Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hobson's Choice

Okay, this chapter begins with them all telling Bruce what they've been doing. In other words, talking about stuff we witnessed in the books. Ugh, everytime I ever have doubts about making it as a novelist, I should look to these books: if hacks like Ellanjay can become best-sellers, it can't be that hard.

But Bruce is not happy when he hears Vicki's story.

When Vicki told of finding the burned out shell of her trailer, Bruce looked startled. He did not appear to be pleased to hear that she seemed to be planning to stay with Judd for a while. Judd felt he had to explain.
"We're not going together or even interested in anything like that," he said. "And we would stay on different floors. We're more like brother and sister, like you said."

There is so much to unpack here it isn't even funny. But apparently RTC hang-ups about sex will endure even in the rapture.

Frankly, I don't know why Vicki and Judd don't just get married now. I mean it's not like they need to save for education or anything; they've got seven years tops. Have a quickie wedding so they can appease the RTCs, then get to shagging. It's not like you have all the time in the world anymore.

I had considered doing two chapters again in my snark, but the next one is so full of assholish behaviour that I've decided it deserves to be enshrined in its own post. It's like they decided that day was "Be a Dick towards Ryan Day."

We get the beginnings of said day here.

"Fair enough," Bruce said. "No one's going to pressure you. You can be a part of this group as long as you want, regardless of what you decide to do. When you're ready, you make this decision on your own."

Of course, Bruce fails to mention that if Ryan doesn't kneal before Zod, Zod will decide for him and send him to Hell.

Anyone want to explain to RTCs the concept of a Hobson's Choice?

Finally, Ryan spoke. "And what if my decision is to say no?"
Bruce said, "Nobody can make the decision for you. You have to live with the consequences."
"Or die with them," Lionel said.
Now Ryan was mad. Judd thought he might bolt again. "He's been talking to me that way all day," Ryan said. "What kind of Christian is that?"

Very good question. I don't remember Jesus saying, "And when thou goest to make disciples of all nations, be sure to use emotional blackmail in my name."

"I've only been kidding. Kids our age crack on people all the time. Can't you take it?"

Ah, it's the old "I was joking, why are you so sensitive?" defense for assholish behaviour. That one never gets old.

"This has to be a fragile time for him," Bruce said.
"It's that way for all of us," Lionel said. "But that doesn't mean we have to be so touchy."

Just because your parents are likely burning in hell for all eternity is no reason to get all bent out of shape over it.

Basically the rest of the chapter is Lionel goes to the morgue to ID is uncle's corpse only to find that it's not his uncle. DUN-DUN-DUN! This maybe the only genuine surprise in the book only because it wasn't telegraphed in advance.


Firedrake said...

Oh noes! A mystery! (Something to do other than digging a deep hole and hiding in it!)

Hmm. Seems to me the usual philosophical approach of the RTC is to reject the "easy answers" of the world and be a Zod-cultist instead. But now there's all this evidence, and post-RTC-ism is the easy answer - there's an explanation for everything, and you don't have to change your life, just say the magic words and you'll turn into an unkillable Jezombie.

So let's add to the "alternate Raptures I'd like to see": there really is another explanation for it all, but the biggest obstacle to finding it and doing something about it is the RTCs turning everyone into drooling slaves.

Mink said...

Okay, that behavior? The stuff where someone says, 'I was only kidding, why do you have to take it seriously, no need to be so touchy.' Yeah. NOT Christian behavior. NOT cool. NOT gonna fly.

And does Bruce do anything to stop it? No, of course not. My gods, asshattish enabling behavior like Bruce's is why my grade school sucked so much.

At this point I'm rooting for Ryan to give Bruce et al. the finger. He's a kid with questions, and he deserves them to be answered, not mocked. Meta-Ryan is just begging to be released.

Sigh. Is it just my anger-fevered imagination or did LaHaye go out of his way to make Lionel be a jerk throughout this book?

Mouse said...

Wait until the next chapter. You think you've seen assholish behaviour now, just you wait.

Apocalypse Review said...

You know, Judd and Vicki hurriedly getting married after knowing each other a month? I could see it happening as a way to create closeless after being emotionally traumatized due to the Disaster, and not paying attention to the voice in the back of their heads saying, "Uh, this is kind of a baaaaaaad idea because you barely know the other person."

People make odd and bizarre decisions sometimes and a fast Judd/Vicki marriage would not be out of the realm of possibility in a post-Disaster world.

As for the "just kidding, don't be so touchy!" part? Okay, I get that teenagers do this to each other. It's still a dick move and usually leads to scowls and fights among young males if emotions get high enough.

And these young males are under particular stress and their emotional barriers are bound to be lower. I'm only surprised they didn't already start fighting over their different points of view on the "Christian" perspective.

Firedrake said...

Apocalypsereview, why not get married? It's not like it's for more than seven years anyway. :-)

(Hmm, of course the Raptured are stuck with their spouses for all eternity - "till death us do part", and by the twisted logic of this world they haven't died.)

Redwood said...

OK, I'm not sure if "kneal before Zod" in this post and the last is a deliberate misspelling or not (should be "kneel"?)

And for a practical reason why they don't get married - aren't they 16 or so? In most states, they can't get married yet, and I'm pretty certain that in the states they can, they still require parental consent. Which is gonna be kind of hard to obtain...

I mean, technically all these kids are currently wards of the state, until the state can find some foster parents for them and all the other orphans...