NRA: Roll, Jordan, roll

Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist; pp. 189-190

We mentioned earlier that there are two things here in Chapter 10 that grab the reader and hurl them forcibly out of the story. These aren’t just the sort of thing that makes readers demand their money back, they’re the sort of thing that makes readers want their money back, plus extra compensation for pain and suffering and punitive damages. Here is the second such thing in Chapter 10.

Buck Williams is in a cab below the Temple Mount in Jerusalem:

“Can a fella get a boat ride up the Jordan River into Lake Tiberius at this time of night?” he asked the driver.

“Well, sir, to tell you the truth, it’s a lot easier coming the other way. But, yes, there are motorized boats heading north. And some do run in the night. Of course, your touring boats are daytime affairs, but there’s always someone who will take you where you want to go for the right price, any time of the day or night.”

“I figured that,” Buck said. Not long later he was dickering with a boatman named Michael, who refused to give a last name. “In the daytime I can carry 20 tourists on this rig, and four strong young men and I pilot it by arm power, if you know what I mean.”

“Oars?”

“Yes, sir, just like in the Bible. Boat’s made of wood. We cover the twin outboards with wood and burlap, and no one’s the wiser. Makes for a pretty long, tiring day. But when we have to go back upriver, we can’t do that with the oars.”

It was only Michael, the twin outboards, and Buck heading north after midnight, but Buck felt as if he had paid for 20 tourists and four oarsmen as well.

Buck began the trip standing in the bow and letting the crisp air race through his hair. He soon had to zip his leather jacket to the neck and thrust his hands deep into his pockets. Before long he was back next to Michael, who piloted the long, rustic, wood boat from just ahead of the outboard motors. Few other crafts were on the Jordan that night.

I’m sub-contracting the response to this passage to Israeli journalist and writer Gershom Gorenberg. This is from Gorenberg’s terrific book, The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount. Goremberg describes his attempt to read Nicolae while on vacation:

My son and I are stretched out in a hammock between two trees in the backyard of the country house where we like to vacation. It’s in the hills of the Galilee, away from the noise and exhaust of Jerusalem; from the yard we can see the town of Tiberias and all of Lake Kinneret — the Sea of Galilee — shimmering blue and the Golan Heights rising dark and green behind it. My 10-year-old son is reading The Phantom Tollbooth yet again and giggles occasionally. I’m reading Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist, by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. And suddenly I start laughing harder than my son, which I’m not supposed to do in the middle of a thriller about the end of the world, complete with nuclear war and famine and plague, and he wants to know what’s funny, so I read him the paragraph where world-renowned journalist Buck Williams, in Jerusalem on a secret mission, learns that “he would find who he was looking for in Galilee, which didn’t really exist anymore,” a geographical point he repeats for emphasis two pages later.

“Dad, if the Galilee doesn’t exist, where are we?” my son asks.

“Maybe we don’t exist either.”

A couple minutes later I’m giggling again: Now Buck has decided to make the three-hour journey to “Tiberius” (sic) by boat — one of the many touring boats that, in the book, ply the Jordan River. Which would be fine if the Jordan were really “deep and wide,” as the song goes, but in reality it’s a narrow trickle not fit for navigating.

The experience is jarring, like meeting someone who calls you by your name, insists he knows you, remembers you from a high school you didn’t attend, a job you never had. I’m reading a book set largely in the country where I live — but not really, because the authors’ Israel is a landscape of their imagination, and the characters called “Jews” might as well be named hobbits or warlocks. Israel and Jews are central to Nicolae and the other books of the hugely successful Left Behind series — but the country belongs to the map of a Christian myth; the people speak lines from a script foreign to flesh-and-blood Jews.

We could say more about this extravagantly awful scene in Nicolae. We could talk about how the whole business about “oars … just like in the Bible” seems to be a long way to go for a belabored “Michael Row the Boat Ashore” pun, and how the Bible really doesn’t say much of anything about “oars” anyway. We could goggle at the botched cliché of Buck standing in the bow, the wind whipping his hair like he was Leo and/or Kate in Titanic. But all of that pales in comparison to the overriding, overwhelming wrongness Gorenberg mocks in this passage and to what he says it reveals about the jarringly untrue and unreal “landscape of their imagination” the authors present here and throughout these books.

That landscape is Bible-ish — rowing boats on the Jordan River is something that someone who has never read the Bible might think is in there. (It’s not.) But it’s as foreign to and incompatible with the Bible as it is with the actual landscape of Israel and the actual reality of “flesh-and-blood Jews.”

This sort of thing is especially incredible since Tim LaHaye has been to Israel and has seen the Jordan River with his own two eyes. Like most preachers in the “Bible prophecy scholar” racket, LaHaye has conducted “Holy Land tours,” taking groups of his American, RTC followers over to Israel and the West Bank to “walk where Jesus walked” and — more importantly for these “prophecy” tours — to gaze at the valley of Megiddo and to snarl disapprovingly at the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.

The itinerary for one of LaHaye’s “Pray for Israel” tours in 2010 (“Only $3999 all inclusive“) includes a stop at Yardenit, a pilgrimage site for millions seeking to be baptized in the Jordan. Yardenit — a place scholars wish tour guides would stop lying about being “the actual site where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist” — is, like much of the Holy Land, part sacred pilgrimage site and part money-grubbing tourist trap. The site is just below the dam separating Lake Kinneret from the river — a dam that would make Buck’s journey impossible even apart from the laughable idea of navigating the shallow trickle of the Jordan.

I don’t know if Jerry Jenkins ever visited Israel before writing Nicolae, so for him the “landscape of the imagination” it presents may just be the product of ignorance and laziness. But for LaHaye, who’d been to the Jordan River and seen it with his own eyes, something more than ignorance had to be at work in his “co-writing” of this fantastic, unreal landscape. He has walked in this world without ever seeing it, preferring instead to see the world of his own ideology, of his own imagining, of his own preference.

The scary thing there isn’t that this one man has retreated into a delusional fantasy. The scary thing is that millions of people are eagerly following him there.

For those who live in this landscape of the imagination, the real world doesn’t really exist anymore.

And if the real world doesn’t exist, what about the rest of us who still live here? Where are we? “Maybe we don’t exist either.”

 

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  • esmerelda_ogg

    “He (Jenkins) has walked in this world without ever seeing it, preferring instead
    to see the world of his own ideology, of his own imagining, of his own
    preference.”

    Just like Ray-Ray and Buck! Gosh, who’d a thunk it?

  • SergeantHeretic

    I agree that this is the most frightening aspect of modern Christian Fundamentatist Evangelical Pre-Millenial Dispensationalism.
    These people are so deluded, deliberatly so, that the real world as it is must be rejected by them on a daily basis. The evangelical “Worldview” has, as this point become a forceful and constant and energetic rejection of reality and the real world as it is.
    The scary thing about that, the truly scary thing, is that the rest of us, the rest of the human race that do not chhose this dangerously queer queerly dangerous walking fantasy, aren’t real to them either, we don’t exist execpt in the context that we constitute threats to their delusion and we must be destroyed.
    And these people wonder why the rest of us are so activly worried about the lie they live in.

  • Scott P.

    You might be able to make some interesting fanfic if you adopt the premise that Ray and Buck are delusional — there was no Rapture, Nicolae is just a Romanian politician, Babylon wasn’t rebuilt, etc.

  • Jurgan

    I think Fred once suggested a “Normal Again” style reading where Nicolae was a psychiatrist trying to cure Buck and/or Rayford of their delusions.

  • Jenny Islander

    I still think the series only works if Buck and Ray are Hyles-Anderson students stuck in Chicago O’Hare during a snowstorm, LARPing through the concourses with their cell phones while anybody who catches fleeting snatches of their conversations stands bemused. Later they write it all down and find a vanity publisher.

  • guest

    A few posts back Daniel wrote an elegant and brilliant retelling of these stories based on that premise…maybe he’ll post it again here for your enjoyment.

  • Daniel
  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    The scary thing about that, the truly scary thing, is that the rest of us, the rest of the human race that do not chhose this dangerously queer queerly dangerous walking fantasy, aren’t real to them either, we don’t exist execpt in the context that we constitute threats to their delusion and we must be destroyed.

    Reality must not be allowed to interfere with Correct Ideology.
    Comrade Pol Pot would agree. Ask any survivor of Cambodia’s Killing Fields how far Purity of Ideology can go. And has gone.

  • Panda Rosa

    This reminds me of nothing so much as Mark Twain’s ruthless dissection of Fenimore Cooper, as Cooper had made equally disastrous mistakes describing rivers.
    Twain would definitely be in utter disgust regarding LaHaye’s deliberate mistakes regarding the River Jordan, he noted that his fellow travelers in the Holy Land (in “The Innocents Aboard”) never could look at any landscape without lengthy quotes from all the pious guidebooks about it.

  • Turcano

    Some people say that Twain was out of line in that piece. Having read The Deerslayer, I would respond that while Twain was given to exaggeration on many points, the spirit of the screed is dead-on.

  • This fellow right here

    Fun fact: Mark Twain worked on a riverboat before he became a journalist/novelist/lovable wiseass. Makes sense he’d baulk at Cooper’s ignorance.

  • Original Lee

    Twain didn’t just work on a riverboat. IIRC, he was a riverboat *captain* for several years, the closest thing to being a king of the Mississippi River there was at the time. He had to memorize the geography and weather of the whole river, so he had an intimate knowledge of how wind and water were supposed to interact.

  • Newbiedoobiedoo

    Another fun fact: Twain is cited in the film “Deep Impact” by an older astronaut to the young hot dogs about why the old guy is aboard their fancy rocket. He’s a pilot, and because they trained on video games they’ve never done landings.

  • ethors

    I guess this comes from the fact that our image of the Jordan comes from spirituals, written by people who had never seen the Jordan, but had seen the Mississippi.
    Though was Jordan always a trickle, or was it more like the Amu Darya – once mighty, now not so much?

  • Laurent Weppe

    Keep in mind that the Jordan is mediterranean river, and mediterranean rivers can go from this to this in a matter of minutes when they get pissed. So there has been time when the Jordan was large, mighty and deep… and even more unfit for navigation than when its just trickling water

  • SkyknightXi

    One thing to remember is that Israel fitted a dam onto the Jordan River. Apparently, between and all manner of other problems, and the inability of Israel and the Arab nations to cooperate on it, the River has a rather nasty ecological problem. I wonder if more-narrowed-than-before might be among the changes.

  • Pops

    There was a dam there, but it was built during the Mandate period and was a casualty of the First Arab-Israeli War:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naharayim

    Of course, there are other reasons why the Jordan might be narrower now than in the past:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Water_Carrier_of_Israel
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Abdullah_Canal

    And, apparently, that really is the case:

    http://www.danielpipes.org/298/is-jordan-palestine

    ‘Diminutive as the Jordan River appears today, it was not always so. The flow of water has been much reduced due to heavy use in recent decades; in times past it was normally some 90 to 100 feet wide and 3 to 10 feet deep. Seasonal rains used to make the river at times nearly impassable due to the velocity of the current. This is not surprising given that, with the one exception of the Sacramento River in California, the Jordan has the most precipitous drop of any river on earth – about nine feet down for every mile traversed.

    Lieutenant W.F. Lynch, the commander of the U.S. Navy’s 1848 expedition to the Jordan River wrote an account of his trip. His detailed log includes such phrases as “foaming river,” “foaming rapid,” “tumultuous waters,” “a desperate-looking cascade,” “whirlpool,” “a cauldron of foam,” “fierce rapids,” “sweeping current,” and “mad torrent.” As if that were not enough, he describes its “breathless velocity,” “ugly sheer,” “very steep and tumultuous rapid,” “ugly rapid,” “fearful cataract,” and “brawling rapid.” One of Lynch’s ships sank due to repeated strikes against rocks; others were constantly in danger. Lynch’s letter to the U.S. secretary of the navy makes it clear why no one tried to navigate the Jordan:

    We had to clear out old channels, to make new ones, and sometimes, placing our sole trust in Providence, plunged with headlong velocity down appalling descents. So great were the difficulties, that on the second evening we were in a direct line but twelve miles distant from Tiberias. On the third morning I was obliged to abandon the frame boat from her shattered condition. No other kind of boats in the world than such as we have, combining great strength with buoyancy, could have sustained the shocks they encountered. As the passage by the river was considered the most perilous, alike from the dangers of its channel and the liability to an attack, I felt it my duty, as I have before advised you, to undertake it in person.

    Soon after, H.B. Tristam found the river “muddy, swollen, and turbid,” an “impetuous torrent.” Van Dyke called the Jordan “not a little river to be loved; it is a barrier to be passed over.” For him, the river “offers nothing to man but danger, difficulty, and trouble. Fierce and sullen and intractable… there are no pleasant places along its course…. It is in a hurry and a secret rage.” Nelson Glueck, author of The River Jordan, wrote that “it tumbles and cascades almost continuously through a forbidding, black basalt gorge. Foaming and muddy, it bursts out of the ravine.”

    The river’s “treacherous zigzag current” had the additional effect of rapidly eroding the banks. To make matters yet worse, the river often switched courses. Putting up either buildings or bridges along the shores was clearly an impractical idea. This meant, Frank G. Carpenter observed in 1923, that the Jordan “has no wharves, no boats, and no cities or villages of any account. It has numerous fords but no bridges of any size.” When Alexander W. Kinglake crossed the Jordan in 1834-35, he went one way on the Jordan’s only bridge (a survival from Roman antiquity) and returned on animal skins. John L. Stoddard noted that considerable numbers of pilgrims drown every year in the river’s “impetuous” current.

    It was not just the river’s ferocity that made it difficult to pass; it lacked every feature that makes most rivers integrative. The river meandered so wildly that passage was painfully slow and navigation unrewarding, even over short distances. Although the distance from the Lake of Galilee to the Dead Sea is but 65 miles as the crow flies, the Jordan twists back on itself to such a degree, its course between the two bodies of water is about 200 miles. In aerial photographs, it closely resembles an intestine.’

  • SkyknightXi

    {quiet chuckle} Looks like there wouldn’t be much of a way to navigate it then, either…

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

    I’ve always thought the deep and wide Jordan was metaphorical — the separation between Earth and Heaven. Or possibly a metaphor within a metaphor. A river separating the slave states from the free states, such as the Ohio, which also represents the separation between Earth and Heaven.

  • Jurgan

    gWell, the one significant use of the Jordan River in the Bible (that I remember) was Joshua leading the Israelites into the Holy Land. The people who had wandered for forty years now had to cross one last barrier to enter Canaan, by walking across the river without getting wet. If it symbolizes anything, it would be the separation between slavery and freedom, leaving behind the old life and entering a new covenant with God.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Rivers and riverbeds DO make natural borders…

  • Abby Normal

    Sounds like maybe Jenkins had jumped to Conclusions?

  • fraser

    ““Well, sir, to tell you the truth, it’s a lot easier coming the other
    way. But, yes, there are motorized boats heading north. And some do run
    in the night. Of course, your touring boats are daytime affairs, but
    there’s always someone who will take you where you want to go for the
    right price, any time of the day or night.”
    Are they trying for comedy? This sounds very much like the stereotypical local who engages in long-winded discussions when giving directions. Only you know, it’s not funny.
    I wonder if LaHaye was just pitching to readers who expect a magnificent Jordan (I know “It’s so … small” has been a staple of American tourist reactions)? Not that that’s an excuse.
    So why does Galilee not exist?

  • Panda Rosa

    Another deliberate flub on Lahaye’s part? No doubt he’s making sound like the EEEvul Nicky Great Smoky Mountains changed on purpose the lake Christ Himself sailed on, but sorry, Lake Tiberias is just another name for the Sea of Galilee.

  • Vermic

    Are they trying for comedy? This sounds very much like the stereotypical local who engages in long-winded discussions when giving directions. Only you know, it’s not funny.

    What I find strange is that they sound like stereotypical American locals. A few pages ago Buck’s cabbie was speaking the standard (for this book) broken Israeli-English, now suddenly everyone’s just stepped off the bus from Missouri.

    I can’t hear Michael’s dialogue in Jenkinsian broken-English, it’s a definite Midwestern or Southern drawl. Or possibly hobbit-drawl, like Buck’s arranging a ride up the Brandywine.

  • Daniel

    I heard Michael as Seth the Doctor from Murder She Wrote.

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

    I think it nothing more than run-of-the-mill bad dialogue. A lot of writers use ham-fisted statements like this to cram in necessary information (such as it is).

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    It’s called “Idiot Conversation,” and is considered the CLUNKIEST form of exposition. Even clunkier than Exposition Info-dumps.
    And is the kind most used by our GCAAT after the major strategic blunder to tell the entire epic from only the POVs of the two Author Self-Inserts. Not just Idiot Conversation, but “AS-YOU-KNOW” Idiot Conversation over the phone.

  • guy

    Hey, I remember you being a regular commenter on Internet Monk.

    It really IS a small world.

  • ohiolibrarian

    Actually, it sounded like someone wanting to be smuggled into some closed society. All that detail about “for the right price” and “day or night”. It’s got that vibe. Which is kind of pointless in this context.

  • Zornorph

    I would assume that both of these men have actually been baptized in the River Jordan which makes this part even more unforgivable. I remember rolling my eyes when I read this part – I couldn’t believe anybody would be so stupid, but I had already realized I couldn’t hold onto any aspect of the real world while reading the books. It just doesn’t make sense if you do.

  • Nick Gotts

    like much of the Holy Land, part sacred pilgrimage site and part money-grubbing tourist trap

    I wonder if there’s ever been a “sacred pilgrimage site” that wasn’t also a money-grubbing tourist trap. Certainly the medieval relic-forging industry suggests it’s a venerable tradition, and I think there are similar stories from the era of classical pagan temples.

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

    The real fun comes when a sacred site is also a standard tourist site, which is true of a lot of places. Visiting a location like that gives you a chance to play a spirited round of “Which country has the worst tourists?”

  • Mark Z.

    Israel has the worst tourists ever. There is no question about this.

  • Jenny Islander

    I will never forget the eyewitness account of a Palestinian Christian attempting to go to church to pray with her baby in a stroller and almost being mowed down by the damn tourists. I think there should be a notice that lookie-lous are allowed in, say, between 2:00 and 4:00 on weekdays and the rest of the time, if you aren’t there to pray, keep out or lose your camera for the duration of your visit.

  • Jared James

    But those tourists, like the Children’s Crusade and most of the Paupers’ Crusade, didn’t even make it to the Holy Land, unless you count the entirety of the Ottoman Empire as holy.

  • Hawker40

    While in the Navy, I visited Rio de Janeiro in Brazil where they have the Giant Statue of Jesus! overlooking the harbor. At the base of the statue, on one side, is a tiny shrine. On the other is a gift shop. For sale at the gift shop: “Girls of Rio Gone Wild!” which seemed to be mostly about young females with thier tops up/off during Carnival. The Born Again sailors took great offense to this (“Blasphemous!”). I pointed out that since Brazil had no seperation of church and state, they had no idea of where to draw the line between secular and sacred…

  • Fusina

    Oh, I dunno. Some people seem to worship tits. Not sure why, as having a pair they are mostly an inconvenience. Running is painful, my back hurts, bras are expensive, and button down shirts don’t fit right.

  • guy

    Birth and nurse some kids, watch the twins shrink and go away, and see if you still feel the same way.

    Not saying you would do any of that, or even change your mind after it, but I’ve known many a female make similar rants, and then at a later stage in life, lament their inability to fill out a shirt like when they were younger.

  • Fusina

    Two kids, and they grew but didn’t shrink. I want what I had in high school back–I used to call them a pirate’s treasure–ha, ha, sunken chest–get it?– and even then button down shirts gapped.

  • flat

    there are so many jokes we could write about Michael who is piloting the long, rustic, wooden boat which is moved by oars using michael’s armpower.

    so
    many
    jokes

  • Jurgan

    Like “his fully-loaded rowboat on autopilot?”

  • flat

    exactly.

    Can you people write more jokes?

    thanking you in advance

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

    See above, re: ““Can a fella get a boat ride up the Jordan River into Lake Tiberius at this time of night?” as euphamism for sex acts.

  • Random_Lurker

    Navigating the ‘holy waters’ by oar requires many long, powerful strokes.

    It’s tiring at first, but when you do it for a living, you build up the required stamina.

    The old, creaky boat might be shallow in the draft, but it still has enough displacement to carry it’s load.

    Even though the outboards are covered in a sack, their raw power is not restrained.

    The river may be narrow at times, but the strong, muscular oarsmen will push it through.

    Make sure your oarsmen train on both sides, otherwise the boat will drift to starboard.

  • Daniel

    The river may be narrow at times, but the strong, muscular oarsmen will push it through.

    Depends how silted up it is.

  • Matri

    *can’t stop laughing*

    *while at work*

  • Daniel

    “Even though the outboards are covered in a sack, their raw power is not restrained.”
    Two powerful, though small, motors covered in a wrinkly sack, drove the strong, long, powerful vessel forward through the water. Buck had always associated strength with steele, but he was now learning respect for Michael’s wood. The limber cox steered his tiller with an expert hand, causing little flurries of liquid to splash over the pintle, expertly fitted into a gudgeon made for it. Buck lent over and stroked Michael’s rough sack, damp and course but also welcoming and warm. Buck felt he could stay like this all night.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Like LH&J didn’t include enough Unintentional Canonical Slashfic Setups?

  • Albanaeon

    Who needs jokes?

    If you read the above passage as Buck trying to get an er… “religious experience” with hunky exotic “Michael,” you don’t have to change a damn word. Just assume its all thinly veiled euphemisms and it actually makes more sense.

    Jenkins even helps with an unnecessary “if you know what I mean” for good measure.

    Are we sure this series isn’t a meta-commentary on Evangelicals?

  • Amtep

    Buck thrust his hands deep into his pockets. The boatsman’s arm power was impressive, but it was a lot easier coming the other way.

  • Charby

    There has to be something you can do with “dickering”.

  • Daniel

    Well if the gays are allowed to get married we’ll all be forced to.

  • Kenneth Raymond

    This must be the first time I’ve seen that word seriously used since an old, old video game where you played as a pirate and merchants in port had a “dicker” command instead of “haggle” or the like.

    I think this is it: http://www.mobygames.com/game/pirates-of-the-barbary-coast

  • Carstonio

    Sounds like a premise for an NBA slashfic with a former Chicago Bulls star…

  • Kubricks_Rube

    I’m confused. Gorenberg and his son don’t seem to be speaking in broken English.

  • flat

    that’s weird, usually those are the things they normally do completely flawless.

  • flat

    Oh I am sorry I thought Gorenberg and his son were characters in left behind, but I was talking about Michael with his long, rustic, wood boat.

  • mcc

    “Fella”

  • Jurgan

    “But for LaHaye, who’d been to the Jordan River and seen it with his own eyes, something more than ignorance had to be at work in his “co-writing” of this fantastic, unreal landscape. He has walked in this world without ever seeing it, preferring instead to see the world of his own ideology, of his own imagining, of his own preference.”

    I think that’s a bit of a stretch. A more likely explanation is that LaHaye simply didn’t care to look over what Jenkins wrote. Tim gave Jerry a plot outline where Buck was to go up to Lake Tiberias and left him to write the book and turn it in to the editor. Neither of them had ever been to Jerusalem, and Tim didn’t bother to look over the manuscript and see if it made sense.

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

    That is all the proof one needs that L&J spotted a moneymaking scam as soon as the first book sold. LaHaye realized he could just slap his name on the books, claim he “vetted them for accuracy” and let Jenkins work on crapping these books out as fast as he could bash the buttons on his computer or typewriter.

    The sheer shamelessness of the lack of any attempt to adhere to realism is mindboggling.

  • Jurgan

    That also explains how a trilogy became a 16 (?) book series with numerous spin-off books.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    22 volume series:
    12 in the main series,
    1 sequel (set after The End — nice trick),
    3 prequels (The Antichrist Baby Picture trilogy),
    6 shared-universe novels (two trilogies) by third parties,
    total 22.
    (Not counting the 40-volume YA spinoff, the comics, the movies, and other derivatives.)

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

    Agreed. The division of labor in a co-writer situation varies, but everything I’ve read suggests that LaHaye just threw and outline and some notes at Jenkins and then went on his merry way. Not that it completely absolves Jenkins, who could have at least looked at a map of Israel, but it’s mostly LaHaye.

  • Carstonio

    I was thinking the same thing, but you said it first. It’s also possible that Ellanjay knew that the real Jordan isn’t like this, but were pandering to readers whose knowledge about the river comes from gospel songs.

  • Wednesday

    Speaking of gospel songs, I can’t decide if the choice of name for the boatman is a sarcastic choice of alias on his part, or a bad joke by Ellenjay. (“Michael, row the boat ashore…”)

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Buck Jenkins has demonstrated a tin ear for “See How Clever I Am?” character names before; why should this surprise you?

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    I think that’s a bit of a stretch. A more likely explanation is that LaHaye simply didn’t care to look over what Jenkins wrote. Tim gave Jerry a plot outline where Buck was to go up to Lake Tiberias and left him to write the book and turn it in to the editor. Neither of them had ever been to Jerusalem, and Tim didn’t bother to look over the manuscript and see if it made sense.

    How does that differ from any other CELEBRITY with a ghostwriter?

  • Kubricks_Rube

    Buck hits the trifecta on the whole “money-grubbing Jews” thing:

    1) “[T]here’s always someone who will take you where you want to go for the right price, any time of the day or night.”

    “I figured that,” Buck said.

    2) Not long later he was dickering with a boatman named Michael

    and my favorite

    3) It was only Michael, the twin outboards, and Buck heading north after midnight, but Buck felt as if he had paid for 20 tourists and four oarsmen as well.

  • flat

    concerning number 3:That is exactly what happened to Buck, only it was for 200 tourists 40 oarsmen and Cohen the photographer who makes family pictures with Jesus.

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

    It’s nitpicky to talk about the bad writing, but “#3 is really, really awful writing overall. Permit me to rant a bit:

    a.) “It was only Michael, the twin outboards, and Buck heading north after midnight…”

    The cab driver mentioned that there’s no regular river traffic at night, so we’re already expecting no one else on the boat but Buck and the captain. Mentioning it again is unnecessary padding. When Indiana Jones gets on the plane to Tibet, the camera doesn’t linger on the stewardess or the captain or the other, expected passengers, but it does pause on the German spy. Mention the unexpected. Repeating the mundane is just boring.

    Likewise, the cab driver mentioned motorized boats going north, and the boat pilot mentioned using motors, so having the narrator repeat that yes, this boat has motors is just more boring, unnecessary repetition.

    Oh, and they’re heading north? Like the cab driver mentioned, and Buck suggested, and the pilot mentioned?

    b.) “It was only Michael, the twin outboards, and Buck”.

    What the hell is so special about these motors that they get billing alongside the characters? Seriously, how does the [character] [inanimate object] [character] structure make any sort of sense?

    c.) “Buck felt as if he had paid for 20 tourists and four oarsmen as well.”

    This is really impressive, because it achieves almost the opposite effect of what the author probably intended. What the author intended to convey was “Buck was overcharged for his trip”. But that sentence doesn’t tell us what Buck was charged. It only tells us how Buck feels. Buck feels overcharged. The problem is that when a character has an opinion about something, if you want them to seem credible, it’s a good idea to explain why they have that opinion, or to show the basis for that opinion. If you don’t, then we’re left with a character with, well, an unsupported opinion, which makes them seem unjustified in having that opinion. Instead of reading that phrase as “buck was overcharged”, it reads as “Buck felt cheated; maybe he was, maybe he wasn’t, who can say?”

  • Jurgan

    “What the hell is so special about these motors that they get billing alongside the characters? Seriously, how does the [character] [inanimate object] [character] structure make any sort of sense?”

    It was only Michael, Buck, the twin outboards, the oars, the tarp that covered the engines, the planks of wood in the boat, the nails that held the planks together…

    (Seriously, thank you for pointing that out. Don’t worry- if anyone says calling out bad writing is nitpicking, that person needs to quit writing.)

  • Vermic

    the nails that held the planks together

    I think you may be mistaken, Steve Plank and his family are nowhere near this scene.

  • Wednesday

    In the hands of a better writer, I would assume the mention of the motors was because they’re so loud. Of course, in the hands of a better writer, I’d also expect it to be followed up by something describing the sound and feel of the experience. Eg,

    “It was only Michael, the twin outboards, and Buck heading north after midnight, but Buck felt as if he had paid for 20 tourists and four oarsmen as well. Without the comforting sounds of cities to muffle them, the splash of the river and the roar of the motor dominated, the latter sending a rattling through his bones all the way up to his teeth. He felt exposed, conspicuous — with all the noise they were making, surely the Antichrist’s forces should be able to find them with their eyes closed. The empty river didn’t help — they were alone under the wide expanse of starry sky, without the shelter of city skyline and comforting solidity of concrete-and-steel walls.”

  • Matri

    ‘Cause they’re motors! The smaller, younger cousins and relatives of God’s Greatest Gift To Man, the Range Rover!

  • Hawker40

    Excuse me, you mean 2nd greatest gift, right behind the TelePhone.

  • RALovett

    It’s worse than Fred says, actually, because that section of the river must be close to 100 miles long (and I’m just looking at a map). How fast do they think Michael’s crew can row that boat? A racing shell would take all day and you’d have to swap out crew every few miles.

  • Sue White

    I know even less about the area than L&J, but something tells me there are better ways to travel that route than by rowboat.

  • Matri

    He gave up a ride in a car to get onto a boat!

  • Sue White

    Bloody hell. According to Google maps, the shortest driving distance is about 100 miles. I hate to think how long the boat trip would be. It’s more direct but a lot less straight. How many days does it take him to get there?

  • Daniel

    Doesn’t he know a pilot?

  • esmerelda_ogg

    “there are better ways to travel that route than by rowboat.” Especially when you’re going upstream.

  • Sue White

    …a boatman named Michael, who refused to give a last name.

    “Refused”? Why would Buck be demanding to know his last name?

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

    It’s as absurd as the cookie employee capriciously refusing to sell more than ONE!!!! cookie per customer. It’s Jenkins’s attempt at, I dunno, making Buck look savvy or something? Only it kinda falls flat.

  • Fusina

    Oooh, prophetic statement (cf NYC and the soft drink sales kerfuffle)? Or commentary on how if libruls are in control, consumption will be regulated to keep people from getting fat?

  • Kubricks_Rube

    I think it’s part of the convoluted suggestion that this is “the” Michael of rowing boats ashore fame.

  • Zornorph

    Isn’t that supposed to be the Archangel Michael? Or is the suggestion that this is an actual angel taking Buck up the river? Do fundamentalists actually believe in the Archangel Michael, anyway?

  • Jurgan

    He’s mentioned in Revelation, so they definitely believe in him.

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

    I think there are a couple of times when archangels show up in LB.

    http://leftbehind.wikia.com/wiki/Gabriel

    http://leftbehind.wikia.com/wiki/Michael

    (yes, there is indeed a Wiki for LB)

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Do they wear white bib overalls and do “Dumb and Dumber” shtick like “Gabe & Mike” in the Creation Museum movie?
    And just think: We’re talking VALAR here, guys.

  • Vermic

    I think Michael expecting money for his services is a point against the angel hypothesis. Had he been the Michael, I think even LaHaye & Jenkins would have attempted to make the scene a little more … I dunno, otherworldly.

    Like, he’d have been less Missouri riverboat hick and more “Just ‘Michael’ will do.” And then afterwards Buck would have gotten out his wallet and Michael would have said, “Oh, there’ll be no charge. After all, I’m only doing my job, Mr. Williams.” And then Buck would be like, but I never told you my name! And Michael merely smiles enigmatically and rows off into the fog (there’s always fog in scenes like this).

    But then again, perhaps even an archangel can’t resist scamming a few bucks off a sucker when he sees one. They’re good, but nobody’s that good.

  • Ben English

    Thing is Michael the Archangel actually appears in later books in the series and, as much as characters can be said to have consistent personalities in these books, acts nothing like the riverboat captain.

    Actually he mostly just acts like an asshole begrudgingly helping out the Tribbles because his boss told him to. Like, he appears to Chloe and she’s like “Lord is that you!” and Michael’s like “You know looking at God will kill you right?”

    Which he says, you know, ten minutes before Chloe gets her head chopped off, so seeing God would have been a much nicer way to go but whatever.

  • Pops

    Dude, spoiler alert!

  • The Old Maid

    Actually, it’s Caleb the angel, and (whether or not) Chloe gets shortened is in Volume 11. Michael appeared to Hattie in Volume 9 before she (whether or not) gets killed in Volume 9.

  • Pops

    I’d have steam coming out of my ears right now if I actually gave a damn about the story.

  • The Old Maid

    No harm meant by anyone. It’s a doomsday story. Everybody is supposed to die. The only question is how, and more importantly, why/what they died for.
    Besides, Bruce Barnes already spoiled it in Book 1 by telling us how many people wouldn’t make it.

  • Pops

    When and how a character dies still counts as a spoiler even if the death itself is expected.

  • Sue White

    Oh yeah, I forgot the verse where he makes a point of not telling anyone his last name. :-D

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    As a power-play. How could it be asserting dominance if he insists on being called “Mr. Williams” while calling the boatman “Michael” if “Michael” is the only name he knows to call him by?

  • Zornorph

    At the end of the day, I think we’d all be better off reading The Phantom Tollbooth…

  • Fusina

    At least it teaches worthwhile stuff…I used to format and edit business cards for my Dad, and then some of his friends found out and wanted them too…He had a friend, who had the title “Mathematician” put on his card. I put the title of Mathemagician on one of the cards. When he saw it, he came back wanting a whole page of just that.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Dude, we’d all be better off reading My Little Pony fanfics.

  • flat

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ie5tRA76eRU

    this particular rant reminds me about everything slacktivist writes about, I mean it are different franchises, different ideas but somehow it completely clicks with left behind.

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

    “Can a fella get a boat ride up the Jordan River into Lake Tiberius at this time of night?” he asked the driver.

    The driver snorted. “No, but if you pay me enough, I’ll drive you up Route 90…

    “Can a fella get a boat ride up the Jordan River into Lake Tiberius at this time of night?” he asked the driver.

    This falls into the category of questions that cab drivers really don’t appreciate being asked, along with “Say, could a fella score an 8-ball at this time of night?” and “Don’t suppose you know any girls who like to party, do you?”

    “Can a fella get a boat ride up the Jordan River into Lake Tiberius at this time of night?” he asked the driver.

    “I need to get to Lake Tiberius as soon as possible, even if that means going at night, dun dun DUN!” (Yes, I picture Buck actually saying “dun dun DUN”) So sure, Buck needed to meet with the prophets twice to understand their incredibly simple message, plus take a nap inbetween, and take a call from his wife, but now he’s in a hurry.

    “…and four strong young men and I pilot it by arm power, if you know what I mean.”

    “…if you know what I mean”?

    Jerry Jenkins, ladies and gentlemen, professional writer, and master of the single entedre!

    “Well, sir, to tell you the truth…”

    “Yes, sir, just like in the Bible…

    Buck Williams just asked his cabbie to refer him to a smuggler. (seriously, who else goes upstream at night with short or no notice? Billy Bo Bob’s Drop-in Tours Of The Holy Land?)

    Both our cabbie and the smuggler (who refuses to give his last name) refer to Buck as “sir”. I know we’ll never meet a drug dealer in these books, but if we ever did, he’d be the politest, most formal hash-slinger ever! “Pardon me, sir, but I am unable to procure more than an ounce of this fine hashish. Please accept a complimentary sample of black tar heroin by way of an apology!”

    It was only Michael, the twin outboards, and Buck heading north after midnight, but Buck felt as if he had paid for 20 tourists and four oarsmen as well.

    Anyone thinking of becoming a writer as a profession, study this sentence closely to see how many ways you can screw up. If Jenkins does offer writing seminars, he should use this sentence as a group exercise. Or a party game (“OK, you have 60 seconds, list everything that’s wrong, go! Team with the most errors wins!”)

    Buck began the trip standing in the bow and letting the crisp air race through his hair. He soon had to zip his leather jacket to the neck and thrust his hands deep into his pockets. Before long he was back next to Michael…

    So basically Buck looked like a doofus. SNAFU, really.

    …who piloted the long, rustic, wood boat from just ahead of the outboard motors.

    You know, for all the times we complain that Jenkins violates the “show, don’t tell” rule, it’s useful to see him get it wrong going the other way. A character describes the boat as holding 24 people, with two motors, and made of wood, so naturally when the narrator is talking about what’s going on, he has to remind us that it’s a long wooden boat with outboard motors. Just in case after finishing a paragraph, you slipped, fell, hit your head, and lost all memory of the previous page’s text.

  • Daniel

    “Can a fella get a boat ride up the Jordan River into Lake Tiberius at this time of night?”
    Two points about this dreadful dreadful line- it brings to mind last week’s problem with the crap dialogue that seems to be stolen from 40’s musicals, and this sounds like it may lead into a song and dance number OR it sounds like a euphemism for something the boat captain needs to charge a lot more for that a usual boat trip. I expect now all the holy people have been raptured everyone that’s left happily engages in “taking the boat up the Jordan to Lake Tiberius” all the time. Filthy, filthy, Godless heathens.

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

    OR it sounds like a euphemism for something the boat captain needs to charge a lot more for that a usual boat trip.

    Well, since Buck did wind up paying “for 20 customers and four oarsmen”, and since the captain did say it was “piloted by arm power”, yeah, I’m thinking you’ve got it.

  • J Neo Marvin

    I do hear that line delivered in a Bob Hope voice, now that you mention it.

  • Daniel

    Strange, my thought about this whole section (from last week as well) made me recast Buck as Bob Hope to Rayford’s Bing Crosby. Obviously they’re less funny.

    “Road to Annihilation” the unmade film of the series.

  • christopher_y

    YES!!! Is Dorothy Lamour going to be Chloe or Hattie?

  • Daniel

    Hattie. And I know it’s mixing references but Danny Kaye as Nicolae?

  • ohiolibrarian

    Then he could properly pronounce the alphabetic list of UN member countries very, very rapidly. And in tune.

  • Daniel

    All that’s needed for terrible writers to succeed is that even worse writers do nothing. Not in my name:

    It was only a year after it began,
    That the UN welcomed Afghanistan
    Though reticence restrained ya,
    Eventually Albania
    Through Hoxa in ’55 said “Yes we can”

    Sings:
    Algeria would sign up in ’62
    and all the things they hoped they then could do
    May not have turned out as we hoped,
    But from Andorra came a vote
    Saying they could join a year after ’92

    It was in ’76 that we scored an Angola,
    At the time though there was no one in control-a
    A dreadful civil war went on
    But in 1981
    Like Cristobal Colon we signed up Antigua

    (Chorus of UN representatives: AND BARBADUA!)

    spoken: Now you’re getting it!

    Sings:
    Argentina joined up in ’45
    The same day Quisling ceased to be alive,
    When the Iron Curtain fell
    Armenia joined as well,
    Australia was there since the UN was contrived.

    I never knew Vienna before the war…
    With its Strauss, its Circle and its tor….te
    But given ten years to ignore
    All the things they’d done before
    (Because that’s what friends are for)
    Austria was welcomed to the fold!
    And in 1992 the wise men in Baku
    Brought Azerbaijan in from the cold!

    Spoken: Tired yet? ‘Cos now it’s the Bs!

  • Vermic

    So sure, Buck needed to meet with the prophets twice to understand their incredibly simple message, plus take a nap inbetween, and take a call from his wife, but now he’s in a hurry.

    The reason for this is that Buck sees the cabbie (and all members of the service industry) as a subordinate, and therefore somebody to be pushed around.

    Like all of these books’ Good Christian protagonists, Buck is a bully and authoritarian at heart. Which means he sees the world as a vast pecking order, and is bonelessly obsequious to those above him (the Witnesses, the Antichrist, Christ) while heaping shit upon those below (Verna, service-industry employees). I don’t think we even need bother asking whether Buck’s cabbie got a decent tip.

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

    Or any tip at all–it’s been pretty well established that Buck is the kind of guy to leave a tract on the backseat and think that’s much better than a tip. After all, Buck might have just saved the cabbie’s immortal soul!

  • Jamoche

    “…and four strong young men and I pilot it by arm power, if you know what I mean.”

    “…if you know what I mean”?

    The only thing that makes sense is if they’re just going through the motions of rowing for the marks, while the actual work is done by the engines, like the riverboat tours in a theme park – but people would hear the engines.

    Or Buck’s completely delusional and he really is in a theme park. “See the Jordan River in all its glory! Ride the amazing Biblically accurate riverboat!”

  • Launcifer

    I figure he just thinks he’s Jack Hawkins at this point and he’s got four clones of Charlton Heston chained to the tiller, or something.
    Tune in next week to groan in dismay as Buck loses the battle of Actium after forgetting to bring the rest of his navy!

  • bekabot

    These are all scenes which would fit (with a little pulling here and a little tugging there) into Ishtar, if it weren’t already so poison long.

  • Essayist-lawyer

    I think it is true that the image in spirituals of the might River Jordan was, indeed, written by people who had seen actual mighty rivers and assumed that the Jordan was like that, too. But I think the River Jordan also represents the barrier between Earth and Heaven and Michael rowing the boat ashore is the archangel ferrying souls across into Heaven. The people who came up with this image presumably did not know it was borrowed from the pagan Greeks and Charon ferrying souls across the River Styx.
    But, yes, it does seem incredible that people who have actually been to Israel and seen the Jordan would portray it so innacurrately.

  • Daniel

    “I think the River Jordan also represents the barrier between Earth and Heaven”

    That’s a metaphor though, isn’t it? That means you’re reading your bible wrong.

  • Charby

    It’s not a metaphor, it’s a “literal interpretation”. That’s a phrase that lets you insert metaphors into text without acknowledging it openly.

  • Vermic

    Michael may be stubborn about the last-name thing, but at least he doesn’t insist everyone call him “Captain”. Unlike some pilots I could name.

    It was only Michael, the twin outboards, and Buck heading north after midnight, but Buck felt as if he had paid for 20 tourists and four oarsmen as well.

    Hey, uh, Tim? Jerry? This issue has been brought up a few times, but it bears repeating: Buck Williams is a highly-ranked VIP with a limitless expense account. NOBODY CARES HOW MUCH HE PAYS FOR SHIT.

  • P J Evans

    And he doesn’t care how much he pays, either, because if it’s really expensive, it must be really good, right?

  • Sue White

    Dude spends money like there’s no tomorrow.

  • Lori

    I see what you did there.

  • ohiolibrarian

    Not like he’s saving for retirement.

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

    A hint for adventure writers: Never mention price unless your characters are broke and stretching every penny. We really don’t need to be reminded of the underdogs that they aren’t.

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

    Never mention price unless your characters are broke and stretching every penny.

    I’ll add a few exceptions to that, under the Vonnegut standard of either advancing the plot, developing a character, or establishing the setting:

    Buck winced at the price the boat captain quoted. Upstream meant using the motors which meant diesel fuel, which had become all too scarce since Nicolae started WWIII

    Buck grimaced at what the captain was charging. With his Global Community expense account, Buck could afford to buy ten boats and crew them, but at midnight on the docks, paying with credit wasn’t an option, and Buck’s cache of cash was not so limitless.

    Buck paid the captain’s exorbitant charge with as little expression as he could muster. When the captain offered to take Buck’s bag, Buck pulled it back and stared the captain down. Paying a lot of money, in cash, in the middle of the night surely raised questions in the captain’s mind; Buck needed the captain to believe that Buck might be a dangerous person, and not just a rich one. If the captain thought the bag carried a gun, and that Buck was a killer, the trip would be a lot less eventful than if he believed Buck was a tourist with a big bag of money.

  • Daniel

    if the captain thought the bag carried a gun, and that Buck was a killer

    That would be a great example for a competent writer with a well crafted character but…Buck is incapable of pretending to be anyone but Buck. This is a man who cannot remember his own false name when signing a document on an aeroplane. Assuming a fake persona is kind of lying, and Buck’s not allowed to do that any more. Much.

  • hidden_urchin

    Now, let’s be fair to L&J.

    I can totally see Buck standing on the bow of the boat, with arms outstretched and a cellphone in one hand, yelling “I’m king of the world” as some poor guy strains at the oars.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    “Now, let’s be fair to L&J.” Giggle. Snicker. WHOO-ha-ha-ha-HA. Sure, no problem. At all. Bless their hearts.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Make that Jimmy Cagney going “TOP OF THE WORLD, MA!” and you’ve got a deal.

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

    I’ve mentioned before that I read a lot of bad fiction, and this is pretty common. Maybe the author is trying to describe an “exotic” country that he’s never visited before, or perhaps she’s setting her story in a big city when she’s only ever lived in small towns (or vice versa). It can be annoying, especially if you’ve actually seen that country/city/region, but it usually doesn’t matter. You just laugh it off and move on.

    But this? This matters, or at least it should to his audience. I guess it’s just another one of those things that the audience ignores in favor of what they really want to see. But when you set aside the characters, the pacing, the politics, the theology, the geography, the dialogue and the fine details…what’s left? Is there really an audience that was willing to buy over a dozen books and read a million words, just to see the bad guys lose in a perfectly predictable way? Couldn’t you save a lot of money and time by just picturing that ending in your head?

    That’s just part of the literary field, I guess. Some audiences are very critical, others are extremely easy to please.

  • GDwarf

    I’m pretty sure it’s because critical thinking while experiencing fiction is not an innate thing. I certainly used to take everything as the author said, even if the book seemed to be going out of its way to prove them wrong. It took stuff like this blog and MST3K to change that.

    Critical thinking, in general, isn’t an innate thing that people do. You have to train yourself to always be poking at things and seeing if they hold up, and it takes a while to get your brain on-board with that.

    So the target audience of this series are people who haven’t cultivated those skills, and fair enough, not everyone has been exposed to the idea of critical reading, never mind being encouraged to do it enough to actually build the skill. The problem is that without that, it becomes harder to notice the major problems, and you can skip over them without much trouble.

  • arcseconds

    So, you’re constantly surprised when the youth from some rural backwater, and the eccentric old man, supported a group of plucky but inexperienced and under-equipped rebels, set out on a desperate quest and manage to defeat the empire of darkness, then?

  • Veylon

    You are missing the point of the series – at least with the target audience. Like the Bible and Mein Kampf, the World’s Worst Series is meant to look big and authoritative and visible on a bookshelf.

    If someone comes to your house, they can see that you have L&J’s magnum opus. They can make some positive reference to it, to which you can agree. At this point, you have established that you are both members in good standing of the local Christian Tribe and the series has served it’s purpose.

    Actually taking them down and reading them – beyond the necessary amount to take part in the ritual above – is to put one in the dangerous intellectual class.

  • aunursa

    Many fans have read the entire series several times. They’re so obsessed with the most minute details about the characters and the plot that they often express disappointment whenever there’s an indication that the film might differ from the book on even a minor point. For example, on the announcement that Lea Thompson would play Irene Steele…

    Andi ****** Hmm. I’m pretty sure she didn’t have red hair in the books.

    Nathanael ********* What’s with everybody wanting everything to be exactly like the books? This is a film ADAPTATION of the story in the books. Good grief people, if you’re not happy then just don’t go see the movie! I myself made a comment once about Bruce not being Caucasian like in the book, and you know what? WHO CARES!!! I’m sure the cast is being chosen based on talent and what they can bring to the film. We need to stop criticizing before the film is even out! Can’t wait to see this!!!!

  • aunursa

    Holy smokes! While trying to ascertain Irene’s hair color, I came across this scene from Prequel #1. College students Ray Steele and Irene* have been discussing whether or not Ray should marry Kitty Wyley.

    Irene asked Ray if he wanted a cookie. Somehow it seemed like the best idea he’d heard in a long time. Irene moved to the snack table and returned with not only his favorite — chocolate chip with a big chocolate kiss baked in — but also a Styrofoam cup with coffee just the way he liked it.

    What is it with Jerry Jenkins and his early courtship chocolate chip cookie fetish?

    * It appears that Irene doesn’t earn a last name until she marries Ray.

  • Sue White

    Geez, all he needs now is a cookie phone. If there is such a thing.

  • ohiolibrarian

    Oh, good grief! Irene is already the “little woman” servicing her man. [facepalm]

  • aunursa

    You noticed.

    He thanked her. “You’re not having anything?”
    She shook her head. “Not hungry. Just thought you might be.”
    Ray was struck not only by Irene’s thoughtfulness and selflessness but also by the realization that this was something Kitty had never done and — he believed — never would. She baby-talked him, manipulated him to get what she wanted — always rewarding him with squeals of delight. But cater to him and his needs, show sensitivity or even awareness of his preferences? Simply not part of the equation.

    The Rising, pp 298-299

  • AnonaMiss

    Oh dear fucking FSM.

    Tangent: after work I must look for images of the FSM in accordance with rule 34.

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

    The fact that Jenkins so blatantly gives Irene all the traits of the kind of archetypal woman-as-enemy so beloved of gender essentialists and their Mens-Rights-Activists fellow travellers is just unfreakinbelievable.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Five times on the first night (Michael Pearl)
    and
    while throwing up from morning sickness (Cee Jay Mahaney, with a Humble chuckle)…

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    She has a name: OfRayford.

  • aunursa

    According to Prequel #1, Irene was a brunette in college.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    That just means Buck Jenkins didn’t make a consistency check. I’ve had a first-draft coat-of-arms go from two crossed swords to three and back to two in the length of a novella.

  • Guest

    “Many” being the hundreds/thousands of people you’ve seen talking about the series online. Keep in mind that’s still a fairly small portion of the overall audience of the books as represented by their sales in the millions.

  • aunursa

    True. But would they not be representative of the
    target audience?

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Many fans have read the entire series several times. They’re so obsessed with the most minute details about the characters and the plot that they often express disappointment whenever there’s an indication that the film might differ from the book on even a minor point.

    Sounds like standard drooling fanboy obsession to me.
    (You should have seen the uproar when we found out Twilight Sparkle had a brother all along…)

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    The world’s heaviest secret handshake?

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

    I tried to read Mein Kampf. It was the literary equivalent of a sleeping pill, I swear. I know I read the whole thing through at one point, but all the words just evaporated out of my brain.

    Whatever Hitler’s talents, being able to immortalize his words in print was not one of them.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Somebody I know who read it and DID remember described it as a hyper-serious kook rant.

  • P J Evans

    I guess LaJenkins have never seen any of the rivers in the southwestern US. They tend to only look like rivers if it’s been raining. (And you wouldn’t want to be on them then: ‘Raging Waters’ isn’t always the name of an amusement park.)

  • Hawker40

    Well, that depends on which rivers, too. The Colorado stays pretty much the same year round (dams). The Los Angeles River is pretty much a trickle, except for that one year in ten where it floods the golf courses.

  • P J Evans

    There’s always a little water in the LA river, but when it rains enough (a cloudburst in the right place will do), it can be 20 feet deep and 100 feet wide, and it runs about 30mph all the time. (There was one time when the water rose so fast they had to airlift out the fire crew that was making sure everyone else was out of Sepulveda Basin.)

  • Lori

    Plus the revitalization has more water running in larger stretches of the river year round now.

  • Hawker40

    I spent my teen years living near the Sepulveda Basin. I remember one year (1978?) where the basin filled to overflowing, destroying the golf course. Why was there a golf course there? Well, they didn’t want to put any buildings there, because it was going to flood whenever the rains were bad. The golfers threw screaming fits on how the Army Corps of Engineers were deliberetly destroying the golf course by not letting more water through the dam. When told that letting more water through would destroy houses, one golfer interviewed said “That’s what they deserve, building thier house next to a river!”

  • Lori

    “That’s what they deserve, building thier house next to a river!”

    I got $5 says this guy is a Republican. Plus possibly a decedent of Henry Frick*.

    *Truly an epic asshole. The example that I’m thinking of is that he was a leader of the hunting club that owned, weakened, and then refused to repair the damn above Johnstown, Pa, making him a major cause of the Johnstown Flood. After contributing to the destruction of a city and the deaths of over 2000 people he worked tirelessly—to craft a legal strategy to prevent the lodge members from being held personally liable for the deaths & damage.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I dunno. Really avid golfers can be that kind of giant gaping* asshole regardless of political affiliation.

    Of course, I don’t recall if I’ve ever known any really avid golfers who weren’t republicans. Possibly one.

    (* I recently found that it is deeply satisfying to insert that word right before the word ‘asshole’.)

  • SkyknightXi

    I know there’s a couple of stories on Not Always Right about some ridiculously fervid golfers.

    Example 1: The groundskeeper (who only has one good kidney) is taking down the flags for the courses, generally acknowledged as “We’re closed now, so stop golfing”. And then, one “fore!” later, he gets hit in that one good kidney by a golf ball. The golfer doesn’t really give the luckless groundskeeper much thought as he tries to finish hole #18, but help still arrives in the form of the paramedics and course owner. One of the paramedics then asks the golfer how he was aiming for the hole when the flag was down. The golfer admitted he’d been using the groundskeeper as his crosshairs. Apparently, just stopping the course early wasn’t an option. The owner basically stopped him permanently by ending his membership–without refund–and declaring him persona non grata.

    Example 2: A medical emergency required a helicopter to come down on a hole’s green. One irritated golfer kept trying to get the staff to move the helicopter off-green, despite claims that the one in distress couldn’t be helped if that happened. The golfer then proceeds to golf anyway. Let’s just say it’s a good thing that he hit the helicopter, rather than a human. He still got rendered persona non grata.

  • Hawker40

    “Let’s just say it’s a good thing that he hit the helicopter, rather than a human. He still got rendered persona non grata.”

    I work around helicopters. One of the great dangers around Helo’s is FOD: “Foriegn Object Damage”, where a solid object gets sucked into the engine’s turbine blades, causing it to “catastrophically fail” otherwise known as blowing up and spitting shrapnel all over the area. So it’s a good thing he didn’t hit the ball anywhere near the air intake, or he (and the crew an passengers of the Helo) would have been rendered persona non vitalis.

  • BaseDeltaZero

    I believe he hit the helicopter *after* it had landed. Still possible, I suppose, with a *really* unlucky shot…

  • AnonaMiss

    In the mountains around Tucson, unscrupulous developers have begun building new houses not on the banks of, oh no, but actually in the arroyos. Rich out-of-towners buy them to retire in, and apparently don’t think their inability to get flood insurance is a big deal in the middle of the desert.

  • Panda Rosa

    Oooooh boy, it’s a matter of time before that wannabe tragedy shows up on CNN.

  • Hawker40

    My geology professor way back in the 1980’s had what he called “Before and After” photos: “Before” photos where places that (in his opinion) were going to become destroyed due to geological reasons (mudslides, landslides, earthquakes, ocean undercutting, etc.). “After” photos were taken from the same location (if possible) to show the prediction coming true. He had quite an album of photos, mostly in Southern California, showing mostly A: House with ocean view becoming B: House on Pacific Coast Highway blocking traffic. Luckily, most of these disasters took several hours to transpire, so only rarely were thier injuries.
    He would have a field day with houses built in arroyos. A: House in Arroyo. B: House scattered across alluvial fan.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    There’s a small section of the community where my parents live where one of the requisites for living there is a vehicle with off-road capabilities, since the road leading to has been falling into the bay since 1985, and all the sides surrounding it are either the chesapeake bay, or protected wetlands.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    When I was driving out to visit my retired parents near Laughlin, Nevada, I remember the road from Needles to Laughlin undulating like a sea serpent between blind summits (one of which was where Sam Kinnison got head-on’d) and arroyo bottoms with HUGE Flash Flood warning signs.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Followed by the armies of lawyers suing everybody and everything (except the Rich Out-of-Towners who hired them) for everything they’ve got. “SOMEBODY’S TO BLAME FOR LOSING MY HOUSE AND IT CAN’T BE MEEEEEEE!”

  • MaryKaye

    My LA inlaws live near Portuguese Bend, where the land is sliding toward the sea at a rather brisk rate. A story I heard from them is: you can’t build houses on Portuguese Bend, so some bright guy with money built an 18-hole golf course instead. It’s now a 17-hole, working its way toward 16, as the most seaward slide into the sea….

    The human capacity to build in obviously wrong places is kind of amazing. I come from Anchorage, Alaska, which has a very disturbing park preserving houses swept downhill during the 1964 quake, when the hillside clay deposits liquified. Today that hillside is the most expensive subdivision in the city. The view is great! But someday there will be another quake and the view will be from the bottom of the hill…. (This is not a “sometime in the next millenium” sort of someday, either. The area has quakes every year: it’s very seismically active. Also volcanoes now and then–I remember waking up one morning to find that the whole snowy city was now the color of chocolate due to ash. It’s not easy to ignore this. But people somehow do.)

  • Alix

    At least with volcanoes, there are two major reasons why someone might want to build there, besides it just being available land:
    -it’s high ground
    -volcanic soil is really fertile

    If the volcanoes don’t erupt often, it’s not that much different than building anywhere else on the planet that’s prone to some kind of intermittent natural disaster. Which would be “anywhere.”

  • Hawker40

    There are chunks of hillsides in the Los Angeles area that are one earthquake and/or rainy season from turning from “Ocean View Property” to “Ocean Front Property” (or “Ocean Bottom Property”).

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    “The day sixteen feet of mud attacked L.A. …”
    — old Dr Demento song about Los Angeles mudslides

    And on the 101 between Ventura and Santa Barbara, you can still see the scar where those packed sand cliffs (NOT sandstone!) cut loose a few years ago and buried half that older subdivision/village. As they were digging that one out, they discovered buried Model Ts from a similar slide back around World War One.

  • Hawker40

    On the PCH between Santa Monica (I-10) and were it reconnects to the U.S. 101, there are at least a half dozen more, including a half buried beach motel with half of someone’s house on top of it. It’s not good area for construction, especially of houses with lawns watered daily.

  • Jenny Islander

    Ah, yes, Anchorage subdivisions, built with such slapdash haste that the sound of spring on some streets is the musical chug of every single homeowner pumping out the basement. How to water table?

    And Anchorage beyond the heart of downtown looks like a patchwork of big box shopping districts, suburbs with no commons, and muskeg. I read somewhere that the only American city with more sprawl is Phoenix.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    I come from Anchorage, Alaska, which has a very disturbing park preserving houses swept downhill during the 1964 quake, when the hillside clay deposits liquified. Today that hillside is the most expensive subdivision in the city. The view is great!

    Turnagain, right?
    Where
    “Thirty-foot tsunamis hammered Port Valdez,
    And seven blocks of Turnagain slid into the sea —
    It was Eight-Nine on the Richter Scale…”

  • Lori

    I’m surprised that Gorenberg and his son were able to read their books at all. Having The Phantom Tollbooth in the same place as Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist by all rights ought to cause a matter/anti-matter reaction that would destroy everything in range.

  • TheDarkArtist

    You know, for any other author, I couldn’t fault them for their imaginary Jerusalem or imaginary NYC. The reason we can for L&J, though, is their excruciating attention to detail when describing the Chicago metro area.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Buck Jenkins is from Chicago;
    obviously he has local area knowledge of Chi-town and nothing else.

  • TheBrett

    That Jordan River in the photo looks a lot like the Jordan River here in Utah: Jordan River. I knew it was smaller than you think, but not that small.

    It won’t be the first time that the two of them get rivers wrong. In one of the last books, DeLay/Jenkins have the Euphrates River being 200+ feet deep at points (max depth is around 10 meters at least from what I can find on the Internet – feel free to correct me).

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

    I didn’t know Tom DeLay wrote books. ;)

  • P J Evans

    I can’t think of any rivers that are 200 feet deep. 50 feet deep, I’ll believe. 100 feet, maybe.

  • Lori

    There are actually quite a few rivers that are 200+ ft deep at their deepest point. The Mississippi has spots that are that deep (although maybe not now, because of persistent drought). The Amazon & the Congo have spots way deeper than that and IIRC there’s a river in Bangladesh that has spots that are like 300 meters deep. The world is a wondrous place.

  • Hawker40

    I think at 200 feet, it’s not a river but a lake.
    Or reservoir

  • Lori

    That depends on how large an area is that deep and why it’s that deep.

  • Hawker40

    Since writing that, I’ve done some quick research, and I’m incorrect. Seems that there are about a dozen ‘rivers’ that hit 200 feet+. Growing up in a desert, I didn’t know that.

  • Alix

    The ten deepest rivers in the world. That list starts at 200 feet.

    The Congo, which tops the list, can be up to 820 feet deep.

    Admittedly, I don’t think any are that deep the whole way through.

  • Ken

    Don’t forget the Bolton Strid. Sure, it’s probably no more than sixty or eighty feet deep, but no one knows.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    Wow. I never heard of the Bolton Strid before reading your comment, but now that I’ve looked it up, that thing is terrifying.

  • Sue White

    For some reason this song has been going through my head: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyeIXfswf2o

  • Amaryllis

    You’re all being hard on poor Buck, but everyone knows that Jordan is a hard road to travel. So for me, it was this song..

    With a shout-out to Mr. LaHaye:

    I know a man that’s an evangelist,
    His tabernacle’s always full;
    People come from miles around
    Just to hear him shoot the bull.

  • arghous

    But this isn’t the Israel of Jenkin’s eyes. This is the completely refurbished land of milk and honey, drenched in butter, the land made to bloom with Jesus Miracle Reverse Fig Tree Gro, and that needs water, and plenty of it! Surely there’s enough left over to make the Jordan more than navigatable.

  • Vermic

    You know what, this explanation is now headcanon for me. It’s far more believable than any of the other alterations made to Israel in these books, so why not? The story just needs an extra bit of exposition and everything’s hunky-dory as far as I’m concerned.

    “Standing on the bow, Buck tore his eyes from his phone long enough to take in the thundering power of the now-mighty Jordan. Far from the ‘narrow trickle’ imagined by joyless heathen critics, the river had been magnified by Rosenzweig’s rejuvenating formula into a vigorous and highly masculine torrent. Buck knew his Christian readers would be pleased to hear that the River Jordan truly was deep and wide and that they had been right all along.”

  • arghous

    Your adjustment to headcanon of “a vigorous and highly mascaline torrent” works great, but I’m afraid I’m still struggling that Buck has any readers whatsoever, let alone Christian ones…

  • esmerelda_ogg

    No, no, Vermic didn’t claim that Buck has readers, Christian or not – only that Buck “knew” he had readers. Buck knows a lot of things that aren’t so.

  • Daniel

    That’s unfair. Just because they can’t be proved “objectively” or “by observation” it doesn’t make them any less true. You can’t spell “colossal fantasist” without “fantasti-c” and that’s near enough “fantastic” if you remove the punctuation. Which Buck does. And is.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    Unfair? Why, I specified that Buck knows many things the rest of us don’t. Isn’t that the same thing as saying that he’s better informed and more perceptive than we are, just as the Greatest and Most Secretive Reporter In The World ought to be?

  • Daniel

    See how we all run in to problems by not having Buck’s command of the language? I misread you, then I misled you by implying my opinion was serious. I should have taken a leaf from the GIRAT’s sub-notebook and added “If you know what I mean”.

    One day I’ll write as well as Buck, as surely as the Great Wall of China is cold.

    Dammit! I meant “long”!

  • esmerelda_ogg

    Oh, I understood that your comment showed the greatest respect anyone could possibly feel for Buck.

    Why – why – if anyone failed to admire him, it might mean the world was about to end!

  • Daniel

    And given any hint of disrespect he’d be entirely justified in refusing to save it for us. The price of hubris.

    It still baffles me how he’s a Marty Stu though, given that he’s so totally incompetent and ineffective, snide, sneering and self satisfied. Why would anyone want to be that character?

  • esmerelda_ogg

    This time, I’ll answer seriously – I think Bucky Stu only makes sense if we assume that Timkins honestly thinks the chief rule of good writing is “tell, don’t show, and ignore anything that is shown”. Everything Buck does is lazy or silly or despicable; but they keep telling us that he’s amazingly competent and highly sophisticated and universally admired.

    I’m afraid Timkins believe(s) their own PR.

  • Daniel

    Which raises the question is this how they behave in real life?

    I am very close to ranting incomprehensibly about how horrible it is to read writing this bad given how much I actually care about literature, and how bad it is that a man who writes for a living can so clearly not even care about how it’s done properly… so I’m going to step away from the keyboard. And breathe.
    Deep cleansing breaths.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    Can anyone get away with behaving this badly in real life? Sometime, somewhere, they’re going to run into a doctor or a bureaucrat or a teenager who feels no need to grovel to them. But I can easily believe this is how they think they should act.

    Gah. Take a few deep breaths for me, if you would. I struggle with writing, partly, yes, because I’d like to get published someday, but also because I want to be able to take pride in whatever I might publish. And then people like Timkins or Stephenie Meyer or Dan Brown or any number of others become rich’n’famous with careless slop.

  • Daniel

    It dawned on me recently that try as I might I will never write what I want to write. I will never know my characters as well as Graham Greene knew his. I will never have the lyrical skill of Nabokov. I will never turn out prose as captivating as Angela Carter. I will never be as pithy as Iain Banks. They are greats. Not being that good is no shame, it’s something to aspire to. But knowing that even using a burnt match on a dog-chewed frisby while drunk and wearing oven gloves I could still write something better than Jenkins bothers me- because unlike Jenkins I’d never submit that for publication.

    Maybe I’m just a godless sinner and I should accept pride in my work is sinful. That seems to be Jenkins’ approach.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    Oh, heck, I’ll never write anything that’s as good as the initial dream of it promised to be, let alone be any kind of rival to the greats. And there’s probably a lot to the cliche that everybody has a hundred thousand words of bad prose inside – the trick is to get them written and outside you, so you can go on to produce something decent.

    It galls me SO MUCH that Jenkins et al. vomited out their bad hundred thousand words and got paid for it. And worse yet, they carefully avoided learning anything; they seem to have an infinite supply of awful prose to sell.

    (Edit – and it’s past time I got some sleep. I’ll be back tomorrow – that would be September 15, in my time zone.)

  • Alix

    My best friend and I used to come up with the most horrid plots, with the most stilted, cliched characters imaginable, and write stories using them, egging each other on to go over-the-top and spinning wild dreams of publishing this dreck and raking in the millions.

    Then one or the other of us would go, “Nah, this is shit, no one’d be stupid enough to enjoy this.” And then a few weeks later, one of us’d turn up with a bad published novel (usually romance, but other stuff too), and we’d realize that even our attempts at writing something terrible and designed to exploit the masses were better than some of the shit that gets earnestly published.

    …I have remarked, upon seeing stuff on ebay that I know is way cheaper than it’s being sold for, that if I were a shade less moral I’d be easily able to con folks out of millions. I feel the same when I see the dreck folks like Jenkins put out.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    I feel your pain, because I’ve had pretty much the same experience.

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

    J R Ward’s crappy vampire books nonetheless having a mass fanbase fill me with envy. It’s got ridiculously sexy vampires with dumb names and a Madonna*-mary sue with big tits who everybody wants to save.

    And to think it’s “hard” to break into the publishing industry!

    —-
    * as in the Madonna/Whore dichotomy.

  • Daniel

    “It galls me SO MUCH that Jenkins et al. vomited out their bad hundred thousand words and got paid for it”

    And they went unto the publisher, and said unto him, here is our enormous book. And they said unto him, Take it, and puke it up; and it shall make others’ bellies bitter, but it shall be in thy bank account as sweet as honey.

    There I go, citing scripture for my purpose again.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    But so well.

  • aunursa

    FYI: Jerry’s favorite scene involves “tell, don’t show.” Rather than Jerry revealing the action to the readers as it happens, one character tells another character what had just happened to him while the readers were with the second character in a less interesting situation nearby.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    That does seem to be the usual technique in this mess, doesn’t it?

    Granted, it’s a lot of work to think out a scenario and showing it to the reader as things happen. You need to make sure that you stay consistent with the world you’ve created. You must keep your people in character, or else help the reader understand why they’re doing something strange. And at the same time, you have to startle or worry or thrill the reader so they’re eager to find out what happens next.

    “Tell don’t show” is much easier. But, anything else aside, having Character #1 tell Character #2 what recently happened to him destroys every scrap of suspense about whether Character #1 will get out of the crisis in one piece.

    Gah. So. Damn. Lazy.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    It’s called “As-You-Know” Idiot Conversation.

  • Vermic

    Well, no wonder it was Jenkins’ favorite scene then, it was probably the easiest to write.

  • http://kadhsempire.yuku.com/ Matt

    This reminds me of Disney’s Pocahontas. Having been born in that part of Virginia where the movie was set, it was difficult to watch the movie. I kept getting thrown out of the story. You wouldn’t believe how many tourists asked “Where’s the waterfall?” and were very disappointed to discover that the land was basically flat and there were no waterfalls.

    This really is inexcusable. There are so many accurate resources available, and there were when this book was written as well, that they could have used. I have to imagine that the authors knew what the Jordan looked like but wrote the description for their American readers who only knew it from their bibles, myths, and songs.

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

    The trick is that most people aren’t going to notice unless they’re intimately familiar with the area. People who’ve never lived in Virginia won’t immediately notice the incongruous cliffs; people who haven’t spent much time in Israel might not notice L&J declaring that a certain sea no longer exists. Writers that care will still put in the effort to make it feel real, even if no one else notices.

    We’re clearly not dealing with a writer that cares.

  • P J Evans

    People who have never seen San Francisco in real life will expect palm trees all over the place. (Sorry, that’s the Hollywood version.)

  • Lori

    I had major cognitive dissonance when I saw Gross Pointe Blank for the first time because I’m familiar with both where it’s supposed to be and where it was actually filmed. So weird.

  • Jamoche

    Flipside – the original Robocop is set in Detroit but was filmed in Dallas, which is where I lived when they filmed it. Reunion Tower frequently appears in the background while they drive around, the distinctive inverted triangle City Hall makes an appearance…

  • Vaughn Lowe

    The factory where they have the finally showdown is in Pittsburgh, though. Probably just to annoy Cowboy fans.

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

    Considering how often movies set in other cities are filmed in Vancouver it’s become a bit of a fun pastime figuring out where all the filming locations are.

    That said, when shows are set *in* Vancouver? Some of the liberties they take with geography here are at times amusing and other times a bit mindboggling.

  • Hawker40

    I grew up in Los Angeles, and many TV shows were filmed there (of course, being home of Hollywierd). It was fun to watch someone drive from Malibu (on the coast) to Long Beach (also on the coast) Via Pasadena (quite a few miles and a mountain range from the coast).

  • Lori

    Yeah, it’s a general weirdness that comes from living in LA. GPB was extra weird for me because I’m pretty familiar with Gross Pointe and I had had lunch in Monrovia the day before seeing the movie.

    There’s a house up the street from where I used to live that’s been in a bunch of movies. Mostly they used the interiors, but occasionally they shot stuff outside and we’d spot it in things, which were never supposed to be taking place in the town where I lived.

  • Hawker40

    There was a movie about Italian gangsters that was filmed in Dad’s Queens NY neighborhood that he made me watch so he coud point out where he went shopping, where he went to school, where he went to church, he bar his dad went to… and to complain how they hid every sign that would indicate the neighborhood was IRISH, not Italian.

  • Lori

    The sign issue would be annoying, but it was cool that your dad was able to give you such a nice, detailed tour of his childhood.

  • Panda Rosa

    Still, I often confuse the Irish and Italian flags as they look just close enough alike if you’re not paying attention. It must have be very tempting to cheat sometimes.

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

    The only movie I can think of that was filmed in Ottawa is Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter.

    But that’s okay, because JCVH is hilarious.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    I lived in Monrovia (near downtown) for about five years and remember seeing Monrovia Public Library in the background of (the original) “V” — with a burned-out five-pod shuttle in front of it.

  • Albanaeon

    Yeah, we used to remark quite frequently how much Vancouver did not look like Colo. Spgs. while watching SG1 (we were in Space Commanded, what do you expect?)

    Most remarkable was the singular lack of mountains, which are frankly a little overpowering actually while you are here.

  • Turcano

    Similarly, Reno does not, in fact, look like East LA, as Reno 911! would have you believe.

  • aunursa

    Completely pointless geographic trivia of the week:
    Reno is west of LA.

    In fact Reno is slightly west of Santa Barbara.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    I still remember a scene in Stargate SG-1 where they put Area 51 in the forests around Vancouver instead of the sun’s anvil of the Nevada desert…

  • Jenny Islander

    That Costner-Kutcher film about Coast Guard rescue divers uses a few exterior shots from Kodiak, my hometown, where it’s supposed to be set. Most of the rest of the movie was supposed to be shot here as well, which would have been a huge shot of cash to the local economy, but on top of a storm devastating the sound stages down south, we had a volcano watch up here. The decision was made to have (IIRC) South Carolina stand in for Kodiak. Understandable, but to an Alaskan, really weird. They did find a nice dive bar to stand in for Tony’s.

    Do.not.get.me.started on Northern Exposure. Especially the casting issues.

  • Matri

    People who have never seen San Francisco in real life will expect palm
    trees all over the place. (Sorry, that’s the Hollywood version.)

    Actually, I only expect hills and streetcars. Palms I’d expect in Los Angeles.

    I live a little over an hour away from where the Palace set for Anna & The King was built & filmed. Hours south of Thailand.

    The twin towers featured in Entrapment? Located smack in the middle of the capital’s shopping district. The lobby and first few levels is a giant mall. The ground level shots are nowhere near the tower. You can tell because you can’t get that clear a shot of the twin towers without another skyscraper photo-bombing your scene.

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

    And then there’s the scene in “Adventures in Babysitting” when they are looking up at that building that looks like a pen nib (I guess it’s the Crain Communications Building now) from an alley. The problem is that you can only see that building from that angle from Millennium Park.

  • mattepntr

    I worked on “Adventures in Babysitting”, the visual effects scenes involving that building. Aside from the geography issues, you forgot to mention the extra 15-20 stories added to it so it would stick out in the Chicago skyline. ;)

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

    I have to admit I’ve never counted the number of stories on the building, either in real life or the movie.

    Now I have a plan for what to do tomorrow night. Dig out my DVD of AiB.

  • Jurgan

    My only expectation is lots of very steep hills. And maybe trolleys?

  • esmerelda_ogg

    I don’t know – when I was a child we lived not very far south of San Francisco, on the peninsula, for a few years, and there were palm trees on our street. Ugly ones, but definitely palm trees.

    Then again, come to think of it, there are palm trees up to the southern edge of Rome, but I didn’t notice any within the city (let alone farther north). So palm trees in San Mateo doesn’t necessarily equal palm trees in San Francisco.

  • Lancelot Link

    Sorry to be “that pedantic guy” but there are, in fact, a lot of palm trees in San Francisco, especially in the warmer half. The city planted hundreds of them about 20-25 years ago.

  • christopher_y

    There are palm trees in the south west of Ireland. They’re tougher than people think.

  • Daniel

    And wild parakeets in Cornwall.

  • christopher_y

    There are wild parakeets in London, you don’t have to go that far.

  • Daniel

    I heard rumours there were a few up in Manchester too. I’ve never seen any here myself, and the rumours stopped about a week before Alan’s Fried Chicken on Oxford Road was shut down. The two things are almost certainly unconnected.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    And peacocks in central New Jersey, though they’re not wild – I don’t know how much shelter they need over the winter.

  • Lee B.

    In the USA, there used to be native wild parakeets as far north as New York, but sadly, they’ve been extinct for a century.

  • Mrs Grimble

    <a href="http://www.strathcarron-centre.co.uk/plockton.htmThere are also palm trees growing on the west coast of Scotland.

  • Mrs Grimble

    Ooops, don’t know what happened there. I think I must have somehow deleted the contents of my previous post. I’ll try again:

    <a href="http://www.strathcarron-centre.co.uk/plockton.htmThere are also palm trees growing on the west coast of Scotland.

  • Alix

    The thing that sets me laughing is when people show things supposedly inside Washington D.C. … with skyscrapers.

  • http://dcmoosings.blogspot.com LouC

    Or chase scenes that seem to meander all over DC in nonsensical ways (As much as I loved the movie, I’m looking at you, 1951 The Day the Earth Stood Still with Patricia Neal). And the Metro looking like NYC’s subway.

    And shows set in “Florida” where you see people on the beach and mountains in the distance. Not in any Florida I know.

  • David S.

    While we all seem to be complaining about this, Bones threw me when they were driving near Roswell, NM, … by yucca trees. Which grow in southern California, southern Nevada and Arizona (and a tiny bit of Utah), not New Mexico. I didn’t know a thing about the geography of Roswell until I looked it up, but I knew they didn’t have yucca trees.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Yuccas are characteristic of the Colorado River Valley.
    Just like Joshua Trees are of the Mojave.
    But then, theatrical convention for deserts is to show Saguaro cacti going “stick ’em up!”, and you only find those in southern Arizona and northern Mexico.

  • Fusina

    I grew up just north of there-in Prince William County. No waterfalls there either, not like in the movie. Maybe they were thinking the story happened up in New York State? But the Tidewater, that is some flat country.

  • Alix

    Yeah. I grew up in the Hampton area, and no waterfalls. There’s a reason all the geography stuff we got even in elementary school emphasized the fall line – it really is that sharp a difference between the Tidewater and the rest of the state, geographically.

    That said, Virginia does indeed have waterfalls. Not, like, epic movie falls, but some nice ones nevertheless. XD We used to trek up to Great Falls every summer (which, yeah, okay, is technically Maryland, but we claim a bank so whatever), and there are other waterfalls.

    All along the fall line and in the mountains, though, go figure.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Yes. Because the geography of Tidewater Virginia is the only historical inaccuracy in that movie.

    Didn’t you know? Costal Virginia was like that, before the white man flattened all the cliffs for… um… profit or something.

    (Seriously, though, yeah, the whole waterfall thing was terrible. The whole reason it’s called “Tidewater” is that when the tide comes in, large parts of it are no longer above sea level)

  • Jamoche

    Who are these tourists? Who, in the middle of the Apocalypse, after all the RTCs have been snatched up, is going to Israel to ride a boat that’s rowed “just like in the Bible”? (I’m sure Michael puts scare quotes around it, or at least did back when LeHaye and his ilk were charging the marks $4000 a pop)

    But that link to Yardenit looks pretty. Come the Rapture, that would make a nice swimming park like the one I went to once in Austin, TX.

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

    Well, it’s not much of an apocalypse. It’s less torrential rain and more a mildly disruptive drizzle.

    But now I’m wondering who, in this effectively post-religion world, is visiting all these Biblical sites. You’d think that Israel’s tourism bureau would have been stung a bit.

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

    But now I’m wondering who, in this effectively post-religion world, is visiting all these Biblical sites. You’d think that Israel’s tourism bureau would have been stung a bit.

    Not to mention the whole “only country left in the world that you need a Visa to get into” since everything else is part of the OWG.

  • Jamoche

    If they were any good at worldbuilding, those sites would still be tourist attractions – this is a world full of people who turned their back on God (by in-universe rules), so there’d be people who’d go to those places to mock them.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Naah, Jenkins overused that shtick in his Soon trilogy.

  • Monala

    The experience is jarring, like meeting someone who calls you by your name, insists he knows you, remembers you from a high school you didn’t attend, a job you never had.

    I’ve had that experience attempting to obtain my credit report online from one of the three big credit reporting agencies (can’t remember which one). I was given a set of three multiple choice questions I had to answer to verify my identity. The first set was a list of five employers, of which I was to select one that had employed me. The second was a list of five addresses, one of which I had supposedly lived at. The third was a list of five people who shared my (married) last name and their cities of residence, of which I was to select the one related to me.*

    The only problem? I hadn’t worked for any of the employers, I hadn’t lived at any of the addresses, and the only name that matched a relative (my brother-in-law), was listed as living in an entirely different state. And “none of the above” wasn’t one of the options. So I was denied the opportunity to obtain my report, because the online software concluded that I wasn’t really me.

    *Btw, other than my spouse with whom I share finances, and my mother who applied for student loans on my behalf, how the hell is a credit monitoring agency supposed to know who my relatives are anyway? Especially those who share my current but not maiden last name, which means they’d only be related to me by marriage?

  • Charby

    how the hell is a credit monitoring agency supposed to know who my relatives are anyway?

    Clearly they can’t.

    Maybe they use cold-reading techniques. “Do you know a… Mary? I’m getting an ‘M’ name. Mary, Michael, Max, Marvin… I’m also getting a ‘J’, Joseph, John, Jared… Marcus, Joshua, Jack? Are any of these connecting with you?”

  • Vaughn Lowe

    If you ever put any of them down as a reference on a credit application, then they have it.

  • ohiolibrarian

    This happened to me also. They asked about when I had sold a car. That was years ago so I have no idea. 2008? 2009? Do you remember exactly when you got rid of a car, especially if it didn’t involve buying a new one at the same time?

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

    Generally you have to keep some kind of chain-of-ownership paperwork as proof of sale for Reasons. Up here in BC, generally you need to keep at least the registration to prove you scrapped a car instead of resold it into the consumer market.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    how the hell is a credit monitoring agency supposed to know who my relatives are anyway?

    The NSA?

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

    Here is a Map of Israel in approximately the first century AD.

    I’m not sure how much the geography has shifted in the last ~2000 years, since a cursory look at a topographical map made from recent data doesn’t seem to show much of a discrepancy.

  • Susan Paxton

    Good God, I’ve never been to Israel, but I know from seeing it in documentaries that the Jordan is barely what would qualify as a stream here.

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

    “So Jerry, I’m reading the draft, and the main guy-”

    “Buck! Yeah, isn’t he awesome?”

    “Yeah… so Buck is following the advice of these mystic prophets to go upriver, and you’ve got this scene where he hires a boat?”

    “Yeah, and as they’re going upriver, into the unknown, Buck stands at the front of the boat, kinda like Washington crossing the Delaware, but manlier!”

    “But then he gets cold, and winds up in the boat’s stern, with his jacket zipped up and his hands in his pockets…”

    “Yeah, my research said it gets cold at night in the desert.”

    “…yeah, OK so the boat pilot is named ‘Michael’, and you make a point of mentioning that he rows the boat…”

    “Like the song! Pretty clever, isn’t it?”

    “But then you also make a point of mentioning that the boat owner (who I’m assuming is Jewish, since this is Israel) basically gouges Buck on the price…”

    “Yeah, I know, right? Like, they’re always trying to take your money!”

    “…”

    “Right? C’mon, you’ve had to haggle with a few, eh?”

    “OK, and this boat is going upstream, so he has to use motors.”

    “Well duh!

    “So Michael row your boat ashore is a money-grubbing Jew who’s not rowing at all.”

    “…”

    “…”

    “You know, I don’t think you understand the art of storytelling at all.”

  • esmerelda_ogg

    If only somebody had actually had that conversation with Our Jerry.

  • Panda Rosa

    probably wouldn’t make a dime’s worth of difference

  • esmerelda_ogg

    Depends on who it was. His wife as first reader? Well, ya know, the little woman gets uppity sometimes. An editor with authority to pull the plug on the whole project? Fred might have been saved from hours of mental anguish, and we might have been deprived of hours of snark.

  • Daniel

    I imagine his editor for the first book was a promising new employee, young, attractive (though she downplayed it to avoid the leering attention the older male employees liked to pay her) and very bright. She wore shoes with flat soles rather than heels because they are more comfortable and she felt they were more appropriate to the role than heels. She told Timkins exactly what was wrong with their work, and La Haye explained that he didn’t care, Jenkins a la Buck rolled his eyes and told her “whatever! You’ve got all the words there, it doesn’t matter where they go, just make sure my name’s still on it when you’ve done.” then went to complain to her boss.
    Her name was Wanda Newland. She, and her footwear, would regret her audacity when the second book got published.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    Ah, yes. The Curse of the Sensible Shoes.

  • Vaughn Lowe

    Reminds me of times in church where the pastor makes an old tired joke and everybody laughs their head off.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Or the similar scene in A Man for All Seasons where King Henry VIII steps into mud while getting off the Royal Barge. All his courtiers are silent for a long moment, then King Henry points at them and gives a big belly laugh; at which point all the courtiers laugh their heads off.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    “…yeah, OK so the boat pilot is named ‘Michael’, and you make a point of mentioning that he rows the boat…”

    “Like the song! Pretty clever, isn’t it?”

    No, that should be:
    “Like the song! SEE HOW CLEVER I AM?”

  • http://jesustheram.blogspot.com/ Mr. Heartland

    Has someone from Duran Duran converted to PMD or something?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3W6yf6c-FA

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

    Verna Zee Sensible Shoes Confrontation Countdown: 158 pages

  • aunursa

    And we’re just a few chapters away from Jerry Jenkins’ favorite scene in the entire series.

  • Sue White

    Now I’m really in suspense!

  • Alix

    As for me, I’m some combination of terrified and morbidly curious.

  • arghous

    A few minutes after the conversation tailed off, Michael began to softly hum, and in a moment words started to form.

    “Deep river,
    My home is over Jordan,
    Deep river, Lord,
    I want to cross over into campground.”

    Buck thought he had heard this song before, but couldn’t recall where. He started to concentrate on the song a bit more, but the periodic scraping sounds the rocks made on the boat’s hull was making things difficult.

    “Deep river,
    Tsion’s home is over Jordan,
    Deep river, Lord,
    You’ll want to cross over into campground.”

    Buck wasn’t sure what he had just heard. Was Michael’s thick accent confusing him? Then it struck him — the Witnesses — hadn’t they told him in so very many words that he would find his friend when he got to Hanalei, er, Galilee? Could it be just possible that this Michael was giving him the pertinent information he needed — that Michael was really an angel unawares?

    Buck became lost in thought as the hours and rocky miles slowly passed.

    Finally, the boat broke out into Lake Galilee proper. Buck, moved by the Spirit, now knew what he needed to do.

    “I’m going to find where Tsion is,” he thought. “I’m going to find that race track five miles long. I may not know what ‘doo dah, doo dah’ means in Hebrew, but dang if I’m not gonna find out!” He wasn’t just the Greatest Reporter of All Time. Now he was on a Mission from God.

  • Jamoche

    “It’s 106 miles to Galilee, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark, and we’ve got a cell phone.”

  • Jess Goodwin

    Hit it!

  • Daniel

    It wasn’t wanderlust that possessed Buck, that would have been obscene. There was a mutual respect between him and wandering he’d never sully by lusting for it. But there was a powerful wanderchasteness in Buck Williams. Buck Williams was a child of the road, a wanderer, a soul who could never find rest. He had lost count of the minutes since he’d last seen a bed, since he’d last had a shower. He hadn’t seen the inside of in a five star hotel for nearly a day. He hadn’t changed his outfit for three hours. What was it, he wondered as he wandered from the taxi to the river that made him so unable to settle? The river was much closer than the map said, proving again how only the Bible was correct and all other so-called information was a lie put about by agents of the devil.

    The urgent phone call he’d received whilst talking to the Witnesses had reminded him of all he had back in the Formerly U.S.A, the unhappy land where his possessions lay.

    He had a great car again. Although he had felt conflicted about the ethics of buying it, he was glad he’d got insurance that had actually covered Acts of God and of War- which as Buck knew were pretty much identical, so after that woman had crashed the Range Rover he’d been sent a replacement almost immediately. The policy had cost a little more, insurance companies having experienced a huge increase in God related claims after the rapture, and Buck had despaired- briefly- of all the hypocrites who whilst not accepting Jesus as their personal saviour and remover of children had still made claims. There was no love of God in their hearts. It was because of them God was punishing the world. It was because of them he’d had to wait so long on hold before his claim had been handled. He allowed his innate charity to overcome his anger though. Both the car and the policy were material goods, the spirit was now paramount. Buck’s spirit had been protected as the airbags and roll cage would protect his body, and to a lesser extent anyone in the car with him, by his shrewd precaution of charging both the car and the insurance policy to the Global Weakly’s account. This was, he admitted to himself, a false analogy. Buck Williams could never crash a car. He had charged the paper to avoid drawing any attention to himself, to hide his identity as a spy for God, who whilst knowing all the secrets of men’s hearts, can’t do anything without collaborators ready to bravely point the finger. Splitting of any number of infinitives was permitted to servants of the infinite. The policy and the car were registered in the name Cameron Williams- but they were signed by a “Mr. McGillicuddy”. This would throw any suspicious party on a false trail. Buck smiled modestly at the cleverness God had given him, and charitably thanked God with a fist pump.

    Andrea- Rayford’s woman- had asked him about the similarity between insurance and gambling, but as Bruce said, in that slightly slurred voice he always had after talking to the Holy Spirit in his office, alone, “It’s not gambling if it’s someone else’s money.” These words had soothed Buck as he’d watched Chloe clear the candle sticks off the floor while the Pastor snoozed on the desk. Talking to Jesus took a lot out of him. Buck had always been too charitable to point out he didn’t share Bruce’s taste – the candle holders looked too much like whiskey bottles for his liking- and Bruce had never complained- he always seemed to find replacements quickly. Chloe disliked them because she thought candles were too Catholic, but Buck had explained she was wrong and she apologised, and felt embarrassed so Buck and Rayford knew she meant it.

    But Buck, ceaseless wanderer, drifted homewards in his thoughts- if he could be said to have a home in the F.U.S.A. The name was a joke- the States were still in America but they were now United with other, alien places that had nothing in common with Real Formerica, places like California and New York, coastal places where foreigners lived, pretending to be Formericans, speaking broken English. It was much harder to spot them now, since Nicolae had made Formerican English the one world language. The One World Government’s terrible inclusiveness was making a mockery of Buck’s faith. People had to work so much
    harder just to tell who they should mistrust, where before everyone spoke the
    same language it had been easy to spot the Godless.

    Along with his great car he had a great house, a fantastic phone and would soon get a great computer. When it was delivered to his great house, by a delivery company he’d ordered on his great cell phone, a courier on his doorstep would knock at his door, and with one of his pens it would be his wife that would sign for it. He had everything, and he needed little. He had always been a man of action, though a thoughtful one, living from a suitcase and it was his mind and spirit that mattered most to him. He would happily have given it all away, if there was anyone who deserved it, but as the rapture had proved all the people deserving of charity had long since left.

    He was now down by the river, the moonlight over head shining like the smile of the green eyed sailor by the temple. On the Jordan’s peaceful banks he stood, and cast a wistful eye on the ropey arms of a boatman, dressed as they traditionally are in a striped shirt and sailor’s cap. He was smoking, and he looked untidy. Buck initially felt revolted, but the familiar smell of the man reassured him. He smelled like Bruce had after his most intense conversations with God. Bruce pumped his fist at this sure sign. It was imperative he didn’t mess this up. Fortunately Buck had a great gift for talking to people, of any level, and making them like him instantly. “Smarmy Bucker” his colleagues had called him, and he assumed because they sounded similar that Smarmy meant Charming. Which he was. He walked to the boatman, adopting a John Wayne-esque- not “esque”, that was too… Formeuropean. He walked like John Wayne, commandingly, down to the boatman and drawled:
    “Can a fella get a boat ride up the Jordan River into Lake Tiberius at this time of night?”
    The boatman burped and replied
    “Why?”
    “Waaall because say a fella needed to get to Tiberius…Say a fella named…McGillicuddy…or Benjamin Franklin?” He offered some money like he’d seen people do in films. Buck had never bribed anyone before, and he’d never been bribed himself- he’d only ever been given jobs in order to gain his favours.

    The boatman laughed.
    “U.S. Dollars? How long’s it been since I’ve seen them! I need OW Currency, pal. Any way, why do you want a boat? It’d be a lot quicker by car.”
    “Listen, Pilgrim…” Ever since those sailors at the temple Buck had felt an urge to feel the roll of a boat and the presence of seamen. He couldn’t explain why. God was impelling him.
    “Michael. I can show you if you like. Look.”
    He took a small rectangular object from his pocket, and started moving his finger around on it. He turned it to face Buck.
    “What’s that?”
    “What this? It’s an iPhone! Google maps says this route’ll take you about two hours.”
    “I can’t take that long! iPhone? Googlemaps?” Was Michael speaking in tongues? Bruce often did that after a particularly intense session with Jesus. This was surely a sign from God.
    “Yeah. Look, it’ll take maybe a day to get there by boat. Honestly it’s a miracle the water’s this high.” He waved his hand to emphasise the point “Frankly I’m surprised I do any business at all. If it weren’t for all the smuggling I’d be broke.”
    A miracle. God had promised with faith you could move mountains. If that was true of other believers, then it would be no problem for someone with the huge amount of faith Buck had to make a river navigable.
    “Smuggling? Smuggling what?”
    “Not really sure to be honest. Smuggling stuff from one part of the country to another part of the same country is quite dangerous as you can imagine. I don’t ask too many questions. Knowing when to be quiet’s a useful skill in my line of quite ill defined work.”
    Buck grinned broadly. Here was a man after his own heart. A bit rough around the edges, and Buck was cautious about anyone who didn’t immediately announce their full name to a stranger as he always did, but Michael was probably trustworthy. He would probably relish the chance to help the world’s greatest investigative reporter, and Buck had long wanted a sidekick. Captain
    Haddock to Buck’s Tintin, but more masculine. Michael explained he would have
    to row the boat upstream, despite having two outboard motors.

    “It’ll make it more secret. Keep you out of harm’s way.”
    Buck accepted this. It seemed the sort of thing a spy should do. Michael told him how much it would cost, and emphasised how charmingly roguish he was. Buck couldn’t hold it against him that he had inflated the price beyond what was reasonable, it was part of his nature, just as Buck was a wanderer so naturally the Israeli was trying to gouge him. But he was slightly annoyed about one detail.
    “Do you think I’m a fool?” Buck demanded, forcefully, powerfully.
    “No… sorry… I just expected we’d haggle a bit, you know. Like in Life of Brian.”
    “I’m insulted you think I’ve watched that. Listen, I’m Buck Williams. I’m a very important man. The amount you’re charging- that’s a lot. For a normal person. But I’m not normal.”
    “What? Are you… asking me to charge you more?”
    “Don’t you think I can afford it? Or do you think money matters that much to me? How dare you impugn me like that! I’ll show you how not of this world I am. Here. How much would you charge for 20 tourists and four oarsmen?” For some reason Buck had been having aberrant dreams again, this time about four
    oarsmen and the Apocalypse. Michael told him and Buck handed over a sheaf of
    notes. He’d claim them as expenses when he returned to the office, when the staff at Global Weakly would welcome him as the rover returned. They lived through Buck.

    They were soon underway, Buck standing in the prow, face into the spray off the tip of the long, slick boat slicing powerfully through the water. He soon had to zip his leather jacket to the neck and thrust his hands deep into his pockets, as he saw those sailor’s green eyes and Michael’s strong rower’s arms and felt a pleasant shiver from the cold air and the thrill of being back on the move. On the whole river there was nothing that looked half so nautical. Buck thought he resembled a pilot, which to a seaman is trustworthiness personified. He could hear Michael making very convincing motor sounds, so effectively he couldn’t even hear the oars. Before long he was back next to Michael, who piloted the long, rustic, wood boat from just ahead of the outboard motors. Few other crafts were on the Jordan that night. After nearly four hours of leisurely excitement, Buck was finally able to relax, sliding onto his back next to Michael and gazing contentedly at the stars. But he was still slightly frustrated.
    “What’s your last name, Michael?”
    “Rosenbaum.”
    “Michael Rosenbaum, eh?”
    “Sure.”

    “That’s better.” thought Buck.

  • Matri

    You deserve more Internets than we have to give.

  • J Neo Marvin

    Actually, Michael had a hyphenated last name in honor of his Irish mother. Now everybody sing along, “Michael Rosenbaum-O’Shea, halleluuuuuuujah!!!”

  • Daniel

    Whilst visiting Manchester’s Orchestra he is stopped by a German looking for the toilet. As the Michael is quite famous, said German knows his name.
    “Michael Rosenbaum-O’Shea! Halle loo, jah?”

    PUNS!

  • Daniel

    Punnnig was briefly a sport in the mid fifties, when people wanted more wholesome and cheaper entertainments than most sports could offer. Accordingly the highest prize wasn’t a cup, but an empty container from some jam. Young Michael Rosenbaum, an immigrant from war torn Europe, quickly learnt English well enough to pun his way to the final, where he represented New York against Los Angeles. There was a tense final battle, hanging on one point. With a lightning wit Michael described his own victory and in doing so guaranteed it:
    “Michael Rosenbaum ensures LA lose jar.”

  • Matri

    No one will never be able to top Colin Mochrie’s puns.

  • Jurgan

    *slow-clap* I especially liked “Splitting of any number of infinitives was permitted to servants of the infinite.”

  • Albanaeon

    A dozen Internets for the “wanderlust” lines alone.

  • nemryn

    I wish I could upvote this seven times.

  • j_bird

    Thank you for (among all the other wondrous things in that snippet) pointing out the oddness of Buck demanding to know Michael’s last name. I mean, sometimes you just want a nice, anonymous dickering.

  • aunursa

    Buck demands to know Michael’s last name, while in the prequel, Irene doesn’t appear to have a last name. Note that Michael’s last name is revealed near the end of Chapter 12, when he is out of the picture. As far as I can tell, Irene’s maiden name is never revealed.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    She’s only a WOMAN…

  • aunursa

    But the coed with low Christian morals who flirted with Rayford and almost got him to agree to marry her had a last name.

  • Daniel

    Particularly if you’ve wandered down to the river bank late at night, all leather jacketed like late 80’s George Michael too. No names, no details, just a good, arm-powered, oar inspired dickering. All the way upstream.

  • banancat

    Ok, I’m skipping the main point here to point out how ridiculous this scene is for another reason. It was clearly set up just to show off how rich Buck is. He can afford to hire a whole boat to himself and pay 20 times the rate. Aren’t we all just so impressed by his grandeur? Why, it’s almost like the Amyrlin Seat herself gave him a whole pouch of gold Tar Valon marks just to expedite him on his way to catch a bunch of evildoers.

  • reynard61

    What I don’t get is why he feels so put-upon. Doesn’t he have a basically limitless GC Ultra-Unobtainium® card?

  • Charby

    Feeling put-upon is the closest thing that he has to genuine human emotions. It’s natural that he reflexively reaches for it whenever he isn’t sure what to feel.

  • Albanaeon

    Jenkins must have confused the Jordan for the river down in Egypt.

    After all, he must be pretty familiar with de Nile by now…

  • Carstonio

    “(LaHaye) has walked in this world without ever seeing it, preferring instead to see the world of his own ideology, of his own imagining, of his own preference.” A far simpler explanation is that LaHaye gives his collaborator the barest of outlines and never bothers to read the final product. Another is that LaHaye chose to mischaracterize the Jordan because he knew this would resonate with US readers, most of whom know the river only from gospel songs. Neither would conflict with the problem that Fred and Gorenberg describe, the authors’ patronizing treatment of Jews and their religion and culture.

  • SirThinkALot

    I’m thinking, given the speed these books were cranked out at, its probably the first.

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

    My personal take is that LaHaye didn’t bother vetting the books more than cursorily after he realized he practically had a licence to print money.

  • Daniel

    “he practically had a licence to print money.”

    Isn’t that one of the signs of the Antichrist?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    while it’s easy to imagine LaHaye giving approximatly zero fucks, I’d think he’d at least read through them to make sure Jenkins hadn’t accidentally inserted something that made the characters seem like actual human beings or God seem like something other that a complete monster

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

    I did say “cursorily”. ;)

  • Vaughn Lowe

    Chloe – The Rise of Antichrist.

    The main disadvantage of being in her position was that she couldn’t go anywhere discretely. Her followers numbered in the hundreds of thousands across the world. Everywhere she went, an army of the slavishly devoted followed in her footsteps, ready to do anything, even give their lives, at her word.

    Anything that is, except leave her the hell alone. Ah well, such was the price of fame.

    The best she could manage was have them follow a few yards backs. She was a bit apprehensive at this meeting, despite the fact that no one could hurt her and her army would tear to pieces anyone who tried. The two up by the wailing wall could literally breathe fire after all and had the power of God on their side. Irresistible power vs. invulnerable object.

    Their heads snapped up as she approached. “You dare approach the servants of the Most High God and profane this place with your presense?”

    “I dare.”

    They stared at each other for a minute. Then Elijah said “Why are you here?”

    “So we’re going to speak in normal sentences this time? Good. To hear Cameron describe it, talking with you guys is like being on some weird gameshow, only instead of song titles, you can only speak in Bible verses.”

    Moishe gritted his teeth. “We would not soil Holy scripture by speaking it to you.”

    “I am rubber and you are glue, Mushie. Instead of name calling, how about you answer a few questions for me, hmmmm? The strange thing is, he refuses to tell me what you told him, when he asked where Tsion is.”

    “He who has ears to hear let him…”

    “Oh for the love of,” She turned away. “Waste of time. Although I’m tempted to shove a few pounds of C4 down your robes and see how well you recover from that. Drop you into a volcano, or into a nuclear reactor maybe. I know from experience that although it doesn’t kill you, you still feel it. How’d you like that? Feeling your flesh crisping away and falling off, growing back and burning up again? No more than what your merciful god does to everyone else who doesn’t blindly follow those who say they speak for him. People like you!”

    Her voice was rising. She was letting these two get to her. She took a deep breath. “No matter. I thought maybe we could work together, but you’re just as deluded as the rest of them.”

    Moishe spoke. “Though your sins be as scarlet they shall be white as snow.”

    She froze. Was it possible? Could she really repent and turn away from all this. A part of her, the part she had shoved down away from everyone, the young girl that just wanted her mother, cried out for it, but it was too late for that. The iron armor slid shut over her soul.

    “Not a chance.” She gave them both the finger. and stalked back to her group. “Bring me Cameron. Let’s see how long it takes for me to make him talk.”

  • aunursa

    Thank you! This is the first time I’ve ever liked a comment before reading beyond the title.

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

    But for LaHaye, who’d been to the Jordan River and seen it with his own eyes, something more than ignorance had to be at work in his “co-writing” of this fantastic, unreal landscape. He has walked in this world without ever seeing it, preferring instead to see the world of his own ideology, of his own imagining, of his own preference.

    Stuff like this is why I have trouble with people who claim that travel automatically makes someone worldly and cultured. Because there are people who travel and read but somehow never leave their own heads.

    Or, to use a phrase from Ghost in the Shell: Innocence: “No matter how far a jackass travels, it doesn’t become a horse.”

  • Daniel

    Particularly if it’s always wearing blinders.

  • J_Enigma32

    A cursory glance reveals the tourists mentioned in passing to be the smartest people in the book to appear by a wide margin.

    Why?

    Clearly they’ve read the book jacket, realized Israel is a good place to be, and beat feet to the only country that wouldn’t be getting nuked. Gotta give them props for that.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    The Jordan is a DESERT river; I live in SoCal and am VERY familiar with the concept. At least the Jordan has SOME water in it year-round; in SoCal the rivers only have ANY water in them during rainy season (what you call “Winter”). When you get inland to the Mojave, you can only tell there’s a river there by the line of cottonwoods over the underground aquifer. THAT’s the Mojave River; water on the surface only after the flash floods.

  • StevoR

    Slight tangent here but where the Jordan ends up flowing? The Dead “Sea” is in big trouble – interesting article on it here :

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/moment/2013/09/the_dead_sea_is_dying_how_sinkholes_habitat_destruction_and_low_water_levels.html


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