Soon: Poll #1: Paul’s Asshattery, Chs. 1-13

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Posted on May 5, 2011, in Books, Polls, Soon. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Redwood Rhiadra

    Damn, *tough* choice. Can I vote for “all of the above”? (Yeah, I voted, but it really was a tossup)

  2. Choir of Shades

    Agreed, this was a tough call. I ended up going with the Ch4 quote because he was degrading her for being RIGHT, and there’s no way he could have said that without being an enormous prick. The others I can picture in a way that isn’t horrible and degrading/betraying his own fear and insecurity, but that one is just…

  3. That was a really tough poll. I opted for the last one because of the manipulation involved. I mean, the right response to it is “Fuck you, Paul. These papers I’m shoving into your hands? They’re divorce papers.” The other three are just straight out dickishness, and to me, manipulation + dickishness is far worse.

  4. “In just a minute you’re going to taste the ‘fuck you’ in my foot, Paul. Taste it right in your ass.”

    They’re all great, really. Every Paul quote is a winner just for showing up and participating. But I chose the last one because its “oh, poor you” sentiment moves him squarely into Livia Soprano territory, which, damn, that’s not a proud place to be.

    Quotes #2 and #4 could just as well be lyrics from the worst Kelly Clarkson song ever. #1 has more of a P!nk sound to it. #3, throw in some rhymes, definitely Eminem all the way.

  5. Now, now, everyone, be fair. There’s a clear reason why he would only think of Jae’s emotional attitude to his terrible accident as “feeling sorry for herself”. He understands that he’s such an unlikeable jerk that there’s little to no chance of another human being able to feel sympathy for him, not even his wife who loves him enough to stay with him despite his relentless emotional abuse. Surely this makes him one of the most self-aware characters Jenkins has ever written?

  6. You know, it’s tough, but I’m going with #3. It’s got that one-two hit of verbal abuse with a follow-up of victim blaming. I’m impressed with the level of manipulation in #4 (associating the healthy choice of leaving the ass with indulgent self-pity) but it really feels like more of a strategic jerkass remark. No, the “why can’t you do anything right, and why are you crying about it?” is the prize pig of the poke.

  7. AndrewTheEternal

    I wanted to choose number three, because that seems to be the one that hit Jae the hardest in front of Paul. After all, Paul had to know it would have that effect on her, hypothetical question be damned.

    But I have to go for number four. Granted, that revolting manipulation doesn’t seem to have hurt Jae as much, but four is the only quote that slanders Jae as a wife and caretaker as well as a person in her own right.

  8. I voted for “turn off the waterworks and stop feeling sorry for yourself”. It just strikes a nerve.

    A few years ago (yeah, I WISH I could say “when I was little”) I threw a huge tantrum at my mother over some completely inconsequential and incredibly selfish thing I’m not sure I even remember now. A bit later I came round, and I felt so ashamed at being such a horrible daughter that I ended up sobbing uncontrollably.
    The kicker is when my mother came up (this was the middle of the night), worried because I felt that bad about how she’d treated me. I couldn’t bring myself to tell her why I really was crying, it was so utterly pathetic and self-pitying. That did get me to tone it down though. And I’ve been less of a horrible daughter since, although I could still do better.

    Anyway, Paul ? He’s like my mother that evening, except completely the opposite. Die, you horrible selfish bastard.

  9. I vote Chs 12 and 13, mainly because his abusiveness and self-centeredness comes out in such full flower, even to the point of blatantly propositioning another woman for his succour and support because his wife doesn’t want to be around his jerkish self.

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