Thursday, June 05, 2008

"Rapture" Is The LAST Word That Comes To Mind When Watching That Movie

Why yes, I am feeling much better. Thanks for asking!
What? You didn’t ask?
No, no, it’s fine, it’s fine.
Yeah, like I’m really going to believe that you’re actually concerned now.
No, I’m not going to tell you how much better I’m feeling. I shouldn’t have to ask you to ask me, you thoughtless, inconsiderate sons of –
Anyway, yeah, I’m not quite so mucus-free as I’d like to be, but I’m still considerably better in that regard that I have been in recent days.
I actually started feeling better yesterday afternoon, after the Mucinex managed to break up the congestion, and really the only thing that kept me from dragging my ass in to work was the fact that I was totally exhausted.
Evidently it wouldn’t have been a terribly productive day at work anyway, as the really severe storms that moved through NoVA yesterday knocked the power out at work and they ended up closing up shop early.
Here the power only went out for a couple of minutes; just long enough to force me to reset the pain in the ass clock on my microwave.
Prior to the storms, it was hot and muggy, with the air at a virtual standstill, forcing me to have to use my A/C, as there were no cooling breezes to make opening the windows worthwhile.
The problem, though, was that, as Scott put it, while I was getting the A part, I was not getting the C portion, as the vents were just issuing forth air that did nothing to lower the ambient temperature.
I was becoming concerned that expensive repairs were in order, but eventually I noticed that I wasn’t hearing the compressor running, so, for the hell of it, I went to the circuit breaker and flipped the A/C circuit off and back on, heard the compressor fire up, and came back in to find the cool air flowing.
So that was good.
As many of you know, one of the principle sources of joy in my life is the blog Slacktivist, and more specifically, that feature of the blog known as Left Behind Fridays.
Left Behind Fridays – or, sometimes, depending on what the author’s life and schedule outside of the blog are like, Left Behind Saturdays, or even Left Behind Tuesdays – are what we call the Fridays on which Fred Clark, the titular Slacktivist, examines a section of the Christian bestseller Left Behind, a book that details the events following The Rapture, an event that initiates the rise of the Antichrist and the beginning of that dark, seven year culmination of human history known as The Tribulation, a period during which those of us who weren’t swooped bodily – sans clothes – up into Heaven by Jesus, will suffer for our sins, and, more specifically, for our failure to say the right magic words that will bind Jesus to do our bidding.
This particular theology is based on a rather specific reading of very specific passages of the Bible using a very specific method of interpretation. While adherents to this belief insist that they believe the Bible to be “literally” true, they don’t necessarily believe that it was laid out in chronological order, so to be able to kinda sorta maybe almost find the basis for their belief – note that the word “Rapture” never actually appears in the Bible – you have to break the Bible up into different “dispensations” and do a lot of jumping around, and, you know, just ignore those parts where Jesus gets all preachy and tells you to feed the poor and love your enemies and all that other liberal hippy crap.
Anyway, you can read up on Premillennial Dispensationalism on your time.
And really, the books don’t so much detail the events that follow The Rapture as they do the telephone calls and the logistics of travel plans made by those who were left behind.
For whatever reason, I feel a kind of horrified amusement towards the beliefs of American Fundamentalist Christians (CF my obsession with Jack T. Chick), so since I first heard of the Left Behind series, I’ve kind of wanted to read the books, but could never actually bring myself to do so. Thus, finding Slacktivist, with its summations and brilliantly amusing and insightful skewering of “the worst books ever written” was, you’ll pardon the expression, a godsend.
With my constant gushing about the joys of LB Fridays, I managed to turn Scott into a loyal Slacktivite, and one day I realized that I could actually add the Left Behind movies (there are three of them) to my Netflix queue, and that he and I should get together to watch them and give them the MST3K treatment.
So yesterday evening, Scott came over and we watched the first movie.
The movies star Kirk “Growing Pains” Cameron as Cameron “Buck” Williams, the Greatest Investigative Reporter of All Time.
(Cameron Williams was actually so named by the books’ authors as an homage to Kirk Cameron, so there was really no one else who could play him in the movie.)
I have to say that the movie was actually substantially better than the book.
However, I also have to say that the movie was absolutely dreadful.
One of the main reasons that the movie was superior to the book was that, being a visual medium, it couldn’t adhere to the words that the book’s author appears to live by: Tell, don’t show.
I also have to believe that a lot of adjustments were made to the story because the people who made the movie, being thinking, feeling human beings, realized just how truly dreadful the “heroes” of Left Behind really are, and how monstrously inhumane the authors believe the bulk of humanity to be, and made adjustments so that real human beings who are interested in more than simply seeing items ticked off on some End Times Checklist could actually identify and sympathize with the characters.
There’s a LOT that I have to say about the movie, but I think I’ll save it for another entry – maybe we can have our own Left Behind Friday here – as I still need some time to collect my thoughts and gird my loins (I said “gird my loins”) before diving into this particular pile of excrement.
Totally unrelated aside: there was a fucking snake in my backyard! I shooed it away with a broom, but the fact remains that there was a fucking snake in my backyard!
What kind of snake, you ask? The kind of snake that is a fucking snake. It doesn’t matter what kind.
My brother Brad, whose feelings about snakes are even stronger than mine, was talking about how he saw a snake in his garage and it made him want to burn his house down. My reaction wasn’t that extreme; I just wanted to torch the backyard.


Merlin T Wizard said...

I second Jon's comments on the LB movie. It was horrible. We had fun shouting at it though.

I would definitely dig some in-depth LBM posts a la LB Fridays.

I didn't realize you were so afraid of snakes. I guess you and Brad have something in common with Stacy and Indy there.

Heimdall said...

As I said regarding the "rope" scene in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, if I'd been in Indy's situation, I probably would have elected to die. I'm not as bad about it as some people I've known. I knew one guy who would freak out at the very mention of the word "snake."

Merlin T Wizard said...

Heh, I got LEGO: Indiana Jones for the Wii last week. Whenever Indy gets near snakes, he puts his hands up to his mouth, his knees start to shake, and he won't do anything but inch away from them. You have to actually switch to another character to deal with them. It's pretty funny.