NRA: A whoopee cushion on Hitler’s chair

Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist, pp. 89-92

The main outlines of 20th-century “Bible prophecy” mythology were well-established before Tim LaHaye came along. That mythology is flexible enough to allow each successive storytelling entrepreneur a chance to put their own unique spin on it, but ultimately they need to stick with the established storyline.

LaHaye’s particular contribution was to cram as many Cold-War-era John Birch Society conspiracies as he could into the existing outline. Thus we get LaHaye’s version of the Antichrist, Nicolae Carpathia, who looks like “a young Robert Redford” and embodies the liberal youth culture that LaHaye has been railing against ever since Robert Redford looked like a young Robert Redford. When we first meet Nicolae, he’s all about peace, unity, harmony and all that Aquarian hippie stuff that’s always infuriated LaHaye.

Tribulation Force scientists have developed a new secret weapon in their battle against the villainy of the Antichrist.

But eventually, the prophecy mythology requires that even this supposed pacifist must “rise” to become the Antichrist the plot demands. The hippie-peacenik will have to be transformed into a mass-murdering tyrant and the cruelest, deadliest dictator the world has ever seen. This is a story about the end of the world and the culmination of history. So if the Antichrist is to be the ultimate evil chronologically, he also needs to be the ultimate evil in terms of degree. Otherwise history would seem kind of anticlimactic.

Plus there’s that title — Anti-Christ. Although LaHaye and most other “Bible prophecy scholars” don’t seem very interested in pursuing the idea, that name suggests that the Antichrist is to be a kind of evil mirror-opposite of Christ. So in a sense, if the Antichrist is anything less than the ultimate evil, it would suggest that Christ was something less than the ultimate good. To diminish the Antichrist’s evilness would seem to diminish Christ’s goodness, and they can’t have that.

But this superlative evil creates a challenge for Bible prophecy storytellers. It Godwins the thread. If the Antichrist is to be the greatest monster ever in the history of the world, then he’ll need to be obviously worse than any of the actual usual candidates for that title. It won’t work to have your Antichrist wind up seeming almost as bad as Mao, or nearly as bad as Stalin, or merely “kind of Hitler-y.” He needs to be clearly, emphatically worse than any other possible candidate.

Here in the third book is where LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins finally get around to Nicolae’s first steps toward joining that pantheon of monsters. After spending the first year and a half of the Great Tribulation seeming like not that bad a guy, Nicolae Carpathia has suddenly started nuking population centers and arbitrarily slaughtering millions of people. After claiming only a handful of murders in the first two books, our Antichrist is now starting to accumulate the kind of body count that makes his claim to be the ultimate evil a bit more credible. The authors are starting to build their case that Nicolae is worse than any of the deadly tyrants of history.

This presents two serious challenges for the authors — challenges they hardly seem aware of, let alone capable of facing.

The first problem is that all those actual tyrants whose crimes Nicolae will need to out-do were real people who really killed other real people. It’s a tricky thing to write a novel with an antagonist who appears worse than Hitler, Stalin or Mao without seeming to diminish the gravity and horror of what those actual figures did. It might be possible for a good writer to pull that off, acknowledging and honoring the full horror of the real history while at the same time exceeding it in a fictional setting, but L&J aren’t up to the task.

In their view, such a task is unnecessary, since they don’t regard their story as fiction. Theirs is an account of Bible prophecy — so it’s not a made-up story, just a true story that hasn’t happened yet. Since they believe their fictional story is a future matter of fact, it comes across as matter-of-fact — as glib where it ought to be grave.

They compound this problem. First they insist that Nicolae’s misdeeds are worse than the crimes of any real tyrant from history — which diminishes both those crimes and their real-world victims. And then they further diminish them by insisting that even Nicolae’s atrocities aren’t all that bad, since all the civilians he’s slaughtering are sinners who deserved their fate.

The second problem with making Nicolae out to be Worse Than Hitler is that both Buck Williams and Rayford Steele are working for  Nicolae. If Nicolae is more evil than Hitler, then how is serving as Nicolae’s personal pilot not worse than serving as Hitler’s chauffeur?

Jerry Jenkins seems to realize he’s painted himself into a corner. He sent his heroes off to work as close confidants of the Antichrist mainly as a narrative convenience, justifying their service to Nicolae as a kind of infiltration by the resistance. But if they are double-agents working for the resistance, then at some point Buck and Rayford will need to resist, and the fatalistic logic of prophecy means that resistance is futile — or maybe even forbidden.

The heroes’ complacency toward and their co-operation with the arch-villain has been a problem for Jenkins ever since Buck and Rayford accepted their new jobs, but that problem has gotten far more acute now that Nicolae has begun acting like the Antichrist and perpetrating deadly evil on a massive scale. Increasingly, our heroes just seem to be complicit in monstrous evil.

Jenkins acknowledged this problem for Buck in the passage we looked at last week, where Buck reassured himself, and readers, that he had tried really hard to use his position as publisher of Global Weekly for good, but:

As much as he tried … everything seemed to come out with the spin of the master deceiver. … Buck just hated the idea that he himself was being used to spread propaganda and lies.

Acknowledging the problem isn’t the same thing as fixing the problem, though. As much as Buck may dislike that he is “being used” to support Nicolae’s slaughter of millions of people, neither Buck nor the authors seems to consider withdrawing that support.

That sets us up for this next scene with Rayford Steele. He goes beyond Buck’s tepid reluctance to take bold action against the Antichrist.

Or, rather, to take what the authors think of as bold action against the Antichrist. Jenkins seems to think this addresses the problem of his heroes’ complicity. I think it makes it worse, but I’ll let you decide.

Having learned that Amanda has safely departed from San Francisco, Rayford is ready to take off, allowing Nicole to destroy the city as soon as they leave. As he taxies Nicole’s plane down the runway, a flight attendant ducks into the cockpit:

“Captain,” she said as he lifted the headphone from his right ear, “not everyone is seated and buckled in.”

“Well, I’m not going to stop,” he said. “Can’t you handle it?”

“The offending party, sir, is Mr. Carpathia himself.”

You can probably see where this is going.

“I don’t have jurisdiction over him,” Rayford said. “And neither do you.”

“Federal Aviation Administration rules require that –”

“In case you haven’t noticed, ‘federal anything’ means nothing anymore. Everything is global. And Carpathia is above global. If he doesn’t want to sit down, he can stand. I’ve made my announcement, and you have given your instructions, right?”

“Right.”

“Then you go get strapped in and let the potentate worry about himself.”

Rayford’s remark there that “Everything is global” is the most explicit statement so far that Nicolae’s one-world government really has superseded every other authority. That doesn’t explain why there still seem to be armed Chicago police officers, like the one who pulled a gun on Buck just 10 pages ago. But even if Jenkins is wildly inconsistent in portraying the monolithic global structure of the OWG, it’s helpful here to realize that this is what the context is supposed to be in our story.

Rayford could have begun gradually and slowly picked up enough speed to go airborne. But everybody enjoyed a powerful takeoff once in a while, right? He throttled up and took off down the runway with such speed and power that he and [copilot] McCullum were driven back into their seats.

“Yeehah!” McCullum cried. “Ride ‘em cowboy!”

Rayford … couldn’t resist pressing that intercom button again and hearing what he might have done to Carpathia. In his mind’s eye he pictured the man somersaulting all the way to the back of the plane, and he only wished there was a back door he could open from the cockpit.

“Oh, my goodness!” he heard over the intercom. “Potentate, are you all right?”

Rayford heard movement, as if others were trying to unstrap themselves to help Carpathia, but with the plane still hurtling down the runway, those people would be pinned in their seats by centrifugal force.

“I am all right,” Carpathia insisted. “It is my own fault. I will be fine.”

If you’re writing a scene in which your hero is engaged in some woefully inadequate act of petty rebellion, it’s best not to undermine even that meager deed by having him daydream an exaggerated effect beforehand.

Nicolae, apparently, did not somersault all the way down the aisle.

He fell down.

And then he got back up. He’s fine.

That is the end result of the first and thus far only act of resistance undertaken by any member of the Tribulation Force.

In just the past several hours of this story, Nicolae Carpathia has killed millions of people in London, New York, Washington, Chicago and Dallas. Immediately following this scene, he will kill millions more in San Francisco and Oakland.

Rayford Steele has done nothing to interfere with this slaughter. He will do nothing to warn any of the people who just assisted him at the San Francisco airport. Rayford is a first-hand witness, a bystander, as Nicolae sends forth a wave of death meant to signify that he is worse than Hitler, Stalin or Mao.

And Rayford’s response — his only response — is to accelerate sharply, causing Nicolae to fall over in the aisle of the airplane.

Secretly, he hoped Carpathia had been leaning against one of the seats at the time of the initial thrust. That would have spun him around and nearly flipped him over. Probably my last chance to inflict any justice.

“Justice.”

The greatest monster in the history of the world, the epitome of evil, and this is Rayford’s idea of “justice.” He flies Nicolae to safety so that millions can be killed in Chicago, assists in the global broadcast of the Antichrist’s propaganda, then ferries him away from San Francisco so that everyone in that city, too, can be killed.

But he made Nicolae fall down, without injury. And that’s “justice.”

The more I read about Rayford Steele, the more I think that Nicolae Carpathia will, at most, only seem like the second-most loathesome monster in the history of the world.

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

    “powerful takeoff” suddenly sounds like a very lewd euphemism.

  • Dantesque17

    “Tribulation Force scientists have developed a new secret weapon in their battle against the villainy of the Antichrist.”

    Come on, now.  In the Ellenjay-verse, there are no scientists among the saved.

  • RArcher

    The thing for me is, at least in my mind a genuine monstrous tyrant would have Ray shot for pulling a stunt like that. An image-conscious monstrous tyrant would have him quietly disappeared. An ordinary, non-monstrous politician or CEO would fire him or demote him. A grade school teacher would send him to the principal’s office. Since I predict none of these things are going to happen, Carpathia will end up looking less monstrous than my third grade teacher, and that is a hell of a low bar.

  • Magic_Cracker

    I think I finally figured out what bothers about the Brad Pitt nee Young Robert Redford description: As a comparisons go, it only tells us that he is superficially handsome — blond hair, strong chin, big smile — and doesn’t capture any other qualities Nicolae supposedly has, not even charisma. (I don’t think either actor is especially charismatic.) A good comparison needs to capture several similarities on several levels. It would have been better to go with, say, Jack Kennedy who, in addition to being an easily recognizable  cultural touchstone, was superficially handsome in the same way Pitt and Young Redford are, but was also a charismatic statesman whose memory evokes strong emotions.

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

    That’s the weird thing. Carpathia’s proven he has no problem nuking anybody who gets in his way. For him to fail to have Rayford face any consequences for his little stunt is patently unrealistic.

    Skewed to the Middle:

    Once the plane was airborne, Rayford Steele looked at Mac McCullum and relaxed.

    The slight squeak of the door portended sudden doom as Rayford swivelled in his chair to see who came in.

    A very frigidly angry Nicolae Carpathia stood over him and asked, “What was the meaning of that unnecessarily swift takeoff?”

    Rayford tried not to let his teeth chatter as he replied, “S-surely you wanted to get airborne as quickly as possible? Potentate?”

    Nicolae leaned down, his hands on either side of the Captain’s chair. “Do. Not. Lie. To. Me! Were I anyone other than myself, I might have been killed by your little stunt which bowled me over like tenpins! Rest assured, you would have faced immediate execution on this very plane had I been killed due to a broken neck.

    Nicolae didn’t look like he had superhuman strength, but somehow, his chair swung around so violently Rayford was flung to the side and nearly fell out of the chair when Carpathia halted it.

    “Fly this plane, Captain. The next time you get any ideas, I need only one bullet. Perhaps you should ask your friend Cameron about that.”

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    As much as he tried … everything seemed to come out with the spin of the master deceiver. … Buck Jenkins just hated the idea that he himself was being used to spread propaganda and lies.

    Fixed that for you.  

  • MaryKaye

     I suspect that the authors *cannot* think hard about these scenes, because if they did, their whole edifice would fall apart.  It goes like this:

    Nicolai is doing God’s work by fulfilling the prophecy.  So Rayford should help him, thereby working toward the fulfillment of God’s plan.

    But…Nicolai is evil and one shouldn’t cooperate with evil, and besides it’d be horrid if you showed Rayford happily working for the Antichrist.  It might end up revealing that God’s plan here is, in fact, horrific.

    But…if Rayford opposes him he’s opposing God’s plan.  That has to fail and anyway it’s a sin to even try!

    But….round and round it goes, because there is no solution.  Once you accept that Nicolai is ordained by God to slaughter the millions, there are no paths from there that don’t lead to “God wants the millions slaughtered” and from there you’re in spitting distance of “God is evil” or else (for a horrendous warped set of definitions “Nicolai is good.”

    The same player is controlling the White and Black pieces, but the authors still want to treat it as a meaningful game.   Better not to think about it too much.  The books sell anyway.

    (Does anyone know the relative sales figures of the different volumes?  Because 1 was bad but had moments, and 2 was quite bad, but 3 reaches new lows.  Surely you have to lose some readers eventually.)

  • David Starner

     No need for external sabotage; he could just take it up, point the noise way up until it stalls, put the engines at full until they burn out (they can’t get air like that), and gravity combined with jet fuel will make sure that anything that looks human in the wreckage won’t be.

  • VMink

    See, now, that sort of line could be funny if the characters were portrayed as being absolutely, unequivocably *unable* to do anything about Nicolae’s Masterplan for The End of The World and are just sort of, you know… keeping time.  Sort of like if the boss in Office Space were the Antichrist.

    But instead it’s portrayed as some sort of act of resistance rather than an act of a weak stomach.

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

    The abominably stupid thing?

    Rayford and gang do almost EXACTLY that to a plane when they fake some pilots’ deaths in order to get them out from having to Take The Mark.

  • Jon Frater

    But he made Nicolae fall down, without injury. And that’s “justice.”

    Hmmm . . .

    What else would be considered “justice” in this respect? Sending unordered pizzas to Castro’s palace in Havana? Hiding Stalin’s mustache trimmer? Slipping a note to Hitler telling him what Eva *really* thought of him in bed? Swapping Mao’s rifle with a clever lookalike that shot flowers?

    Suggestions?

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

    Ming Chang Toy Woo.

    …iddle i po.

  • GeniusLemur

    And Nicky was conveniently standing during takeoff for no particular reason, and the flight attendant comes forward and tells Shit, I mean Ray, that. They have a conversation about it, and at the end Nicky is still standing for no particular reason. Ray starts down the runway too fast, and Nicky doesn’t jump into a chair for some reason.

    And the punchline to all this belabored setup is: Nicky falls down.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    Yeah, as soon as I got to that “centrifugal force” part, my immediate reaction was  “ooo look, Jenkins learned a new word, but didn’t bother to learn what it actually means!”

  • redsixwing

     An excellent point! :D

    There’s all kinds of wonderful ways to goof up massively with an airplane, and most of them seem to end very badly indeed.

  • aunursa

    Also, just as a remark, in case people weren’t aware, Chinese women don’t traditionally change their names upon marriage…

    I didn’t know that.  And obviously Jerry Jenkins didn’t care enough to research.

  • Magic_Cracker

    Telling Augusto Pinochet he’ll have to reschedule the mass executions because of a soccer match.

    Pulling a ding-dong-ditch on Abimael Guzmán.

    Requesting a Book of Mormon and concomitant missionary visit for Oliver Cromwell.

  • David Starner

     I don’t; monstrous tyrants can tend towards the random. It was pretty hard to predict what Stalin was going to do or who he was going to have killed. It’s a stretch, but I can almost see Ray being taken as a court jester or best bud. In that case, Ray gets away with stuff because it’s all in good fun and never gets in the tyrant’s way, and not being able to laugh with it would just reflect bad on Nicolae (at least in his mind). It makes him more human then Anti-Christ, though; a little insecure and misinterpreting. On the other hand, an Anti-Christ who saw a lot could find Ray hilarious; you’ve got this arrogant pompous windbag who pulls these little stunts and acts as if they matter. He believes he’s fighting against the Anti-Christ and yet Nicolae couldn’t find a better pilot.

  • VMink

    …  really, you’d be doing the Anti-Christ as a televangelist

    Or as the bestselling co-author of an inexplicably popular series of ostensibly “Christian” novels that hold up very non-Christian values.

  • Magic_Cracker

    Also, my psychic sensitivities allowed me  on page 1 to pre-ply to your comment one page 2:

    I can’t wait for the chapter when Buck “sticks it to the man” by swiping a little bit of napalm from the Infant-Kitty-Puppy Industrial Burninator  to give Nicolae a hotfoot.

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

    It won’t work to have your Antichrist wind up seeming almost as bad as Mao, or nearly as bad as Stalin, or merely “kind of Hitler-y.” He needs to be clearly, emphatically worse than any other possible candidate.

    It’s important to remember that “worse” isn’t a linear scale here. Nicolae doesn’t have to be more “genocideal-y” or “mass-murdery” or “human-purge-y” than those three, he just has to be bad in a way that those three aren’t. 

    When I write flash-fiction about Nicolae, I’ve found the most effective way to make him feel monstrously evil is to make him self-aware,  genre-savvy, and zealous.

    Mao? Stalin? Hitler? I doubt any of those people viewed themselves as “evil”. They saw themselves as working towards noble goals, doing good for their people. To make Nicolae “worse” then them, to make him more horrible, I strip away that illusion. When I write Nicolae, he knows he is doing wrong, knows he is immoral and acting against decency, mercy, and kindness. 

    Nicolae knows this isn’t a war, or a battle. He recognizes the Tribulation for what it is: pageantry and drama, like a luchador wrestling match. The outcome is already decided, the fight is fixed, but what matters is putting on a good show for the crowd. And he knows his role is the Heel

    The last ingredient is that Nicolae in my work is committed to his role. It’s vitally important that he do his job well, even if it is an evil job of cruel acts. He can’t just bomb cities, he has to bomb cities without warning while cackling evilly and sipping champagne. It’s not enough to capture the rebelling militias; they need to be publicly executed, ideally after a long bout of torture and public humiliation and suffering. Nicolae knows this sort of thing is counter-productive… if your actual goal is to rule, but that’s not his goal. His goal is to be a monster, and he wants to do it well. 

    Of course, L&J can’t write that, because it requires admitting that the one who wants Nicolae to be a monster is God.

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

    In his mind’s eye he pictured the man somersaulting all the way to the back of the plane, and he only wished there was a back door he could open from the cockpit.
     
    Yet another Walter Mitty moment.  I’ve lost count.

  • LL

    I think the truth is, LaJenkins really don’t have a problem with Nicolae’s methods, only his motivations. If he was slaughtering millions of sinners in the name of God (the true God, not the namby pamby sissy type of God that loves everyone, even poor people and black people and gay people), that’d be OK. But he’s doing it in the name of Satan, therefore, it’s wrong. It’s wrong not because it’s wrong to kill people, but because it’s wrong to kill people unless you have a really good reason to do so. 

    They can’t hide their love of tyrants and authoritarianism. Most “conservatives” can’t. 

    Also, Rayford’s flying the plane, and it hasn’t occurred to him to fly it into the side of a mountain or, as someone notes above, crash it on takeoff? I mean, it would require him to sacrifice himself, which actually would seem Christlike, but I guess that hasn’t occurred to LaJenkins, either. Can’t kill off your “hero.” He has many more women to be patronizing and insulting toward and more evil to enable, while feeling secretly kinda bad about it. The evil enabling, not the women stuff. Real men never feel bad about being patronizing and insulting towards women. 

  • http://flickr.com/photos/sedary_raymaker/ Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Truly an act of justice worthy of America’s Funniest Home Videos.

  • Ben English

    Apropros of Fred being on the topic, I have posted

    http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8548453/2/Parousia-A-Fanfic-of-the-Earth-s-Last-Days

    Chapter Two of my parody/crossover, as Carpathia flexes his propaganda arm to dispel the notion of superheroes: Buck Williams!

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

    Woot! *goes to read*

    Ha! I love all the little in-jokes and references you peppered that chapter with. My favorite?

    “Vodka’s not a religion,” Tanya protested. “It’s a relationship.”

    Very reminiscent of the RTC protest that they’re in a “personal relationship with God” :P

  • Veylon

    Actually, it may shock you to learn that Rayford does, eventually, crash the plane. With nobody aboard. And in such a way as to not inconvenience the Antichrist – or his evil workings – in the slightest.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Verna Zee Sensible Shoes Confrontation Countdown: 256 pages

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Buck is the greatest investigative reporter of all time.
    Rayford is the greatest airline pilot of all time.
    Hattie is the greatest flight attendant of all time.
    Chloe is the greatest college dropout of all time.
    Chaim is the greatest scientist of all time.
    Tsion is the greatest biblical scholar of all time.
    David is greatest computer whiz of all time.
    Chang is the greatest teenage progeny of all time.

    Yo, L&J, I think ya’ great and I’ma let you finish, but Left Behind are the World’s Worst Books of all time!

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Wait’ll you meet David Hassid’s BFF, a Native American woman named…Hannah Palemoon.

    Also doesn’t help that Chang and Ming’s parents stepped right out of a 1930s movie: “Oh!  Husband!  Our son will bring dishonor to the family!”

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Actually, it may shock you to learn that Rayford does, eventually, crash the plane. With nobody aboard. And in such a way as to not inconvenience the Antichrist – or his evil workings – in the slightest.

    The hell?  

    Okay, let me entertain an idea: Rayford has been completely mind-mojoed by Nicky.  Bam, whamp, his faith does no good, he is Nicky’s puppet.  The critical detail being he does not know that he is Nicky’s puppet.  Part of that mind controlling effect is the illusions it creates in the mind of those effected by it.  Rayford is absolutely convinced he is following “God’s will” and so it is okay to serve the anti-christ, when in fact it is not the will of God he is following, but a will altogether more malevolent.  

    And because he cannot see that, every evil thing he does, he does thinking he is fulfilling the part in some greater good plan.  That is how Nicky’s mental domination works.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    Since the actor who played Flounder, who threw up in front of/on the Dean, also played Vir Cotto on Babylon 5, and we’re talking about evil rulers, I’m now getting the delightful image of Londo telling him “Face it, Vir.  You didn’t throw up in front of Emperor Cartagia.  You threw up on Emperor Cartagia.”  (Of course, that would hardly be the worst thing he ever did to him….)

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    I’ve always preferred Dave Barry’s alternative name for the show: Boneheaded Americans Injure Themselves on Home Video.

  • Jenora Feuer

    Oh, thank you ever so much for putting that song in my head for the next hour or so…

  • aunursa

    More actual character names in the Left Behind series…

    Aurelio Sequoia Figueroa
    Cendrillon Jospin
    Demetrius Demeter
    Dwayne & Trudy Tuttle of Tacoma Washington Oklahoma
    Eleazar Tiberius
    Enoch Dumas
    Dr. Floyd Charles
    Gustaf Zuckermandel Sr (“Big Zeke”)
    Gustaf Zuckermandel Jr (“Zeke”)
    Loren Hut
    Lukas Miklos & Mrs. Miklos
    Suhail Akbar
    Tyrola Delanty (“T”)

  • Ben English

    Good grief… it’s like JKR characters, if JKR was a meth addict.

    I sincerely hope that Suhail Akbar uttered the phrase “It’s a trap!” at some point.

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

    I don’t believe he does, but he IS one of the more intelligent characters in Nicolae’s little cabal.

  • aunursa

    Oh, and I couldn’t possibly forget …

    Viviana Ivinisova … who is introduced to the readers as Viv Ivins (VI VI VI -ns).

    Jerry Jenkins.  He’s so clever.

  • http://heathencritique.wordpress.com/ Ruby_Tea

    Of all those names, the one I mind the least is Loren Hut. The character is Canadian, and those are both names with English origin. It’s a damn sight better than Ming Wong Toy Woo, at least.

  • fraser

     That’s my reaction, but I remember it’s come up before in Jenkins’ inspired nomenclature.

  • Tricksterson

    Well, they are fictional so give yourself a pass.

  • MaryKaye

    While trying to find volume by volume sales figures (I failed, except that sales seemed to ramp up sharply at #7) I stumbled across a site that ragged on LB because it got its apocalypse theology wrong–all REAL RTCs know that you can’t be saved after the Rapture unless you had actually never heard the Gospel, Catholics can’t possibly be saved, once you have the Mark you can’t be saved,  fetuses aren’t Raptured, and so L&J are HERETICS.  (And, annoyingly, very successful influential heretics.)

    I knew intellectually that this must be a thing but was still tickled to find it.

  • Tricksterson

    Thing is L&J do create a character whose crimes against humanity and the planet put Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Polt Pot combinedl in the shade.  The problem s it’s God.

  • aunursa

    I REALLY REALLY want to torture rayford and Buck.I want them to lie crying on the floor on their own completely broken and completely humiliated, no yelling out in pain but completely blank and in shock of what just happened to them.

    I’m sure one of our writers could help you out, here.  Do you want only the GIRAT and Brave Sir Rayford on the rack?  Or do you want the authors to suffer alongside their stand-ins?

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

    Oh yeah. There are people out there who make L&J look like theological moderates.

    Was it Liberty To the Captives dot net?

    http://libertytothecaptives.net/pretrib_promoters_trying.html

  • http://mistermunshun.blogspot.com/ Carl Eusebius

    I gave Wolfen a hard time about its treatment of American Indians, but I had to give it credit for not giving the main Indian character an “Indian” name like Jimmy Two-Bears or Runs-with-Deer.

    I think it speaks volumes of L&J’s worldview that Jenkins didn’t know East Asian women don’t traditionally change their surnames upon marriage. Not because it shows he didn’t bother to look it up but because it never occurred to him that other societies aren’t just like America only with funny languages. After all, that particular custom isn’t observed in most societies that aren’t America.

  • Erikjohnsonillustator

    Perhaps in another month or two Rayford will get the nerve to faux-fumble while handing Nicolae a fax and then fantasize about giving him a nasty paper cut!

  • Carstonio

    When we first meet Nicolae, he’s all about peace, unity, harmony and all that Aquarian hippie stuff that’s always infuriated LaHaye.

     
    The old Cold Warriors insisted that the Soviet Union’s leaders used those terms as code for worldwide communist domination, and that any groups with those goals were probably in league with Moscow. (One said that a UN agency’s goal of “peace, disarmament and international security” was suspicious because these terms were used by the era’s anti-nuke protesters in Europe.) LaHaye most likely intended for Carpathia’s hippie rhetoric to be a deliberate front the same way.

    But he made Nicolae fall down, without injury. And that’s “justice.”

    What, is Rayford a 6-year-old who tears up a sibling’s crayon drawing out of spite or jealousy?

  • SisterCoyote

     Wow. That’s excellent.


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