NRA: Winners and losers

Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist; pp. 113-116

The Antichrist’s personal plane is making good time, as Rayford Steele enjoys the sleep of the just, “snoring, according to McCullum, for several hours.”

Well, if not the sleep of the just, the deep sleep of one who just doesn’t care that he just stood by and did nothing to prevent the slaughter of millions.

About an hour outside Baghdad, Leon Fortunato entered the cockpit and knelt next to Rayford. “We’re not entirely sure of security in New Babylon,” he said. “No one expects us to land in Baghdad. Let’s keep maintaining with the New Babylon tower that we’re on the way directly there. When we pick up our other three ambassadors, we may just stay on the ground for a few hours until the security forces have had a chance to clear New Babylon.”

“Will that affect your meetings?” Rayford said, trying to sound casual.

“I don’t see how it concerns you one way or the other. We can easily meet on the plane. …”

You get the idea. Just in case you don’t, Jerry Jenkins spells it out in excruciating repetitive detail in the following pages. It’s a semi-plausible way of arranging to have Nicolae Carpathia’s strategy meeting with his top lieutenants take place on the plane — and thus to allow Rayford, and readers, to eavesdrop.

This chapter, then, spends three pages contriving a situation in which Rayford can listen in on a meeting that eventually takes about 10 pages to unfold. That makes this one of Jenkins’ most efficient chapters — throughout most of this series of books it’s more like a 1-to-1 ratio of positioning to narrative, spending just as many pages maneuvering his characters into a position to observe what happens next as he does allowing them to observe it.

Buck Williams, for example, is headed to Israel to meet with Tsion Ben-Judah. That’s the next actual bit of story he’ll be involved in, but rather than just telling us the story parts of the story, Jenkins keeps us apprised of every phone call and airport stop along the way.

Buck checked in with Donny Moore, who said he had found some incredible deals on individual components and was putting together the five mega-laptops himself. “That’ll save you a little money,” he said. “Just a little over $20,000 a piece, I figure.”

Maybe Donny is a good and trustworthy guy and he’s putting together some really amazing computers. Or maybe he just couldn’t resist when he found a customer who was willing to pay $100,000 for five really “special” laptops.

Buck told key people at Global Community Weekly his new universal cell phone number and asked that they keep it confidential …

I imagine those “key people” at the news organization were surprised to learn that Buck hadn’t been killed when World War III began a few days ago. This ongoing story is the biggest news since The Event itself, so when the boss never bothered to check in with his top editors and reporters, they had to assume he was either dead or trapped under something heavy.

Think of it: You’re the managing editor of a major news outlet. New York, London and Washington are all destroyed and you never hear from the boss. Chicago and Dallas and San Francisco are destroyed and the boss is still AWOL. And then, the following day, he calls — not to give orders or ask questions about how this huge story should be covered, and not to ask if everyone survived the series of nuclear attacks. No, he’s just calling to let you know he got a new cell phone, and to give you the number so you can call him if anything comes up.

Meanwhile, Rayford lands at the airport in Baghdad and Jenkins begins a laborious explanation of security ruses and arrangements for the meeting Nicolae will have with his lieutenants there on the airplane. This description is interspersed with a testy conversation between Rayford and Leon Fortunato. Fortunato tells Rayford they’ll be flying again in four hours.

“International aviation rules prohibit me from flying again for 24 hours.”

“Nonsense,” Fortunato said. “How do you feel?”

“Exhausted.”

“Nevertheless, you’re the only one qualified to fly this plane, and you’ll be flying it when we say you’ll be flying it.”

This goes on for another half-page or so, the two men posturing and asserting competing claims for dominance. Rayford makes a point of calling the man by his first name.

“I would appreciate it if you would refer to me as Mr. Fortunato.”

“That means a lot to you, does it, Leon?”

“Don’t push me, Steele.”

As they entered the terminal, Rayford said, “As I am the only one who can fly that plane, I would appreciate it if you would call me Captain Steele.”

Fortunato here seems like kind of a jerk, but then he’s supposed to be the chief assistant to the Antichrist — the No. 2 guy and the right-hand man of the all-time epitome of evil. Just being kind of a jerk doesn’t quite seem evil enough.

Like Nicolae himself, Fortunato seems like an unpleasant person to be around, but unpleasant doesn’t really cut it when you’re supposed to be superlatively wicked.

The portrayal of villains is another place where storytelling and theology inevitably intersect. What is evil? What is sin? What is wickedness? Is it the opposite of good, or the absence of good? Could it be an excess of good? Does it lie more in its ends or in its means? Your ideas about all of those questions will shape how you portray your uber-villains.

Think of the movie Serenity, Joss Whedon’s delightful big-screen curtain call for his abruptly cancelled scifi TV series Firefly. Serenity gives us “Reavers” — sub-human, bestial nightmares of pure savagery and violent carnage. From one theological or philosophical perspective, Reavers might seem to be strong candidates for the epitome of evil — soulless monsters bent on mindless destruction.

But Whedon has always been more interested in soulful monsters and mindful destruction. The Reavers are terrifying, but — SPOILER ALERT — they’re not the true villains of Serenity. The real villains are those who created the Reavers, and who did so with the best of intentions. And therein lies a whole other philosophy or theology and a very different set of answers to those questions about the nature of evil.

The Left Behind series ought to have richly meaningful villains. Just look at that title — “Antichrist” — and consider all the myriad ways Nicolae Carpathia’s villainy might have been used to explore the nature and meaning of Christ by portraying his antithesis.

Nicolae could have been shown to epitomize power instead of love. He could have been shown as the kind of man who would say “Yes” to all the temptations Jesus is said to have rejected in the wilderness. He could have been portrayed as the one who chooses to take rather than to give, to harm rather than to heal, to kill rather than to die.

But we never see anything in these books about the Antichrist as the antithesis of the Christ of the Gospels. That part is already taken in this series by Jesus himself, the Jesus of Tim LaHaye’s imagined second coming who will arrive at the “Glorious Appearing” to correct all of his earlier mistakes by embodying the opposite of everything he taught and lived in his first coming. The Antichrist cannot be shown to be the opposite of this Christ because the Antichrist is exactly like this Christ.

This also means that Fortunato — the Antichrist’s chief disciple — cannot be portrayed as the antithesis of what it means to be a disciple of Christ. Indeed, what we just saw in his conversation with such a disciple, Rayford Steele, is that Leon Fortunato is exactly like his Christian counterpart. He’s kind of a jerk in that conversation, but then so is Rayford. He’s arrogant and full of himself, but then so is Rayford.

The only difference between the two men is the same as the one thing that makes the Antichrist different from the vengeful Christ of LaHaye’s imagination: Fortunato is on the wrong side.

This seems to be the only thing the authors have to say about the nature of evil. It’s the wrong side. It’s the losing side.

So how, then, can we avoid evil? Easy — by always doing whatever we have to do to make sure our side wins.

That’s the author’s definition of good. For many other authors — including some of those in the Christian canon — that’s the definition of evil.

 

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I’m sure I’ve mentioned this, but this series really does work as a meta-criticism of the American Evangelical subculture (and possible of Americans in general…) than any serious End of Times work.

    Why is why Fred is the one doing this series.  The blog is pretty much about criticism and analysis of American Evangelical subculture.  These books are a window into it.  

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

    “That’ll save you a little money,” he said. “Just a little over $20,000 a piece, I figure.”

    This actually looks like Danny means whatever he’s doing will save Buck a little over $20,000 a piece, not that each laptop will cost a little over $20,000 a piece. Which means the laptops likely cost well over $20,000 a piece. Carelessly written? Or did Jenkins really think laptops cost $50,000 or more at the time?

  • Laertesweb

    That’s funny.  Reading that scene, I was just thinking that Rayford was prone to acting like a man at least thirty years younger than he’s supposed to be.

  • arcseconds

    An IBM 5100 portable computer with 64K of RAM cost $20,000 in 1975.  Are we sure this series isn’t set in the 1970s? 

    I suppose there’s the cellphones…

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

    They’re mega-laptops. They probably have amazing futuristic abilities, such as 24/7 wireless Internet access and built-in cooling fans. Giving Buck’s penchant for conspicuous luxury, it’s probably covered in gold plate and studded with rubies and diamonds.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    A lot of right-wingers like to treat politics as a game. I cannot count the number of times I’ve been told I was just angry because “my guy” lost. It’s a completely irrational way of looking at the world that I keep forgetting exists until I smash up against it yet again.

    To be fair, that’s not unique to right wingers.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Am I alone in picturing Donny Moore as Demi Moore in drag as a Chinese boy?

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

    Oh, yes. I always feel sorry for Supreme Commander Leon when L&J purposely try to butt-monkey him in the series.

    I mean, right from the beginning they have him looking like a buffoonish sycophant who is supposed to be more concerned with titles than in getting things done, when it’s Rayford acting like Gaius frakkin’ Baltar with his egotistical need to be called Captain Steele.

    And then later they have him scratching a boil on his ass in public. (-_-)

    And then for the final ignominy he’s VERY VERY SORRY and TurboJesus just throws him back into Hell forever. _(-_-)_

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

    So they basically smushed in public domain text to pad out their copyrighted text? Talk about the epitome of laziness.

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

    Jesus has terrible copyright attorneys. 

  • Vermic

    “You’re the only one qualified to fly this plane.” Gee, is that on the plane, available, or in the world? Could this be a subtle hint that CAPTAIN RAYFORD STEELE is the only person in the world who could have the superlative skills necessary to fly this amazing plane?

    What’s hilarious is that in order for Leon to tell Rayford this, he first had to wake Rayford from his nap, a nap of several hours during which McCullum was, presumably, flying the plane.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    They’re mega-laptops. They probably have amazing futuristic abilities, such as 24/7 wireless Internet access and built-in cooling fans. Giving Buck’s penchant for conspicuous luxury, it’s probably covered in gold plate and studded with rubies and diamonds.

    Internal cooling fans are hardly unusual or expensive in computer hardware.  Granted, they do not see as much inclusion in laptops as in desktop machines, but that has less to do with rarity and more to do with technical considerations of cooling a small compact platform compared to a large box with interior open space.  Cooling fans are the cheap option, laptops usually have to spring for less cost-efficient heat transfer mechanisms because the fans are too bulky and the air channels too small to make them worth while.

  • ReverendRef

     They’re mega-laptops.

    Yep . . . Just like that fully loaded 747, everything’s got to be bigger and badder.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    To be fair, that’s not unique to right wingers.

    Indeed.  Sometimes, the loudest political voices can seem more like football hooligans than informed citizens, just looking for an opportunity to scrap with the people in the other team’s jersey.  

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

    They’re mega-laptops.

    For that price, they’d better be portable holodecks.

  • Carstonio

    I want to know why Jesus is arm-wrestling the Dodge Ram logo. Maybe he’s a Ford or Chevy fan. That would fit with Ellanjay’s concept of evil.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/Y7RI44MSCCK6FJS7OTEDTWC4YI Geoffrey W.

    “A lot of right-wingers like to treat politics as a game. I cannot count the number of times I’ve been told I was just angry because “my guy” lost. It’s a completely irrational way of looking at the world that I keep forgetting exists until I smash up against it yet again.”

    Really?  How meany times have I been told recently: “You lost.  Get over it.”  Apparently, when Republicans gloat over victory it’s “irrational” and evil, but when liberals do it, it’s just the way of the World.

  • DorothyD

    Giving Buck’s penchant for conspicuous luxury, it’s probably covered in gold plate and studded with rubies and diamonds.

    When a ruggedized laptop would make more sense. Y’know, waterproof, sandproof, dustproof, able to withstand temperature extremes or being dropped out of a Range Rover suspended in a tree an unspecified distance above the ground. You never know what’s going to happen…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ann-Unemori/100001112760232 Ann Unemori

    My father did have a computer with a built-in “Pizza Button”. Seriously, it had a little pizza slice symbol next to it, supposed to put you in touch with all the nearest pizza delivery spots. Short-lived app, but why? Why? Of all the optional choices, why did PIZZA have to go away?

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

    I wasn’t talking about gloating over victory at all, not in any way, shape, or form. (And by the way, gloating because I am now able to get the surgery I need in order to function is rather different than someone gloating over keeping that surgery from me.) I’m talking about people who literally tell me the only reason I’m upset about something is because of the side I’m on, and who treat the whole thing like a big game, as if it’s about sports teams rather than the environment, human rights, and my ability to get health care, among many other issues. Who act like I apparently flipped a coin to choose whom to support, rather than supporting people based on my principles.

    And I didn’t use the term “evil”, and I do not appreciate you posturing as if that’s what I meant. You want to accuse me of calling Republicans evil, do it when I actually did.

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

    You know, it’s really astonishing how much money Buck is throwing around. I mean, where on Earth is he getting it from?

    If his own pocket, the salary he’s paid to be such a goldbricking pill must be nigh-on unbelievable.

    If from his GC credit card, he’s a complete fool to think he can get away with throwing around his boss’s money on unaudited purchases like that without being called on the carpet for it eventually. Oh, wait. This is Buck we’re talking about; of course he’ll never be audited. (>_<)

    Laptops.

    You know, the kind of laptop L&J are probably thinking of are these ruggedized types like Hawkins has in Jericho: http://capnsmirks.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/hawkins.jpg

    Even so, Donny the genius has to be clipping Buck five grand per laptop, easily, for his own pocket and calling it a steal. As much as I despise this sort of profiteering, at least it's Buck being ripped off and not someone else.

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

    I *like* the name Arnold. :P I should write another flashfic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667708632 Kenneth Raymond

    Think of the movie Serenity

    This bit is why having geeky professors is the best thing, when you can turn in major papers analyzing SF series and movies.

    For me the most chilling line in the movie has to be, “They’ll swing back to the belief that they can make people… better.” Not discourage evil, not urge people to good works, not pass laws based on social mores… Make people better, like you would improve a computer’s performance by doing a format and reinstall. Treating people as things whose performance just needs to be tweaked for optimal output.

    It’s at the heart of a lot of authoritarian thinking, especially these days, and I’m sure with L&J’s ideas as well (given that they’re pretty authoritarian too…). Heck, their whole idea of a conversion experience has more in common with someone installing a new OS on their computer rather than an organic experience of learning and growing into a new faith and community. I wonder if this kind of thinking is where their weird, behind-the-curve technofetishism comes from, because while they’re painfully wrong about both people and technology, they can at least be reliably and consistently wrong about technology in the same ways from unit to unit. From person to person, they’re wrong in entirely new ways every time. Reducing people to machines that take rules and perform (largely) the same way every time would be rather the, ahem, godsend to them, I’m sure.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    For me the most chilling line in the movie has to be, “They’ll swing back to the belief that they can make people… better.” Not discourage evil, not urge people to good works, not pass laws based on social mores… Make people better, like you would improve a computer’s performance by doing a format and reinstall. Treating people as things whose performance just needs to be tweaked for optimal output.

    Yeah, so?  I treat myself like that.  Frankly, I would feel more comfortable if society treated me that way too.  

    Which reminds me, I need to get on that Cybermen costume one of these days… 

  • DorothyD

    Am I alone in picturing Donny Moore as Demi Moore in drag as a Chinese boy?

    Yes. But then, I’m picturing him as Mr. Universe from Serenity. Because that makes me happy. 

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

    Well, there is the question of whether or not the price simply reflects the hardware or if we’re also talking software.

    Even with volume licensing, there are application suites that could drive the price up pretty quickly, though it would still be difficult to hit that price point.

    In terms of software that the Tribbles might conceivably have a use for, that would include stuff like the Adobe Creative Suite and MS Office – possibly with the added costs of Project and Visio – which would easily add several thousand dollars to the overall cost.

    There’s also the possibility of the laptops being ruggedized, Toughbook-style systems designed to survive on the front lines of combat – if you went with the overall ruggedized approach and used absolute top-of-the-line internals – most ruggedized systems tend to have middle-of-the-road and even low-end components, as they generally sacrifice performance for durability – you might, conceivably start getting close to that price point, particularly if Donny is engaging in even a minimal amount of price-padding.

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

    I was totally picturing Donny padding the price unbelievably, heh.

    I hit up Overstock.com to get an idea of prices on Toughbooks.

    Here’s one example.

    Even fudging for the fact that L&J wrote this series in ~2000, when laptop parts were even more expensive than they are today, the maximum cost of such a laptop would have to be $10k apiece.

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

    And then later they have Leon Fortunato scratching a boil on his ass in public. (-_-)

    He does get to kick some ass occasionally though. He toasts Hattie Durham with a fireball in a later book. 

    If from his GC credit card, he’s a complete fool to think he can get away with throwing around his boss’s money on unaudited purchases like that without being called on the carpet for it eventually. Oh, wait. This is Buck we’re talking about; of course he’ll never be audited. (>_<)

    He could easily justify this purchase as part of his job. Perhaps not in the real world, but in Carpathia’s world, why not? Carpathia personally owns 100% of the entire planet’s GDP at this point. (OK, minus Israel, for now) and knows that money will have no value in roughly 5 years. The global GDP was, what, $30 trillion USD when these books came out; even if you take into account the economic damage caused by the Rapture and WW3 (and Jenkins didn’t), $20,000 for four laptops would hardly be missed.

  • P J Evans

    Nicolae’s cat is named Puffington.

    It’s ‘Arnold’ to its friends. *g*

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=667708632 Kenneth Raymond

    And who do you trust with the power to reprogram others, including yourself? Whose vision of society do you think should be installed into people? You say you treat yourself like that but that’s of your own will. I understand and can even get behind the fact that politics is inherently an act of social engineering, but L&J (and the Alliance in Firefly/Serenity) are more interested in overriding people’s individual wills and removing the ability to dissent. It’s a system you can’t even emigrate from because the desire to leave it is indicative of illness, in their eyes, and a contagious one that must be quarantined.

  • DorothyD

    On further thought, now I’m seeing it…

  • Tybult

    I imagine those “key people” at the news organization were surprised to
    learn that Buck hadn’t been killed when World War III began a few days
    ago.

    You are far more charitable than me.

    When I imagine myself working for a Buck-type during a global meltdown, I see myself learning that Buck-o’s alive and saying something like, “Oh fuck me, how in god’s name is that shithead still alive?”

    That’s realistic, for me. In my romantic imagination, I immediately lead a charge to the nearest janitorial closet so we can begin fashioning makeshift weapons for the next time Buck-o stops by.

  • P J Evans

     The commercial license for Google Earth: $400 per computer per year.

    Something like ArcGIS, to figure out the best location to drop the next bomb, based on demographics? I don’t know how well it would do on a laptop, but it might run OK.

  • SisterCoyote

     I think it’s another Manly Man of Machismo thing. Manly Men of Machismo get car deals by arguing like a Manly Man, and they are respected by lesser men, so they also get everything-else deals. Getting a bargain (out of your Manly Macho skill of Being a Douche to the Salesman until S/He Wants to Get Rid of You by Any Means Necessary Logical and Aggressive Haggling) is a Manly Macho Skill, and therefore

    therefore Buck and Rayford are assholes I mean Real Men.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Wait.

    If Ray-Ray is the only one qualified to fly the plane, who was flying the plane while he snored for hours?

    Did I misread something or is this just another classic LaJenky plot-hole?

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

    If not McCullum, he would have had it on autopilot. Given that once you set course and direction, if all other planes are grounded it’s even safer than falling asleep at the wheel of a car.

  • Ken

    contriving a situation in which Rayford can listen in on a meeting

    You forgot to say that there is no reason for this eavesdropping, since Rayford will do absolutely nothing with the information, either to hinder the Antichrist or to help the people targeted by his plans.

    Also, you forgot to say that water is wet, elephants are bigger than mice, and humans breathe oxygen.

  • SisterCoyote

     You treating yourself like that, and asking others to treat you like that, is one thing.

    You saying that the government not only treat all of us like that, but – in context, do you realize that the “solution” to bad behavior was (SPOILER) to znahsnpgher n xvaq bs qeht gung qenfgvpnyyl punatrq gurve oenva purzvfgel ol negvsvpvny zrnaf?

  • Beroli

    Yeah, so?

    So, that’s not what people are.

    I know you’ve had this explained to you before. Lots of times. And you’ve never tried to defend your viewpoint with anything but reassertion–though I think you’ve actually said you know said viewpoint is wrong, but I could be misremembering. Society is an artificial creation of people for the benefit of people. People do not exist to serve society.

  • Some Guy Who Hates Pants

    From Wiki   Rayford was born 42 YBR (years before the Rapture) in Belvidere, Illinois to working-class parents. While growing up, Rayford is embarrassed by his family’s low socioeconomic status, and he makes it his goal to attend college and become either a professional athlete or a pilot. When he Attended Belvidere High School, He was voted Homecoming King, He eventually obtains an Air Force ROTC scholarship to attend Purdue University; while there, he meets a fellow ROTC cadet two years his junior, Irene

    I can’t beleive that Irene Steele could have ever been a cadet, I always pictured her as being a Home Economics major.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/Y7RI44MSCCK6FJS7OTEDTWC4YI Geoffrey W.

    1. Gloating over a massive expansion of spending and government is no more appealing than gloating over a renewal of fiscal responsibility.  People have different priorities.  You want Big Brother to take care of you.  I want my children to be unburdened by tens of thousands of dollars of debt incurred by their greedy elders.  If you feel that either of these positions is morally superior, than you’re probably wrong.

    2. “You lost.  Get over it.” is a celebration of one side over the other.  It proclaims nothing more than that Obama’s (slim) majority henceforth precludes any discussion of his agenda.  Be assured that the LAST thing that most liberals want to do is ntellectually defend their arguments.  You don’t like it when Conservatives dismiss your being upset as mere partisianship?  Then tell your liberal friends not to take the same position.  And you can start with Obama, who quoted those exact words to the Republicans on more than one occasion.

    3. This entire thread is all about evil and the nature of it.  Raising any party as the villian in this context is to strongly imply evil motives.  In any case, you have certainly called Republicans irrational and unserious (about serious matters) which is close enough to evil for my purposes.  It’s certainly no complement.  Not to mention their supposed delight in prolonging your health agonies, unchecked pollution and human rights abuses.  In your world, do they also tie babies to railroad tracks while sinisterly twirling their mustaches?
     

  • Some Guy Who Hates Pants

    I want to believe that $20,ooo of Jenkin’s money ended up in some tech guys pocket for a notebook word processor.

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

    1. Gloating over a massive expansion of spending and government is no
    more appealing than gloating over a renewal of fiscal responsibility. 
    People have different priorities.  You want Big Brother to take care of
    you.  I want my children to be unburdened by tens of thousands of
    dollars of debt incurred by their greedy elders.  If you feel that
    either of these positions is morally superior, than you’re probably
    wrong.

    And this kind of false dichotomy does you no credit.

    http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-PowerDistribution.html

  • Tricksterson

    I thought Ray had a co-pilot?  If he’s not qualified to fly the plane, why have him?

  • GeniusLemur

     Well, they have to have the BEST everything, and the way L&J convey (and understand) “best” is to list all the bells and whistles and give it an enormous price tag.

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

    Probably not that much but it sounds like L&J just made up that $20k number because it sounded impressive.

  • GeniusLemur

     You’d also think he’d be familiar with the concept of “your superior,” but nope.

  • GeniusLemur

     And “evil” is defined as “anyone whose views are even slightly different from yours”

  • Ttricksterson

    Just more evidence for my theory that each sentence in these books is self contained, bearing no relationship to any of the other sentences.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    I know a guy who’s a disability support worker, and one of his clients is a young guy in his 20s who uses assistive speech technology. He has a keyboard with the usual common phrases and letters to type out words when needed. It includes two separate buttons for “no”. One of them, when pressed, says “No” in a polite, measured tone. The other says “Fuck off!” Quite a nice personal customisation, I thought.


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