NRA: In the house of the Lord forever

Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist; pp. 183-189

Chapter 10 begins unremarkably enough, but then, suddenly, it grabs the reader by the lapels and hurls them forcibly out of the story. This happens twice in the next half-dozen pages.

I don’t mean that the reader encounters a few little hiccups or rough spots in the story. These are insurmountable obstacles that slam down in front of you. The sort of thing that causes one to say, “No. No that cannot be.” And then to close the book, get up out of the chair and walk away.

I’m not talking here about the sort of thing that merely makes one realize one is reading a poorly written book. Nor even about the kind of thing that might provoke a reader to post a no-star review on Amazon. What happens here, rather, is the sort of thing that ought to make readers contact the CFPB to inquire about the possibility of criminal penalties for Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins and Tyndale House publishers. It’s the sort of thing that ought to lead to a lucrative class-action lawsuit on behalf of anyone who ever purchased or read this book. Perhaps a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all readers everywhere, living or dead. And all writers, editors, publishers, Christians, Jews and English speakers.

It’s that bad. And it happens, as I said, twice in these six pages. We’re going to deal with just the first of those this week.

Buck Williams has hailed a cab from his hotel to return to the Western Wall, where he hopes to ask “Moishe and Eli” again for help in finding his friend the former Rabbi Tsion Ben-Judah. They’ve already told him that Tsion is in Galilee, but he’s hoping for more specific instructions. “How far to Galilee?” he asks the cab-driver.

The cabbie took his foot off the accelerator. “You go to Galilee? Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.”

Buck waved him on. “I know. Wailing Wall now. Galilee later.”

The cabbie headed for the Wailing Wall. “Galilee now Lake Tiberius,” he said. “About 120 kilometers.”

Here is evidence that Jerry Jenkins may have done a tiny bit of research, likely involving a map of Israel and the West Bank. So Jenkins has looked at such a map– at least enough to approximate the distance to, and the spelling of, Tiberias. Remember that later.

For now, though, brace yourself, because here comes the first Impossible Thing in this chapter:

Hardly anyone was at the Wailing Wall or even in the entire temple mount area at this time of the night. The newly rebuilt temple was illuminated magnificently and looked like something in a three-dimensional picture show. It seemed to hover on the horizon. Bruce had taught Buck that one day Carpathia would sit in that new temple and proclaim himself God. The journalist in Buck wanted to be there when that happened.

The newly rebuilt temple …

This is how readers learn that the Temple in Jerusalem has been rebuilt. We’ve been wandering around Jerusalem with Buck Williams for a couple of chapters now, but until this off-handed description of background scenery here, this is the first we’ve heard of this. We read a multi-page account of Buck’s earlier visit to “the Wailing Wall” and yet, somehow, nothing in that scene saw fit to mention that above that wall now sat “the newly rebuilt temple.”

Our story takes place here, in Jerusalem. Except it’s not Jerusalem. It’s nothing at all like Jerusalem.

That’s astonishing just on the basic level of describing the scenery, but what’s even more astonishing is that the authors don’t seem to see any significance in the Temple other than as just scenery.

I don’t know if you’ve ever read the Hebrew scriptures — the collection of 39 books that make up what we Christians call the “Old Testament.” That’s where we read about the Temple in Jerusalem. A lot. It’s not a minor part of the story of those books. It is a central, essential fact at the heart of most of the Hebrew Scriptures. It is also a really important factor in much of the New Testament.

It is not possible to understand anything about Judaism without understanding the meaning and significance of the Temple in Jerusalem. It is not possible to understand much about Christianity without understanding the meaning and significance of the Temple in Jerusalem.

Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins do not see anything meaningful or significant about the Temple in Jerusalem.

Here in Nicolae, for the authors, the presence of the Temple is meaningless except as some lights in the background behind the Western Wall. For the authors, the rebuilt Temple means nothing. It changes nothing.

That is simply impossible. And it renders everything else in this chapter impossible as well. Buck Williams is in Jerusalem, and yet it is a kind of Jerusalem that would be unchanged by the rebuilding of the Temple — which is to say it is not Jerusalem. It is nothing at all like Jerusalem.

Buck is looking for Tsion Ben-Judah, who is in hiding because he’s stirred up controversy among Jewish religious authorities for preaching that Jesus was the Messiah (which, in these books, is a novel concept previously unheard of). The “controversy” sparked by Tsion’s 2,000-year-old theory wouldn’t merit a single column inch or a single second of broadcast time amidst the turmoil and flood of religious reconstruction and rebuilding that would accompany the reconstruction and rebuilding of the Temple. Tsion’s “Jews for Jesus” message might have garnered a tiny bit of attention if his name had been Tsion Cohen, but it still wouldn’t have distracted anyone from the more pressing questions about the reconsecration of the holiest site, the recommissioning of priests, the resumption of sacrifices, tithes and offerings, and the countless other huge, world-changing consequences of “the newly rebuilt temple.”

Tsion would be a footnote. His stadium crusades would fizzle. Even with the added draw of fire-breathing assistants he couldn’t hope to compete with “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord.”

So Buck Williams is in not-Jerusalem, looking for a man who is in hiding even though no one has the time to care to look for him, and he’s taking a cab to the “Wailing Wall.” This is a holy site in the actual Jerusalem because it is the most visible remnant of the Second Temple. Buck is going there to visit the Two Witnesses. But why are they preaching there, at the foot of the Temple Mount, instead of “the court outside the temple” — which is where they seem to preach in Revelation? And why do the authors weirdly behave as though the Western Wall would remain a holy site more revered than the Temple itself? Why do they still insist on calling it the “Wailing Wall” — the “place of weeping” — when it’s no longer necessary for those who gather there to weep over the absence of the Temple?

I can’t do justice to the enormity of the impossibility of what we have here. LaHaye and Jenkins have given us an insignificant Temple. To counter that I would need to convey the full immensity of the Temple’s significance — in Judaism and in Christianity. I’m nowhere near enough of a theologian to do that. No one person could be.

All I can do is flail about sputtering … but, but but … But what about Moishe? He’s supposed to be the patriarch Moses, raised from his grave in the land of Moab and here, at long last, in the Promised Land. Moses, who spent his whole life striving and straining to reach this place, now just spends all day, every day, crouching amid ancient ruins (not that ancient to him, I suppose) at the bottom of a hill. That hill dominates this city, the city of David (“Eli” could explain to Moses who David was). And at the top of that hill stands not a tabernacle, not a tent, but a temple — the Temple. And yet, in this story, Moses never bothers to walk up the hill.

Nicolae is the third book in a series that eventually sprawled to include 16 titles. Want to write a 16-novel series yourself? Here’s all the premise you’ll ever need: “The newly rebuilt temple.” Take the world, just as it is, and make that single change. Then all you need to do is chase down as many of the implications as you can. What would that mean theologically, politically, economically, culturally …? Even after your first 16 books you still won’t have exhausted all of the possibilities.

This is why Jews, Christians, Muslims and Mormons all only tend to speak of the rebuilding of the Temple in cosmic terms involving the end of the world. We can’t imagine it otherwise. The implications are too complicated and too big.

For Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, though, “the newly rebuilt temple” means nothing. It’s a bit of background flavor for Buck Williams to view from the window of his cab. And it’s another check on LaHaye’s End Times Prophecy Check List. But that’s all.

“Bruce had taught Buck that one day Carpathia would sit in that new temple and proclaim himself God,” L&J write. The “prophecy” there comes from the book of Daniel. In LaHaye’s scheme, Daniel gets mixed into a hodge-podge of exilic and post-exilic Old Testament passages that he treats as a single prediction of the rebuilding of the Temple in the last days.

As with all of his “prophecy” studies, LaHaye is more concerned with sequence than with meaning, so all he really cares about is making his check list. What does he think these prophecies prophesy about the Temple? That it will be rebuilt, defiled and then destroyed. That sequence is the only meaning he sees and the only meaning he attributes to the Temple. For LaHaye, that’s what the Temple is for.

Feh. All I can do is try to wash that away. Here’s the fourth movement of Brahms’ Requiem, based on the words of Psalm 84.

YouTube Preview Image

(I went with the rendition by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir because: A. I couldn’t find a contemporary guitar, cello, piano, etc., arrangement, which is a crying shame; B. the LD Saints know what they’re doing when it comes to choral music; and C. the slight disconnect I have about hearing Mormons sing the words of Psalm 84 and the difference they attribute to the words “how lovely is thy dwelling place” is a theologically fruitful reminder of the same kind of disconnect Jews will experience when hearing other Christians recite those words with the differences we attribute to them. Seriously, though, I’d like to hear, say, Sufjan Stevens or the Polyphonic Spree or Sarah Jarosz and Alison Krauss do this one.)

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  • aunursa

    I don’t mean that the reader encounters a few little hiccups or rough spots in the story. These are insurmountable obstacles that slam down in front of you. The sort of thing that causes one to say, “No. No that cannot be.” And then to close the book, get up out of the chair and walk away.

    To paraphrase what we Jews ask during Passover: So how does this chapter differ from all other chapters of the Left Behind series?

  • Daniel

    I was so nearly first as well. I was trying to think of something clever to say about how this is set in “the not too distant future” yet apparently a fully rebuilt temple looks like a “3 dimensional picture show”, presumably like the free dinosaur holograms that used to come free in Weetos. You snooze, you lose. Well I snoze. And I loze.

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    Or perhaps “snost” and “lost”?

  • Jurgan

    Yeah, that one got me, too. Not quite as bad as saying a city-wide disaster looked like the set of a disaster movie, but it’s up there.

  • Daniel

    Playing cretins’ advocate here, is it possible Timkins have extended literalism to all simile and metaphor and this extreme crapness is deliberate?
    “The scene of the disaster looked like something from a disaster movie”
    “The building looked like a building had been built where the building now stood”
    “Buck was so hungry he could eat a meal”

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    “The rat ate the cheese like a rodent devouring fermented cow’s milk.”

  • Daniel

    With rennet. The rat was no vegan.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    “is it possible Timkins have extended literalism to all simile and metaphor” – Daniel
    Nah – neither Tim nor Kins is anything like as witty as Lord Vetinari.

  • Daniel

    To Timkins criticism is like water off a coat that has been thoroughly waterproofed before being allowed to get wet.

  • http://algol.wordpress.com/ SororAyin

    I was thinking of Discworld as well. In particular, that scene where Vimes (I think it was Vimes) confronts the dragon in Guards, Guards! “It’s head alone was bigger than a man. And it’s eyes were the size of really large eyes.”
    It’s disturbing that L&J do not see themselves as humorists.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    “It’s disturbing that L&J do not see themselves as humorists.” – SororAyin

    Oh yes! Pratchett does that kind of thing so well, on purpose. And Timkins does it so badly, by accident.

    Then again, thinking it over I’m glad they don’t intend to be humorists…consider what they would come up with if they were trying to make something like the shared cookie sequence hilarious.

    No. Don’t consider it. Go bleach your brain. Right now.

  • Lori

    This f’ up goes to 11.

  • Shay Guy

    Ma nishtana halaila hazeh?” works great as a substitute for “So what else is new?” or “Dog bites man.”

  • Kubricks_Rube

    Speaking of Passover, should Moses even be in Israel? Wasn’t he forbidden from entering the country?

  • Lori

    He was forbidden from entering the promised land with the rest of the Israelites, but I don’t think there are any verses that explicitly say it’s an eternal ban. That is one of the reasons that many people don’t think he would be one of the two witnesses though. It’s not like the Bible actually (literally) says who they are. That’s just one of the many things Timmy made up.

  • Daniel

    I like to imagine Moses standing at the Israeli border impatiently checking his watch every few seconds until the ban ends. Then rolling his eyes and theatrically sighing “FINALLY!” as the bouncer lets him in, stamping his hand for reentry- just to rub it in.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    I guess if he wasn’t allowed in he would have been repelled by whatever kept the Russian nukes from getting through. I am disappointed in Carpathia’s OWAA though; what’s the use a No Fly List if a major threat like this gets past by using the super-secret alias “Moishe”?

  • Daniel

    Hoisted by his own petard
    “I don’t see any “MOISHE” on the list…”

  • aunursa

    I envision that scene as portrayed at the end of Mulan. Eddie Murphy is the voice of Moishe, and George Takei is the voice of God.

  • FearlessSon

    George Takei is the voice of God.

    Oh, I would pay too see any movie in which George Takei played the voice of God.

  • mattmcirvin

    RICHELIEU, BEWARE.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Isn’t the ban something like “You will die before you set foot in the promised land”? So, like, loophole!

  • Lori

    I looked it up.

    Deuteronomy 34:4

    And the LORD said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, `I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.”

    So, it doesn’t actually say “you shall not go over there ever“, but it’s rather implied. I have no idea how Timmy gets around that. No doubt some verse from Daniel makes it all obvious. [eyeroll]

  • http://rapturepractice.wordpress.com/ Phoenix Feather

    When I read the bit about the 3D picture show, this was the first thing that I imagined:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btaG034fJgg

    It actually makes some sense if the Temple, along with Eli and Moishe, are holograms. That way Moses isn’t really there, he just appears to be. This also explains why he and Eli can’t be killed.

    And the Temple was never rebuilt–Carpathia just instructed his media report that it was, and Buck was too good of an employee to question whether his boss was telling the truth or not. The Jews who actually cared about the Temple tried to visit it, quickly realized it was a fake, and left disgusted. That’s why the Temple’s reappearance had little effect on the outside world.

    Anyone who knows about the holograms (which is most people) wouldn’t dare mention their knowledge in front of Buck, because they know he’s buddies with Nicolae. As for Buck, he’s content believing that everyone is just as blase about life-altering events as he is.

  • William

    I think you could make the argument that a rule that you shall not “go over there” is only violated if you physically move to the holy land from an area outside it. Thus, being bodily resurrected at the wailing wall is A-OK.

  • Kirala

    It’s the fact that the spirit of Moses already appeared in the Promised Land during the Transfiguration described in Matthew 17. Or Mark 9. Or Luke 9. So at least the workaround is about as old as Christianity.

    I think the assumed identity of the two witnesses stems from the Transfiguration, too, but that’s a much greater leap. At least, Wikipedia doesn’t list a consensus interpretation. But as intriguing as the various eschatological fanon interpretations are, this branch of fandom isn’t my milieu, so I can’t speak to serious interpretation.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Pretty sure that story says something about his death. Maybe that the Israelites could not enter the promised land until he died?

    Either way, he’s been dead and rebirth’d. He should be good now.

  • P J Evans

    Next year in Jerusalem!

  • RDMgryphon

    In the center of the world, between the three continents of Europe, Africa, and Asia is the land of Israel. In the center of Israel is its capital city of Jerusalem. In the center of Jerusalem is the holy temple. In the center of the temple is the holy of holies. (At the center of that there is nothing because we misplaced the ark of the covenant.)

    What’s in this new temple? Did somebody find the ark under a rock, or buried in an government warehouse?

    Although, actually, there’s only one thing important enough in the left behind universe to be placed in that spot of honor.

    A copy of the end times checklist.

  • Daniel

    Did Moses know the Ark had even been lost?

  • Seraph4377

    Did Elijah?

  • Daniel

    “After all that effort- YOU LOST IT? Do you know what I had to go through to find all the parts?”

  • Lori

    If you think I’m wandering around in the desert for another 40 years looking for it you’ve got another think coming bucko.

  • Daniel

    It’s only seven years before closing too, I bet all the milk and honey’s gone already.

  • http://kadhsempire.yuku.com/ Matt

    Didn’t anybody watch Raiders of the Lost Ark? It’s in a warehouse in Washington D.C.

  • aunursa

    In Nevada.
    You didn’t see Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

  • http://kadhsempire.yuku.com/ Matt

    Looked awful. Skipped it. Oh well. Nevada then. Thanks.

  • Eric Boersma

    You made the emphatically right choice.

  • Jamoche

    Best line of the movie was when one of the baddies tells Indy and Marion to “shut up”, echoing the thoughts of everyone watching them.

  • mattmcirvin

    They had to move it because all the Top Men were speculating in Vegas real estate.

  • Dragoness Eclectic

    Just down the stacks from the boxed-up Stargate.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Wasn’t it moved to Warehouse 13, or mixing things up?

  • EJT

    They must have recaptured the Ark from Ethiopia after defeating them and Russia in book 1.

  • Alden Utter

    Actually, it’s a super-high-tech phone automation system. You call it, and it reads them off. “For the Trumpet Judgements, Press Two.”

  • Katie

    Everyone knows that the Ark of the Covenant is in Ethiopia. Which, actually, would explain why they joined with the Russians in attacking Israel.

  • themunck

    …How would that explain why they attacked Israel?

  • Anon

    Because Israel found out it was there and was on the verge of demanding it back so Ethiopia had to join Russia in bombing the heck out of Israel to keep the ark. Obviously.

  • Daniel

    For anyone interested, the distance from the King David Hotel in Jerusalem to the Western Wall is 1.8km walking or 3.5km driving. That’s just over a mile to walk and just over 2 miles to drive. If Google maps can be trusted.

    https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&tab=wl

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

    And we all know how Buck Williams is about walking.

  • GeniusLemur

    Buck Williams would never walk when he can take a cab… he gets to call the cab company.

  • flat

    I am still suprised when he was so desperate he took a biccycle.

  • Daniel

    Given his tendency to gloat I’d like him to phone the cab company so he can tell them he’s going to walk, thus Buck-ing convention once again. What a dashing, heroic renegade!

  • GeniusLemur

    Can’t agree with you there. It’s more likely that he’d phone the municipal authority to tell them he’s not going to use their sidewalks, thus bucking authority by spending no effort and doing what he was going to do anyway.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Remember this is the guy who took several hours to walk across Manhatten west-to-east. And the guy who put cruise ships on the Jordan River.
    Once he gets outside Chicago, his area knowledge is ZILCH.

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

    The newly rebuilt temple was illuminated magnificently and looked like something in a three-dimensional picture show.

    Buck Williams, world-famous journalist everybody!

    “That building looks like it’s in three dimensions!

    Well, yes. Every building is in three dimension.

    Of all the lazy writing-cheats in these books (and there are a lot) this non-description has got to be in the top 10: “this building looks like something three dimensional that you’d see in a show… about buildings… but in three dimensions!”

    Also, the phrase “three-dimensional picture show” makes me want to put another roll of quarters in the sock I’ve got labeled for Jerry Jenkin’s skull. They’re called movies Jerry! Unless the intended frame of reference was to say “the building looked like something from a View-Master slide. In which case I want to add two rolls of quarters for such an archaic reference.

  • Lori

    Every building is in three dimension.

    Not the ones on the flannelgraph in Sunday School.

  • Daniel

    I did not know this existed but I’m glad I do now…

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

    !!! I remember those!!!

  • Jess Goodwin

    Me too!

  • Vashti

    I remember those from “Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit”.

  • Rix

    They don’t need paint…they don’t need glue… Hey, that’s Colorforms!

  • Daniel

    They don’t need jelly or any of these…

  • Kirala

    This is how VeggieTales told a story-within-a-story in the movie “King George and the Ducky”. And this flannelgraph story is how I came to realize that King George and the Ducky are child-appropriate standins for freakin’ DAVID AND BATHSHEBA. King George seeing the rubber ducky in a bathtub on the roof. “But King George, you already have quite a few duckies…”

    Sorry, off-topic, but that was my first exposure to flannelgraph and the dissonance of VeggieTales and a story of lust, adultery, and murder still freaks me out.

  • Sue White

    That description did nothing to help me picture the scene.

  • GeniusLemur

    Then Jenkins did his usual bang-up job of description.

  • http://rapturepractice.wordpress.com/ Phoenix Feather

    The description was as helpful as the Great Wall of China is short.

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

    I regret that I can only “Like” a comment once. :P

  • aunursa

    Jerry Jenkins’ mind was on a thesaurus he had never touched.

  • aunursa

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  • http://rapturepractice.wordpress.com/ Phoenix Feather

    No, no, that was beautiful.

  • Daniel

    Thesaurus? Sounds Latin. Probably Catholic. Probably best to just avoid it all together.

  • Hawker40

    It’s all Greek to me.

  • Daniel

    I’m reading a history of China at the moment, and apparently there isn’t actually a Great Wall at all, just lots of little ones. So his got-to simile should be “like saying the combined length of the smaller walls that are usually conflated in the public imagination to become “the Great Wall of China” is long”.
    I hate Buck Williams, and will stop at nothing to undermine his journalistic career.

  • Narrator 1

    You speak as if he has much of a career to undermine. If a “career” equates to writing half-assed metaphors and being an asswipe to the underlings who actually keep the presses running, however, I rest my case. Buck really is then the best man for the job.

  • Lorehead

    At this point, it equates to being a stooge for the Antichrist.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding
  • Lori

    I see you remain as ignorant and as abusive as ever.

    The entire “Great Wall” is over 13k miles long. Many people are under the impression that that’s a more or less continuous structure, but it is not. The existence of a section that is 422 miles long does not disprove Daniel’s point. In fact, it supports it.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding
  • Lori

    You are now using your abusiveness here to drive traffic to your Twitter feed? And you’re doing that in support of ignorant nit-picking that totally misses the point?

    How very typical of you.

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

    You really seem to have a problem with this “flouncing” thing, don’t you?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding
  • AnonaMiss

    ‘Little’ is always relative.

    You really suck at human communication. Have you ever had a friend?

  • SkyknightXi

    I have a feeling the operative phrase is “picture show”. As in, the temple somehow looks more like a special effect than a concrete artefact.

    I’m not sure WHAT the implication is supposed to be, other than maybe a suggestion of ludicrous over-lighting. In turn, suggesting that the Jews, still in a nimbus of stiff-neckedness, are overly proud of the temple. To LaHaye, they really ought to know better, considering that in a rather short period of time, Carpathia’s going to use the place for his rendition of Antiochus Epiphanes.

    (On a side note, how is just slaughtering a hog in a spectacularly not-kashrut fashion going to forever desecrate the place? Tamei is supposed to wear off eventually, right? You’d need to do what Antiochus did, and dedicate the place to Zeus or some other divinity. Carpathia should be investing in one or two statues of Belial right now.)

  • Jamoche

    I have a feeling the operative phrase is “picture show”.

    But is it a late-night double-feature picture show?

  • themunck

    Youknow, the mental is a lot more funny if you picture someone in Silver Underwear there :p

  • Hawker40

    Claude Rains was there, but nobody saw him.

  • Jess Goodwin

    I wanna go…
    Uh-oh-oh…

    …great, now you’ve got me singing that…

  • Daniel

    Hattie Durham was “ill”
    The day Tsion’s family was killed,
    But she told us
    Where we stand.
    And Buck Williams was there
    In burlap underwear
    Ray Ray was the awesomest man.
    Then something went wrong
    For the God of Zion-
    He got caught in a literalist jam
    And at a glacial pace
    (In order to save face)
    He returned to earth as a pissed off man…

    Poorly written
    Hexadecouple fiction
    See Godless humans’
    Deserved afflictions
    Oh oh oh oh ooooh

    As the Timkins
    Hexadecouple feature
    Fiction grows
    (by NWO)

    I’ll stop now.

    *edit- hexadecouple? Or hexidecimal?*

  • Albanaeon

    L&J are pretty fuzzy on how *Christian* Redemptive Theory is supposed to work. You think they are going to be arsed to figure out anyone else’s? Particularly for something as small as a major plot point?

    Sheesh!

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

    I’ve always wondered why Carpathia had to be written as being so unsubtle about desecrating the temple. I’ve thought that he could’ve escaped even being blamed for it just by slipping some bacon onto the altar and then letting all the temple leaders blame each other and accuse each other of being moles for someone, not necessarily the government.

    Then Nicky swoops in, magnanimously agrees to hear all sides of the story in the interest of harmonious relations at an important world monument, then picks some random guy, mind-whammies everybody, and takes him off to be thrown in the gulag for the minor shitstorm Nicolae really caused.

  • Daniel

    “I’ve thought that he could’ve escaped even being blamed for it just by slipping some bacon onto the altar”
    Or having ham sewn into the curtains.

    “That’s an odd looking altar, Potentate.”
    “Yes. It’s made from pig’s bones and oyster shells, and that’s all been upholstered in goatskin which was prepared with a special mixture of the goat’s mother’s milk and bits of ossifrage.”
    “I see. What’s an ossifrage?”
    “I’m not sure, but God hates it. We had a hell of a time getting it here. Do you know how difficult it is to get an ass and an ox yoked together to pull at the same speed?”

  • Lori

    I’m not sure, but God hates it.

    This is just plain unreasonable. OK, it’s a vulture that mostly eats bones. That could be considered a little creepy, but it only does that because it’s smaller than other vultures and needed to adapt to a diet for which there isn’t much competition. It’s cleaning up stuff other critters don’t want. That’s a service. And look at those feathers. That’s cool.

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://31.media.tumblr.com/aacd2956821e5ca595c0eaa16bd7143f/tumblr_mn7zemd5HY1rgtma4o1_500.gif&imgrefurl=http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/vulture&h=250&w=446&sz=586&tbnid=bm-txCg00Uw70M:&tbnh=75&tbnw=134&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dbearded%2Bvulture%2Btumblr%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=bearded+vulture+tumblr&usg=__zwnd7DpE-nvp_hosN02epj0dNjE=&docid=_mEsV9iC9VP-5M&sa=X&ei=pkkiUszADbO-sASfz4DQCw&ved=0CEYQ9QEwBg&dur=617#imgdii=bm-txCg00Uw70M%3A%3B6JR8YKqIwcH-vM%3Bbm-txCg00Uw70M%3A

    In fairness to the Big Guy, it’s true that people shouldn’t eat it.

  • Daniel

    I checked before writing, and though I’m not a big fan of vultures personally I appreciate they do sterling work. But God tends to dislike the things he calls unclean.

  • Lori

    Their facial features are certainly not the loveliest and the carrion/bone eating is a little ick. And people definitely shouldn’t eat them, which is what the whole “unclean” thing was really about.

    Still, it always struck me as sort of crappy that God would despise creatures that he supposedly made. Dude, if you don’t like it blame yourself, not the bird. Give me WTF, Evolution? any day. Evolution is proud of it creations. Even the really weird, ugly ones. Actually, especially the weird, ugly ones.

    And Evolution gives extra credit for cleverness. Yeah, Evolution!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxj9YO4Qtx0

    Note: Video is the bone eating birds in action

  • Daniel

    I’m with you on that. Presenting the owner of the most sophisticated eyes in the world, the mantis shrimp:

  • Lori

    Mantis shrimp are seriously cool.

    Did you see the peacock spider mating dance?

    http://wtfevolution.tumblr.com/post/59107360212/what-do-you-think-of-this-peacock-spider-mating#notes

  • Daniel

    Now I have! Have you seen this

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L54bxmZy_NE

    birds dancing for well… birds.

    and all these things that live in the deep sea:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrSu65Bb9X4

  • Lori
  • Daniel
  • Launcifer

    Thanks… Now I’ve got images of some weird mating ritual that takes place between South African rugby players and the Brentford F.C. team mascot…

  • Daniel

    Well if you will have a pub on each corner of your ground, your bound to find some pronking going on. Boers and the bees, like.

  • Lori

    A little creepy looking close up, but great colors and the smell collecting is very cool. Looks aren’t everything.

  • Daniel

    I wish the people who worked on cosmetics counters had your attitude. Apparently painting myself iridescent green, taping tubs to my knees and filling them with perfume is “a bit weird”.
    I wish people weren’t so superficial.

  • http://algol.wordpress.com/ SororAyin

    I swear I actually saw an Orchid bee once. I live in Ohio, and I know that shouldn’t be possible, but still. It was a beautiful sight, whatever it was. Like some sort of flying, sparkly green jewel.
    And, my mother is a hobbyist beekeeper. I’ve come to the conclusion that anything to do with bees is cool.

  • Fusina

    That…that was awesome. Truly this is a wondrous fine world we live in–with cool new critters round every corner.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    What Fusina said. For all of these videos. (I’m convinced that the peacock spiders are saying “Ta-da!!” when they strike poses. And if they aren’t, they ought to.)

  • Lori

    I thought exactly the same thing. That move has “Ta-da!!” written all over it. I kept expecting one of them to do jazz hands next.

  • Fusina

    They were too busy doing jazz hind feet ;-)

    I have decided that we are where God meant us to be. Our entire purpose was to invent the internet and post videos of animals doing their thing so that everyone with access to a computer can enjoy them, and then to find people without access and allow them access to our computers so that they can enjoy the animals too.

    Yes. I can think of no higher purpose or calling.

  • Fusina

    That pair with their red feathers… quite lovely. My take on vultures, on the ground they are rather silly looking. Soaring on a thermal they are magic at its most elemental. And I appreciate the job they do round here on carcasses. We are just getting into what I call silly season for deer, so I’m glad the vultures are around to help with the cleanup.

  • http://dcmoosings.blogspot.com LouC

    I live in Washington, D.C. and there are times of the day where the Capitol, or the Lincoln Memorial look surreal because they’re so beautiful you think they can’t possibly be real. Usually, it’s at sunrise or sunset, when they’re gilded with gold. Or if there is an eerie mist on the lawn, or the river.

    See what I did there? ;)

  • Lori

    One of the most simultaneously cool & creepy things I’ve ever seen was the Korean War Memorial early in the morning when there was that eerie ground fog. In the half light and mist the statues looked almost real, like soldiers walking out of some time portal.

    For those who haven’t been, these are the statues I’m talking about:
    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://digitalgothic.net/Tour/SW/korean-war-memorial.jpg&imgrefurl=http://digitalgothic.net/Tour/SW/SW.htm&h=768&w=1024&sz=337&tbnid=hDzA4-bTeMzbwM:&tbnh=95&tbnw=126&prev=/search%3Fq%3DKorean%2BWar%2BMemorial%2Bimage%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=Korean+War+Memorial+image&usg=__L9aV6isGhUkWCFfTwhimYjDfrIM=&docid=E-tfbuM5uikUlM&sa=X&ei=dz8iUoKgE-qisQTV4IGIDQ&ved=0CGYQ9QEwDg&dur=517

  • esmerelda_ogg

    It’s a bit creepy even in mid-afternoon, at least if you come up to it from the rear as we did. Enough to make you think, briefly, that you’re seeing the gray-faced ghosts of soldiers.

  • Lori

    That’s true. It seems a fitting thing for the “forgotten war”.

  • Fusina

    You mean where off the cuff you wrote a better description of a place than Lajenks?

    I live near DC, and have seen the buildings you describe looking like that. Thanks for the beautiful word pictures.

  • Vermic

    (On a side note, how is just slaughtering a hog in a spectacularly not-kashrut fashion going to forever desecrate the place?)

    I would remind you that we are talking about a REALLY BIG hog. Here, let me illustrate the size of its nostrils.

  • SkyknightXi

    I doubt it would be that much bigger than a lion (i.e. another not-kashrut critter). And again, tamei WEARS OFF. The thing with Antiochus was repurposing the temple to the worship of Zeus, which doesn’t wear off as easily.

    I’ll trust LaHaye has read the account of Antiochus in the Bible (Maccabees, I think?), so he REALLY ought to have some idea of how much (ritually, at least) worse the Antichrist can have for precedents than just a gruesome pig-killing.

  • FearlessSon

    Of course a three-dimensional building looks impressive to Buck. Any three-dimensional object would look impressive to such a flat character.

  • flat

    brilliant observation, I didn’t come up with such a good description of Buck.
    I kind off felt flat to me.

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

    Buck had problems with orthographic projection. ;)

  • flat

    there must have been a great tardis joke somewhere but I am to lazy to come up with one.

  • http://algol.wordpress.com/ SororAyin

    “Unless the intended frame of reference was to say “the building looked like something from a View-Master slide. In which case I want to add two rolls of quarters for such an archaic reference.”
    It’s come to this. A toy I loved as a child is now classed as “archaic.” *sigh* Ye Gods, I need a drink.

  • Daniel

    “a drink”?
    Showing your age there- everything’s dehydrated now, grandad. Except Soylent’s delightful products.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    “SCIENCE FICTION…
    DOUBLE FEATURE…
    PICTURE SHOW…….”
    — Prologue, Rocky Horror Picture Show

  • Carstonio

    Maybe he meant 3-D movie, and the temple would have been a very underwhelming site if he was thinking of the old anaglyph technology with the cardboard glasses in two different colors.

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

    And I’ll add this is typical PMD values: Israel only matters because of the Temple, and the Temple only matters because of Revelations. All the people in that region are merely props & set dressing as far as these folks are concerned.

  • Hawker40

    Extras for the crowd scenes, shown dying en masse for drama, while the beloved dog leaps to safety…
    (sorry, ‘Independence Day’ is on SyFy.)

  • Laurent Weppe
  • SkyknightXi

    So, what would they deem as substantive? Besides Jesus and his glory, obviously.

  • damanoid

    Question: Rabbi Hillel said that the Torah could be summed up by the Golden Rule. Is it really impossible to understand -anything- about Judaism without knowing the meaning of the Temple?

  • RDMgryphon

    Yeah, Golden Rule is the important thing. The Temple is just, well, large parts the book of Numbers where all the holidays are described as “Offer up X, Y, and Z as burnt offerings at the Temple” while reciting prayers. All of which is currently not being practiced due to the lack of a temple.

    It’s sort of a “Going to church on Sunday isn’t what makes you Christian, it’s believing in Christ,” type thing

  • Hawker40

    “Just like going into a garage doesn’t make you car, going to Church doesn’t make you a Christian.” – Somebody Famous that I’m misquoting.

  • Panda Rosa

    Might be Marty the Christian Puppet from Joy Junction, also known for “Well, it wasn’t Arizona!” on YouTube.

  • LMM22

    Isn’t that a bit of a reaction to the complete *absence* of a Temple, though? I’m assuming that the re-construction of the Temple would royally mess with a lot of modern theology (in that, hey, we can make sacrifices now!)?

  • Gabe Nichols

    Hillel lived before the destruction of the temple.

    That said it is much, much more than “Hey, we can make sacrifices now” A key aspect of Jewish theology (well some, there are arguments about everything) is that everything which has happened to us over the past 2,000 years of or so is entirely justified and correct. We had a deal with God, the Temple got destroyed and so we no longer held up our end, we get scattered among the nations. The recreation of the temple would allow Jews to return to compliance with the bargain struck between Moses and God and we could get his protection again. That’s kind of a big deal

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

    But nobody is rushing to rebuild it aside from a few even though the Israeli government now holds the land. Pardon me if I seem a little dense in asking what the hold-up is.

  • Ben English

    Because even starting construction could spark outrage [from everyone] and violence from religious extremists.

    Edited for clarity.

  • auroramere

    I don’t think I’d need to be an extremist Muslim to be outraged if Israel unilaterally decided to bulldoze the Dome of the Rock.

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

    Mmm. Fair point.

  • Ben English

    I wasn’t even suggesting bulldozing the Dome. Even if Israel somehow worked out a plan to build a Temple that wouldn’t disturb the Dome of the Rock, you’d have extremist Jews and Muslims unwilling to accept that compromise.

  • Laurent Weppe

    You can’t start construction without demolishing Al Aqsa, which would spark outrage from a lot more people than religious extremists: All Musims would be outraged, as well as well as every christian, jew, pastafarian, atheist, apostles of Furball who know that destroying houses of worship is an act of oppression

  • Ben English

    I’ve seen it suggested that a Temple could be constructed on the north side of the mount? Regardless, I know that if Muslim houses of worship were demolished then it would be more than just religious extremists pissed off. I’d be pissed off. I was simply trying to answer Neutrino’s question.

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

    And I guess another stupid question is, why not just buy an abandoned plot of land and build the new temple there?

    (Even if there are valid reasons against it, I’m sure Nicky Uralic Steppes could mind-whammy a bigwig rabbi into inventing a reason why it’s okay to do it, since logistically that seems simpler than trying to move the Dome of the Rock.)

  • aunursa

    And I guess another stupid question is, why not just buy an abandoned plot of land and build the new temple there?

    The Bible indicates a specific place for the location of the Temple. There is no suggestion in the Hebrew Bible that the Jewish people may choose a different location.

  • Lorehead

    Another problem being that the areas of the Temple, including the Holy of Holies, would need to be built where they originally were, which no one today knows. That’s the current justification for most Jews to stay off the Temple Mount, which also avoids conflict with the Muslims. Oh, speaking of which.

    Fred dramatically understates the impossibility of this: in the real world, the Palestinians, the rest of the Muslim world and the U.N. would all be in open revolt at this point. The mere rumor of a plan to demolish the mosques has started violent revolts. The U.N. is not exactly known for taking Israel’s side as it is, and this is a world in which at least one country with a veto on the Security Council is so much more hostile to Israel that it attempted genocide.

    Also, this impossible treaty between the One World Government and Israel must have had Israel agree to sign over sovereignty of Judaism’s holiest site in its Eternal and Undivided Capital to the U.N. and the Enigma Babylon One World Faith. Anyone who can’t immediately see several reasons this could never happen is an ignorant fool.

  • auroramere

    Surely not? The destruction of the Temple is considered to be evidence of God’s displeasure with our behavior. As a consequence, we no longer have access to the Temple’s resources of religious ritual. But Rabbinical Judaism considers the prayer services in synagogue, where we praise God, read from the Torah, and remember the Temple services appropriate for the day as a fair substitute for the sacrifices. We don’t need to rebuild the Temple for God to hear us.

  • LMM22

    Eep. You had a deal with God and it got answered by the anti-Christ?

    Screw these novels. People are boring. I want a post-Tribulation subscription to _Science_, _Nature_, and whatever the leading journals are that discuss Jewish theology.

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

    Speaking of. I was re-reading book 1 (well, re-skimming it) and I noticed a LOT of references to rebuilding it even then. LaHaye seems to have a bit of a monomania on the subject, as evidenced here:

    Steve Plank: “You are short on sleep, aren’t you, Buck? This is why I’m still your boss. Don’t you get it? Yes, I want coordination and I want a well-written piece. But think about it. This gives you automatic entry to all these dignitaries. We’re talking Jewish Nationalist leaders interested in one world government—”

    Buck: “Unlikely and hardly compelling.”

    Plank: “—Orthodox Jews from all over the world looking at rebuilding the temple, or some such—”

    Buck: “I’m being overrun by Jews.”

    There is so much wrong in all that I can’t begin to parse it all. First of all, between Plank and Buck having their little douchebag-up-manship contest (seriously, their egoes seem to be visibly expanding to fill the room!), I can’t imagine that L&J think anyone could like these two men.

    Second of all, that last line? Good grief, could L&J possibly give Buck a less classy thing to say?

    The tone he takes as implied by the context is akin to someone rolling his eyes and saying. “I’m being overrun by queers”.

  • Jurgan

    “We’re talking Jewish Nationalist leaders interested in one world government” Wait, isn’t that an oxymoron? By definition, isn’t an ethnic nationalist someone who wants a separate nation for one’s ethnicity? Unless they wanted to kill all non-Jews (and I wouldn’t put it past LaHaye to suspect The Jews of such a plan), I can see how you could have a Jewish Nationalist One World Government.

  • Laurent Weppe

    By definition, isn’t an ethnic nationalist someone who wants a separate nation for one’s ethnicity?

    Give them an empire where their ethnicity becomes the hereditary ruling class and they’ll be happy too.

  • aunursa

    No.
    But the Temple is considered the holiest place in Judaism. The saddest day on the Jewish calendar marks the destruction of the Temple. And for centuries observant Jews have included in their daily prayers the hope that the Temple will be rebuilt.

  • Sue White

    And now Nicolae hath verily answered their prayers! Ah, but never mind – that Ben Judah character is running loose. First things first.

  • Shay Guy

    The saddest day on the Jewish calendar marks the destruction of the Temple.

    Both Temples, for those not in the know.

  • Laurent Weppe

    The original and the expensive knock-off of greek architecture which had a golden statue of a roman eagle erected at its entrance. I’ve always seen the fondness toward Herod’s temple as kinda misplaced.

  • arcseconds

    Well, the Golden Rule is a principle about being a decent human being, it’s not specific to Judaism. I think what Hillel meant was something along the lines of ‘to be a good Jew, one must be a good human being’, or ‘the Torah exhorts us to be decent human beings’.

    (my recommendation: if you’re a devotee of a religion (or any other form of life) where to be a good X requires you to not be a good human being, it’s time for a change)

    So while hopefully someone who understands what it is to be a good human being thereby understands much about Judaism, they don’t necessarily understand anything that’s specific to Judaism.

  • SkyknightXi

    Only problem is, the likes of Ayn Rand and Murray Rothbard would have said that they are TOO good human beings! Especially since they’ve come to the “enlightenment” that empathy is an evolutionary mistake, one that should be displaced by pragmatic stridence. Now think about how many disciples they seem to have these days.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    Bruce had taught Buck that one day Carpathia would sit in that new temple and proclaim himself God. The journalist in Buck wanted to be there when that happened.

    Funny, the journalist in Buck doesn’t seem too excited about the actual construction of the temple, just what important people are going to do there later. But that’s understandable. Christianity is all about the doings of the powerful after all; who cares about some piddling carpenters?

  • Daniel

    Name one biblical carpenter of any note. And any Biblical carpenter who had anything to do with an “ark” whatever that is.

  • Launcifer

    I dunno ’bout that, but I’ve found a guy called Noah Carpenter if that counts?
    Failing that, Harrison Ford, since he found the Ark….

  • Daniel

    Failing that, Harrison Ford, since he found the Ark

    And there’s a Witness.

  • Launcifer

    And, just like that, I find myself wondering if Elijah was, in fact, the missing Nexus-6 that nobody ever thinks to mention.

  • Daniel

    “I have seen attack chariots on fire on the shoulder of Orion…”

  • Launcifer

    I wonder if seabream glitter in the dark when no one’s watching?

  • Panda Rosa

    “I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain, I’ve seen sunny days that I though would never end…”

  • ohiolibrarian

    If only I had a hammer …

  • Hawker40

    Were they Iron Attack Chariots on Fire?

  • Daniel

    “all lost, like cookies at a press conference… time to die. Ish.”

  • Launcifer

    Nah, like that time Buck dropped his mobile ‘phone down the ‘loo and lost all of his saved contacts.

  • Susan Paxton

    And he was a carpenter! (I believe that’s how he was “discovered”, in fact).

  • Hth

    In a rare moment of honesty, Buck’s inner journalist is aware that he only wants to *be there,* and not to, you know, file a story on it, which is what many people’s inner — and outer! — journalists get excited about doing. For Buck, it really is all about access and not in the slightest bit about news.

  • Launcifer

    Maybe Buck’s Inner Journalist is like Sam Vimes’ Inner Watchman. It doesn’t exist to get the stories out – it’s there to keep them in.

  • SkyknightXi

    I’m more worried about how he’s more interested in getting to see Carpathia’s self-deification, and not trying to THWART it. Just how many journalists delight in going to places of atrocity of any sort in and of themselves? (i.e. not to apprise others of the baleful implications, but just to be able to say they were at a place of recently-minted historical gravity. {scowls} Or thereabouts…I can’t seem to figure out how I want to phrase this sort of thing.)

  • Jamoche

    Just how many journalists delight in going to places of atrocity of any sort in and of themselves? (i.e. not to apprise others of the baleful implications, but just to be able to say they were at a place of recently-minted historical gravity

    Journalists, no. Clients of the Vintage Season travel agency, yes.

    (For varying definitions of the term “recently-minted”, that is)

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

    That’s the entire Trib Force all over. You lose count of the time you read “Rayford/Buck/Tsion/David felt unspeakably privileged to witness this act of Biblical awesomeness.” They never do anything about it, mind, and they don’t warn others or broadcast Nicky’s nefarious schemes to the world, but boy, they sure are Unspeakably Privileged to watch it all happen.

  • Daniel

    To be fair, that’s perhaps the one time Timkins shows an understanding of what the words they use actually mean. If Tribbles could tell anyone it wouldn’t be unspeakable, and if they did tell anyone it would no longer be a privilege. Christ was all about jealously guarding special privileges.There’s no such thing as a right to know, of course.

  • aunursa

    Why do they still insist on calling it the “Wailing Wall” — the “place of weeping” — when it’s no longer necessary for those who gather there to weep over the absence of the Temple?

    It reminds me of the Chanukah dreidel. The four letters on dreidel sides (נ, ג,ה, ש) represent the phrase ” A Great Miracle Happened There, referring to the Chanukah miracle that happened in Jerusalem.
    But for dreidels made in Israel, the ש is replaced with פ a because the phrase is: a Great Miracle Happened HERE.

    In Left Behind world, even Israeli dreidels would have the ש.

  • hidden_urchin

    Normally this would kick me out of the story. Book 1, however, put me on a rocket and fired me into space when the children went missing and it was business as usual. I’m rapidly approaching the outer solar system by now.

  • Lori

    Send back good pictures.

  • Jamoche

    Can you hear me, Major hidden_urchin?

  • SkyknightXi

    See how many Oort Cloud objects you can give official names to.

  • Emcee, cubed

    I’m going to repost this here, since it was late in the other post, and want to make sure it gets seen.

    Totally off-topic but I could really use everyone’s help. Well, at least those people with a Facebook account. I’m performing in a production of The Normal Heart, a play about the early years of the AIDS epidemic. We are donating $5 of every ticket sold to The Center of Southern Nevada (our local QUILTBAG community center) for their HIV prevention program.

    In conjunction with the show, we have also started the Your Heart On Campaign on Facebook. For every person who likes the Campaign page and posts a picture of a heart on the page by Sept 22, local businesses have agreed add $1 to the donation, up to an additional $5100. But that means we need a lot of posts so we can get the maximum amount of money for The Center. Here’s all you have to do:

    1. Go to https://www.facebook.com/yourhearton and click on the “Like” button.

    2. Post a picture of a heart to the page (any heart is a good heart)
    3. Share the page out to boost the signal.

    It only takes a couple of minutes, and would really help us out. Thanks in advance!

  • Fusina

    Tried to go to the page from your link, but got another page. Hopefully this link is correct. https://www.facebook.com/yourhearton

  • Emcee, cubed

    Got it fixed. Thanks for letting me know. Disqus doesn’t like cut and paste with links, apparently. Of course, Disqus doesn’t like much of anything…

  • christopher_y

    For future reference. if you want to paste a link into Disgust, right click and “Paste as Plain Text” (in Windows, dunno about Macs and Linux).

  • Jamoche

    “Paste and Match Style” in the Edit menu on Macs – cmd-shift-option-V

  • Emcee, cubed

    And yes, your link is correct, too.

  • Fusina

    I posted a pair of heart shaped earrings. I hope that counts, it was the only thing I had handy currently.

  • Emcee, cubed

    Thanks!

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

    Verna Zee Sensible Shoes Confrontation Countdown: 159 pages

  • Sue White

    I kind of miss the death countdown. :-D

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

    I have an idea for a hated character whose death I shall countdown after poor Verna is supernaturally outed by God/Buck. Not as hated as my most-despised David Hassid, but one can’t have everything at once. ;)

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

    I need to come up with more Supreme Commander Leon countdowns.

    EDIT:

    Oh christ, the sheer massive douchebaggery.

    “Yeah, yeah, I know. Just stay out of our way. And I would appreciate it if you would refer to me as Mr. Fortunato.”

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

    “Don’t push me, Steele.”

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

    May your travels be strewn with Legos at your feet, Captain.

  • flat

    I see your curse of legos strewn at captain steele feets.
    And I raise one of anti-personell mines at his feets during his travels.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    Mmm, I think I prefer the Legos. After all, one anti-personnel mine might just finish him off, but he can have the unpleasantness of stepping on Legos, embellished by the fear that he’s about to step on Legos, over and over and over for the remaining five years or so that the universe will exist.

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

    Exactly. :D

  • Fusina

    From experience, you can get quite a nasty sprained knee if you step on legos on a hardwood floor. Added to the unpleasantness of stepping on said legos, mind.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    My sympathies.

  • Fusina

    Thanks. It is mostly better now. I bent my knee too far the right direction and I could feel the ripping. Damn, but that can hurt. I don’t think I would wish it on Ray-ray even.

  • Ian

    In addition to all this, rebuilding the Temple would require bulldozing the Dome of the Rock, one of the holiest sites in Islam. It’s the giant golden domed structure in the center of the picture of Jerusalem above. You’d miss it if it was gone.

  • Hawker40

    Not to mention the acts of defiance attempting to prevent the destruction of the Dome of the Rock. Maybe a journalist could cover that story… if only there was one in the novel.

  • aunursa

    The prosperity brought about by the miracle formula changed the course of history for Israel. Flush with cash and resources, Israel made peace with her neighbors.
    Left Behind, p 8

    It’s not about land or religion. The real reason for the century-long conflict in the Middle East is that Israel doesn’t have enough cash.

  • Fusina

    I missed that point in all the other bizarre crap floating in these books. Huh. I think that shows their mindset in a nutshell–“poor people make war, rich people make peace”… I don’t think that is how it works… based on history classes, rich people make war, poor people make rebellions.

  • Lori

    Rich people make war, poor people get sent to fight in them.

  • Fusina

    That too.

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

    Isn’t there some jibber-jabber in the books about Nicky working his mind mojo and the Muslims get all happy-clappy and say, “move the Dome? SURE THING BRAH.”

  • http://rapturepractice.wordpress.com/ Phoenix Feather

    I remember that being in the movie. One of the many things that people respond to with a, “This world-changing event is pretty neat but not weird at all!”

    Can’t remember whether it’s in the books though.

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

    I just checked and indeed, it’s from the Tribulation Force book. :)

    He took a few questions, including what would happen to the rebuilding of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. “That, I am happy to say, will proceed. As many of you know, much money has been donated to this cause for decades, and some prefabrication of the temple in other sites has been underway for years. Once the reconstruction begins, completion should be without delay.”

    “But what happens to the Islamic Dome of the Rock?”

    “I am so glad you asked that question,” Carpathia said, and Buck wondered if he hadn’t planted it. “Our Muslim brothers have agreed to move not only the shrine but also the sacred section of the rock to New Babylon, freeing the Jews to rebuild their temple on what they believe is the original site.

    Well, how bloody convenient.

    EDIT: Fred’s original post here.

  • Albanaeon

    Thanks. I had forgotten that particular bit of gibberish. Probably deliberately.

  • themunck

    “The sacred section of the rock”? So they somehow removed a specific part of the mountain without notable damage to the rest of it, and what? Filled the hole with cement? Or is the a now a cavern below of the rooms in the temple?

  • Daniel

    Nitpicking. Do you want these prophecies fulfilled or not? It’s hardly important how they’re fulfilled.

  • Sue White

    Good grief! The usual answer to everything: *poof*, they just magically agree to the whole plan. The authors could have at least tried to show that Nicolae’s sinister mind control was at work. Maybe have a bunch of Muslims standing there, nodding like they’re in a trance.

  • ohiolibrarian

    And given that all their kids went missing, do you think they would fall in with such a radical plan? Offered by a what? A Christian or at least Western leader?

    Mind unbelievably boggled.

  • Fanraeth

    I’m just going to assume that our esteemed authors have no idea there are over a billion Muslims on the planet.

  • Lorehead

    Seriously, Russia, Iran, Libya and Ethiopia are all declaring nuclear war over super-fertilizer, but everyone goes along with this? It’s so utterly insane.

  • Aaron Boyden

    I also wondered about that.

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

    Also? That throwaway line is totally ignored later, because there’s a reference in later books to Nicolae commissioning the rebuilding, and some blabber about Orthodox Jews resuming temple sacrifices, and then Nicolae, after having JUST wasted the million-plus Nicks/Dollars/whatevers on it, renders it completely useless by slaughtering a pig in it.

    A pig, it must be said, whose nostril is to be so large Nicolae could put a fist in it.

  • rrhersh

    Not on point, but am I the only one who finds the attire of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir vaguely creepy? From a distance I thought they were in choir robes of two colors. That that would have been fine: putting on uniforms, essentially. But closer up, we see that they are all dressed in reasonable clothing to go out for a nice dinner, but the women all dressed in identical dresses and the men in identical suits and ties. It is as if they all dressed for the evening, and it turned out they all naturally dressed identically. What, you mean you and your friends and associates don’t?

  • P J Evans

    That’s normal for a concert group. (I’d have had the women wearing dark dresses: the idea is to have the clothing not distract the audience from the music.)

  • rrhersh

    I would expect them to be dressed similarly. The women all wearing dark dresses would be fine. It is how the outfits are identical down to the exact same suit and tie.

  • P J Evans

    Think of it as their working uniform. (Like a marching band, or a football team.)

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Don’t think of them as people dressed up for an evening. Think of them as performers wearing costumes. Like a marching band. Or an orchestra.

  • RachelS

    In my college choir we all wore identical dresses. Moderately hideous black dresses made of 150% polyester. The guys wore tuxes. In the community group I’m in now for formal concerts we wear black, though we are allowed to choose our own black clothes. Again the guys wear tuxes. This sort of thing is actually quite normal.

  • Alex SL

    Okay, so I am not religious myself, but even given my potential lack of knowledge I cannot help but wonder about the claim that the temple is hugely significant for Christians.

    I have grown up in a majority-Christian country, lived and worked all my life in majority-Christian countries, and thus met a lot of Christians. Their beliefs are diverse, ranging from the idea that Jesus was God incarnate or the son of God and was actually resurrected to the idea that there is some great transcendental meaning to life, the universe and everything but that Jesus was simply a great (fully human) moral teacher. But notably nobody seems to care the least bit about the temple of Judaism, and the vast majority of Christians I have met in my life would probably not know the least bit about it either except that, well, ancient Israel hat a temple and it was destroyed and some point in time that may or may not have come up in history classes but was forgotten after the exam. And here we have the authors who are Christians also but clearly don’t care either.

    So is it perhaps possible that the claim of the temple being important for Christianity is based on a No True Scotsman? As far as I can tell, it simply isn’t.

    Of course, that does not change what its rebuilding would mean for Jerusalem, the current place of action.

  • Lori

    So is it perhaps possible that the claim of the temple being important for Christianity is based on a No True Scotsman?

    I think it’s more that the Temple has theological significance that is an underpinning of many Christian beliefs, even though most Christians don’t know that and never give it much thought.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    Agree with Lori – I’ve also come across the statement that Jesus, in a mystical way, replaces the Temple for Christians, though I don’t know if this is a widespread belief or an eccentricity. (Or an eccentric widespread belief, from an outsider’s viewpoint. When I started attending church regularly after many years, I was a bit startled by the way the Book of Common Prayer calmly refers to the bread and wine we consume during the Eucharist as the Body and Blood of Christ. No wonder the Romans thought they were dealing with cannibals.)

  • aunursa

    If Jesus replaces the Temple, then I’m be interested to understand the symbolism in Book #16 — when Jesus rules the world from the Temple over the course of the millennium.

  • Lori

    I would assume L&J are not among those who hold that belief and that people who do hold it don’t agree with L&J about Jesus ruling from the temple. L&J’s reading of Revelation is both particular and peculiar. Plenty of Christians, including some who read these stupid books, don’t share it.

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    I was taught that we, ourselves, are the Temple (based on 1 Corinthians 6, of course). God dwells within us and has no need of a building any longer.

  • FearlessSon

    I think that Alex SL makes a good point here, that yes the Temple is of immense theological significance, but how much of that is widely known? There is a lot of Christian mythology that spills over into the wider western culture (way more than proselytizers seem to think) and we can generally expect a lot of people to be at least familiar with some key points and Bible stories, if not in depth. However, the Temple is often left out of this spillage. How many American Christians themselves are only tangentially familiar with this piece of history, for example?

    I have to wonder if that more than anything else is why L&J just kind of gloss over it.

  • Lorehead

    The Christians, during any of the times they ruled Jerusalem, either after the conversion of Constantine or the First Crusade or World War I, never considered rebuilding the Temple, and in fact Julian the Apostate was going to do it as a way to weaken Christianity, but didn’t live long enough.

    True, Isaiah repeatedly says that the Temple will become a house of prayer for all nations and no one, not even eunuchs, will be excluded from it, but apparently that, like his prophecies that nation shall not make war upon nation and shall beat their swords into plowshares, will be the work of the Devil while Jesus is preparing to commit genocide.

  • Helena

    What perverse instinct make him want to hear a contemporary arrangement for guitar? I can’t imagine if such a thing would be more grotesque or not than this Mormon version, which is pure kitsch.

    Here is Klemperer and the Philharmonia, with Schwatzkopf and Fischer-Deskau (and of the whole Deutsches Requiem):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQGQG79xBFg

  • konrad_arflane

    Beat me to it. Although I was going to go with Herreweghe:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnScJZKKZ-0

  • Carstonio

    I share Alex SL’s confusion about the importance of the Temple to Christianity. I’ve never heard of that concept, and Fred is being uncharacteristically elliptical.

  • GeniusLemur

    Yet more proof that L&J care way more about their Mary-Sues than God, the story, or even the prophecy checklist. “Hey, look at Buck riding in the taxi! Oh, there’s the rebuilt temple over there, it looks really nice. Okay, enough of that, back to Buck and his amazing taxi-riding skills!”

  • Susan Paxton

    Maybe there’s a phone booth near the temple where he can make a call to someone.

  • SkyknightXi

    Blame their stunted understanding of godliness/virtue, maybe? It all seems to boil down to little more than “The proof of our godliness is that Satan can’t make us love him”.

  • GeniusLemur

    Yeah, and Satan can’t make them have ten toes for the same reason.

  • Benjamin Thomas

    Sufjan Stevens. FC just moved another notch up my epicness scale.

  • Dogfacedboy

    Perhaps a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all readers everywhere, living or dead. And all writers, editors, publishers, Christians, Jews and English speakers.

    Ha! I knew Fred was getting somewhere with this whole LB Friday thing. Now it makes sense. Count me in!

    I read the first twelve books. I didn’t pay for them – some lady gave them to my mom. (I had to read them to keep tabs on what my end-times-obsessed mom is thinking.)

    So my damages are limited to mental pain and suffering, irretrievably lost hours, whiplash and brain damage from chronic head-desking, elevated blood pressure, moral indignation, mind-warping, failure to have my disbelief suspended, excessive tedium, near perilous loss of faith in humankind, and general resentfulness at their monetary enrichment through gross incompetence, negligence and fraudulence while worthy writers struggle in poverty and obscurity.

    Is there a lawyer in the house? Come on, people. Let’s do this thing!

  • Fusina

    I did some facepalming and some headdesking today, when I read the latest on why W. was a great president. Apparently, there are those who believe that there really are WMDs, and that Saddam Hussein, in order to keep anyone from knowing about them, had them secretly sent to Syria…and if we just invade Syria and make a search, we will find that W. was right all the time…

    Aaaaauuuuuuuuggggggghhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Edited to add, I really, truly, wish I was making this up. Because then I wouldn’t.

  • http://rapturepractice.wordpress.com/ Phoenix Feather

    Whaaaaat. Please let that be a joke.

  • Lori
  • Fusina

    I truly wish I could say that. You have no idea how much I wish I could say that. It was in a thingie on facebook that was forwarded on to me regarding how awesome W. was in regard to the whole Syria thing, and how class act he was in the face of Fox News pushing him to slang Obama. Oh, here is the link, in case anyone else wants to trash their brain…

    http://www.ijreview.com/2013/08/76157-bush-stays-classy-when-fox-news-tries-to-get-him-to-comment-on-syria/

    It was the comments by people on facebook that I found the WMD comment…

  • Ima Pseudonym

    Not a chance. Heard the same thing being peddled by people over the last eight years or so. And not only are some of them STILL doing it, they’re also managing to be simultaneously overjoyed that we may be going to war with Syria, thus vindicating Dubya, and enraged that it’s happening under Obama’s watch, which makes it a bad thing (when it isn’t a good thing, that is). I am related to some of them.

  • mattmcirvin

    I can confirm that Fusina is not making that up.

  • FearlessSon

    Even if that were true, it would make the Iraq War even more of an intelligence cock-up than it already has shown to be.

    What is the worse possibility, that we misread intelligence that lead us to believe that Saddam was building weapons of mass destruction, or that we correctly interpreted that intelligence but ended up losing track of the threat we were supposed to be focused on?

    Either way, we ended up invading a country that, at the time, did not have the weapons we thought could be so much a threat. In the first case, that invasion was a big international fuck-up, and in the second case not only did we have the same fuck-up, but we also exposed ourselves to WMD attacks from an unsuspecting flank (either Syria or whatever America-hostile country they could have sold WMDs to) while our forces were committed and focused elsewhere.

  • BaseDeltaZero

    So, it’d be basically a case of ‘Well, no, he wasn’t a liar per se, just awe-inspiringly incompetent. Like, even more than we already knew.

  • FearlessSon

    For the sake of my argument here I am assuming good faith on the part of the Bush administration. I am not necessarily saying that the invasion was ordered in good faith, but even if it was, it was still an intelligence failure.

    The reason stuff like that kind of miffs me is because I like a strong national defense. I think it is important for the security of the state. But doing things like over committing our forces on egregiously bad intel actually leaves us more vulnerable and insecure if only because it means too much of our strength is tied down to deftly respond to other situations.

  • Daniel

    I’m not really a lawyer, but I can do a convincing impression of one. But Jenkins isn’t really a writer so it should pan out just fine.

    (I watched Matlock in a bar last night- the sound wasn’t on but I think I got the gist of it.)

  • Lori

    So you watched Matlock in a bar, but did you stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night? If so I’m sure we’re good.

  • Daniel

    They say “no news is good news”, but they also said the Antichrist wasn’t going to take over the world and that nuclear bombs were always radioactive. As they also said “what do they know”? Apart from that.

    Buck Williams was sorely in need of a distraction. To him no news was quite literally no news. Saying he thrived on the thrill of news was like saying the Great Wall of China was long. He had been in Jerusalem now for what felt like months, though it had only been a few days- his great cell phone had a diary function so he could keep checking. The initial excitement caused by two old men in rags incinerating passers by with jets of flames from their eyes while reciting verses from the Bible had passed, predictably enough. It was old news now, like the nuclear war or the children disappearing. Buck was a great reporter, he had a nose for news, and these things were not news any more. They were definitely Olds, the prophecies had been fulfilled, there was nothing more to say. It was hard to make the staff at Global Weakly (that pun cracked him up every time- even in spite of all the horrors he’d seen he retained his puckish sense of humour… another priceless pun suggested itself!) see how uninterested the general public was in these events. They had all finished. Explanations had been given, unsatisfying ones admittedly, but it was hardly Buck’s job to tell people what had really happened. That was the government’s job, and he could hardly be blamed that the government was inherently untrustworthy- it wasn’t his fault it was run by the forces of Satan. Knowing was the cross he, his friend and their women-folk had to bear. Their fortitude allowed them to bear it with a smile, never laying the burden on any one else. Knowing that they would have to cope with the loneliness of being the only four saved after God’s vengeance was another burden that they bore bravely and with a smile of resignation. No one would listen, so it would be useless to tell them. Buck was becoming more spiritual, shedding his ties to worldly desires. The clinging dirt of the sinful earth, and the clinging filth of his own body, were growing increasingly unbearable to him. Buck’s wisdom, and Buck’s soul, cried out to him that he was certainly not to blame. And nor was Rayford. He checked his amazing phone- he’d got it for way below what the salesman had wanted to charge- to find out the time, and smiled as he remembered that he was one day closer to receiving the Stay At Home Mother of Computers he’d charged to the company credit card. Buck saw himself and Rayford as spiritual special forces, Spartans sharing an unspoken bond, the two of them against the forces of evil as Men, Chloe and Alma waiting with fresh baked cookies and children of some sort for when they’d finished.

    He had napped, and he had showered again. Following his aberrant dreams he had felt a very strong urge to clean himself more thoroughly than he had ever cleaned himself before. Usually dirt did not bother him, he was, after all, a seasoned world traveller, and had frequently worn the same outfit for a whole day when needs demanded. Somehow though today was different.

    He had woken groggy from his nap, confused from his night time visitation, and sticky with sweat. It must have been sweat, given how unworldly he was becoming. It was sweat. These dreams confirmed to Buck what he had suspected for some time. God had selected him, and by extension the whole
    Tribulation Force, for a special purpose. He had doubted this, briefly, as so
    far they seemed to have done nothing to obviously prevent the rise of Nicolae to
    the unprecedented position of ruler of the world, despite having known since
    before his election to high office that he was, without doubt, the Antichrist.
    But then, even Jesus had doubted, and he hadn’t Buck’s education or experience. Buck had also got 5 000 pages of wisdom Jesus would envy, 5 000 pages explaining exactly what He would have said had he had Buck’s education, all written in size 8 font with important points underlined in green biro by Bruce Barnes.

    Without any stories to imagine writing his brain was working faster than the builders near the Wailing Wall who had been making a great show of doing something since Buck had arrived. He couldn’t tell what it was, and no one had volunteered the information to him, so he was none the wiser now. The only sign explaining it was in Hebrew, and the Jews in the area seemed to fall silent whenever they read it, then some would get lascivious, hugging wantonly
    and smiling. Such was the Antichrist’s reach even in the Holy Land. No one at the Wailing Wall was even crying any more. The bile rose in Buck’s gorge- they had stopped crying. They had stopped crying. They seemed to have stopped feeling bad about killing Christ. The Jews’ behaviour was in stark contrast to the Muslims’, who seemed very upset about something, but Buck was still worldly enough to know that their problems interested no one. The reporter in Buck got the sense that something was going on. He distracted himself with the happy thought that the ostentatious gold roofed building that had marred the view had been bulldozed. He was fairly certain it had been a family planning clinic, or a gay Satanists’ sacrificial bathhouse. Or a combination of the two. The reporter in him wanted to ask, but his soul shrieked at him that it was much safer and more spiritually healthy to just imagine the sins going on inside and condemn them from a distance. It was not his job to understand.

    A constant peril of being the world’s greatest reporter is that everyone everywhere recognized him. It would have been useless to ask questions at the wall as no one would have answered him truthfully. Everyone would have massaged their answers to try and lead him away from his faith. Buck’s faith was the most important thing in his life, so it followed that it should be the most important thing in other people’s lives too. Unlike him these people were of the world, and not to be trusted. It was like Bruce Barnes’ favourite parable, the story of the “Good” Samaritan. The Pastor who had found the injured man realised that the only way to heal him was through faith in the Lord, and had rushed off to his nearest radio station to preach a message saying just that. The Levite, who Bruce had explained was like a politician, had realised that the best way to help the man was to send the police out to arrest anyone who might be the thief that had attacked him, and sped off to do just that. The Samaritan, in contrast, had “helped” by cleaning and caring for the man in order to inculcate a sense of dependence and a lack of self-reliance into him. Bruce Barnes had made it very clear to the Tribulation Force that the moral was “always suspect the motives of outsiders”, and Buck could see now why that was.

    Buck suspected the new building on the Wailing Wall would be a casino for gay single mothers, or an abortion clinic/sex dungeon for disabled gay Catholic Wiccans. He had therefore sought to distance himself from whatever it was as much as possible, though circumstances had compelled him to go there nearly every day and accidentally catch glimpses through the windows, as and when they were added. He despaired of the builders’ morals- they frequently bent over and exposed…a part… that should always be concealed which only strengthened his
    suspicions that this building would welcome perverts. He made a note to picket
    it when it was completed. His soul rejoiced.

    He was soon washed, dressed, blow-dried and in the back of a cab listening to the pleasant Hebrew accent of his driver who was all questions.
    “You’re William… Cameron?”
    Buck smiled bashfully.
    “I am yes, but people call me Buck.”
    “Why?”
    “Because I tell them to. I don’t follow orders, you see.”
    “I love your articles”
    “Thank you.”
    “I read the World this Week.”
    Buck’s bile rose. Even the taxi driver was an agent of Satan.
    “No. That’s William Cameron.”
    “That’s what I said.”
    “I’m Cameron Williams.”
    “Oh. What… Do you write too?”
    “Yes. I happen to be the best reporter in the world.”
    “Really?”
    “Yes. I was trained by the best. I paid for a full course with a best selling writer. So I’m a little more qualified than that… Cameron.”
    “So are you writing about the Temple?”
    “The what?”
    “The Temple…?
    They’ve… I mean it’s been in all the newspapers… everyone’s talking about it…”
    Buck smiled- here was a chance to do a good deed and show the taxi driver who was the more intelligent
    “Ah, well, I’m not that kind of journalist.”
    “No? Do you do economics or something then? Or food?”
    “No! But what I learnt from my course, from a bestselling author remember, and from years as a journalist with literally seven articles published and several more thought about is that people don’t want to read about other people and real life.”
    “No?”
    “No. It’s not the writer’s job to reflect real life, or the real world.”
    “I thought writers write about life and about people, or about being human. So what is it the writer’s job to do?”
    Buck shook his head at the awkward speech of his cab driver
    “Well some writers write about life or about people, or about being human. But good writers, and I say this with some authority, write to present an image of themselves to their readers. Then they inspire their readers to be like that. Writers should tell you how to behave and how to live. They are the engineers of men’s souls.”

    The cab driver tried earnestly to earn back his tip with a smile. Buck recoiled at his worldliness, and decided he’d teach him as the Levite had taught the Samaritan.

  • LMM22

    But then, even Jesus had doubted, and he hadn’t Buck’s education or experience. Buck had also got 5 000 pages of wisdom Jesus would envy, 5 000 pages explaining exactly what He would have said had he had Buck’s education, all written in size 8 font with important points underlined in green biro by Bruce Barnes.

    Yes.

  • flat

    well written

  • Eric Boersma

    I lost it at “The Stay At Home Mother of all Computers”.

  • Daniel

    There’s an issue Timkins ignores with this expensive but totally necessary item- is it OK for the Mother of Computers to work?

  • esmerelda_ogg

    Certainly not! She/it should be completely devoted to submissively serving the Husband of the Mother of all Computers.

  • http://rapturepractice.wordpress.com/ Phoenix Feather

    Buck suspected the new building on the Wailing Wall would be a casino
    for gay single mothers, or an abortion clinic/sex dungeon for disabled
    gay Catholic Wiccans.

    I burst out laughing in the middle of the library. Where I work. It was a very professional moment.

  • nemryn

    This is great.

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

    Minor nitpick, probably, but…

    The cabbie took his foot off the accelerator. “You go to Galilee? Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.”

    Buck waved him on. “I know. Wailing Wall now. Galilee later.”

    Do L&J have any idea how ridiculous they look writing that scene? Do they really think every Israeli except for Tsion Ben Judah and Chaim Rosenzweig talk in that stilted broken English that somehow also manages to convey that they think said Israelis are not the brightest stars in the sky?

  • Charby

    You should be grateful that he chose to do this instead of what he did with Tsion Ben Judah — that is, having him pronounced his accent phonetically, with excruciating sentences like this:

    “Ees dis Chamerown Weeleeums?” came the thick Hebrew accent.

    “Yes, sir.”

    “Dees ist Dochtor Tsion Ben-Judah.”

    How much of that do you think YOU could read, pal?

  • J_Enigma32

    Funetik Aksents should, and thankfully are, used sparingly in these books. Because reading them sucks.

    As far as the stilted English goes, we’ve established by now that’s pretty much the entirety narrative, leave off the inter-cardboard cutout”character” dialogue.

  • Daniel

    It reads like dragging my eyes across shattered glass.

  • J_Enigma32

    Really, if they had any shame they’d have realized by book three how ridiculous they look writing the damn books. If they haven’t realized how silly they look writing the books, there’s no hope for a scene making them self-aware.

    Also, that stilted English makes me think of Full Metal Jacket.

  • Oriscus

    Sorry, while you’re right about these awful novels as usual…

    “A. I couldn’t find a contemporary guitar, cello, piano, etc., arrangement, which is a crying shame”

    “Seriously, though, I’d like to hear, say, Sufjan Stevens or the Polyphonic Spree or Sarah Jarosz and Alison Krauss do this one.”

    You have got to be joking. You evidently understand music less than LaHaye and Jenkins understand believable fiction.

    Why on earth would any sane human being with ears, given the existence and ready availability of the piece Brahms actually wrote, desire to hear, much less lament the absence of, a “contemporary” (that term needs some serious unpacking, btw, and instrumental? wtf.) arrangement?

    And to long for a rendition by assorted solo artists of a piece conceived for multiple voices, one that, while it is rich in melody, has no “tune” as such? (Polyphonic Spree could conceivably render it, but they, despite their name, do precious little polyphony.)

    Dreadfully sorry; you appear to have stepped in something there. Wipe it off; it stinks.

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

    Actually I suspect the smell is from yours doing what you don’t think it does.

  • Guest

    People have different tastes in music, dude. Learn to live with it.

  • Seriously

    You can’t be that much of a dick without trying, HARD, so congrats, I guess. May you get stuck in a waiting room for hours with nothing but Left Behind to read and a ceaseless loop of Nickelback on Muzak.

  • P J Evans

    or one of those no-talk continuous-loop pop-rock stations.

  • Oriscus

    I wish to withdraw the sentence I wrote after “You have got to be joking.” That was abusive. I stand by the rest.

  • J_Enigma32

    It’s funny this issue should arise, because one of my problems is writing characters who don’t speak English fluently. I generally avoid the problem but not having them, but sometimes I run into a situation where I’ve wrote myself into a corner and I have no choice.

    I’ve got a strong language pedigree even if I’m only truly fluent in American English. Usually, when I run into a situation like this, I try to map the actual language syntax and grammar itself onto English, assuming that a non-native English speaker who doesn’t speak English well is going to fall into the grammatical and syntactical traits of the language they are fluent in (I base this off my own experience, since I do this all the time with the languages I taught myself). So if the language doesn’t include any kind of direct or indirect objects (for instance, Russian; in Russian, the direct/indirect object is denoted by the ending of the transitive verb in the accusative case; iirc, this extends to all Slavic languages), then the character isn’t likely to use “the/a/an”, and instead of “He is reading the newspaper”, a ELS Russian character is likely to say, “He is reading newspaper”.

    Now, obviously this doesn’t work 100% of the time. For instance, Farsi is a pain to map, since Farsi doesn’t possess a grammatical gender, among other major deviations from European IE languages. Likewise, the TV Tropes example, “You no candle take”, is a perfectly valid Latin sentence (since Latin has an entirely different word order than English does). It’s ultimately up to the writer doing it – you need to be sparing in it in either case since it can create the impression of “Ho ho, dumb furriner don’t speak English right.” It also runs the danger of feeding into stereotypes – for instance, cabbie up there reminds of a specific character from Full Metal Jacket. You know the one. And reminding your readers of racial stereotypes may not be the best course of action in legitimate fiction.

    Unfortunately, all of the above requires an author willing to be careful and learn, and perhaps risk making mistakes in the name of trying to be faithful to their art. That also implies an artist making art. What we have here isn’t any of that. What we have here are two hack authors doing what’s necessary to make a profit. Which fits their perverse religion a lot better than does making a lasting contribution to humanity’s collective storytelling scene.

  • J_Enigma32

    Something else to point out here, too. I work with a lot of ESL students who speak Arabic as their primary language (except one, who was immersed in both English and Arabic, but not enough to speak either fluently and as a result, doesn’t speak any language fluently). The problem that they run into time and time again isn’t that they forget words like the articles, it’s not “goofy” syntax, and it’s not even weird word usage.

    I’d venture 90% of the time, it’s just that they don’t know the right word for the situation, because their vocabulary isn’t that large. Now their writing is a different beast, but there are people who speak English fluently who can’t write it for jack, so that doesn’t stand out as special.

    Sure, they’re accented (the Jordanian accent is actually a really pretty accent), but in fiction, they’d be speaking English as well as the next person – until they hit on a word that they didn’t know, because it was outside of the confines of their vocab. Still, they’ve got the basics down, thought. It’s another thought for authors who are confused: i.e, don’t even try to map the language to English. Let them speak English just like any other character, but give them a limited vocabulary.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Back when I kept in practice, I always used to say that I could speak French and Spanish fluently, just so long as the conversation didn’t stray from “Things found in a classroom”

  • J_Enigma32

    That’s the maximum extent of my German, with the added caveat that I know a lot about the syntax and the grammar, so I can spot when Google Translate is giving me word salad. I can’t really speak it anymore (been more than 10 years), thought. I also picked up functional Latin in school; I don’t remember a lot of my Latin now, but the syntax and grammar’s stuck, so like with German, I can generally tell when Google Translate’s spitting schizophasia at me.

    When I was a toddler, I could speak conversational French and basic Spanish, since I watched Sesame Street (we also picked up a broadcast from Quebec, so maybe I should specify that to Quebecois French, and I was able to pick up basic Spanish – greetings, counting, that sort of thing – from the American show). It atrophied in kindergarten, though, because we couldn’t get the broadcast and I had nobody to talk to in those languages.

    In recent years, I’ve been trying to relearn my French. Given it’s been more than 20 years since I last spoke it, that’s been a bit of a challenge. Nobody else speaks it here, either.

    I’m self taught in most other languages that I know; being generous, my knowledge is spotty. I can transliterate and almost read Greek without some kind of aid (but not speak). Because of my Greek, I can almost do the same thing with Cyrillic, and I’ve picked up a bit of Russian and a dash of Serbian as a result. I used to know basic Czech – I might still remember some of it – and I know enough about Swedish/Norwegian/Danish to realize they might as well be the same language. I could still go anywhere in Europe and get lost with frightening ease, thought.

    The most successful self-taught language that I’ve got is Old English. I speak it and read it, but I can’t say fluently because I’ve got nothing to compare it to. I picked it and Gothic up because I’m fluent in Modern English and understand German.

    The upshot to all this is that I can generally decipher medical jargon and scientific terms and meanings by pulling apart the roots and suffixes, because I know both Latin and Greek.

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

    I can transliterate Cyrillic well enough, but I don’t recognize more than a few words of Serbian. That said, I’ve read enough about Serbo-Croatian that some of the way the words get put together, if I see someone doing it that way in English I know they’re from the former Yugoslavia.

  • Daniel

    This is off topic, kinda, but given what you’ve posted here I was wondering if you could help me with something that in English seems ungooglable.

    A few months ago my mum had her purse stolen. As well as the usual money and cards etc she also had a copy of the san svete bogorodice inside. It was a family heirloom from her parababa and as it’s her birthday soon I was hoping to make her one to replace it.
    Here’s the favour-

    I can’t find any details about them on google, and I don’t know if there’s a particular layout for the prayer/poem bit (which I have been able to find) and also if there’s any standard icons that should be used to illustrate it (I assume Mary and Child). If you know anything about this could you please help me out? There aren’t many Serbs around here to ask…
    Thank you kindly.

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

    Sorry, I only know “zdravo” and “smrt” (and maybe some phrases, “dobro jutro” and so on) and from wikipedia I have a feel for the ‘flavor’ of the language, but any in-depth knowledge is gonna take someone who knows a lot more than me.

    EDIT: Also, I’m not religious, you’re gonna want someone who’s Serbian Orthodox to tell you what to look for.

  • Daniel

    It was a bit of a shot in the dark, but thanks for the reply. One Serb word I know and enjoy- which doesn’t appear in any dictionaries I’ve found so I may be spelling it wrong- is “Fufitza”. It’s a word for a woman like Ms. Durham, but it sounds lovely.

  • Jamoche

    There’s a Livejournal community, http://www.livejournal.com/userinfo.bml?user=little_details , originally set up for writers to get answers where research fails, but I’ve seen enough questions that don’t mention writing that your question could probably slide by. Even when people don’t know the answer, someone usually knows other places you can try.

  • SirThinkALot

    Tsion’s “Jews for Jesus” message might have garnered a tinybit of attention if his name had been Tsion Cohen, but it still wouldn’t have distracted anyone from the more pressing questions about the reconsecration of the holiest site, the recommissioning of priests, the resumption of sacrifices, tithes and offerings, and the countless other huge, world-changing consequences of “the newly rebuilt temple.

    Not to mention the protests, riots, and very likely wars that Muslims would start as the result of Israel tearing down their single holiest site to make room for a new Temple.

  • Name

    Except all the muslims have converted to worshiping Enigma Babylon like the rest of the world. What exactly that involves, we’ll never know. But it doesn’t matter; Muslims only pretend to believe Allah is the only god and Muhammed is his messenger, so if they convert to pretending to believe in Enigma Babylon, it’s no different, right? It’s not like Islam involves any behavior apart from denying Jesus anyway…

  • P J Evans

    second holiest, I think. Because Kaaba in Mecca.

  • themunck

    3rd? I’ve always heard Medina has quite the significance as well.

  • SirThinkALot

    Okay. ‘single holiest’ may have been a bit of an exaggeration. But my general point still stands: The Mosque currently standing in the Temple Mount(as well as the rock within it) are considered extremely sacred to a billion people. And in the real world any attempt to tear it down or move it(especially to put up a new Jewish temple), would lead to MASSIVE demonstrations, riots and very likely invasion from one or more of the Muslim countries that surround Israel.

  • TheBrett

    Wasn’t there mention in one of the first two books about how Nicolae conveniently convinced the muslims to remove the Dome of the Rock so the Israelis could build the temple there? I think it has come up before, and it was pretty ludicrous back then.

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

    What Muslims? Aren’t they all Global Communitarians or something now?

    Implausibility piles on implausibility in these books.

  • Ima Pseudonym

    After reading this latest, I find myself perversely fascinated in imagining how Timkins would have written other novels such as, say, “Contact.” What I’m coming up with there is a story in which the news that mankind is receiving a very long, very detailed message from an advanced alien species containing a blueprint for the construction of a massive alien machine of completely unknown purpose and function is considered so boring and irrelevant that it’s vastly overshadowed by the travel plans and itinerary and of the scientists involved, none of which ever give any indication that they understand even basic science, much less anything else. Everything important happens away from the main characters and is only mentioned in passing, there’s virtually no speculation regarding how first contact with, and confirmation of the existence of, intelligent life from another world will change the world in which we live, and none of the technical information they do bother to give the reader makes any coherent sense. The relationship between Palmer Joss and Ellie Arroway is based entirely on a series of wafer-thin strawmen that Ellie nevertheless is completely incapable of knocking over. And the journey at the end of the book–or books–covers about a dozen pages and is completely overshadowed by dismay when the explorers’ phone service is cut off. Someone else could probably do a better job than me here.

  • Daniel

    This sounds like a challenge- classics of world literature as written by Timkins.
    The Scarlet Letter- a simple story about a whore being justifiably punished.
    The Trial- Joseph K unfairly accused revels in his persecution and makes snide remarks about people who have nothing to do with the case. Then Jesus.
    Don Quixote- a man reads too many non-Christian books and becomes a satanist, worshiping windmills and sheep. Then Jesus.

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

    1984 – Winston Smith sits at the speakwrite and does nothing but make up the news and use the telescreen all day. When he’s with Julia, he ends up offering her a cookie rather than doing what any ordinary straight or bisexual guy would probably do if a naked woman told him she was willing to do it at a moment’s notice (particularly if said guy has had a crappy marriage and hasn’t even seen his wife in years because they’re separated). He then proceeds to actively help O’Brien deep-six Goldstein’s book and doesn’t lift a finger to help Julia when she gets caught.

    Lord of the Flies – The boys all collectively angst because there’s no pay phone on the bloody island and they have to walk everywhere.

    The Golden Compass – Lyra Belacqua dutifully stays home and does nothing of consequence. The story ends there.

    Lord of the Rings – Frodo passive-aggressively narks off at Gandalf and then ends up becoming one of Sauron’s minions due to his possession of the ring, even as he pretends he’s resisting Sauron’s influence.

  • Jamoche

    Lyra goes along with Mrs Coulter’s plan to use her as a lure for other kids. Sometimes she reminds herself that she’s only going along with it so she can stay close to the major baddie, and isn’t it awful how these bad things keep happening?

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

    Brilliant skewering! :D

  • Daniel

    1984- Winston reports Julia as soon as he meets her. She is a woman with a job, after all, and a job that involves machinery at that. He is rewarded with a better replacement wife. Eventually the Party falls, after Jesus personally kills Big Brother and replaces his despotic totalitarian system of slavish adherence to the cult of personality with an all powerful all knowing Christianity in which everyone spends all their time worshiping Jesus. Which is entirely different. All this is narrated by the mysterious “McGillicuddy”.

    Paradise Lost- a thirty page piece of doggerel in which Satan lists all the fruits in Eden in alphabetical order to demonstrate his charm and evil powers. SPOILER ALERT- it’s all Eve’s fault.

    A Tale of Two Cities- an exhaustive list of all the routes between Paris and London and the best way to get to random locations in either city. “It was the best of routes, your’s is the worst of routes. It was the fastest way, it was the the longest way. It was the way with the least traffic, it was the way with the most cars”

  • Daniel

    Oranges are not the only fruit- it turns out they very definitely are.

  • flat

    brilliant article Fred absolutely brilliant.
    The last few articles in my opinion were kinda meh.
    But this one hit the ball once again out of the park.

  • christinaarcher

    Well, timandjerry have done the impossible. They’ve made Jesus into a silly. That is a difficult task, but they’ve managed it. According to them the Holy Trinity are all a bunch of sillies.

  • MaryKaye

    Even were the political issues to be resolved (mind-whammy might do; surely nothing else would!) there are two huge problems with moving the Dome of the Rock:

    (1) The rock in question is bedrock, part of the hill. (Wikipedia has a nice description with links to pictures.) So you’d have to carve it up, which is surely desecration. And places are sacred in Islam, not just objects.

    (2) The rock is not just sacred to Muslims: at least some Jews believe it to be the place where the Ark ought to rest, and it is in any case sacred as the place of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac (or of Ismail, to the Muslims). So you can’t carve the rock out, take it away, and then rebuild the Temple; you just took away its foundation stone.

    It would actually make more sense to say “There are no Muslims or Jews anymore” than it does to say “Muslims and Jews both agree to this plan”!

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    It is not possible to understand anything about Judaism without
    understanding the meaning and significance of the Temple in Jerusalem.
    It is not possible to understand much about Christianity without
    understanding the meaning and significance of the Temple in Jerusalem.

    Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins do not see anything meaningful or significant about the Temple in Jerusalem.

    Here in Nicolae, for the authors, the presence of the Temple
    is meaningless except as some lights in the background behind the
    Western Wall. For the authors, the rebuilt Temple means nothing. It changes nothing.

    Actually, it does.
    But what it changes is NOT much of an improvement:

    It’s a checkoff on the End Time Prophecy Checklist.
    “Temple Rebuilt? CHECK.”

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    “Bruce had taught Buck that one day Carpathia would sit in that new
    temple and proclaim himself God,” L&J write. The “prophecy” there
    comes from the book of Daniel. In LaHaye’s scheme, Daniel gets mixed
    into a hodge-podge of exilic and post-exilic Old Testament passages that
    he treats as a single prediction of the rebuilding of the Temple in the
    last days.

    In “LaHaye’s scheme”?
    More like “In Hal Lindsay’s scheme as rewordgitated by LaHaye.”

    Because I remember that exact mixture of Daniel & Revelation & Dispensation from Hal Lindsay, back when the Bible had 3 1/2 books: Daniel, Revelation, the Nuclear War Chapter of Ezekiel (the half), and (the most important) Late, Great, Planet Earth by Hal Lindsay.

  • atalex

    I actually had the same experience with book 4 (I skipped 2 and 3) over something much more banal. After the earthquake, the entire world’s telecommunications system shuts down. And the OWG reconstructs it as an evil solar-powered telecommunications network called Cellular-Solar or Cell-Sol (get it?). After I read that, I literally could not continue and had to put the book down and go for a walk before I could continue.

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

    The best part is when the Tribbles go into absolute fits of righteous indignation because HOW DARE NICOLAE GET THE COMM GRID BACK UP FIRST.

    Never mind that Buck Wiliams practically eats cell phones for breakfast.

  • Eric Oppen

    There would be endless complications with rebuilding a Temple, including finding some way to purify the workers enough to set foot on the holy ground. As I understand it, some extremely religious Jews are trying to figure ways to do this, but it’s insanely difficult. Something to do with sacrificing a pure red heifer, IIRC.

  • Lorehead

    Breeding a red heifer is something that some Evangelicals in Texas are trying to do; it’s not a thing in mainstream Judaism. (That said, I’m sorry to say that there are Jewish extremists who would like to rebuild the temple and destroy the mosques there now, but they at least are counting on that to spark a holy war, in which they expect God to intervene. It’s the same strategy as in the Second Jewish Revolt, and look how well that worked out for us.)

    I was taught the red-heifer law as the canonical example of a rule so blatantly irrational and inconvenient that it must certainly be divine, because no sane human being would ever have come up with anything like it.

  • Jamoche

    Or it’s like one of those rock concert nitpicky details, like specifying the color of the M&Ms, that are there as a test to see if people actually did read the entire contract.

  • Lorehead

    That would actually make a certain sense. I mean, once you’ve somehow gotten around the problem of why an omniscient supreme Being needs to test people the way He did Job in the first place.

  • Jamoche

    After following a few links on Wikipedia, my current impression is that it was the cow owners trying to make sure that the rule didn’t apply to *their* very valuable cow. “Sure, I’d just love to donate a cow. But I couldn’t possibly donate a cow that was anything less than perfect, and gosh, none of them quite measure up.”

  • rizzo

    How about the McCourys doing ‘Workin on a Building”?;)

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Slack, I read that title “NRA: In the House of the LORD forever” with “NRA” defaulting to “National Rifle Association”.
    “ZARDOZ!!!!!”

  • Mad Latinist

    This was one of your best ever (which is saying something)!


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