Monday, July 11, 2005

Chick Tract Review

Like all patriotic, god-fearing Americans, I await each new literary gem from Jack Chick with abated breath. Suspense! Thrills! Excitement? What will each new chapter in the ongoing spiritual odyssey of the Chickster hold? Will it tell us that we need to accept Jesus or go to hell? Will it tell the exciting story of a guy who doesn't accept Jesus, and thus goes to hell? Or an instructive tale about how Catholics go to hell? Or Muslims (moon-god worshippers)? Or Buddhists? Or Hindus? Perhaps he'll try to keep us off-balance with a l'il number about how gays are going to hell! Or perhaps one where we finally find out where witches go when they die! And if you weren't quite sure where Jehova's Witnesses are headed in the great hereafter...well, prepare to be enlightened!

Yes, with universal themes as diverse as these handled with such great aplomb, it's no wonder that Mr. Chick is widely considered one of the great literary giants of our time. However--and you have no idea how much it pains me to say this--the man appears to have gone senile. This latest tract is bizarre, and it leaves me with no idea what to believe.

So in the beginning, the woman is righteously enraged by the picture of a guy worshipping a statue of a dodo bird--and the curator is the voice of moderation: "he talks to his god and tells it all about his troubles...and asks forh help," he explains. "What's wrong with that?" Now this is a little bit confusing already, because, based on Chick archetypes, the curator should be the Christian and the woman the unbeliever--but we're being lead to expect otherwise here. Okay...I guess we can get used to that. But then! So fast it gives us whiplash, things change back again. With the flimsiest of segues, curator-man launches into a story about how idol-worship is bad, bad, bad--directly contradicting his earlier pleas for cultural understanding. And suddenly the woman is the unbeliever, in spite of the fact that she was levelling accusations of blasphemy at the painting just a moment ago. Are we to imagine that the curator was just baiting her in the first part of the tract? It's hard to know what else to think, but that seems like kind of a stretch--and it still doesn't explain the woman's transformation.

And what are we to make of the malevolent-looking boy who plucks a hair off an old man's head and then stalks out of the building as the camera lingers on him? Surreal side-action is not unknown in Chick tracts, but this takes it to a whole new level, detracting from the tract's overall message.

And after reading this, I don't know what to believe: should I be worshipping a dodo bird statue, or not? Aargh! Such confusion!

I sincerely hope that this is just momentary insanity, and that Chick returns to his usual lofty literary heights in the future. But this tract is a very alarming sign.


Anonymous Anonymous pontificated to the effect that...

The solution is more obvious than that.

Chick was going to write the story with the woman as the saver, but then he realized that for a woman to be of more value to a man is still taboo to Christians because of the alleged apostle Paul.

So he changed the plot to fit the predjudice. But because she already had biblical knowledge to a limited extent, he made her into a Catholic.

12:00 AM  

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