Monday, September 30, 2013

Let's Fly Away!

This is a contemporary Chick Tract, delivering the message that the world is horrible and getting worse, but Jesus makes everything better. Half of it seems to be aimed at kids, but the other half deals with very grown up issues. Ultimately, God and Jesus are presented as an escape from the troubles of the current day and age.

The story (as much as there is one) starts with the closing of a broke company. "The new regulations killed our jobs!" the former boss tells former employee Greg. "It's happening all over." Greg returns home to his alcoholic wife Delores, who freaks at the news of his termination. "Factories everywhere are closing!" Greg tells her. "The whole country is in a mess." He tries to console her with the story of their next door neighbour Herb, who lost his job, his house, his wife and his kids, but who "says everything is..." And before we can learn what that is is, a gunshot sounds from the house next door. "Herb blew his brains out!" says a dude who seems way too happy about it. The other neighbours are just as creepy - one wants to see what's left of Herb's face, and others set out to loot his home. Wow, humanity sure does suck.

Having established the state of the world as he sees it, Jack Chick introduces Greg and Delores' daughter Julie. She's got great big staring-at-oncoming-headlights eyes, and an innocence bordering on stupidity. She makes friends with Karen, the daughter of the happy smiley couple who just moved in across the street. Karen wastes no time preaching to Julie, telling her that "in God's eyes you are a lying thief!" Liars and thieves "go to the other place!" Karen adds, and we assume she isn't talking about Disneyland. Having sufficiently terrorized Julie, Karen moves in for the Save. "Jesus is coming to get us," she tells her new convert. "He'll meet us in the clouds." The two happy girls jump up and down on Karen's bed, singing "We'll fly away!" Hence this tract's title.

With that, the kid-friendly portion of the tract ends. Julie tells her parents about Jesus, but finds them less than receptive. "We hate that name!" Greg tells her. "You need a nut doctor!" adds Dolores. It seems that while Julie was getting Saved, her parents were busy turning evil. Greg now sports tattoos of skulls, snakes, and Satan's face, and Dolores has become a drug dealer. The way non-Believers do.

The tract ends with Julie jumping on her own bed and singing at two in the morning. Greg has every right to be pissed at the "rotten brat," but his decision to "give her a beating she'll never forget" seems a little extreme. But when Greg barges into Julie's room to open his can of whup-ass, Julie is gone... leaving only her slippers behind! Lucky for her the Rapture happened just in time to save her, right? Although technically, if she had been Raptured, she'd have left behind her pajamas as well. Maybe she just hid under the bed.

Let's Fly Away! paints a very bleak picture of our world, where everyone is a right bastard and life completely sucks. In fact, the whole world is that angry father, coming to our room to beat us. If only we could escape...

And that's Jesus - a magical escape from all your troubles. And eternal damnation. Can't forget that.

"Those religious jerks have made you go crazy!" Dolores tells her converted daughter. "Never mention Jesus again!" says her dad. Is this really what Jack Chick thinks unBelievers are like? Apparently. The only people in the tract who aren't portrayed as pond scum are Karen, her mom, and Julie. If you're not Saved, you must be evil. If that's how Jack sees humanity, how can we take him seriously?

"The whole country is in a mess," Greg says, and maybe he's right. It will take a lot to fix it, and waiting for a miracle escape isn't going to help anybody.

Let's Fly Away!
Likely to Convert - 2
Artwork - 7
Ability to Hold Interest - 4
Unintentional Hilarity - 4
Level of Disturbing or Offensive Content - ?

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