NRA: Like there’s no tomorrow

Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist; pp. 126-127

In real life, the problem with most energy and environmental policy is that it’s too short-sighted. Here in the world of Left Behind, Nicolae Carpathia has the opposite problem. His energy and environmental policies are not short-sighted enough.

The Antichrist’s first mention of his new policies for oil and energy is a bit silly, but at least it’s something we can comprehend:

“I am also initiating a one-dollar-per-barrel tax on oil at the well, plus a ten-cents-per-gallon tax at the pump on gasoline.”

This is another of Nicolae’s many “Dr. Evil” moments — “One million dollars!” This new tax on oil and gas is meant to be evidence of Carpathia’s tyrannical nature, but it’s unlikely most people will really notice, since both costs are well within the range of normal volatility. He’s supposed to be the epitome of cruelty and evil. Seems like that ought to involve a bit more than prices at the pump rising from $3.67 to $3.77 a gallon.

But the Antichrist’s next little bit about oil really gets confusing. This will take a bit of work to unpack:

“As you know, the second largest pool of oil, second only to the one in Saudi Arabia, was discovered above the Prudhoe Bay in Alaska. … The Global Community will appropriate the vast oil fields in Alaska, including that huge pool. Years ago it was capped off to satisfy environmentalists; however, I have ordered teams of laborers into the region to install a series of sixteen-inch pipelines that would route that oil through Canada and to waterways where it could be barged to international trade centers. We already own the rights to oil in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, and the rest of the Middle East. That gives us control of two-thirds of the world’s oil supply.

“We will gradually but steadily raise the price of oil, which will further finance our plans to inject social services into underprivileged countries and make the world playing field equal for everyone. From oil alone, we should be able to profit at a rate of about one trillion dollars per year.”

Some parts of that are impossible and baffling. Other parts of it are infuriating. In places it’s both. It seems that Nicolae’s grand plan is to raise the price of oil by rushing more of it to market so that his one-world government Global Community won’t be dependent on foreign oil. Once again I’m deeply confused, but not quite as confused as the authors and their characters seem to be.

Let’s start with the notion that Nicolae Carpathia’s totalitarian one-world government controls only “two-thirds of the world’s oil supply.” Who could possibly control the other third of it? Is it multinational oil companies like Exxon/Mobil? How are they still around under the evil reign of the Antichrist?

Apparently, just like Pan-Continental Airlines, those multinationals continue to operate as powerful, independent, private enterprises. It seems that after abolishing all national sovereignty, instituting global disarmament, a single world government, single currency, single language, single religion, and single, state-controlled media monopoly, the Antichrist chose not to interfere with Wall Street and the other “international trade centers.” One would think that all three words of that phrase — international trade centers — would be meaningless here, but it seems that the Great Tribulation is not a market holiday.

This is a strange surprise in an apocalypse created by long-time John Birch Society member Tim LaHaye. It was there, among the Birchers, that LaHaye learned to view the United Nations through the lens of paranoid conspiracy theories he then turned around and imposed onto the book of Revelation. But the whole point of that conspiracy was that the UN was the first step toward a socialist one-world government. LaHaye’s Antichrist-led OWG is, by contrast, remarkably capitalist.

I can’t figure out quite what to make of the sneering at “environmentalists” here either. I thought that environmentalists — like the UN, and pacifists, and every other kind of liberal — were supposed to be part of the conspiracy paving the way for the eventual reign of the Antichrist. Yet here the Antichrist himself seems to regard them with the same contempt he expressed for evangelists and real, true Christians. If the Antichrist hates environmentalists, doesn’t that make them the Good Guys? Here is the Antichrist undoing the environmental agenda of conservation, so doesn’t that mean Christians today ought to be fighting for conservation as part of our “Tribulation Force” agenda of opposing the coming Antichrist?

That general principle is clearly at work in the following paragraph, where Nicolae reiterates his support for “social services [in] underprivileged countries.” It seems there that his enthusiasm for such efforts is meant as a warning to Christian readers not to support such an agenda.

The weird phrasing there reflects the authors’ incurious ignorance about what aid and development really look like. Their only idea of any effort to assist poor people is through some vague sort of “social services” — some dependency-inducing bureaucratic program wasting our tax-dollars on handouts for the undeserving poor. That’s what that phrase “social services” connotes here — an international version of their mythological caricature of anti-poverty efforts as food stamps that strapping young bucks and welfare queens can spend on alcohol, color TVs and Cadillacs. (I said color TVs and not flat-screen TVs because I’m guessing Tim LaHaye hasn’t bothered to update the technology in this right-wing fantasy since the Reagan Era.)

I suppose Nicolae’s betrayal of environmentalism here is meant to parallel his betrayal of pacifism earlier in the book — meaning that it’s not a betrayal at all, but an unmasking of the true nature of all supposed environmentalists and pacifists. LaHaye believes that one day soon the real Antichrist will rise, just like Nicolae in these books, by preaching a message of pacifism and disarmament. And then, having lulled everyone into a false sense of security, he will turn around and make war on a world no longer able to defend itself.

But LaHaye is not suggesting that the Antichrist will be a counterfeit pacifist. He believes, rather, that pacifism is always counterfeit — that all pacifists are like this, deviously pretending to be peace-loving and nonviolent until the world lets its guard down and they can strike. This is another place where LaHaye’s Bircher roots can be seen — another remnant of the Cold War paranoia that sees all talk of peace and diplomacy as appeasement by dupes, fellow-travelers and fifth-column spies.

But the biggest problem with the plans that Nicolae outlines above is that he is, in fact, the Antichrist, and he’s now more than half-way through the second year of his reign. And that means that human history has just under five and a half years remaining.

Consider what that fact means for Nicolae’s proposed oil and energy policies.

Among other things, it makes his whole Prudhoe Bay project a waste of precious time. He’s correct in no longer caring about the conservation of natural resources or wilderness habitats. Conservation is pointless here. But so is drill, baby, drill. By the time his new pipeline gets built and this oil is ready for transport, Killer Jesus will already have landed on the Mount of Olives to close the curtain on human history.

This vast new pool of oil isn’t necessary in Nicolae’s world. Energy scarcity is no longer a problem. Time scarcity has replaced it. If the world has 30 years’ worth of oil left, but only five years’ worth of years left, then for all intents and purposes, the world now has an infinite supply of oil.

The Antichrist doesn’t seem to realize that this changes everything. Think of all the current limits and drawbacks of our dependence on fossil fuels here in the real world. They present huge problems regarding both wells and sinks. The wells are running dry and the sinks are filling up. We can’t go on burning oil like there’s no tomorrow because tomorrow we might run out of the stuff and because future generations will be saddled with a poisoned environment and an altered climate.

But Nicolae doesn’t have to worry about tomorrow or about future generations. He’s only got about 2,000 tomorrows left, and he doesn’t have to care about future generations because: A) he’s evil, and B) there won’t be any. He doesn’t need to go around singing, “I believe the children are our future” because the future evaporated in this story right about the same time all the children did.

There’s a sense in which I find it encouraging that the authors don’t seem to have given much thought to any of this. It would have made for a better story if they had bothered to work out all the implications of the constrained future facing Nicolae’s government, but it’s probably much better for us here in the real world that they haven’t.

Tim LaHaye says that our remaining time is short. The Rapture, he insists, could occur at any moment. Like most premillennial dispensationalist “Bible prophecy scholars,” LaHaye believes that the Rapture and the consequent End of the World is prophesied to come within one “generation” of the restoration of the nation of Israel — a prophecy they insist was fulfilled with the creation of the modern state of Israel in 1948. In the 1970s, Hal Lindsey and many other popularizers of these prophecy schemes said that a biblical generation was 40 years — a number repeated with great enthusiasm up until 1988 had come and gone. It’s been almost 65 years since the modern state of Israel gained its independence, but that PMD belief in “one generation” persists, and in the minds of people like Tim LaHaye, the clock is ticking ever closer.

That has an influence on Tim LaHaye’s politics — and on the politics of the millions of people who read his books. It encourages them to disregard long-term thinking and to dismiss long-term concerns — particularly with regard to the very kinds of energy and environmental matters discussed in this section of Nicolae. But this influence has mostly been vague and general — as hazy and hasty as the plans of LaHaye’s fictional Antichrist described above.

And I suppose that’s good. Or, at least, that it’s better than if they had given this more thought and really begun to plan a detailed agenda for using up the last of the Earth’s resources during what they insist are the final decades before the Rapture and the end of time.

So we’ve seen that Tim LaHaye’s ideology and mythology provide him two reasons to oppose environmentalism and the conservation of resources. First because it’s pointless and wasteful to conserve resources for future generations when an imminent Rapture means there won’t be such generations or such a future. And second because he suspects environmentalism is part of the UN conspiracy to gradually usher in the one-world government which will one day be ruled by the Antichrist.

LaHaye’s anti-environmentalism is ironic, considering that Revelation is his favorite book of the Bible. It’s there, in Revelation, that we read this:

The nations raged,
but your wrath has come,
and the time for judging the dead,
for rewarding your servants, the prophets
and saints and all who fear your name,
both small and great,
and for destroying those who destroy the earth.

If I believed that the book of Revelation must be read “literally,” then I’d be a little more careful about siding with “those who destroy the earth.”

 

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  • Hth

    I like how social services are “injected” into other countries — a weirdly clinical turn of phrase that makes it sound like some kind of Nazi eugenics procedure rather than, you know, feeding the hungry and la la la.

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

    Feeding the hungry and la la la is pretty much how they look at it, at least when it’s not churches doing the work.  (Or, presumably, when it involves them actually having to give any of their own money or clothing or canned goods to do it.)

    A similar thing happens in the “near-future,” “dystopian” world of Soon.  In introducing us to the new atheistic world order that we are supposed to despise, Jenkins tells us that atheists give generously to “international humanitarian relief,” which isn’t supposed to be a good thing.  Because it’s not the Salvation Army doing it.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

     A lot of fringe types seem to believe that humanitarian aid is a cover for something sinister. Usually, it’s “social engineering,” with the aid being an excuse to turn those countries red or gay or something in that vein. It always smacks of projection to me, but there you have it.

    As to Soon, I always assumed that Jenkins was going for a “utopia with a dark side” motif, but couldn’t quite hack it. The problem is that there’s more to that trope than creating a really nice society and then having the government arbitrarily kill some people.

  • Steph

    If the aid is a loan from the IMF, then it may be a cover for something sinister.

  • Turcano

    What is this “may be?”

  • JenL

    A lot of fringe types seem to believe that humanitarian aid is a cover
    for something sinister. Usually, it’s “social engineering,” with the aid
    being an excuse to turn those countries red or gay or something in that
    vein. It always smacks of projection to me, but there you have it.

    Right, unlike the complete lack of social engineering involved when a church goes in, hands out food, preaches, builds a well, preaches more, builds a couple more things, converts the town – and tells them that as good Christians they now have to follow the good Christian rules – including divorcing the extra wives….

    Seriously.

    I remember as a child, listening to one of those “this is what your mission dollars have accomplished” presentations in church, and hearing how proud they were that the chief of one town they’d converted had been convinced to divorce 3 of his 4 wives.  This was presented as an unalloyed Good Thing – no mention of what became of the 3 ex-wives, now that they didn’t have a husband to support them.  No mentioned of whether those wives had children, or what happened to those children if they did.

    But you have to watch out for those secular do-gooders – they want to Change  People!

  • Launcifer

    Thing is, though, that the whole idea of foreign aid could be made quite threatening, at least in terms of procuring donations. Just ensure that there’s someone on every street corner rattling a tin, in the pubs, nightclubs and bars, on trains and aeroplanes. Nothing nasty, no threats of violence or anything – just place a pensioner everywhere that’s humanly possible, watching and smiling, always with the collection bucket in their hands and a polite request on their lips. Even if they’ve already donated, I’m sure people would drop another note into a tin passed around at the start of a film in the cinema, especially if it’s a packed house and everyone’s secretly watching one another. You can catch those that don’t via the security cameras that any aspiring dictator with unchecked global power should have whacked up anywhere that two or more people might come into contact for an extended length of time.

     Offer a silly little token – a brightly coloured lapel badge or something, good for only one donation cycle, different every time – to show that people have contributed if they drop something in a tin by the till in a shop or some other public space. Put up posters asking if citizens have “earned their badges” or whatever, encouraging people to question others who haven’t worn their tokens and therefore can be assumed not to have donated. Make the people justify their actions to one another.  

    Hell, Nicolae could just go on television, do a bad comedy skit (or recite the states in reverse alphabetical order or something), maybe rope in a few celebrites and take donations electronically. They could put out a “minimum suggested donation”, cover it with flim-flam about processing costs and whatnot. Then all Nicky needs to do is get someone to tag the accounts of people who don’t donate, giving him a list of potential dissenters or people who might be immune to the mind-whammy.

     Two weeks after the drive, perhaps a bit more, just send some bigger, younger but equally polite folks around to enquire as to why the people on the list didn’t donate anything and then have them recommend that they rectify this during the next donation – or how about right now? We happen to take donations and, after all, there’s never a bad time to donate to charity. Maybe let the neighbours see those vaguely but not entirely threatening folks knocking on the doorstep, so everyone on the street knows that the people over at No.142 didn’t crack their wallets this time around.

    Get the people watching one another through the curtains for long enough and they’ll dole out the beatings for anyone perceived to break ranks; beatings that the government-that-shouldn’t-theoretically-exist can deplore in suitably nudge-nudge, wink-wink language to let those arbiters of social conscience that, yes, they had done exactly the right thing, but not to do it quite so conspicuously next time.

    ‘Course, all I had to do was crack open a novel written in the late forties and discover that, wait, a certain government actually did something just like this, one upon a time. Evidently, that’s far too much work for our intrepid authorial duo.

  • alfgifu

    Hell, Nicolae could just go on television, do a bad comedy skit (or recite the states in reverse alphabetical order or something), maybe rope in a few celebrites and take donations electronically. – See more at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/03/01/nra-like-theres-no-tomorrow/#disqus_thread

    Red Nose Day has never seemed so sinister.

  • aunursa

    I don’t recall any of Nicky’s oil policy being mentioned after this flight lands.  It’s just another tangent that is forgotten after Buck’s next phone call.

  • Tricksterson

    Yeah, these books are about three steps away from being word salad sometimes, aren’t they?

  • aunursa

    But the biggest problem with the plans that Nicolae outlines above is that he is, in fact, the Antichrist, and he’s now more than half-way through the second year of his reign. And that means that human history has just under five and a half years remaining.

    It’s not clear whether Nicolae is aware that he is the Biblical Antichrist, or that he is aware of the seven-year timeline.  I don’t recall evidence that he is aware of the Tribulation timeline or prophecies until after Satan takes over his body.

  • Hth

     You know, if they’d committed to that and pursued it, I think it would’ve been interesting enough to almost save these books.   Okay, no.  That’s hyperbole, but it really would’ve been pretty interesting, yeah?  If the Antichrist has no *idea* that he has any role to play in the end of the world, and executes his role as God’s Bad Cop while all along dismissing the whole Second Coming thing as so much fundamentalist scare-mongering.

    I can’t think why they didn’t go with that, honestly.  It’s not only interesting, but it would also allow them to score points off the backs of the benignly secular good-without-God types they already can’t stand.  See, L&J?  You can be smug jackwagons *and* tell a good story, both!  At the same time!

  • Melody

    But doesn’t the anti-christ think he is going to win and beat Jesus?  What is his long game?  Does he thinks his world is going to end in 5 years?  I don’t think the Bible (or rather those interpreting it) gives the anti-christ motives and ambitions other than “be evil” and kill stuff.

  • Dogfacedboy

    He’s supposed to be the epitome of cruelty and evil. Seems like that ought to involve a bit more than prices at the pump rising from $3.67 to $3.77 a gallon.

    Maybe this is why Satan finally has to possess him, beginning in “The   Indwelling.”  If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=659001961 Brad Ellison

    What do the gas prices look like after Satan takes the wheel?

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

    Verna Zee Sensible Shoes Confrontation Countdown: 221 pages

  • Le Sigh…

    I agree it’s not clear whether he knows he is the anti-christ or not, (or whether he knows the timeline), but that just makes this all the crazier.  There’s no ideology that demands all of these specific events take place, no political theory or standing evil-scheme that calls for a world divided into X number of sectors, or a treaty with Israel, or a one world government AND a single language AND a single currency AND a single religion. And that’s without all of them needing to happen at the same time.  

    There are things he does that are harder than not doing them, like building a capital city in the deserts of Iraq, far from his home country and the centers of global influence.  There is no conceivable reason for any of these things unless he does know that he’s the antichrist or his hand is being forced completely by a supernatural power, which makes the underlying morality of the story even stranger.  

    If there are no good reasons for the anti-christ to do these things in the material world, and no knowledge on the part of the anti-christ that these are things that he needs to do to fulfill some specific satanic demands, than what need is there for an anti-christ at all?  If the rapture is a godly act, why would a single human person need to bring about all these other tribulations?  Why not 10, or 1,000 or none? 
     

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

     I’ve thought about that myself, and there’s no good answer (that would require better writers), but I have a theory anyway. We already know that Nicky, being a pawn of prophecy, lack free will. But what if he lacks even basic self-awareness? Picture the antichrist as an automaton, a sort of divine robot carrying out his appointed orders without even understanding what he’s doing. It’s a ridiculous premise, but it would at least explain his irrational behavior – he’s totally oblivious.

    It’s basically a goofy fan theory, but really – isn’t that what this whole series has been about?

  • GeniusLemur

    This makes a little more sense than an actual free-willed human being doing it like this, but we still have the problem of why his appointed orders, issued by someone of limitless intelligence and wisdom, are ridiculous gibberish.

  • P J Evans

     Maybe what he hears in his mind makes sense to him, but gets scrambles on its way to his mouth.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

     Nicky’s “programming” is highly sophisticated (he has to pass for a sapient being) but he’s still bound by it. He’s just as prone to logic loops, fatal errors, and unexpected glitches as any other autonomous entity. That’s why the devil has to take over later in the story – it’s basically an evil engineer initiating a diabolic manual override on a machine that just isn’t operating as predicted.

  • MB

    He seems to think that the environmentalists’ main purpose is to raise prices and make life miserable for Americans. He also has some strange hangups about the OPEC, judging by that list of countries.
    I don’t think that such passages are supposed to make any narrative sense. It rather looks like the author is directly commenting on current issues (or issues that were current 30 years ago), by attributing to the Antichrist whatever policies irked him at the time.

  • GeniusLemur

     Well, he’s been doing it for 2 books + 125 pages already, I don’t see why he’d stop now.

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    He seems to think that the environmentalists’ main purpose is to raise prices and make life miserable for Americans.

    That’s kind of what I was thinking.  But it would make far more sense for Nicky to say, “We’re going to shut down every drill and mining operation that currently exists, hoard all the world’s fossil fuels, and charge exorbitant prices for said fuels, all in the name of saving the environment.  Mwahahahaha.”

  • MB

    That would make a lot more sense, I agree.
    However, I don’t think this set piece is about what the Antichrist would do, but the equivalent of writing a WSJ editorial about the evils of environmentalism.
    “These “environmentalists”, secretly in the service of foreign oil-producing governments, are already doing right now *exactly* what the Antichrist will do when he gets into power! Think about it! The End Times are near!”
    By the way, why does the Antichrist finally allow the oil to be drilled? It’s because it’s under government control now. As others pointed out, the Antichrist (i.e. environmentalists) hates American freedom and free enterprise.
    It wouldn’t surprise me at all that 100 such editorials have already been written.
    How do they know this is what the Antichrist will do? It’s because they’re experts in Biblical prophecy. It’s not evident; probably this is why you need a 5000-page analysis of the Book of Revelations. Or they could be making it up.
    in other words, it’s like a really bad puppet show. If this cheapens the book, then they’d have to pay people a lot of money to buy it.

  • bekabot

    Well, the same way Jenkins and LaHaye have Nicky cross all the criteria off the Biblical Anti-Christ list (as they understand it) they also have him do all the stuff they think a liberal-secularist one-world-tyrant chief-executive governing Boss Man would do; then, as a bonus, they throw in all the things they feel would annoy their readers if such a character were to attempt to enact them.  (Like: imposing a gas tax.)  These lists are incompatible, and Nicky is (as a result) made to do silly discombobulated things, but LaHaye and Jenkins don’t let that stop them, because there’s no such thing as cognitive dissonance in their world.  The Anti-Christ’s most dedicated enemies are his most devoted servitors!!  The best way to oppose the Beast is to Xerox lots and lots of pamphlets!!  Which are not even going to be passed out amongst the populace but are going to be kept within a limited esoteric circle!!  That’ll show ’em!!  Nicky is both an environmentalist and an oilman, because he’s just that clever!!  (Many of these contradictions could be resolved by talented writers or expositors but Jenkins and LaHaye see no reason to put themselves under a strain: in their eyes, their story doesn’t have to be plausible because it’s true.)    
    To be fair, these books did in fact sell like hot cakes and still enjoy a wide circulation.  Since, as books, they’re not any good in any respect, the secret of the attraction for many people has to be that, to those same people, they feel familiar.  They paint what many people feel to be an accurate picture of what life, underneath the frippery and trimmings, is really like.  It’s a bad symptom when that many people feel that abandoned, and abandoned by an especially wrathful God.  It makes a person feel uneasy, maybe not about God, but about Man.  

  • H. Rasmussen

    For what it’s worth, a ten cent raise is a bigger percentage of the average gas price in 1997 when Nicolae was published (the data I found put it at around $1.47 a gallon). Not that it really changes the argument about it being within the range of volatility, but it’s still about a 7% increase in the base price.

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

    “I am also initiating a one-dollar-per-barrel tax on oil at the well, plus a ten-cents-per-gallon tax at the pump on gasoline.”

    Aren’t these kinds of taxes usually figured in terms of percentages?

    I guess I can see the short-term need for more oil if he’s going to raise the standard of living for everyone.

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

    Aren’t these kinds of taxes usually figured in terms of percentages?

    Not necessarily. You know how those gas prices always end in 9/10 of a cent (in the USA, of course)? That’s because there’s a tax of some amount that ends in 0.9¢. Can’t do that as a percentage.

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

    That’s because there’s a tax of some amount that ends in 0.9¢.

    I wonder why they do that.  I always assumed it worked like sales tax.

  • Helena Constantine

    At one time, the variation in gas prices between competing stations, was 25 and 4/10 cents versus 25 7/10 cents per gallon. As prices went up, they got fixed at 9/10s. I had this from grandfather who could remember such prices.

  • P J Evans

     Gas taxes tend to be figured in cents-per-gallon. (In California, the state gas tax will be going up 3.5 cents per.)

  • aunursa

    DELETED

  • answer

    There aren’t many “per barrel” taxes for oil, but fixed amount per barrel structures are common for deals between governments and oil companies.  It insulates the governments from price volatility and allows the governments to have a more stable income stream (constantly rising gas prices haven’t always been as constant, or as quick rising).  Although, if i was the head of a one world government that controlled all currency and commerce, I would charge a lot more.  

  • esmerelda_ogg

    If Ellenjay were good at worldbuilding, this muddle could be an illustration of the theory I’ve run across here and there that Satan is basically stupid – he makes elaborate would-be clever schemes, which routinely backfire, and wastes a lot of effort doing things that are pointless and nonsensical. This scene could be an illustration of how being the Antichrist, or being in the process of turning into the Antichrist, is destroying Nicolai’s ability to make logical plans.

    But we’re dealing with Ellenjay. Nevermind.

  • aunursa

    If Ellenjay were good at worldbuilding, this muddle could be an illustration of the theory I’ve run across here and there that Satan is basically stupid – he makes elaborate would-be clever schemes (which routinely backfire), and wastes a lot of effort doing things that are pointless and nonsensical.

    In other words, the client of the Acme Corporation.

  • esmerelda_ogg

     But, but, but – I always liked the coyote.

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

    When I was a kid, I thought Wiley Coyote did his shopping at our neighborhood Acme Market. :-D

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

     Wiley is actually a beta tester for Acme, which is why he gets all the stuff for free.

    “Sam, we’ll need to redo our design for the catapult.  Apparently it destroys the user in every conceivable application, even defying the laws of physics to do so.”

    “Explain to me again why there’s a market for catapults in the 20th century?”

  • Le Sigh…

    One thing missed above: more oil is meaningless without greater refining capacity.  That’s 2-4 years right there. 

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

    What I don’t get is that Nicolae’s policies kind of contradict each other.

    On the one hand, the rise in the at-pump price of gasoline will tend to curb gasoline usage, which is good if he wants to promote environmental responsibility; it could even be justified as part of a broad “We have met the end of the world in the form of the loss of our children; we have to act more responsibly to preserve the world for the few children who are now being born” program.

    And it would even make sense! Nicolae could have portrayed the loss of billions as humanity’s close call with disaster, and a wake-up call to be far better stewards of this planet.

    But on the other hand, Nicolae’s “drill baby, drill” program would lower the price of oil by increasing supply relative to demand, so that his tax program would seem to be useless if it’s to promote responsible use of energy.

    The thing is, Nicolae could be so much more effective as a Big Bad if he thought about how to purposely exacerbate the existing dislocations in the world economy.

    This penny-ante bullshit with oil is nothing. It doesn’t even rate.

  • JenL

    On the one hand, the rise in the at-pump price of gasoline will tend to curb gasoline usage, which is good if he wants to promote environmental responsibility; it could even be justified as part of a broad “We have met the end of the world in the form of the loss of our children; we have to act more responsibly to preserve the world for the few children who are now being born” program.

    Shouldn’t fuel usage have dropped dramatically anyway? 

    No school busses running.  Nobody driving across the country to take the kids to Disney World.  Nobody going out of their way to drop the kids off at daycare or school on the way to work.

    Lots of adults are gone, too, so fewer people commuting to work.  Massive disruptions on the roads would prevent people from driving much for a while during the clean-up. 

    Lots and lots of people giving in to grief and either killing themselves or just locking themselves in the house and never going out except when it’s absolutely necessary to buy groceries.

    Such a huge drop in population would be a huge drop in demand, and a huge drop in the amount of stuff to ship to stores – and all the kid-oriented stuff isn’t being shipped at all.

    How could there be a fuel shortage?  I suppose that the $0.10 a gallon price hike might seem more significant if prices had dropped back down to $1.25 or something, but are people who remember paying $3.85 supposed to be upset about prices going up to $1.35?

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     Well, I suppose there could be a fuel shortage if among the people not going to work anymore are the people whose labor makes fuel available.

  • Lori

     

     Well, I suppose there could be
    a fuel shortage if among the people not going to work anymore are the people
    whose labor makes fuel available   

    There could also be a fuel shortage if everyone Left Behind decided to run out and buy a big old penis-substitute of a gas guzzling fully loaded SUV.

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

    Given the population crash I wouldn’t be surprised if quite a few enterprising “vehicular recovery specialists” started purposely driving the biggest abandoned cars they could find just because they’d rationalize that oil would get a lot less expensive.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    There could also be a fuel shortage if everyone Left Behind decided to
    run out and buy a big old penis-substitute of a gas guzzling fully
    loaded SUV.

     Haven’t all the people who’d do that been raptured?

  • P J Evans

     Was Bucky-boy Raptured?

  • http://www.facebook.com/WingedWyrm Charles Scott

    Only the good ones that burn excessive gas as an expression of their freedom that would be infringed upon by any kind of enviromental awareness.  Everybody else would do so because… well… we’re all evil and that’s what evil people do.

    That, really, explains a lot of the actions of anybody who isn’t saved in Left Behind.  “They’re evil.  That’s what evil people do.”  Crime in general?  “They’re evil.  That’s what evil people do.”  Nuking a city?  “They’re evil.  That’s what evil people do.”  A fuel shortage?  “Evil people did something to cause a shortage of fuel.  That’s what evil people do.”

    L&J don’t have to explain why anything happens.  Evil people did evil things.  That’s what evil people do.  They only have to explain *what* happens.  In fact, the question of why never occurs to them.  The evil things done by evil people just, platonically, is.

    This is much the same as the goodness of RTCs.  It has nothing to do with what they do.  No feeding of the hungry evidences or creates it.  No clothing of the naked.  No tending of the sick.  The goodness of the RTC simply, platonically, is.  And, as they are platonically good, so everybody else is either and RTC in waiting or platonically evil.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2RAPF5V3YPOUWAZGAJ2VCQM76Q Alicia

     Amusingly, the world after all of the RTCs left but before Carpathia arrived was peaceful and idyllic despite all of the tragedy caused by the Rapture. After the Rapture, there was no rioting, only small-scale nonviolent crime, and everyone still diligently went out to work to keep things functioning the day after all of the children and a large chunk of the adults mysteriously disintegrated. It seems as if Carpathia was the only truly evil and violent person left after all the Christians died.

  • Lori

    As P J Evans notes, clearly not.

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

    There is that, which is why this faffing about with oil that Nicolae is doing, on further reflection, really doesn’t make a lick of sense at all. And further, if anything, the collapse of demand and transportation should cause further dislocations down the pipe which would allow Nicolae, if he wanted to be Mr. Evil of Evils, to make things worse at key strategic points and avoid taking blame for it.

    Alas.

  • http://www.facebook.com/WingedWyrm Charles Scott

    Remember, different people react differently.  As many people are no longer going to Disney Land, because they no longer have children, there are probably many people going to Disney Land, because there are no longer children.  Baring in mind that L&J think that Christianity is the only thing that seperates the average human being from being a pervert who’s deviations take on titanic proportions, there very well could be an unstated perpetual Disney Orgy going on.

    A few years ago, Colbert Report reported on SUV drivers who essentially revel in burning all the fuel they do, as a means of rebelling against a world that actually wants them to rein in their consumption for enviromental or just plain survival reasons.  They called this freedom.  I imagine an uptick in that kind of activity as well.

    Of course, all of that wouldn’t be necessary if only L&J had wrote in some ecoterrorist attacks on major oil reserves… or, you know, thought anything through.

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

    there are probably many people going to Disney Land, because there are no longer children

    Nowhere near enough to make up for the families with children. Also, I don’t have children, don’t want children, and don’t like to be around most children. They remind me of my own childhood, which sucked, and they also have this weird tendency to gravitate toward me, like a cat toward someone wearing black pants. But the idea of going to Disney World in a world with no children — wow.

    It’s one of those things that really brings home what a world without children would be. Otherwise, living my life, I wouldn’t necessarily notice much of a difference (though it would always be on my mind, at least until the nukes came out), but at Disney World? It would be the children are gone the children are gone ALL THE CHILDREN ARE FUCKING GONE AND WHY IS NO ONE DOING ANYTHING ABOUT THIS. Disney World would quite possibly be the most depressing place on earth.

    ETA: I unconsciously switched it to “World” from “Land” because 1) that’s where everyone went when I was a kid and 2) I now live a little over an hour away from World.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I hear Disney World doesn’t have buses that are Not In Service. They have buses that are Jasmine. And if someone dies on the premises, they can’t be declared dead till after the paramedics have got them off the property. Anything else would interfere with the Happiest Place On Earth vibe.

    I keep wanting to do a murder mystery where the murder occurs at Disney World.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

    I hear Disney World doesn’t have buses that are Not In Service. They have buses that are Jasmine. And if someone dies on the premises, they can’t be declared dead till after the paramedics have got them off the property. Anything else would interfere with the Happiest Place On Earth vibe.

    I keep wanting to do a murder mystery where the murder occurs at Disney World.

    Obligatory Snopes  link.

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

    Speaking of that, I can’t remember where I read it, but there’s a fictional story I saw (maybe it was on TV?) where a doctor is pressured to not “call it” until the patient hits the hospital so the business in question can legitimately ‘claim’ nobody has died on the premises.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Bah.

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

    “A perpetual Disney Orgy…” now THAT would be something worthwhile to get started. Isn’t there already quite a bit of Disney porn, Mickey and Minnie and Donald doing things kids would never expect?
    And we’ve all heard the rumors about Disney World being openly gay-friendly.

  • Lori

    And we’ve all heard the rumors about
    Disney World being openly gay-friendly. 

    That’s not a rumor, that’s just true. Among other things Disney has come out against Prop 8 & DOMA and Gay Days at Disney World are one of their bigger promotional things every year. That said, being gay friendly and being pro-orgy really aren’t the same thing at all.

  • Tricksterson

    Sigh, there go my Disney Princess fantasies then.

  • Lori

    Take heart. I didn’t say they were mutually exclusive, just that there isn’t 100% overlap. You’ve still got a shot :)

  • Tricksterson

    The problem with this is that it supposes that L&J believe in the law of cause and effect.  To them all the events in htese books are singular occurences with no ripple effects.

  • glendanowakowsk

    “I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.”
    “Alderaan has been destroyed?”

    “No, somebody on Earth raised taxes…”

    “The bastards!”

  • GeniusLemur

     “…as if millions of deluded crybabies had all thrown hissy fits…”
    there, fixed.

  • fraser

     I’m reminded of a Flaming Carrot comic book in which he drives off alien invaders by explaining that once they own property they’ll have to pay tax on it. “But if you have the power to tax—you have the power to destroy! We must flee your world!”

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

    As weird as it is that the OWG doesn’t own the world’s oil, it at least does explain why Nicky has been trying to accumulate wealth. Last time, we were assuming that he controlled the world’s natural resources; if he doesn’t, then he will need a lot of money. It’s curious that a man so tyrannical that he takes control of the world’s culture wouldn’t also grab all the real property, but that sort of weirdness is SOP for this universe.

    So what does the economy of the OWG even look like? There are still corporations, but since Nicky has a hand in every financial transaction on earth (I’m assuming that the electronic payment is run in house, although who the hell knows), those corporations aren’t wholly autonomous, either. At the same time, it really seems like Nicky’s fiscal power is not absolute, given that he still has to work through the same system of taxation and transfer as less totalitarian states.

    What I’m saying is that I’m confused. Anyone have a theory?

  • http://twitter.com/Jenk3 Jen K

     I’ve got a theory
    That it’s a demon
    A dancing demon
    No, something isn’t right there…

  • http://twitter.com/ChristinaArche9 Christina Archer

    Oh, I love Killer Jesus!  And Killer Nicky, killer Rayford, killer Buck-buck, killer Chloe, killer Verna-sensible shoes Zee-  doesn’t everybody in these damned books end up killing other people?   Jesus Himself said to his followers, ‘Don’t let anybody fool you.  Many people are going to say ” I’m the Christ.”  Don’t fall for it.  So, TimandJerry are ignoring that little tidbit as they ignore many other parts.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/WingedWyrm Charles Scott

    Few things to respond on.

    1.  “I believe the children have no future.  Smack them all and let them find their doom!”  I believe Nicky Carpathia should hum this all the time, just to be evil.  Or, the Jesus that battles Nick Andes could hum it.

    2.  Why does Nicky do all these things if  he doesn’t know that it’s all in script for the anti-christ?

    Two possible reasons.

    A.  Like the conversion targets of worshipers, he’s expected to follow script just because that’s how things work.  Otherwise, holding up a banana as proof of a young earth would require some research first.

    B.  Psychosis.  This one isn’t funny, but it is one of the elements of psychosis that sufferers make connections in their mind that just don’t exist in reality.  The idea that one action would lead to some form of happy ending (however specifically identified that happy ending may be) could be at the root here.  That would mean that revelations, in large part, doesn’t create a checklist that Nicolai has to meet but instead took note of his completely illogical actions.

    Option B. has the Doylist problem that it would require L&J to have a working understanding of psychosis, as well as the ways that psychosis could happen and still have the sufferer seem completely lucid and delusion free.  It would also require L&J to have some level of sympathy for the anti-christ.

    3.  I would LOVE to watch a series of Left Behind spoofs starring the looney toons, with the anti-christ played by a Wiley Coyote (not the super genius one, the one that only communicates with signs).

    4.  It’s telling that L&J think that a communist/socialist system is the inevitable result but are so accustomed to the capitalist system that we have that, when imagining an alternate world in which all the private ownership has been abolished, they still can’t imagine the stock exchange having gone away.  They can’t really be said to have identified what it is that they love when they cannot identify it as absent when imagining a world where all they love is gone.

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

    “I like the way that rolls out. Nicol A. Carpathia, Super Genius.”

    (Totally hearing everything Nicolae says in that voice now, even if you prefer the signs.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/WingedWyrm Charles Scott

    I could go along with it if, and only if, his last words are “Hello, my name is mud”, thus enabling Jesus to eat a carrot and mug the camera for his reaction.

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

    I could live with that. Heck, at least Bugs is just a trickster figure and not actually as malevolent as TurboJesus.

  • http://www.facebook.com/WingedWyrm Charles Scott

    Of course, now I’m thinking of who would fill out the rest of the Looney Toons of Tribulation cast.  Yo-Sammity-Sam would be War, the horseman.  Buck Rayford would kinda have to be the Road Runner.

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

    And Wile E Coyote died for your sins

    http://www-personal.umich.edu/~cmarx/wiley.html

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

    I would LOVE to watch a series of Left Behind spoofs starring the looney toons, with the anti-christ played by a Wiley Coyote (not the super genius one, the one that only communicates with signs).

    I am no great fan of Looney Tunes, but at least they want us to laugh at things that are funnier than…oh, let’s say, Chloe laughing at Leon Fortunato when he trips over a cord on the floor.  (This actually happens.)

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

    Oh my God. I can’t believe what sophomorically asinine depths of superficial ridiculousness L&J expect us to believe constitutes ~brave resistance~ to Nicolae.

    /(>_<)p

    (hand on forehead, thumbs down.)

  • Launcifer

    Personally, I’m now waiting for the moment when Nicky Mons Agnes inexplicably orders his flight crew to strip down to their underwear and chase him around the ‘plane while one of his co-conspirators plays Yakety Sax on a battered old eight track.

  • Tybult

    I am also initiating a one-dollar-per-barrel tax on oil at the well, plus a ten-cents-per-gallon tax at the pump on gasoline.

    You… bastard?

    Okay, let me think here. Nicolae was originally backed by a cabal of bankers and financiers.

    And as we know from the 2008 crash and the 2012 elections, bankers, financiers, and other titans of the financial industry are literally unable to find their assholes with two index fingers, as those neurons have been scrapped and replaced by the profit-finding motive.

    So imagine that Lil Nicky has a couple hundred Mitt Romneys and Sheldon Adelsons snapping at his heels all this while. He’s trying to carry out his war against God, and they keep harping on about quarterly reports.

    So what does he do? In the grand tradition of American business, he conjures up a nonsensical, shortsighted plan to make a lot of money and quick. The details don’t matter – he’s just trying to get Tagg to stop sniveling.

    ETA: Disqus has apparently added a script so that any time I copy and paste something from Patheos, a hyperlink is added after the text. The problem is Firefox doesn’t play well with it , so I ended up with twenty copies of my quote that only showed up after I hit submit.

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

    Paste into Notepad, re-paste into Disqus box. Always strips the formatting.

  • esmerelda_ogg

     Invisible Neutrino – thanks for the cut-and-paste workaround.

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

    Windows & Mac both have “paste and match style” in their Edit menus which will turn it into plain text; I do that for everything I paste into Disqus because it just flakes on styled text.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    Disqus has apparently added a script so that any time I copy and paste…a hyperlink is added…I ended up with twenty copies that only showed up after I hit submit. – Tybult (NOTE this quote had to be typed in because of the problem Tybult describes – hope I didn’t make any major typos)

    Re Disqus – I ran into the same problem (on a different thread) Saturday morning – wound up retyping the text I wanted to copy and paste, and then after publishing had to edit out all those quote-plus-hyperlink messes. Why, Disqus? WHY?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Not Disqus, I understand. ShareThis.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    @EllieMurasaki – ShareThis??? What’s that?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Thing at bottom of post with buttons to share on Facebook, tweet to Twitter, etc.

  • esmerelda_ogg

     @EllieMurasaki – Thanks. It’s still thoroughly annoying, but thank you for the explanation.

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

    Ah, that would explain why I haven’t had these problems yet. I blocked ShareThis a while back after an entirely different kind of grief it gave me. Browsing’s been much better since then.

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

    Yeah, I block a lot of Javascript, but I still find that pasting things into the Disqus box here is best done after stripping off things.

  • Andy

    The answer — which answers absolutely nothing, but it’s supposed to — is that this isn’t REALLY the Antichrist. Not yet. This is Nicolae, who’s a duped devil worshipper gay clone baby. He’s doing all this shit because he thinks he’s gonna get to rule the Earth forever. When Nicolae lies dying from the assassination which lets the Devil possess him, his last words are of shocked betrayal. So the REAL Antichrist, who knows the endgame, doesn’t show up until… midway through? Whenever that happens. Nicolae is planning for time he doesn’t know he doesn’t have.

    All attendant raised questions for this explanation are left as an exercise for the reader.

  • Jessica_R

    This is pretty much why I’ve retired from writing flash fiction for these. As I want to focus on my own stories and get them published, and secondly it’s just gone too bonkers, but at the same time deadly boring and bland as gruel, to salvage. It takes a lot of work to make bizarre  ragingly anti-semtic and racially tinged Illuminati One World Seven Dragons All Around You Seven Dragons In The Noonday Sun boring and tedious, but there you go.

  • fraser

     Ooh, do tell us when they’re out.

  • kadh2000

    After this last bit, all I can here is Nicolae CompensatingForSomething saying “Oh goody! My illudium Q-36 explosive space modulator.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/WingedWyrm Charles Scott

    Yeah, that could work.  Buck Rayford would have to be Duck Dodgers, but that could work.

    Hrmm.  The overcompensation, the rude comments, the ego without any self-awareness or true humility.  Yeah, Duck Dodgers could play Buck Rayford.

  • Vermic

    Sure, the higher taxes and Nicolae’s skimming are drains on the economy, but on the other hand military spending is only 10% of what it used to be, so overall, people probably are still coming out ahead under the potentate’s rule.  Carpathia in 2016!

    “From oil alone, we should be able to profit at a rate of about one trillion dollars per year.”

    So finally, the answer to the classic question: what do you get for the man who has everything?  Apparently cash.

    Nicolae controls the world (with the exception of Israel I guess): all the labor, resources, and economic and political and social systems in it.  So it makes no sense for him to talk about how “we will profit” from this or that policy, because for Nicolae and his ten rulers, there is no distinction any longer between things they own and things they don’t.  It’s not like they can own stuff any harder than they already do.  They control all the money and the distribution of that money and all the goods and services that money can possibly be spent on.  There’s no such thing as “profit” for these guys anymore; they’ve transcended profit.  They’ve transcended money.  Wealth is meaningless to Nicolae because he literally is the economy.

    Anyway, what does the OWG need all that oil for anyway?  Scarcity is hardly a problem in this post-Event, post-WWIII world, which is highly depopulated and only about to get more so.

  • http://kingdomofsharks.wordpress.com/ D Johnston

    Except, contrary to what we’d assumed last week, he doesn’t control all the resources in the world. We know now that he doesn’t control all the oil; it’s safe to assume that he has also failed to seize other important, if less sexy resources. And he obviously doesn’t control all the labor and production since he’s still paying for those things.

    I can’t tell you why he doesn’t control those things, since he really should. Nicky’s not much of a tyrant, it seems.

  • esmerelda_ogg

     

    I can’t tell you why he doesn’t control those things (labor and production), since he really should – D Johnston

    Considering how bad he is at strategy, maybe he hasn’t gotten around to reintroducing serfdom yet because all his attention has been on the one and only one world language project instead? Oh, and rebuilding Babylon.

  • Vermic

    Except, contrary to what we’d assumed last week, he doesn’t control all the resources in the world. We know now that he doesn’t control all the oil; it’s safe to assume that he has also failed to seize other important, if less sexy resources. And he obviously doesn’t control all the labor and production since he’s still paying for those things.

    The only sense in which Nicolae does not own the oil in Alaska is in the sense that it’s underground and he has to physically go and acquire it.  Effectively it’s his already, because whenever he wants that oil he can just point and say “gimme” and it’s gotten for him, and he doesn’t have to ask permission from anybody.  If you can make up new currencies, establish religions and languages, and nuke your own cities without answering to anyone, then you are in charge in every meaningful sense of the phrase.  Any limits on Nicky’s ability to obtain the Alaskan oil or anything else are entirely self-imposed, for reasons known only to him.  As for paying for stuff, he can print as many colorful slips of paper with his picture on them any time he likes, in any quantity he likes.  Money is no issue and it’s certainly not a meaningful goal.

    So my only explanations for Nicky’s profit scheme are that he’s either too dumb to realize that he can just have whatever he wants; or he’s being Byzantine for its own sake, like he doesn’t have enough intrigue to fill his day with.

    Of course I know the real reason is that Ellenjay are not really writing about their fictional character or their near-future world, they’re writing about contemporary real-world politics.  It’s code: Nicolae taxes harshly and enriches himself under the cover of “fairness” because that’s what Ellenjay think liberals do.  It doesn’t make sense for Nicky to do this, but after the reader puts the book down and sees a Democrat on TV talking about taxes, they want the reader to associate this with SATAN and Nicky’s ill-gotten trillions.

    So not so much Looney Tunes as Challenge of the Superfriends, where the Legion of Doom would collect all the money in the world and put it in a giant vault.

    Yes!  And to continue the crappy-comic parallels, Nicky is also like those supervillains who have universe-shaking powers and inventions, like dark sorcery or time lasers, and then use these abilities to: rob banks.  In TV Tropes lingo, this would be the Cut Nicolae Carpathia a Check trope.

    You know, I’ve heard it said about Newt Gingrich that he is a dumb person’s idea of what a smart person is like.  Nicolae Carpathia is a dumb person’s idea of what a powerful person is like.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    So my only explanations for Nicky’s profit scheme are that he’s either too dumb to realize that he can just have whatever he wants; or he’s being Byzantine for its own sake, like he doesn’t have enough intrigue to fill his day with.

    I think I just realized… Nicky is a disciple of Tzeentch!  

  • Launcifer

    Or, you know, L&J accidentally hit upon something that certain real life dictators have done throughout history and continue to do (a chippy little Austrian fellow springs to mind for a start), which often involves giving identical additional duties to two entirely different departments of government – bonus points if it has nothing to do with the original purpose for which the departments in question were created – and then watching them fight over the new bureaucratic territory purely for the pleasure of it.

    L&J being L&J, they’ve obviously not even realised what it is they happened to have tripped over and have therefore ploughed straight on without pausing to consider the potential of things they really could have ripped from reality.

  • Rae

    So my only explanations for Nicky’s profit scheme are that he’s either too dumb to realize that he can just have whatever he wants; or he’s being Byzantine for its own sake, like he doesn’t have enough intrigue to fill his day with. Either of those options could make for really interesting takes on the apocalypse.

  • Ken

     

    They own everything. It’s not like they can own stuff any harder than they already do.

    So not so much Looney Tunes as Challenge of the Superfriends, where the Legion of Doom would collect all the money in the world and put it in a giant vault.  “Ha ha ha!” Luthor, Toyman, and Bizarro would chortle, “Now we are the richest people on Earth!”  Only not so much, because money is only a medium of exchange and they aren’t exchanging it with anyone else.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     There was a made-for-tv kids movie I saw years ago where a kid gets a wish from some wish-granting entity and asks for all the money in the world, which he gets, but can not remove from his property. This nearly starts wars.

    But at one point, the nations of the world decide to just devalue the old currency and strart using monopoly money. But the leprechaun declares that as soon as you start using something as a medium of exchange, it de facto becomes money, and the monopoly money turns into greenbacks and vanishes to the kid’s lawn.

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

    The inconsistent worldbuilding really is bothersome here.

    L&J either need to convincingly portray a person who is so determined to prove they are the peacemaker-in-sheep’s-clothing (why hello, Christ Clone), or they need to have a person who knows they rule the world and don’t give a damn what happens to ordinary people as long as the world ruler can plunder the Earth’s resources for his benefit, and in doing so, check off Revelation one by one.

    I mean, it’s not like the historical examples (cough STALIN cough) are hard to find.

  • heckblazer

    It just occurred to me that  Nicolae Carpathia likely was inspired by the historical example of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu.  It took the mention of Stalinists to make the connection since Ceaușescu was a real nasty one.  Demented projects carried out because there’s no-one who can say “no” to Dear Leader’s whims aren’t uncommon,  the Great Leap Forward,  the Aral Sea canals  and most of the decrees of Saparmurat Niyazov spring to mind.  The big disconnect L&J have is that these projects themselves directly cause death and misery, whereas Carpathia’s bodycount  seems to come comes from his direct order instead of being the result of his New World Order.

  • christopher_y
  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    My reading of it is thus:  

    I think that Nicky McKinley considers environmentalists to be “useful idiots”, benefiting his cause with their naive earnest efforts, and by extension that is how Tim LaHaye sees them.  Their efforts to impede oil drilling prevent that oil from being tapped and owned, which in turn allows Nicky to sweep and and claim it immediately since his OWG allows him to simply cut through any bureaucracy, legal barriers, and market forces to just do what he wants.  

    The only reason that I can think of for him wanting to tap all this new oil is to help flood the market.  Naturally this depresses oil prices, but by controlling the supply and increasing its availability at a rate he can set he is able to gradually increase the tax rate on the oil while keeping the overall price of it stable.  I am not sure that would compute out (I would need more economic chops to analyze that conclusively) but that is the only thing I can think of that he might be trying to do. here  

    And honestly, if Nicky can build an entire city in the middle of the desert from scratch in about a year, I think he can build an oil industry in the Alaskan wilderness in a few months.  I can only imagine that these massive construction projects are made possible by forced labor.  Massive armies of workers abducted from their homes in various places around the world, thrown into a cargo container with a bunch of other people they do not know, put on a plane and shipped to their destination, working eighteen hour shifts behind razor wire encrusted fences under the watchful eye of heavily armed guards under face-concealing riot gear, and when construction is finished they get sent to the “showers” so nobody lives to tell their brutal story…

    … yeah, I can see several projects of unprecedented scale like that as being worthy of The Guy More Evil Than Hitler.  

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     

    I think that Nicky McKinley considers environmentalists to be “useful
    idiots”, benefiting his cause with their naive earnest efforts, and
    by extension that is how Tim LaHaye sees them.  Their efforts to impede
    oil drilling prevent that oil from being tapped and owned, which in turn
    allows Nicky to sweep and and claim it immediately since his OWG allows
    him to simply cut through any bureaucracy, legal barriers, and market
    forces to just do what he wants. 

    That probably isn’t far off, but remember, Ellenjay do not believe that anyone who doesn’t believe as they do “really truly passionately sincerely” believes what they claim to believe. There can be no “naive earnest efforts” by environmentalists because no environmentalist earnestly believes in environmentalism — they must all secretly agree that the systematic destruction of the planet is Just Fine, but maintain their positon purely to annoy Jesus and/or Real True American Patriot Capitalist Christians.

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

    Hence the non-RTC Left Behinds all glomming onto the Enigma Babylon faith.  Because why wouldn’t they?  They didn’t really believe the tenets of Judaism or Wicca or Islam or Buddhism, and they didn’t really not believe in any gods, so why wouldn’t they join the new shiny thing?

    Whenever I wonder if anyone might be too hard on LaJenkins, I just watch this video.  If nothing else, the hypocrisy is just breathtaking: oh, those evil atheists, using the written word to argue their position!  Thank goodness we’ve never done anything so devious!

    http://www.beliefnet.com/Video/Faiths/Christianity/Personalities-K-to-Z/Tim-Lahaye-And-Jerry-Jenkins-The-Problem-With-Atheism.aspx

    (Bonus points for Jenkins saying he respects agnostics, who are “honestly looking.”  Because you know how those lying atheists are…)

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    (Bonus points for Jenkins saying he respects agnostics, who are “honestly looking.”  Because you know how those lying atheists are…)

    That statement is just an olive branch.  The agnostics who are “honestly looking” are ripe targets for conversion.  If, upon hearing LaHay and Jenkins obvious Truth they then do not convert, clearly they are just as spiteful as any atheist and should be shunned.  

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    Bonus points for Jenkins saying he respects agnostics, who are “honestly looking.”

    So Jenkins is one of those people who thinks agnostics just haven’t come to a conclusion, as opposed to people who’ve come to the conclusion that “we cannot truly know”.  Yeah.

  • Tapetum

     Those people annoy the snot out of me. I’ve been a dyed-in-the-wool agnostic my entire conscious life. (Militant agnostic! I don’t know, and you don’t either!) I’m quite clear that the answer to the question is not just unknown to me, but fundamentally unknowable, and I’m highly comfortable with this answer.

    Cue every religious person of even the vaguest proselytizing stripe having their eyes light up when they hear the term “agnostic”, quite certain that I must be just aching to have the right answers, which of course they have.

    My only consolation is that I’ve deconverted a hell of a lot more people than most of them would dream of converting in their lifetimes. Come, be uncertain with me! Bwahahahah!!!

  • flat

    And now I to think about rayford as air security officer and buck as propaganda officer during that massive construction project

  • spinetingler

    I’d like to thank whomever recommended “The Last Dancer” in a previous thread. I’m about halfway through it and thoroughly enjoying the read.

  • Carstonio

    Even Rittenhouse in Diane Carey’s Dreadnought! was more credible as an aspiring tyrant. He gave one short, flowery speech that was more effective at selling tyranny disgusted as utopia. Carey left all the flogging of her libertarianism to her stand-in. Nicolas’s bashing of environmentalists makes no sense. I would have expected Ellanjay to have their villain describe free enterprise as the obstacle to saving the planet. Again, I suspect not just incompetent writing but also incompetent collaboration.

  • http://www.jerisko.blogspot.ca/ Drew

    I love the idea that Wall Street and Big Oil are allowed to continue existing. Pitting their capitalistic ideologies against Carpathia’s “One Everything” ideals would actually be a decent fight. Problem is, I’m not sure who I’d cheer for.

  • SkyknightXi

    Well, at least every now and then, Jenkins does remember that all the world’s children have been teleported to Heaven, so he’d probably claim that his world-building isn’t inconsistent. However, if this snippet from “Soul Harvest” (another one of Tsion’s web missives–although why Rayford calls it a “call-to-arms”, I’d like to know) is anything to go by, it seems he’s more interested in remembering the forced exile (to say nothing of other elements) when it emphasizes a point than anytime else (pp. 324-6, with the children reference near the close; I’m that terrified of leaving out a crucial part of the context):

    Today, in my secret part of the world, I learned via radio that the astounding Cellular-Solar network had made it possible already for television to be returned to certain areas. A friend and I, curious, turned on the television set. We were astounded. I expected an all-news network or perhaps also a local emergency station. But as I am sure you know by now, where television has returned, it is back full force.

    Our television accesses hundreds of channels from all over the world, beamed to it by satellite. Every picture on every channel representing every station and network available is transmitted into our home in images so crisp and clear you feel you could reach inside the screen and touch them. What a marvel of technology!

    (For those of you somehow jaded by 3D television–I personally get on fine with cathode ray–this was published in 1998.)

    But this does not thrill me. I admit I was never an avid TV watcher. I bored others with my insistence on watching educational or news programs and otherwise criticizing what was offered. I expressed fresh shock every month or so at how much worse television had become.

    (Note to self: Take a peek at what Israeli, and maybe Jordanian and Qatari, television was like in the 1990s, to see WHAT ben-Judah was supposed to be bothered about.)

    I shall no longer apologize for my horror at what has become of this entertainment medium. Today, as my friend and I sampled the hundreds of stations, I was unable to even pause at most offerings, they were so overtly evil. Stopping to even criticize them would have subjected my brain to poison. I concede that approximately 5 percent was something as inoffensive as the news. (Of course, even the news is owned and controlled by the Global Community and carries its unique spin. But at least I was not subjected to vile language or lascivious images.) On virtually every other channel, however, I saw–in that split second before the signal changed–final proof that society has reached rock bottom.

    I am neither naive nor prudish. But I saw things today I never thought I would see. All restraint, all boundaries, all limits have been eradicated. It was a microcosm of the reason for the wrath of the Lamb. Sexuality and sensuality and nudity have been part of the industry for many years. But even those who used to justify these on the basis of freedom of expression or a stand against censorship at the very least made them available only to people who knew what they were choosing.

    Perhaps it is the very loss of the children that has caused us not to forget God but to acknowledge him in the worst possible way, by sticking out our tongues, raising our fists, and spitting in his face. To see not just simulated perversion but actual portrayals of every deadly sin listed in the Scriptures left us feeling unclean.

    (Strawman Has a Point in 3…2…)

    He then proceeds in the middle of the next paragraph to list WHAT he saw in those split seconds, besides lasciviousness: “Real violence, actual murders and tortures…Sorcery, black magic, clairvoyance, fortune-telling, witchcraft, seances, and spell casting”. I can see the problem with what I put before the ellipsis, but AFTER, besides black magic and arguably witchcraft? Um, where’s the malice in the remainder?

    Anyway, point is this–Jenkins recalled the children teleportation only to highlight the unsaved’s defiance all the further. It’s worrisome that he somehow acknowledges that their grievances might be legitimate in some way, but he STILL manages to…er…demonize them.

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

    “I am not a prude.”

    Perhaps the biggest RTC lie of them all.

  • Dmoore970

    OK, so we know that L&J think taxes are the epitome of all evil.  Last week someone pointed out that truly evil tyrants use their taxes to line their own pockets.  Carpathia is using them to raise living standards in the Third World. 

    What am I to conclude from this, but that L&J think spending tax money on the poor is worse than spending it to line one’s own pockets.

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

    Then again, as far as right-wing politicians are concerned, they seem to at least half believe the myth that tax money is clearly going to a black hole, or to Anyone But White Folk.

  • P J Evans

     I saw one comment on a news site that referred to money collected in taxes as being destroyed. (Teh Stoopid, it burns.)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2RAPF5V3YPOUWAZGAJ2VCQM76Q Alicia

    That kind of fits in with the Cold Warrior mindset that these books tend to have at times. The Papa Doc Duvaliers and Fulgencio Batistas were OK even though they were just as authoritarian and violent as the Allende and Castro types, but the latter had to be pushed out as quickly as possible because their social spending  hinted at Communism and that’s just not on.

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

    I shall no longer apologize for my horror at what has become of this
    entertainment medium. Today, as my friend and I sampled the hundreds of
    stations, I was unable to even pause at most offerings, they were so
    overtly evil. Stopping to even criticize them would have subjected my
    brain to poison. I concede that approximately 5 percent was something as
    inoffensive as the news. (Of course, even the news is owned and
    controlled by the Global Community and carries its unique spin. But at
    least I was not subjected to vile language or lascivious images.) On
    virtually every other channel, however, I saw–in that split second
    before the signal changed–final proof that society has reached rock
    bottom.

    Ah-HA! I’ve got it! Tsiom Ben-Judah is the CAPAlert guy! :P

  • Mrs Grimble

    “I am also initiating a one-dollar-per-barrel tax on oil at the well, plus a ten-cents-per-gallon tax at the pump on gasoline.”

    “.. That is of course, US barrels, US gallons and US cents.  For the ex-UK block, it will be £1.50 per UK barrel, 15 pence per UK gallon; for the other ex-EU countries it will be 2 Euros per decilitre and 0.5 Euros per litre, for the ex-Chinese block, it will be 20 fen per…..”
    “I am also
    initiating a one-dollar-per-barrel tax on oil at the well, plus a
    ten-cents-per-gallon tax at the pump on gasoline.” – See more at:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/03/01/nra-like-theres-no-tomorrow/#disqus_thread
    “I am also
    initiating a one-dollar-per-barrel tax on oil at the well, plus a
    ten-cents-per-gallon tax at the pump on gasoline.” – See more at:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/03/01/nra-like-theres-no-tomorrow/#disqus_thread

  • P J Evans

     I thought the UK was using liters these days. (Price per liter approximately the same numbers as price per gallon in the US.)

  • Mrs Grimble

     We measure  in litres when we put petrol or diesel in our vehicles, but we still use pints, gallons* etc  for most other things. Converting between the two measures isn’t difficult if you don’t want exact numbers – 1 litre is around 2 pints, there are 8 pints to a gallon, so a gallon* is approximately 4 litres.
    Currently, the average cost of petrol here is 138.32p a litre.  The current conversion of sterlings to dollars makes that approximately $2.08. Google says that 1 litre =  0.264172 US gallons.  My calculator says that  a US gallon of petrol at UK prices would cost $7.87.  

    *UK gallons are not the same as US gallons btw

  • P J Evans

     US gallons are your old ‘wine gallons’. The current price-per-gallon in my area is about US$4.25, but we’re also a high-price area. (People complain about the price, but a lot of them have never been to Europe and are truly clueless.)

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

    I did some quick math, and at current Vancouver prices, ($1.40 Cdn / L) we’re at around $5.30 a gallon.

  • Mrs Grimble

    ARRGHH! Damm you Disquis!!   Everybody please just ignore everything after my first paragraph.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MEJ4FWDLETFH7BTEMY27VNVGM4 Matthew

    “LaHaye’s Antichrist-led OWG is, by contrast, remarkably capitalist.”
    Hmm.  I guess that this means that Obama isn’t the antichrist after all.

  • aunursa

    DELETED

  • bekabot

    About the state of Nicky’s knowledge as to whether or not he’s the Anti-Christ:

    1)  Dorothy L. Sayers once wrote an essay on religion in the drama in which she acknowledged the difficulty of dramatically portraying Christ.  It’s hard to play a man who exists at least as much as an abstraction as a person: as much as a Person in the Trinity as a person in the world.  (It’s hard to write lines for him, too.)  She directly tackled the question of whether a dramatized* Christ should “know” he’s the son of God, as said that while yes, probably he should know, still, a well-dramatized Christ should know he’s the son of God in the same way a man who’s a genius knows he’s a genius (or, to pick a less heighty comparison, the way a man who’s got brown hair knows his hair is brown). IOW, for Sayers, Christ comes across better dramatically when portrayed as a man who happens to be the son of God than as The Son Of God who looks, temporarily, like a man. 

    That makes sense.  It would be pretty funny if you made a movie about the life of Leonardo Da Vinci and had the actor who plays Da Vinci carry a sign that says “I AM A GENIUS” all the way through it, or if Anne Hathaway in the Les Mis movie were made to sing a few bars about how, in the book, Fantine’s hair is blonde, while her own Anne Hathaway hair is actually dark brown.  That would make people laugh, which is not the movie’s object; at least one expects not.

    So, by that rule, Nicky might “know” he’s the Anti-Christ in the way he knows he’s a charismatic politician (we know this b/c the books he’s in tell us so) or that his hair is blond.  It’s part of the background of his life but he isn’t thinking about it specifically all the time.  When he comes up with evil plans about what to do next, he consults his own Nicky preferences, puzzling as those might be, rather than asking himself: “What would the Anti-Christ do in this situation?  I must fulfill all the conditions of the Scofield Reference Bible!! What’s next in line?”  Nicky would live his life from moment to moment, the way most of us do and the way Sayers’s dramatized Christ does.  It’s only when you get a view from a mile or two up that the pattern becomes clear.

    2)  But that brings me to my next point, which is that I don’t believe Jenkins and LaHaye are thinking in these terms.  Far from it.  For them the pattern is already clear because they already know what it is.  The theology they’re operating out of tells them what it is, and it isn’t necessary for Nicky either to know or not-know.  He is motivated solely from without.  He exists in order to fulfill x number of conditions, and awareness on his part about whether he’s fulfilling them or not is irrelevant.  Nicky is an empty suit and an empty set. He is a lay figure, and that’s all.

    Of course this enables Jenkins and LaHaye to insert an additional jab against people who don’t read the Bible, or who don’t read the right kind of Bible, or who do read the right kind of Bible but read it the wrong way.  The implication throughout the Left Behind books is that Nicky would know who/what he is if only he read the Scofield Reference Bible with precisely the right guidance and instruction, but, since these are not available to him, and, more important, since he’s a liberal/secularist fool full of his own folly, he is doomed not only to be evil (most likely there’s no cure for that) but to be ignorant as well.  If Nicky knew his role in the story Jenkins and LaHaye are telling — well, then he’d know his role in that story; but since not, not.  (Or not yet.)  QED. 

    *or fictitious

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YFSNWTUMXUCUSUNFTORWBNJHHQ Jared

    Or, it’s a plan to make Nicolae more endearing to the world. Hey, I’m taxing those Evil Gas Guzzling SUV drivers to help poor people in the 3rd world, and if you don’t like it, you hate poor people and want them all to die from hunger that could be solved if you were -only- willing to pay an extra 10 cents at the pump.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YFSNWTUMXUCUSUNFTORWBNJHHQ Jared

    *ETA, I forgot to add the second part, Nicolae wants to built loyalty from the people of the world by promising to make Real True Effort to fight poverty in the 3rd world. And all it costs you is an extra 2 dollars on your weekly gas bill. 

  • Maggie_Blume

    I have a strange feeling that the people who bought Glenn Beck’s “Agenda 21” read these books as teenagers, it would explain why they think living in sustainable communities and having bike trails is evil because the UN suggested it.  

  • http://twitter.com/dunesen Philip Pangrac

    It’s been years since I read the series, so maybe I’m forgetting some explicit points or clues, but is it at all possible that Carpathia doesn’t know about the seven year situation? Maybe he really believes he’ll rule for several decades.

    It doesn’t explain a lot of things, but it may answer certain issues like this. It wouldn’t be hard to explain; just say Satan deceived Carpathia.

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

    Oh no, he knows. Handwaved by L&J in the sense of “BUT SATAN SO THERE”.

  • phoenix_feather

    Maybe the explanation for Nicolae’s baffling plan is simpler than we thought. Everything that we hear Nicolae say here is filtered through Rayford, isn’t it?  So maybe this entire “plan” is meaningless bullshit designed to throw an eavesdropping Rayford off track.  Maybe the moment he stopped listening in we’d get an exchange like this:

    Nicolae: … so we’ll have trillions of dollars in oil but instead of dollars we’ll replace our currency with sticks of bubble gum-
    Leon:  Aaaaand Captain Steele has turned off his headset!
    Nicolae: Oh, thank hells!  I wasn’t sure how much longer I could go on. Do you think Steele took the bait?
    Leon: Looks like.  We’re tracing a call from him to Buck Williams as we speak.  He seems very excited to report that the Antichrist’s evil plan involves competing for oil with countries that no longer exist.
    Nicolae: Good, that will keep the rebels distracted while they try to figure out what the hell I was talking about, not to mention who owns the remaining third of the world’s oil. Now to get down to the real business, Mr. Hickman will give us an update on the progress of our reeducation camps …

  • Daniel

    “I have ordered teams of laborers into the region to install a series of
    sixteen-inch pipelines that would route that oil through Canada and to
    waterways where it could be barged to international trade centers.”

    “How?” asked one of the Ambassador Kings.

    “Yeah, how?” Asked a second “How have you arranged such an enormous piece of engineering which- if I got this correctly- involves laying a network of pipes from Alaska, through what used to be Canada and to… sorry, which waterways? I mean there’s loads of water around Alaska anyway, why bother? But, if I may return to my original point here, how have you arranged this without anyone knowing?”

    Nicholae tapped his temple.

    “That doesn’t really answer any of my questions, potentate.”

    “It’s all in here, you see!” he tapped his temple again.

    “Right… so I’ll try again, who’s digging this pipeline? What firm is doing the work? Did you put it out for tender?”
    “It’s not Haliburton is it?” asked the Ambassador King of the United Islands of Malta, Andorra, San Marino and Rhyl

    “No. It’s someone…a little more…US!” The specially installed spotlight under his chin lit up making him look all evil and that, and he did that finger steeple thing that evil people do when they’re plotting evil stuff.

    “Who, exactly? Sorry to keep pressing the point,” said the Ambassador King of Guam and the Monosyllabic Toponyms “But who?”
    “Very well. I will answer. I will dig a bit. Then Hattie will dig a bit. Then Chaim, and then Steve.”
    “Who’s Steve?” Asked the Ambassador King for Narnia and “Africa”
    “He doesn’t appear very often, but he knows Buck.”
    “Ah, right.”

    “And” said Nicolae, spinning triumphantly in his spinny office chair of doom “I have recently bought out the worlds major spade manufacturers! So there’s plenty of spades if any of you want to give me a hand! Are you all free this weekend?”

    The Ambassador King from Rockall and West Chimney came to a conclusion.
    “I think Nick’s a bit mental.” He said to murmured agreement.


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