  I drive it because I have to drive a LOT — long commute, aging parents in a town far away, kids who have a million things to do — and if I’m going to be stuck in traffic I may as well have leather seats, satellite radio, and Onstar.  That said, not once in the two years I’ve owned Queenie (we name our cars) have I ever once referred to the engine as “the automotive power plant.”  For one thing, the engine in my car is designed to reduce power when it idles.  GM’s designers know that very few of us will be driving our SRX’s on the Autobahn with stampeding stallions; we’re suburbanite commuters.  They knew that back in the 90’s too, and took that into account.  There are pasta rockets that feel like this, but high-middle vehicles like Lincolns and Cadillacs don’t.  This makes me wonder whether Jenkins has ever driven a Lincoln.

  • Lori

     

    There are pasta rockets that feel like this, but high-middle vehicles
    like Lincolns and Cadillacs don’t.  This makes me wonder whether Jenkins
    has ever driven a Lincoln. 

    This is true. Especially back in the 90s Lincolns were still very much built for and marketed to a core demographic of well-off older people who wanted driving a car to be like going down the road sitting on their sofas. The big engines weren’t about feeling the power, they were  about moving all the weight caused by the comfort features.

    Maybe Jerry Jenkins is actually a decent writer, it’s just that he’s describing the AU in which he lives and those of us from this reality just can recognize it.

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

    Considering Cadillac and Lincoln were making boat-sized cars* with pretty fancy features in the 1990s, too, it’s hard to believe their SUV marketing and production filled any kind of useful niche except “ostentatiously useless luxury.” I’ll be stunned speechless if anyone ever actually took a Cadillac Escalade offroad.

    There’s a reason that Canyonero parody got made.

    Also, didn’t someone once say some auto company in the USA made a truck that went to JUST one pound (ONE!) under some legal weight limit for a passenger vehicle before you had to licence it as a commercial rig?

    The only reason for that kind of thinking is pure ego-flattering. It takes a lot of gasoline to move that kind of mass and the only reason trucks like that haven’t gulped up all the oil out of the Middle East by now is that (a) gas prices have gone way up and (b) fuel efficiency improvements have gone into boosting the power of automobile engines for the same displacement. So a truck like that can sport a 5 L engine and still move it more swiftly than a 1980s Suburban with a 5.8 L engine

    —-

    * Even by 1990s standards. I’ve driven a similar-size rental vehicle and it really feels big and luxurious compared to, say, a Nissan Pulsar or whatever.

  • The_L1985

     IIRC, Lincoln was the last auto company left to make bench seats.  When I was growing up in the 90’s and my grandparents wanted to fit themselves, my parents, my great-grandmother, and two grandkids (me and my brother) into a roughly-medium-sized car, they COULD.  Comfortably.

    I miss bench seats.

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

    You do know Suburbans and Yukons can get all that stuff too? I used to ride with a guy who’d sprung for the deluxe model of yukon with leather seats that warm your ass.

  • Onymous

    >You do know Suburbans and Yukons can get all that stuff too?

    You can but you don’t really end up saving much/anything.
    And besides different marque have different idiosyncrasies that sometimes just rub you the right/wrong way.
    Although Karen name-dropped the SRX not the Escalade, which is built on a Cadillac specific platform, so it’s even more never quite the same.

  • Jay

    to Sgt. Pepper:  Lincoln was a high-status American car brand back in the ’50s and ’60s.  LaHaye and Jenkins are pretty old; hardly anyone under 60 would be caught dead in one.  They were huge; rumors of a model with a Starbucks in the back cannot be completely discounted.

  • christopher_young

    Don’t try to do no thinkin’,
    Just get on with your drinkin’
    Go on and have your fun, you old son of a gun
    And then drive home in your Lincoln.

    -Frank Zappa, 1968

    Is this really the image LaJenkins want to convey?

  • The_L1985

    More like:

    My papa told me, “Son, you’re gonna drive me to drinkin’
    If you dont’ quit drivin’ that hot rod Lincoln.”

  • P J Evans

     I thought that the swimming pool in the trunk space was a better story. Ghu knows there was room enough on that back deck for a pool.

  • The_L1985

     I dunno.  If I knew enough about cars to fix up an old Continental, I might drive one from the 60’s or so.  They were classy as hell.

    The Lincolns I know, from the 80’s on?  Not worth the money!

  • Jenny Islander

    Cab drivers in Fairbanks, which is just below the Arctic Circle, favor Lincolns because they are so heavy and marshmallowy.  They grip the road, even when the road is covered with several inches of ice, and they surge over the spring potholes as smoothly as any car can.  A lot of Fairbanks cabs are made even heavier by an undercoating designed to resist pitting by road salt.

    So I imagine this scene in Fairbanks, or even Anchorage, where the Tribbers have been shunted due to about 10 pages of exhaustively described air route problems, and then it sort of works.

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

    Yeah. I grok why you’d use a Lincoln passenger car as a high-end vehicle. Hell, I taxied a couple times in Connecticut in a Lincoln because the airport was about a 45 minute drive away. The driver had the pedal to the metal the whole way, hitting the speed governor limit of 85 MPH. O_O

    But the bugger was big, and roomy, which was perfect for ferrying me and three other people.

    But a Lincoln SUV? Come-the-fuck-on-here, Detroit.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Clearly you’ve never encountered a Lincoln Mark LT pick up truck 

  • P J Evans
  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Areyoufuckingkiddingme. What’s wrong with a Ford F250? I’ve seen some of the new ones. They’re frakkin’ roomy, all the bells and whistles. You could haul anything in those.

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    Oh, yes, the other thing about Lincolns that makes them not really a luxury car – they’re often just a nice interior on a cheap Ford body. Style over substance – just the car for Our Heroes.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Well…
    The Mark LT is built on the F-150 platform (not that it really matters)
    The bells and whistles come standard, no explaining to the plebe salesman
    “Haul”?
    It’s a Lincoln. duh. ;-)

  • P J Evans

    no explaining to the plebe salesman “Haul”

    Most pickup trucks never haul anything bigger than the people inside, so the buyers could buy an SUV and get a better ride. (Not all of them know anything about hauling actual stuff, anyway – I had a big pickup cut in front of me this morning with a couple-three lengths of what looked like 1.5-inch copper pipe sticking out over the tailgate. At least three feet of sticking-out: they should have been flagged.)

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    It’s worse than that. The “bed” of the LT is covered… and carpeted.

  • P J Evans

     I can kind of see carpet, if it’s indoor/outdoor, as being useful (dampens noise, stuff slides on and off better). Covering the bed is actually a good idea. Keeps stuff dry and out of sight, and limits the amount of stuff that falls in. (My father put vinyl covers over the beds of his trucks. We got really good at tightening the ropes that held them on. They didn’t have those fancy hard covers with lifters then.)

  • JenL

    Areyoufuckingkiddingme.
    What’s wrong with a Ford F250? I’ve seen some of the new ones. They’re
    frakkin’ roomy, all the bells and whistles. You could haul anything in
    those.

    I seriously doubt anybody *hauls* anything *in* a Lincoln truck.  That’s not the point.  You might hook something very expensive up behind it – a big boat or motorhome – so that those you pass on the freeway can add up the total $ value and whistle at the extreme by which your money exceeds your needs. 

    But put something *in* the truck?  You might scratch the paint! 

  • veejayem

    Buck ~ and what a giveaway that name is ~ would, in real life, be the kind of man that makes women waggle their little fingers when they’re talking about him. In England any way. Do my sisters in the US have a similar gesture?

  • Lori

     

    Buck ~ and what a giveaway that name is ~ would, in real life, be the
    kind of man that makes women waggle their little fingers when they’re
    talking about him. In England any way. Do my sisters in the US have a
    similar gesture?  

    Are you talking about indicating that he’s overcompensating because he’s on the lower end of the penis size bell curve? IME that’s most often communicated in the US by holding up your thumb and first finger close together in the “this big” gesture.

  • veejayem

    Actually, it’s more of an “Oh poor man, another sad case of erectile disfunction,” sort of gesture.

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

    I was tempted to try and re-write this bit, but since this week is just about the author’s sexism, I’ll just suggest the lines I’ll probably be following in next week’s re-write.

    Chloe’s character… well, she really doesn’t have much of one. Because the book is so focused on Buck and Ray, we don’t know what Chloe is doing when she’s not attending to one or the other of those idiots. Interestingly, that doesn’t make her useless as a literary device.

    Buck is (or should be) mourning the pastor, or planning what the next step should be. His attention shouldn’t be on the plot unfolding ahead. In a sense, he should be in some kind of shock, one way or another. But we, the audience, aren’t in shock; we’re reading about it, not (fictionally) living it, so we’re wondering what will happen now. We need some exposition, a sense of what we (should expect) will come next. There’s a stage to be set, and this is where Chloe, the blank slate, the cipher, can come in really handy.

    If Buck is an Author Insert, then in scenes like this, Chloe can function as an Audience Insert.

    “What about our home? Where will we live?” = if the world’s going to war, is the story really going to stay in Chicago? Is the action going to move to New Babylon, or somewhere else?

    “What are we going to do, Buck?” = what’s the next few chapters going to look like? Are we heading to Rivendel for council, or are you & Scooby going to search the basement while Daphnie, Fred & I check out the master bedroom with the jacuzzi?

    “I’m scared and need comforting from my husband” = we don’t know what’s going on, but something bad is going to happen, isn’t it? It’s time to step up and do some foreshadowing!

    True, it’s still sexist tripe, but in this context, it clearly illustrates the contempt the author has not only for women, but for his audience in general…

  • Onymous

     > we don’t know what Chloe is doing when she’s not attending to one or the other of those idiots.

    I think there was a throw away line after the time skip that she spent most of her day studying and researching Revelations.
    Fred’s pointed out already that studying the apocalypse part really shouldn’t take several years*: it’s short and it’s supposed to be literal.

    *from a PMD stand point. Obviously there’s all sort of archival research and literary scholarship and archeology that could be done.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shaenon Shaenon K. Garrity

    Both Twilight and 50 Shades have awesome covers.  I want those designers.

  • Jenny Islander

    We ran into the bullying issue at a community festival on Memorial Day weekend.  My daughter was sitting on a small floating dock, by water that probably wasn’t too deep for her to stand up in–but it was cold and full of plants and falling in would have ended her afternoon besides scaring her badly.  Some bigger boy ran up and pushed her.  Then he came back and “nudged” her with his knee.  He wouldn’t let her get up.  He held his drink cup over her head.  At this point my big burly husband came up and told him that if he did not immediately go away and remain unseen, my husband would make him lick his drink off of the dock.  He didn’t seem to believe it at first, but he looked my husband in the face and slunk off.  My husband had never found himself in that situation before and was ashamed of the words that came out of his mouth, but some fellow dads at his workplace said that in Samoa, where they came from, there would have been no talking: the boy would have gone into the water, full stop.

    I think that it is adults’ responsibility to stop it when they see it, every time.  Big kid looming over little kid: end it.  Pack of kids cornering one kid: end it.  Every bully, every time.  Do not ask the target to explain.  Do not ask the bully to explain.  Just stop the bully.  Remove the bully from the situation.  Make him or her leave.  Publicly and loudly if necessary.  Bullies like not being noticed.  Notice them, with contempt and disgust.

    The postscript is that the boy turned out to be caretaker’s kid at the Girl Scout camp where my daughter was last weekend and he came up and apologized to her without being prompted.  But this is not the outcome to aim for.  The desired outcome is that the bully goes away.

  • AnonymousSam

    When I read people trying to rationalize what horrible crimes Onan must have committed, it makes me a bit sad. Let’s look at what we know of Onan’s death:

    Then Judah said to Onan, “Sleep with your brother’s wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to raise up offspring for your brother.” But Onan knew that the child would not be his; so whenever he slept with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from providing offspring for his brother. What he did was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so the Lord put him to death also.

    This phrasing catches my eye: “What he did was wicked.” It’s not that it’s indicative of much of anything, it’s how familiar that phrasing looks. Why is that? Oh… Genesis 38:7 and the last sentence of 1 Chronicles 2, which are almost identical in wording and which refer to his brother:

    But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so the Lord put him to death.

    What did Er do to deserve death? Let’s look at the circumstances surrounding his death: ….

    Wait, there are none. We just know he was wicked, so God killed him. But since we know that God never punishes people unless they deserve it, and he always punishes anyone who has sinned almost immediately, then surely Er and Onan must have done terrible things to be smote on the spot, right?

    Maybe we should focus more on what horrible crimes Er committed. After all, they were so heinous that no one bothered to remember them, and so they were never written down!

  • Ima Pseudonym

    I thought very long and hard before I posted this, and I suppose I don’t need to add to the growing shitstorm here, but I finally decided to go ahead anyway.  So…trigger warning, ROT13 if you actually want to read it: 

    Jura V jnf va uvtu fpubby, n tebhc bs sha-ybivat lbhat zra qrpvqrq gb fbnx zr, zl unve naq zl pybguvat va n pbhcyr bs tnyybaf bs xrebfrar nsgre fpubby naq guerngra zr jvgu yvtugref, zngpurf naq gbepurf sbe n srj yrvfheryl ubhef nf n cranygl sbe ybbxvat va gur trareny qverpgvba bs n tvey gurve yrnqre jnf fbegn-xvaqn-znlor vagrerfgrq va.  Uvynevbhf, V xabj.  Gurl znqr ure yvsr uryy, gbb, nybat jvgu gur yvirf bs zbfg bs gur crbcyr V pbhagrq nf sevraqf, sbe zbfg bs zvqqyr fpubby naq uvtu fpubby.  Bqqyl, gur grnpuref naq nqzvavfgengbef crefvfgrq va npghnyyl guvaxvat gurfr crbcyr jrer npghnyyl sevraqf bs bhef, naq ab nzbhag bs ercbegvat gurfr crbcyr be orttvat sbe uryc (gnggyvat, gurl pnyyrq vg) rire nzbhagrq gb nalguvat zber guna n zvyq fync ba gur jevfg (juvpu jr pnhtug uryy sbe), be rira chavfuzrag sbe hf sbe ercbegvat vg.  Frevbhfyl.  Gurl glcvpnyyl rawblrq fhpu jubyrfbzr cnfggvzrf nf tnfyvtugvat ivpgvzf, frkhny unenffzrag, gursg, cebcregl qrfgehpgvba naq trareny unenffzrag, sbe juvpu nal erfvfgnapr be ergnyvngvba jbhyq oevat n frirer orngvat be–va yvrh bs gung–n “cranygl.”

    Lbh frr, gurl rira unq guvf rynobengr naq nznmvatyl betnavmrq qrzrevg flfgrz sbe “bssrafrf” fhpu nf ershfny gb cynl nybat naq fhozvg gb gurve yvggyr tnzrf yvxr n tbbq yvggyr ivpgvz (gung jnf n znwbe bar) be cnl “gnkrf,” juvpu enatrq sebz “svarf,” gb gjb bs gurz ubyqvat qbja lbhe unaqf ba n gnoyr juvyr gjb zber orng gurz enj jvgu fgvpxf gb na rira zber ntbavmvat naq uhzvyvngvat inevngvba ba gur pynffvp oynaxrg cnegl.  Ershfny gb cynl nybat jvgu *gung* tnzr naq dhvrgyl fhozvg gb lbhe gvzr naq cynpr bs chavfuzrag sbe “pbeerpgvba” yrq gb rira jbefr sbesrvgf orvat cnvq, gur jbefg bs juvpu pbhyq vapyhqr orvat qenttrq vagb gur jbbqf oruvaq gur fpubby naq orvat orngra hagvy lbh yvgrenyyl pbhyqa’g jnyx.  Juvyr gurl jbhyq trg va gebhoyr sbe gung fbeg bs guvat, gur chavfuzragf arire frrzrq gb nzbhag gb zber guna n pbhcyr bs qnlf fhfcrafvba ng zbfg, naq gurl nyjnlf frrzrq gb unir cyragl bs jvgarffrf gb pynvz gung gurve ivpgvz npghnyyl fgnegrq gur svtug.  Zl fpubby unq n cbyvpl gung va nal pbasyvpg, obgu cnegvrf vaibyirq jbhyq orne gur rknpg fnzr chavfuzrag, ohg fgenatryl rabhtu, va gurfr pnfrf, gurl graqrq gb pbzr qbja uneqrfg ba gur *ivpgvz*–gung vf gb fnl, gur “gebhoyrznxre” jub “fgnegrq gur svtug.”  Gur cevapvcyr’f fba jnf bar bs gurz, bhe sbbgonyy pbnpu’f jnf nabgure evatyrnqre, nabgure jnf gur fba bs gur ybpny furevss, rgp., rgp..  Lbh trg gur vqrn.

    Jr svtherq bhg snveyl dhvpxyl gung, ng orfg, gur fpubby nqzvavfgengvba qvqa’g jnag gb or obgurerq jvgu vg, naq, ng jbefg, jnf **npghnyyl gnxvat cneg va vg** ol perngvat na ngzbfcurer va juvpu ohyyvrf jrer rapbhentrq naq cebgrpgrq, naq ivpgvzf fynccrq qbja uneq jura gurl gevrq gb erfvfg. Ohg gurl jba n jubyr ybg bs sbbgonyy naq onfxrgonyy tnzrf, fb V thrff gurl sbhaq gur fvghngvba npprcgnoyr.

    Ab znggre ubj ovt be ubj fgebat lbh ner, vg qbrfa’g qb zhpu tbbq jura lbh’er bhgahzorerq rvtug gb bar–be zber–naq gurl’er npghnyyl nezrq, naq gur crbcyr fhccbfrqyl va punetr bs xrrcvat gur crnpr ng lbhe fpubby unir znqr vg rssrpgviryl vzcbffvoyr gb svtug onpx. Juvyr ergnyvngvba jnf n cyrnfnag snagnfl, unq V qbar fb ng gur xrebfrar vapvqrag–be gur bguref–vg zvtug jryy unir erfhygrq va zr abg yvivat gb fcraq n srj lrnef va gurencl yngre, naq juvyr gung jbhyq cebonoyl unir yrq gb fbzrguvat svanyyl orvat qbar, vg jbhyq unir orra fznyy pbzsbeg. 

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Jesus Christ, Ima Pseudonym. Just…bloody hell. I’m so sorry.

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

    (O_O)

    I just….

    *throws hands up in the air*

    WHAT IS WRONG WITH SOME PEOPLE?!?!?

    I wish that hadn’t happened to you :(

  • Trixie_Belden

    Good Lord!  What happened at your school was terrifying!  I’m sorry you had to go through that.

  • http://www.iki.fi/wwwwolf/ Urpo Lankinen

    A helpful tip from a writer: You can learn a lot about the craft of writing by reading. Read all sorts of books with a critical eye. You’ll learn what works, and what doesn’t work. If you’re signing up for a writing course – an expensive writing course, in this case – reading the books written by the course teachers is a no-brainer; if they obviously can’t write, at least you’ve learned something cheap, as opposed to learning utter rubbish expensively.

  • Amaryllis

    Having given up on getting past the first page of this thread any time soon (drat that real world) all I can do is thank Fred and Ellenjay between them for an insidious Ivor Cutler earworm:

    What’s your favorite jam?
    Traffic jam, traffic jam.

    What’s wrong with raspberry? What’s wrong with plum?
    How’s about a blob of elderberry on a scone?

    What’s your favorite jam?
    Traffic jam.
    It’s the jam…for a man.

  • aunursa

    In this respect, the series really jumps the shark when we hit Glorious Appearing. :P Half of it is juuuuuuuuust Bible quotes, it seems.

    A sample…

    Even knowing that the same phenomenon had happened to others, Rayford longed to hear Jesus say his name again. It came with such love, compassion, and knowledge that it was as if no one had ever uttered it before or would again.
    “Rayford—” there it was again—”you know My grace, that though I was rich, yet for your sake I became poor, that you through My poverty might become rich.”
    “I know, Lord,” Rayford said, tears streaming. “I know. ”
    “I have delivered you from the power of darkness and conveyed you into the kingdom of the Son of God’s love, in whom you have redemption through My blood, the forgiveness of sins. I am the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
    “For by Me all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Me and for Me. And I am before all things, and in Me all things consist.
    “I am the head of the body, the church, the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things I may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Me all the fullness should dwell, and by Me to reconcile all things to Himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of My cross.”
    Again Rayford slid to the ground, raising his arms. “My Lord and my God, I am so unworthy. ”
    “And you, Rayford, who once were alienated and an enemy in your mind by wicked works, yet now I have reconciled in the body of My flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in God’s sight.”
    “Unworthy, unworthy!” Rayford cried.
    Justified by faith,” Jesus said. “Justified. “

  • aunursa

    Jerry Jenkins responds to readers’ questions…

    Carol: I am very disturbed by what I read when reading Glorious Appearing. I was to the part of the book when Jesus returned. I know the difference between fact and fiction, and I understand that this book is fiction based on fact … but even in fiction, the facts must be presented correctly.

    Jerry Jenkins: I couldn’t agree with you more. That’s why I would never dare have something come from Jesus’ mouth about Himself and His character that was not straight from Scripture.

    LB: Some readers commented that Jesus’ words sounded too stilted at times, primarily because of the use of the formal language of the New King James translation instead of using a more contemporary translation, such as the New Living Translation or a paraphrase like the Living Bible or the Message. As Jerry Jenkins said, he and Dr. LaHaye chose not to put words in Jesus’ mouth, so they quoted extensively from Scripture. Those familiar with Dr. LaHaye’s writing and speaking know of his preference for the King James version.

    Karen: I just finished Glorious Appearing, and it was wonderful. I was moved to tears by the closeness of Jesus to everyone (even me). This was a very satisfying ending to a years-long, 12-book journey and adventure…

  • P J Evans

     I’m sure that Jesus spoke King James-type English. Not.
    As for the rest – Fred has talked about fiction and Biblical inerrancy and literalism before.

  • aunursa

    I’m sure that Jesus spoke King James-type English. Not.

    In Glorious Appearing, each character hear’s Jesus’ words in his or her native language.

    So Rayford hears Jesus in (NKJV-style) English, Chaim Rosenzweig hears Jesus in Hebrew, Lukas Miklos hears Jesus in Greek, Mac McCullum hears Jesus in Redneck, etc.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    So, does that mean that when Nicolae Volcania gets told off and condemned to hell, he has to sit through it while Jesus tells him off in ever modern human language, in alphabetical order?

    Also, does Tsion Ben-Judah hear him in Hebrew, or in English with an overblown comical fake-Yiddish accent?

  • aunursa

    No, presumably Jesus speaks the same words in 6,500 languages simultaneously.

    Also, does Tsion Ben-Judah hear him in Hebrew, or in English with an overblown comical fake-Yiddish accent?

    I like to think Tsion hears the voice of Mel Brooks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.maki Jon Maki

    In Glorious Appearing, each character hears Jesus’ words in his or her native language.

    So Jesus is like Galactus?  Even though his true form is that of a giant white guy, any intelligent being who sees the  Devourer of Worlds perceives him as resembling a member of his, her, or its own species.  So Skrulls see a giant Skrull, Shi’ar see a giant Shi’ar, etc.

    Hmm…now I’m imagining a Marvel/LB crossover with all of the assorted pantheons and cosmic entities putting aside their differences to fight off TurboJesus.  The Eternals form the Uni-Mind, the Watchers finally decide to do more than watch, Galactus tries to consume Heaven, and it all comes down to Cap squaring off against God himself with the Ultimate Nullifier in his hand…

  • Mau de Katt

     

    So Rayford hears Jesus in (NKJV-style) English, Chaim Rosenzweig hears
    Jesus in Hebrew, Lukas Miklos hears Jesus in Greek, Mac McCullum hears
    Jesus in Redneck, etc.

    I really, <i.really want to hear those NKJV Bible passages Jesus was quoting spoken in Redneckese.

  • Mau de Katt

     (OK, the “html” portion of my brain must be offline tonight… what the heck was that drunken code I just tried to format with???)

  • aunursa

    Sorry, I failed to include a sarcasm tag.  Mac hears Jesus in plain-ol’ English.  But anyone is welcome to translate it into Redneck. (For some reason, Jesus addresses Mac by his middle name.)

    Mac was about to tell the Lord that there were people— particularly from the previous seven years—that he was eager to see. Each had meant something special to him, had made a significant impact on his life. But before he could articulate it, Jesus spoke to him by name. “I know, Cleburn. And you shall see them soon. I long for that reunion as much as you do and will rejoice with you when you see them.”

    From Glorious Appearing

  • Ima Pseudonym

    That entire quoted ‘interview’ positively reeks of mildewed sockpuppets . 

  • aunursa

    You would think so, but difficult as it is to accept — NO, they aren’t sockpuppets.  Those are actually real people who have read the books and absolutely love them.  I could direct you to dozens of websites where Christian faithful sing the praises of the LB series.  Here’s just one.

  • The_L1985

     That’s the sad part.  They sound so much like sockpuppets that it’s hard to tell the difference.

  • Ursula L

    Does anyone actually think of their car as being a “late model”?  

    The phrase makes me think that Precious Ramotswe is telling us that that car is dead. 

    If you’re thinking about a car that you own, that was manufactured in the last few years, that you recently acquired, then it is your “new car. ” 

    Consider the difference between:

    “The late-model car was a smooth ride…”

    and

    “His new car was a smooth ride…”

    The latter phrase conveys the pride in ownership, the excitement over having something new, where you can test its quality and be pleased with what you find.  

    The former sounds like, at best, an advertisement for the car, and at worst, someone trying to impress another with how wonderful the car is, when the best they can figure out is that they didn’t buy it (used)  more than a decade ago and the shock absorbers still work.  

    The emphasis on the car being a Lincoln does, as has been pointed out, point to L&J writing from a specific US working-class perspective where being able to own a car that you have chosen for comfort rather than utility (either fuel-efficiency and economy or the potential for it having cargo capacity that you can use for your work to help improve your income) is a coveted thing.  And that is fine.  Wanting a life that is comfortable rather than entirely focused on necessity and survival is a profoundly human and humane thing.  

    And the perspective of working class people of a particular age is no more or less valid than any other perspective.  Provided that you don’t write that perspective as being universal.  Which, L&J being L&J, they naturally do.  

    But the bizarre choice of “late model” rather than “new” really emphasizes the lack of understanding that L&J have about how people think and talk about the important possessions in their lives.  

  • Münchner Kindl

    The technical aspect of Fearleass Son argument – that girls can hurt boys because boys have the same joints – is true. Leaving aside the whole complex around it: that bullying is not always a one-off confrontation; that it’s often several against one; that it needs to be dealt with on another level, too (and from authority); that fighting back can get the victim in trouble with authorities – the technical aspect that humans, even girls with far less muscles, can fight against stronger boys, is true.

    A lot of the Budo (martial arts) styles which emphasize practical self-defense more than sports competition use levers, for example. A lever works on any joint and needs very little power from the person administering it.

    Aikido especially shows this, together with the “use your opponents strength against him” method – all attacks are turned into circular motions and either deflected back to your opponent or used to make him fall. So instead of needing strength to block a strike, you just deflect it and use the opponents own bigger mass and force to make him fall.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aikido
    Because Aikido was developed by a rather old Sensei (teacher/ master) for people with not a lot of muscle, not a lot of mass.

    Now true, you need several years of intensive training to be good enough to use it competently; it doesn’t help if your opponent is similarly skilled in another martial art (or wrestling); it doesn’t help (unless you are at master level) against more than one person; etc. The whole surrounding problems need still to be dealt with in another way.

    But technically, size and muscle mass alone do not make somebody automatically stronger or invincible. People have the same joints to use levers on; the law of physics make bigger and heavier people even easier to throw or fall once they move.

    Picking somebody up by the neck and throwing against a locker is something else entirely, of course. But that doesn’t count as defense in the martial art sense. Defense starts with you having a closed position. Every attack means opening your position and losing your balance, making you vulnerable to the defense move.

  • Ken

    Setting aside the idea that the New King James English is anyone’s native tongue, I suppose that means Nicky’s one world language thing didn’t get fully implemented. Not surprising, really; here we are two years after the one world government was set up, and the US president is still in office and still has control over nukes. The one world religion also seems pretty ecumenical so far.

    Does going through the prophecy checklist really count if all you do is make the check-mark?

  • aunursa

    I suppose that means Nicky’s one world language thing didn’t get fully implemented.

    Well TurboJesus doesn’t have to play by Nicky’s rules.  So the one world language could have been fully implemented for the duration of the Tribulation, but Jesus could speak to each RTC in his or her native language.

  • http://profiles.google.com/vlowe7294 Vaughn Lowe

    Well, if you didn’t care about actually writing good books and were just interested in the money, maybe his writing course would be useful… after all he got a lot of people to buy these things, so he must have some trick.

    “Buck had never had patience for traffic jams, but this was ridiculous”

    Okay.  Imagine that 9-11 had just happened.  Was any person not a psychopath really thinking this way?  I’ve been in traffic jams where I’ve been getting angry, then see the ambulance and the covered bodies, and my attitude instantly changes.  But not with our heroes.

    Gah, I hate the way they muzzled Chloe.  She’s always been the one I most empathize with, especially in the scenes where she was in prison about to be killed.  That was the one time in these books I actually felt stirred emotionally.

  • Jenny Islander

    In the universe where Buck (“Please call me Cameron, my high school English teacher called me Buck!”) and Rayford (“Don’t call me Captain, we’re not on a plane”) Steele are decent people, everybody in the car is tensely discussing how to get through the traffic jam because if they let themselves think about why there is a traffic jam they will be paralyzed.  When they get somewhere relatively safe, they’ll let themselves grieve and rage.

    Also Chloe is checking the street map for gas stations and alternate routes and redialing everybody in their cell, hoping that a call will get through.

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

     I could get behind that, all right. A disaster of that magnitude – I can imagine not wanting to let it process because you’re deathly afraid your brain might just stop working and you’ll curl up into a little ball.

    Too bad Jenkins is not that writer.

  • Ursula L

     I could get behind that, all right. A disaster of that magnitude – I can imagine not wanting to let it process because you’re deathly afraid your brain might just stop working and you’ll curl up into a little ball.
    Too bad Jenkins is not that writer.

    We have a disaster that is two cities hit by nuclear bombs.  

    This is not unprecedented.  In fact, there is a very good precedent for the aftermath of this situation, namely Japan in the aftermath of WWII.  The modern bombs are more powerful than the WWII nuclear bombs, but that is counterbalanced by the fact that there wasn’t all of the other attacks of conventional warfare going on, and that these two cities in the US are a smaller proportion of the nation than the two cities that were destroyed in the much smaller nation of Japan.  

    There are also numerous examples of communities and cultures dealing with the atrocities and scale of modern warfare, which is horrific even if the conflict doesn’t go nuclear.  From WWII, you have Germany, Britain, France, the Netherlands, China, the Philippians, etc.  More recently, their are examples such as Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Afghanistan again, etc.  

    So we don’t need to use our imaginations to figure out how people cope with this type of attack.  We merely need to recognize people outside the US as people and observe how they cope with this type of attack.  

    And people generally don’t shut down because when you’re stuck in this sort of attack, surviving the initial blow but unsure of surviving the aftermath, you’re too busy taking care of yourself and the people you care about to focus on the full scale of the problem.  

    If the Tribbles are caught in a traffic jam outside a city that was just hit by a nuclear bomb or a major air raid, then they aren’t going to be thinking about the full effects of the destruction.  But they also aren’t going to be griping about how the traffic keeps them from enjoying the full benefit of the luxuries of their new car.

    Instead, they will be doing, more or less, what we see Chloe doing, but without the misogyny-glasses that transform her very important concerns into trivia.  

    Where will we live?  How will we find uncontaminated food?  Can we even survive the secondary effects of a nuclear attack that didn’t kill us outright, or are we facing certain death by radiation poisoning?  What about our family?  What about our friends?  

    Meta-Chloe is once again fighting to tell her story, as she asks her husband where  (and how) they will live in the aftermath of a nuclear attack that targeted the city where they were living.  

    Because “where will we live” is a very important question when your home has just been bombed.  One cold winter night, and it becomes your last question, as hypothermia and exposure provide a final answer of “you won’t.”  

  • http://profiles.google.com/vlowe7294 Vaughn Lowe

    Choe, the Rise of Antichrist

    Do not be unequally yoked

    Buck Williams was probably in the most unequally yoked marriage in history.  His wife, the Antichrist, sat next to him in the driver’s side part of the Lincoln.  In many ways she was not the different from the girl he had fell in love with, except for a hardness in her eyes and a lilting way of speaking that was musical and hypnotic.  But she still had the smile, that way of  brushing the hair out of her eyes that was the same old Chloe.  And he was conflicted.

    To divorce her would be wrong, as she hasn’t asked for one, and hasn’t been unfaithful, as far as he knew.  And, God help him, he still loved her.  Was it possible for her to repent of this madness?

    She put one hand casually on his knee and one head on his shoulder.  His heart did a flip flop and he looked down at her.

    “Watch the road dear,” she said.

    He swerved, barely missing the edge of a taxi.  A squeal of brakes, a loud honking.  Traffic had ground to a standstill, there was no moving down this street at all.

    “Maybe we should have opted for motorcycles,” he quipped.  Chloe giggled, and his heart lurched again.  He could almost pretend that things were the same as before.

    She sat back and folded her arms.  “I suppose I should have called for a helicopter ride, but they couldn’t have taken all of us.  I wanted you to all be there as I make my U.N. speech.  Although I don’t think there’s going to be any flights to New York today.  They’d make an exception for me, but it might not be all that safe.”  She sighed.  “Our home, our stuff.  All gone.  Vaporized just like that.  Somehow that pisses me off more than anything.  Well, they’re going to find out what happens when you piss me off.”

    “What are your plans, Chloe?” Amanda said in a slow small voice, as if she were trying to talk down a jumper.

    Chloe turned around.  “Why don’t you tell me?  I mean you people are supposed to have the next years all mapped out right?”  She was met with silence and she snorted.  “That’s the problem with prophecy.  It never tells you anything useful until after it’s too late.  Well my first step will be to stop this kind of nonsense…”  She waved around at the chaos around them.  “from ever happening again.  We need to crack down and crack down hard on dissidents.”

    “But human rights…” her dad began.

    “ARE IRRELEVANT!” she snarled.  “The Constitution is a nice idea, but people are too selfish and petty to make it work.  If the choice is between order and freedom, my choice is order.  And order is achieved through unity and strength.”

    They sat in silence as Buck made his way through the gridlock.  He felt his wife’s hand on his knee again, and he repressed a shudder.

    I’m in love with the Beast from the Sea, he thought.

    Am I going to Hell?

  • JenL

    Was that true for any other LB reader but me? No idea. But it can’t be
    overstated how conservative Evangelicals are not reading the same books
    you and I are.

    I was right there with ya.  Now, I can look back at it and see the
    problems.  As a kid, the notion that someone could worship the wrong God
    entirely and yet *still be a good person* was literally a new idea that
    I got from that book.  I was

  • Münchner Kindl

    In the immediate aftermath of the Event, when the entire world was paralyzed with shock, chaos and grief, Chloe Steele, 20, somehow made her way from Stanford University to Mount Prospect, Ill. That’s about 2,200 miles, and Google maps says it would take a day and a half to drive it under optimal, non-apocalyptic conditions. That’s about what it took Chloe — at a time when no planes were flying, the railroads were shut down, the highways clogged with horrific accidents and driverless cars.
    The authors didn’t explain how Chloe managed this, which somehow made it more impressive. She’s Chloe Steele — that’s how she did it and that is all you need to know.
    I miss that Chloe — the smart, independent, omnicompetent young woman we thought we were meeting when she first showed up in Book 1. It’s a long way down from that initial appearance to this scene portraying Chloe as a helpless, shrieking, submissive little wife.

    I think Fred is making a mistake here. This thousand-mile-journey of Chloe didn’t happen – because it wasn’t described on-screen, like Buck’s heroic journey, nor was it planned in advance, like some of Buck’s  other travels. Things that are neither shown nor told don’t exist.

    Secondly, when Buck travels through Manhattan, Fred points out that Manhatten in the LBverse has some very odd dimensions compared to real-life Manhattan (15 miles long vs 2 miles or something like that), as another proof of no fact-checking when it’s incredibly simple.

    So unless it’s stated in the text that Chloe travelled two thousand miles, she might just have walked a couple of blocks or driven half an hour with her car.

    Obviously, her achievment wasn’t great and so her change isn’t that drastic, either.


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