Sunday, December 18, 2005

What the Left Behind Series Really Means

Fetishizing of the End Times as a spectacular gore-fest visited upon on the unbelievers is nothing new. But the sheer number of people gleefully enjoying the spectacle of their own blackest magical thinking made manifest by mass media is new. Or at least the media aspect is new. It reinforces the major appeal of these beliefs, the appeal being (to restate the obvious) that they get to pass judgment on everyone who disagrees with them, and then watch God kick the living snot out of them. It doesn't get any better than that.

(Via Post-atomic.)


W.M. Bear said...

Well now. If the Singularity is the techie equivalent of the Rapture, when are we going to get the s.f. equivalent of the "Left Behind" series? And what will it be called? "Left Biological"?

Mac said...

Good point. Actually, I think the techie equivalent of "Left Behind" *has* been written. The first volume? "Schismatrix" by Bruce Sterling.

BTW, I'm not comparing literary quality here. I think a typical "LB" reader would be left scratching his head after two paragraphs of Sterling ... or MacLeod or Stross.

Another critical difference is that "Singularity" novels *aren't mean-spirited*. They may frown on religion in general -- I'm thinking specifically of Greg Egan's "Teranesia" -- but they're not out for blood. In fact, if Stross is any evidence, they have a damned good sense of humor.

Gerald T said...

This belief that you hold that reality is some how too special and fine to be destroyed by the God of the mouth breathing cousin marrying trailer trash people could be a form of derangement in its self.
I put it to you that the counter belief system that you have expressed repeatedly in your blog of a universe taken over and ruled forever by hyper awareness boosted intellect bio mechanized cyborg post humans is no great future, or one that I would wish to participate in.

Perhaps it is necessary that in order to counter the high minded solidity of the cyber future, the possible entrapment in a brave new world, sleek tangent universe of a closed benign intellect construct, (remember what the elf queen said to Frodo that if she took the ring of power and used it that her goodness and compassion would create a golden bar prison, one just as terrible as the dark lords hate based world?), that in order to move beyond these two opposite self aware universes, that it may necessary that some ignorance and blind stupidity, non awareness, be employed in the destruction of all we hold dear.
And so the left behind books are a pre cognitive manifestation of this coming annihilation, an ending that will employ not the high minded elevated thought frame work complexity of the Bruce Sterling singularity novel, but it’s opposite, namely what is to be found in the degenerate, ignorant, racist, mean spirited Left Behind series.


Cosmogony and Cosmology
by Philip K Dick (1978)

"It is, of course, frightening to realize that the deity to whom we turn for protection (Christ as shepherd and Advocate) is to be the destroyer of the universe. But what we must understand is that the universe (or cosmos or world) was created for specific purposes, and that once those purposes have been fulfilled the universe will be abolished, in fact must be abolished in order that the next sequence of purpose be brought in. If we keep in mind that we are separated from the Urgrund by the world, we should not shrink from the realization of its temporary nature nor its illusory nature, the two aspects being related."