Soon: Chapter 28: Teh Movies!!!
Studio chief Tiny Allendo is not the most unlikeable character I’ve come across in Soon. In fact, he seems pretty darned reasonable.
Poolside, Ranold explains the general plan: he and Bia Balaam will “crush the efforts of these zealots to destroy the movie industry.”
Frankly, I think “destroy the movie industry” is a pretty strong way to put the minor and pointless acts of petty vandalism that the underground has engaged in so far, but I don’t blame Tiny for his reaction, seeing as how he’s the head of the only studio in the whole country:
“That’s a relief,” Tiny said. “This is more than a nuisance, you know. These people are trying to overthrow us. And regardless what they think about our product, is it just me, or are these people breaking the law simply by practicing religion?”
“Of course they are,” Ranold said. “That’s why it is imperative that the uprising be quashed and the underground dismantled as quickly as possible. We have marshaled a formidable army contingent. By this evening it will have encircled not just Hollywood but also the entire city of Los Angeles.”
Sounds like a plan!
Paul’s plan is to go out and case L.A. Before he leaves, Tiny corners him and offers him some “evening companionship“:
“After-hours drinks, conversation, that kind of thing. Merely mention your pleasure to your valet.”
Paul declines, natch, and I’m sure we’re supposed to see this as evidence of Tiny’s atheistic depravity, but this is a world with legalized prostitution, remember. Hell, maybe it’s a sign of my atheistic depravity, but I consider Tiny’s offer rather generous. Tiny, after all, has no reason to suspect Paul is
Wartime floods had once swallowed up L.A.’s coastal communities, but now the gleaming city of five million looked prosperous. New technology allowed skyscrapers to withstand frequent tremors, even the most severe.
JUST WHEN I START TO THINK ATHEISTOPIA CAN’T KICK ANY MORE ASS
The current population of L.A. is around 3.8 million. This Atheistopian population estimate makes even less sense than any of the others. Out of all the cities Paul has visited, L.A. is the one most affected by World War III. A frakking TSUNAMI hit the coast thirty years ago, killing thousands and flooding vast stretches. And yet the population has experienced moderate growth, rather what one would expect under normal circumstances, not the circumstances of a devastating war.
Paul gets a tourist map and drives around the city while also praying, which doesn’t seem like safe driving to me. When he gets back to Tiny’s house, the boys head out to Grauman’s Chinese Theater, which I guess survived the war and the flooding because it is now a bitchin’ nightclub called The Studio (oooo, original), where you can perform in an interactive movie and then purchase a copy of the scenes you were in.
Which sounds SWEET.
Okay, you guys, this is why I asked about the movies last time. Because this is just ODD.
As has been pointed out, Jenkins often appears to forget that he is writing about the FUTURE. Ranold wants to be Rooster Cogburn in True Grit. Now, we can either be frightened at Jenkins’ ability to see into the future from 2003 and know that True Grit would be remade in 2010, or we can realize that Ranold specifically says he wants to be JOHN WAYNE and just marvel at this weird choice in and of itself.
Honestly, this is pretty easy stuff. Is John Wayne really the idolized hero for someone born in the late 1970s or early 1980s? It isn’t for this person of Ranold’s generation.
I consulted my brother Angus on this one, too. Like Ranold and me, he is a child of those years. He immediately (and I do mean immediately) chose an Indiana Jones movie for his interactive role. Makes a ton of sense. For those of us from that era, Indiana Jones was one of our first heroes.
For the record, I chose the original Star Wars movies.
It never crossed Angus’s mind for a moment to pick a John Wayne movie. When I told him about this scene, he said, “That sounds like the choice Grandpa would have made.”
Kinda says it all, doesn’t it?
Jenkins needs to get with the future-times, man.
Or at least ask some 30-somethings about their favorite movies.
But this lack of future-thought pales in comparison to Paul’s choice.
He wants to be in Casablanca.
Paul wondered what it would be like to stand next to Humphrey Bogart while he interacted with Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca.
Notice anything about that? Paul doesn’t want to be Rick Blaine. He wants to stand next to Rick Blaine. In fact, when it’s Paul’s turn, he chooses to be, of all people in all movies ever…the PIANO PLAYER in Casablanca.
Paul, you UNBELIEVABLE DUMBASS, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU??? You can pilot the Millenium Falcon, find the Ark of the Covenant. You can be James Bond or Superman, you can be in Jurassic Park or Lord of the Rings. If you want to go classic, you can be Robin Hood or Zorro.
Ranold gets points from me because at least he wants to be Rooster Cogburn, not stand next to Rooster Cogburn.
It’s like Paul seeks out ways to make a situation as unamusing and lifeless as he possibly can.