Soon: Chapter 22: Thyatira’s

It sure is a good thing that the world of Soon has direct 1:1 Biblical correlations so that Paul always knows exactly what’s going on:

Paul had been carefully studying the New Testament, Revelation in particular, the last sixty to ninety minutes before falling asleep each night.  He thought about the parallels Straight had drawn between the churches of Revelation and the major population centers of the USSA.  If there was any question about which ancient church correlated with Las Vegas, it was dispelled by Paul’s destination: Thyatira’s.

And Paul didn’t even have to get far into Revelation at all to get to the right part–isn’t that lucky!!

And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, “These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:

I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.

Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and beguile My servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat things sacrificed to idols.

And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.

Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.

And I will kill her children with death.  And all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts.  And I will give to each one of you according to your works.”

-Revelation 2: 18-23

Yanno, in under a month, I will be starting in on ‘Twas the Night Before, Jenkins’ “parable,” with a heroine named Noella Wright, the Ms. Right of the hero, and a lady who was born at Christmastime.  BUT THAT IS NOT EXACTLY CLEVER WHEN THIS DAMN NAME THING HAPPENS ALL THE DAMN TIME, DAMMIT!

I know you’ll be shocked and surprised to read this after the Bible quote above, but the proprietor of the casino called Thyatira’s is named…Jezebel.

Thyatira’s was the largest casino hotel in the world with more than six thousand guest rooms and a main floor with more acres of gambling paraphernalia than any two other establishments combined.

Research fail.  THERE ARE ALREADY HOTELS IN LAS VEGAS BIGGER THAN THAT OH MY GAWD THIS TOOK ME FIVE SECONDS TO DISCOVER THIS ISN’T EVEN HARD.

Bigger than Thyatira's

(Picture from Wikipedia)

Paul goes to interrogate Jezebel because he has heard that she knows about Jonah.  He is extraordinarily rude with her in light of both her motivations and the vast amount of information she ends up giving him.

“It’s known that [Jonah] uses so-called legal prostitutes for his rituals, and no one employs more than you do.” [Paul said]

“Don’t say ‘so-called,’ Agent Stepola.  Everything in my place is legal and aboveboard.” [Jezebel said]

It’s so cute the way newly-righteous Paul tries to make her feel guilty about something that is completely legal, and about which Paul himself would have had no reservations at all A MERE THREE MONTHS AGO.

Notwithstanding his arrogant, smarmy, confrontational attitude, Jezebel opens up about everything.  She hates Jonah for luring her employees away for rituals that ended up killing them (go figure).  She reveals Jonah’s real name, which is Morty Bagdona, which Jenkins apparently came up with for the sole purpose of nicknaming him Morty Bagadonuts. 

Yup.  Morty Bag-of-Donuts. 

C’mon, laugh!

It’s funny!

Jezebel also tells Paul of her suspicion that Morty really believes in his cult, and it’s not just some scam.

(Though, if Morty doesn’t believe it’s real, the point of it is a bit beyond me.  Jezebel calls it his “gravy train,” but where’s the gravy?)

But here comes the infuriating bit:

“Ma’am, did you lose somebody [in the rituals]?” [asked Paul]

Jezebel actually teared up.  She tried to speak but just held up two fingers.

“You lost two?”

She nodded and reached for a tissue from her desk.  “I told them and told them not to get swept up in it.  Most of my girls, far as I know, don’t even do drugs.  Or if they do, it’s only recreational.  First sign of a junkie, they’re out of here.”

Actually.  She actually teared up because her employees died. 

Wow.  It’s almost as if this evil atheist casino proprietor has feelings.  It’s almost as though she cares about others.

Actually.

And then, to top it all off, Jezebel reveals that Morty is staying at the Babylon.

The Babylon. 

Get it?

Because they’re evil atheists and it’s almost the end of the world.

AND THEN, Jezebel gives Paul the names of several employees of hers who are currently missing and might be with Jonah.

Paul, of course, does not drop Jezebel so much as a perfunctory “thank you” for her MASSIVE amount of help in his case.

Asshat.

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Posted on November 12, 2011, in Books, Soon. Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. She reveals Jonah’s real name, which is Morty Bagdona, which Jenkins apparently came up with for the sole purpose of nicknaming him Morty Bagadonuts.

    Or because it can be anagrammed into “Grandma Booty”.

    • I just can’t get over how effing stupid the “Bagadonuts” thing IS. Jenkins needs to seriously revise his system for developing character names. (<_<)

      The chapter feels like Jenkins was trying way too hard at the Biblical allegory thing, because it feels like how Mouse describes the Young Tribbles being written by L&J: authorial automatons moved around the plot for the sole purpose of beating the reader over the head with the point L&J want to make.

    • I prefer “Batman Do Orgy” or possibly “Gonad Mart Boy”.

      Oooh, how ’bout “Randy [Goat/Toga] Mob”?

  2. Ruby dragged up the Jenkins quote that he didn’t want to do what he did in Left Behind and put interesting characters (and admittedly, Buck and Rayford ARE interesting characters, much like Edward Cullens is: It’s interesting to see how the story seems to think they’re the best guys evah while they act like total assclowns) in interesting situations (again, the end of the world should be interesting if Jenkins was in any way a competent writer) and see what happens. That was a good idea, because LB clearly show that approach didn’t work.

    But he didn’t learn enough it seems. He seems unable to write a story based (loosly, much more so than he thinks) on the Bible and let it roll from there. He is unable to not let his characters KNOW the Bible story and agree with him how perfect it matches their situation, as to pre-emptively kill any tension. Again, the Twilight comparison is apt. One of the many, many things Mark hated about the books is how Meyer never seemed to be able to telegraph the resolution of the climax of the book twelve chapters in advance. At least unlike in LB, Jenkins here doesn’t seem to outright print the entire Biblical text complete with explanation. So if for some bizare reason this book is being read by someone who doesn’t know the Bible by heart (yo! But I’m not reading it,), they can keep an illusion of suspense.

    Also, to critique another writer than Jenkins: And I will kill her children with death A: Was this Bible translator reincarnated into the comic book writer that wrote Superboy Prime, a.k.a. Superbitch Whine (“I’ll kill you! I’ll kill you to death!”) B: It’s bits like that that make me realize that, sadly, people like Fred and Former Conservative are a bit too quick to judge the attitude of RTCs as unbiblical. Those warped senses of justice and punishments aren’t just their own inventions, you can get at them by carefully quote-mining the Bible, and to get at a perfect nice mercifull God from the Bible, some omissions of Bible verses are required too. Of course, the liberal Christians have the advantage that they don’t claim every single Bible verse is the inerrant word of God, so they have a better excuse for ignoring passages like this as unfitting of God.

  3. Eh, that should be NOT telegraph, sorry.

  4. In atheistopia, when gambling executives want to name their hotels something super exotic and enticing they reach for … the Bible? I’m not sure I can facepalm hard enough here.

    So Jezebel cares about her employees? You know that study that showed liberals think Stephen Colbert is satire and conservatives think he’s really right wing (you should look it up if you don’t)? Jenkins is kind of the same way. RTC’s think he’s really an RTC but he so often portrays atheists as so much more humane (and human) than his RTC characters I can’t help but hope that down deep in his heart he’s been playing the RTC crowd this whole time.

  5. How old is Jezebel?

    If she was born in the pre-revolutionary old Christian America, who’d have named her that?

    If she was born afterwards, who’d have known the name to call her that?

    Jenkins: poster boy for Did Not Think Things Through.

  6. He thought about the parallels Straight had drawn between the churches of Revelation and the major population centers of the USSA..

    Well, it’s a novel answer to the vexing question of “where is America in Bible Prophecy?” Paul wasn’t writing to real people in his own time: he was writing in code, to and for the only people in history who really matter. Which is an attitude that seems to be prevalent in the works of Ellenjay and all their associates.

    What does USSA stand for, again? United Seven States of America? Or Socialist States (sounds just like USSR, doesn’t it?… baaack in the USSA….)

    If she was born afterwards, who’d have known the name to call her that?
    If she was born around the time of the Atheistopian Revolution, I supposed she could have been named that as gesture of defiance by newly-Atheist parents who were old enough to know the story and newly freed to hate God and name their daughters after “whores” to spite him. Or something.

    (I’ll have to look it up, but I’m pretty sure the original Queen Jezebel’s history was written by her enemies. I wonder what she was really like? And who was the Jezebel in Thyatira? Was that her real name?)

  7. I thought rubyfruit said it was Seven States in this series – yes, here: https://heathencritique.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/soon-chapter-1-the-ussa/ . (And my map, based on the content of that post, is still available at http://bayimg.com/GacNdAadg .) As for the true history of Jezebel, it looks as though it was mostly politics and revolution: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jezebel

  8. 1) I can see Evil Atheists using Biblical names if they’re ones that have passed into popular culture, like Babylon, Jezebel and even arguably Jonah. I’m less convinced when they use ones like Thyatira, which actually require some research.

    2) When I was a juvenile agnostic, I actually quite liked reading my Children’s Bible for much the same reason that I also enjoyed reading my D’Aullaire’s Book of Greek Myths (and other books of Norse, Celtic and Sumerian mythology simplified for children): because there were some pretty exciting stories in there. The fact that Jenkins can take stories from a source like that, and make them this boring, just absolutely appals me.

    3) Bagadonuts: that does it. I didn’t think it could get any worse than “David Hayseed,” but it has.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      1) I can see Evil Atheists using Biblical names if they’re ones that have passed into popular culture, like Babylon, Jezebel and even arguably Jonah.

      Still begs the question “But Why?” Only explanation seems to be “Because We’re So EEEEVIL!” Like the punk kids who vandalized churches on the night of 6/6/06 — “Lookit Me! I’m So EVIL! Damian, I’m doing this for YOUUUUUU!”

  9. Headless Unicorn Guy

    I know you’ll be shocked and surprised to read this after the Bible quote above, but the proprietor of the casino called Thyatira’s is named…Jezebel.

    And so Jenkins’ infamous tin ear for “See How Clever I Am?” character names soldiers on.

    Thing is, such names wouldn’t be out-of-place in a full-honk allegory, but Jenkins can’t make up his mind whether Soon is an allegory or a realistic spy thriller, splits the difference, and screws up on both ends.

    In the hands of another writer, this premise — retell the story of St Paul and the Book of Acts in a contemporary-to-near-future setting — could have worked. Maybe as a flat-out allegory, maybe as a contemporary story echoing the Biblical one… But this is Jerry “Buck” Jenkins, Greatest Christian Author of All Time…

  10. Base Delta Zero

    Thyatira’s was the largest casino hotel in the world with more than six thousand guest rooms and a main floor with more acres of gambling paraphernalia than any two other establishments combined.

    Research fail. THERE ARE ALREADY HOTELS IN LAS VEGAS BIGGER THAN THAT OH MY GAWD THIS TOOK ME FIVE SECONDS TO DISCOVER THIS ISN’T EVEN HARD.

    Hmm. Perhaps the ‘largest’ measurement is due to the ‘acres of gambling paraphernalia’ rather than room count? So it has fewer rooms, but more casino space (and possible other things?)

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