dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
As we know, Lynn loves to justify her obsessive need to pair Liz off with the sunken-chested avatar of humorless god-awfulness that is Anthony with the following self-aggrandizing comment about how smart and perceptive she and Elly are:

He’s the kind of kid that a girl’s mother would point out. “See him? Wait twenty years and he’ll knock the socks off any jock in the city! That’s the kind of guy who’s going to do well in whatever he chooses to do, and by golly—when he’s got a little gray in his hair, he will be so handsome that every woman at your twentieth high school reunion will wonder why they didn’t beg him to go out with them when they had the chance!” Mothers know these things.

The problem is that Elly sees Anthony as being a scrappy go-getter who'll do well in life because people on television who look like him are just that. What she doesn't realize and never actually will because the man is too blasted ashamed of his past to really talk about it is that he's a damaged, two-for-flinching sort who gravitated towards her and her family because they represent not rocking the boat and not kicking him out on a whim like he fears his father would do. A charitable reading of his biography suggests that he and Therese got behind a marriage neither of them actually wanted because it was too dangerous for both of them to really stand up to their parents. Therese made more of a go of it than he did but his passivity wore her down. He's comfortable in his little niche working for Gordon because, like Liz and her family, Gordon represents the stability Anthony craves more than life itself. He might not live the most spectacular life but a quiet life with no jolts or surprises is to him a life without regret. As for his being handsome, Elly's standards are sort of low because she married John so, yeah, Anthony will look pretty good. He'll have a great reunion. I just wish I could say the same for his wife.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
As the school clothes-buying and Halloween costume arcs show us, Elly tends to fight a stupid battle with her children based on a stupid reason. The strip in which she regarded Lizzie's not wanting to wear the ugly orange coat as a sign that she was too defiant and selfish to be allowed to attend kindergarten gives us a hint as to what her mental defect is; given that she seems to have believed that wearing the coat that she picked out with all the love in her great big heart was a precondition of being grown up enough to attend something that's mandatory, it's not hard to come to the realization that Elly tends to give children false dilemmas because she's convinced herself that everything is a referendum on whether her kids love her. This ends up meaning that every time a child shows any hint of a difference of opinion, it must be the result of the child hating her and wanting her to suffer and so on and so forth.

This makes her a different kind of irritating jerk than John and his clone Anthony. What impresses me as being the best way to explain the both of them is by referring to the fact that Assthony is currently in Year Fifteen of an indefinite sulk because his father didn't simply give him a free car for breathing, Nostache is that entitled and blind. This explains why he told Françoise that Santa doesn't like little girls who don't kiss Lizardbreath's fat arse. He and John present children with false dilemmas because of their self-serving need to have absolute control of things. It doesn't matter to either douchenozzle that respect has to be earned, they've got the mighty organs and you've gotta do what they say, no matter how little you get out of it.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
Now that it's been pretty much seven years after the Settlepocalypse, I think it behooves us to remind ourselves of one of the reasons Lynn left out for making Anthony a much more desirable mate than people like Eric, Warren or Paul: the fact that he wouldn't move a God-damned millimetre to pursue Liz despite her initial and wrong expectation that a man should somehow pursue her if he were at all interested in her. Let us review the means by which she lost her way and failed to realize that she should follow Elly in marrying too God-damned early for a stupid reason. First off, she made the 'mistake' of dallying with cheating cheater who cheats Eric because Anthony thought that driving for more than forty-five minutes meant that he was being emasculated. This led to her taking up with Paul "Made of Snow" Wright because Warren didn't drop everything at her command only to ping-pong back to Warren like an idiot because Sgt Wright didn't want to drop everything because a wispy imbecile thought he should. When Warren put his career before her, she took up with Mason only to finally take up with Human Barnacle Anthony because the other guy nearly died of alcohol poisoning.

The unspoken subtext is that Liz was out of line expecting Anthony to do anything that would require effort or devotion or anything that isn't based on the assumption that she's a reward for his having a penis. The way he saw things is that Liz was a passive object meant to drop into his lap like she were the company car he expected to have for maintaining a core temperature of thirty-seven degrees Celsius. Doing more was scary and wrong and learning that chasing the distracting star of men with initiative and willpower was a bad way to treat her poor parents.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
As you might recall, Lynn cheerfully shared another alarming anecdote from her horrible childhood when she gushed with delight about being a gullible woman who's still faithful to the traumatizing and coercive lie her mother told her about how snake eggs live in cold water pipes and will lay eggs in the stomachs of little girls who drink right out of water taps. Not for Mrs Ridgway the more honorable techniques of appealing to maturity (you want to look like a grown-up, right?) or the opinion of others (you don't want people to think you were born in a barn, right?) or even authority (because I said so, THAT'S WHY!!!) so as to modify her child's behaviour. The first club out of the bag was telling an impressionable idiot who wanted to please an unyielding dope who thought that praise would ruin her child a monster under the bed story in the sure knowledge that she would be believed or else. Like most of the moron monster moms in Lileks's 'Mommy Knows Worst," the woman didn't give a brass farthing about what her scaring her child into doing things would do to her later on because the immediate results loomed larger in her mind. Not only did it help create an alcoholic (the brewing process kills the snake eggs), it left us with a woman who thinks that threatening small children and making them fear their parents so much as to not talk with them is a great idea.

It is thus that we are asked not only to cheer Elly on as she frightens her children into thinking that she's an unyielding block of absolutism whose decisions can never be questioned and who will judge everything they say in the harshest possible light (while also wondering why children she's trained to believe that she'll turn everything they say against them as proof that they're bad children who can only do wrong, hurtful things never come to her with their problems) but also think Anthony quite clever when he tells his child "This is Daddy's Special Friend Elizabeth! Respect her and forget your birth mother who is bad because she doesn't want to be chained to a worthless nice guy OR Santa will never come again." All this because a stupid woman is too stupid to realize that "honor thy mother" doesn't mean "don't question stupidity."
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
The interesting thing about the way Lynn drew Christopher Nichols is that in a few years time, he'll start to look less like a misshaphen blob boy and a lot more like someone we all know fairly well. Aas we see here, Anthony bears a striking similarity to the way Christopher looked when he last appeared about three years earlier. The reason for this is that as I said long ago, I tend to think that Lynn had originally planned to pair Christopher and Liz off from the get-go only to have to modify things when she pretty much dropped the Nichols family from the strip. The problem that faces her is that she's already gone on record as saying that while it looks as if Chris is Lizzie's classmate at certain points, he's actually in a Catholic school. What this tells me is that should the reprints (and the Foobiverse community) still be a going concern in eight years time, we'll be talking about how it was Anthony who told Lizzie that while he might have said to throw Super-Teddy at Mrs Grunion, it was her who threw it.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
Of course, no look at men who should never have been able to get married would be complete without a look at Anthony. We know that the reason that he's championed by the Pattersons is that he shares John's firm belief in a rigid family structure designed to maximize the convenience of the male while convincing the female that a well-paid marginalization is a very desirable thing indeed. We also know that the reason that he's thought of as a tragic figure who needs to be pitied is that the first woman he tried out the patented Patterson method of bullying, whining and ignoring on took a good look in the mirror, realized that she deserved better than to be turned into a serf for a stoop-shouldered moron and got the Hell out of an abusive relationship before she ended up becoming the frustrated, bitter and confused emotional wreck Lizardbreath is destined to become.

This refusal to be a passive victim squealing piteously about how she always loses is what did not add up to the dumb-ass thinking of her as being some sort of distant ice machine. She and the others were pissed off at Thérèse because she didn't do what she was supposed to do and just suck up dealing with her own personal Harvey Rood. Elly, Deanna and all the rest of the women thought that if they had to live a life of misery after marrying a man who misrepresented himself, she should too.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
Now that I've talked about what facts about herself that she doesn't want to face about herself that make Deanna's life a living, seething Hell of Patterson-worship, blind adherence to obsolete gender roles and excusing every stupid, selfish and childish decision her imbecile husband makes, I think it's only fair to conclude my look at the defects the characters hide from themselves by looking at Anthony. I think that it's fairly safe to say that he aimed fairly low in life and wishes to settle for very little. When a man's sole ambition is to run a really nice bed and breakfast, it's fairly obvious that he's not what you'd call a go-getter with a straight face. That being said, he is fairly envious of people who actually do go and get things despite not having the 'qualifications' for it and tends to resent a lot of people. This simmering rage directed towards people who want to rub their success in their face despite their not having done so and showing no sign of wanting to makes him fit to be a Patterson. What it also makes him is a man in denial. I should think that he fights a constant battle to avoid having to think the following thoughts:
  • "People who do better than I do aren't trying to rub their success in my face,"
  • "I think that Liz is a passive object to be won or lost and not a person with wants, needs, hopes and dreams."
  • "I can't expect to be handed things just because I'm the boss's son; if I want them, I have to earn them."
  • "When people don't do what I expect them to, that doesn't make them bad; it means that I should question my expectations."
  • "John and Elly Patterson are terrible, self-serving people who only want what I want because it benefits them."

in order to avoid having to face up to the horrible fact that he could have lived a much better life if he'd stopped acting as if he were still in High School.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
Of course, there's another way in which Lynn could try to prove Anthony to be far superior to his contenders while making him look far and away the worst possible choice: kill off the Weird French Girl. The scenario I have in mind would have as its jumping-off point the triumph of Stockholm Syndrome; simply put, Françoise would be so totally confused and needy that any token attempt at understanding concerns that mean nothing to Liz because they aren't happening to her would be seen as signs that someone who will always see her as a threat actually cares about her. Sadly, Liz would not be able to enjoy the victory over the scary child whose scary habit of reading and writing at her proper grade level leads to the scary realization that something in Liz's background held her back for very long. Liz and Anthony would whine about how simply awful it is that they cannot violate the terms of the custody agreement that Thérèse's lawyers shoved down their throats just because neither of them want to face the horrible idea that some horrible people have about their double-teaming a sap just to be dicks to other people. This would be the last time that the child would be seen alive. While the Evil Career Woman would insist that no one could have foreseen her obviously unsafe foreign car being hit by that tractor trailer carrying anvils, her evil, biased physical laws would clearly be inferior to Liz and Anthony whining about how she'd willed the child to die to be nasty to them.

The worst thing is that I don't see it as stopping at Assthony lashing out and refusing to see reason because he got his ass hammered for mental cruelty. I can see him as being a pissy little bitch about the funeral. The scary and wrong Frenchy woman would want worms to feast on the poor child while the Pattersaints would prefer it if they could keep her on a nifty urn on their mantlepiece or something. Simply put, the Foobs would prove themselves to 'care' more because they wanna make a child's cadaver into a football. Yay!!!!
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
Of course, there is another way in which Anthony losing custody of his daughter because some "biased" jury and "quite clearly corrupt and incompetent" judge listened to Thérèse's "outlandish and scurrilous lies" about how he's an emotionally abusive creep-head married to a negligent, verbally abusive drunkard of marginal intellectual capacity makes him and Liz unfit to parent a Beanie Baby and took little Frenchy Girl away to become a snooty-faced weirdo who calls the Pattersons self-serving hayseeds. Said horrible thing is once she shows signs of being brainwashed into thinking that being treated as if she were a human being whose needs need to be taken seriously is a good thing when being treated like a monster who wants to drain Elly's substance produced such an excellent creature as fat-assed lush Lizardbreath, Pornstache will up and decide that he wants a complete family now that he's got himself a hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooome. Since Lynn would need to hammer away at the theme that people who make her feel as if she's in the wrong are actually extra-bad people who want to ruin her life, we can look forward to Liz being akin to Connie or Georgia and not even being able to oops any more babies. This will somehow be blamed on the Evil Career Woman's malice and a triumph for her campaign to keep Liz from being loved by her worthless arsebucket parents or some such drivel.

What it will not be seen as is what it is: a pathetic loser who pissed a good thing away so that he could chase a teenaged fantasy like a chump. If he'd grown the God-damned Hell up like everyone else, he'd actually be the rather cool dude Lynn described him as being. Instead, he's a whining, sunken-chested, dickless wonder who traded away the good life for a silly dream and the wonderful future of spending his life balancing Mike "He has to unzip his pants to count to twenty-one" Patterson's books. Similarly, Liz would stand revealed not as the saintly victim of the malice of an anti-life monster but as the same sulking little child who, having been forced to obey a social norm that was inconvenient, blames the victim of her swinishness for her own blindly stomping away in a blind rage because she can't punish someone for wanting her to feel bad about barging in where she shouldn't be.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
Now that I've got you pointed to a look at the here-and-now, I'd like to take this time to speculate as to why it was that Françoise wasn't mentioned by name in the Strip of Destiny. My guess is that much like Molly and Gayle Thomas, she eventually leaves the safety and warmth of Milborough to chase the impossibility of life without Pattersons in it. What this means is that if things had been allowed to continue, Lynn would have taken yet another opportunity to turn Anthony into a sympathetic character that would have backfired horribly. Let's review the many failed attempts to make the morose clot into a good guy.

  • First, she tried to make him look like a poor sap who was dating an irrationally jealous girl who, because she was crazy and mean and wrong, didn't want to admit that Liz was no threat to her. The end result was to make him look like a manipulative shit who was trying to get that clod Liz to leap from the skies with claws bared and yell "Get your hands off my man!!!"

  • She tried making him sympathetic by talking about how unreasonable Thérèse was being by expecting him to live up to his end of the bargain when plopping a child into her arms didn't magically make her want to be Suzie Homemaker and ended up making him look like a lying scoundrel.

  • She tried to show us that his marriage wasn't working by saying that he tried to love his wife but made it clear that since she wasn't Liz, he wasn't trying all that God-damned hard.

  • She tried to make him look heroic by giving Howard Erk a purple nurple and turned him into a skeevy drone trying to get Liz promise to put her life on hold so he could worm his way out of his bonds to the wife and child that weren't worth fighting for because they weren't Liz.

  • She tried making him look like an honest man who'd got dumped by a hypocrite and made him look worse yet because she can't understand what an emotional affair is.

  • She tried to make him into a house-husband and turned him into the sort of horror freak that Joe Mantegna goes up against on Criminal Minds.

  • She had Liz tell us Thérèse's back story and, at best, made him look like a hopeless goober who couldn't handle his wife's post-partum depression.

  • She wrote the Please-Love-Anthony letter and made it sound as if Liz had to marry him so that her parents would keep her in their will.

  • She tried showing him looking comfortable with Liz and ended up making him look like his lobotomy worked too good.

  • She tried showing him engaged in innocent horseplay with Françoise and we ended up getting the message "This is Daddy's girlfriend's big, fat, Pattterson ass. Kiss it or I'm cancelling Christmas."

What this tells me is that we would have seen in the strip itself is Françoise suddenly vanishing as if she or her mother had never existed in the first place. Eventually, Anthony would talk about how for some reason he can't fathom, the child who knows that he and Liz love her decided sight unseen to chase the same distracting sort of star that ruined Becky and April and Molly and Gayle and all the other poor unfortunates who don't see how wonderful John and Elly are. We'd also be told that he acts like Travis God-damned Bickle when we're not looking at him. This is supposed to make him look like a pillar of strength facing a cruel world but instead makes him look like a pathetic dolt who got hammered in a custody hearing and who can't take reality any better than the family of grasping imbeciles he married into.

Well, either that or we'd get a ludicrous abomination custody hearing that would be painful to behold, be as divorced from the facts as anything else Lynn has written and be an exercise in beating Thérèse over the head for wanting to deprive Elly of her rightful payoff for all the hard work she never actually did and emotional support she never really provided. More on that tomorrow.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
One of the more interesting things about the letters that the characters supposedly wrote was this little passage from one of the last ones from Deanna:

We've also got safety latches on the workshop and the garage, and we made very sure that the gate in the back fence is secure - we don't have a "Farley" around to rescue Robin or Merrie from the ravine.

What is interesting aside from the fact that it took a change in ownership to make sure that the latch I keep talking about was finally secured is that as far as I can see, Deanna will make sure that they never do get a Farley of their own. No. Dog ownership is not for her. While it is true that she will allow her children to have a pet because Evil Mira had much the same opinion of pet ownership as Great Grandma Marian, the letter for the pets she wrote tells us that she suffers from the belief that there's such a thing as a starter pet. Given that there's not really any such thing as one and that having small children keeping rabbits is a pretty good way of getting rabbits killed, we're either on Butterscotch's third replacement by now or she's been prevailed upon to not put helpless creatures in harm's way.

My guess is that the person doing so might well be Anthony. If this is the case, he's going to be doing the right thing for the wrong reason. The one thing that you do notice about his Liography is that he was raised in a pet-free environment and, well, I've never seen Shiimsa since he and Liz got engaged. This tells me that he probably has an allergy to pet dander but doesn't really want to get into some horrible fight with his children. He could thus point to Deanna's failed experiment and make a high-sounding, PETA-worthy pronouncement about the Unfairness of Keeping Pets as a means of keeping his children from wondering why he keeps an epi pen with him at all times.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
As we all know, Beth and Lynn love talking about how cruel, heartless and manipulative the parents of the Pattersaints' friends are. From Deanna's maunderings about Mira being a social climber who values image over substance, Anthony belly-aching that his father was a heartless monster and Weed moaning about how his dad just doesn't get him or his need to create, we're supposed to shudder in angered disgust at the thought of any parent who isn't John or Elly. The facts, sadly, do not support the notion that they need sympathy. Let's review them on a case-by-case basis.

  • Deanna: As you know, I've spent a lot of time talking about how I think that Deanna is a shallow little ditz making a lot of noise about how her evil, uncool, obsolete, pushy mother who wouldn't give HER DADDY!!! the slavish respect that Daddy's Little DeeDoormat believed he had coming to him was and is way out of line for trying to set limits on her behavior, worrying about her and wanting to keep her from making ridiculous, self-destructive decisions like marrying a pasty-faced wannabe who churns out abuse porn for Lifetime. Lynn wants us to see a smart young woman who knows what she wants trying to keep from being enmeshed in her monster mommy's family politics. The reality is that we have a member of Robert Ringer's Diaper Corps ranting because her parent is parenting.
  • Anthony: As we know, Nostache's Liography was supposed to make him a figure of sympathy by painting his father as the sort of anachronistic Victorian-era heavy father that, for some incomprehensible reason, populates the Foobiverse. The problem is that it didn't work out that way because they'd depicted Gavin's need to not be reminded of the painful collapse of his first marriage in the same light as his asking Anthony to actually pay some of the money for his first car. Worse still was his assuming that Anthony would naturally want to go into the family business and make a name for himself instead of following his own path. Oh, my. A father wanting to guarantee a better future for his son instead of letting him waste his life as a bookkeeper for a grease monkey. The vile brute needs a boot to the head.
  • Weed: The same need to vilify parents for wanting their children to become part of a family business informs the background of Jo Weeder. What we get in his Liography is an incoherent exhortation to lambaste Weeder Senior for wanting his entitled, naive, bonehead son to quit spouting psychobabble and buckle down like an adult. Also, his inability to believe that something that doesn't actually pay off will is also held as a sign of his being pure evil.

It's not hard to see that either Lynn or Beth have issues with the idea of living the life parents would have liked them to. What look to us like people who want the best for sullen idiots who insist on doing whatever they want in the hope that some miracle will occur and thus free them from having to put in hours that they don't have the stamina for look to them like evil, bonehead dorks who've let EEEEEEEEvil ambition blind them to faith and fate.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
As [livejournal.com profile] josephusrex said yesterday, one of Liz's reasons for marrying Blandthony was to reach out to that poor, unfortunate 'foreign' girl who, as she saw it, had no real mother to call her own, no guidance towards 'correct' behavior and no idea how great it was to live like Pattersaints do. It thus probably makes her feel all warm and fuzzy inside when she puffs herself up as being Francie's savior. Given that what she's saving her from is too much exposure to scary information, terrifying stimulation and a curiosity about the world that leads to the fat, stupid old woman Liz has watching shriek in terror, one is put in mind of the Vietnam-era double-talk about destroying a village in order to save it.

Her delusion that she's helping the child would be bad enough were it not for a motive that's even more repugnant than wanting to finally earn the praise of her uncaring parents. She also wants a version of John who won't tell her to vanish from his sight when she's in a bad mood. The poor dodo is probably still under the delusion that one can both be like John and be a caring human being who worries about the needs of others. This tells me that she's frustrated but won't admit why.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
In her latest attempt to plead with us to love Anthony as much as she loves him, Lynn revealed the fact that she not only didn't remember Thérèse's name, she didn't really think that it was terribly important for either her or, by her laughing off our insistence that she should remember it as coming from our being all worked up over nothing, us to do so. This perky, giggly admission that Anthony's first wife was not only the wrong girl by her standards but simply a plot device to show us how great a catch he was confirmed a hunch most of us had. That hunch was that Thérèse and the two men Elizabeth was dating before she, as Lynn would put it, came to her senses and went back home where she belonged existed solely to show us how dangerous the world outside Elly and John's narrow vision of the true, good and beautiful is.

The Wrong Girl, you see, wanted not only to take Anthony away from his home and make him a pawn of someone else's family politics, she wanted him to take on a role for which he was unsuited and, worst of all, talk about what was bothering him. That is the worst of all because complaining to the person you're complaining about is something that scares Lynn witless; I don't know whether it's because she expects to be yelled at or to suffer the humiliation of being made to look foolish by having her anticipation of being yelled at disproven but I do know that she seems to fear confrontation when she's not in the driver's seat.  As for the Wrong Men, their nomadic natures not only exposed Liz to the risk of worrying about what they were doing when she couldn't see them, they also exposed her to the terrible danger of adapting to a strange and therefore evil and wrong culture and, worse still, never being able to impress her parents and gain their approval.

To Lynn, it's enough that the Wrong People exist to tempt and menace the Sainted Family with the horror and evil that the unfamiliar represent; giving them names is simply an unnecessary detail. To us, however, it displays a defect in not only the story-telling but in Lynn herself. A competent author would keep track of this sort of thing and rely less on miracles. What could have and should have been done was to have Elizabeth confront the behaviors that drive her suitors into the arms of other women when she's not around; having to admit to being a dreary, passive, uncurious lump of nothing so as to make herself a better fit for her parents' ambitions wouldn't be pleasant but it would make her choice of Anthony more palatable; granted, we'd also have to have the impossible-to-Lynn revelation on Anthony's part that he went out of his way to be a crappy husband to Thérèse because he was stupid, whiny and hell-bent on turning her into the Liz that only existed in his head but a good author could make that work. It wouldn't be a hearts-and-flowers ending but it would be more realistic and more satisfying than the teal-and-lavender mess we were made to endure. 
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
As has been remarked upon so many times, it's beginning to lose all impact, Anthony Caine is what people call a Nice Guy™ or, as we say in English, a whiny, shlumpy, entitled, lazy, charmless, witless, misogynistic, blame-evading assclown who thinks that the Sun shines out his sphincter, who won't admit that he has any flaws and blames the woman for the collapse of the relationship his piss poor behavior helps destroy and who shamelessly denigrates his betters because he'd rather not admit that he's a humorless idiot whose only real appeal is that he's so pathetic, it stirs the maternal instinct in a potential partner. Were one to ask Thérèse what she saw in him, she'd probably tell you that he made her think of a homely puppy that looked as if it needed a little love. This is because, aside from confusing Liz with a person who does things that don't involve whining or curling up in a ball, she's rooted in objective reality. When she overheard people talking about what a funny, witty, charming person and go-getter the humorless, brainless, charmless, morose, directionless drip she married was, she assumed that they were simply being kind and trying to make him feel better about himself. My guess is that despite knowing that he believes all those things about himself, she has no idea that the Pattersons share his beliefs; that's because she lives in a world wherein people can't afford the luxury of self-deception. It makes no sense to her that a whole family of people can be so twisted up inside that they can't see through the boastings and blame evading rants of a frustrated dodo who blames everyone but himself for his own lack of drive and lifetime of failure; this is because she doesn't know that the daughter she kinda wishes she had time for is being raised by Anthony's 'kind'; Since she's only had the most limited direct contact with the family of the clingy invertebrate she confused with a gold digger, she doesn't realize that they spend their free time alternating between despising her and pitying her or that they've spent so much time lying to themselves, they instinctively defend anyone who's subjected to the mildest bit of criticism. It would take forever to explain that her actually suggesting solutions to clearly-identified problems is why they despise her because she can't quite wrap her head around the idea that she's supposed to stew in her own juices and do stuff she hates to impress people who don't matter. Given that she's more or less like us, she'd probably describe the last few years of her life as rotating around a starter marriage that failed and a clingy annoyance who didn't understand the stakes because she was sort of dim; it would never occur to her that the assessment she made about how the Pattersons bore her active ill well was right after all.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
It seems to me that Deanna and Anthony don't just share a pathological need to belong to the Patterson family; I should think that they also misrepresent a parent who they resent for not being what they expect of them. Since the only evidence on hand against Gavin Caine is the word of a habitual liar and dismal sooky baby, my personal opinion is that the man is far less monstrous and tyrannical than we're told. Let's, as an example, take the way he handled explaining Hanneke's departure; were we to have a camera in his house, we'd see a man trying to explain to his son that, hey, there's no reason to shed tears, Tony, this has been coming forever and it's not your fault, it's not my fault and it ain't her fault. The idea that crap happens and not all endings are happy is not something that would appeal to a child, especially someone as clingy and needy as Anthony; his father's trying to get him to not whine piteously about stuff that doesn't really matter is thus an exercise in futility. Speaking of which, we get another parallel with Deanna's life in which his being an entitled little nit comes into play; his huffing and puffing about how Evil Dad wasn't simply going to give him a car just because tells me that we're dealing with a spoiled brat. Finally, we come to the Great Big Issue: Gavin's trying to save his son from something he clearly sees as a harmful influence. This menace is a blank-eyed. empty-headed, ignorant, oblivious, frowning, whining, clinging, petulant, immature and self-absorbed little twit who'll turn into a clone of her shrieking, dowdy, fat-arsed harridan of a mother about two months after their honeymoon. Yes, friends; I went there and I brought back souvenirs: Gavin is an extra-bad person because he detests Lizardbreath and how Anthony's insane, inexplicable need to see the doughy fathead with the dead eyes and the drinking problem as the apex of femininity ensures that a person with untapped potential will be content to be a lackey to a glorified grease monkey.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
As I mentioned quite a while back, Anthony Caine is both the most compelling character Lynn has created and, for some reason, regarded as something of a blank slate by his creator. Why it is that she thinks that Anthony is unknown when he's pretty much flood-lit is, as I said back then, a mystery in and of itself. To recap, we know the following about him:

  1. He doesn't seem to love Liz-the-person all that much; what he seems to love is the idea of being in love with her. In that, he is, as Lynn would say, marrying his own kind. Liz seems to be more in love with being in love than she ever was with the people she was dating.
  2. He's too stupid to do the honorable thing; a normal man who had realized that he, despite being engaged, still had feelings for another woman would have called off the engagement. Anthony spent all of his engagement and most of his marriage pining for Liz.
  3. He doesn't know a good thing when he's got it; it seems to me that if you wanted to amount to anything in the world, you'd not shackle yourself to a doughy, dough-headed, day-dreaming, passive drunkard like he did. You'd marry Thérèse, you'd follow her advice and you'd like it.
  4. He's pretty much got the same entitlement issues as the Pattersons; not only does he secretly envy Gordon's success, he's still mad at his father because Daddy Caine told him that if he wanted a car, he'd have to pay for it.
  5. In a town of deeply conservative people who tend to regard family as the greatest measure of success for a woman, he's known for being the most rigid of all. The concept of post-partum depression so sickened and angered him, he could no longer look Thér%egrave;se in the face.
  6. He's a passive-aggressive manipulator who not only destroyed his marriage, he got a bunch of dimwitted suckers to side with him.
  7. He clearly thinks that he's as pure as the driven snow; you and I might compare him to slush or toxic ooze but he and his co-cannibals think he's a great guy.
  8. Since he's smug, stupid and deceitful, we can't rely on a thing he says.

The only good thing that can be said about him is that his need to please the Pattersons is strong enough to survive Liz's drinking, having to do everyone's taxes and even having to take Elly in when John died. About the only thing that it's not strong enough to endure is trying to get her to get rid of all the useless crap she hoards.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
As Mira continues on explaining exactly why it is that the Pattersons bother her, Liz looks as if she wants to run very far away from her ugly brother's 'rude' mother-in-law; let's continue on and see why that is:

"Well, Mrs Caine, the reason I do know that the pilot and police constable you dated feel grateful to see your fat hind end is that I, unlike you, don't walk around in a stupor. Then again, I'm not the daughter of a simpleton who avoided the woman providing the grease-laden catering because of her idiotic misapprehension that Mrs Nichols is capable of forgiveness. My GOD!! The woman is still ranting because her husband gave their eldest a cookie 25 years ago or so. That, of course, isn't the stupidest thing that you clowns believe; only a corn-fed rube who can't tell his jacksie from a hole in the ground would look at the skeevy little drone you're marrying and call him funny, witty, charming and above all, sympathetic."

Having mentioned Anthony, let's see her rip him a new one:

"I thought that'd get your intention, you repulsive moral pygmy. You, sir, are not my idea of what belongs in a house; what you are is a carbon copy of the rigid, humorless, dismally dull-witted, unimaginative, misogynistic, self-absorbed, entitled and immature dunderhead called "Father of the Bride". I still remember hearing about you whining that you didn't have a home to wreck; what you, of course, meant was that you didn't have to sort of home Deanna envies: one in which the wife is an inert, grinning little doll-woman that doesn’t have an opinion of her own (or an IQ higher than room temperature) and who signs off on every stupid decision her idiot husband makes. What really hurts to think about is how everyone curses Therese for being an obstacle to this ugliness and, worse still, invoking the presence of the Big Picky-Face In The Sky who's a big meanie that tells them that they can't have what they want when they want it. As for your 'rescuing' her from the jerk who assaulted her, it was not especially brave or intelligent of you to take Liz to a park and browbeat her into waiting for you to destroy you marriage instead of waiting for the police to arrest the guy. Another thing that isn't especially all that nice is that you sniveling infants presume to look down on Therese for ‘daring’ to complain about something instead of suffering in silence so that you don’t have to face the ‘unfair’ horror of having to consider needs that are not their own. I will commend you on your choice of idiot trophy wife, though; since she's stupid and vain enough to not question how she's the only thing worth your time despite having a wife and child at home, you won't have to worry about losing any more arguments."
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
It should come as no real surprise that women as silly, empty, shrill, stupid and self-defeating as the women of the comic strip For Better or For Worse should marry men that no meat inspector would pass and that no society not careening towards suicide would suffer to be able to procreate. The model for manliness in the strip is, of course, John Patterson. Let us examine his attributes so as to see why his first meeting with Jim Richards should have ended with Chinnuts road-dragging him behind his Chevy until he was nothing more than a pelvis wearing a white belt:

  • First off, he looks like a man but acts like a selfish little boy who thinks that his need to make a foolish spectacle of himself is the highest priority in the world; the needs of his family and society at large are a distant second place to his zooming around with a toy like a four-eyed Peter Pan.
  • Next, one must contend with his complete lack of any regard for the feelings of the people in his life. He says and does what he wants and if other people get in the way, too bad for them. The upshot is that people who are genuinely hurt as the result of his inconsiderate and self-serving actions get mocked by a douchebag in a train engineer's outfit.
  • He compounds his assiness by being amazingly sensitive to the least sign that he is not respected; like any brash pissant who gets off on riding roughshod over all the people in his field of vision, Johnny Boy is outraged at the least sign of disrespect. He also gets to define when he is disrespected so if you ask too many questions or don't give him the answer he wants when he wants it, watch the Hell out!!
  • It's not bad enough that he's a self-serving, callous hypocrite suffering from the delusion that his family is trying to usher in primeval chaos because their hopes and dreams don't happen to coincide with the historically-shallow shibboleths he confuses with divine law; he's also a slow-witted clodhopper who needs three months' warning to figure out what's going on around him
  • Finally, he's that most dangerous sort of hapless imbecile; the one that boasts about how he's smarter than any woman he's ever met. The idea that they have the right to tell him what to do depresses and confuses him because, well, he's an idiot.

Anthony is much the same way as a person but has what can be considered an advantage: he is afraid of Elly; that's about the only real difference between him and John, you see. John isn't really afraid of the women around him because he has enough cunning to bludgeon people into compliance with his whims even if he lacks the insight to realize that Ted, while longing for Connie, feared becoming dominated by her owing to his not being willing to be as big a rat bastard as John. Mike, of course, is the lowest of the low because he has the worst traits of both parents.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
Before I get to John Darling and how Batiuk pretty much pulled the same stunt Jim Davis did when he had someone, possibly Jon Arbuckle, step on Gnorm the Gnat so as to execute the lead character of a failed creative endeavor for his inability to catch on, it has come to my attention that I am not, after all, done with the Pattersons. There are a few left-overs from the Foob deli counter that need to be used before they go bad so here goes.

The first thing that I've noticed is that Elly loves to think that John doesn't want her to do certain things even though he never said that she couldn't. As by way of example, it would probably astonish him to learn that he was some sort of cheap, heartless ogre who stood there and told Elly "You can't have an electric can opener ever because I'm the boss of everyone"; it would especially bother him coming on the heels of being told that he "really" meant that she couldn't go out on her own at night when he said "How come you get to keep track of my comings and goings like I'm a prisoner when you stand there screaming about how I'm trying to chain you to the stove when I only asked why you didn't phone and tell me when you'd be home?"

The second thing is that there were a lot of strips that had alluded as to how Christopher Nichols was "meant" to be Lizzie's Twoo Wuv; time and again, we saw that her teal and lavender fantasies rotated around The Boy Next Door. Sadly, Christopher had to disappear into the mist because Lynn walled his family off from view in order to not deal with her first failed marriage; her solution was to create what they call a 'Jonas Quinn' to replace Chris. What she did was take Chris, slap glasses and freckles on him and call him Anthony.

Lastly, I can readily see that Lynn will never really make any sort of announcement about the end of the new-run era; this is because we can look forward to a lot of new strips on Sundays and ineptly-modernized reprints during the week. We can call this time period the Delocalized Years.


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