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Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Overton Window: Chapter 29

Welcome back one and all to our ongoing series on The Overton Window, the book that makes librarians weep. Last time Noah regained consciousness and discovered that the authors didn't need him for a few chapters Molly had drugged him. What happens this week? Honestly, who really gives a shit? We're back with Danny and Stu who, between them, don't have the law enforcement expertise to issue a parking ticket.

As I mentioned I am once again selecting a comment of the week, and this week that "honor" goes to Sassafras for taking us to a bad place:

"Noah expelling waste" is almost the entirety of this book. It could be the title. So why would they leave out how Molly has him attached ass-to-mouth to Hollis in a terrible Human Centipede experiment?!


Honestly, even I don't think Noah deserves that, and I hate him with a passion. The authors, on the other hand, are a different story. Thanks for the image, Sass, and keep at it folks- the "best" is yet to come!

And, with that, let's begin! As always, page/line numbers are in bold, quotes from the book are in block quotes, my commentary is in regular print, and you can navigate the whole series with the provided tag. My footnotes use the traditional star system (e.g. *, **, etc) while references included in the Afterword to the book are noted with numbered parenthetical tags (e.g. (1), (2), etc.). Hold your nose, it'll all be over soon!


***********************************
Dramatis Personae: In an order determined by rodents in a maze.

Eli Churchill: Former janitor at a volcano lair. Fan of remote telephone booths. Shot in the head by parties unknown.

Beverly Emerson: Mysterious correspondent of Eli Churchill's. Molly's Mom.

Noah Gardener: 28 years old. Sets the dating bar "medium-high". Works Vice president at a PR firm. Went to NYU. Is "witty". Frequently forgets where he's going and why. Not good at talking to women. Not really inclined to help out cab drivers. Low tolerance for alcohol. Lost his mother when he was young. Fond of chicken and waffles. Rich as shit. Views himself as a sexual panther. Likes bacon. Considers himself to be good at word games.

Molly "Hottie McPretty" Ross: Dresses like a hippie, but not really. Looks like a free spirit. Perfectly captures the essence of womanhood. Auburn hair. Green eyes. Pale skin. Has a tattoo on her chest. Wears a silver cross around her neck. Lost her father when she was young. Impressed by fancy cars. Cocktease. Possibly suffering from bipolar disorder.

Arthur Gardner Noah's father. Owner of Doyle & Merchant. Megalomaniac. Surprisingly vigorous for a 74 year old man.

Khaled: Lebanese cab driver. Sold out by Noah Gardener.

Hollis: Friend of Molly Ross. Very polite. From the country. May be a Yeti.

Danny Bailey: Some kind of YouTube celebrity. Former lover of Molly Ross. Kind of a dickhead. Loves conspiracy theories and incoherent speeches. Sodomized by inmates following the rally. Once dressed up as Colonel Sanders to infiltrate the United Nations.

Charlie Nelan: Gardner family lawyer. Silver hair. Impeccably dressed. Looks awesome. Has some sort of weird relationship with GQ. May have the ability to sense when Noah's in trouble using some sort of clairvoyance. Possible kleptomaniac.

Stuart Kearns: FBI agent. Works on homeland security matters. Kinda old and wrinkly. Not particularly trusting. Lives in a double-wide trailer. Sixty-three years old.

Mr. Puddles: AKA Gray Death. AKA Ninja Cat. Stuart's cat. Large. Dangerous looking. Possibly plotting his demise.

Tiffany: A stripper at the Pussycat Ranch. Thinks Danny is awesome.

***********************************

Chapter 29: In which we have "literary" product placement, Danny sends an e-mail, and we discuss proper pet care.

Recommended Mood Music:




Page 194, Line 5:
"What time zone is Nevada?" Danny called out toward the trailer's kitchenette. His watch was a Rolex knockoff and it wasn't easy to reset, so whenever he was traveling he always put off messing with it for as long as possible. This, however, was shaping up to be a day when he'd need to know the time.


Was that... was that supposed to be ominous? I mean, what the f-ing crap am I supposed to make of that? He's resetting his damn watch. There is nothing exciting about that. I've reset watches before, I know there's nothing exciting about it. I just goddamn hate this book so VERY much. Okay, whatever. Turns out, these morons overslept and now are in a hurry to get out the door, but they received an e-mail from the would-be terrorists during he night.


Page 194, Line 12:

The message had been from the missing man, the one named Elmer.


Fucking Elmer!



We meet again!


Page 194, Line 13-18:
There was to be another meeting this afternoon, the real meeting this time, at which the weapon would be exchanged for the money, and some final brainstorming would take place on the eve of tomorrow's planned bombing in downtown Las Vegas. The rendezvous was set for 5 P.M., out somewhere in the desert so far from civilization that only a latitude and longitude were provided as a guide to get there.


Oooooh! Scary! I'm picturing Danny showing up in a coat made from the skin of a white tiger. Maybe they can arrive by helicopter? Then again, Stu lives in a freaking trailer, so I'm guessing they'll pull up in a used Chevy vega or something. I'm not sure what to make of that "real meeting" bit, either. What was the meeting the night before, then? A fake meeting meant to throw off... nobody at all? What? And what kind of brainstorming do they need to do? The plan, such as it is, seems to be pretty straightforward:

(1) Buy nuclear weapon
(2) Drive nuclear weapon into downtown Las Vegas
(3) Detonate nuclear weapon
(4) ???
(5) Profit!

So, hey, what's to discuss?


Page 195, Line 1-3:
Between the two of them Danny was more capable on the computer, so it had been entrusted to him to plan the route to this remote location through a visit to MapQuest.


Okay, let's start with the most obvious thing first: mapquest? For reals? Seriously, who the hell uses MapQuest anymore? I mean, yes, it still exists so I guess google maps hasn't put it completely out of business yet, but Jesus! Did MapQuest pay to be in this book? If so, what the hell were they thinking? Second, just to make sure none of you missed it: Stuart has been impersonating a disgruntled ex-FBI agent online for years now, he has a website with the domain name "www.stuartkearns.com" (Page 125, Line 1-8), and yet somehow he's convinced that Danny is the only one competent enough to use freaking MapQuest. I don't know what's worse- that the authors are this freaking stupid/lazy or that they think we're even more stupid/lazy than they are. And finally, given the outright idiocy of this entire situation, is there any explanation for Stuart's eagerness to give Danny unfettered and unsupervised access to the internet than that he's actually trying to set Danny up? I mean, seriously, is there? Either Stuart is being duplicitous or just a plain old freaking moron and, sadly, I think we can all guess which is more likely given the authorial performance thus far. Danny, predictably, misses the potential implications of this and just carries on like he's a super-secret agent man or something.


Page 195, Line 3-6:
While Kearns was in the bathroom Danny had logged onto his favorite anonymous e-mailing site and fired off a quick text update to his staff in Chicago, with a copy to Molly and a short list of other trusted compatriots.


Yep, that's why you don't allow your untrustworthy helper to e-mail the rest of his conspiracy theory nutjobs. So what did Danny write? Oh, don't worry- you're going to love it.


Page 195, Line 7-15:
* FYI ONLY DO NOT FORWARD DELETE AFTER READING *
Big mtg today, Monday PM, southern
Nevada. If you don't hear from me by
Wednesday I'm probably dead*, and this is
where to hunt for the body:
Lat 37[degrees]39'54.34"N Long 116[degrees]56'31.48"W
> S T A Y A W A Y from Nevada TFN <
db

* I wish I was kidding [formatting original. Yes, really. And yes, I am too lazy to look up how to make the symbol for "degrees"]


Right, so, apparently Danny writes e-mails like a deranged cross between a text message, a telegram, a teletype, and an utter moron. My bet is almost all of his "trusted compatriots" have their inboxes set up to dump Danny's missives into the junk folder right along with the Nigerian prince looking for a place to hide his money and the pills that will make your schlong and/or breasts double in girth overnight. I'm also forced to laugh more than a little at that "delete after reading" shit. I mean, seriously? Is that supposed to do anything to thwart the gov't at all? Worst conspiracy ever. As for the location, if you really want to see it you can go here and enter the coordinates. Just remember that you need to enter it as -116 56 31.48 to get the right spot. The positive version puts you in China, which isn't right at all.


Page 195, Line 16-18:
The message was safely gone, the browser history deleted, and the map to the meeting location printed out and ready by the time Kearns returned to the room.


Man, what is it with these books and the compulsive need to brag about doing mundane things with computers? When we were reading Left Behind we were treated to an insane description of Buck's mad computer skills (Page 36, Line 15-19) and now we get this nonsense in The Overton Window? Are conservatives just, you know, really impressed by technology or something? I mean everyday kinds of technology, too. Just... what? And how impressed are we supposed to be? I mean, given what all Danny did, I guess Stuart went number two,* but did he hang around to read a magazine or something? Anyway, shortly thereafter Danny is waiting in the van with the faux bomb while Stuart locks up.


Page 195, Line 26-29:
He [Stuart] turned back and hurried to the front door of the trailer, unlocked it and held it open, called inside, and gestured for half a minute until that moth-eaten cat appeared and scampered past him out into the barren yard.


Oh, right, the cat again. I'd forgotten about it. I really have to wonder about that "moth-eaten" description, though. Is this an undead cat, or something? Because as a general rule, cats are not the usual food preferred by moths. Based on my experience with my own cats, it's rather the other way around. Anyway, Stuart fills a dish with water for said cat, which presents the narrator with an opportunity to... you know... narrate.


Page 196, Line 4-8:
This was a thing any person might do if they owned a pet and knew they'd be away on a trip until late tomorrow. But, and it was hard just then to put his finger on precisely why, it certainly seemed to Danny like this man thought he might be going away for an awful lot longer than that.


Oooooh! Scary foreshadowing! Or it might be scary, anyway, if anything at all ever happened in this book. But, alas, nothing does, and that isn't changing this week because we're at the end of the chapter.

Come back next time when we return to Noah in a long-ish chapter and find out what his dad has to say to him. I'm guessing it won't be pretty, but probably also won't be smart. Which when you think about it is also a perfect summation of Noah.

See you then!


* And yes, that is way more information than anyone really needs, but how else do you explain it?

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1 Comments:

OpenID sassafrasjunction said...

"Another day in captivity, comrades, and the Zombie Serum has finally started to show visible effects, even apparent to my idiot captors. Soon, though, I will be fully processed into experimental Zombie Stage 1 and begin Project Apocalypse.

Update: the incompetent plan of my foolish trailer-dwellers seems to be the plot from a Stephen King novel, The Stand, where a main character detonates an A-bomb in the middle of downtown Vegas. Do Americans ever TRY to be evil masterminds any more?!

It's just fucking lazy.

Soon, comrades. Soon.

Gray Death
AKA Ninja Cat
AKA Mr. Puddles"

Friday, August 26, 2011 5:41:00 AM  

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