Shadowed: Chapter 16: Back to Ball Dangler
Time to check in the with the leader of the entire planet!
You all may remember Chancellor Baldwin Dengler (known affectionately ’round these parts as Ball Dangler), but just in case you don’t, Jenkins takes the opportunity to remind us that he is tall and graying. Strangely, Jenkins does not remind us of Dangler’s “exceptionally long fingers.” Though he gives us a new detail: “press reports that his stride was half again longer than a normal man’s his height.” Okay, then.
I guess the press has nothing better to do than measure and compare the stride length of men of a specific height. I also tend to get bored with the endless articles about decades of peace, cancer-curing, homelessness-ending, and environmental improvement.
As was ominously foreshadowed in the last book, Dangler has sons but no daughters. So God, in his infinite wisdom and love and long-suffering, deigned to murder Dangler’s eldest son, himself a husband and father.
I have often found it odd that Jenkins, who infamously believes that atheist marriages are less likely to be happy than RTC marriages, all evidence to the contrary aside, makes marriage just as normal and expected in Atheistopia as it is in our present world. Additionally, there is never the slightest hint that Dangler’s long marriage, or the marriages of any of his sons, are anything less than excellent.
Indeed, so grief-stricken is Dangler that he goes for a walk on the Aare, ignoring the protestations of his aides, and half-hopes he’ll fall through the ice. Oh, and turns out that more than one nameless grandson has died, too. Poor guy. And he still has to lead the free world.
Jenkins makes a point of telling us that Dangler now sees life as “worthless, hopeless, pointless.” HA, just like ALL atheists do, amirite? What with their not believing in God and all! I just knew that if God murdered half a man’s family, he would feel bad about life!
But Dangler powers through his grief, because, apparently, he is just that awesome a leader. And his thoughts turn to the most important hero is the history of ever, Jerry Jenk—er, Paul Stepola.
Dangler, like Felicia, is absurdly, almost hilariously (in a cry-until-you-laugh way) forgiving of Paul. Granted, Dangler doesn’t know it was Paul himself who authored the manifesto praying for the genocide, but he does know that this guy spent hours in his company, eating giant sammiches and talking philosophy, and never even sailed close to the area of even hinting that there might be a God who was ready to kill millions of babies and little boys and grown men.
Nope. It is implied that Dangler was angry at Paul for about an hour or two, but now, with his son and grandsons two days dead, Dangler can admit that Paul was right…um, even though Paul never actually told the chancellor what he was really thinking.
God had needed to act in this dramatic fashion to get his attention. It had been his own fault.
God needed to kill my innocent son and my little grandsons! It all makes sense now!
Another one bites the dust.
The punishment for the crime of not believing shall be the deaths of children. The atheists have created a world with no cancer, homelessness, or pollution, but since they have partaken in a thought crime that never hurt anyone anywhere, their children are sacrificed where they stand. The sins of the fathers really are visited on the children.
Thinking about this just never stops being hideous.
Having this Stockholm-Syndrome-like epiphany, Dangler has only one thing to do…
GET ME PAUL STEPOLA!
Oh yeah. He’s in hiding. And Dangler knows that. Whatever.
I’d like to think that Dangler just wants to get his hands on Paul so he can slowly strangle him, but we now know that won’t happen. Wouldn’t want anyone to have a normal reaction to this event for more than a minute, would we?