Soon: Chapter 28: Hollywood Crime

Paul and Ranold will be staying at the home of “Tiny” Allendo in Beverly Hills.  Tiny is the “studio chief” and is never granted the dignity of a real first name, but since Ranold’s first name is…well, Ranold, maybe we should be grateful.

Paul is kinda pissed that they’re staying at Tiny’s home, seeing it as a conflict of interest, but Ranold (sensibly and correctly) points out that the studio is a government entity.  In yet another confusing aspect of this whole all-studios-are-one-studio-and-it-works-for-the-government thing, Tiny is enormously rich because he is “paid on profits,” unlike NPO agents who are flown around the country and put up in luxury hotels like The Pierre.

Tiny sends a stretch limo for Ranold and Paul, and Ranold asks to be driven around L.A. so Paul can see some of the horror the Christians have wrought.

Paul enjoyed the vibrating massage of the passenger seats and the array of radio and TV signals available through his molar receptors.

What an odd little detail to include.  Oh well, I’m glad Paul’s enjoying himself.

“Oh-h–h–h-uh-uh-uh…Ohh-God-d-d-d…Oh-h-h-h-holy-Jesus-Christ-tt-t-t…ANGELA!–ANGELA!”

“Paul, I am RIGHT HERE.”

“Oh, uh yeah.  Sorry, Ranold.”  *turns off vibrating massaging limo seat*

Paul just comes across as such a sulky teenager, fascinated by the radio and TV while Ranold is trying to EXPLAIN SOME SHIT TO HIM.

Namely, that the Christians are engaging in two acts of “high-tech vandalism”:

They are hacking electronic billboards and, instead of showing scenes from the actual movies, show scenes from religious movies.

The billboard advertised a new erotic thriller, but the holographic image was from The Ten Commandments where Charlton Heston as Moses throws down the tablets in disgust at the sin of the Israelites.  It played over and over, the tablets breaking to pieces and Moses chastising the people.

This raises a question: since religion and religious books are banned, are religious movies also banned?  I don’t just mean movies like the ones I review, made by Christians for Christians, but “popular” movies that are either explicitly religious (The Ten Commandments, The Passion of the Christ) or have a strong element of “positive” religion (Dead Man Walking, The Exorcist, the Narnia series). 

Banning religious books would have one hell of an effect on the study of literature and history, and banning any movie with religious themes would have similar ill effects on the study of media and film.  These days, we watch Birth of a Nation and discuss the problems…the many, many problems.  We don’t ban it and then freak out when we see a scene broadcast somewhere.

That Hollywood and her product were immoral was hardly news.  Even in Paul’s previous life he could hardly stomach the new movies.  All were now holographic and most were interactive, but there was hardly a thing he could enjoy with his family.

Oh yeah, because we all know how much Paul LOVES spending time with Jae and the kids.

“Jae, you know I’d love to go out this afternoon with you and Brie and Tanner, but the movies are just so immoral these days.”

“It’s Connor, Paul.”

“Sure, like I said.”

The other act of vandalism involves the Hollywood sign.

…Paul peered into the Hollywood hills where the famous white sign had been standing for roughly a century.  For the last twenty years its letters had consisted of laser light images, and there the vandals had struck again.  One of the Ls had been snuffed, and the sign now read Holywood.

Huh.  Okay.  Seems like kind of a dumb, meaningless gesture if you’re trying to convert people, but I guess you do what you can do.

Oh, and if one of the Ls was “snuffed,” wouldn’t the sign read HOL   YWOOD?

Or HO   LYWOOD.

Vandalism at its finest.

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Posted on January 15, 2012, in Books, Soon. Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. Ah, finally we’re reminded we’re in the future again. The movies are holographic, the letters are done with lasers, and Paul has audio-implants for everything. Did some editor accidentally read the first part of Jenkins book before Jenkins was done writing and shipping, and brought up the skullphone from the openining scene and asked Jenkins why he seemed to have forgotten that technology for the rest of the book?

    And what’s with ‘interactive movies’? Does that mean it’s a computergame now, but Jenkins doesn’t really understand that? Is it like a pick-your-own-adventure book, where you just make a few decisions on how you want to let a scene play out? Something else? I want to know this. I will fully admit, I’d pay for a copy of an interactive, holographic, erotic thriller. Or just cut out the thriller part. Hmmmm, an erotic holodeck :p

    • Although Jenkins doesn’t say so, this actually does compound the problem of having no movies for kids (which I don’t believe for a minute, but whatever). An “interactive movie,” to me, sounds like you would be “playing” the movie like a video game–making choices that will affect the outcome.

      But that seems very geared towards an individual experience. I can’t really play a game like KOTOR with another person. Now, another person could watch me play the game, and enjoy the experience, too (my mother has done this–she doesn’t like to play RPGs but likes to watch other people play and she treats it much like watching a movie), but how could a couple or a family or a group of friends go to an “interactive movie” and not have some or all of the party standing on the sidelines the whole time?

      • I also thought about why they wouldn’t make nothing for kids anymore, and that it sounds silly. But… we’ve seen mainstream (kids) movies stagnate or degenate before. This generally lasts untill a Pixar or George Lucas (in his early years) comes along, gets popular, while the bad entertainment withers off. If, for whatever silly reason, the government only allows a single state-run company to create all entertainment, the industry might keep stuck in the rut. So yeah, I’m probably giving Jenkins more credit than he deserves (I’m pretty sure he was already nodding along when he wrote the line “That Hollywood and her product were immoral was hardly news.”, and he wasn’t thinking about his futuristic world either when he was writing that. I mean, why start now?), but the absense of good movies in this system I can believe.

      • The only way I can see how it would work is if people had the ability to pick different characters. Or, I guess, if it worked like the flashpoints in SW:TOR – everyone picks choices, but someone’s choice wins the role. (Or you get the option the most people voted for.)

        Which means that, barring the holographic part, I can go play an interactive movie right now with some friends.

        I’m having a little trouble buying the “it’s all immoral” part. Why would popular opinion be that Hollywood is immoral? (Which is pretty much implied by the statement that that’s not news.) Doesn’t that imply that most people don’t approve? That should force Hollywood to change what movies are being made, unless people don’t approve and go see them anyway, which doesn’t make much sense.

        Is Paul just projecting or what?

  2. “Hollywood and *her* product”???

    Of course, I’m a foreigner, my knowlege of English is far from perfect, but that’s the first time in my life I see such turn of phrase in regards to Hollywood. Is he trying to sound biblical (“Israel and her [whatever]”)? Or is Atheistopia so feminism-friendly that female is the default now?

    • Hollywood == whore of Babylon, my guess.

      • It might be that but it also just makes me think of the old habit of referring to countries or other places with “her” (like Columbia, a woman clad in a US-flag patterned dress, as the personification of the US), and sometimes even things like cars and boats.

        If the US movie industry was to somehow get collected into a single unit then it wouldn’t necessarily be too outlandish for people to start talking about Hollywood as a “her” instead of “them,” especially with the image of a single mother studio issuing forth her cinema progeny. I suppose it would depend on how famous high-level individuals could get within the structure, whether Hollywood ends up in public perception as a more homogeneous unit in the upper echelons (and more amenable to a “her”) or a diverse group of personalities pulling their own way but all still under the one banner (“them”).

  3. I don’t know, this is the kind of vandalism I would expect from RTCs to be honest: something that catches attention but really isn’t effective in any sort of way.

    • Y’know, that reminds me of the 3:14 graffity in Babylon Rising. That was basically the same thing, but there it was a slanderous conspiracy by RTC-haters to make the RTCs look bad. Here, we’re supposed to applaud the same actions as good RTC behavior. You might argue that this world is somewhat more distopian than the world of Babylon Rising, but I’m not sure if Jenkins and LaHaye really see all that much difference between the situations. Look at the knee-jerk reaction of the liberal strawmen in BR: A church in the middle of town blows up, killing and wounding multiple people in it, and the police immediately assume ‘bomb factory’ instead of ‘terrorist attack on church’. Anyone buy that?

  4. I would guess that the female personification of Hollywood is to get readers to think something like “whore of Babylon,” but that seems really subtle for this author so I may be off base somewhat.

  5. That molar receptors thing? I actually find that seriously creepy. My teeth should not be talking to me, for Pete’s sake. I think if I were to live in this Atheistopia I’d opt for the cell phone ear implant thing.

    And that silly-assed “Holywood” thing seems like the kind of thing you’d do if you thought you were getting away with some hugely funny in-joke and which 99+% of people would just think something was broken. In fact the most likely assumption being made in this book by some random person in Los Angeles (didn’t it sink into the ocean?) would be that the lasers making up the “L” were broken.

    • I just realized. This “Holywood” thing? This book was written by Jenkins, who also wrote Left Behind. Now, in Left Behind’s books, did we not see the most stupidly sophomoric pranks? Hattie “tee-hee”-ing at Rayford over the 757, and Rayford himself thinking he’s a real badass over here for aiming the propwash from his jet engine at Carpathia, or earlier, staying out of his field of view and trolling Carpathia with different voices are all examples.

      Well, apparently Jenkins hasn’t lost his love of describing the most painfully ridiculous pranks ever as though they accomplished something, instead of just being incredibly silly.

      I suddenly wonder how sheltered he was as a child.

  6. Shouldn’t the title be, “Holywood crime”? Excuse me, “Ho lywood crime”?

  7. That Other Jean

    I’m not sure what the point might be of sabotaging the holographic movie billboards by making them play scenes from old religious movies. Hasn’t Atheistopia has existed long enough that only old people would recognize what was going on, and next-to-none of them would be willing to explain it to younger people. How does it help the Christians’ cause if their message is incomprehensible?

  8. I’m trying to picture Jerry Jenkins’ idea of an “erotic” movie. I think it would be something like this:

    • LOL. ohmigawd, that is Jenkinsporn indeed!!!

      Someone needs to post this at the next appropriate time over at Slacktivist. ;D

  9. Molar receptors? Separate from the skullphone? Why?

    It’s projection again: to RTCs, non-RTC media are so tempting that allowing people to watch them would encourage Wrongthink even if they do talk about the problems with them later. Their only approach to unacceptable material is to ban it.

    If I were to sabotage the Hollywood sign, I’d add the “land” back on the end. But I’m like that.

  10. TV through molar receptors? How’s he getting the video input?

    • Well, for all I know, Atheistopia also has vision implants for TV, but I also remember that there were (are?) some walkmans with TV reception, so you can listen to TV shows, though you can’t see them.

  11. THIS IS THE FUTURE! EVERYTHING IS FUTUREY! WE HAVE A COLONY ON THE MOON CALL SATANOPIA!

    OK, is it just me or are RTC trying to act like we do what they do, ie freak out over everything. I’m not saying all RTC are like that, but it seems to be a vocal majority. Everything that doesn’t agree with them is banned! Instead of reasonably discussed to work out why it should be banned or the flaws in it.

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