Soon: Chapter 1: The USSA

Okay, so I know I said that the last post was the end of Chapter 1, but I just now realized that I left out the geography of the United Seven States of America (Evil).

Atlantica in the Northeast encompassed ten former states, with New York City as its capital.  Columbia encompassed nine southeastern states, with Washington, D.C. as its capital.  …  Gulfland took in Texas and five nearby states, with Houston as its capital.  Sunterra was comprised of Southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico, Los Angeles becoming its capital.  Rockland was made up of seven states, and Las Vegas became its capital.  Pacifica, with its capital in San Francisco, encompassed Northern California and four northwestern states, as well as Alaska.  And Chicago became the capital of Heartland, which took in ten Midwestern states.

I have a question:

WHY?

Why would a world war cause the country to dissolve the states and create new ones?  Did Jenkins think for even a moment about the logistics of this?  I mean, just off the top of my head, the things that would have to be completely reorganized and, in many cases, recreated, would be: police and courts and state services, highways, taxes, professional organizations, schools, and oh yeah, THE LAW, which is different in every state.

What reason is there for reorganizing the country?  Well, Jenkins says…

The United States was redrawn to consist of seven regions…

Nice use of the passive voice there, Jenkins.  Redrawn by whom, may I ask? 

The names just slay me.  Sunterra, really?  Heartland?  That’s where the Care Bears live, right?

Oh, and though I’m sure Jenkins made Las Vegas a capital city to demonstrate how depraved and sinful the Godless Seven States are, my first thought was, awesome!

Which, I suppose, just goes to show my own godlessness and sinfulness.  😀

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Posted on January 3, 2011, in Books, Soon. Bookmark the permalink. 32 Comments.

  1. Redwood Rhiadra

    Forget the logistics, think about the politics! Article IV Section 3 requires that any changes to existing states (merging states, creating a new state out of part of another, etc.) requires the consent of the state legislatures – Congress *cannot* do this unilaterally. And in order for this “Seven State” scheme to be enacted, *every* state legislature would have had to agree to completely dissolve itself – meaning all the members would be immediately out of a job.

  2. Somehow, I just KNOW that much later on, it’ll be revealed that the conflict wasn’t the natural result of religious discord after all (at least, not where Jews and Christians are concerned), but instigated by diabolists for the express purpose of ushering in a world that not only does not praise God, but disgraces him.

    {STILL doesn’t get what’s valuable about glory}

  3. Well, there is one explanation for the restructuring that would make sense: if the U.S. lost WW3, and was a conquered nation, the conquerers could slice up the U.S. as described. Sort of the whole “East Germany – West Germany” approach.

    That wouldn’t work in this book, simply because it would involve the U.S. of A. not always winning every war.

  4. Another thing: The names Jenkins picked for the seven regions. They are very familar to me and it’s on the tip of my tongue as to which book it came from. There was this thing I read a while ago that had an analysis of the distinct regions of North America, and they had names like “Heartland” and “Pacifica”.

    I think Jenkins may have also chosen Heartland as a nod to Amerika, a TV show where the Soviets have won WW3, and by means of a massive EMP blast, used the resulting technological reversion to lever themselbves into a position to dictate the composition of North America as a collection of weak small countries without the effective power to ever combat the USSR.

    Those Godless Communists, indeed. 😛

  5. “Sunterra”? ” “Rockland?!?!

    I mean, why not go with Solterra, so as to at least be consistent? (Or Heliogaia, I suppose.)

    And who would ever name anywhere “Rockland”? Can you imagine anyone deliberately moving to a place with that name? Or going on vacation there?

    I also love how he’s not at all bothered to list which states most of these places are made up of. I mean, what does *sigh* Sunterra actually have that makes it a worthwhile division? As far as I can tell it’s just desert. What’s the point of that? Is everything split along geographical lines? Philosophical ones? Main export? Main import? Main industry? What?

    Why are they still called “states”, anyways? At this point they can’t even pretend to still be semi-autonomous countries united under a larger banner. They’re provinces. Or territories. Indeed, one would think that any authoritarian government would want to crush any idea that promotes any sort of individualism (save for a carefully cultured sense of mistrust for everyone but the government, to help prevent rebellions. the USSR did that far too well) and “states” is a pretty explicit declaration of identity, no matter how arbitrarily the lines are drawn.

    • >>>And who would ever name anywhere “Rockland”? Can you imagine anyone deliberately moving to a place with that name? Or going on vacation there?

      I’d go there, but I’m not sure if I’d be able to live there. I already don’t get enough sleep as it is, and they probably have live shows and rehearsals every night . And I don’t even want to imagine all those street wars over what band “really” counts as rock… Or do people in a Godless Dystopia tolerate each other’s musical preferences as long as music in question is of a secular kind?

    • And who would ever name anywhere “Rockland”? Can you imagine anyone deliberately moving to a place with that name? Or going on vacation there?

      Well, there’s Gondor.
      *vomits at the association*

  6. Inquisitive Raven

    Oh, while we’re at it. Does Jenkins ever identify the capital of the entire USSA? Anyway, I notice that the only capital city on that list that was a capital of any kind before this reorganization is Washington, DC. But would it still be called DC in post WWIII America? And why demote the national capital to a state capital?

    @GDwarf: Should that be Soltierra? Oh right, that’s brown people talk. Can’t have that. Although I’d think that would help to demonstrate how evil the new regime is to his intended audience. Oh right, that requires Jenkins to have even a weak grip on some language other than English.

  7. OK, I’ve taken a while to respond to this because as a map geek I wanted to work out the details.

    Look at that text for a moment, noting how many states go into each region.

    10 + 9 + 6 + 2.5 + 7 + 5.5 + 10 = 50.

    But Hawaii isn’t mentioned! So somewhere along the line Jenkins put together that bit of text and didn’t notice that his numbers didn’t add up.

    I’m arbitrarily moving Montana from Pacifica into Rockland (and assuming HI is part of Pacifica) to make the numbers work out. So assuming the regions are as contiguous as possible, that gives us:

    Atlantica: NH VT MA ME RI CT NJ DE NY PA
    Columbia: MD VA KY NC SC TN AL GA FL
    Gulfland: TX OK MO AR MS LA
    Sunterra: AZ NM (CA)
    Rockland: NV UT WY CO NE KS (+MT)
    Pacifica: OR WA ID (CA) (-MT)
    Heartland: WV OH IN IL MI IA WI MA ND SD

    On this basis I’ve put up an image at http://bayimg.com/GacNdAadg . Now that looks pretty strange to me – Kansas and Nebraska are Rockland rather than Heartland? West Virginia isn’t part of NotTheSouth, i.e. Columbia? Why is NV part of Rockland rather than being attached to Sunterra? It all seems rather cack-handed.

    GDwarf, Sunterra’s industry is that it has been paved over for solar power farms. 🙂 Yes, I can imagine someone going on a vacation to “Rockland”, but the guy in question is a mad keen climber…

  8. (My long post seems to have vanished. Apologies if this appears twice.)

    OK, I’ve taken a while to respond to this because as a map geek I wanted to work out the details.

    Look at that text for a moment, noting how many states go into each region.

    10 + 9 + 6 + 2.5 + 7 + 5.5 + 10 = 50.

    But Hawaii isn’t mentioned! So somewhere along the line Jenkins put together that bit of text and didn’t notice that his numbers didn’t add up.

    I’m arbitrarily moving Montana from Pacifica into Rockland (and assuming HI is part of Pacifica) to make the numbers work out. So assuming the regions are as contiguous as possible, that gives us:

    Atlantica: NH VT MA ME RI CT NJ DE NY PA
    Columbia: MD VA KY NC SC TN AL GA FL
    Gulfland: TX OK MO AR MS LA
    Sunterra: AZ NM (CA)
    Rockland: NV UT WY CO NE KS (+MT)
    Pacifica: OR WA ID (CA) (-MT)
    Heartland: WV OH IN IL MI IA WI MA ND SD

    On this basis I’ve put up an image at http://bayimg.com/GacNdAadg . Now that looks pretty strange to me – Kansas and Nebraska are Rockland rather than Heartland? West Virginia isn’t part of NotTheSouth, i.e. Columbia? Why is NV part of Rockland rather than being attached to Sunterra? It all seems rather cack-handed.

    GDwarf, Sunterra’s industry is that it has been paved over for solar power farms. 🙂 Yes, I can imagine someone going on a vacation to “Rockland”, but the guy in question is a mad keen climber…

    • Didn’t Hawaii get destroyed in the world’s least probable tsunami during WWIII? Not that Jenkins usually remembers these things from paragraph to paragraph, but it would account for the missing state.

      • Fair point, I’d have expected it to get resettled afterwards but maybe not. That’s still 50 states on a map that only fits 49…

        • Inquisitive Raven

          Unless the former District of Columbia is being counted as a former state. I wouldn’t put it past Jenkins to be that dim. I mean the whole point of the District of Columbia was that the nation’s capital shouldn’t be in any one of the states.

        • Base Delta Zero

          I think the implication is that Hawaii was destroyed, as in, no longer there. Of course, this makes little sense, but that didn’t stop the Least Probable Tsunami.

          Math is still wrong, I guess…

    • That map is all kinds of shiny awesomeness! May I use it in the future of this critique, if necessary?

      • Absolutely! I did it in SVG and just rendered to PNG for the upload, so if you’d like a larger version or other changes that’s not a problem.

        • Nice map! I noticed you split up NorCal and SoCal. Was that your extrapolation or was Jenkins actually cognizant enough of the existing divisions between the two halves of California to posit a splitting of the state after Soon’s WW3?

          • I’m just going by the text:

            “Sunterra was comprised of Southern California […] Pacifica [..] encompassed Northern California”

            The actual border on the map is pretty much “where I felt like putting it”.

          • @Firedrake: Oops, my bad. Yeah, I see it now in the reproduction of the text.

            That’ll teach me to read stuff like this at 1 AM Pacific Time.

  9. Does Gulfland include the State of Florida? If so, does it also include Cuba? If not (I’m assuming) then why not? Cuba is a lot closer to Florida then Texas ever will be, and they already share a common population. If I were a global potentate (or a member of the national destruction committee in charge of dismembering former super powers) then surely this would be a great way to dilute the evil American influence and further push the socialist agenda….
    …of course that would depend upon JJ actually looking at a map and noticing that there are countries outside of the US borders, and possibly doing a bit of research on their histories and demographics….

    • Wait a minute, isn’t there a reference to a beast that has like, seven feet and ten horns, or something like that? I jokingly made a comment to the effect that it could have fit Yugoslavia (six federal regions plus the Communist party) but I can’t even remember what verse I was referring to.

  10. Nice to see that Los Angeles managed to bounce back from the super-tsunami that “changed the landscape” of the West Coast.

    • Didn’t you know? All the gays and occultists in LA are, of course, satanists. As such, like witches, they float. 😀

    • Los Angeles plays quite significantly in the events of this book and the next in the series. And Jenkins has very odd ideas about population growth, too. Just wait and see!

      • Inquisitive Raven

        Jenkins isn’t perchance a YEC is he? You can’t reconcile Noah’s flood with the current world population unless you have some very odd ideas indeed about population growth. The big one being that it’s always been exponential with the same average doubling period. This completely ignores periods of major depopulation resulting from various and assorted plagues, or the fact that human population has been more less stable for most of history due to the fact that hey, until recently, people had much shorter average lifespans due to lack of resources, not to mention the number of women who died in childbirth.

        Given the available evidence, I also suspect that he’s seriously innumerate. Buck’s bike trip through Manhattan anyone?

        • Off the top of my head, I do not know Jenkins’ views on creationism, though it is quite clear from Secret on Ararat (the second in the Babylon Rising series) that LaHaye is one. One of Michael Murphy’s main reasons for wanting to find the ark is to prove wrong the atheists and evolutionists.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy

          And the cruise ships travelling the Jordan River?

  11. Headless Unicorn Guy

    Nice use of the passive voice there, Jenkins. Redrawn by whom, may I ask?

    “Could it be… SATAN?” — SNL Church Lady

    The names just slay me. Sunterra, really? Heartland? That’s where the Care Bears live, right?

    Actually, “Heartland” was the name for an “Administrative District” covering the same territory from the Eighties miniseries Amerika, set in a Soviet-occupied USA.

  12. In case anyone’s still reading the comments on this post, I thought I’d mention this economic division of the USA (based on tracking dollar bills): http://blogs.plos.org/everyone/2010/11/29/worth-a-thousand-words-32/

  13. “I have a question:

    WHY?”

    Because for writers like Jenkins, Satan is an acceptable substitute for actual motivation.

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