dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
Recent revelations have given me a horrible idea for a plot thread. Said horrible idea involves Thérèse achieving her happiness (by which Lynn and Anthony mean finding Mr Right and settling down), restoring her family (by which I mean relieving Lizardbreath of the horrible burden that is dealing with Françoise and exposing herself to the reality that yeah, she actually was a home-wrecker) and arranging for such things in a manner that "oppresses" and "humiliates" the Patterson family. The ever-enduring misery I have in mind would be visited on the "long-suffering" "heroes" by the subtle masterstroke of making her new fellow rich and handsome and totally unconcerned with how anything he says or does might affect Elly Patterson.

This is because the Pattersons are a bunch of really terrible people who need to see themselves as the victims of all victims surpassing all others and it simply wouldn't do for an antagonist to really have a happy ending...especially if that happy ending involved shrugging and not seeing how they have any say in how she lives her life. Why, the whole family might have to slink off into the night blubbering about the eternal humiliation of seeing someone they hate succeed.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
Of course, there's another reason that bingo is terrible that isn't looking down her nose at the people who play it; Elly also seems to disagree quite strongly with people taking who comes out ahead as seriously as the people we see do. Just as she spent most of her time as a hockey mom wondering why grown men take what should be aimless fun seriously, Elly is confused by the fact that people who want to win want to win.

We get a hint as to why as she drives home from the senior's complex developing a complex because she didn't bring home the big pot and feel the thrill of victory. It mattered not that the established players would resent her good fortune, Good Socialist Elly is like everyone who wishes for a victory-free world in that she wants to win all the time and hates it that other people do and thus get to taunt her and make her feel like shit and wish to kill herself and so on and so forth. Not, of course, that she'd actually say that losing makes her feel like human garbage that has to be put to death; it's better to mock that which makes her feel small to make herself feel big.

This would be bad enough were she not raising three children to live in her world of unacknowledged resentment. From Mike whining about how Divala made him a rung on her ladder to Liz not admitting that Evil Career Women might have a gooooood reason to resent her to April emphatically not wanting to admit to herself that she's burning with jealousy when she talks shit about Becky, the Patterson family try really hard to disguise their burning envy of anyone daring to have a better time than they do and, like everything else they do, they fail at it.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
The irritating thing about this Summer is having to remember the creepy and disturbing "Mike the peeping tom" arc. As we know, he somehow manages to figure out that a tree branch in his back yard affords him and other idiots a view into Molly's bedroom. She gets hold of him, threatens him with the destruction of a non-existent good reputation and we're all left dealing with Elly and John wondering how they'll survive his reaction to being punished for being a skeevy little goof.

The reason that it's irritating is having to remember that we're dealing with the same sort of nonsense logic that propels "John ogles pretty girls right in front of Elly like a big Goddamned freak" and the strip that has him make an audible BOING noise because Rhetta's prom dress gets his biological urges (as well as a well-known anatomical structure) throbbing as well as the thing where Phil shrugs off charging his asshole buddies a nickel a throw to watch Elly change as kids as if she's nothing more than a spectacle as just stuff that happens. Simply put, the same confused thinking that has Elly blame the girls John ogles for his making them feel dirty mandates that the public embarrassment of having an asshole son who sees girls as a commodity means more to the Patterswine that the trivial thing called 'a girl's expectation of privacy.' This means that one of the 'things' that makes Milborough suck in Molly's eyes are parents and a crazy bitch neighbour lady who snippily state that if she weren't in her room thought-bubbling "Gloom!!" because they expect too God-damned much, she wouldn't have problems like that.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
As I said yesterday, I believe that the single worst thing that ever happened to Connie Poirier is when she first met Elly Richards. It seems to me that everything wrong in her life can be traced somehow or other to having Elly in her corner. We see that her ruinous relationships with Phil and Ted are the direct result of Elly's meddling, we know that she totally botched things with Molly because Elly was her Jiminy Cricket and we also know that the whole mess with Lawrence was touched off because nitwit Mike was so outraged that he had to make Lawrence tell the truth about himself NOW so he didn't have to live a lie. This seems to be part of a larger trend in which one would prefer a king cobra in one's underwear drawer to a Patterson in one's Rolodex.

First off, we have to deal with the fact that a Patterson is someone who thinks that a friend's job is just sort of live one's life in a holding pattern until he or she is called for. (You will note that this makes Elly into one of Michael's friends.) This not only manifested itself in the off-putting whining about how awful it is that Connie and Lawrence aren't home, it explains the insane and sullen jealousy Liz had of Shawna-Marie. Simply put, Dawn was a stinky, no-good traitor for living her life while the Breath was at Exile Farm for the summer.

This leads nicely to the whole "casual betrayal for a sordid and stupid reason" malarkey that always seems to happen when they make the mistake of irritating one of the Sainted Patterswine. Liz spent days treating Dawn like a leper because she felt left out and, well, most of the reason Lawrence is estranged from his parents because Mike stupidly told him "out yourself to your folks when it's pretty much guaranteed to backfire on you or we can't be 'friends', you disgusting deviant." Luckily for Lawrence, his friendship with Mike died so he doesn't have to endure his nonsense any longer.

The problem is that his friendship with John and Elly hasn't so he's still expected to provide stuff at below cost so as to display his gratitude. Other victims are Gordon, Annie and anyone else who they can turn into a blasted vending machine. The fun part is, of course, that having to reciprocate any of this means that the person doing it is a greedy, manipulative monster who either expects them to be enslaved to her family politics or wants to crush them with her star power.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
Now that we're celebrating April's twenty-fourth birthday, it behooves us to wonder if she finally realizes that Becky wasn't trying to steal imaginary boyfriends or crush her with her star power. We knew going in that April was always jealous of her friend to a degree despite her refusal to admit to being jealous because she'd had it hammered into her that the slightest inclination that she did envy people made her totally bad and selfish; it just took her longer than most of her family to turn someone who was in her way into a monster.

The problem, of course, is that the belief in monsters has blighted her life and served to make her a slave of someone's family politics: her own. John and Elly might cloud the issue by trying to make her see that Becky's parents are the real monsters by raising her improperly and Eva Warzone might switch the focus back to Becky for wanting to crush people but the end result is the same: to confuse and distract April from the fact that her parents are not working in her best interests and are reducing her to fealty to their need to live parasite lives as recompense for made-up hardships. It has also deprived her of a truly sympathetic friend who would not spout nonsense stores about refugees and bad hair days in order to avoid having to feel empathy for someone they're exploiting.

Similarly, Mike probably still believes that real generosity is a trap Mira is laying so that his parents can siphon away his vital fluids and Deanna can punish her mother for telling her what to do and also for not meekly obeying HER DADDY!!! and Liz still thinks that Thérèse is plotting to ruin her because her parents need a bookkeeper in the family.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
The very interesting thing that's been called to my attention the "Elly Patterson, inept dental assistant" arc is that at no point is it really mentioned who's taking care of Jean's child while she's working half days. Oh, I know that if Coffee Talk were still around or if the Yahoo group were still active, there'd be any number of people who allude to Jean having a friend like Annie or Honey Saltzmann she could turn to in her hour of need and they'd be right to do so. What escapes them, the question that they find so hard to want to cope with is why is this not felt worthy of mention.

This is because they don't want to have to face an uncomfortable little fact that might tend to support the argument of the people they saw as somehow persecuting Lynn. That fact is that John and Elly are like characters in the oeuvre of Harry Turtledove in that asking what sacrifices other people have to make in order to meet their needs never occurs to them. The closest John gets to wondering "Chee! Who's taking care of her kid until she gets into daycare?" is muttering "Someone is doing it" and leaving it there. Meanwhile, the same Elly who bleats about where Mike and Lizzie are hasn't the vaguest idea what's happening at Jean's place and has less inclination to care because at the end of the day, all she cares about is her own problems.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
That last bit of yesterday's entry where I made yet another surly comment about how unfair it is that John never got the war zone speech reminded me of what it is that I really hate about that sort of nasty verbal trick: it's always used by someone in a position of power to browbeat someone weaker into feeling bad about expressing discontent because said person falsely believes that having to accept the other person's argument is a defeat.

This, I should think, is because the real prototype of all the strips wherein Eva checked expiration dates would tend to explain my argument very well indeed. While Lizzie isn't being lectured about problem hair or being told that she's too young to feel sensitive, the message of the strip is quite clear: "People who are more important than you are can't be bothered to care about the things you do. Kindly admit that nothing that you do can matter to them and feel ashamed for lying to yourself about your life being something anyone who matters could possibly care about and trying to waste their time on your meaningless life." This, as I've said before, is because the status-obsessed Pattersons' family politics are all about who's most important and who must therefore not be somehow diminished by wallowing in the concerns of the lesser. This means that when John was being a ginormous swinging dick by giving Liz the "problem hair" speech, he wasn't actually trying to put things in perspective. He was actually saying "Look at ME!! I'm King of Big [BOXCAR] Deal Mountain!! I can't be bothered worrying about your meaningless life and bullshit problems because if I did, I might realize that I'm not actually the victim of all victims surpassing all others! As punishment, I'm going to make you feel like a selfish little shit who can't care about others!!" Similarly, when Eva was checking April's expiration date, she was tragically pleading with her to not feel guilty about having her own God-damned wing of an enormous house because that would be a horrible thing to do to her.

The real payoff to all of this is, of course, his complete bafflement as to why it is that people aren't grateful to have their attitudes helpfully adjusted to his (and, given his tendency to see himself as the measure of all things, their own) benefit. I should think that he's still waiting for Liz to tell him that yes, she was too young to be sensitive about her looks and that she was out of llne making trying to make him see that she felt alone and lost.  
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
Yesterday's speculation as to a really neat way to get back at Rod by jamming it to his avatar is a reminder of an unpleasant reality: the sheer vindictiveness of the people in this strip. As Phil's response to being dumped reminds us, the idea that people can actually choose someone who isn't a Patterson or Patterson-like lifeform reveals the spoiled, self-absorbed and vindictive brat firmly in need of a corrective dope-slap inside most of the characters. It's fairly irritating to have to look at someone wishing that another person would die in misery because she didn't fancy him and even more so when you remember that the person he's squealing about pulls the same stunt later on.

After all, the end of Ted's relationship with Connie is a revenge fantasy so perfect, its picture should show up in the dictionary entry for revenge fantasies. As [livejournal.com profile] howtheduck reminds us, it currently has all the elements save one. First, we have in Ted the unappreciative clod who wanted to have his freedom only to realize he'd lost a good thing when Connie moved. Second, we have in Connie the woman who tells Ted that despite his groveling realization that he wants and needs her, he's no longer good enough for her. All we lack at the current moment is The Better Man who will treat Connie the way she deserves to and we're a few months away from Greg's showing up so that element of the fantasy is on its way. It's as perfect a revenge fantasy as Martha ending up being fat, alone and miserable with children she has to work two jobs to support because of her failure to realize that she should have waited patiently for the Delicate Genius to grace her with her presence. Heh. Five bucks says that somewhere in the pile of rancid sausage meat that Lizardbreath calls a brain is a fantasy in which Paul and Susan die miserable and broke and the people of Mtigwaki get struck down by a cancer plague Ebola fire for not living her life for her.

This leads us to the other, more common revenge fantasy: wanting to inflict misery on people they perceive as deliberately having a better life than they are for the sole purpose of being dicks to them. Since the idea that people can do things without trying to screw them over is as likely to occur to them as the idea that people can want things they don't while still meaning well, we have to deal with the Breath wanting to get payback on people for having to be a bridesmaid echoing Elly's need to have Phil have it all because he 'won' their childhood. As it is in affairs of the heart, the innate pettiness and need to be seen as the victims of all victims exceeding all others shows us just how ugly the Pattersons are.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
As we all know, one of the reassuring things about watching most normal, healthy families is that positive traditions and family stories get handed down from one generation to the next to provide a sort of continuity to human affairs. It's kind of nice to be able to anticipate a future in which the past is honored. The problem with the Patterson family is that history teaches us that the only things that got passed on tend to add to the family legacy of being repulsive vermin people cross the street to avoid. As by way of example, let's look at the disgusting habit Mike has of putting dirty socks on doorknobs for Elly to have to pick up because, as a mother, picking up socks all day long is her job and hers alone. It so happens that John got the ball rolling because he wanted to 'help' Mike with the problem of being asked to behave as if he were a housewife or something. Since Elly isn't willing to let Mike's wife worry about reforming him, John has to help his son by showing him that if he wants things put away, he has to first 'remind' the little woman that it's her job to do so by showing her what she needs to do. The end result of that is to make of Michael a surly imbecile who hates to do stuff for people because he confuses chores with torture.

It turns out that this is not the only stupid tradition that's going to end up being the Patterson family legacy. As I've said before, we have to deal with the revolting habit they have of descending upon a dinner table to make noises like a gorilla eating a log cabin as they wolf down overly hot food down in a messy, smacky, gobbly, nasty manner as well as their habit of blaming other people for their own stupid negligence. We also have to remember that just as the only thing that John passed down to Mike was the stupid idea that a father is just a dollar sign that shouldn't be asked to interact with his kids unless it's fun, Elly passed on the idea that while children are parasites and husbands boors, avoiding both horrors means you're a failure as a woman. If anything positive or pro-social ever got passed down, it was by accident.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
Before I talk about why Fiona would have been a bad influence, I think it only fair to remind us what else John and Elly were saving Michael from. As history teaches us, John wanted to 'adjust' Michael's attitude and Elly wanted to save him from Martha. Translating that from Boomer Jackass to English means that John was too thin-skinned to deal with the bullshit he subjected his father to and Elly wanted to avenge herself on girls who didn't waste their teenaged years being huffy little nitwits by stepping on their a relationship like a big selfish idiot. They accomplished both goals by submerging Mike into a world in which he was surrounded by boorish hayseeds who hit him with a countrified version of the "refugee in a war zone" nonsense the Patterson children always get subjected to and filling his head with the insecurity about Martha's loyalty that ended up destroying their relationship. The end result is that Mike thinks that he's actually experienced something and learned that his parents are always right. Neither of those lessons are actually what I'd call 'correct' and in the course of time led him to become the hapless idiot he is now.

Let's contrast those 'good' examples from the 'bad' one Fiona would have set. The reason that she's a bad pony that Mike should not have bet on is that unlike John, Elly and Eva Warzone, Fiona has known genuine hardship growing up with a crude, entitled, verbally abusive sneak-thief of a father who viewed the world as consisting solely of suckers for him to exploit with Fiona herself as the biggest of the lot. While she is a bit of a con artist in her own right, she does have lessons to teach that the Pattersons might not want Mike to learn. Said lessons are:

  1. Trust and respect have to be earned.
  2. If people think that they can take advantage of you, they will and they won't feel the least bit sorry.
  3. The worst hucksters out there will use you as an accessory before they burn you.
  4. You have to pay attention at all times and can't rely on waiting for miracles.
  5. Things are never what they seem.
  6. Most of all, what you want has nothing to do with anything so don't take things personally.


If Mike were to have taken that sort of lesson to heart, he'd have been less likely to let his horses be owned; therefore, he had to be made to steer clear of someone who'd make him see the world as it is, not as Elly wants it to be.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
If you've been paying attention to the Pattersons as long as I have, you'll have noticed that the number of strips where someone offers anyone sympathy can be counted on the fingers of one hand. It seems to me that Panel Two of this installment of the "Liz takes third-hand gossip from people with an axe to grind as gospel" arc says it all. On the one hand, we have a woman suffering the heart-ache and torment of post-partum depression and on the other, a jackass who not only doesn't understand why she's in such a wretched state or that it isn't all in her hear or that she isn't a horrible person for not being what his narrow, empty mind says she's supposed to be, he seems terrified of offering his wife sympathy.

This seems to be as Pattersonian as bludgeoning children over the head with the "Needlessly inconvenience yourself or we can't love you" thing. It seems to me that the Pattersons are horrified by the prospect of trying to console the ailing in their vicinity. The reason Anthony tried to blame everything on Thérèse for wanting things women just shouldn't is the same reason Eva Warzone has for talking about refugees as well as the same one John and Elly use to justify their insane need to never really listen to their children. Lynn's mock wisdom about complaining being good for you unless you're doing so to the person you've got a problem with hints at why as well. Simply put, the Pattersons never want to console people because they're terrified of realizing that what they're doing is actually wrong and harmful. As an example, Elly doesn't want to reassure Mike that it isn't the end of the world if he isn't great at the trumpet because it would mean giving up the delightful vices of panicking over nothing to feel all big and important and assuming that he's out to destroy her in order to not admit that she's not some sort of special snowflake that everyone wants to keep down because she's too cool to be allowed to live free.

Elly also doesn't want to live in a world wherein the obviously unimportant and meaningless things her children do can be said to matter or wherein their feelings can be hurt because that would mean something just as terrible and wrong. Not only would it mean that she is a crappy parent who treats good kids like crap out of selfishness and malice, it would also mean that she's partway responsible for the chaos that baffles her.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
As [livejournal.com profile] josephusrex has pointed out, Lynn seems to have done something accidentally great in that she's faithfully told the story of a family of people who just don't seem to have any sort of feelings. The example that comes readiest to mind is what we've entitled the Fauxposal. What is readily obvious is that Liz has no strong feelings for this man that don't involve finally pleasing her idiot parents but assumes that she's supposed to be demonstrative because that's how it's supposed to go. The strange thing that accompanies this total lack of affect when confronting sweeping changes is that like most of the characters, Lizardbreath has a God-damned meltdown when encountering something trivial that no sane person should worry about. As I've said before, this is owing to the fact that they bottle up their emotions when faced with big, scary questions so much that when a minor annoyance gets in the way, the confusion and anger that they deny themselves erupts all over an innocent. The odd thing is that when confronted with how cold-blooded they are, they join their creator in simpering that a public display of strong emotions is bad form while also believing that strong emotions are scary and bad because they reveal too much. As I'll prove, what the Pattersons want to keep hidden is somewhat discreditable.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
The odd thing about the current "Elly assumes that Richard wants to destroy her because he doesn't want to sleep" arc is the way in which Annie set things up. As we all saw, she just sort of barged in at the last minute and ambushed Elly instead of doing what normal people would do and arranging things beforehand. What's more, this isn't the first time someone blindsides Elly with a request at the last second nor will it be the last nor is Annie the only character who does so. The superficial (and preferred) reading of events is that she's surrounded by graceless jerks who can't wait to take advantage of her generosity. The actuality is that they're backed into a corner because they know Elly too damned well and realize that if Elly has time to think about having to do something for someone else, she'll find some means of weaseling out of things. You see, other people are supposed to just drop everything when Elly needs a favor but she simply cannot be expected to reciprocate because she has no time to do what she wants.

What this means is that we're primed to watch her stand around all goggle-eyed, panicky and frustrated because horrible people just dump things on her lap and expect her to drop everything for no reason that she can see when she's meant to do more important things. The worst offender in this category would appear to be the child who tied her down in her forties when she was meant to have a career and travel. We see a very stupid and vain woman who behaves like a spoiled child who cries for toys she never really wants when offered them in other settings; Lynn and her kind see someone being cruelly persecuted by people who hate her.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
The form the hilarity I alluded to yesterday usually takes is that Mike does something gratuitously nasty to Lizzie with a wide, cruel, hate-filled smile on his malicious little face. Nothing seems to make Michael happier than "punishing" Lizzie for "hurting his feelings" by existing and thus requiring him to adapt to change. The runner-up to that is yanking Elly's chain because she tells him what to do with his free time when he thinks that he should be the one to decide what he does.

The reason for this is that the only time that the Pattersons smile and mean it is when they're screwing someone over out of sheer wanton selfish malice. While Elly and Liz don't like the smile Mike makes when he jams it to them, they smile the same hate-filled smile when they contemplate the delicious prospect of inflicting discomfort on people that have gotten in the way of them and happiness. The person in question has ususally done nothing wrong and is not trying to ruin the Patterson in question. The problem is that Mike and the others falsely see this as being the case.

This is because they do not want to admit the fact that their way generally NEEDS to be got into. As by way of example, Michael needed to have it explained to him that when other people get things, it's not a slam against him. Most of why he needed to get Lizzie is that he did and does honestly believe that her happiness must be the result of a conspiracy to ruin him and mock him for wanting love and happiness and good things. The sad thing is not that he varies only in degree from his family. The sad thing is that they don't even realize how much they have in common with a bunch of jerk kids in ski masks. More on that tomorrow.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
One of the most depressing and annoying facts of life of chronicling the repulsive behaviour that we see in the Pattersons' world is dealing with petulant people who possess the annoying tendency to confuse 'pointing out flawed behavior' with 'heartless cruelty' and thus rant about how we must be devoid of any sort of moral goodness but are instead motivated by cynicism. This is especially annoying given that the Patterswine are pretty much the most cynical people not created by Tom Batiuk to ever blight the four-panel cosmos.

As by way of example, their innate cynicism makes them view random acts of kindness as long-awaited miracles. In the normal course of events, John or Elly or whoever expect that everyone is either an enemy devoted to ruining them because they hate them or a witless hindrance blind to the destruction they stupidly visit on our victim heroes. On the rare occasion that they acknowledge that someone has actually done them a good turn out of the goodness of their hearts, they marvel at the miracle of finally being treated the way they deserve.

What the Pattersons lose sight of is that they actually have to set an example of gracious behavior, fair-mindedness and gratitude for minor kindnesses if they expect their children to display said desiderata. Given that John and Elly are entitled swine who can't act like decent people because they feel their imaginary suffering gives them licence to be jerks, I should almost think that maybe being treated like people is a miracle.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
Of course, being yelled at and treated like a moral monster because she doesn't quite see the need to serve as a free baby-sitter isn't the only way in which Patterchildrearing is going to mess with Françoise's head. As we all know, she isn't going to be allowed to screw up without having to endure a traumatizing lecture about how much she HATES her parents and how SELFISH and CRUEL and HEARTLESS she is and how Liz and Anthony simply can't AFFORD to deal with things that really are her fault and she really did do on purpose. Watching Liz be as ready to tell her children what they were really thinking when they did things puts me in mind of a sequence in Walt Kelly's "Pogo" in which the other characters were once again trying to force the main character to run for President. At one point, Churchy La Femme asked Howland Owl why they simply couldn't ask Pogo his opinion on whether he should run. Howland smugly replied that Pogo's opinion about what he thought would clearly be biased but their opinion would not be. In both cases, self-serving idiots made a hash of logic to steamroll an unwilling and passive person into accepting an irrational way of thinking.

The reason for all of this is that Elly and John are repellent little narcissists who view every little thing that goes wrong as being part of a plot to destroy them. While they themselves are allowed to ride roughshod over other people because of their fallacious belief that they're the victims of all victims surpassing all others, the least inconvenience cannot be said to be the result of an accident or an oversight or a misunderstanding lest they be forced to face the horrible and scary idea that just maybe, they aren't really all that important.

When we combine their need to destroy anyone might be trying to victimize them further with their need to regard their kids as merely extensions of their wills, it's not hard to see that they raised their kids to be repulsive egomaniacs as well. The desperate need for attention and the equally desperate need to protect their self-worth will ensure that Meredith, Robin, James Allen and especially the Weird Little Frenchy Girl have to be on what deluded idiots who were brought up to not know how things work consider to be their best behavior.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
As I implied yesterday, the reason that the Pattersons give for assuming that to live the good life, they have no choice but to deprive something of something that they do not want to admit that they deserve is that there's something wrong with the way they see the world.

You see, a sociologist named Dunbar noticed something a while back when studying how people build social groups. It seems that for some reason or another, an average person can only build a stable social network with about one hundred and fifty people. The vast majority of mankind thus tends to become somewhat less human as anyone outside the monkeysphere devolves into either a piece of scenery that moves around or an appliance that performs a useful function. Being asked to care about anyone outside the friendship zone takes a certain amount of mental effort as it's being asked to care about a sofa or a paving stone.

That being said, it seems to me that the Pattersons are somewhat deviant in that respect owing to their own individual Dunbar's number being one. The solipsistic weirdos have to think that if they display empathy, it means that they're going to be deprived because they can only think about themselves. It's in their inhuman nature.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
The odd thing about my last blog entry is that someone unfamiliar with the characters would assume that I was being a cynical wise-ass when I made that crack about Elly living just long enough to see April and Gerald's first child just so she could rub it in that the Spoiled Picky-Face Martian Creature Princess had ruined everything for everyone everywhere. Those of us who are familiar with how the Pattersons think and act know that while I am a cynical wise-ass, I'm also dead-on. Elly wouldn't give April the satisfaction of living a long, happy life and reconciling with her because to do so would mean that she had given way to the Evil Distracting Star that wants to ruin the world.

This is because one of the reasons that the Pattersons give for the evil distracting star being evil is that it evilly distracts people from living comfortable lives. The funny thing about that is what the Pattersons seem to mean by the word. As history teaches us, comfort appears to be defined as not only not doing anything that would be difficult, unpleasant or that would have the potential of making the Pattersons look like lazy, selfish, cowardly chumps. Someone must knowingly be deprived of something that they want or need because their not being deprived would somehow magically ruin the Pattersons' lives. We're coming up to a sequence in which John knows damned well that Elly desperately relies on her part-time job to provide her with an identity that isn't "anoymous housewife" but proposes that she abandon it so that he won't have to get off of his fat, lazy God-damned ass and (CHOKE!!!) do "woman's work". This is because it seems to enrage, confuse and horrify him that she even wants to be more than an appendage to a repellent, inconsiderate, mindless, thoughtless, brainless, heartless, gutless and self-absorbed adult child.

This sets the general pattern owing to the fact that the someone being deprived of something he or she actually deserves must be said to not deserve it lest the Patterson desiring comfort be revealed to be a lazy, selfish, cowardly chump who hates doing anything unpleasant that requires effort or sacrifice. This, sadly, is what happens when you have a one-Foob monkeysphere. More on that tomorrow.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
As I said, Elly's need to swoop down and simply stuff belongings that mean nothing to her into garbage bags when the children can't oppress her by making her think that she's a self-absorbed idiot bitch doing something hateful had a far different effect on Liz than it did Mike. What he learned is that he had to be strong enough to protect things because weak people can't possibly be allowed to have things.

This is part and parcel of his thinking that only the strong deserve things while the weak must be despised and subjected to cruelty; after all, they must have done something wrong that prevented them from being strong. Liz seems to have learned that only her own immediate concerns matter. The same person who seems to mostly hate Thérèse because the woman dared ask her to think about how she felt about having some blond idiot hanging off of her husband simply cannot wrap her mind around the idea that other people's belongings matter as much to them as her belongings do to her. This is why she believes that since Jim's harmonica had no intrinsic value to her, it couldn't be said to have any meaning to anyone so giving it to a vengeful thief to reward him for making her feel good is really the best thing that can be done. When unreasonable little sisters try to make her feel bad about making everyone feel better by giving away something that couldn't have any meaning to it, they're clearly out of line.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
As you know, I've had to revisit the very annoying habit that the Pattersons have of genuinely believing that the people they shove around and plot against are actively plotting against them when that isn't actually the case. The one thing that I don't really like about April is her belief that despite what her senses are telling her, Becky is clearly plotting to destroy her and everything she loves with her star power because that's what people like her do. This, I think, comes from their need to avoid admitting that they want to steamroll everyone in sight flat because only bad people do that. Since they don't want to admit to having any negative impulses, they project their own will to power on their enemies.

I've also talked about how the Pattersons go out of their way to avoid seeing that they burn with envy because they feel like they can't measure up to someone else. Despite the fact that Becky never demonstrated the least inclination to steal April's boyfriend, the default negativity that's encoded in her DNA tells our girl that said bad fate is an inevitability.

I've even talked about the pointless negativity and fear of loss, defeat and humiliation that make Pattersons think that they're fighting for their lives when that is most assuredly not the case. As a general rule, a Patterson will either flat-out forget or snippily discount a thousand good things to obsess over one bad one.

What I sometimes neglect to mention is that not only do the Pattersons deny the fact that they too are capable of jealousy, malice, greed, envy and hate, they also love to deny the fact that they are pointlessly pessimistic. If they admitted that the glass is half-full and how good they had it, their ability to see themselves as victims fighting for survival would evaporate and then they'd be bullies and backstabbers.

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