Buck Explains The World Currencies for Like a Million Pages: Left Behind Chapter 5

"Oh my god! Who the hell cares?"

Sorry about the lack of Lazy Reader’s Guide this week. I had family in town and completely forgot about it. SOME MIGHT SAY IT WAS…LEFT BEHIND.

Left Behind Chapter 5

This chapter is a re-cap on everything Buck did in the days leading up to the Rapture…which is essentially discussions about news and scoops with different people while casually slipping in his feelings about God/Jesus.

Even though Buck was on his way to Britain to meet with an important source (more on that later), first he stopped in Chicago.

Buck had gone out of his way to stop in Chicago first to mend fences with the Global Weekly’s bureau chief there, a fiftyish black woman named Lucinda Washington. He had gotten crossways with her—what else was new?—when he scooped her staff on, of all things, a sports story that was right under their noses. An aging Bears legend had finally found enough partners to help him buy a professional football team, and Buck had somehow sniffed it out, tracked him down, gotten the story, and run with it.

WAIT BUCK IS THE ONE WHO BROKE THAT STORY? Man, this guy is something else. Why does the Global Weekly even bother hiring other writers when clearly Buck could be running this whole show on his own?

Lucinda and Buck banter and then he tricks her into thinking he’s giving her a juicy scoop…but he’s just pranking her! This of course leads into a conversation about God and Jesus that is not at all forced.

“That wasn’t even Christian,” she had said.

“Don’t start with that again.”

“Come on, Cameron. You know you got your mind right when you saw what God did for Israel.”

“Granted, but don’t start calling me a Christian. Deist is as much as I’ll cop to.”

“Stay in town long enough to come to my church, and God’ll getcha.”

“He’s already got me, Lucinda. But Jesus is another thing. The Israelis hate Jesus, but look what God did for them.”

“The Lord works in—”

“In mysterious ways, yeah, I know. Anyway, I’m going to London Monday. Working on a hot tip from a friend there.”

I’m not sure if I’m convinced by Buck’s reasoning for being unsure about Jesus. I think saying Israelis hate Jesus is not accurate as a blanket statement…I actually don’t know, maybe some people do, but my understanding was just that they didn’t believe he was the son of God, not that they hated him? They nothing him, basically.

Buck was going to meet his friend Dirk who worked in the financial district and was able to pass on information about powerful international financiers meeting in secret, deciding the fate of the world. Dirk explains how he gets this top-secret information from “a friend of mine [who] is related to a girl who works for the secretary of our guy in this group…” It’s almost as good as being in the room himself!

Initially Buck was skeptical because Dirk told him those powerful dudes wanted the world to be on one currency. I know, I can’t believe it either given how iron-clad Dirk’s information source is. BUT THEN LATER:

“Well, there’s going to be a major United Nations Monetary Conference, and the topic is going to be streamlining currency.”

“Big deal.”

“It is a big deal, Cameron. Our guy got shot down. He, of course, was pushing for world currency to become pounds sterling.”

“What a surprise that that won’t happen. Look at your economy.”

“But listen, the big news, if you can believe any leak out of the secret meeting, is that they have it down to three currencies for the entire world, hoping to go to just one inside a decade.”

“No way. Won’t happen.”

“Cameron, if my information is correct, the initial stage is a done deal. The U.N. conference is just window dressing.”

MY GOD.

Dirk also dishes that the man with the most power in the situation is a man named Jonathan Stonagal. He has lots of money and is old.

"Oh my god! Who the hell cares?"

All of Dirk’s predictions about the currency came true, and now Buck trusts him a lot. He decides to try to call Dirk as soon as her can and also call some other people too. This includes Hattie who he told he would call if he found out anything about her family

Elsewhere, Ray is on the phone with Hattie. He gives no fucks about her anymore, though.

“I wish I could say I tried to call you, Hattie, but I didn’t. This is hard for me.”

“Let me know if you need me, Rayford. You know, just someone to talk to or be with.”

“I will. And you let me know what you find out about your family.”

He almost wished he hadn’t added that. Losing his wife and child made him realize what a vapid relationship he had been pursuing with a twenty-seven-year-old woman. He hardly knew her, and he certainly didn’t much care what happened to her family any more than he cared when he heard about a remote tragedy on the news. He knew Hattie was not a bad person. In fact, she was nice and friendly. But that was not why he had been interested in her. It had merely been a physical attraction, something he had been smart enough or lucky enough or naive enough not to have acted upon. He felt guilty for having considered it, and now his own grief would obliterate all but the most common courtesy of simply caring for a coworker

What relationship had he even been pursuing?? He was considering making a move on her based off the fact she GENTLY TOUCHED HIS SHOULDER. Granted, we’re meant to take this as gospel that Hattie is into Ray, but there was never any question in my mind about whether he was pursing this because he was just physically attracted to her, and I never thought he was attracted to her on a deeper level.

Also, we get it already. I don’t get why Ray has to keep explaining to us that he doesn’t give a shit about Hattie anymore.

Back to Buck. He’s calling lots of people. He finds out his dad and brother are okay, but they’re not sure about his brother’s family. Then he calls Hattie and tells her that her family is ok. I don’t really care about what’s going on with Buck, but at least when he calls Hattie there’s no reason for him to tell us all the reasons he’s not interested in her on a deeper level.

Buck then calls Lucinda, but her son tells him she’s gone. This is pretty gut-wrenching given what an integral part of the book she was. Only Buck can properly convey the heartbreak:

“My mom’s not here,” the young man said.

“Is she still at the office? I need a recommendation where to stay near Waukegan.”

“She’s nowhere,” the boy said. “I’m the only one left. Mama, Daddy, everybody else is gone. Disappeared.”

“Are you sure?”

“Their clothes are here, right where they were sitting. My daddy’s contact lenses are still on top of his bathrobe.”

“Oh, man! I’m sorry, son.”

Oh, man. Heartfelt words indeed.

Buck is also currently making his way to Washington by paying lots of money for people to help transport him around. Given how mind-numbingly boring this chapter was, you’re welcome for sparring you some of the even duller parts of the chapter.

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7 comments

  1. Bellomy Reply

    I’d love to see the really interesting story here that they’re afraid to write: Everybody left behind is a horrible person, which is why the end times or whatever are so bad.

    (Now, the critic might try and make an ironic, or argumentative, point and have a lot of nice people left over who are left behind because they just weren’t Christians. But I’m assuming 1) The author really isn’t good enough to pull off the nuance to make that not sound like preachy bullshit, and 2) He wants to make Jesus somewhat sympathetic.

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    • Andreas Reply

      There are (very few) genuinely nice people in the series. They just aren’t protagonists or in any way important to the plot. All of them are instant-converts to the one true christianity ™ of course, because all people which aren’t are per definition absolute monsters.

      Of course the authors want to make Jesus somewhat sympathetic, but in my opinion they fail. When He appears later in the series around volume … whatever, 74 or so, in any case after too many books, the scene plays out more or less like “Sup guys, I heard you don’t like the antichrist nuking the world. Don’t worry, I’m Rambojesus and I will nuke the world much, much harder! High five!!!”
      (Yes, I know. That is exactly what is actually happening in the book of revelation, so the series is true to the source, but most modern christian denominations heavily focus on “God is Love” and so the series’ focus on Jesus as the Supreme Warlord of the Celestial Hosts whose defining trait is that he is much more badass than the devil feels for most readers which aren’t already the authors’ brand of christianity somewhat dissonant.)

      The authors really aren’t good enough to make it not sound like preachy bullshit.
      I hope you don’t mind when I adjust your statement a little bit and apply it to the whole series 😉

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      • Bellomy Reply

        No, no, I’m agreeing with you. Basically, I’m just saying there are some interesting ways the author can go with this, but he’s not very good, so he won’t.

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  2. Jennifer Layton Reply

    Sadly, the “Israelis hate Jesus” statement is a common tactic of the over-the-top brand of Christianity illustrated by this series. Back in college when I was defending myself against one of my born-again classmates, she asked why I hated Jesus. At first I thought it was just a cheap shot meant to throw me off balance in the argument, but I think they actually do think that nonbelievers do hate Jesus. There is no middle ground of thinking Jesus was a great guy but just not the son of God.

    The main reason statements like this make me angry now is because I know this is not how the majority of Christians think, and I don’t like seeing your average kind, compassionate Christian being represented this way.

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  3. wordswithhannah Reply

    Wow, this kid lost his entire family and is alone in the world, and that’s the amount of concern Buck can muster up? It’s not like this series needs a plucky kid sidekick, but Buck could have at least made sure that someone’s looking after him!

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  4. Cara Reply

    I actually don’t even remember who Lucinda is. (I’m guessing that was his assistant, or agent, or whatever.) More importantly, I thought all the children got raptured. Was it only babies? That seems… kinda messed up.

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  5. Pingback: The Lazy Reader’s Guide: January 18- January 22, 2016 | Bad Books, Good Times

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