Friday, May 18, 2012

I totally need to cash in on the Rapture

I am admittedly having a crisis of faith.

Well, the term “crisis” is overstating it but that’s how the conventional phrase goes.  I’m trying to sort out a great many things, questioning even more things than I’m sorting, and just overall in a state of malaise or ennui.  That may skew or distort the lens through which I’m seeing a particular trend in writing and filmmaking.

Were I to act as many publishing advisers suggest and “write for an audience” or “write what’s selling,” then I would be a fool to ignore the Christian “end times” genre.  The obvious juggernaut of this meme is the Left Behind series by LeHaye and Jenkins that I have blogged about in previous posts.  You know, that opus where the Rapture occurs and the world ends?  True Christians immediately ascend to heaven while the rest of us woeful sinners must wander in the chaotic aftermath, trying to make sense of the world?  An evil Romanian named Nicolae Carpathia rises up and can only be stopped by a born again Christian named Rayford Steele?

The books might suck but the names are pure delicious pulp.  And in the film versions, I’m dead certain that Kirk Cameron must offer a tour-de-force performance that was grossly overlooked by Oscar.

Despite the popularity and sales of the Left Behind series, they are not the only Christian “end times” game in town.  A few years back, a miniseries named Revelations aired.  Now this one truly sounds like it has promise as it is a wacky buddy picture between a nun and an astrophysicist.

You read that correctly.  Bill Pullman is the scientist and Natasha McElhone is the nun.  If I were casting, I’d have it the other way around but that’s just me.  The astrophysicist has a daughter who is killed by Satanists.  The nun recruits the bereaved man to find out if the Lovecraftian stars are aligning and the Book of Revelations is indeed coming to pass.  I found that LeHayne and Jenkins decried this TV miniseries, calling it “unbiblical” and “weird,” as if written by an author who “doesn’t know that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”  Scathing!  Scandalous!  A civil war in fundyland!  “I’m more biblical than you, dumbass!”

But wait!  There’s more!  Science fiction has been dragged into the “end times” playground with a book called Judgment Day.  In it, their god gives a commune of the devoted the knowledge to build a faster-than-light spaceship.  

Yes, go ahead and take a moment to let that sink in.

Christians then prepare to depart this world for a planet that they will make their own.  They intend to name their new planet "America."  But there are those who would try to stop them.  At least according to the Amazon description.  There are liberal environmentalists who decry the spoilage of nature in the building of said spaceship, even if it is the will of god.  There is a liberal president who calls shipping children off into space with their families "child abuse."  There are liberal Christians who just don't get hardworking Christians.  Then it goes on to become sort of Star Wars meets Davey and Goliath as a massive battle erupts in space. 

Being a Star Wars fan, I'm rather queasy after making that comparison, but that's the image I get.  I may read it.  I may check out the Left Behind films as well as Revelations if I can find it.  They all sound too funny to miss.  I might even post my snarky, sarcastic comments in a podcast or such because religion aside, this just sounds like badly written fiction.  I might have the title for the commentary track already: The Fictional Adventures of the Invisible Spaceman Who People Treat Like Santa Claus.

Doesn't it just pop?

Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets


  1. On Facebook, Chuck Twain said: "The perfect way is the contract to feed pets left behind in the Rapture. This is real, wish I had thought of it. Atheists will feed your pets post Rapture. If the Rapture comes and I don't feed your dog, just what are your options?"

    Or they can just give everything of theirs to us since they won't need it. I also object that their pets would be "left behind" as they are completely without sin.

  2. On Facebook, Armando said: "Revelations was good stuff - I guess ABC pulled the plug before all the episodes aired, but you can get 'em all on DVD. I really liked the 2nd episode where a plane disappears in flight - reappears and all the passengers are doing things they shouldn't be able to. One of 'em is actually figuring out an equation that can unravel reality or someting...basically the ANTI-LIFE EQUATION! Loved it."

    Ok, didn't see that endorsement coming.


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