I was bitten by a zombie while I was sleeping a few nights ago and now I’m dying. Either that or a team of aliens raped me and blinded me with the light of their orgasm and now their botulism infected sperm is all awash in my sinuses, lungs and pituitary gland. I can’t even guess at the ways they must have violated me to impregnate so much of my body. They either have tiny, piercing penises or a really powerful sperm propulsion device. Or maybe alien sperm all swim like Michael Phelps after he’s had a bowl of Chronic and a bowl of Cheerios. How am I supposed to know? That’s why they are called aliens for Christ sakes, because everything they do is Greek to us. See? I’m also on a ton of cold medicine, as this ceiling fan will happily tell you. (He never shuts up. Or stops his incessant, maddening spinning.) I’ve noticed that cold medicine is a lot like 3 hits of LSD. Or maybe I have defective cold medicine.
Due to my slow, agonizing death, I’ve been unable to motivate myself to write my book, to get ready to move thousands of miles, to work on my blog, to do much of anything but read. Many of you know of my unhealthy obsession with people who are unhealthily obsessed with the rapture. My wife knows of this obsession as well and was enabling enough to buy me Rapture Ready by Daniel Radosh. The book is even more fascinating than the website by the same name but with a totally different worldview. And by that I mean they want the world to end. While the website is made up of paranoid delusional fucknuts who need a shoulder to cry on and a black president to wish eternal hellfire upon, the book is written by an outsider looking in at the alternate reality universe of Christian pop culture.
If you you’re like I am and have an insatiable need to understand the pathology that causes so many Christians to be less pleasant that a salt water enema delivered by a juiced up New York City Jail guard having a bad day, then you must read this book. Radosh, who now writes for The Daily Show, devotes an entire chapter to Left Behind, which, as it turns out, goes a long way to explaining the sociopathic nature of modern fundamental and/or evangelical Christianity.
Left Behind is a series of novels that focus on the post rapture world and are, at their core, a way for the righteous to get their holy rocks off by mentally masturbating to the suffering and deaths of ‘the rest of us’ while proverbially doing the Eddie Murphy ice cream dance to the tune of “I told you so.” What astonished me was the unheralded success of this babbling bullshit. The franchise, of more cultural harm than if Hitler had opened a hot dog chain in the diamond district, has sold over 65 Million copies and 100 million products. The seventh book in the series was the first Christian novel to reach number one on the NY Times bestseller list.
Radosh then goes on to introduce Fred Clark of Slacktivist, who, as far as I’ve read, is one of the biggest, baddest bloggers around. Clark has painstakingly, over 5 years, dissected and destroyed nearly every page of the worst series of novels that has ever been published.
Maybe it’s my own asshole-ish personality that always wants to shout “fight fight,” but I delight in the mean girl-ness of the whole thing. The fact that I’ve never read the books doesn’t make the resultant carnage any less entertaining. Also, since I never went to journalism school (I didn’t know who to ask, what to study, when to enroll, where to go, or how to begin), I’m using this literary autopsy as a way to learn what mistakes to avoid in my own writing/research.
Clark is brilliant, compassionate (towards everyone but the authors), informed, insightful and, shockingly to me, an evangelical Christian, but I won’t hold that against him, especially since he is so adept at eviscerating that particular sect of Christianity that I despise so much.
If you have a few extra weeks of your life, and wish to be ceaselessly entertained, follow this link and work your way back as Clark works his way forward (you have to go through the blog backwards, unfortunately) through this hilariously horrible book with an unbelievably evil message: if you aren’t ‘one of us’ then you can fuck off and die while we point and laugh.
Rapture Ready (the book) helped me to understand these peoples’ ignorance probably better than they do themselves. But that’s the bitch about willful ignorance; the people who perpetuate it have no desire to understand it.