Silenced: Chapter 27: Less Than Masculine
A thought has occurred to me as I near the ending of the book, guys. I’ll get to it in a few minutes, and it will become clearer as The Big Event draws nigh.
In the meantime, Jae arrives in Paris and spends an entire page putzing around the hotel room. Paul, who is “busy” with the SWAT dudes and dudettes getting ready to nab Styr Magnor, has left Jae instructions to watch the TV news. The bores the crap out of poor Jae, so she decides to nose around in Paul’s computer instead.
She shouldn’t be snooping, Jae decided, but on the other hand she was here on the NPO’s nickel, and that was what they expected of her. That was, plainly, rationalization…
A distant memory made her wonder if Paul had ever changed his password. He had once used her first name, followed by the last digit in the year of each of their births—his, hers, Brie’s, and Connor’s. She tapped it in. Bingo.
Paul is the most incompetent super-spy in the history of incompetence. I mean, seriously? He keeps his password the same for this many years, and it’s something that anyone, let alone his wife, could crack in three minutes?
So of course, Jae happens upon Paul’s drafts of the Christian manifesto.
She could come to no other conclusion than he had flipped.
OH, YOU THINK???
Jae moved in and out of the various rooms in Paul’s suite, banging the walls, pulling her hair, grunting in frustration. Why couldn’t he be here? Why did he have to be gone? Why could she not know where he was?
God, women are so whiny all the time. Good thing Jae has a Christian husband’s strong hand to guide her.
Of one thing she was certain, there would be no more cat-and-mouse games between them. As soon as he walked through that door, she would put it to him. She wanted to know. He had to tell her.
I find it hilarious that Paul continually congratulates himself, and Jae is continually grateful, for Paul’s changed-man-edness, yet this is the first time Jae determines that they should have an actual direct conversation.
Speaking of manliness and womanliness, Paul is planning things out with the “major general of the International Government of Peace, in charge of special weapons and tactics.” He’s an Indian man named Garuda “Gary” Vibishana, and has the following strange take on the site of the meet-up with Styr Magnor:
“…I cannot be [inside the pub] unless there are customarily people of color in that establishment. I’m guessing there are not, and thus I would stand out.”
“I’m afraid that would be an understatement,” Paul said. “A blue-collar pub would likely be a holdout against political correctness and diversity.”
Okay, first of all, is Paul saying that political correctness and diversity are good things? Because he might have to turn in his RTC card now.
And isn’t it just like those silly blue collar workers, eh? So unenlightened. It’s not that I’m surprised that Paul is this classist, given his covetousness and near-worship of the rich, but this is pretty blatant.
(The above link reminds me that I like to picture Berlitz Decenti being played by Martin Freeman.
And finally, why wouldn’t this working-class pub in London have patrons who are people of color? Especially Indians, who are the largest group of people of color in the city. Remember, Atheistopia is a liberal paradise, with stupendous medical advances and an end to homelessness. The world is united—one government, one currency. And Paul and Gary still think it impossible that a dark-skinned man would patronize a pub?
Oh, and not only are blue-collar workers insular and bigoted—they also smell bad!
Because Paul’s stinky clothes make a comeback:
Paul dug through he stuff and pulled out the bag containing what he called his drinking outfit.
“Perfect,” Vibishana said. “It even smells.”
“That’s from wearing it during half a dozen workouts and never washing it.”
That is so gross. How has Jae ever shared a bed with this man?
Also, these two men think that an Indian would be less accepted at a pub than a white man who smells like a hockey bag?
But race relations and foul clothing aren’t the only things Gary Vibishana discusses:
“My best camouflage is a slight limp,” the Indian said, “making me look less than masculine. Harmless.”
Because disabilities make you look, what, womany?
Okay, fine, I’ll play along. But first, check this out:
(Approximately 298,000 times manlier than Vibishana and Paul combined.)
(See all those people frozen in place, Vibishana/Paul/Jenkins?
That man in the wheelchair did that.)
But who cares about stereotyping the disabled when there’s more clothes drama??? The SWAT team assembles and is comprised of both Manly Men and members of the weaker, womany-er, child-bearing-er sex.
…the personnel—men and women—immediately stripped to their underwear where they sat and changed into their getups.
So Atheistopia is basically Battlestar Galactica.
Paul was intrigued by where they found to hide their firepower.
Oh, was he? I’ll just bet he was, eh? Hint, hint, nudge, nudge, say no more.
So, they’ll all hang at the pub (I guess Vibishana is the only person of color on the team of thirty) and Paul will knock over a glass when he sees Magnor sit down. I don’t care.
Back in the hotel room, Jae muses:
Was this how God revealed Himself to her? By discovering that her husband was a secret believer? And what did that prove? Because Paul had turned, did that make it true? Did that make God real?
Oh, I’m sure it does, Jae. After all, it’s important for you to submit to the headship of your husband, so whatever he believes must be true.
And this brings up my thought from the top of this post:
As far as Paul knows, Jae is still an atheist, albeit one who is listening to the New Testament. And the clock is ticking on God’s judgment on the firstborns of nonbelievers. So why isn’t Paul terrified for the fate of his son, Connor? (Indeed, he hasn’t spared a thought for the boy in…well, longer than I can remember.) Connor, after all, is 50% the child of a nonbeliever. Shouldn’t Paul be just a tad concerned at this point?
He’s not, and I have my suspicions why, but I’m looking forward to seeing your reactions as the judgment goes down, and some males (but not others) go down with it.