LBCF, No. 101: ‘Domestic agenda’

You see this again and again in Left Behind wherever the authors are forced to describe in particular the things they obsessively fear and oppose — whether it’s feminism, the United Nations or “the media.” For all of their preoccupation with these things, they have no idea what they actually look like. “As long as you don’t expect me to cook or something sexist and domestic like that.” Feminists don’t talk like that. Humans don’t talk like that. [Read more…]

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LBCF, No. 100: ‘BBC3’

Replaying the familiar Gospel scenes in an “anti-Gospel” of Nicolae Carpathia would have allowed our authors to explore the character and meaning of both Christ and Antichrist. Such an approach might have proved both entertaining and edifying, which is what Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins say they intended these books to be. But I’m afraid our authors aren’t terribly interested in the character and meaning of either Christ or Antichrist. [Read more…]

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LBCF, No. 99: ‘Boutros Boutros Carpathia 2’

This, keep in mind, is being presented as stirring oratory. “Buck was tired and felt grimy wearing two-day-old clothes,” L&J write. “But his worries were a distant memory as Carpathia moved along.” And what, exactly, does Carpathia say that causes Buck to forget his worries? He recites the names of the member states of the United Nations. Alphabetically. No, really. [Read more…]

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The more important point about “-lover” suffix insults

I wish I could say that these “insults” were directed at me because I had distinguished myself with an exceptional track record of demonstrating the love such terms accuse me of. All I can do is strive to better live up to such “accusations.” So to all who have called me a “_______-lover,” let me say thank you for the reminder and the challenge to meet such lofty aspirations — the highest calling to which any of us can aspire. [Read more…]

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Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 98: ‘Boutros Boutros Carpathia, part 1’

Some general lessons on avoiding this trap: Don’t write about great poets. Or about any other great artists whose skills readers will reasonably expect to see conveyed on the page. … And be very careful about big scenes in which your preternaturally talented character wins over the crowd with an awe-inspiring display of his/her art/skill/cleverness/humor/charm. Such scenes are less likely to inspire awe than they are to result in anticlimax, with readers losing respect for you, your character and your character’s audience, in that order. [Read more…]

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Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 97: ‘Going to the UN’

It’s difficult to reconcile LaHaye & Jenkins’ view of a uniquely sovereign United Nations with the actual reality of the UN, but L&J’s view is not derived from looking at actual reality. Their view, rather, is retroengineered from what they think they know about the future. In the future, they are certain, there will be One World Government ruled by an all-powerful monarch and structured just like the feudal system described above (or rather, not coincidentally, like the Roman Empire under some of its first-century tyrants). And since they believe the present is made up entirely of a series of small, inexorable steps toward that preordained future, the UN must be a stalking horse for the Antichrist’s future OWG. [Read more…]

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Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 96: ‘Humbert Steele’

My guess is that, as ever in Left Behind, the real unreliable narrators here are Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. They want to show us that their hero is fallible, and that his new faith requires him to face the consequences of the bad choices he made earlier. They also — unintentionally, accidentally and unawares — give us a portrait of Rayford as vain, selfish, misogynist and controlling. And often the least flattering aspects of Rayford’s character are revealed when the author’s seem to be trying to show us something they think is admirable about their character. It’s like reading Nabokov, but with the added twist of the authors sharing in the narrator’s solipsism and self-delusion. [Read more…]

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Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 95: ‘Faith vs. Reason’

Chloe’s “intellectual” objections are never explained or described. The authors cannot imagine what the substance of such objections might be. Nor do they care. If those objections are intellectual, then they are anti-faith, and that is all that they or their readers need to know. [Read more…]

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