Well this week is made up of the sad, pathetic desperation seen in videos by Pick-Up Artists. Don't worry the YouTube link doesn't actually take you to actual pick-up artists; I have too much self respect and too much respect for my readers to put either of us through that. Just that there's something so unbelievably pathetic about all of it, how for all their efforts to be like, "I am Manly and Powerful, dammit!"...well, the fact that one of them created a female persona to explain why he finds cunnilingus undesirable and another mentioned in the video describes sex as shoving a meat cylinder into a hole and delivering a genetic package, let's just say Dave Barry's bit about "I AM THRUSTING MY MASSIVE KNOCKWURST OF LOVE INTO YOUR PASSION PERSIMMON!" actually sounds more appealing and less creepy.
But yeah, that's because it's never about sex with pick-up artists, just about trying desperately to overcompensate for deep-rooted insecurities. Though congratulations, guys. You may have made an unintentional case for celibacy, because if the choice is between sex with you or no sex at all...well let's just say the Catholic Church finally has a way to deal with a shortage of priests, monks, and nuns.
In short, yes there will be Creepy Sex Stuff this week. I don't know whether you should or shouldn't thank me for this.
The cartoonish machismo starts from the very first line.
KENNY HAD cleared several days off so he could complete his clandestine mission to Paris, but almost as soon as he got there he heard from Ekaterina, asking whether he could return and postpone his trip.
Yes, Kenny's mission to Paris really is clandestine, seeing as it will take place under a cover of daylight via a commercial airline and he's already told all his friends and family where he's going and when he'll be back. Also, he is in no danger of dying whatsoever and in fact, doesn't really have to do anything because TurboJesus will pitch his enemies into hell for him. We should all dream of having Kenny's courage and fortitude in the face of unspeakable fear and suffering.
Yeah, I know, I'm laying it on pretty thick, but hey, it's what I do. I'd say this is the equivalent of a six-year-old boy pretending his cardboard box in his parents' backyard, is secretly a hut deep within the Amazon rainforest, but most six-year-olds have enough self-awareness to know that they are only pretending. And however irritating and immature a six-year-old may be, there is hope that they will eventually grow the fuck up and stop being so irritating.
For those of you wondering, Kat didn't ask Kenny to delay his trip, because she's all weak and female and feared for his safety in a First-World Nation that as all the amenities of modern life. Though France does :gasp: have a government-paid healthcare system (aka Universal Healthcare), making it so that everyone has their medical expenses covered by the government and can receive necessary treatments even if they are :pearlclutch: poor. With that in mind, you can understand why Kat might be concerned.
The reason Kat wants Kenny-boy to hold of on his trip is because King David is coming to one of their talks. :whimpers: For the record, his visit is in the next chapter, which I probably won't get to this week. More and more, I'm starting to think that maybe I should actually go through with an idea I've suggested before, where I cut and paste Kingdom Come into a new document, but remove the Mothereffin' Front Matter and all the stuff where Biblical Figure just copy and pastes from the Bible. I am really serious as to whether this book would be long enough to qualify as a novella, minus those materials. But we'll talk about this more later on. In the meantime, let's get back to tearing this chapter a new one.
Kenny-boy tries to reassure his terror-stricken female fearful lady love interest.
“But I prayed about this, sweetheart. I know this is where God wants me, and I have to think that if I make this sacrifice, He will somehow make it up to me.”
“Who knows? Maybe by giving me an audience with David as He did my grandfather. I guess someday I’ll have all the time I want with all the biblical characters.”
“I know you’re right, Kenny. And you’ve taught me that God favors obedience even over sacrifice. That’s just hard for me right now, because I was hoping this news would be enough to bring you back to me.”
You have no idea how much I pointed and laughed at all this until tears were streaming down my cheeks. Again, he's going to France, aka a modern country which has both email and telephone which he could use to stay in contact with Kat. Also it has running water, paved roads, electricity, and has been in a state of relative peace since the end of WWII. Since then, their conflicts have been mostly overseas with little, if any, effects on the home front. You are not parachuting behind the Iron Curtain, where Khrushchev's men might make you "disappear" or force the US to exchange a prisoner in order to free you.
I could go on and on about all this about how Kenny's not going to the beaches of Normandy, circa June 6, 1944, or Iwo Jima, circa February 19, 1945, but I think I've pulverized this dead horse into glue.
I freely admit I chose examples from WWII because Ellanjay and their ilk consider that the most manly of wars or the Good War, as it is called. Though no one actually called WWII, the Good War, when it was actually being fought. Only when Vietnam went south, did anyone start calling it, the Good War. During WWII, the thoughts were generally more "Are we going to lose this fight?" and "Will our boys come home from this?" the same as in most wars.
Oh Kenny is really making a huge sacrifice, having to miss out on hearing David's copy-and-paste. Sure he could pick up his Bible and read it for himself, but that smacks too much of effort and he might stumble onto one of the "bad" passages. When it comes to suffering for the sins of humanity, Kenny's got Jesus beat.
OW! Okay, I may have gone a little too far with that. But I can't say I regret it too much. As much as it pains me to defend the Tribbles, at least, they were sort of experiencing actual suffering for their faith. Granted it only happened off-screen to NPCs, but Nicky had outlawed the practice of any faith save for the poorly defined EBOWF/Worship of him, so this "Durr...I'm a rebel!" pose made some sense.
:sighs: One last rant before I finally move on: how many problems could we solve by giving RTC farts one-way tickets to Saudi Arabia, China, or North Korea? If they manage to escape, maybe experiencing actual persecution for their faith, not just "Cashier saying 'Happy Holidays'" persecution, will have given them some much needed perspective. If nothing else, they'll be trapped in Third-World Hellholes and the rest of us can finally get stuff done, without having to deal with them throwing hissies over every advancement in human rights.
The section ends with a shocking announcement: Qasim has taken the week off and won't be there when King David shows up! :cue Dramatic Prairie Dog:
Abdullah's Asshole for Christ campaign continues. I'm having flashbacks to Nicky's regime where for all the wargle-bargle about how eeeevil he is, Nicky was surprisingly respectful of the rights of a group that continually calls for his overthrow and tries to undermine his government in whatever ways it can, allowing them to have a massive public gathering and broadcast their message all around the world.
You can see where I'm going with this. Mudawar and Sarsour have been ridiculously respectful towards someone who, at best, regards them as prospects and, at worse, sees them as dirty godless heathens deserving of nothing but hellfire and damnation for all eternity for the crimes of :gasp: enjoying music with an actual beat, enjoying alcohol, enjoying sex, and saying "Y'know a guy who kills people for disagreeing with him, isn't a good guy."
I am trying to picture the horrors of a TOL regime. Will banal praise choruses be outlawed in favor of music with a beat that addresses the reality of human feelings? Do armed guards show up and say to terrified men, "You will do cunnilingus, not the traditional missionary!" after which the man is like, "But that would be sex performed strictly as an act of love, without any possibility of reproduction!" and all he can do is sob, as the TOLstapo give him and his wife, contraceptives, vibrators, and lubricants.
For those of you wondering, "Mouse, aren't you exaggerating just a little too much?" First of all, why would you think that? and Second of all, I most definitely am not. Forget the League of Awesome, Mudawar and Sarsour should be nominated for sainthood for having resisted the urge to taser the living crap out of him. At least, Thor is pretty to look at, dammit!
Anyway, here are quotes from the section for your perusal. After I post them, I will move on. I just feel like spreading pain around and making sure everyone appreciates the Assholery of Abdullah. Fear not; not even context makes Abdullah's remarks seem less assholish.
“You heard me, Mudawar. I repeat my pledge from the first. I am here under assignment from almighty God. You may be under some illusion or delusion that you— in some moment of madness or genius— decided to allow me in. But the fact is, the Lord has ordained it.”
“Oh, I know you can. But you also know that I would then be stationed in front of your door with my little table and my Bible and my smile, and I will be greeting your honored guests every time they enter or leave. And we both know people are somehow drawn to me.”
“— but a word to the wise: If I were you, I would represent my presence in your offices as your idea, a stroke of brilliance, going against the grain, zigging when the rest of the world is zagging. If you can’t persuade your mentors there’s some benefit to the cause in this, that you have somehow convinced me that my time is better spent here than trying to persuade the same target audience, then perhaps you are not qualified for the role you have been given. Give it some thought.”
I'm just going to post a clip. You totally know why I'm posting this clip.
The next section, well, I hope my readers have their heart medication ready as they see the horrors Kenny faces. He has to stay in a hotel in Paris and the mass transit system makes it easy for him to meet up with Ignace and Lothair with no problem!
And if that isn't bad enough, he endures some minor questioning at their hands. Just listen to the horrible slurs they sling towards Kenny's general direction.
“Hey, guys,” Kenny said, pretending not to notice that they didn’t look happy.
“Just sit down,” Ignace said. “Who do you think you’re kidding anyway?”
“I don’t follow.”
“You don’t follow. You make noises at our cousin’s funeral like you might be one of us, you string us along by e-mail, we get absolute zilch from you— even though your buddy Qasim vouches for you with his life. And how hard do you think it was for us to figure out that your parents— your parents— started COT? And now you want us to believe you’re sympathetic to the Other Light?”
I think I'll retreat into my League of Awesome headcanon for a bit, before trying to take this on. A gal can only handle so much excitement.
On an entirely unrelated note, if I keep communicating in nothing but brutal sarcasm, will I reach the point where I will be unable to communicate in any other form? I wouldn't mind it so much, except that I keep getting dragged out of the house to talk to other people and they may find it somewhat off-putting. Though that problem may quickly resolve itself.
Luckily Kenny has Zod to provide his Saving Throw.
Busted. What could he say?
He breathed a silent prayer. “Lord, what now?”
“Take the offensive,” he heard in his soul.
“Believe what you want to believe,” Kenny said. “But you’d better not have wasted my time, dragging me all the way here just to tell me you don’t trust me. There are plenty of people in other TOL cells who do trust me. And as for where I’m embedded, where do you think you’d get better information?”
Ignace and Lothair respond by printing up a directory of COT employees, complete with addresses and information on salaries. In my headcanon, they laugh derisively as they do. Because even they are like, "You haven't given us any information we couldn't get elsewhere, so why the hell should we listen to you in the first place?" So much Signal from Fred...
But here's the TOL's Final Solution.
“Mexico,” she said. “Drugs, parties, alcohol. We spread the word quietly, and kids who feel oppressed by their parents or by society or by the church come in droves. We get ’em on our mailing lists and go after them with intellectual arguments.”
"They use their skill with the written word to express their opinions on something that matters to them, while enjoying intoxicants and celebrations. This makes Auschwitz seem like a summer vacation in comparison!"
Okay, I might have gone too far with the Auschwitz comparison. I apologize. Though of all the stuff listed, they probably consider "intellectual arguments" to be the most eeeevil and depraved of the TOL's activities.
Kenny, playing the part of infiltrator, offers them a better strategy. Because for some reason, RTCs are allowed to lie, even though they couldn't back when they were facing actual persecution.
“It shouldn’t be that hard. If you’re right, you’ll be convincing. And what you have going for you is the age of your audience. They’re our ages. If they haven’t become believers already, you know they’re searching, wondering, thinking, wanting to use their brainpower. They’re going to be vulnerable to a message that goes against all the rest of society. There’s glamour in being a revolutionary. Tap into that.”
And now I'm laughing until a I cry again. Whenever I find enough air to speak, I'm like, "Physician, heal thyself!"
Because tapping into the glamour and allure that comes with being a revolutionary, is pretty much exactly what the RTC subculture does. Though the TOL has a better claim at being revolutionaries, seeing as they are actually suffering for what they believe and again, not just "Happy Holidays" suffering. Again, the RTC subculture longs simultaneously to be the Roman Empire with great military and financial power, so they may crush those who stand against them, but they also want to cast themselves as the plucky Christian rebels bravely standing up in the face of Roman Oppression. It all results in a toxic, incoherent mess of a belief system.
And that's it for this week. Until then, I hope you light a candle for the suffering Kenny is facing.