Thursday, October 23, 2003

i wish i was kidding

ok, i bring in the mail today, i'm sorting through it and i see this local little community newspaper kind of thing called "fyi". i have no idea why these things exist or who does them, but that's beside the point. the headline (?) of this thing reads "Moore Author leads 'Left Behind' spin-off". LEFT BEHIND SPIN-OFF? surely this has to be some kind of sick joke. as i see this, the twisted thing in me (we all have it - you know, that thing that makes us watch "When Animals Attack 17" on fox) caused me to read the rest of this article and now i can't decide if i need to laugh, hurl, or make a sign that says "the end is near" and go sit outside of the nearest "christian" bookstore and wait for jerry jenkins to come true.
the "spin-off" is called apocalypse dawn (which i'm sure has no connection to apocalypse now or red dawn, but anyway) and it is (i guess) the military version of the left behind series. sort of like tom clancy meets hal lindsey. the main character is a guy named goose gander (yes, go back and read that again, that's really the guy's name) and the story revolves around him fighting the wars that begin after the "rapture" occurs. ok that's as far into this thing as i can get, but if i may vent for a moment (or 10)
why in the name of all that is good does the world need this? i mean, really, trees died for this? the best two reasons i can come up with are 1)there is still about $50 in the "christian" world that this franchise hasn't sucked up and so they found a new way to go after it and 2) after they finish with the 27 left behind movies, they can switch to this series and keep kirk cameron employed for another 10 years or so. it will be weird for him to switch from being "buck" to "goose", but quite honestly, is anyone who actually watches these things going to notice?
i think what bothers me the most about this is not the insipid writing or the questionable theology (does the word "rapture" appear in the Bible?) or the blatant fear-mongering (with war approaching in Iraq and the release date of book 11 looming, the good folks that market this stuff sent a mass spam email that asked "will war in iraq lead to armageddon?" and the left behind web site encouraged people by stating, "What better time than now to take advantage of uncertainty and fear and get your friends, neighbors, and family to buy a copy of the book!"), no what bothers me the most is the obvious attempt to suck every cent out of this dead horse that they can possibly get their blessed waiting-to-be-raptured-so-they-won't-be-left-behind hands on. anyone who thinks this is about ministry or helping people understand the Bible or even helping people find Jesus so they won't be "left behind" needs to send me their phone number because i would like to talk with them about my new line of "left behind" barbies that i would love to sell them. this is about the real "god" of "christian" media / retail - $$$$$$$$$$$$$. what jim and tammy faye were to the 80's, tim and jerry (lahaye and jenkins for those keeping score at home) are to the early 21st century. and let's not forget to thank (blame?) tyndale house publishing for encouraging and promoting all of this helpful material. a quick glance at the left behind website (click here if you dare) will hand you the opportunity to purchase any and all of the over (you ready?) 90 left behind related products including t-shirts, audio CDs, 30 "left behind: the kids" books and greeting cards (no i'm not kidding). i don't want to over-humanize God, but i think that sound you just heard was divine retching.

i'm going to have to finish this later, but while you wait you can preview the left behind "political series", coming soon to a mardel near you. i have to go work on my sign.


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