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Wednesday: God Shot: Think about it from Ms. Henn's point of view.

[This never ends well. From The Devil's Night.]Illustrations from the Li'l Susy tract series by Jack Chick. Websnark entry number 1000 considers the plight of schoolteacher Ms. Henn, introduced in Apes, Lies, and Ms. Henn. She's a horribly underutilized character, an adversary with great potential, and it's a shame that we don't see more of her. It's hard not to sympathize with her, too -- would you want a child like Susy, the anti-Bobby, in your class?

Poor Ms. Henn. From her very first day, she had trouble with Susy Barnes.

Ms. Henn works in a public school. She hasn't been in this particular job very long; she was hired as maternity cover for the semester. Mostly, she likes it here, though. She enjoys organizing special events for the class, like speakers from the community and Halloween costume contests. learn, and grow, and embrace new ideas. She wants them to have the best possible education they can.

But the kids are going home from school scared, and shaken, and saying upsetting things to their parents. "Well, my friend Susy told me..."

How does a little girl end up that way? It just makes Ms. Henn sick to think about it.

Of course, Susy's bright and charismatic, but she's a very troubled little girl. Why, her father died last year, and her mother died in childbirth; the only person she has left in the world is her grandfather. The way her file tells it, she didn't even have a chance to grieve properly; she showed up at school barely a week later, a little too cheerful, telling everyone about her new daddy in Heaven.

[Susy Barnes is no fan of sin. From Li'l Susy.]Conversion under duress? It's as though Susy sees a completely different world.

Obviously, Susy's personal faith keeps her going, keeps her from breaking completely; it's good that she can draw strength from that. But the way her grandfather's raising her, she's learning to impose her faith on others at every available opportunity. And she's developing a terrible worldview in the process, too.

It frightens Ms. Henn. It really does. It's not that Susy's religious; it's that she's cruel. And militant.

It'd be another thing altogether if it was even just good-natured sharing, but Susy's incredibly overbearing and manipulative. She zeroes in on her most vulnerable classmates, like little Cathy, whose father ran out on the family. She'll say the most vicious and hateful things about other people's beliefs or practices to get underneath their skin. My friend Susy told me that Pagans sacrifice cute kitties and little girls. And that's not even the worst of it. What must her grandfather be teaching her? She's building up a little following of students, and they're starting to trust her with just about everything that goes wrong.

[Liar! From Apes, Lies...]That just won't do. It just leaves those poor kids open to getting their heads messed with, and there's not a blessed thing that Ms. Henn can do about it.

Ms. Henn doesn't know how to manage Susy at all. Mr. Barnes is awfully clever, and teaches his little girl how to weasel around the school's authority instead of properly respecting it. A little bit of it is Ms. Henn's fault, in a way, and she knows it -- she lost her temper on that first day, when Susy called her a liar in front of the whole class -- but Mr. Barnes took his granddaughter's side, and that didn't help things at all. (She probably told him horrible things about her.) He made sure Susy only spoke to her little group off of school grounds, where Ms. Henn couldn't do anything at all about the nasty things Susy would say or do. He sent Susy to school in a Santa costume today, for goodness' sakes! Just so that she wouldn't be participating in a fun holiday like Halloween!

(Ms. Henn wonders if Susy even knows where Santa comes from. Probably not yet. Mr. Barnes will probably tell her about druidic sacrifices sometime next month.)

Really, it'd be much easier for everyone if Mr. Barnes would just homeschool little Susy, as was suggested at the parent-teacher conference. Why, Susy's so convinced that there are demons everywhere, Ms. Henn's not convinced that Susy isn't hallucinating them now. There's no getting through to that little girl while she's so unbalanced, and it's getting harder and harder for her to keep control of the class. [Off school grounds! From Birds and the Bees.] The other parents are complaining horribly about it, but she can't do anything to stop Susy outside of class. She had to spend weeks apologizing to Larry and Charles for Frankie's horrible outburst, and she just knows that had nothing to do with Frankie's home environment.

If the children turn up to school tomorrow with those wretched little hate literature tracts in their Halloween candy, Ms. Henn just doesn't know what she's going to do about it. Perhaps she ought to see about getting Susy referred to the school counselor.

This just isn't going to end well. Ms. Henn might have to go drinking.

Posted by Wednesday Burns-White at October 31, 2005 5:41 PM

Comments

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at October 31, 2005 5:54 PM

Yeah, I added a couple of details for verisimilitude. What do you want? It's Chick fic.

Comment from: coldcut posted at October 31, 2005 5:57 PM

Random thought from reading Jack's explanation of why he wrote the comic:

The Sodomites and their Aggressive Gay Machine would be a great name for a band.

Comment from: UrsulaV posted at October 31, 2005 6:07 PM

I love you so.

Comment from: quiller posted at October 31, 2005 6:27 PM

Hmm, I have to say that one thing that would definitely be worse than a chick flic would be a Jack Chick flic.

Comment from: Alexis Christoforides posted at October 31, 2005 6:29 PM

Perhaps she ought to see about getting Susy referred to the school counselor. ALTERNATIVELY, she could lure the whole class into satanism and teach them enough about the occult so that they can condemn themselves to hell!

Funny how you can segue from that first panel there to here and turn Susy into a heroine. And John Allison to a Jack Chick apologist.

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at October 31, 2005 6:31 PM

I don't think it's fair to pigeonhole Ms. Henn as an occultist. She plainly just enjoys Halloween on a secular, costumey level.

Comment from: HydrogenGuy posted at October 31, 2005 6:38 PM

It's much easier to have impure thoughts about the Winters girls.

L'il Susy, on the other hand, will one day discover her emotionally-distant husband's stash of "Maxim" magazines, and then set fire to the outhouse, while he is locked inside.

And what's with her grandfather's eyepatch? Damn, I know what my ladyfriend and I should dress up as next year.

Comment from: EsotericWombat posted at October 31, 2005 8:27 PM

I'd like to see a parody of the anti-evolution tracts about the introduction of Intelligent Design into the classroom

Comment from: Robert Hutchinson posted at October 31, 2005 8:43 PM

Jack sure does come up with some likeable folks as his protagonists, don't he? Eventually, he'll have Satan preaching to his lesser demons.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at October 31, 2005 9:41 PM

See, I just think Suzy hates the Constitution. She doesn't want to respect other people's rights to deal with whatever religion they want. She doesn't like that people have freedom to leave relationships that are clearly bad for everyone. Suzy wants to just force everyone into obeying what she believes.

Thanks to Jack Chick, I know now that fascism starts at five.

Comment from: miyaa posted at October 31, 2005 9:51 PM

Eh, it could be worse. Suzy could find out that Mr. Henn is a Masonite. Or the bible Ms. Henn quotes from is not the 'authentic' King James Version English version. Or the kids try to introduce Suzy to rock music only to hear her complain about how Rock and Roll had ancient evil Druidic origins (I wonder if Chick believes rap came from ancient Baal sexual rituals?).

But Li'l Suzy will overcome all those things. I mean after all, she's survived the Muslims already.

Comment from: Doc posted at October 31, 2005 10:20 PM

I can't tell if it was intentional but "there's not a blessed thing that Ms. Henn can do about it." in context is the most wonderful sentence I have read today.

Comment from: Doc posted at October 31, 2005 10:27 PM

Also if you ignore the speech bubbles the Li'l Suzy tract (the one actually called li'l suzy about her new daddy etc.) kind of looks like some sort of pre-teen lesbian indoctrination... but maybe thats just me.

Comment from: aikugi posted at October 31, 2005 11:10 PM

Also if you ignore the speech bubbles the Li'l Suzy tract (the one actually called li'l suzy about her new daddy etc.) kind of looks like some sort of pre-teen lesbian indoctrination... but maybe that's just me.

Heck, you don't even need to ignore all the speech bubbles to play up the sapphic angle; excising about half would do the job.

Comment from: John Lynch posted at October 31, 2005 11:15 PM

I love you so.
Agreed. Chick tracts make me feel so unclean and depressed, but you actually made that one entertaining. I don't know if I'll ever be able to read them the same way. Thankyou Wednesday. You improved my life.

P.S. Any idea where these satanists are? I've got a little brother that would make a WONDERFUL human sacrifice.

Comment from: Michael Nehora posted at November 1, 2005 1:13 AM

Check out this Apes, Lies and Ms. Henn parody by one Bogart Shwadchuck.

Comment from: Tice with a J posted at November 1, 2005 1:45 AM

The Chick track that really rots my socks is The Visitors. All of his stuff is tripe, but that one is personal, and to know that someone studied my beliefs with the sole intent of destroying it does not fill me with hope. (Dark Dungeons was just hilarious, though)

Having studied ID theory and various crank theories in depth, I will say that there's much worse stuff that Chick could be peddling in place of science. Just, y'know, count your blessings.

Comment from: chalcara posted at November 1, 2005 2:41 AM

Jack Chick scares me, seriously.

Comment from: RoboYuji posted at November 1, 2005 4:02 AM

The most hilarious part is that Susy TOTALLY looks like an evil little witch girl.

Just this afternoon the TV was playing an episode of King of the Hill in which some religious nut was trying to stear all the kids away from Halloween, until Hank got fed up with all the nonsense.

Comment from: Daerv posted at November 1, 2005 4:37 AM

The Lil' Susy one is highly entertaining. When declaring "That's not fair!" Cathy actually becomes a mutant rabbit and honestly it could go either way three panels later. I was half-expecting Susy to appear with a hip flask of kool aid to help Cathy meet god...

Comment from: Kludge posted at November 1, 2005 5:51 AM


"Jesus, Buffy".


...Li'l Suzy and I thinking pretty much the same thing. Except LS probably isn't thinking "Jesus, Buffy! Ditch the nutter!"

Comment from: Abby L. posted at November 1, 2005 9:16 AM

Hahaha. That poor lady.

Comment from: alschroeder posted at November 1, 2005 9:43 AM

I dunno...Jack Chick I think is noticed a lot more by non-believers than believers. Criticizing Jack Chick is somewhat akin to shooting monkeys in a barrel.
Be that as it may...
I'd love to hear little Susie's comments on the magic and mythical beings in the new Narnia movie from Disney, which is a Christian allegory...or condemning the Lord of the Rings movie for its magic, not realizing that Tolkien basically constructed it all in a framework any Catholic would be comfortable in. (The Valar are basically angels, for instance.)--Al

Comment from: aikugi posted at November 1, 2005 10:17 AM

...or condemning the Lord of the Rings movie for its magic, not realizing that Tolkien basically constructed it all in a framework any Catholic would be comfortable in. (The Valar are basically angels, for instance.)--Al

Err... that's not outside of the realm of possibility, since Chick claims the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at November 1, 2005 10:27 AM

Yeah, I have to echo those sentiments - Chick would just love to use those for an anti-Catholic rant.

Though as it's quite evident in the way some evangelists go about their ministry, there's a long tradition in being a whore for Christ.

Comment from: Tice with a J posted at November 1, 2005 11:07 AM

I, for one, happen to be a believer, and I can say that we generally look on Chick tracts as cheap kitsch and zealous stupidity in spreading the good word - in other words, mostly harmless. Of course, that was before I read all of his stuff, particularly the tracts calling Joseph Smith a liar, calling the pope the spawn of Satan, calling D&D a gateway drug to witchcraft, and calling the UN a pawn of the Sodomites and their Aggressive Gay Machine (catch their new hit single, "Li'l Susy"!).

In closing, I have a brief correction to make to Dark Dungeons:
"Debbie, your cleric has been raised to the 8th level. I think it's time that you learn how to really cast spells."
"You mean, I'll be able to do Cure Critical Wounds and Turn Undead in real life?"
"Exactly. You see, we've discovered a dungeon full of orcs downtown, and you know how silly it is to go dungeon crawling without a healer..."

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at November 1, 2005 12:43 PM

Say, all due congratulations on hitting 1000 snarks, kids. Or does the celebration not start till 1001?

Comment from: The REAL Brian posted at November 1, 2005 1:27 PM

Hoy. When I was about 15, I actually fell for Jack's Evolution Debunking Tract. Thankfully I took Highschool biology the next semester and was set straight. That's the real danger of these tracts though, they're aimed at the young and stupid who just don't know any better yet.

As an aside, does anyone else always find these things on the GROUND? You'd THINK people would want to be personable and pass them out, but more often than not they just drop them on the ground at fairs and fast food joints like they're Easter Eggs or something.

Comment from: arscott posted at November 1, 2005 1:36 PM

Re: The CS Lewis Thing--

I think the older editions of Dark Dungeons referred to LotR and Narnia as satanic, but later he went all "omfg Chrstan Allgry1!!" and removed them.

Comment from: B.G.Aesop posted at November 1, 2005 2:06 PM

I take back everything I said earlier, Ms. White. You have completely won me back with this essay. I tip my hat to you.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at November 1, 2005 2:20 PM

This was the celebration. 1000 snarks. Miss Henn would be proud of us.

Comment from: Rakishi posted at November 1, 2005 2:49 PM

Seems that someone found the original Dark Dungeons page which was later edited:
http://www.fecundity.com/pmagnus/darkdung.html

Comment from: arscott posted at November 1, 2005 5:26 PM

Interestingly, that's not the only thing that changed on that page.

He rewords the first paragraph and changes the reference from Luke 10:19-- Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. to John 4:4 and 8:36-- And he must needs go through Samaria. and If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Changing power to victory makes sense. The change makes the sentence far less clunky.

But removing the "and nothing shall by any means hurt you" bit is odd. Apparently, Jack dislikes the Idea that Jesus will protect us from his enemies. Possibly because a liberal reading of the Luke 10:19 passage makes Chick and his comics unneeded and obsolete. Which probably explains why he replaced the Luke quotation with a pair from John that have nothing to do with what he's saying.

The Acts 2:38 reference--Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. changes to Luke 13:5--I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. in the second paragraph. In doing so, he emphasizes the punishment for failing to repent over the rewards of repenting. He also throws in a "God's word" to give himself additional authority (and includes Jesus's last name in case we forgot it).

Finally, in the second to last paragraph, he changes the "You must fulfill Acts 19:19" to "According to Acts 19:19". perhaps a smart choice since the passage--Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all [men]: and they counted the price of them, and found [it] fifty thousand [pieces] of silver. is a discription of actions taken, rather than a command.

(all biblical sitations from the KJV at blueletterbible.org)

Comment from: Robert Hutchinson posted at November 1, 2005 6:11 PM

the tracts calling Joseph Smith a liar

That doesn't seem terribly beyond the pale to me--at least, not for Jack.

Comment from: PatMan posted at November 1, 2005 6:31 PM

My family is always asking why I play a priest in World of Warcraft. They think it's quite an odd choice for me. So what would Jack say? Should I stop playing such a satanic game, where I go to church regularly? Or should I keep playing, but as a less holy character, because clearly, my devout family is uncomfortable with my priestliness?


And you're right, Tice. NEVER go into a dungeon without a healer. Especially not downtown.

Comment from: siwangmu posted at November 1, 2005 7:13 PM

Wake up, a-little Susy.
Wake up.
Wake up, a-little Susy.
Wake up.

You'd lost both parents at five.
We're glad that you're still alive.
But playtime's over, cuz your granddad
has filled your head full of jive.

Wake up, a-little Susy.
Wake up, a-little Susy.

How do we know you're mentally well?
Are you so far gone we can't tell?
What're you gonna say when your friends
they tell you, "Go to hell."

Wake up, a-little Susy.
Wake up, a-little Susy.

Well, you're after all the converts you can get.
Well, Susy, you're the most zealous tyke we've met.

Wake up, a-little Susy.
Wake up, a-little Susy.
Snap out of it, kid.

Wake up, a-little Susy.
Wake up.
Wake up, a-little Susy.
Wake up.

To granddad's God you're a slave
the more schoolchildren you save
with scary lies and your shining eyes
your mental state will be grave.

Wake up, a-little Susy.
Wake up, a-little Susy.

How do we know you're mentally well?
Are you so far gone we can't tell?
What're you gonna do when your friends
finally say, "Go to hell."

Wake up, a-little Susy.
Wake up, a-little Susy.
Wake up, a-little Susy.


(thank you, thank you, no letter bombs, please--I just couldn't resist! Come on, I can't be the only one who had this song totally stuck in their head after reading this)

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at November 1, 2005 7:18 PM

Oh my god! Chick filk!

DUDE!

Comment from: larksilver posted at November 1, 2005 10:57 PM

Excellent extrapolation of the life of poor Ms. Henn, Wednesday!

Apparently, the children at Suzy's school are being fed some sort of chemical which makes it difficult for them to think on their own. I know that my son, at 3, already asks tons more questions about these things than these kids are asking the little scary girl.. er.. sweet saviour child (eep). Or perhaps those horrible faces she makes are actually a highly-developed version of hypnosis?

brrrr.

Comment from: quiller posted at November 1, 2005 11:31 PM

Chick flicks, Chick tracts, Chick filks, what's the difference really.

I look at that Susy face in the second quoted panel, and it just makes me think "The Omen V: Bride of the Antichrist". That may not be what they are trying to go for there, however.

Comment from: William_G posted at November 2, 2005 5:01 AM

If someone had given Osama Bin Ladin a comicbook instead of a machine gun as a kid, we may have had the Islamic Jack Chick and could have avoided the last four years.

Comment from: The REAL Brian posted at November 2, 2005 7:55 AM

Somehow, I can just imagine a Bob the Angry Flower comic detailing that very "What if..?"

Comment from: FlyingFish posted at November 2, 2005 1:52 PM

Lil' Achmed explains to her classmates how you can blow yourself up for 40 virgins!

Comment from: KMeist posted at November 3, 2005 4:54 PM

Jack Chick, Jack Thompon, I consider them variations - remixes, if you will - of the same person.

There's Jack Chick, the mormon-hating D&D basher, and Jack Thompson Remix, the gamer-hating GTA basher. Seriously they are pretty similar when you think about it for a second.

Comment from: larksilver posted at November 3, 2005 5:45 PM

I think, if I were the type to go for virgins, I'd want a lot more than a mere 40 as payment for blowin' meself up.

Comment from: Paul A. posted at November 3, 2005 8:12 PM

What I want to know is where the virgins come from. Does God just conjure them out of nothing? Are they real people being punished for *not* blowing themselves up?

...I honestly can't think of an explanation that *isn't* creepy.

Comment from: siwangmu posted at November 3, 2005 11:01 PM

Here's my problem: shouldn't we be asking for 40 sexually experienced people? I mean, c'mon, who wants their heaven all awkward and learning-process-y?

Comment from: larksilver posted at November 4, 2005 1:36 AM

Paul A: the whole thing, to me, is creepy.

Siwangmu: amen to that. But then, they wouldn't be all virginal for long, would they?

I also find myself wondering: are the virgins necessarily female? Girl virgins wouldn't do me much good, seein' as how they're.. well, missing important anatomy and all, and frankly, two sets of boobies get in the WAY, darnit, so if they aren't male virgins, no thanks, after all.

Comment from: Wednesday White posted at November 4, 2005 10:06 AM

Surely, barring unusual circumstances, the forty virgins have eighty hands. But, if one's kink is heavily dependent upon the tab/slot model, is there anything stopping one from going to heaven with a harness and, say, a Feeldoe, Nexus or Transfer? (The Feeldoe is listed at babeland.com as the Divining Rod. Those over eighteen can do their own research.)

Extra breasts don't have to get in the way, particularly if they're small. It's all a matter of positioning.

Comment from: larksilver posted at November 4, 2005 2:37 PM

Hands are nice, and breasts are nice too. Toys.. I hadn't thought about toys. And now, am thinking way more than I ought, about toys. wheee!

Besides, although I don't mind doing naked in front of a man I'm planning on playing with, I know I'd be all "meep" about being that nekkid with a woman. After all.. men, in my experience, are easy. They're NOT, in that moment, thinking "aw, geez, look at the cellulite on those thighs. The cow."....

Comment from: miyaa posted at November 5, 2005 2:51 AM

Larksilver, my father has an rather rude term for women that you describe: a big heifer.

As for the virgins tending to you in heaven, I think you're mistaking it for the Islamic belief of the Houris. Houris are virgin girls (or at least female spirits) who tend to those who are granted entry into Heaven by Allah. The blessed under this Islamic nirvana are tended to their every need (sexual and non-sexual needs, I suppose, although the Quran never specify) by these Houris while they laugh in glee over the damned who are in the seven layers of hell. These Houris are unique in that they do not perspire at all, unlike humans. Which is a big deal in the desert.

Say what you want about Islam, at least they have a very specific vision of heaven and hell.

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