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New Age "Asiatic" thought ... is establishing itself as the
hegemonic ideology of global capitalism. (Zizek)

Tuesday, September 9

right behind

Tim LaHaye's and Jerry Jenkins' Left Behind has certainly received more exposure than porn star Liz Vicious's right behind. Consider this an attempt to provide some sort of equal opportunity. (btw, I didn't pick her out specifically. I googled "ass shot babe" and selected the first one who, in keeping with our theme today, turned the other cheek.)

In fact, if her site is to be believed, Liz was only six or seven years old when the first book in the Left Behind series was published in 1995. But even then, its dire warnings about unmarried sex clearly arrived too late.

Praise God.

This may seem a highly disrespectful way to introduce these wildly successful Christian books (and OK, it is), but it serves to underscore perhaps their most salient feature -- and if not most salient, surely saltiest: everyone who's been left behind after the Rapture appears to be terminally horny. Let me put it this way; if I were going to have to get saved, I'd prefer that it be in a well stocked underground bunker with 20-something Stanford coed Chloe Steele. For as the Blessed Stones proclaimed (Book of Brown Sugar, 3:4): You shoulda heard me just around midnight!

I mean, wild horses couldn't drag me away.

Which brings me to the sales figures. Keep in mind that the brag of "60 million Sold in the Series" was printed on these book covers a while back. These days they're claiming 65. And that's just for the books. It doesn't include the CDs, movies, DVDs, audiobooks, kids' versions (!!!) and whatall. Christ only knows how many millions of dollars these two authors have netted. No fucking wonder they're smiling.

On the Deer Hunting With Jesus blog, Joe Bageant had this to say a couple-three years ago about the content of the series...

If a Muslim were to write an Islamic version of the last book in the Left Behind series, Glorious Appearing, and publish it across the Middle East, Americans would go berserk. Yet tens of millions of Christians eagerly await and celebrate an End Time when everyone who disagrees with them will be murdered in ways that make Islamic beheading look like a bridal shower. Jesus -- who apparently has a much nastier streak than we have been led to believe -- merely speaks and "the bodies of the enemy are ripped wide open down the middle."
Nice. If there's anything I like more than gratuitous violence, it's gratuitous religious violence!

Getting Ready for President Palin

The story begins with a young journalist, Cameron "Buck" Williams (beedle-eedle-eedle, Buck). And yes, he eventually gets into Chloe's pants, which is all most of us unbelievers want to know about. I've been listening to the highly enthusiastic audio dramatizations of the books -- An Experience in Sound and Drama -- with actor/readers, sound effects, maudlin and martial music, the works! Each audiobook enactment consists of 12 segments about 20 minutes long. So far, I've worked my way through Left Behind, Tribulation Force (someone called them God's Green Berets), and Nicolae. That's about 12-13 hours so far (the lengths I go to for you, Valued Readers!). Unsurprisingly, it turns out that Nicolae, a shameless peace-monger and United Nations nut, is the Antichrist. Among other unspeakable evils he will foist on a cowering humanity? He plans to raise taxes.

In stark contrast, the pastor character (this is in Tribulation Force, I think) says: "You will never hear peace promised from this pulpit. In the long run, I predict just the opposite of peace." He says his is "not a popular message, not a warm fuzzy you can cling to this week." Yada yada, and then, "Let's pray."

I don't think I've ever used the word "mawkish," but it came to mind more than once while I was listening to this crap. I had to look it up.

mawkish, adjective 
   sentimental in a feeble or sickly way : a
   mawkish poem. See note at sentimental. 
   • archaic or dialect having a faint sickly
   flavor : the mawkish smell of warm beer.
   
   ORIGIN mid 17th cent. (in the sense [inclined
   to sickness]): from obsolete mawk ‘maggot,’ 
   from Old Norse mathkr, of Germanic origin.
By the time I got halfway through Nicolae, it was clear that the authors -- and by extension their characters -- are quite fond of expense accounts, fine dining, well appointed accommodations and private jets. At one point, ol' Buck has some hacker dude put together a half-dozen or so state-of-the-art laptops. Money is no object, as he has an unlimited line of credit via the Antichrist. The tab on these dream-machine terminals is $20,000 a pop. Hell, I don't think I could even spend that much at the Apple Store! Or wait, maybe I could. Maybe it's time to sell my soul to the Devil. If only I were a nubile teen girl. As it stands, I think the Blue Book value of my soul is somewhere down in the single digits.

I know, I know, this is all just my hard-left liberal unsaved opinion. So to be fair and balanced, here: let Tim and Jerry explain it to you themselves.

Corporate Jets / Satanic Opposition
We've come a long way, baby, since Marc Chagall painted his White Crucifixion in response to the Nazis' Kristallnacht pogrom. The attitude of these Cruci-Fiction guys is more like bring it on!



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