Saturday, July 22, 2006

I Think I'm Paranoid (Garbage)

Language: Dutch

The husband and I got really trashed Friday night and watched Left Behind II: Tribulation Force, which he checked out from the public library. Now, I know what some of you are thinking, but it's OKAY: we'd seen the first one a few weeks ago, so we knew what was going on with the story and weren't confused.

With the first movie, we'd tried to make a drinking game out of it, by taking a drink every time somebody said "God" or "Jesus." Unfortunately, that didn't work very well at all, and left us far too sober to enjoy the thing: for some reason they save all the God talk until the last fifteen minutes. When it became clear that we were not going to be drunk enough to enjoy the ending, we switched to drinking every time someone's name is mentioned and that pumped up the collective BAC1 to the point where the ending of the movie was more or less okay.

Learning from that experience, this time we just started out with the name-game, instead of the God-game. Either one would have been pretty brutal: there's a lot more God talk all the way through the whole second movie. But in any case, we went with names, and I got more intoxicated than I've been in a long time, by the end of the movie.

So what'd we think? Well, as theology, it's not very convincing. And sometimes the script kind of just assumes that everybody watching is a Christian, so for example, there's a scene where the Antichrist (Gordon Currie, pictured: he was way cuter in the first movie than in the second, by the way), who is by this point the Secretary General of the U.N., declares that religion is a big problem and it's been responsible for lots of wars and fighting and whatever, and that in order to make this all go away, he's just going to declare that the whole world all has one unified religion now. And then quotes a chunk of the Lord's Prayer, which I'm thinking would be a pretty boneheaded move for somebody who is supposedly interested in unifying the world's religions into one. I mean, like the Hindus who are watching him on the news are going to just stop being Hindus and take on this new world religion which sounds suspiciously like Christianity just because the Secretary General of the U.N. says so.

Which is the first of two big weaknesses with the films, that LaHaye and Jenkins seem to have written the books with the understanding that everybody secretly wants to be a Christian and would recognize it as perfectly obvious and sensible. So the characters periodically do or think completely inexplicable things, which only make sense if you accept as a premise that Jesus Is Magic, and everybody is either Evil, Christian, or unchurched: no one who is non-Christian actually believes whatever they claim to believe, be this Islam, Wicca, agnosticism, or whatever.

The other big weakness is that the whole "Left Behind" dealio is based on making you paranoid enough that you'll buy the first premise. This song is a stretch, I know, but it's the only song I could think of that would justify talking about the movie(s), and I did want to talk about the movie(s).


1=blood alcohol level
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You can look at it, but touch it
not: I don't think much of you.
What can a little girl do to the sky?
You know what you must prove.

I think the paranoid are complicated, and
I think I manipulate the paranoid.

Anyhow, bend me, break me: you require all of me.
I want you to bow to me;
that's all I want. You split (break) me up easily.

You give up an ultrasound if I fall.
I would be lacking support: have another pill with me.
If I must fold, I'll
nail my belief to the sticking pole.

I think the paranoid are complicated, and they bend me, break me --
I wants you to. You require my all, anyhow.
Bend me, break me -- that's easy. I want all of
you paranoids to think I split. I'm up.

Bend me, break me -- you require all of me anyhow.
I want you to bend me, break me,
all I want you to do is easy.
You mutilated me, split me, stole my treats . . . anyway, I healed up.
You can never change me, control me, or love me.
Please come ahead, teases, and fight me as myself.
Leave me the baby already, and continue to want. That's right.

In any manner you wish, bend me, break me:
as long as I want you, baby, it's right already.

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