Time Changer, Part III

The next day, shit officially begins to get real.  The cop parishioner calls the businessman (?) parishioner with some interesting news: there used to be a seminary where Carlisle said there was, but it moved to another part of the state in the 1950’s.  (Damn!  I enjoyed snickering at the thought of Carlisle’s seminary going bye-bye for reals).  Also, some dude named Russell Carlisle used to teach there (gasp!) but he died in 1936 (gasp! gasp!).

(Incidentally, Carlisle never does give in to temptation and find out his own fate.  So only we know that he will live to be an old man, and will witness such godless horrors as flappers and Rudolph Valentino movies.  Also a world war, though I doubt Carlisle would give a crap.)

As the guys (I have decided that they are the true heroes of the movie) decide to Scooby-Doo this bitch, Carlisle is speaking to the “science and chemistry” class for the one guy’s wife.  It’s about as boring and pointless a talk as you might imagine: Carlisle lies-without-lying-really again, telling the kids that he is involved in an experiment, but it’s not done so he can’t say anything.

I know, thrilling.

Yanno, even if we’re going to call this little time travel trip an experiment, it’s not like Carlisle is the scientist in the scenario.  He’s the lab rat.

“Remember, students, if any scientific record contradicts the Sciptures, it is the scientific finding that is in error.  The Scriptures are never wrong–”

“Mr. Carlisle–” [The teacher tries to cut him off]

“God’s holy word is so trustworthy, it is amazing how it is recorded scientific fact hundred of years before scientists ever discovered them, and has proven accurate one hundred percent of the time” [sic]

“Mr. Carlisle–”

“The Holy Scripture, students, is always your most reliable science [mumble].”

“MR. CARLISLE!”

[big innocent eyes] “Yes?”

What a jerk.

The teacher hurries Carlisle out of the room, impatiently explaining that maybe he shouldn’t be discussing how much better the Bible is than science in a public school.  This, more than pants-wearing women and a multi-racial society and cars and airplanes and motion pictures, completely throws Carlisle for a loop, so much so that he has to find Marian the RTC Librarian again so he can pour out his broken heart to her.

Meanwhile, Our Heroes have broken into Carlisle’s motel room…

Hey!  NOT COOL, guys!  WTF?

…and they find Carlisle’s Bible, which he decided to leave in the room, when every other day he has carried it around with him everywhere he goes.  The Bible has a dedication: to Russell from his parents, 1865.  The guys are miffed, though my assumption would have simply been that Carlisle was named for his grandfather, and carries around his Bible.

Meanwhile meanwhile, Carlisle has cornered the librarian into a conversation about modern morality.  This conversation is fascinating because VERY NEARLY EVERY SENTENCE IS A LIE.

“And I just simply mentioned the Bible; I meant no harm by it.”

Lie.  He did not “simply mention the Bible,” as you can see above.

“And the teacher informed me that she could lose her job over the matter.”

True, in that the teacher did say that.

“Well, our nation is no longer built on the biblical principles set forth by our forefathers.” [answers RTC Librarian]

LieBig fat lie.

“We haven’t been able to study the Bible in public school for years.”

Ahem.  (From the Anti-Defamation League)

“We’ve lost prayer in school since the Supreme Court decision in…what?…1962.”

Ahem ahem.

“Children not allowed to pray in school?  How unthinkable.” [Carlisle responds]

GAH!

Yanno, it’s funny how the movie forgets Carlisle’s sympathy towards people “offended by the Church or brought up in another religion.”  Guess his sympathy extends exactly as far as his own happiness in his privilege.

“Well, we’re part of a society that, for the most part, lives without Christ and his word.”

Liar.  Also, try living without exposure to Christianity even if you aren’t Christian, lady.  Pretty well impossible.

“And what’s worse, people are beginning to rely on their own goodness to achieve salvation…”

Those BASTARDS!

“…as if they could earn their way to Heaven when it’s a free gift from God through Christ.”

And is sorta goes on from there: standard-fare Christians preaching at each other.

Carlisle goes on to tell RTC Librarian about the absolutely horrible, utterly soul-destroying sight and sound of an actor swearing onscreen, and RTC Librarian isn’t at all shocked that Carlisle is shocked.  She seems to think it perfectly natural that a man could make it to the age of fifty without once seeing a movie or television show that contains a naughty word.  Exactly how dense is this librarian supposed to be, anyway?

But no, she just explains that that’s The Way Things Are, whaddaya gonna do?  This boringly segues into RTC Librarian’s conversion story: you see, she had “always believed in God” but “didn’t have a clue who Christ was” (JESUS?  WHO’S THAT???), and like all non-Christians, she was “miserable” and “empty.”  Then she became a Christian, and now she can share lies about modern society with everyone she meets!

“I believe secular entertainment is one of the biggest tools Satan uses to mislead people.”

*snerk*

I’m sorry, I just don’t have anything to say to that except…

RTC Librarian brings it all back around to our theme, by decrying the lack of Jesus and his “absolute authority” in the movies.

Yeah, ’cause that’s how I want to spend my free time, watching movies about Jesus and his authori…

Oh.

DAMMIT

Ahem…MOVING ON

I can only assume that Carlisle sits around, gobsmacked, until that evening, when he goes to the visitation thingie at the church, which I’ve heard is this thing where people, like, see an infomercial for the church and Want To Learn More, so people from the church go to their houses and talk about the church or something.

Yeah.  As you may be able to tell, I’ve never actually belonged to any church.

Carlisle is all upset because there are only about six people doing visitation, but that really seems to be all they need, so what’s he on about?  He and Some Guy go to a house and talk up a couple, while the couple’s son watches TV.

Teh horror.

The kid is watching a show that looks more like a soap opera than anything else, and a young man and woman slowly move in for what looks like it will be quite a chaste little kiss.  (We’ll never know, because Christian movies don’t show kissing.)  We’ll also never know because Carlisle reacts as though the actors spontaneously got naked and began sexing each other while simultaneously mainlining heroin and punching a baby.

“Oh, my.  Oh, my, my, my…what is this couple doing?”

*he darts in front of the TV to block the kid’s view*

“Hey!  What’re you doin’, mister?”

“I cannot fathom that this young married couple would kiss in front of a child!  What is becoming of them? [sic]”

“They’re not married.  They’re just actors in a show.” [The kid logically responds]

Not married???”

“C’mon, mister, get outta the way!”

“Everything alright, Carlisle?” [asks his buddy]

*cut to Carlisle’s face, gobsmacked and morally scandalized*

Back in his motel room, Carlisle uses the remote to watch TV for the first time.  (And thus, I suppose, becomes the first man in history to hog the remote, gorammit.)

(I have to admit, at least they set this up properly—Carlisle has been in the 21st century for several days by now, and has seen people use remote controls several times.)

He is (and I’m sure you’ll be shocked by this) gobsmacked and morally scandalized by what he sees.

Not that the movie is going to show us what he’s watching, mind you.

Yeah, I had the same look on my face when Anya won Project Runway.

Whatever it is, it’s shocking enough that Carlisle has to hit his knees immediately and beg God to wipe the filthy images from his mind.  So it was probably Jersey Shore or Teletubbies or something.

The next day, we find out that Our Heroes have arranged with the pastor to have Carlisle speak at the service that night (Um, on a Wednesday???  Okay, I guess.).  They say it’s so they can understand what the guy is up to, though it seems to me that there must be easier ways.

Carlisle goes to the library and finds out that he can LOOK UP STUFF, but does the Christian (?) thing and leaves his own fate a mystery to himself.  (Man, I would not be able to resist, but I guess that’s yet another reason I’m not a Christian.)

That evening, back at the church, Our Heroes corner Carlisle and ask him he knows the names of Professor Captain Stubing and Dean Barney Fife.  Carlisle just brushes them off without answering, like a good Christian should, and gives his talk.

It’s really boring.  Really…really…bor…

image

It is soooo just the standard stump speech of any Christian movie—all this sin TOTALLY means we are officially living in the End Times, just like all those other times we thought the world was coming to an end except this time, FER REALS.  Our culture is horrific and movies and TV are so dirty and you’d better just submit to God and be ready so that you don’t go to Hell, which sucks.

Russell beats cheeks out of the church right after his boring little talk, because it’s almost time for Professor Captain Stubing to zap him back to the past.

But he makes a quick stop at Eddie’s laundromat.  (I had almost forgotten that Eddie was part of this film!)  He gives Eddie the gift of a Bible in Spanish (forgive me for thinking that Carlisle wouldn’t have become that sensitive and culturally astute over the course of four days), and also the gift of the You Must Say The Magic Words speech.  Eddie, who has been to church many times, actually has the gall to pull the “Wow, no one’s ever explained being saved so clearly to me!” bit.

Sigh.  Are we quite done yet?

Nope!  Because Our Heroes are tailing Carlisle, and it’s a pretty tense game of cat-and-mouse, as you can see.

The farmers’ market is the most exciting thing in this movie.  I want to go!

In the alley, Our Heroes confront Carlisle.  He begs them to leave, but they want the truth, even though it’s doubtful that they can handle it.

Before things can progress to actual arresting and/or punching and/or running away like a wuss, Carlisle is zapped away in a swirl of light.

AND NEVER SAY I DON’T GIVE CREDIT WHERE IT’S DUE

Our Heroes look at each other, appropriately terrified and shocked.  And the cop utters a priceless line:

“I think we just missed the Rapture.”

10/10 on the Awesome Scale

Stubing is not surprised by Carlisle’s gasping reaction to all he has seen and heard.  A worldwide communications network!  Cures and treatments for countless diseases!  Clean(er) air and water and food!  Women voting!  People walking on the moon and under the ocean!

Firefly!

“Sin abounds!  The Lord is not feared!  Morals have replaced Christ, and with liberal teachings!  Families are in disarray, no authority, no respect!  The world lives without Jesus while the church seems to be filled with professing Christians who do not follow the Lord they claim to believe!”

Oh.  Never mind.

Carlisle apologizes to Stubing for ever doubting him about being able to teach morals without Jesus, who made them all up.  So sorry is Carlisle that he REWRITES HIS ENTIRE BOOK OVERNIGHT.

I’m impressed.

I’m not impressed by what he does next—he finds Roger, the marble-stealer from the beginning of the film, gives him a gift of a bag of marbles, and uses the gift-giving to hold Roger captive for a Jesus hardsell.  (Roger, of course, JESUS WHO’S THAT???)

But the movie ends on a note of foreboding and stuff.  You see, Stubing has another problem on his hands.  He’s been thinking about the End Times, just like Carlisle, just like all Good Christians should.  And he wonders how much longer the world has.  His solution to this is to place a honking huge Bible on his anal-probing time machine, and try to send it waaaaay into the future.

Why he wouldn’t just try to send himself (yanno, LIKE HE DID BEFORE) is anyone’s guess.  I didn’t even realize that the time machine could send inanimate objects to the future.

So, he sets the machine for the year 2100.  It zaps a bit, but fizzles out, and the huge-ass Bible stays put.  Stubing tries again: 2090.  Nada.

Okay, Stubing, I think you’re doing it wrong.

2080.  Nuthin’.

LET ME DO IT, GEEZ!  IT’LL WORK IF I DO IT

Not to be confused with actual science.

2070.  Bible ain’t movin’.

And so we fade out, as Captain Stubing keeps getting closer and closer to OUR TIME…

Ohhhhh

Wait a sec…

I GET IT

Carlisle’s revised book changed the future, and now WE DON’T EXIST.

No.  That can’t be right.

Okay, wait…

ROGER WAS THE ANTICHRIST ALL ALONG.  CARLISLE TELLING HIM ABOUT JESUS CHANGED HISTORY.

CARLISLE IS NOW HIS OWN GRANDFATHER.

Or maybe not.

Hell, I dunno.

Whatever the answer, that’s Time Changer, ladies and gentlemen.  Thank you for being patient with me on this review—life has been busy lately.

Next time, on to more of The Secret on Ararat.  Our next movie: The Penniless Princess!

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Posted on September 13, 2012, in Movies, Time Changer. Bookmark the permalink. 39 Comments.

  1. I suspect the Bible thing at the end is to show that time has been destroyed by 20XX, so the machine can’t/won’t send stuff there.

    I don’t get the “Time Changer” part, though. Time wasn’t changed, was it? I mean Carlisle went to our time, which is still roughly as shown in the movie. Mayhaps this is an alternate timeline and his revised book converts everyone and alters the future, but they didn’t bother showing us that? Which means that if we see him walking around we should probably eliminate him so he doesn’t go back in time and kill us all.

    • The problem with that assumption is that according to the RTCs, the universe will still exist for a thousand years after Jesus returns at the end of the Great Tribulation before God decides to destroy it once and for all and build a new one – yes, it’ll be vastly changed due to all the destruction caused by the seven years of tribulation, but the Bible should still be able to exist there.

      It would make more sense if Stubing WAS trying to send himself back – since he’s presumably a Real True Christian, he’d end up raptured during the Rapture and that might be why the time machine wouldn’t send him, since he’d get swept up to heaven and its “programming” (would a 17th-century time machine even have programming?) doesn’t know how to handle that. As it is, it seems to be a case of the people who made the movie not thinking through the consequences of their beliefs, which seems to be about par the course for the whole experience.

      • Hey, now! Stop trying to apply logic to a Christian propoganda movie. That’s a battle you’re not going to win. 😉

      • Eh, depends on the specific Rapture-scheme they’re going with. In Left Behind, RTCs can still exist after the Rapture, it’s only people who were RTCs at the exact moment of the Rapture who get taken. So unless his time machine managed to hit the exact time of the Rapture, it should work. I think. Honestly, when you start putting in their convoluted ‘technically imbued with the Holy Spirit but not within the church so it doesn’t stop god from destroying the world’ argument, it’s all crapshoot.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy

        The problem with that assumption is that according to the RTCs, the universe will still exist for a thousand years after Jesus returns at the end of the Great Tribulation before God decides to destroy it once and for all and build a new one..

        That assumes of course (like all Dispy fanboys) that Revelation is written as a chronological checklist of FACT FACT FACT EVENT EVENT EVENT written in advance.

        Anyone stop to consider that the “second rebellion” at the end of the Millenium near the end of Revelation might just be a summary recap of what’s gone before, citing the Classical Hebrew literary convention of parallelism for emphasis?

  2. Actually, Wednesday night services seem to be a common thing. I know they held them at the Catholic church my dad’s family attended, though I never went myself. I guess they’re for people who can’t make it on Sundays and don’t want to miss mass.

    I was going to speculate that maybe all bibles got raptured up with the RTCs, but that would just be silly. And if all the bibles are gone, how would Buck and Rayford ever get saved?

  3. My guess: The two modern men who think Carlyle got raptured reported their vision to the rest of their church, sparking the widespread belief that the Rapture had come and gone, and only one man found worthy. This sparks mass disbelief and disillusionment, anarchy in the streets and hastens the end of the world.

    DAMN YOU, STUBING!

  4. And yet another potentially interesting story is wrecked on the rocks of doctrinal correctness.

    The events on the trip make it clear that Carlisle thinks that the only relationship man can have with God is one of cowering servitude. In which case… why did he write his book the way he did in the first place? By the premise of the film, he should be changing his views as a result of what he sees, but the way he acts is consistent with his end-state right from the beginning.

    If the bit at the end worked… what would happen? “Oh, I just found this old bible in the street.” World-shaking, yeah.

    Another alternate: the Time Corps, founded in 2003 in reaction to the events of this film, is bouncing the bible back as soon as it’s sent – after all, they’ve got bibles, and for this one to be missing from 1890 could cause its own set of paradoxes.

  5. Well, that is indeed impressive. Rewriting a book’s to change its central theme 180 degrees in an evening. Guess Jenkins really is the GCAT, all Christian writers spit out their drivel in the span of an afternoon. Bet the new book is just as interesting.

    And I also mentioned it before, but I fully agree with our host here. The whole premise of this movie was that Carlisle needed to learn the error of his ways by suggesting the promotion of morals apart from Christ. I get that RTCs find that a horrible idea. I get that they’d like to make a movie where Carlisle time travels and sees the horror this idea has unleashed. But then they need to show him see the horrible RESULTS of this Jesus-less morality and have him horrified by that. But he’s horrified by any mention that the teachings of Jesus aren’t being upheld as the center of all morality. Which is exactly what he proposed in the first place.

    Cause what exactly did we get? Families are in disarray, no authority, no respect! Where? Which families where in disarray exactly? Where did they show no authority and no respect? Yeah, they didn’t show respect for our protagonist or his teachings, but he didn’t admit any authority or respect to anything BUT his teachings. The only objectively immoral thing he’s seen anyone do to someone else was the girl who stole his hotdog. And as the end of the movie shows, kids stealing as a prank happened in his time too. Everyone else seemed plenty satisfied and happy with their lives, at least until Carlisle opened his mouth to them, and none of them were doing horrible things to anyone else. The reasonable moral lessons of Christianity that tells things are sins because it’s doing unto others what you don’t want them to do to you is completely scrapped. Things are sins because people from centuries ago find it icky to think people are doing them.

    Seriously Stubbing, I don’t believe for a second you never used your time machine to take a look at those awesome Biblical times and see all your big heroes in real life. You seriously went to those times of Jews/Christians being enslaved, tortured and killed when they weren’t plain starving to death, then went to this prosperous city where people say ‘Jesus? Mheh.’, and decide THOSE must be the end times? Seriously.

    And yeah, false advertising from the trailer and the title. Nothing has been changed. The ominious Rapture test at the end proves that nothing has changed even in the past, when Carlisle doesn’t write his book. The demand to change the book was therefor completely pointless. How fitting for a bunch of RTCs to take hard line stances on Biblical authority that serve absolutely no purpose but show your fellow RTCs you take hard line stances.

    • Families are in disarray, no authority, no respect! Where? Which families where in disarray exactly? Where did they show no authority and no respect?

      The only thing I can think of for this is that when the visitation family’s son is watching TV, his mother tells him to turn down the volume, and she has to say it twice. Presumable, no child in the 1890s ever had to be told anything twice, and if they did, they would also get the snot whipped out of them.

      Come to think of it, Carlisle sees this exchange and is dismayed, even though he would have no idea whether the kid was “obeying” or not, since he was still learning about remotes…

  6. Also:
    it is amazing how it is recorded scientific fact hundred of years before scientists ever discovered them
    I assume that’s supposed to be ‘has recorded’, but whatever. But anyway, is there anyone well enough versed in RTCism to know what the hell RTCs think he’s talking about here? Are there any ‘scientific facts’ that they think the Bible described before proper scientists found them out (side note, if scientists used to be good RTCs before the evil seculars took it over in the 20th century, why does Carlisle even know about scientific facts that contradict scripture?), other than the entire list that is currently being disputed by scientists? And I don’t mean just in real life, but in the RTC mind? Or is it just the whole list of things that modern day scientists dispute, but they imagine good old scientists from before learned as ‘scientific facts’, mostly because they learned that these ‘facts’ were true by reading the Bible saying they were true.

  7. The proof that “scientific facts”such as the Earth being round, the stars and planets being inanimate objects and so on is here: http://www.bibletoday.com/archive/proof_text.htm. Your definition of ‘facts’ has to be a trifle elastic of course.
    It’s interesting, in view of the way the writer rubbishes the beliefs of other religions, that both Hindu and Muslim fundamentalists also claim that their holy books contain similar “recorded scientific facts”.

  8. Interesting list. There’s the ambigious, like ‘valleys of the sea’, which they claim means the Bible knew about underwater trenches. There’s the simple consequences of monotheism, like the sun or lightning and thunder not being gods since there is only one god who isn’t specified as being one single object, and who’s lack of divinity is therefor not testable like the divinity of the sun is**. And there’s the falsehoods like saying the earth is like a circle indicates that the Bible clearly says it was a sphere (most flat-earth images show the earth as a circular disk, so ‘circle’ is ambigious) and claiming no one had any idea the earth was round untill the 1500s, as if scientists hadn’t made a good esitimate of the circumference of the spherical earth long before the year zero.

    **Though I personally think the sun really being a divine being isn’t any less likely than the god as described by Biblical ‘literalists’ existing is. The latter can’t be proven wrong once you start saying ‘any measurement that makes it LOOK like the world isn’t 6000 years old is just because god made it that way’, so the former is also fine once you start claiming that following measured stellar patterns and shining merrily on for billions of years is just what the sun-god wants to do. Oh, and the unexpected and not yet completely explained deviation of the solar cycle we’re seeing the last decade? Totally proof that the sun god is angry with us for trusting coal and nuclear power, instead of accepting his generous gift and installing more solar panels!

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      Oh, and the unexpected and not yet completely explained deviation of the solar cycle we’re seeing the last decade? Totally proof that the sun god is angry with us for trusting coal and nuclear power, instead of accepting his generous gift and installing more solar panels!

      I’m from California, where Saaaaave the Plaaaaaanet is one of our State Religions. (The others being the War on Smoking, the War on Global Warming, and the War on Obesity, among others.) After what our Betters in Sacramento with the thin grey ponytails have decreed on us For Our Own Good(TM), all I can say is:

      DON’T GIVE THEM IDEAS!!!!!!!

  9. “I think we just missed the Rapture.”

    Finally, an explanation for the Event! All of today’s children and Real True Christians have been pulled through a time vortex and brought into a Godly paradise: America 1890. Carlisle’s living room, to be precise.

    At last, the pious and morally upright have a home they can feel comfortable in. And the zygotes of 2012 will grow up in a nurturing environment where they can live out the adulthoods God intended for them. Say hi to Spanish flu and the Western Front for me, kids!

    • So all those people who seemed like they have their worldview stuck a few centuries ago were all time travelers from a few centuries ago? That explains so much.

  10. I think I see what’s going on here. Carlisle’s “I Was Wrong” speech makes the most sense if you think he was originally expecting that living a moral life would innately lead one to the Christ. But according to Anderson, that’s putting the cart before the horse; lasting morals can only come from fear of God (which makes me wonder if Anderson thinks morality has a foundational purpose BESIDES not annoying God). Not even Carlisle was thinking that it was okay to just leave things at “moral non-Christian”; he just thought that once morality was inculcated, following to the Christ was certain (i.e. not as much hand-holding and carrot-swaying from the preachers was needed). One time leap later, he finds that his sense of causality was lacking.

    In short, Carlisle was confident that teaching morality would inherently be a subconscious kind of proselytizing–they’d follow the good fruit (morality) to the only possible holy root that could have generated it (the Christ). The only difference between Carlisle and Anderson is that Carlisle had more faith in humanity’s deductive abilities. Start-of-film Carlisle doesn’t look so nice anymore…

    • I think that this may well have been what the filmmakers were trying for, but what they show is an immoral (by their standards) society without Christ. So the causal linkage gets lost; there’s no sense that there was a moral Christless age between “then” and “now”, which would be a necessary stage in this decay.

    • Interesting theory, but I’m not sure it holds up. I have only read Rubies review, so I don’t know the entire dialogue, but Carlisle’s motivation from what I saw didn’t sound like want to evangelize, but to spread moral standards to improve society:

      “And I am quoting from page 67: ‘Even if it is apart from his name, if people are rejecting the authority of Jesus Christ in their lives, we must still teach the ways of Christ for the better interests of society. The Lord’s teachings are best for all.’”

      “But we cannot always mention the name of Jesus—it may not be received. Especially by those already offended by the Church or brought up in another religion.”

      From this snippet of his book and his defense, it seems he’s interested in spreading the moral teachings and way of life for Christ, even to people who do not believe in his divinity, because it’ll be better to live in a world where everyone plays nice. He seems primarily interested in spreading the lessons, not the gospel. And, well, Firedrake makes a point. Really, the little girl stealing the hotdog and going ‘stealing is wrong says who?’ is the only person he meets who is in conflict with his ideas, since she expressively steals because she doesn’t properly fear her loving creator for tormenting the shit out of her. And like I said, we see that marble-stealing children in his time act the same, so big deal there.

      Carlisle simply seems to do a 180 once he gets to modern times, responding to percieved moral faults by shouting about Jesus and god to people who ‘are not receiving’ it because they have been ‘brougth up in another religion’. From what I can tell from this review, he rarely has the patience to try to teach others why something is amoral without invoking ‘the Bible says it, that settles it’. The ‘error of his ways’ he’s taught by this trip seems to be not that his method doesn’t work, but that he actually finds it horrible if people do not defer to his moral standards when he quotes Jesus.

      Ruby or anyone who watched the whole movie can correct me if I’m wrong here. But does he ever make an attempt to teach people a moral lesson without giving either no justification at all, just saying ‘dress modestly’ and ‘don’t kiss on TV’ OR by giving only religiously-themed justification?

  11. “Remember, students, if any scientific record contradicts the Sciptures, it is the scientific finding that is in error. The Scriptures are never wrong–”

    — Uhhhh . . . I really don’t think that even in the 1890s all students were taught to default to Scripture regardless of what the facts say. (Granted, I didn’t actually go to school in 1890s but I do own a couple health science textbooks from 1908. They’ve got some racist comments but no mention of religion.)

    ,

    “I think we just missed the Rapture.”

    — an awesome comic line, especially given the context, but how many “heathens” would immediately jump to this conclusion if they saw a man vanish into blue light? (Especially if they suspect there’s some temporal shenanigans going on.)

    • As far as I can tell, once the Great Revival died down a bit most Christians didn’t have any problem with science until the whole objection-to-evolution thing was reinvented in the 1950s (I would assume, given the timing, as a Great Threat that wasn’t explicitly racist).

      As for your latter comment:

      (Naked Arnie walks into a bar.) “I need your clothes, your boots, and your Bible.”

    • Well, remember, they do go to the church. So they’re problably those damn liberals who foolishly think the obvious truth of Revelation and a dozen verses cut-and-pasted from other books aren’t to be taken ‘literally’. And they know Carlisle is a fundie, and of course only RTCs who believe in the Rapture are ever considered ‘fundie’.

      In short, they’ll have heared of it, and they know Carlisle is holier than them and they probably consider them a Rapture nut. I actually liked it for that accuracy. It showed ‘unbelievers’ have heard of the Rapture, and might actually connect the dots if all the fundies (of the right kind) suddenly vanish in the twinkling of an eye. Too bad god will unleash a mind-controling or at least supernaturally charistmatic avatar of satan on the world, else those people god wants so desperately to convert might actually convert.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      “I think we just missed the Rapture.”

      – an awesome comic line, especially given the context, but how many “heathens” would immediately jump to this conclusion if they saw a man vanish into blue light? (Especially if they suspect there’s some temporal shenanigans going on.)

      Haven’t you read enough Christianese fiction to know?

      Total Heathens ALL think and speak in Fluent Christianese!

      That said, it IS a really awesome comic line.

  12. RTC Librarian’s conversion story sounds like the sort of conversion you see in Chick tracts. I find it pretty odd that RTCs apparently think non-Christians haven’t already heard of that Jesus fellow, since some 75-80% of all Americans are Christians.

    • My best guess is that this is a worldview failure. Anyone who hears about Jesus must immediately decide pro or anti, and that decision is forever – therefore anyone who is still convertible can’t have heard about Jesus.

      (How they square this with their own memories of pre-conversion life, never mind the real world, is unclear.)

    • I think, as with Spanish Eddie guy, that they allow that people have heard of Jesus. But if they cannot be dismissed as puppy-kickingly evil, the fact that they haven’t converted must mean that they heard about it from some liberal church who’s teachings are obviously unsatisfying to the eternal hunger for forgiveness we sinful creatures have. So they can still convert at the drop of a hat when someone like Carlisle comes by and they go “Wow, no one’s ever explained being saved so clearly to me!”

  13. “She seems to think it perfectly natural that a man could make it to the age of fifty without once seeing a movie or television show that contains a naughty word. Exactly how dense is this librarian supposed to be, anyway?”

    Oh, there’s a very simple explanation for this: she knew Carlisle was a time traveler.

    How? Because Stubing told her that *he* was.

    Why wouldn’t he? The whole “don’t tell them you’re a time traveler” trope hadn’t been invented yet, and Christians aren’t supposed to lie. So, in the middle of a conversation about salvation with the nice library lady, he mentioned that he had a time machine.

    And the librarian,, smart enough to know what you could do with a time machine, put her LS degree to use and whipped up a century of stock tips. An agreement was made: Stubing was to use these stock tips, pass them on to his descendants, and (a week after the events in this film, so as to not cause problems with causality), his heirs are to give her half of what is by now upwards of a billion dollars. Stubing is thrilled by this plan, one he wouldn’t have come up with on his own, because every time travel story ever hadn’t been written yet, with the exception of A Connecticut Yankee, and he’s not going to read that HEATHEN Mark Twain.

    But of course, they couldn’t let that jackwagon Carlisle know about it, so he was told very clearly not to bring up the time machine.

    And that scene at the end? Well, you can’t memorize a hundred years of stock tips (the instructions for 1928-1930 alone run six pages single spaced). And you can’t just bring back print-outs: there are Rules. So, they use the only data recepticle they have which has already made it one way through time.

    The footnotes on that bible are now *far* more interesting, and accurate, than anything Scofield could have done.

    And, once he has copied the stock tips and put them into a cypher to keep them secure (because multiple actors with future stock tips make it less likely that the tips will still work), Stubbings just has to get rid of the original, unencrypted future. Which is complicated by the nature of temporal information science: you need to blast the data with temporal quantum radiation to scatter it up and down the time stream, lest it reappear in some other form (this is how ouija boards work, but that’s another story). But he does still have a working time machine…

  14. Headless Unicorn Guy

    But he makes a quick stop at Eddie’s laundromat. (I had almost forgotten that Eddie was part of this film!) He gives Eddie the gift of a Bible in Spanish (forgive me for thinking that Carlisle wouldn’t have become that sensitive and culturally astute over the course of four days), and also the gift of the You Must Say The Magic Words speech. Eddie, who has been to church many times, actually has the gall to pull the “Wow, no one’s ever explained being saved so clearly to me!” bit.

    Altar Call Ending, check…

    (Make sure to Break the Fourth Wall to lead the audience in the magic words. I mean, this is SO predictable.)

    But the movie ends on a note of foreboding and stuff. You see, Stubing has another problem on his hands. He’s been thinking about the End Times, just like Carlisle, just like all Good Christians should.

    I have to ask. Did he pick up a copy of Hal Lindsay’s Late Great Planet Earth when he was uptime? Because THAT’s what took Ye Ende Is Nighye mainstream in the 1970s, some eighty years after Carlisle’s Gay Nineties. (When Dispensationalism was a definite minority view even among Evangelicals.)

    And he wonders how much longer the world has. His solution to this is to place a honking huge Bible on his anal-probing time machine, and try to send it waaaaay into the future.

    So, he sets the machine for the year 2100. It zaps a bit, but fizzles out, and the huge-ass Bible stays put. Stubing tries again: 2090. Nada.

    2080. Nuthin’.

    2070. Bible ain’t movin’.

    And so we fade out, as Captain Stubing keeps getting closer and closer to OUR TIME…

    Ohhhhh…

    Cue Ominous Music. Better Walk the Aisle and Say the Words NOW, because “We might not have a 1978!!! Or even a 1977!!!!!”

    LIKE THEY COULDN’T BE *MORE* OBVIOUS?

  15. Side note: Diamanda Hagan, who’s Left Behind and Apocalypse riffing videos I linked to before showed a quick clip of other Christian films she’s still planning to review, and I couldn’t help but notice the ‘Time Changer’ poster in the top left corner. I for one wouldn’t mind seeing that review. I prefer Ruby’s style of reviewing over Diamanda’s (her evil-overlord schtick gets a bit tedious at times), but seeing some actual footage of this movie will add to my personal hillarity, without having to sit through this whole movie.

  16. So, the Wikipedia page for Time Changer bills the film as a “comedy-drama”, and I’m wondering how accurate that description is. No doubt about it, there’s plenty of unintentional comedy to be had; but is there a tongue-in-cheek component to any of this that we’re not meant to take entirely seriously?

    I mean, look at Carlisle’s goofy mug in some of these screenshots. I haven’t seen the film so I can’t judge context, but are there any moments where Carlisle’s shock at the “horrors” of the modern world is meant as humor, where we’re supposed to laugh at him rather than nod grimly along?

    Is there any actual comedy in the film?

    • In fairness, in the special features, the actor playing Carlisle mentions that he was sometimes purposely playing Carlisle as a bit of a buffoon. But I’m pretty sure that a) no one on the set knew that but him and b) it’s meant to be buffoonery because OMG TIME TRAVEL AND CULTURE SHOCK = FUNNY, not because…well…Carlisle is a buffoon no matter which century he’s in.

  17. I’m yonks late as I pretty much always am in commenting, but I feel it worth noting- One of the first films ever commercially available to the public was a 47-second long motion picture of… a couple kissing. Edison filmed it. Sure, it was in 1896, but it’s the same bloody time period and it was one of the first ever demos of the medium to the public. I don’t think they would have started out with heroin baby-punching. No matter what else Edison was, he was a damn good PR guy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Kiss_%281896_film%29

    And it’s here on youtube:

    It’s a far more playful kiss than I’d guess would have happened in the soap. I mean, hell, it looks like they actually enjoy being around each other. SIN.

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