Soon: Chapter 4: The Christian Threat

Full of just all kinds of resolve, Paul goes to visit his boss, Robert Koontz (Torn Bozo Trek?).  Naturally, every page must prove Paul either an asshat or Concerned With The Things Of This World in a way that a good little RTC should not be:

Standing in the doorway, Paul recognized that, frankly, it was Koontz’s office he aspired to more than his job.  Large and handsomely appointed with a nautical theme, the office had banks of windows on two walls, offering sweeping views of both the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.

I’m not sure how a self-reflective “recognition” can be “frank.”  Is Jenkins saying that Paul was kidding himself that he wanted the additional stress and work of Koontz’s job, the stuff that presumably gets him the nicer office?

Also, a nautical theme?  Oooo, Jenkins and Koontz, how creative of you.  Surely nothing says Successful Manly Man like a nautical theme, unless it’s maybe a golf theme or a hounds-and-hunting theme.

What, no dogs playing poker?

Anyway, Paul and Koontz play a stupid, three-line game of cat-and-mouse with regard to The Dork Too Stupid, and Koontz almost immediately reveals what Paul already knew, that The Dork was a Christian.

Then, Koontz says:

“I hear we confiscated an arsenal out of his car, and he tried to take a few of our guys down with him.  One tough hombre–but you knew that.”

We readers know that either Koontz is lying, or whoever “he heard it from” is lying.  We readers know from the Prologue that The Dork was Too Stupid to leave the compound without a weapon, and that the only resistance he put up to his own murder was thinking a few snide thoughts about his murderers.

Presumably, Koontz is lying because he is an evil atheist.  And evil atheists do evil things like lie.

And if this was the lie being given to the press, it would make some sense.  Our rockin’ atheistic utopia is being threatened by violent Christians like The Dork Too Stupid.  But no, the lie being fed to the press is that Army hero The Dork accidentally died by accidentally wandering into a deserted warehouse in the dead of winter, accidentally climbing into a barrel of napalm, and accidentally immolating himself.

Accidentally.

The lie Koontz is telling Paul is that The Dork was not a stupid “martyr” who let himself be followed, captured, and murdered, but that The Dork was a veritable Christian Rambo.

It’s a stupid lie, easily discoverable, and I have no idea why anyone in the agency is telling it.  And it’s hardly necessary for Paul–it’s obvious to Koontz after ten seconds of conversation that Paul is on board whether The Dork had an arsenal or not:

“It’s a disease,” Paul said.  “An addiction.  Religion gets hold of people, and they can’t seem to keep it to themselves–they spread it and get other people hooked.  Makes me sick–the waste of a guy like Andy Pass.”

Yanno, given that this is a RTC writer writing what he thinks evil atheists think about religion, this is Actually Not That Bad.  Hell, it’s almost…subtle.

Koontz introduces Paul and us to the new, ultra-secret, super-special task force for rooting out the religious: Zealot Underground.

Dun-dun-dunnnnn.

And just so we know just how dangerous they are to this atheistic world Jenkins has created, Koontz tells us what we could lose:

“Peace for more than a generation.  Not a single nation at war for the first time in history.”

Yeah, This World Rocks.

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Posted on February 11, 2011, in Books, Soon. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. …Cyberpunk with religion that infects people like a meme…You sure you’re not actually reading Snow Crash, after it was edited by Jack Chick?

  2. Bork tort zone?

    The office thing – I think Paul just wants nice stuff without having to do the actual work. And “a nautical theme” continues the great Jenkins tradition of telling without showing. Maybe it’s meant to be set-dressing notes for the film?

    I continue to think that Jenkins needs to spend some time in a real anti-Christian dictatorship. Or at least read about them. This is Dystopia Lite – all the angst, one-tenth the oppression.

    Ooooh, those wascallay pacifists!

    • “Bork tort zone?”

      Now I’m imagining Koontz as The Swedish Chef.

      “This is Dystopia Lite – all the angst, one-tenth the oppression.”

      Much like their current view of America–though maybe it’s all the angst, 1/1,000 the oppression.

      • I was thinking more of Robert Bork, once nominee for Supreme Court Justice (and wildly misrepresented by both sides).

        But hey, oppression is about how you feel, right? So when you get told not to play on your JesusPad during lessons, you’re a martyr, just like (insert random saint here)! And you can feel good about that!

  3. Andrew The Eternal

    “Yeah, This World Rocks.”

    You know, I’ve realized something. This isn’t Bad Writing, at least not entirely. Jenkins is trying to make a particularly odious point here: Salvation is cannot come through Works.
    His narrative is that all of the great that this godless society has done, all of the multiplying of loaves, healing the sick, and enlightening men is worthless if it isn’t not-yet-TurboJesus doing it. But it’s even more than that. Paul will turn to worship one of the most vile conceptions of the Almighty there is, and be ‘better’ for it than the antichrists actually doing Christ’s work. Better the monstrous Elect than the Christ-like heathens.

    So… yeah. Not just bad writing.

    • For me, that’s one of the interesting things about dissecting this stuff. It’s figuring out the differences between the parts that are just bad writing and the parts where they’ve gotten across exactly the point they wanted…it’s just that the point is that they’ve got a rotten religion with foul tenets.

  4. Sorry for being Mr. Epic!Necromancer, but I can’t help but wonder if Bob Koontz’s name isn’t a riff on Dean Koontz. Because it just seems so coincidental, and I don’t see any easy anagrams, which is, aside from referentialism, Jenkin’s biggest hobby.

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