As you can tell by the Rocky Horror reference in the post title, I will eventually degenerate into making juvenile "That's what she said" kind of innuendos. Sorry about it. It's out of my hands and in Ellanjay's, unfortunately. :laugh: Though before we get to that bit of fun, we have to go through some other stuff first. And yes, you may interpret my previous line in whatever manner you deem fit, interpret it all night long!
Let's just start by stating the obvious: Kenny is such a Nice Guy™. I really mean it, what with using emotional manipulation, pretending to care about Kat's feelings in hopes of getting close to her, tearing down any guy she has the nerve to like more than him, making her emotionally dependent on him, in hopes of having sex with her. Few guys can claim to be as Nice™ as Kenny Bruce Williams.
On an entirely unrelated note, if I keep communicating solely in brutal sarcasm, will I eventually lose the ability to communicate in any other way? Oh and if I keep rolling my eyes, will they eventually get stuck in that position? Because I wouldn't mind too much, but I keep getting dragged out of the house to associate with other people and they might find it off-putting. Though maybe this is one of those problems that will soon resolve itself. I can only hope.
I FOUND Qasim hilarious,” Ekaterina reported, plopping herself on Kenny’s couch and declining his offer of grapes. “I’m stuffed. He took me to the Valley Bistro, where you had your meeting.”
“Your Millennium Force meeting. Anyway, it was great. Did you just love it? I did. And Qasim was chivalrous, full of stories, talked a mile a minute— in fact, I feel like I’ve just now caught that from him. Have I? Am I just talking incessantly? Stop me if I am. I don’t mean to be. He wants to see me again. I probably will let him, but I didn’t promise.”
Kenny’s mind was whirling. He liked the quiet and shy Kat better, and he hated that she seemed so intrigued by Qasim. But her knowing about the Millennium Force troubled him most.
Again, if you thought I was kidding or exaggerating about all this "Kenny is a Nice Guy™" remarks, I hope this passage was enough to sway you otherwise. I know it's very unlikely that an editor looked at this book, never mind gave it the Red Pen treatment, but sometimes you wonder if there was some material cut, if some brave soul was able to stand up and say, "Y'know Kenny is coming across as kind of insensitive here, you might want to soften it a little?"
Because it barely takes any reading between the lines to discern what Kenny "Nice Guy™" Williams is thinking.
He's clearly thinking "How dare she go out with a guy who asked her out and enjoy his company, even though he isn't me. Because even though I've never actually flat-out asked her out, apparently she's supposed to see through my mind games and realize I want to go out with her. I mean, I've been all nice to her, pretending to be interested in her as a person, rather than a girl with girl parts, so clearly she should reward me by giving me sex."
Again, can anyone honestly say that my exaggeration is really much of an exaggeration at all?
Pro Tip: Nice Guys™ who use the façade of friendship in order to get close to a girl in order to score, aren't really Nice Guys™. They're manipulative leeches and after being around a few, you honestly prefer the "jerks" because at least they are honest. If you're going to be anything, good or bad, at least be honest about what you do and what you are. Because as awful as Neo-Nazis are, you almost appreciate that they are open and honest about the reprehensible things they believe, rather than using the traditional dogwhistles about "welfare queens" and "thugs." Though I will admit, were it not for the fact that the guy is actually going to serve in the highest office in the land, watching all the logical gymnastics as Trump supporters try to explain how his belief that certain religious/ethnic groups are less than human and therefore, don't deserve to have the same rights as everyone else, how that isn't racist, would actually be kind of impressive. You find yourself wondering if there isn't any turd out there that someone isn't willing to try to polish.
Yeah, I'll give you some words from Revelation 3, more specifically verses 14-16:
‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
Because here's a basic rule, Nice Guys™: people have lives, have thoughts and feelings, apart from you. They do not exist solely for your purpose. So therefore, they :gasp: not have the same feelings as you do and :gasp: :pearlclutch: have every right to say, "No," if they're not interested. Like I keep saying to people in various places online, only an asshole would object to being friendzoned, as in having a friend, aka someone who likes and cares about you and enjoys hanging out with you, but doesn't necessarily want to have sex with you. And of course, stop acting like you deserve a goddanged medal for managing to occasionally display basic human decency.
Okay, that rant went on longer than I thought. Though I am trying to figure out why Kenny so objects to her knowing about the Millies. I didn't really think it was that much of a secret, but that's to be expected, given that Ellanjay have repeatedly proven they have no idea how a resistance group is supposed to work.
Kat is all, “He doesn’t even know we know each other!” And I'm whimpering like Wesley after he was put through the Life suctioner. Because given that everything seems to take place within a few square miles, how exactly does Qasim not know that Kenny and Kat know each other? That and I thought Qasim worked out at the daycare, helping with recreation, and since Kenny and Kat also work at the incredibly poorly-run daycare...:whimpers: Though maybe it's one of the characteristics of someone in the LB-verse: they are incapable of noticing anyone that doesn't have anything they want. So using that logic, you can understand how Kenny, Kat, and Qasim can work together, while somehow being unaware of each others' existence.
Kat also talks about how she wants to join the Millies and be a TOL infiltrator. Kenny is all shocked and appalled by this:
Kenny strode to the window and pulled the drapes apart, letting in the bright moonlight. “I think you’re most valuable and productive right where you are. I mean, I’d rather you were working directly with me, but don’t you feel as if you’re where God wants you?”
Given that Bahira, aka a weak girl with girl parts, is involved with the TOL infiltration, it's abundantly clear that Kenny is objecting not out of fear for Kat's safety, like a decent person would, but because her working with the TOL would pull her away from him and Kenny can't abide anything that pulls Kat away from him. She might :gasp: develop an interest in something besides him.
Oh and sign that Kenny is a true RTC: he brings in God on air support to back him up and give Kat a nice dose of religious guilt to go with all the other guilt she's received at his hands. Like that friend of Anne Lamott said, “You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”
Yeah, in my headcanon, after all this, Kat proceeds to curbstomp (or dick-stomp) Kenny then give him the finger and walk off to go hang with Qasim, maybe try some positions she saw in the Karma Sutra or something.
But unfortunately, I'm not writing the LB-verse, so the hate-cringefest only continues.
Kat is all, "Hey I was just thinking about it. I haven't decided on anything yet," she and Kenny talk about saving kids from the TOL, and we get this delightful little bit from Kenny:
Kenny sighed. This was Qasim’s fault. He had put everything on the table, proving again that he was a loose cannon, impossible to trust, the quintessentially wrong person for the job. Kenny sat again, picking a handful of grapes from the bunch and swirling them in his palm. “I need to tell you about Qasim, but I don’t want you to take it the wrong way.”
Yes, how dare Qasim be all nice and try to curry to other peoples' feelings, so they'll stop with the emotional cruelty.
Though at the same time, this attitude is somewhat realistic: everyone, including Bullies, hate Toadies. Hence why I keep saying to Qasim, just give those mothereffers the finger and tell them where they can stick their Millie Membership. Because again, telling bullying victims to reshape themselves, so that the Bully will show the most basic of human decency and leave them alone, is really fucking sick. And it's really taken me a lot of willpower to resist using the F-bomb until now.
Because how dare Qasim try to help out the Millies by recruiting someone who might be interested in joining? But then again, Kenny is probably only objecting because Qasim made the offer, thus failing to respect his Authoritah! It's the old Alpha Male mindset that governs the LB-verse.
Hence why I feel the need to steer Ellanjay and other horrible people, towards this article from Reader's Digest: How to be an Alpha Male.
Because despite the stereotypes people have of the Alpha Male wolf, as the posturing, strutting bully, real studies of, y'know, actual wolves out in the wild, have shown that actual Alpha Males, well, I'll just quote from the article because they say it better than me:
“The main characteristic of an alpha male wolf,” the veteran wolf researcher Rick McIntyre told me as we were watching gray wolves, “is a quiet confidence, quiet self-assurance. You know what you need to do; you know what’s best for your pack. You lead by example. You’re very comfortable with that. You have a calming effect.”
The point is, alpha males are not aggressive. They don’t need to be. “Think of an emotionally secure man or a great champion. Whatever he needed to prove is already proven,” he said.
That's the basic gist of the article. The Alpha Male may fiercely defend his pack from outside threats and may play a key role in bringing down game, but when it comes to his own pack, he leads by example and sometimes, he'll let the rest of the pack feast before him, because part of being a good leader isn't making sure everyone kowtows to you: it's taking care of the people around you. The Alpha Male feels no need to constantly assert that he is strong and powerful; he knows he is and goes from there. Though studies of wolf packs have indicated that it might be the matriarch who has the real power in the pack, making decisions regarding where to travel and when to hunt.
I could go on happily talking about wolves, but probably ought to get back to the book. I haven't even made it through the first section, that's how wordy and ranty I'm being. So once more unto the breach, as Shakespeare would say.
Kenny-boy displays the smallest sliver of decency by admitting to Kat that all his "brotherly" warnings about Qasim, may in fact be born out of jealousy and he wanted her "attention," which I take to mean, "He wants to get laid and since he's devoted all this time to her and she's a girl with girl parts, he's like 'Let's do it already.'" Because no one in the LB-verse can just have premarital sex and pray for forgiveness afterwards.
But then again, like I've said before, whenever a scandal dethrones someone on the Christian Right, it's always about sex. The Christian Right is willing to forgive a lot, but not if sex is involved. Even if one of their own was a modern-day Jack the Ripper, they would probably be willing to let that slide, so long as he wasn't :gasp: having sex with the prostitutes he brutally murdered.
There's a bit with Kenny and some grapes that I guess is supposed to be cute, but given all the creepiness that came before, it has no hope of changing the dim view I have of Kenny.
Once they were both seated again and Kenny felt the color receding from his face, Ekaterina reached for his hand. He wiped it on his pants to be sure it wasn’t sticky with grape juice and extended it. No one but his parents had ever held his hand.
“Now, you’re going to tell me about Qasim. And then I’m going to tell you how innocently I view him regardless. And then we’re going to tell each other why we’re so interested in each other’s attention.”
Minor quibble first: it took me a while to figure out who was saying the last line. You don't have to provide a tag to every line of dialogue (pro tip: generally "said" works just fine most of the time.), but every now and then, even if said conversation is just between two people, provide us with some kind of tag. Doesn't have to necessarily be "Kenny said" or anything like that. It could be an action like "Kenny masturbated furvitely (but not fervently because that would be sick and wrong)" or something like that.
It's especially needed with the last bit of dialogue, because given that the previous paragraph and the chapter in general, has been told from Kenny's POV, I thought that maybe the dialogue was Kenny's. But then I remembered Ellanjay's rampant sexism combined with their tin ear for dialogue, I'm wondering if the last line was meant to be Kat's. I'm still suffering hemorrhages trying to work out who's speaking there.
Though yeah, Kenny I really believe that your hands would be sticky from grape juice and not...OW! Okay, I'll try to cut back on the creepy sex stuff. I can't stop entirely, because Ellanjay won't let me, but I'll try, just so I won't be irritating as hell.
For those of you wondering, the conversation about Qasim occurs later in the chapter and it really is as tooth-grindingly awful as you think it's going to be, maybe even more. So though I know nobody about me cares about my League of Awesome head-canon, I'm just going to call it and say that Qasim is in. Maybe later I'll change my mind, but right now, I really feel for the guy. Everyone just keeps treating him like shit for no real reason. He's been nothing but a basic decent person and they just dump on him for it.
Conversation between Rayford and Chloe about how Noah is coming to give a talk. Nothing really happens. What does it say about me that I almost look forward to the stuff with Rayford because right now, I find it less creepy and awful than the stuff with Kenny-boy and Creepy Raymie. Speaking of, now we cut to the part where Kat and Kenny talk shit about Qasim.
Kenny searched himself for any ill motive in telling Ekaterina his misgivings about Qasim. She fell silent and seemed to cloud over as he spoke.
Yeah, I bet you really spent a ton of time in thought about this. Kenny, you know how people use the expression, "Lying makes the Baby Jesus cry?" This is the type of lying that makes the Baby Jesus go for his shotgun.
Kat asks how Kenny feels about Qasim's spiritual state. And here's Kenny's response:
“I don’t know what to think. Raymie is dubious because Qasim’s conversion story is so cut-and-dried. And he doesn’t seem to have been successful in ministering to kids at COT— actually leading them to Jesus, I mean— despite all the years he’s worked there.”
Ah, that old trend in the RTC subculture where you can't have your conversion story be, "Well, I was raised in a specific church/faith and never really knew anything else and due in large part to societal/family-related pressure, I walked up to the altar and accepted Jesus into my heart because that's what was expected of me and from there, my religious life has mostly been a series of crests and troughs where there are times in which I am really devoted to my faith and times in which I'm distracted by other concerns."
No, to have a proper RTC conversion story, it must go something along the lines of, "I expressed an interest and dabbled in faiths outside the Judeo-Christian tradition, displayed a basic level of rebellion by going to parties or worse, looking at pictures of girls without their clothes on and drinking alcohol." Though bonus points if you really rev it up, talk about how you used to chop up prostitutes and feed them to dogs, all in worship of the great lord, Satan, and hope that even though you are basically flat-out confessing to murder, a crime that has no statute of limitations, no one notices how the police don't bother taking a look at you.
And apparently Qasim slips away when there's real work to be done, outside of playing with the kids. This slur against him feels really rich, given the continual laziness displayed by the authors. It always seems to be Projection on the Right. Maybe it's comforting for them, assuming that everyone is just as awful as they are, but it sucks for everyone else. And again, if I was Qasim, I'd look for any opportunity to get away from them for a few hours, until I can find a way to make a more permanent escape.
We cut back to Rayford briefly. Apparently Zod feels the Egyptians have done the requisite amount of "We deserve this and we're sorry for making you so angry in the first place," prayers and have brought back the water. Woo-hoo. :sarcastic clapping:
And now we cut back to Kenny and Kat. In an addition to try to pry a truffle from a pig's snout, I will say that this next section is less dumping on a guy who has done nothing to warrant it and more the kind of stuff that makes a drooling pervert like me go nuts. I know, I swore I would cut back, but again, I'm not made of stone!
“All right,” Ekaterina said slowly, “I have lost my enthusiasm for the unique personality of Qasim Marid. I suppose I know what to say when he asks to take me out again. But whatever will I do with my spare time now?”
“I have some ideas,” Kenny said, smiling.
"I don't know," Kat said. "I'm getting really tired of doing it doggie-style. Can we try wheelbarrow style, just to liven things up a bit?"
OW! Well if any of my readers object to the cheap and obvious joke, just take comfort I have yet another thing in Internet search history that I hope to never be called upon to explain. I keep praying desperately that the "I'm a writer. I swear to God, I'm not a terrorist or a pervert or both," defense still counts as a valid one, given how paranoid everyone is and how draconian our justice system has become. Because I have yet to meet a writer worth his/her salt, who didn't have a search history that would not only cause a blue-haired schoolmarm to swoon, it would put her in a permanent swoon-induced coma.
I am really sorry for the juvenile jokes that will make up the ending of this snark, but it is really damn difficult to avoid making The Todd-style comments to this dialogue between Kat and Kenny. Again, writers of Christian Fiction™ could really stand to shell out a few bucks to have a drooling pervert, such as myself, go over their manuscript for anything that could make for all kinds of unintentional humor, just as if I'm going to keep using the trademark symbol, I could stand to learn how to do it with my keyboard so I don't have just keep copying and pasting it over and over.
Kenny took her elbow as they walked. “I was struck from the first by your obvious passion for the Lord,” he said.
“Me too,” she said. “I mean about you.”
Yeah, that's what you were really struck by. You certainly didn't notice her Huge Tracts of Land or how limber she is.
“It’s something I have to work on,” he said. “How bad is that? I’m living in the millennial kingdom with Jesus right here on the throne and ever-present, and still I struggle with the flesh.”
“We’re not in heaven yet. The glorified-mind-and-body people seem to have no distractions to their devotion.”
"Since we're not Glorified, how about we go to your apartment where we can spend a good evening, struggling with each other's flesh."
“Ignore you? If you were infatuated, I don’t know what to call what I was. What I am. I just know I want to spend a lot more time with you, Kat. I want to really get to know you.”
“Well,” she said, gazing at him, “it seems we have plenty of time for that. For one thing, I am going to be putting in for a transfer to a more direct-ministry-oriented department. I mean, I like rec and I’ve had my ministry opportunities. But I’d feel more comfortable now in an area that doesn’t have Qasim in it.”
“It’s unlikely my parents would put you in my area. My mother was on to us from the first day.”
“Oh, how embarrassing! It showed?”
“According to her.”
"Maybe my wardrobe shouldn't be just skintight jeans and leather."
OW! I'm sorry, but I am really having a difficult time restraining my perverted self. Because even in context, it's hard to interpret "Oh, how embarrassing! It showed?" without going to all kinds of...well let's just say it involves Kenny's area and stop there.
Though Kat's next line makes me feel a eensy-weensy bit guilty for all the innuendo.
“Mothers know these things. But I want to learn from you how to make reaching these kids an everyday thing.”
Since in this case, she's talking about kids, it would be kind of wrong for me to infer anything about that. But for the few of you who haven't tired of me making dirty jokes and cackling about afterwards, I'll give you the last few lines of this chapter.
“Well,” Kenny said, “if our relationship is going to be educational, we ought to start on the way to work tomorrow, wouldn’t you say?”
“Just tell me when to be ready, Professor Williams.”
Yeah, the question isn't whether or not my face is red and I'm making Beavis and Butthead-style laughter; the question is, "Will I ever stop?" This may make the upcoming family get-together awkward especially since, well, my cousins have had a few kids. The eldest is about eight, the youngest is three. Any advice? Because little pitchers have big ears and I heard cold showers don't actually work and...fine, I'll mace myself on my way out.
Merry Christmas everybody and just in case I don't post next week, Happy New Year! Hope everyone gets what they want and stays out of trouble. Me, I may find myself on some kind of watchlist.