NRA: Returning the rental car

Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist, pp. 17-18

Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins have set out to destroy America.

They’ve obliterated New York City and Washington, D.C., with perhaps-nuclear bombs and followed that initial attack with perhaps-nuclear missile strikes at airports in Chicago and Dallas.

And this is just the beginning of the horrors the authors have planned for America. It’s going to get much, much worse as this series of books goes on. The authors will destroy ever more of America with earthquakes, flaming hail, scorching sun, toxic water and a host of other calamities.

That’s their plan. LaHaye and Jenkins are plotting the destruction of America.

That’s a bit unnerving, but not terribly unusual. Hollywood plots to destroy Manhattan several times every summer. Blockbuster moviemakers like Michael Bay, Jerry Bruckheimer and Roland Emmerich have made huge fortunes by repeatedly plotting the destruction of New York, America, or even the entire world.

What separates LaHaye and Jenkins is their contention that their plot to destroy America is not fiction. The Left Behind series, its authors insist, portrays events that will really happen, soon, to America and to the world. They say that their story is more than just a story. It is, they say, “prophecy” — a foretelling of the future.

The future may not all unfold precisely as they depict it, in every particular detail, but something very much like the story in these books, L&J say, will certainly and inevitably happen. That is the central contention of this series. It is, the authors say, the main reason they wrote these books.

That distinguishes the Left Behind series from all those other stories that plotted out the destruction of America and of the world. The storytellers who gave us Independence Day, Armageddon and Deep Impact weren’t claiming that their stories foretold anything certain to happen in the future. They set out to destroy America because doing so raised the stakes in their stories. They put the fate of the entire country in jeopardy so that they could show heroes heroically saving the day (or, at least, President Morgan Freeman inspiring us to find the strength to survive).

But it’s also more than that. LaHaye and Jenkins aren’t just saying that America will be destroyed. They’re also saying that America should be destroyed.

L&J’s story won’t allow for Will Smith or Bruce Willis to save the day. It says, rather, that the destruction of the world is inevitable and right and just and good. Any so-called heroes opposing that destruction are on the wrong side of the struggle. This is what will happen, so no one can stop it. And this is what should happen, so no one should stop it. The heroes can’t save the day. This story allows for only one Savior, and he shows up at the end not to save the day but to deliver the final, graceless coup de grâce.

That makes this a very odd story.

And this section of this very odd story is particularly odd for American readers. The authors are plotting to destroy America. I’m rather fond of America. I grew up there. That’s where I keep all my stuff. My kids were going to live there after college. Some of my best friends are Americans.

So it’s difficult for me to get into the spirit of these opening chapters of Nicolae. The authors are destroying America city by city and airport by airport. And they’re celebrating its destruction as the long-awaited fulfillment of a righteous prophecy.

I just find it horrifying.

Fortunately, the horror of LaHaye’s vision for America is undercut by the unintentional hilarity of Jenkins’ attempt to portray it. Seeing these great cities destroyed at the hands of Jerry Jenkins is about as horrifying as watching a man in an ill-fitting rubber suit stomping on a bunch of shoddy miniatures meant to represent Tokyo.

And but so, America is under attack as it must and should be, and so our dashing young hero Buck Williams mustn’t waste his time trying to defend it or to prevent its destruction.

Still, though, he has to be doing something. And since he’s meant to be a heroic-seeming guy, he needs to be doing something that seems heroic, bold and decisive, even if it’s also irrelevant and ineffectual. Thus as World War III begins and bombs fall on Chicago, Jenkins has brave young Buck Williams dashing to decisively purchase a luxury SUV.

The final two pages of the first chapter thus continue what has been a major theme so far in Nicolae: Things Insecure American Men Regard as Signifiers of Masculinity. You’ll recall that we’ve already covered several of these, including:

1. Driving cars with powerful engines,
2. Belittling subordinates (or those one perceives as subordinates — meaning pretty much everybody one meets),
3. Knowing the best shortcuts so you don’t get stuck in traffic like those other losers,
4. Demonstrating one’s superior cleverness by driving in the douchebag lane.

These have all been portrayed as important indicators of essential manly competence. Each has been depicted as a proper and laudable source of masculine pride. Each is meant as a powerful signal to the world that our manly heroes can still toss the old football through the tire swing.

Next up on our list of requisite manly attributes: Taking pride in one’s ability to negotiate with a car salesman.

Jenkins takes time and great pains to show us that Buck is good at this, because he sees it as being very important and because he assumes that readers will understand it as being very important.

Buck drives a hard bargain, and we’re clearly meant to interpret this as a sign that Buck is, therefore, a Real Man. Jenkins doesn’t use that actual phrase — “drives a hard bargain” — but his emphasis here on hard-driving and driving hardness penetrates this entire passage.

Buck sat in the sales manager’s office of a Land Rover dealership. “You never cease to amaze me,” Chloe whispered.

“I’ve never been conventional, have I?”

“Hardly, and now I suppose any hope of normalcy is out the window.”

“I don’t need any excuse for being unique,” he said.

That’s our Buck — he’s amazing, unconventional and unique. And certainly not just a pathetic surrogate for an author desperately wanting to be thought of by others as amazing, unconventional and unique.

The usual business of the Land Rover dealership continues, unperturbed by the long line of cars in the traffic jam out front, or by the mushroom cloud over the nearby airport that this long line of cars is attempting to flee.

The sales manager, who had busied himself with paperwork and figuring a price, turned the documents and slid them across the desk toward Buck. “You’re not trading the Lincoln, then?”

“No, that’s a rental,” Buck said. “But I am going to ask you to return that to O’Hare for me.” Buck looked up at the man without regard to the documents.

“That’s highly unusual,” the sales manager said. “I’d have to send two of my people and an extra vehicle so they could get back.”

Oh, and also they’ll need radiation suits, because returning a rental car to O’Hare might be a bit difficult just now.

This conversation is occurring on page 18. Here, again, is the pertinent passage from page 10:

Suddenly an explosion rocked their car and nearly lifted it off its tires. … Buck scanned the horizon for what might have caused the concussion. … In the rearview mirror Buck saw a mushroom cloud slowly rise and assumed it was in the neighborhood of O’Hare International Airport, several miles away.

“Continuity error” seems like too slight a term for this. That phrase is sometimes used for things like a bandage one character is wearing in one scene of a movie but not in the next. This is a bit bigger than that. Jenkins drops a perhaps-nuclear bomb on the airport — a bomb so huge it’s concussion rocks cars several miles away. And then eight pages later he gives us a lengthy discussion on the logistics of returning a rental car to that same airport.

That’s not just a continuity error. Jenkins just did to continuity what that bomb did to O’Hare.

But none of that mushroom-cloud, destruction-of-America business interests Jenkins. His focus is on showing us our hero in action, proving his manliness and driving his rock-hard bargain:

Buck stood. “I suppose I am asking too much. Another dealer will be willing to go the extra mile to sell me a vehicle, I’m sure, especially when no one knows what tomorrow will bring.”

“Sit back down, Mr. Williams. I won’t have any trouble getting my district manager to sign off on throwing in that little errand for you.”

Well, he might have trouble doing that, since a perhaps-nuclear bomb might cause some difficulty with the phone lines, and since his district manager’s office might be a smoldering pile of rubble what with World War III raging outside.

(Or — if we play along with the continuity demolition and ignore the war — it might also be that this car dealer doesn’t really need any such permission. It might just be that he’s a veteran salesman and that he’s learned to sniff out the kind of guy who invests his masculine self-worth in his perception of himself as a tough negotiator. The car dealer long ago figured out that the best way to fleece one of these rubes was to puff up their ego, to let them think they’re a manly man who’s getting a special manly man’s deal. “I’m just an underling,” he tells them, “not a proud, independent man like yourself, so I have to get permission to do anything.” They fall for that every time.)

“You’re going to be able to drive your fully loaded Range Rover out of here within an hour for under six figures.”

“Make it half an hour,” Buck said, “and we’ve got a deal.”

The sales manager rose and thrust out his hand.

“Deal.”

Yeah, Buck really rose to the occasion, drove a hard bargain, and cut that guy down to size. What an amazing, unconventional and unique negotiator he is.

  • aunursa

    Wait. . .the superweapon is a *handgun*?! I’ll bet the recoil’s a bitch.

    Albie covered both ears, then interrupted. “You really should put something in that right ear.”…The gun was only slightly closer to Rayford’s protected ear. When he squeezed the trigger, the recoil drove him back against the hood of the truck. He slid to where his seat hit the bumper, but there wasn’t enough room to hold him, and he plopped in the dirt. The explosion sounded like a bomb and then like nothing, as he was temporarily deafened and didn’t even hear the echo. Rayford was glad he had not squeezed off another round when he flopped.Albie covered both ears, then interrupted. “You really should put something in that right ear.”…The gun was only slightly closer to Rayford’s protected ear. When he squeezed the trigger, the recoil drove him back against the hood of the truck. He slid to where his seat hit the bumper, but there wasn’t enough room to hold him, and he plopped in the dirt. The explosion sounded like a bomb and then like nothing, as he was temporarily deafened and didn’t even hear the echo. Rayford was glad he had not squeezed off another round when he flopped.
    Albie looked at him expectantly.
    “You’re right,” Rayford said, his ear ringing. “An experience.”
    “Look,” Albie said, pointing into the distance.
    Rayford squinted. The rock looked none the worse for wear. “Did I hit it?”
    “You hit the tree!”
    Rayford could hardly believe it. The bullet had hit the trunk about eight feet off the ground, just below the branches. “I need to see this,” he said, struggling to his feet. Albie followed him as he got close enough to see that a gash had been taken out of the tree that left less than half the trunk intact. The weight of the branches finally overtook the gaping hole and the top of the tree came crashing down, bouncing off the rock.From Assassins

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

    They… they got that right?! But that involves research and math! Even 20 seconds to find a recoil calculator is more effort than they’ve ever done before. (Unless this was written after Mel Odom came on board.)

    Though hitting the tree when presumably he’s aiming at a rock doesn’t say much for the accuracy mentioned in the previous excerpt.

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

    I don’t know much about weapons, but – that supergun doesn’t sound all that useful, and pretty dangerous to the user.   All that extra firepower seems like overkill to me.

  • aunursa

    Albie explained to Rayford that he had flinched.  After repositioning himself and making sure that both ears were covered, Rayford fired a second time and hit the target.

  • aunursa

    Jerry Jenkins can’t leave the assassination of the antichrist* to just an ordinary weapon.  This the most powerful, technologically advanced handgun in the world.  And it demonstrates that Rayford is the manliest man.

    * Book #6 ends with the “Who shot Nicky?” cliffhanger.  We don’t learn until the middle of Book #7 whether Rayford was the killer, or if it was someone else.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

     It doesn’t even work though, does it? I vaguely remember reading about Rayford choosing a gun to kill Nicolae with because it has the same brand name as the weapon that the Antichrist is supposed to be killed with in the Book of Revelation. Is this the same scene? Did I just confabulate all of that?

  • aunursa

    After he buys the weapon, Rayford realizes that its name could be significant.

    He didn’t understand it all. Who could? But without Tsion’s analysis, Rayford believed he had figured out these verses. Carpathia was to be mortally wounded in the head by a sword and then come back to life. A sword? What was it Albie called the superb killing machine Rayford had stashed behind loose bricks in the basement? Saber.

  • Raj1point618

    Remember, Polly, whatever you, DON’T! MENTION! THE WAR!

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

    Of course. Because unlike us mere mortals, Rayford is less likely to flinch when he knows there’s going to be a recoil like an elephant’s kick.

  • Raj1point618

    I think that at least occasionally, LaHaye & Gil Thorpe don’t mind – and might even enjoy – a little actual research if it is research into how much ass-kicking a manliness-enhancing weapon can do.

  • Raj1point618

    Things Insecure American Men Regard as Signifiers of Masculinity. You’ll recall that we’ve already covered several of these, including:

    Scoring four touchdowns in a single game for Polk High!

  • Raj1point618

    Jamoche: They… they got that right?! But that involves research and math! Even 20 seconds to find a recoil calculator is more effort than they’ve ever done before.

    I think that at least occasionally, LaHaye & Gil Thorpe don’t mind – and might even enjoy – a little actual research if it is research into how much ass-kicking a manliness-enhancing weapon can do.

    (I tried posting this comment earlier as a reply to Jamoche, but for some reason, it posted without the “in reply to Jamoche” link. Ah, Patheos, who can fathom Thy ways?)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

     Do you still own all of the books?

  • aunursa

    I don’t own any of the books.

    The texts are spread around various locations online … if you know where to look.  (Not all at one site)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    Good. I kind of get the feeling that if you actually did own them, the aura of stupidity that surrounds them would seep into your home and degrade your other books, magazines, computers, and probably make nearby appliances start to rust or corrode.

  • GeniusLemur

     I bet Fred keeps his copies in a lead-lined box and makes sure to wear gloves when he reads them.

  • Tonio

    A gun is a gun no matter how big. Shouldn’t the AntiChrist be killed with something more ritually symbolic? Like daggers whose handles depict Christ on the cross?

  • Ima Pseudonym

     I…seem to recall that it was something along those lines, yeah, but I’m actually really surprised that Aunursa’s example works too.   I shouldn’t be, but I am.  Of COURSE it works. 

  • phoenix_feather

     Sort-of Book 7 Spoilers Below (in case anyone plans to make it that far into the series)!

    Even when we DO learn how Nicky was killed, it wasn’t just a normal sword–his killer used some sort of ultra-technologically advanced super sword. But I got the impression that Rayford was in fact going against God’s will by taking a gun to shoot the Antichrist when God planned on someone else doing it.   So this could have actually been a transformative moment where Rayford realizes that God doesn’t require him to always be the manliest man.  Instead he shoots the gun, makes his peace with God, and goes right back to being a douche.

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

    As for weaponry, don’t forget when Rayford manfully lugs around something that should be wheel-mounted artillery later on in the series.

    phoenix_feather: Yeah, Book 7 has Rayford whinging on about how he feels unmanned and how ZOMG he wasn’t doing God’s will and what will he do now and blahblahblah.

    Unfortunately he gets his cojones back in time to play stupid little pranks on Nicolae when the Earth goes dark.

  • phoenix_feather

    Lliira, I’m glad your mother and her husband are ok but so sorry for everything they lost.  Your family will be in my thoughts. <3

  • phoenix_feather

     Ugh, you know, I never caught this before, but the fact that Rayford spends the seventh book moping about how he went against God’s will by *trying to kill someone* makes it so much worse that in the eighth book he makes fun of the people who are suffering because they went against God’s will by *getting a tattoo*.

  • Big Fan


    But at this point, I’m fairly sure that our non-suspension of disbelief has taken on a life of its own.  Even if L&J were, by some weird coincidence, to write something that might be compelling, we wouldn’t go along for the ride.”

    I respectfully disagree. This community probably cares more about the LB world and its characters – hell, even if just its meta-characters – than almost every member of its intended audience. Look at all these wonderful flashfics and longer stories that bring these terrible, wooden characters to life and put a spark into this bizarre, alien world. And Fred has generally been good about acknowledging what small bits of good prose Jenkins manages to slap together.

    I don’t think anyone here hates Ellenjay the way they seem to hate everyone that isn’t part of their exclusive social club. I get more of an impression of amusement and pity.

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

    I agree. The main issues with these books isn’t so much the character creation as the character behavior and plotting by LaHaye and Jenkins.

    Had Jenkins been willing to sit down and seriously consider, say, a six book series (which these 12 really could squash down into quite comfortably once you take out all the fluff and flummery), he could easily have created a riveting, tense tale of a small band of Christians who had the misfortune to pass through a Rapture and experienced the crisis of faith that accompanies such a pivotal event, and realizing Shit Just Got Real as it dawns upon them that Revelation is indeed playing out as laid down many centuries ago in a text originally assumed to be a veiled criticism of the Roman Empire.

    There’s even lots of room for writing books based on the lack of  a Rapture, which means that the focal point* for the touch-off of the events of Revelation proper may not be understood by everyone. Those who do grasp what is going on have a head-start on the rest.

    * Analogously to temporal focal points alluded to by Spock in The City on the Edge of Forever. Here, however, they don’t signify different timelines, but rather are critical keystone events which, once encountered, are recognizable as definite markers of true prophecy.

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

    Continuing on:

    The thing that really hurts L&J’s books is that Jenkins has a particularly tin ear for how his work comes across to people who aren’t predisposed to ignore the flaws in his work. These pages of Nicolae show that he is astonishingly, woefully, completely out of touch with the basics of things like how disasters would cause everything to go off-kilter.

    He’s not old enough to remember Pearl Harbor, perhaps, but the Kennedy Assassination is the closest equivalent for his generation. A world-altering event on everybody’s minds for days and weeks afterwards, that is indelibly marked into the cultural mythos and written history of the nation it occurred in.

    For him to write of banalities like Rayford being able to go shopping after billions of people have disappeared off the planet, or for Buck to actually go through the motions of purchasing a Range Rover in the shadow of a nuclear war, and to not see the fundamental problem with the way he sets these things up–

    One can only conclude that he doesn’t care about his work. That he cares more for the accolades and rewards that come from being acclaimed the “best Christian Author ever!” without doing any of the real work to deserve that appellation.

  • Ken

     

    >Shouldn’t the AntiChrist be killed with something more ritually symbolic?

    The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him; his rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure; one little word shall fell him.

    A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, vs. 3. But I suppose the L&J theology doesn’t think looking evil in the face and saying “No.” is sufficient, so Rayford needs a Really Big Gun.

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

    Albie:  “If you are carrying this gun and should encounter God.  God… will be shot.”

    Ugh.  They should have gone  with the sword.  Just doesn’t have the same roll.

  • histrogeek

     English-speakers use the French names. I had a feeling that it was the German spelling.

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

    The way you wrote about it to Munchner Kindl came off kind of a bit rude to me, honestly.

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

    Chloe – the Rise of Antichrist

    They entered the dealership, which was mostly deserted.  On normal days, the salespeople would be clustered around the entrance ready to pounce on a customer, like pigeons on a crust of bread.  Now though, the few that were left were inside gathered around TV sets, or gazing out the window at the huge cloud that hovered over the city.

    Buck watched his wife walk through the door and the heads turn around towards her.  He should have gotten used to it, but it still unnerved him.  It was like being married to a supermodel.  Chloe instantly became the focus of every room that she was in, and he couldn’t explain it, other than supernaturally.  Chloe was attractive, but she was hardly on the level of a superstar beauty, but he could see the look in the eyes of the men (and not a few women).  It wasn’t lust, more like a… adoration or jealousy.  What was it they had used to say about Marilyn Monroe?  Men wanted to be with her, women wanted to BE her.

    Several of the men tripped over themselves going up to her.  It would have been funny to anyone else.

    “Ma’am, uh… you’d better get out of the city if you can.  If not, well you can shelter in here.”

    “I’m sure,” she purred.  They hadn’t recognized her yet, she hadn’t been on the media long enough.  “Trying to evacuate in a regular car is a futile gesture I’ve found.  Faster to walk, but I won’t get out in time.  So I have a choice.  Get a offroad type car, or hunker down and wait for the end.  My husband and I have decided to go down fighting.  Give me your best of the line, and the G.C. will compensate you well.

    His eyes flicked over to Buck and he could see the enthusiasm drain out of him like a balloon.  “I see.  Well I’m afraid that the dealership is closed right now.  We’d all be out of here, except there’s no where to go.

    She leaned over and stared into his eyes.  “You WILL give me the keys to the best vehicle you have right now.”

    He nodded, turned on his heel and shuffled into the back room.  Chloe smirked back at her husband.  “I hate cheating like that but, we’re in a hurry.”

    An hour later they were barrelling along the sidewalks, swerving around cars and making just about every type of illegal maneuver that there was.  Chloe was humming the “Blues Brothers” theme song.

    “Stop that,” he growled.

    “Oh take the stick out, Buck.  You know nothing can happen to you as long as you’re with me.  I’ll give you a thousand dollars if you run down that old lady there.”

    It was at that moment that Buck decided that he would have to kill his wife.  Damn the prophecy, he wanted his wife back.

  • Münchner Kindl

    It’s like you’re implying only the English (or borrowed from another language and commonly used as English) names for anything are considered valid.

    I didn’t take it that way. Geographical names which differ from country to country, esp. in historical context, are a common tripping point. When you learn history, you usually read books in your own language so everything’s translated. It takes some time (or today, Wikipedia) to figure out that the Battle of the Bulge in WWII is what we know as Ardennenoffensive. 200 years back, the battles against Napoleon were known with two different names, too, because the French picked one town that was close, the English picked a different one.

    Making sure that we are talking about the same thing and not two different ones is a good starting point before the discussion gets off the rails.

  • TheFaithfulStone

    but his emphasis here on hard-driving and driving hardness penetrates this entire passage.

    Best LB sentence evah.

  • aunursa

    Rayford needs a Really Big Gun.

    It’s not a Really Big Gun, it’s a Really Powerful Gun.

    It’s about ten inches long, one and a half inches wide, and fits in the palm of his hand.

    Albie put his left thumb in the upper left corner with his left middle finger on the back of the lower left corner. He did the opposite with his right hand, thumb on the lower right corner, middle finger on the back of the upper corner. “I am pushing gently with my thumbs, which forces my fingers to resist. When I feel a most delicate disengagement, I then slide my thumbs along the bottom edge, put my index fingers along the top edge, grip tightly, and pull. See how easily it slides apart.”
    Rayford felt as if he were witnessing a magic trick from a foot away without a clue how it was accomplished… “The seams seem to disappear because this was fashioned from a solid block of Steele. Try it, Captain.”Rayford placed his thumbs and middle fingers where Albie had. When he pressed slightly with his thumbs and felt the pressure on his fingers, he sensed an ever so slight give….“Is it fully loaded?”…Rayford set the block on the ground and turned the gun over and over in his hand…
    Heavy as it was, it had excellent balance and settled easily into his palm. He worried it might be difficult to hold steady……“People who know the weapon have nicknamed it the Saber.”
    “Why?”
    Albie shrugged. “Probably because the other piece could be called a sheath. When it’s pieced together it’s like a sword in its sheath.From Assassins

    From Assassins

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Of course, we all know what the latin for ‘sheath’ is…

  • http://twitter.com/mcclure111 mcc

    “What was it Albie called the superb killing machine Rayford had stashed behind loose bricks in the basement? Saber.”

    Oh goodness, bringing the conversation right back to “Romeo + Julet”…

  • flat

    Look rayford is once again overcompensating

  • Joshua


    Provided you are at least ten feet away, the soft hollow-point shell has time to spread out due to the heat of the firing explosion and the centrifugal force caused by the spinning. Rifling grooves etched inside the barrel induce the spin. The projectile then will be roughly an inch and a half in diameter.  

    So it’s hollow point spreads out in flight? That’s the stupidest idea ever. There’s no way it would fly straight. At fifty feet, you’d shoot the person next to your target. The air resistance of this stupidly shaped projectile would mean the bullet would fall to the ground after a few hundred feet. Probably in pieces.

    I guess L & J didn’t bother to find out how hollow-point bullets work in the real world — they expand in the target, not in the air.

    Also, near-miss damage is done by the shock wave of a supersonic projectile, not by anything to do with its rotation.

    Also, leaving two holes in the (person next to the) target means you’ve wasted the bullet’s destructive energy on whatever is behind them.

    So, I think this gun is big, dumb, overpowered and useless. Like so many other things in these books.

  • http://twitter.com/JNeoMarvin J Neo Marvin

    We got a Christian convoy, truckin’ through the night!
    A tribulation convoy, ain’t she a beautiful sight?

  • hapax

     

    “I am pushing gently with my thumbs, which forces my fingers to resist.
    When I feel a most delicate disengagement, I then slide my thumbs along
    the bottom edge, put my index fingers along the top edge, grip tightly,
    and pull. See how easily it slides …”
    Rayford felt as if he were witnessing a magic trick from a foot away without a clue how it was accomplished…
    “The seams seem to disappear because this was fashioned from a solid block of Steele™. Try it, Captain.”

    My goodness, the slash does just write itself!

  • PJ Evans

     The US civil war has battles with two names, on for each side.

  • hapax

     Oh, you mean The War of Northern Aggression?

  • Porlockjr

     Your Government must admit that progress in Operation Southern Freedom has not been so good as we had anticipated. It seems that despite the complete victory of our forces, slavery will not be eliminated for  about 100 years, and not without further if lesser bloodshed.

    *That* war?

    [The opening of this announcement bears some resemblance to the Emperor's message to his people on V-J Day. I'd be interested to know what the day is called in Japan, but I'm sure it doesn't resemble V-J.]

  • Porlockjr

    It’s hard to imagine that the bomb testers in Gojira could be any but a country that had dropped nuclear bombs on Japan; either that or a country that had been tested bigger badder bombs in the Pacific with the unfortunate effect of killing one or two Japanese tuna fishermen from radiation exposure when their ship wasn’t warned to keep far enough from a certain atoll. Or ex-atoll.

    Oh, right, there was only one of the first and one of the second, for a total of one.

    But whoever was doing the bomb testing in Gojira, I know who it was in
    Mothra, which I saw in its original US run, thanks to the same guy who
    first showed us the comic Amazing Adult Fantasy, produced by a couple of guys
    named Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. But I digress. The nasty country was called
    Rulissica, which sort of split the difference between the current
    leaders in nuclear terror. I recall its amabassadors as being a lot more
    American than Russian; but this was several years ago, after all. 50,
    in fact, this year, OMG.

    And in an early part of the movie a Japanese delegation lands on one of
    the Pacific islands that hadn’t seen a Japanese since the War; they
    were, of course, greeted by the natives with gladness and celebration in remembrance of
    their beloved presence nearly 20 years before, and I am NOT making this up. Moral: Fantasy
    reconstructions of the war in classic monster movies are as hard to
    exaggerate as creationist fantasies.

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

    Is there a particular reason you’re calling the Civil War by the name given it by those who lost it?

  • Tricksterson

    Or, The War Where The South Got It’s Ass Kicked And Has Been Whining About Ever Since?

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

    Because we were talking about different sides of a conflict having different names for things?

    (Oh. Looks like disqus ate Hapax’s “in reply to”)

  • Tonio

    Or, The Conflict Where the South Lost the War But Won the Peace?

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

    Fair point. Also, Tonio’s tongue-in-cheek response has a great deal of truth to it, given that the remnants of the white-dominated South coalesced into the southern Democrats and the paramiliary adjunct to such, the K.K.K., which essentially re-fought the Civil War and managed to win.

    It’s actually rather fascinating how in some cases, the victors of a war can end up becoming the defeated, and those who are defeated can seize victory in the end.

  • E-foster

    “War of Northern Aggression” my fucking ass. the war happened because you bombed Fort Sumpter. period.

    you did it because you were butthurt that you lost the election of 1860, and were afraid that Lincoln would take your slaves, which he repeatedly said he WOULD NOT DO.

    it was because of YOU, and ONLY you that there was a war. and what do you have to show for it? 150 years later, “Southerner” is synonymous with inbred moron. you didnt win shit. most Southerners fought against reconstruction every step of the way, and any change in general for that matter, including civil rights for blacks and women

  • Rikalous

     From context, I assumed hapax was drawing attention to the fact that not only were there battles in the war that were named differently by the different sides, but the war itself was named differently by the different sides.


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