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.”

 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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://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? 
     

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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/profile.php?id=659001961 Brad Ellison

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

  • aunursa

    DELETED

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Le Sigh…

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!”

  • 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?

  • esmerelda_ogg

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

  • 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.

  • 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/people/Sue-White/1605859612 Sue White

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

  • 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.)

  • Tricksterson

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • GeniusLemur

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

  • 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.

  • GeniusLemur

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

  • P J Evans

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

  • 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.)

  • 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://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://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.

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.


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