NRA: Paper jam

Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist, pp. 24-33

Here’s what happens in these pages: Buck details the specs of his spiffy new SUV; Rayford wallows in self-pity; Jerry Jenkins belatedly tries to claim Loretta as his character; and the authors spend five pages printing out a document.

This, again, is what follows immediately after the perhaps-nuclear devastation of New York, London, Washington, Chicago and other cities that remain unnamed because neither the authors nor their characters are the least bit curious about them.

“Do you feel like you just spent the devil’s money?” Chloe asked Buck as he carefully pulled the beautiful, new, earth-toned Range Rover out of the dealership and into traffic.

“I know I did,” Buck said. “And the Antichrist has never invested a better dollar for the cause of God.”

We’ve written here about “meta-” characters — the inadvertent glimpses we find in these books of actual human feeling hinted at between the lines of the two-dimensional cardboard cut-outs hastily sketched by the authors. I wonder here if we’re not catching a glimpse of meta-Jenkins. The phenomenal success of the first two books in this series made the authors wealthy men. It’s possible here that we’re seeing Jenkins’ subconscious wrestling with that, feeling like all this newfound wealth is “the devil’s money.” Buck’s eager rationalization of his luxury purchase — which continues for two full pages — may be an expression of Jenkins’ own need to silence that subconscious uneasiness.

I have no idea what kind of car(s) Jenkins might have bought after laying up treasure via last-days hype. My guess is he did not buy a Range Rover. Based on what we read here, I would guess, rather, that he looked into buying a Range Rover, then used its ridiculous price tag to reassure himself that the opulent car he did buy could be regarded as a relatively thrifty option. (“It’s just a Lexus … it’s not like I spent $100,000 to get that Range Rover.”) But that’s just a guess.

Buck proceeds, in loving detail, to explain to his wife and to Jerry Jenkins’ conscience that this luxury SUV is an “investment” — not a luxury, but a necessity, really:

“Chloe,” Buck said carefully, “look at this rig. It has everything. It will go anywhere. It’s indestructible. It comes with a phone. It comes with a citizen’s band radio. It comes with a fire extinguisher, a survival kit, flares, you name it. It has four-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, independent suspension, a CD player that plays those new two-inch jobs, electrical outlets in the dashboard that allow you to connect whatever you want to the battery.”

So for $100,000 they throw in free flares and a fire extinguisher. It’s a bargain! Particularly since Buck knows he’s going to need that fire extinguisher soon, when the first trumpet of divine wrath sounds and “hail and fire mixed with blood” are “hurled down upon the earth.”

The “high-tech” aspects of Buck’s litany sound quaintly 1997-ish now. The car-phone, I’m sure, was a key selling point for Buck — so much so that he didn’t bother thinking through how World War III and the ensuing judgments of the Great Tribulation might come to interfere with that phone’s ability to get service. (Just as he hasn’t thought about how these things might interfere with his ability to get fuel for this gas-guzzling car.) And that reference to those mini-CDs had me feeling nostalgic for the brief heyday of Laser discs.

This was all paid for with “the devil’s money” — which Buck explains refers to a super-special credit card provided only to “senior level” Global Community executives such as Buck. “Those of us at senior levels have a special code built into ours,” Buck says. “They’re unlimited.”

Chloe worries that spending $100,000 on a new car with his expense account might raise flags with the accountants at Global Community headquarters. Two points there:

1. Global Community is a worldwide tyrannical operation run by the Antichrist, the embodiment of all evil. I would think, then, that senior level executives are expected to abuse their expense accounts for all sorts of personal luxury items. That’s what those super-special, no-limit unobtanium corporate credit cards are for. If anything, the bean-counters at HQ might flag Buck’s account for a suspicious lack of charges for hookers and blow.

2. Buck has such a senior-level executive card because he is a senior-level executive. But apart from the perks that come with this job, both he and the authors seem to have forgotten he has any job at all. I’m sure his boss, the Antichrist, couldn’t care less that Buck just bought himself a new car shortly after his old car was destroyed along with the rest of mid-town Manhattan. But I’m guessing that Nicolae will care a great deal about the fact that the executive in charge of Global Community Weekly is blithely ignoring his journalistic duties, failing even to check in with the office following the outbreak of World War III.

We briefly check back in with Rayford here for a half-page interlude with him and his new ethnic friend:

“You’re gonna be ferrying a lot of VIPs back to Iraq,” Hernandez said. “But that’s nothing new for you, is it?”

“Nope. I’m afraid it’s lost its luster by now.”

“Well, for what it’s worth, I envy you.”

Rayford Steele has two standard responses in all of his interactions with others. If what they say strikes him as insufficiently deferential or insufficiently impressed by him, then Rayford goes into a moody, self-righteous sulk, indignant at that person’s alleged disrespect. If what the person says is deferential and they are impressed by him, then Rayford goes into a moody, self-pitying sulk, indignant at that person’s failure to appreciate how very, very difficult it is to be Rayford Steele.

Chico’s “I envy you” comment may actually only reflect that his own job at the moment involves evading insurgent aircraft while seeking a safe place to land during a perhaps-nuclear conflict, and that Rayford’s assignment of ferrying VIPs in relative safety seems preferable. But Rayford interprets that remark as deference and admiration, and thus responds accordingly:

Rayford was stunned to silence. Here he was, what Bruce Barnes referred to as a tribulation saint, a believer in Christ during the most horrifying period in human history, serving Antichrist himself against his own will and certainly at the peril of his wife, his daughter, her husband, and himself. And yet he was envied.

“Don’t envy me, Captain Hernandez. Whatever you do, don’t envy me.”

This is why Rayford is so much fun at parties, and why Hattie Durham had such a delightful time during her years pseudo-dating him.

Meanwhile, back at the Range Rover:

As Buck neared the church, he noticed yards full of people. They stared at the sky and listened to radios and TVs that blared from inside their houses. …

Yes, with the eye of a trained journalist, Buck notes all those people out there, desperate to learn what’s happening, desperate for some way to find out the details of who, what, when, where, how and why. If only there were someone whose job it was to bring them that news. But Buck can’t worry about such things now, he’s got to get to the church.

Buck was surprised to see one lone car in the parking lot at New Hope. It belonged to Loretta, Bruce’s assistant.

“I don’t look forward to this,” Chloe said.

I don’t look forward to this either. We first met Loretta early in the first book of this series, learning little more than her name and that she’d lost her whole family in the disappearances. But she was the first character in these books to have an appropriate and recognizably human response to the horror and trauma of The Event. She alone was shell-shocked and shattered, devastated by the loss of the children she loved and by all the children of the world.

And thus, from that moment on, Loretta became my favorite character. I developed a proprietary fondness for her. Let Jenkins keep his cardboard sociopath heroes — Loretta is ours.

And so, while Jenkins ignored her after that, my imagination kept Loretta very busy indeed. While Bruce spent two whole books neglecting his congregation locked in his study with his “inner circle,” I imagined Loretta taking charge and ministering to the needs of this desperate community. Somebody had to be doing that, and Jenkins made it clear that it wasn’t going to be Bruce, so I assigned the task to the only other character there with a name. Thus while Bruce was diverting church funds to pay for his personal Tribulation-shelter, I imagined Loretta busily helping the congregation prepare as best they could for the calamities that Bruce’s prophecies said were soon to arrive.

So while Jenkins hasn’t bothered with Loretta for the past 900 pages, I’ve been fleshing out her character in my mind, supplying her with a richer backstory and setting her to work on the common-sense agenda that our alleged heroes have utterly neglected up to this point.  Yet now, two whole books later, Jenkins thinks he still has the right to come along and tell us what he thinks Loretta is like.

Too late, buddy. I already know. She’s sardonic, capable and resourceful and she’s played here by the late Kathryn Joosten. And I doubt I’ll be able to tolerate Jenkins’ attempts to tell me any different.

They found the woman, now nearly 70, sitting stiffly in the outer office staring at the television. Two balled-up tissues rested in her lap, and she riffed a third in her bony fingers. Her reading glasses rode low on her nose, and she peered over the top of them at the television. She did not seem to look Buck and Chloe’s way as they entered, but it soon became clear she knew they were there. From the inner office, Buck heard a computer printer producing page after page after page.

So far this is acceptable. Loretta can have reading glasses. She wears them, I imagine, attached to a lanyard looped around her neck. The lanyard was made by one of her nieces at Bible camp. Loretta never takes it off.

Loretta had been a southern belle in her day. Now she sat red-eyed and sniffling, fingers working that tissue as if creating some piece of art. Buck glanced up to see a helicopter view of the bombed-out Northwest Community Hospital. “People been callin’,” Loretta said. “I don’t know what to tell ‘em. He couldn’t survive that, could he? Pastor Bruce, I mean. He couldn’t still be alive, now, could he? Did y’all see him?”

No. No, no, no, no, no. This is just wrong.

I can accommodate the possibility that Loretta might be southern. We could tolerably make her like one of those formidable aunts in Faulkner or Walker Percy. She could be a “steel magnolia,” even. But not a wilting southern belle. No. And definitely not with this community-theater-Glass-Menagerie accent. This is unacceptable.

About the only thing Jenkins gets right in this scene is that again Loretta is the only one smart enough to be sad at sad news. She weeps when Chloe confirms that Bruce is dead, hugging Chloe in her grief. Buck finds this off-putting:

He would grieve in his own way and his own time, but for now he didn’t want to dwell on the tragedy.

He seems to resent Loretta’s grief in the same way he resents that helicopter news crew on the TV, risking their lives to report the breaking news story from the hospital. Buck would report on that in his own way and his own time, but for now he didn’t want to dwell on it.

“What’re you working on in the office, ma’am?” he said.

And thus begins one of the longest and most thoroughly detailed set-pieces thus far in the Left Behind series. For the next five pages we are treated to the painstaking account of Loretta’s efforts to print out all the files on Bruce’s laptop computer.

I’m neither joking nor exaggerating. Five pages explaining how Loretta used a “Print BB*.*” command to send all the files to the printer, or how church tech-guy “Donny Moore” set up the office laser printer with “old boxes of continuous-feed computer paper.”

Bruce’s lap-top computer, it seems, had contained more than 5,000 pages — single-spaced — of his sermon notes and the results of his “research” on the prophecies in Daniel and Revelation.

Buck, Chloe and this southern-belle impostor Loretta discuss what a valuable resource it is to have all of this material, but as usual they don’t say anything at all about the actual substance of what those 5,000 pages says.

That’s a shame, because what we have here is a miracle akin to the feeding of the multitude. The book of Daniel is 14 pages long. The book of Revelation is 16 pages long. Bruce’s “literal” reading of those 30 pages produces 5,000 pages of commentary. Hallelujah, it’s a miracle!

It’s also not clear why having 5,000 printed pages is in any way more useful than having all of that text conveniently stored in searchable form on Bruce’s computer, but Buck views this doorstop of a manuscript as “a gold mine.”

“The best we can do for this little flock that has lost its shepherd is to get those pages reproduced. I don’t know what this place will do for a pastor or a teacher, but in the meantime, people need access to what Bruce has written. … This is a treasure that everyone can use.”

And then, suddenly, we catch another glimpse of what is surely meta-Jenkins briefly surfacing from the author’s subconscious:

Chloe spoke up. “Buck, shouldn’t you try to edit it or shape it into some sort of book form first?”

“I’ll take a look at it, Chloe, but there’s a certain beauty in simply reproducing it in the form it’s in. This was Bruce off-the-cuff, in the middle of his study, writing to fellow believers, writing to friends and loved ones, writing to himself.”

The very best writing, you see, isn’t “edited” and shouldn’t be “shaped … into some sort of book form.” It’s just reproduced as is.

That’s either a revealing Freudian slip or else it’s Jenkins explicitly mocking his audience. I can’t tell which.

The vital thing, to Buck, is that they find some way of distributing Bruce’s writing to everyone at New Hope Village Church. Here, in descending order of convenience, are three simple ways of doing that:

1. Create a website for church members and post to it all of Bruce’s notes in an interactive, cross-indexed, searchable format. (Nicolae was written in 1997, so the Web is well-established by this point.)

2. Copy all of Bruce’s files onto CDs — maybe even onto those “two-inch jobs” — and give everyone in the church a copy.

3. A 2,500-page printed copy of Bruce’s notes would be the least convenient form, but if they’re intent on getting everyone in the church a copy of such a thing, at least they won’t have to pay for paper, ink or printing. Buck Williams, remember, is the publisher of Global Community Weekly — this universe’s version of Newsweek. Buck owns and operates printing presses at dozens of industrial printing centers all over the country, so he could easily arrange to have this printed up fast and cheap.

Do I even need to tell you that our heroes don’t do any of those things? No, instead they go with Plan D — sending Miss Loretta-Mae Sue to Kinko’s:

“I think Loretta ought to take all those pages to a quick-print shop and get them started. We need a thousand copies of all that stuff, printed on two sides and bound simply.”

“That’ll cost a fortune,” Loretta said.

“Don’t worry about that now,” Buck said. “I can’t think of a better investment.”

  • Kubricks_Rube

    Buck was surprised to see one lone car in the parking lot at New Hope.

    I’m surprised to see “one lone car in the parking lot at New Hope” too. I guess people have completely given up on the idea that this place can be of any help or comfort at all.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Not really. “Four-wheel drive” describes a system where the user has a button (Or a lever in my experience) that sends power to the rear wheels. You can only use it in a low-traction environment because the front and back wheels have to turn at the same speed, which would cause the vehicle to fight the driver if the wheels aren’t able to slip.  (In order to turn without the car fighting you, the  wheels on the inside of the turn have to turn slower than the ones on the outside of the turn) You normally drive the car in 2-wd mode, and only engage 4WD when you get stuck

    “All-Wheel Drive” means that the car always sends power to all four wheels. There’s an extra differential in the center of the car that lets all four wheels turn at different speeds. You get better handling on dry roads, and also better handling on slippery roads, though you don’t get as much power when you’re stuck in the mud. 

    “4-wheel drive AND All-wheel-drive” is a kind of a weird thing to say. It’s possible in principle, I guess, if you’ve got an AWD car with a manually engaged lock on the center differential, but the only car I know of offhand that does that is the Humvee. I’m more inclined to chalk it up as a mistake, but perhaps an understandable one as AWD was a pretty exotic feature until the riseof the SUVs in the 90s (The first consumer AWD cars came out in the 70s, but I think back then they called them by weird exotic names like “Quadra-Drive”), so I could imagine someone from that period looking at AWD as a kind of add-on for 4WD.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Well, I dislike Tony Stark :P.

    I don’t like writing rules generally, actually. I remember the discussion/s about the two you mentioned, and they both irritated me so much I kept out of them rather than exploding in various ways. Fred himself often says things about writing that I think are frankly wrong. (Like, don’t write sex scenes — bwuh?)

    I’m sure a very good, careful writer could break rules #1-3 I made up on the fly and make a compelling story. But I’m also sure that they’re ways in which both Buck and Rayford are completely unacceptable as characters, because Jerry Jenkins is not a good writer, he’s not a competent writer, he’s not even a writer at all as far as I’m concerned. 

    Graham Greene broke #4. I don’t know of any other writer who did and still produced quality work. For 99.9% of us, that is one absolutely necessary writing rule.

  • Guest

    See, whenever I read something like “5,000 pages” or “100 megaton bomb” thrown out without any concept of what that means,  I always think of a story I wrote a while ago. Nothing special, just a western.  But at one point, someone shoots a gun. Not even a main character.  But that  one little point “Curley Joe lifted his XYZ revolver and pulled the trigger” was a good hour of research, at the least. First- what year was this?  Because gun technology in the second half of the 19th century changed almost as fast as computer technology does today.  A story that takes place in 1859 will use single shot muskets and cap-and-ball revolvers.  A story in 1871 will use essentially modern revolvers. What was the characters background? A rich man in 1865 could probably get a modern revolver- a poor man might be using his old service revolver still. How big is it? How accurate is it? How hard does it kick? How is it fired? What noise will it make? Where does the story take place?- someone in Texas would be more likely to use guns from the Mexican war that were much rarer in other places. Single or double action?
    /
    /
    /
    All these small details impact the scene. Even if they aren’t used, you still have to know them so you can picture the scene clearly in your head, understand exactly  what is going on. 
    /
    /
    /
    /And that was a minor point for a character that only had one thing to do. Something like setting a nuke off near my protagonists would require a solid order of magnitude more research than that.  I should fake a conversion, scribble some half-decent rapture stuff, make a million, then settle down to write whatever I want to write. 

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

    Any rule can be broken by someone with sufficient talent.

  • Makabit

    Creating hard copies of Bruce’s…writings…makes some sense, in that it would be unclear in this situation, if realistically rendered, how long they can count on the computers surviving, or there being power to work them, people to fix them, etc. Books, which can be distributed, make sense. Of course, the fact that they feel comfortable toting their samizdat to Kinkos makes no sense…but we’ve already established that the persecution of Christians in this world does not actually inconvenience these Christians in any way.

    The problem, as everyone has pointed out, is the size. For comparison, the Vilna edition of the Talmud has about 5900 pages. That’s a bookshelf’s worth, not something you can easily pick up and run with.

    Not to mention the fact that I cannot imagine that Bruce actually had 5000 pages worth of anything to say, much less how useful it would be to anyone else at this point.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    And they said unto him, Lord, the writings of your disciple Bruce do number in pages four leagues and ten-score, and we have but five reams of paper and two toner cartridges. And Jesus said “Bring them to me,” and he did put them into the photocopier, and six days later when it was finished printing, Jesus told his disciples “Now gather up the copies and coalate them so that no man shall get six copies of page twenty-seven and none of the fourth chapter.” So they gathered up the pages and they filled twelve bookmobiles. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, ‘This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.’

    And later they did say, “What a pity he couldn’t do that with some loaves or some fishes, because we haven’t had lunch in about a week.” And lo, did Jesus say unto them, “Give away the secret of making infinite food? For what? Billions of dollars? It makes no sense! Having the formula makes me the richest man on earth, but it was the exclusivity that made it work!”

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

    Just ghostwrite some lazy rich Christian’s books instead. :P

  • Lori

     

    Everyone in the Church will be expected to buy a copy. Anyone who
    doesn’t, probably isn’t a RTC and so shouldn’t be allowed into the
    bunker when the time comes.  

    Buying a book isn’t going to get them into the bunker. It was built for the “inner circle”, which was only 3 people + Bruce at the time they first started talking about the hole in the ground. I don’t recall any discussion about enlarging it, so the bunker is very exclusive digs. I assume that Amanda gets Bruce’s spot now that he’s toes up and the rest of New Hope is just SOL.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    When will then be now?

    SOON!

  • Lori

     

    the Secret Message is revealed  

    Be sure to drink your Ovaltine.

  • Tybult

    Well, I dislike Tony Stark

    How dare you. 
    (Actually that’s perfectly understandable, but I feel like you have to at least admit he’s got more class than Buck – he’d have just bought the whole dealership, like a fucking boss.)

    And good point on the editing – that’s such an “of course” thing for me that I think I just skipped right past it when I read your post.

  • flat

    You know 5000 pages of Bruce ramblings, it would be hilarious if there was somebody inside the books who does exactly the same thing as Fred does to left behind.

  • stly92

    I personally sort of read 5000 pages as LaHaye’s desperate assertion that “Bible Prophecy Expert” really is some sort of deep and varied field that requires a lot of ongoing study and research, and not, as it really is, just applying the standard model to today’s headlines and naming your current political rival as an Antichrist candidate.

  • everstar

    I keep thinking the Tribbies could make this much easier on themselves if they simply handled Bruce’s manifesto like Talking Points Memo or Wikileaks handles the release of thousands of pages of documents.  Ask everybody to grab twenty pages, read them, and summarize.  But there I go again, expecting team work and cooperation from these people.

  • Ursula L

    Printing out the pages may well be the most sensible thing that anyone has done in any of the books thus far.

    It’s the Tribulation.  Therefore, it is reasonably certain that electrical service will be disrupted by the violence and chaos at some point.  So any document you care about, whether it is Bruce’s notes on Daniel and Revelation or the digital photos of your missing children and neblings, needs to be in a form that doesn’t depend on electricity.  Ideally, it shouldn’t depend on any technological interface between the information and the human being wanting to use the information.

    ***

    I’ve seen a lot of people, in the last decade or so, switch from conventional chemical photography to digital photography.  And they don’t necessarily go through the effort of making high-quality prints of the pictures they take of the people they love.

    These days, we can and do enjoy looking at photographs taken 150 years ago or longer.  We see our great-grandparents, historical figures, landscapes and landmarks.  

    We can do this because the form that those pictures took can be seen and understood by the naked eye.

    But digital information is much more elusive.  I have papers that I wrote as an undergrad, less than 20 years ago, that I can’t access or read.  Because I saved them on 5″ floppy disks, which I no longer have a computer that has the hardware to read, and they were written on a word processing program that is no longer supported or available for purchase to be installed on my newer computers. 

    And what about the baby pictures of my neblings?  My stepmother is very good about printing out digital photographs as she gets them, and saving them carefully in albums and frames for display.  

    But I’m not so good, and neither is my father.  My brother and sister-in-law are busy with their own lives, we’re lucky they e-mail us the photograph files.  

    And I know some families where they take lots of digital photographs, but no one is bothering to print them out, to preserve them in frames and albums.  

    It is quite possible that, 150 years from now, our descendants will be able to enjoy photographs of their ancestors from the 1860s, but not pictures of their ancestors from the 2010s.  

    ***

    So, yeah.  It’s the tribulation.  All hell is, literally, breaking loose.  

    So don’t count on being able to read computer files.  

    It’s time to scale back technological expectations.  Print out any information that you need to be able to access.  Learn to cook over a fire, and over different sorts of fires, so whatever burnable material you can find, you can still manage to eat.  Figure out what sorts of modern technology are most important to you, and stockpile that, as well as learning how to maintain the items for ongoing use. 

    ***

    I’m  reminded of Eric Flint’s “Ring of Fire” series, with all of its associated works by various authors.  A modern small town in the US, thrown back to the middle of the 30-years war in Germany.  

    A small town in coal-mining country, so they have access to things like coal, a coal-burning power plant, a good high-school library, and a modern rural hospital.  But they don’t have the manufacturing ability to instantly have access to parts for coal-mining equipment and to maintain the power plant, to any of the online and digital resources a modern high-school library enjoys, to any replacement supplies of medicine or equipment for their hospital, or to the more sophisticated urban hospitals that rural hospitals will transfer the most complicated cases to.  

    They don’t completely abandon modern technology and modern social ideas.  

    But they recognize that they won’t be able to maintain a completely modern lifestyle, whether it is access to electricity or to contraception at modern standards of reliability.    So they organize, and carefully plan how to “scale back” – quickly banning use of private automobiles (there is no new source of gasoline, and every drop needs to be diverted to defense since they’re suddenly in a war zone.)  They realize that while they can generate electricity, they can’t manufacture light bulbs, and so deliberately work to reintroduce the gas lighting of the late 1800s and early 1900s.  

    They know contraception and birth control are important, and they work out plans both to figure out the best contraceptive options they can manage and to educate their community about the limits of the contraceptive methods available.  (Their estimate – they can’t get contraception to the point where people can be sexually active but not have children until and unless they deliberately try to get pregnant.  They can develop methods good enough so that a sexually active couple can limit their family size to 4 or 5 semi-planned children, rather than a baby every year or two as would happen without any family planning, or the near-absolute control possible with the best modern contraception and safe and legal abortion.) 

    And their are some horrible consequences.  Such as the hospital being able to perform surgery successfully, not the latest high-tech laperscopic surgery but the very best of the scalpel-in-hand surgery.  But they can’t get access to good anesthesia.  

    ***

    Kit, if you’re reading, stop reading now.  Trigger-alert for labor and delivery.

    ***

    Which was explored in a “Grantsville Gazette” story where a “down-timer” (someone born in the community native to the time, rather than transplanted from the future) is amazed when she sees an up-time (born in the 20th century, transplanted back) woman who would, by her understanding, be certain to die in childbirth, being saved by a C-section.  But rather than appreciating that she survived what should have been certain death, the up-time woman is angry that this C-section had to be done without anesthesia (the way a previous one she had, done in the present, was), and getting your belly split-open without anesthesia is horrible, even if it is better than spending days in fruitless labor until you die, because your baby is positioned so you can’t give birth.  

    ***

    Kit, it is safe again.

    ***

    So yeah, “print out anything that you want to be able to read in the future” is a good rule for the Tribbies.  Just as it is a good rule for anyone, even now.  

    ***

    But what they have is not actually one 5000 page document.  

    It is a bunch of things.  Private notes on the texts in question.  Sermons, not just the final draft, but various documents at different stages of rough draft and revision.  Utterly irrelevant stuff, that Bruce wrote for his own reasons, but still saved to the computer, and therefore the sensible thing is to print it out now, when you know you have access to it, and sort through it all later.  Documents Bruce created to instruct his congregation (or at least, the “inner circle”) on what they need to do in the future.

    ***

    So the job they are doing is not merely printing 5000 pages, single-spaced.

    It’s printing hundreds of individual documents.  Which then need to be sorted, read, and cataloged.  

    A retired librarian, someone who was trained and had at least part of their professional career working in libraries before they started to computerize card catalogs and other tertiary sources, is the most valuable person possible for this effort.

    And that’s who Loretta is.  Elderly, long since retired, but familiar with how to maintain a library and database when you have paper and ink but not computers or even microfilm.  

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    One of the (two?) Asian characters is a computer geek eh? Shocking.

  • Ursula L

    Bruce’s work is 500o pages, not because he has 5000 pages of original material, but because he was suitably paranoid when saving files.

    With “suitably paranoid” not being ordinary caution.  It’s not even the obsessive backing-up that a graduate student does of their thesis, because if that file crashes, you’re loosing months or years of work.

    He’s backing up documents with paranoia on a level appropriate to the End Times and Tribulation and The End of the World. When working on a document, he saves frequently.  At the end of the day, he saves, not just to the laptop’s hard drive, but copies to CD-ROM, flash drives, floppy disks, and any other medium he has access to.  Because he can’t know what medium he’ll have access to in the future.  He’s also printing out all his work at the end of the day, in multiple copies, and filing and storing them in multiple locations, but the Tribbies don’t know all of this, because he didn’t confide all of the locations to any one person, because if that person is captured and talks, you need copies that they can’t lead the bad-guys to.And the next morning, he re-saves the previous day’s work in new files, marked with the new date, and does his work for the day in these files, keeping the old ones for archival purposes.Because if he’s somehow captured and forced to work for the bad-guys, the Tribbies need to be able to access his work up to the time when he’s turned, rather than having good work mixed with bad-guy propaganda he’s forced to write.  And Loretta, being a suitably trained archivist and librarian, sets out to print everything, so that she can catalog it all, and so that they can analyze various revisions for accuracy and signs of negative outside influence.  

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ mistformsquirrel

     Come to think of it…  and this ties back to the whole “villainous lackey protagonist” thing we’ve talked about a few times before… but in a GOOD book, would it not be rather interesting if it was rather more about the fall of said characters?

    I mean think of it – these guys were longtime asshats – which is why they got left behind;  now they think they’re on the right side… but what they’re really doing is just lying to themselves – self justifying their own terribleness and as time goes on they just indulge it further and further until the world finally ends.

    Then when it does they’re actually shocked that no, they weren’t on the right team after all, that they’ve not only wound up in the lake of fire themselves, but they’ve stomped all over a lot of innocent people in the process of getting to that point.

  • Ursula L

    Quoting myself here, because I wasn’t properly clear in the last post:

    Bruce’s work is 500o pages, not because he has 5000 pages of original material, but because he was suitably paranoid when saving files.

    That should be that meta-Bruce has 5000 pages to be printed from his laptop because he was suitably paranoid in saving his work at each stage of each draft and making plenty of backup copies.  

    The Bruce that was written has that many pages, I suspect, because L&J developed their writing practices before computers.

    So any work might start out with research recorded on note cards.  Then you do a hand-written outline.  And various hand-written drafts, with new work being done every day.  When it is time to revise, a lot of the work is hand-copying your original work, making changes as you go.  Then you send it to a secretary, or typist, who types it up, double-spaced, and gives you a typed copy.  (L&J are old-fashioned men, they don’t type.  They have a secretary to type, ideally a pretty young woman who will put up with all their misogynist nonsense because that’s what a secretary in the 1950s or 1960s had to do.)   Then you read through that, marking changes in the space between lines and the margin.  Then it goes back to the typist for another draft.  Back and forth as needed.  Then on to your publisher, where an editor goes over it all again. Galley proofs and edits.  

    Any page of final work will have many pages of work behind it, when you’re doing all the work directly to paper.

    And L&J just looked at their old work, pre-computers, and applied the number of pages of stuff to the drafts and revisions on Bruce’s laptop.

    When in fact, they’re lazy writers.  Who, once they figured out how to use a computer and word-processing program, never bothered to back up or revise their work.  

    So their laptops would show just the mess that comes from doing all your work in one document and not saving drafts or creating paper backup.  But they’re remembering their old page count.

    And this leads to Bruce having a page-count that they remember from pre-computer days, but all in files that are a lazy-writer’s work of writing but not saving backup copies and printing intermediate drafts.  

    And suddenly Bruce has an impossible 5000 pages of commentary on 30 pages of text. 

  • Jessica_R

    Funny how Ray didn’t think that “I envy you” would be a good opening to evangelize why he shouldn’t envy him and what he needs to do to save his immortal soul. And Buck, Buck is the absolute worst. 

    And When I Die 

    Hernandez sighed, he hoped Carolyn had oversold Rayford’s personality…defaults. She hadn’t. 

    He worried again about her, he knew she was mixed up with some serious stuff involving   Durham. What Carpathia’s mistress hoped to accomplish Herandez hadn’t the slightest clue, only that he wanted no part of it. 

    Carpathia’s line was bullshit, but it was bullshit that provided a job and home for his family, what was left of it. His hands tightened for a moment. He didn’t know if he was more angry at the Thing that caused the disappearances or that Steele worshiped this monster. All that mattered was that his family was safe for now, and Hernandez was planning to bail soon from this ticking time-bomb and take them to a place in the Rockies. 

    Hernandez thought about needling Rayford by asking if he wanted him to take over so he could read his Bible but he knew Rayford had lost his taste for it now that no one was reporting him anymore. His thoughts turned again to Solita and the wish that they could  try to have another child. Solita wouldn’t hear of it, and truthfully he had to admit she was right. It would be an unconscionable cruelty to bring a child into this world. 

    And yet, a flicker of understanding began to form in him over Carolyn, and Durham. The moment whispers of a Resistance had reached him he had about snorted his coffee out his nose. He made it clear that he felt that was about as much use as emptying the ocean with a teaspoon and he noticed Carolyn became much more careful about what she said around him from then on. 

    But the more he thought about it, with Rayford pouting beside him, the more he wished he’d held his tongue. An aching desire in him to hope again, to want, to believe that the best he could wish for wasn’t just to die in relative peace and obscurity in some secluded cabin. That there would be a future. That the babies and toddlers he saw now would have a world to grow up in. 

    He would have to be careful, but he made his mind up to ask Caroyln…well, he didn’t know just yet. But Rayford’s petulant silence would give him plenty of time to figure it out. 

    ***

    Chloe felt she should be sorry she hadn’t warned Buck off from driving to New Hope but she hadn’t. Not after the near orgasmic, and condescending, delight he’d taken in describing all the features of  his new toy. 

    Buck looked at the smoldering husk of the building. “Where’s the lady who was always here?” 

    Chloe felt her rage curl around her neck, sharp and cool. She kept her voice level, “Her name was Loretta, and she died this morning. Shot in the crossfire between two gangs.” 

    Buck tried to pretend he knew what Loretta looked like, “That’s horrible. How are we going to get Bruce’s message to the public?” 

    Chloe almost laughed, but Loretta had been prepared for this. “You’re going to the Chicago office, and we’ll hack into his files with this,” She held up the flash drive she’d pocketed. 

    “How did you get that, it has-” 

    She barreled on, “It feel out of your pocket and I know you won’t mind. We can empty the information on it to help others, I know it has some key info on Carpathia’s next moves.” 

    Buck looked like a toddler who’s lolly had been taken away. First he would have to cross paths with Zee again and then his precious intel would actually be *shared* and not just sat on, and what was the fun in that? He grit his teeth, “Sure, sounds like a plan.” 

    Chloe knew not to lord her victory, “Good let’s go, Bruce would want us too.” 

    Buck was already absorbed again in fondling all the knobs and buttons on the dashboard, “Hmm? Oh yeah, he would, right.” 

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I’ve seen a lot of people, in the last decade or so, switch from conventional chemical photography to digital photography.  And they don’t necessarily go through the effort of making high-quality prints of the pictures they take of the people they love.
    These days, we can and do enjoy looking at photographs taken 150 years ago or longer.  We see our great-grandparents, historical figures, landscapes and landmarks.  
    We can do this because the form that those pictures took can be seen and understood by the naked eye.
    But digital information is much more elusive.  I have papers that I wrote as an undergrad, less than 20 years ago, that I can’t access or read.  Because I saved them on 5″ floppy disks, which I no longer have a computer that has the hardware to read, and they were written on a word processing program that is no longer supported or available for purchase to be installed on my newer computers. 
    And what about the baby pictures of my neblings?  My stepmother is very good about printing out digital photographs as she gets them, and saving them carefully in albums and frames for display.  
    But I’m not so good, and neither is my father.  My brother and sister-in-law are busy with their own lives, we’re lucky they e-mail us the photograph files.  
    And I know some families where they take lots of digital photographs, but no one is bothering to print them out, to preserve them in frames and albums.  
    It is quite possible that, 150 years from now, our descendants will be able to enjoy photographs of their ancestors from the 1860s, but not pictures of their ancestors from the 2010s.  

    Eeh… I think this belief is largely an illusion caused by proximity. Sure, digitial media degrades or becomes obsolete. Mostly around the transitions. But photographs burn, fade, dissolve, melt, stick to other things and get eaten by opossums. 
    The photographs of my son are stored on a hard disk in a RAID array.  The good ones are also on a DVD. A few dozen are printed. There’s an off-site backup of most of them. And the photographer still has her own copies. If my house burns to the ground, those pictures will still be there. They need never fade, or burn, or melt, or be misplaced; it requires only that someone take an interest in them, and even if no one does, there’s still a fair chance that some of them will survive anyway just through dumb luck. 
    And I have *hundreds* of pictures of my son. He’s seven months old. If three fourths of them were lost, I’d still have dozens of pictures of him. 
    I have one picture of my great-great grandparents, and there’s a crease right through my great-great grandmother’s eyes. Until 2002, there was exactly one copy in the entire world, and if we hadn’t checked that box before we got rid of it, there’d be zero. 
    It is *far* more likely that your hypothetical future descendants will have a handful of files, passed around on cloud servers, with pictures of their grandparents — heck, it’s likely that they could poke about in the Internet Archive and find an unflattering MySpace photo of Grandmom at 19 trying way too hard to look sexy — than that the pictures of their ninteenth century ancestors have made it with the family through another century of moves, marriages, divorces, family spats, leaky hot water heaters, and global warming.
    (Fwiw, My mother prints her digital photos. Every single one. They are threatening to overtake the house. She can’t even comprehend why someone wouldn’t.)

  • Turcano

    So are we talking about MiniCDs or DataPlay?  Because the latter definitely took off like a lead zeppelin (although I do remember seeing similar disks in a lot of movies).

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

    Ross: Ursula L has a point. 3.5″ floppies and 5.25″ floppies are getting harder to use and locate, and this is indeed a problem for archival material for which there has been no migration done on the data.

    I recently had occasion to try and pull a file off a 5.25″ disk. Couldn’t be done. The disk was readable (so the FAT was still good) but the file itself has errors.

  • Donalbain

     Fuck off.

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

    Also: Windows XP and later OSes are astonishingly incapable of formatting floppies with any usefulness. I’ve had better luck booting up a Win98 CD and using good ol’ FORMAT.COM

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Riastlin-Lovecraft/100000678992705 Riastlin Lovecraft

    I know it’s been stated already, but this phrase kept being repeated in my mind ever since someone equated the length of the pastor’s writings about the end times with the other pastor’s dribble about the end times.

    “My god…it’s gone recursive…” o.O

  • Ursula L

    I have one picture of my great-great grandparents, and there’s a crease right through my great-great grandmother’s eyes. Until 2002, there was exactly one copy in the entire world, and if we hadn’t checked that box before we got rid of it, there’d be zero.  

    And when you checked that box, you could tell, with your bare eyes, that you had a very important picture that you want to save.

    Your great-grandkids?  A box of CDs, which they don’t have CD drives to read.  

    Because your kids always meant to keep up with copying and recopying the files, with each change of technology, but as the years passed, the task grew bigger and bigger, as more pictures in different formats accumulated.  And your grandkids got a box saying “pictures from grandma and grandpa” full of obsolete technology but no actual pictures. Eventually the box was forgotten in the attic.

    And while you could just look in the box, see the picture was a picture, and choose to keep it, your great-grandkids will have to track down hardware and software a century out of date just to check the disks.  Which will be expensive, time-consuming and troublesome.  

    ***

    You don’t actually have hundreds of pictures of your child.

    You have hundreds of computer files that the right hardware and software can use to generate a picture of your child.  

    And if you’re storing those files on a service like photobucket, you don’t even have those files.  Some corporation has them, and it has little incentive to keep the old files for your great-grandkids.  Because, despite the hype, the internet isn’t “forever.”  Many web pages only a few years old are a wasteland of broken links, missing images and otherwise useless stuff.  Or completely gone, when the company hosting them went out of business.  Stuff on the internet requires constant intervention and care in order to be maintained.  

  • Tonio

    What’s the point of giving everyone in the church a work that is not only massive but indigestible? Better to simply find an archivist in the congregation to catalog it, and a true* editor to create a 20-page tract that can be more easily handed out in secret.

    *As opposed to Buck.

  • Ken

    Jesus told his disciples “Now gather up the copies and coalate them so
    that no man shall get six copies of page twenty-seven and none of the
    fourth chapter.”

    In the NRSV this is footnoted: Some ancient authorities add, Then Andrew said, “Lord, did you not hit the Collate button when you began the job?” And Jesus said, “No, I forgot, but look it won’t take that long. Just put the pages on the triclinium and walk around it in a circle.”

  • Ken

    Funny how Ray didn’t think that “I envy you” would be a good opening to
    evangelize why he shouldn’t envy him and what he needs to do to save his
    immortal soul.

    But you must admit, it shows Jenkins can manage consistent characterization. I think in last week’s comments someone noted that the Tribbies don’t even pray, so it’s a very special kind of Christianity they practice.

  • christopher_young


    And given that the Tribbles don’t bother to READ the magnum opus before distributing it to all and sundry…

    This is an important point. At this stage, for all they know, poor old Bruce had completely broken under the strain and stored 5,000 pages worth of Lorem ipsum. Poor guy. Oh what a noble mind is here o’erthrown!

  • PJ Evans

     I was thinking that at least a thousand of the pages were his sermons.

  • Algernon84

    Tony maybe narcissistic, self-obsessed and not play well with others but he’d be too busy actually trying to save lives, thwart Nicky’s evil scheme and prevent the Apocalypse to fart around with Range Rovers.

  • http://twitter.com/AbelUndercity Abel Undercity

    Show of hands, who thinks Loretta just printed out Bruce’s porn archive?

    (raises hand)

  • http://twitter.com/mcclure111 mcc

    BTW, one blatantly obvious solution to the “why 5000 pages?” problem does present itself– those aren’t Bruce’s notes, they’re *Billing’s notes*, as extended by Bruce. So Billings spends a couple decades meticulously cataloguing and interpreting bible prophesy and commentary thereon while watching the news for upcoming signs of the apocalypse. Billings goes poof, Bruce becomes pastor and takes up where Billings left off. Bruce probably writes a disproportionate amount of those 5,000 pages relative to the few years he had to work on this, since he’s got a LOT more material to work with all of a sudden– he can suddenly go through and fill in Billings’s blanks and speculation with *facts*, things happening in the world around him as he types– and he’s also got an urgency to work on this project and only on this project. But the bulk by pagecount is probably Billing’s old “be ready” sermons and studies, now spookily powerful because of how accurately they described future events Billings never lived to see.

    This approach would solve several problems at once, including why they seem so weirdly fascinated with the writings of a character a who, if I’m not mistaken, has been mostly offscreen and only periodically commented on for the last couple books. These notes aren’t just a monument to Bruce, their dead friend. These notes are the living history of New Hope Village Church.

    The text Fred quotes makes it pretty clear this isn’t what the authors had in mind. Actually the authors would have still had room to weasel this in, since Buck might just be jumping to conclusions when he describes the document dump as written by Bruce– they haven’t *read* any of these 5000 pages, just printed them, for all they know it’s 4,000 pages of Billings and 1,000 pages of Bruce (or possibly 25 pages of Bruce and the other 4,975 are a meticulous circa-1997 archive of alt.sex.stories). But this clearly isn’t what the authors were thinking. The characters seem to have all forgotten Billings existed, and so have the authors. At SOME point earlier in the series Billings was described as having left extensive notes that Bruce at first was working off of, but by now Billings basically exists only as a long-discarded videotape while everything Bruce ever typed is going to be canonized.

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

    (or possibly 25 pages of Bruce and the other 4,975 are a meticulous circa-1997 archive of alt.sex.stories)

    *gigglesnort*

    In all seriousness, didn’t Loretta or the computer geeky dude stop to think that issuing a print BB*.* was potemtially wasteful in terms of the subsequent effort needed to catalog, organize, and discard the resulting stuff?

  • Tonio

    How much of the material are Billings’ and Barnes’ attempts to decipher Daniel and Ezekiel and Revelation, instead of regular sermons and other paperwork? Are these supposed to be records of these men’s research and attempts at interpretation, or a long and complicated argument in favor of their interpretation?

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Ursula, when technology goes obsolete, it doesn’t vanish into the ether. Not only can new technology be adapted to read the legacy formats, but in many cases, the original hardware both exists and remains in working condition. (I actually booted up an Apple IIe not 6 months ago because it has the only serial port and software to run a nuclear radiation demonstration I use in chemistry.) 

    No storage media is permanent. Photographs, film, oil paint, hardcopy, all deteriorate.  There is no more or less guarantee that you would have been able to look at those photographs of your grandparents than there is that your grandchildren will be able to access those CD-ROMs.  What we’ve done is trade the need for an intermediate device for a more stable form of storage.

    You can’t assume that tucking a paper or photo in a box and stashing it in a closet is going to preserve it for the long term, any more than you can save a digital picture to your hard drive and assume it’s safe. You’re going to have to make the effort to preserve data. This has always been true, and it will continue to be true. It’s estimated that some 90% of all the silent films ever made have already been lost, because no one made the effort.  But that last 10% has a much better chance of surviving now. You’re going to lose 90% of those pictures, be they photographs or digital files, unless you make the effort. Technology has made that easy. High quality photograph preservation materials are pretty cheap. Data format conversion can be automated using cheap (often free) software are inexpensive computers. If you think you lack the time, equipment or expertise, people have set up business to perform these tasks for you, for a fee. (Yes, even floppy disks can be recovered:  http://lmgtfy.com/?q=floppy+disk+data+recovery+service )

    Neutrino: it’s a problem, but not an insurmountable one. It’s all about making the effort.

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

     

    There ought to be a major office supply place around there with a few
    unused copiers and lots of paper. (Do they have paper places in Chicago,
    like Kelley Paper or Expedx? Pallets they do, and the big ones will
    deliver.)

    …what about Scranton, PA? I hear they’ve got a nice paper supply company?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Thanks. That;’s what I was trying to get at,. but you put it a lot more clearly. 

  • Tricksterson

    Imagine their shock when they distribute it to the church members without having read it themselves and inky to have them crack up laughing and when they finally examine the contents find that it’s 5,000 pages of slash fic about Bruce, Rayford and Buck

    Loretta: I tried to warn you but you wouldn’t listen!

  • AnonymousSam

    “Chloe,” Buck said carefully, “look at this rig. It has everything. It comes with a phone. It will go anywhere. It’s indestructible. It comes with a phone. It comes with a citizen’s band radio. It comes with a fire extinguisher, a phone, a survival kit, flares, you name it. It comes with a phone. It has four-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, a phone, independent suspension, a CD player that plays those new two-inch jobs, electrical outlets in the dashboard that allow you to connect whatever you want to the battery. And it comes with a phone.”

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Everything requires constant intervention and care to be maintained.

    Even reading a well-preserved diary from the 1800s can be difficult these days because most people’s handwriting was so ornate, and we’re not used to reading handwriting of any kind any longer. Handwriting was an art form and even a dialect practiced especially by women, that isn’t practiced as much any longer — but we can figure it out. Plus if you have allergies like I do, you can’t handle the original document for long. You should probably photocopy or scan it anyway, if you can get permission to do so, so your breath and the oils on your skin and the motion of turning the pages damage it as little as possible.  The older a document gets, the harder it gets to read the writing, and that’s if we’re lucky enough to have the whole document. Finding even part of a document, even if it’s been damaged by mice and water and bugs and mold, can be amazing luck. Usually we’re not lucky enough to have diaries and letters. In many cases, we’re happy to find a couple buttons.

    Computers are allowing us to preserve and make available more history right now.  People scan in old diaries and newspapers and photographs and paintings and everything else that people use sight to examine. An undergraduate sitting in a comfortable chair in Florida at home can read the entire archive of the London Times. There are large projects in all sorts of places to get everything on computer, not only to make it available to everyone, but also to preserve it for future generations. You can update and copy computer files. You cannot update nor copy a christening gown from 1730.

    Computers will not do the work for us, of course.  For instance, a lot of documents from the Middle Ages are difficult to read because the Latin is incorrect because of a combination of economic collapse and cuts in government funding of education. You have to know Latin well enough to understand it even when it looks like “hai! Lol God did smite and then for the water of Noah big boom!” But because of computers, we have a much better chance of deciphering those documents and others that are in languages we barely understand at all, because we now are able to get more eyeballs on those documents and preserve them for countless future generations. 

    Students will no longer have to file forms and get on a plane and stay in a foreign country to be allowed to see things — they’ll just have to punch in a url in the comfort of their own libraries and classrooms and even homes. Archivists and historians have just started these massive projects of getting things on the internet, and yet already I can sit in the comfort of my own home, a cat shedding in my lap, a bowl of ramen and glass of grape juice on my desk, and peruse priceless documents and artifacts that I would likely never be able to see otherwise. 

    It may be difficult for a layperson to read stuff off a floppy disk. It is well-nigh impossible for a layperson to access certain historical materials right now, though, because of the care that must be taken with these materials. There are people with the tools and training to retrieve information even from corrupted files on old floppy disks. Sometimes things are irretrievable, but not nearly as often as paper and parchment and cloth items are. There is no one who can retrieve something that’s crumbled to dust. As an historian, I say: please, save things digitally. 

  • veejayem

    As I say to the kids in my English lessons, “When you know the rules you can break them”. Jenkins doesn’t appear to know that the rules exist, never mind the reasons for them.

  • Vermic

    Chloe spoke up. “Buck, shouldn’t you try to edit it or shape it into some sort of book form first?”

    Oh, great, Chloe.  Knowing these bozos, they’ll probably expand it into a commentary on Bruce’s commentary on Daniel and Revelation, and the whole thing’ll end up 833,000 pages long.

    “I’ll take a look at it, Chloe, but there’s a certain beauty in simply reproducing it in the form it’s in. This was Bruce off-the-cuff, in the middle of his study, writing to fellow believers, writing to friends and loved ones, writing to himself.”

    As we know, Buck will say anything to avoid any task even tangentially related to writing.  “Edit?  What do I look like to you, Chloe, some sort of newspaper-word-writing-guy?”

    The paragraph reminds me a lot of the scene in Seven where they find the serial killer’s diaries.  And that scene probably provides a better description of the sort of output Bruce left behind.

    Morgan Freeman: “There are 2000 notebooks on these shelves, and each notebook contains about 250 pages … No dates, placed on the shelves in no discernible order — just his mind poured out on paper.”

    That’s the undigested wad of text that Buck and company will distribute to the faithful as the key to salvation.  The US tax code, as written by Charles Manson.  A cracking good read that I’m sure every thankful recipient will totally have a look at, seriously, in between dodging flaming hailstorms and bloodsucking locusts.  Seriously, can any of this stuff possibly be any more useful or readable than simply reading Daniel and Revelation?  If it is, why didn’t God write the Bible that way to begin with?

    Quality aside, it’s still impressive that Bruce managed to leave behind a quantity of output far longer, and no doubt more informative, than the accumulation of everything Buck has written over his entire career.  One of these guys is now dead and the other is walking around with a Pulitzer.  It just ain’t right.

    “And the Antichrist has never invested a better dollar for the cause of God.”

    This may have been covered previously, but are people even using dollars at this point?  Hasn’t everyone converted to credits or NickyBux ™ or whatever the global currency is?  I guess the global currency could be dollars, but in the standard Birchian fantasy scenario it’s usually some scary new thing like the “amero”.

  • Vermic

    Incidentally, do you know what the best, most accurate, and most durable medium for data storage and playback is?  Two indestructible fire-breathing prophets.  IIRC, these guys and Tsion are already broadcasting the “Jesus is way rad” message 24/7 to sold-out crowds, and that’s the only message still worth distributing in this present Tribulation.  So again, I’m failing to see what additional value Bruce’s 5,000-page doorstopper could possibly provide.

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

    They don’t go to “Nicks” until sometime around the time the Mark rolls out, IIRC.

  • veejayem

    So far this book already feels like 5000 pages and I have yet to see Buck perform an heroic or Christian act ~ Christian as in tending the sick, comforting the afflicted etc. And he hasn’t exactly been short of opportunities, has he. Reminds me of your recent post about Sodom and Gomorrah and bargaining with God. I never received the impression that Lot was a sterling character …

    God (or, if you prefer, GOD): So, we have a winner! You say that there *is* a righteous man in Sodom and his name is Lot. Hmm … Lot, Lot … (checks the Divine Database) … hold on. Are you sure you got the name right? There wouldn’t be two guys called Lot, would there? Wait a minute, THIS is the best the Cities of the Plain can come up with? Oh, they are so overdue for a Smiting …

  • Joe Smith

    They’re going to publish everything on his computer without reading it???

    What if it’s full of shopping lists and Snape/Harry slashfic???


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