Shadowed: Chapter 13: Art and Greenie

Paul knows rich people!

Isn’t that exciting—isn’t that just almost as exciting as being rich yourself—knowing the right people???

Of course, sometimes you have to be careful of rich people…they can be just a bit self-absorbed:

[Arthur Demetrius] just jumped right in to his own agenda.  “Paul, I miss you, man.  Wish you were here, counseling me, teaching me, guiding me.”

“After all, you’ve been a Christian for a couple weeks more than I have, man!”

Arthur proves himself just as sociopathic as the next LaJenkinsian RTC:

“I can’t for the life of me figure how anyone can doubt God now, can you?”

Well, granted, Art, you got a personal miracle in the form of your murdered-by-silver brother.  Not everyone was so “lucky.”

“How long will God put up with this?  Doesn’t He have to intervene, even more than He has, if you can imagine that?”

Hot damn.  The bodies aren’t even cold yet, and Arthur wants more “intervention” from God?  That is some bloodlust, pal.  Even Paul isn’t that bad.  Usually.

Anyway, Arthur proposes a scheme that floors even Paul: he’ll put half his money “in a protected Swiss account,” from which he will donate five million dollars per month to each region’s underground.

Even assuming forty years’ worth of inflation, that still seems quite generous, so I guess that’s nice.

Paul is all excited, since this would “even the playing field between the international government and the zealot underground.”

That is some kind of sense of proportion Paul has, given that, again, the (naked, car-less) bodies aren’t even cold.

***

Meanwhile, one member of the Apostle family has an actual human reaction to the horror of this whole situation: little Brie bursts into tears in the middle of Jesus-storytime (seriously, do these kids ever study math or spelling or anything except how awesome Jesus is???).  Jae, of course, prays about the problem, though I’m not sure she understands what the problem is, since Brie herself seems fuzzy on what has actually happened.

[Jae] wanted to tell the truth, but a lot of this was way too much for an eight-year-old.

Well, Jae, maybe her father should have thought of that before he wrote the manifesto praying for the deaths of millions, including his allegedly-beloved wife’s brother.

***

After chatting up their biggest “partner,” who is no doubt wiring his love gifts to Switzerland even as we speak, Paul heads back down to Roscoe’s cell.  This scene serves little to no purpose, other than to reiterate that Roscoe is “whiny,” and that Paul has somehow managed to fool himself into genuinely believing that “we don’t kill people we don’t have to.  It’s not what we’re about.”

But the really hilarious part (and, indeed, it is played for laughs), is that Roscoe hates God, and that Paul (and, presumably, Pudgy Jack) wants to kill Roscoe.  However…

“That’s just our flesh talking.  God would have us spare you.  So be careful how you refer to Him around us.”

“Sorry.”

“That’s for sure.”

***

Back at the ranch Bible study class, Jae tries to explain Uncle Berlitz’s death to little Brie, a task somewhat hampered by the way that Jae couches it in terms of Poor Daddy and how the government is oppressing them all.  No talk of how God oppressed Uncle Berl into the grave—indeed, Jae pulls the good old RTC not-quite-lying trick and says that Berl died in a car accident, not that God killed him…and then the car crashed because he couldn’t drive it, what with being dead and all.

Damn, I tell ya, this book is a gift that keeps on giving—no sooner have we gotten past discussion of Roscoe Wipers’ “retail shop” name than we are introduced to a new lovely character…

Greenie (“Please don’t ask”) Macintosh

Yeah.  Oh, um, he’s Irish.  Just in case there was any doubt.

I get the feeling that Jenkins thinks all of Ireland is like this:

Candy Leprechaun animated GIF

And of course, there’s a whole story behind Greenie Macintosh’s name (because we all need to know just how clever Jenkins is with non-American names, even though he has already more than proved it with such classics as Baldassare and Calvino, Hannah Palemoon, and Ming Wong Toy Woo).

His mother (‘scuse me, his “ma“) named him Grenadier.

“Somebody who lobs grenades.  We’re a warring people in a warless world.”

Okay.  Okay, first of all, I don’t think you can call yourself warless now, not with all the stripped corpses lying in the streets.

Secondly, are people really so concerned about the meanings of names?  I mean, my name means something, and I have never once in my life had anyone so much as make reference to the meaning.  It’s just a name.

So, young Grenadier tries to get his friends to call him Gil, but they just tease him that he “looked like a fish and a little green around the gills,” so they call him Greenie.

Which doesn’t explain why he still goes by Greenie as an adult in the USSA, but hey, isn’t it clever?  Greenie?  Macintosh?  From Ireland!  It’s perfect!

Greenie is Pudgy Jack’s first officer.  And on that exciting note, the chapter ends.

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Posted on February 15, 2015, in Shadowed. Bookmark the permalink. 32 Comments.

  1. Judging from the looks of this latest chapter, it’s been a rough week for both of us. :massages temples: Yeah, I know need to stop shamelessly self-promoting my riff on the For Kids! version of the LB-verse, but can’t help myself. In an unrelated note, here’s a link:
    http://mousehole-mouse.blogspot.com/?zx=c5bbe407d8cc6329

    Seriously though, Jenkins, you couldn’t have just named the guy Sean or something? Granted Sean Macintosh is still an Irish McIrish kind of name, but even so, it’s marginally better than Greenie Macintosh.

    • Considering how many times I’ve linked my critiques on your blog, I’m hardly upset. 😉

      Yeah, this book is harsh. I knew it would be, but it has been awhile since I read it, and I’d forgotten some of the nastier details.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      Remember who the author is.
      And his KNOWN tin ear for “See How Clever I Am?” ethnic character names.

  2. “Paul, I miss you, man. Wish you were here, counseling me, teaching me, guiding me.”

    I know, my mind is probably hopelessly in the gutter, but there is no way I can read that clumsy dialog without everything sounding like a euphemism.

    “Oh Paul, I miss you so much. How I wish you were here, I desperately need some “counseling” right now. I can’t stop thinking about that night you were “teaching” me, how it felt to have you “guiding” me. Please tell me we can meet soon.”

    • I know, my mind is probably hopelessly in the gutter, but there is no way I can read that clumsy dialog without everything sounding like a euphemism.

      The only good thing about any work by LaJenkins: I don’t have to bother writing slashfic for it. It practically writes itself!

      • It’s the reoccurring theme in Christian fiction that the writers are some of the best writers of Ho Yay around.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy

          Left Behind sets some kind of record for Unintentional Canonical Slashfic Setups.

          I mean, any two same-sex lead characters are going to get slashed; WHY DO THEY INSIST ON MAKING IT SO EASY?

          • That’s because either LaHaye, Jenkins, or both, don’t know what it looks like to people who read and/or write slashfic. If a writer has two men going on how awesome it is to be around men while staying in relationships with women they don’t see in sexual or romantic terms, and who they don’t even seem emotionally attached to, some readers might begin to ask questions…

            But then, as far as they know, the “People Who Read and/or Write Slashfic” and “People Who Read Left Behind” circles are as distant as one can get on a Venn Diagram while still being on the same page.

            Horrible thought. A version of Left Behind where the rapture is a giant ruse…somehow.

          • Well, a loving God would want to make everyone happy. That includes people who are only happy if they think they’ve been Raptured and nobody else is in heaven…

        • And it’s totally unintentional, that’s the best part!

  3. Isn’t the idea of something like a Swiss bank account because of Swiss policies about bank secrecy and the general utility of offshore/foreign accounts to disguise the movement of money from one’s own government? Because, y’know, global totalitarian state? Might not respect the banking policies of a now-defunct nation, and no banking system would count as “foreign” any more to help hide the money trail. Hell, with the kind of assets real world religious groups have, the Atheistapo should have made a point of keeping a sharp eye on world finances just to help find anyone trying to set up in hiding with the Vatican’s stolen treasury or some megachurch’s pilfered war chest.

    Basically Arthur Demetrius is (or rather, in a better-written work, should be) secretly a major backer of the Atheistapo and is getting the underground to set themselves up for a fall by accepting any of his money through that account. Anyone who accepts it is immediately tagged for observation and everyone associated with them is under suspicion.

    • Not to mention that the capital of the international regime is in Switzerland. So it’s failing to be foreign in more ways than one!

      Of course, this is the future, and language does change over time. Maybe in this world “a Swiss account” is a generic term for any kind of hidden account, regardless of where in the world it is located. But that would be putting more thought into this than the author did.

  4. “How long will God put up with this? Doesn’t He have to intervene, even more than He has, if you can imagine that? Maybe something non-lethal this time?”
    “No, that will not do. People need to learn that god isn’t just about love, but also about justice.”
    “He did that twice already though. And the government has spend decades suppressing god’s message of love while empathizing how those other fake religions slaughtered people and called it justice. Of course that’s totally different than what we just did, but those atheists may be to being whiney about their dead children to realize that. Do you think god could use that omnipotence he’s been throwing around this year to explain it to them?”
    “Arthur, my dear naïve friend. it’s a good thing I’m here to guide, teach and council you again. If god did that, we wouldn’t get to spend 15-20 chapters being horrified at being persecuted. Remember, Jesus said all his followers would be persecuted, so if we’re not being persecuted, we’re doing something wrong. Plus, if the unbelievers stop persecuting us, god might stop killing the people who disagree with us. Why, it’ll be just like before WWIII, where the filthy unbelievers tormenting us with their legal gay marriage and abortion and believing in other things than us, but being safe from god’s inevitable justice because they weren’t killing us yet. Obviously, the killing us part is important, as that’s the only difference between the persecution now and then, so that must be the reason why god’s miracles are on speed dial now, but not then.”

  5. “McIntosh, Macintosh, or Mackintosh (Gaelic: Mac an Tòisich) is a Scottish surname, originating from the Clan Mackintosh.” That took me a whole four seconds to find a citation for. Scottish and irish: Not the Same Thing.

    Also, “Grenadier”? Really? I thought “Berlitz” was bad. Wonder what book was on Jenkins’ shelf this time.

    • Now I picture the detective from the Usual Suspects dropping his coffee cup and seeing it’s from the Berlitz-brand.

      Except that the discovery wouldn’t happen at the end, after Kaiser Soze has already walked off. Jenkins picks such obviously bad names, and furthermore is such a terrible story teller, the detective would’ve smashed the cup on Jenkins’ head 10 minutes into the interrogation.

  6. (seriously, do these kids ever study math or spelling or anything except how awesome Jesus is???)

    Well, as far as reasons to learn go, there’s “love of learning” and there’s “overcoming future obstacles”. Given that the kids are meant to be mini-RTCs, “love of learning” is suspicious and probably evil. And as to overcoming future obstacles, well, sure, knowing basic mathematics might help you run a household budget, but knowing all the magic Jesus words for the Jesus-in-a-bottle (you gotta rub him the right way) will allow you to instantly and guiltlessly murder anyone who has things you need/want/are curious about, so you’ll never have to run a household budget again! It’s like the kids in Hogwarts, solving everything with magic.

    “we don’t kill people we don’t have to. It’s not what we’re about.”

    I suppose that does make sense, as long as you remember that Paul has pretty much convinced himself he needs to kill literally everybody. Kick his ass, Jade-GIF. (My sister watched Victorious a few times; she was by far my favourite character.)

    “That’s just our flesh talking. God would have us spare you. So be careful how you refer to Him around us.”

    “God would have us spare you unless we really want to kill you and pray about it.”

    “Just our flesh talking”, Jesus, so goddamn creepy. He’s been assimilated by the Many.
    “The individual is obsolete. When you and your kind are extinct, we shall cleanse our collective memory of the stain of your existence.” I’m all in favour of teaming up with SHODAN to hit him a bunch of times.

    Back at the ranch Bible study class, Jae tries to explain Uncle Berlitz’s death to little Brie, a task somewhat hampered by the way that Jae couches it in terms of Poor Daddy and how the government is oppressing them all.

    “Stop crying, child. It is good that your loving uncle died, leaving you with your monstrous father and a broken reed that goes whichever way he blows. Because it was Godly. And you are happier now.”

    I take it back. The Many was LESS creepy.

    • On that last quote, Ruby said Jae uses loophole lying to hide god and paul’s involvement of his death. So I’m picturing it like this.

      “Mommy, why did Uncle Berly die?”
      “Well, first the atheists were really, really mean to daddy and the other people here who are think Jesus wasn’t a fairytale. And then your uncle died in a car crash.”
      “What does people being mean to daddy have to do uncle Berly’s car crashing? If he just died in an accident, what logical reason would you have for bringing up that atheists like uncle Berly were mean unless you were trying to defend-”
      *SMACK*
      “WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT USING LOGICAL REASONING?! I didn’t convert to Christianity yesterday to sit here and tolerate my children using those tools of satan to doubt the glory of god or be disrespectful her parents!”

      • So Jae really thinks Brie won’t figure out what really happened to Berlitz, considering that even in the Christian underground the slaughter of the firstborn is a really hot topic? Or is she keeping her kids sequestered in their room so they can’t see or hear anyone except her and Paul? (So, mostly her, since Paul is mostly taking care of Important Business and ignoring his wife and kids, per usual). Actually, that wouldn’t surprise me, since I doubt the occupants of the underground who have been Christians for more than a couple months would want their kids to be around children who haven’t made the transaction yet. But I’m guessing that given our author, he really does think an eight year old is too stupid to figure out what happened to her atheist uncle during the worldwide slaughter of all the atheist firstborns she’s heard other people talking about.

  7. So now the Zealots are getting gazillions in funding from Arthur. Please Jenkins, explain again why they needed to loot corpses and steal cars; it would actually have been a good piece of writing to have them prayerfully wait and “trust in the Lord to provide”, and *then* find out that that this billionaire atheist has converted and is giving them all his moolah.

    • I agree, that could have worked.

      Yet another genuine miracle from the Astonishing Atheists: all those societal reforms and improvements the books keep hinting at? Apparently they’re being implemented on a budget so small that sixty million dollars a year puts you on a “level playing field” with the government of the entire world.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy

        Jenkins has shown that he’s very unclear on the concept of Dystopia.

        It’s not even a Crapsaccharine Dystopia with a pretty exterior; the only thing that makes Atheistopia a Dystopia is the Atheists hold the whip (and the napalm barrels) instead of the Real True Christians.

        • You know, I firmly believe torture is wrong. Always. Yes, even then.

          That said, Jenkins has made an airtight case that, in the world he writes, anyone who tries to follow anything Jenkins would recognize as Christianity should be immediately executed.

  8. So the all-knowing government of Atheistopia can’t connect the dots between the fact that Arthur is withdrawing a gazillion dollars a month from a “secret” bank account in a country that hasn’t existed for years now at the same time the Zealots are getting a boatload of funding? Sheesh. They’re worse than Nicolae Carpathia: he knows what’s going on, but doesn’t particularly care.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      Script Immunity.

      Like Jim, Spock, Bones, and some red-shirted Ensign we’ve never seen before beaming down into an unknown (and deadly) situation.

  9. The only times I have ever had discussions about what my name meant was at the library when my coworkers or I processed a “what does your name mean” book or random bsing with friends. It’s not a topic of “oh I just met you” casual conversation.

    • I have explained a few times, I think on occasion on the first meeting, that my family isn’t Russian. My name was a compromise. My father’s family had a line of firstborn sons named Jan (Dutch equivalent of John), my mother wanted something a little more unique, so they settled on the Russian equivalent.

      There’s also my second name, Vadim. I still don’t understand how my parents came up with that one, other than they wanted something with a V. (My initials are I.V.N., My dad’s are J.N.A.)

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      The only times I have ever had discussions about what my name meant was at the library when my coworkers or I processed a “what does your name mean” book or random bsing with friends. It’s not a topic of “oh I just met you” casual conversation.

      It is when the author has to point out his Clever Character Name — “Get it? See How Clever I Am?”

  10. Secondly, are people really so concerned about the meanings of names? I mean, my name means something, and I have never once in my life had anyone so much as make reference to the meaning. It’s just a name.

    Actually, I’ve wondered about it myself. I’m not a tea drinker, so I have no idea: is there a variety of tea called Ruby? If not, why RubyTea? (Yes, I’m about 98% sure you were talking entirely about your RL name, but I’m asking this one anyway.)

    • Nope, as far I know, there’s no variety of tea called ruby. Ruby is the handle I chose way back when, then when I started this blog, there was already a Ruby, so I went with RubyTea, because I love all tea and was kinda tickled by the idea of a teacup full of rubies. 🙂

      My RL name is a fairly popular name of my generation in the States…never anything so amazing that I spontaneously talked to strangers about what it means. ;D

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Roundup for February 20, 2015 | The Slacktiverse

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