dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
You'll have noticed over the last decade or so that I'm rather fond of pointing out that April has gone out of her way to misread her frienemy Becky because she looks at a lucky one-hit wonder who wonders why her pal hates her and sees a big celebrity monster trying to crush her and the other idiots in that damned garage band with her star power so she can laugh at their carcasses. This is because the Martian is what TV Tropes refers to as being 'wrong genre savvy'. She and her creator think of themselves as being the protagonists in some sort of Karate Kid kind of thing wherein the plucky underdog has to fight back against a bully who wins all the time when it's just two dumb teenyboppers engaging in a tiresome rivalry because they can't admit that they're functionally the same person. (This, it should be noted, is the same narrative engine that drives the Dork Diaries series.)

The reason that I mention this is that it's really terribly obvious that April sees Mira not as she is (which is to say "a fatter, louder version of her mother") but as a soap opera monster plotting the family's destruction because Elly let television raise her. We know that the Pattersons go out of their way to try to shut the woman out because we know that Elly doesn't want to admit that she and Mira are the same person. We also know that Elly loves how Deanna seems to hang off of her every word and is willing to do anything for her. We know that because of this, Elly wants to live in a world wherein Mira grovels pathetically and agrees that she was wrong to ever want anything from the Pattersons and to go away and not interfere with Deanna because that's wrong. We also know that April is too dense to question this because she sees the loud voice insisting on standing up for itself and sees the family as being under attack by a monster who wants to do to them what they do to other people.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
As I said yesterday, an unheralded milestone of sorts is about to reached when April turns twenty-five years of age in about two weeks time. While most of us and probably most of the readership might be wondering what a young adult April might be doing with her life, Lynn displays next to no curiosity about the subject owing to ending the strip in a manner that more or less froze the kid in place wondering where Liz and Anthony were running off to. After all, the point of the strip seems to have been all along to sort of continue the cycle of having a crappy marriage between fundamentally incompatible people being held together by obliviousness on his part and denial on hers; speculating as to the future of some interloper that wants Liz to feel bad about flaking out about Uncle Jasper's harmonium is a lesser priority.

As I've said before, this is almost a good thing. For starters, we're spared having to watch a boring retread of the irritating courtship arcs of her older siblings, irritating bullshit about how adventure and curiosity are things that must be outgrown, worship of a fair-haired moron who is better for her because John and Elly know who the demeaning and churlish imbecile is and Elly having almost no involvement in the wedding because a vain halfwit thinks that mothers have to take a back seat to the bride.

We also get spared having to realize that Lynn's super-impossible happy future for the characters is a crazy lie. As [livejournal.com profile] josephusrex suggests, it's likely that April's chances of being a latter-day James Herriot are rather poor owing to her patented Patterson piss-poor study habits, love of binge drinking when not supervised and low demand for anything other than 'person whose job at the animal shelter involves cleaning out the cages'. As she struggles through grad school and has to endure abusive calls from John about how she shouldn't talk that way to her insistent irritant mother, April will be wishing that she didn't have the Patterson habit of drinking her way through life.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
While I've covered the fact that Mike's sense of right and wrong relate very much to his not liking having his male privilege threatened and that Liz lacks anything like awareness of her surroundings, I've failed to cover the elements of Lynn's personality that April possesses that hamper her.

The first element relates to the real reason why it is that Lynn looks for reasons to hate and defame a reasonably caring mother perplexed by a one-sided feud. As she says in her biography, she came to the conclusion that her mother never said good things to her because there were no good things to say so being bad made Lindy feel bad. It's like listening to someone whose kid has an allergy to something screech about you hate her and her child because you don't and you enjoy a food her family can't have. What someone says or doesn't say has nothing to do with what's real but you can't tell someone with an in-built sense of self-loathing that. This is why April never seems to remember that Becky isn't actually trying to destroy her and steal things from her. The need to project her hidden fear that she should be destroyed and have things stolen from her because that's the only explanation a child can give for the way she's treated onto Becky's blank canvas will win out over the evidence of her senses every time.

You also can't accuse such a person of having any sort of negative tendency. As we saw when Jim struck that chord, April was and probably still is transfixed by binary thinking and the slippery slope fallacy. The idea is that if she were to admit to feeling insecure and jealous of Becky, it only stood to reason that she would thus have no positive qualities at all and be a monster of vanity. This insane question-begging and love of the slippery slope fallacy leads to her denial of what her actual feelings and motives are. Since she cannot own negative feelings because of a simplistic and rigid world-view, her feelings of disappointment and loss have to come from the outside.

Finally, we have to remember that she's so in love with any sign of being thought well of, she can embrace the Devil himself if he says nice things to her. Gerald only started to be a bad person when he took care of business and hung out with someone going places and stopped feeding her ego and not when he side-stepped how he thought Shannon and the other special needs kids were subhuman by telling April she's cute. I'd like to think that April might grow out of being easily swayed by shallow flattery because of a poor self-concept but given Elly and Kortney, it doesn't look good for her.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
As you might know by know, there's a disturbance in the force in Foob's spiritual successor "Stone Soup." This is because for the very annoying reason that the other female characters have decided sight unseen that the main character cannot possibly be happy with her life as it is, she's pretty much being frog-marched down the aisle in order to be really happy because none of the meddling idiots have ever stopped to consider the idea that maybe, they don't really understand what's going on and are just letting their own need to have a great big party override the happiness of the person they falsely claim to be looking out for.

The reason that I mentioned this idiot plot wherein people who call for sanity and actually figuring things out before they do something stupid are extra-bad and selfish people who want Val to die alone and unhappy and not cared for and all the other imbecile justifications Joan makes for being a presumptuous twit who doesn't want to understand the situation because Lifetime rules the world is that I can readily believe that the same shit is happening to April right now. After all, it happened to Liz. It happened to Mike. It's gonna happen to her because two sets of hillbillies who got married way too damned soon think it worked out great for them and want to make sure that everyone gets married before they find out who they actually are. If it ain't Elly whining pathetically about how lost and unhappy she really is, it's gonna be Gordo and Tracey flinging bullshit about biological clocks April's way.

If that ain't bad enough, they're going to be pointing to the wonderful success of Mike's marriage to Deanna and how happy Liz is to be a frustrated lardarse married to a demeaning jackass who treats her like an inanimate object and who ascribes her baffled longings for more than suburban ennui to having the same crazy woman hormones that made his first wife call him a sub-human piece of shit. Little do they realize that the more they laud John and Elly's ugly marriage of inconvenience as a model, the less she's going to want to get hitched.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
Of course, the environment of brutal competition for the worthless love of two self-centered boomer assholes who can't allow themselves to be proud of their children doesn't just destroy the kids' ability to empathize with random strangers. The same refusal to see that no one is 'just' another person also blunts their ability to empathize with the people they actually know. I've discussed in the past how it is that Lizardbreath is convinced that Therese is an evil iceberg out to destroy her happiness and make her die alone and unloved because she makes the terrible demand that she look at the world from her perspective but I'd like to talk about how it continues to blight the friendship between April and Becky.

As we've all seen, April assumes that Becky wants to destroy her with her star power because that's just what pretty people do owing to the fact that April has a need to crush Becky under her heels that she won't admit to having. This need to assume that Becky wants to steal her boyfriend because they're at war has, as I've said far too many times, blinded her to the fact that Becky isn't famous, has no star power or friends and would love nothing more than to go back to the way things were before April's horrible family brainwashed her into thinking that people with ambition want to crush everyone because they can. The reason that she doesn't realize why it's only now that April has gotten out of the bunker of paranoia and entitlement that they're friends again is that she doesn't make the connection between the constant beefing about refugees in war zones and the insane babbling that got back to her about wanting to crush people with a star power she never had and never wanted to crush people with in the first place.

You can see her problem, though. It makes no sense to an outsider that a steady diet of being made to feel guilty and told that you're heartless and selfish and filled with vanity for wanting your parents to care about your immediate concerns instead of letting them wallow in self-pity because they can't get over not being able to drop you off at an orphanage now that they're bored with being parents leads to the insane presumption that everyone everywhere is trying to ruin you. If anything, it looks as if it should lead a person to be a passive doormat, not an insane paranoiac screaming about war and treason. The problem is that it actually leads to the notion that being asked to empathize with others is just another attack on ol'April.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
As I mentioned once or twice, it seems that there are certain parallels in the way that the Middle Years began and ended. While Lynn would prefer a cut-and-dry break between eras (the ill-fated camping trip and April killing Farley), I myself see a fuzzier line. This is because about a year before Phil stupidly tried to drown John and himself, there was a less-heralded game changer that was occasioned by Lawrence and Connie moving away for a while. A year later, the first era ended with anxious people standing near a body of water and Elly making a promise she never kept to be more grateful for John's presence in her life.

The reason that I mentioned this is that we ended things much as we began. That's because about a year before the end of the Middle Years, an arc with Lawrence changed the game when he went and outed himself. A year later, another of Jim and Marian's kids did something stupid that led to anxious people standing near a body of water hoping that the victim of cocksure nitwittery would be all right. The main difference is that in John's case, life went back to normal but in April's case, Elly held her own stupid negligence against her child forever. Oh, wait. It's the same because, well, Elly never forgives people for scaring her.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
As I've said before, Lynn's need to avoid certain parts of her past translates into the strip. The greatest example is when Annie and her family had to vanish so that Lynn couldn't honestly re-examine the collapse of her first marriage and confront the terrible possibility that maybe, she wasn't totally the victim like she likes to think. The second great example is how Molly lasted just long enough to make sure that Connie didn't learn enough to tell Elly that she was making a mistake with April. It seems to me that Lynn isn't facing up to the fact that her strip made her children's teenaged years a big freaking mess and doesn't especially want to remind herself of that. To that end, her stupid need to keep the cast small marched in lockstep with her need to not see herself as being a jerk to her family; thus it is that Connie looks back on a conflict that never really got resolved until years later and tells Elly to stay the course with the Martian.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
As we know, Elly really kinda chickened out whenever she had to have The Talk with her kids. Mike learned about sex from an old text book and a copy of Penthouse, Liz learned about it from a sex ed class and a Harlequin novel and we all know that the Martian learned about sex from a book she thought she wasn't supposed to read. This is not just because the subject scares and embarrasses Elly to death. The problem is that she simply cannot allow herself to trust her children with any sort of information ever owing to her belief that whatever choice her kids make must always without exception be the worst possible choice ever.

This, I should think, is why the idea of April having access to the Internet scared her and John shitless. When she made her panicky and stupid comment about how the Feds should have done her parenting for her by censoring anything that might give her the vapors, what Elly actually told Connie is that she doesn't trust April in the least with any knowledge she might assimilate. The mutton-headed old dolt seems thus convinced that were the defiant and always-wrong Martian picky-face princess creature come across a website for some right-wing loser, she'd be trying to turn her token-ass friends into the Gestapo a millisecond later.

The reason for this is as simple as paper and has to do with the shrill screams of thinking about the children that women like her and Tippy or Flipsy or whatever the Hell stupid-ass first name Al Gore married make. Children, you see, are always dependent on Mommy (and Daddy) to make choices for them so if it is possible that children might actually choose correctly, Mommy (and Daddy) instantly become obsolete and must therefore die and be forgotten and laughed at and WHY, Mommy, WHY do the pretty girls get all the cute boys and so on throughout the depressive phase of boomer imbecilism. Simply put, the reason April's knowing things scares Elly is that she's a dumb-ass who doesn't like what she sees in the mirror and thus needs to be needed forever. For the manic phase of being a boomer muttonhead, we got John and his non-stop nitwit authoritarian thinking. More on that tomorrow.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
As someone who's spent all of his life in a Northern climate like me can tell you, you'd have to be somewhat overconfident to declare winter to be over merely because of a warm stretch in late March. In my nearly fifty years on this planet, I've experienced too many blizzards and ice storms in April to dare to put away winter clothes until at least the first part of May. You would think that the Pattersons would also know not to get too cocky about this sort of thing but twenty-three years ago, we were proven wrong. As we also know, the 'surprise' ice storm that no one could have predicted or prepared for forced Elly to give birth at home. The odd thing about this is that in the television special based on this storyline, Mike interpreted this whole thing to mean that April fooled everyone because of the consensus that she had somehow arranged matters to inconvenience the rest of the cast. Having to watch the dullard spout that idiotic comment after watching Elly repeat her habit of being an improvident clod who blames April for her lack of foresight tends to annoy me. It doesn't surprise me though; this is, after all, the woman who saw Connie's leaving town for greener pastures as mostly an inconvenience for her.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
As you saw yesterday, one of the reasons why Elly resisted the idea of moving to the Tiny Train House is that she was on some level afraid that embracing that change meant embracing another more dreaded change. As this second passage from Elly's last retcon:

But, I don't want to lose my father. Not yet. I'm not ready to be "orphaned", and despite the fact that I'm grown and have adult kids of my own, I don't yet feel old. You're never ready to let your parents go. Sometimes I still want to call my dad and ask for his advice, let him reassure me that everything is going to be okay, and remember what it was like to be a child when there was no memory of pain, grief, or aging, and someone else carried all the responsibilities.

shows us, our hero clearly seemed to think that moving into the Tiny Train House was supposed to magically kill Jim or some such nonsense. The odd thing is that she's not the only person who associated change with Jim Richards' death. While John and the others had made their peace with his passing, the only other person to worry about his no longer being there was, of course, April. As her letter from October 2006 relates:

I can't stop thinking about him. They have him sedated so he sleeps all the time. What if he wakes up but can't talk, or he's not really there anymore? Can he hear us talking to him? When he looks at us, he sees us, but what does he know? What if he's in pain and can't tell us? Is he having nightmares? What if he wakes up alone in the middle of the night? I know they are doing everything they can for him, but I'm scared. We don't know what he'll be able to do, or how well he'll be able to think, and nobody can tell us yet. The brain is so complicated. They can guess. They know where the stroke "hit" but they can't say exactly what has been destroyed.

April was terrified that the grandfather she knew would either be a vegetable or, worse, perfectly lucid but trapped in a malfunctioning shell of a body. Given that John and Elly think that she's kinda stupid, she didn't get talked to as such but more talked DOWN to about the whole thing.

Plop the Housening on top of that and you've pretty much got why she was sort of freaked out. Not only was she just supposed to drift where ever adults wanted her to, she couldn't even get her Grandpa to tell her it would be all right. This, as I said before, is where his not being able to speak had the worst side effect. If he could speak, he could have told his granddaughter something her idiot parents never saw fit to explain. Were she to be told that a house is just a box that a home is put in, she'd have been a lot happier.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru2)
One of the few nice things about what we call the Strip of Destiny is that April is the only one who got anything like a happy ending. Unlike her siblings who are destined to live far below their potential so that two entitled boomer arsebuckets who don't know how things work can further their antisocial agenda, April managed to escape suburban ennui and live an exciting, fulfilling life on her own terms. Not, of course, that Lynn's target demographic saw things that way. As I keep saying, she seems to be pandering to gutless drones who want to feel good about being too chickenshit and lazy to really do anything with their lives. Rather than admit that they envy April her freedom from the soul-crushing Hell their innate cowardice has made of their lives, they cry crocodile tears of condescending compassion about the poor child who doesn't know mother love when they see it.

That being said, it's pretty much a rock-solid fact that if Lynn had continued the strip, there was no way in Hell she'd let April follow the Evil Distracting Star all the way to the tiny, obscure, barely-civilized cow-town of Calgary. After all, Gerald needed saving from Evil, Ambitious Becky and her evil ambitions and April needed to learn that people aren't meant to live in the Terrible, Cruel Outside World or have adventures or do anything that Elly herself is too God-damned gutless sensible to do.

To that end, Lynn would need to assign her a franchised Elly to remind her of her duty to save her Twoo Wuv Gerald from dying in squalor. Said substitute Flapandhonk would also be assigned the duty of hammering home the fact that despite it looking exciting and making her feel alive, a life of stimulation and adventure is no sort of life for someone destined for the higher goal of popping out bland, blond idiot children for Elly to fuss over. Finally, said miracle worker would remind our errant child that despite never having displayed any sign of it, John and Elly do love her so she does owe them every penny spent raising her.

Of course, there is a down-side to her being a miracle worker. Not even she could prevent Elly from keeling over stone dead at the unfathomably old age of sixty-five because April took too long to be born or give Elly back the years April stole from her by being born too late. The most we could get is Elly seeing April and Gerald's first child on her death bed.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
The reason that April is the most sympathetic of the Pattersons is that unlike them, she only has one flaw that she's at pains to deny: the fact that she bitterly envies Becky and assumes that the girl wants to do her harm just because she can. Rather than admit to herself that she doesn't think that anyone could love her for herself or that she hates the idea that she isn't in control of a situation, April pleads the question via a fall guy and hates the idea of admitting as to what she really thinks about herself and others.

The fortunate thing for her is that she'll find an "evil distracting star" of her own to follow that will doom her to the horrible fate of not living in eternal servitude to her entitled parents. Said horrible, scary thing will lead her to a fate worse than Death to the denizens of the Foobiverse: sanity. It will eventually amaze her that she honestly bought all that weak bullshit about fun and friends from lazy also-rans who, not having the stamina, brains and guts to compete in the real world, spout errant bullshit about people who are worth knowing.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
As I plod grimly on at my look at tokenism in the Patterverse, I have to face the unpleasant chore of talking about the ultimate expression of fake tolerance in the Patterson universe: Shannon Lake. As we all know, she's loosely based on a real person and seems to serve the function of showing how great April is hanging out with Someone Less Fortunate Than Herself. The problem is that April's claims to sainthood are somewhat suspect. Sure, we can contrast Becky's open discomfort and active hostility to April's virtuous smirking about How Ignorant And Evil Becky is but April's dedication to the cause is somewhat shallow. After all, Gerald can blank out on the fact that the disabled have feelings and April can forgive him easily any time he flatters her. Granted, you would actually expect a teenager to think "HUM!! On the one hand, he does think of Shannon as a zoo animal but on the other hand, he did tell me I'm pretty....THIS IS SO HARD!!!!" but it sort of doesn't look nice, right?
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
It seems to me that it's only fitting to end my look at pet ownership in the Foobiverse by reminding us of how the people whose lifestyles alarm the Pattersons have dealt with pets in the past and how the way they look at pets manifests itself in the present. Since the April of 2013 is probably the subject of a lot of hand-wringing on Elly's part and angry mutterings about ingratitude on John's about how she never seems to want to be 'part of the family', I'll start with the Martian. It seems to me that having been influenced by Jim, she comes closest to being actually able to see an animal as being more than an accessory that eats, breathes and poops. While it's true that John and Elly raised her to ignore pets in the hopes that they wouldn't do anything when they weren't looked at, Jim's teachings might make a semi-decent pet owner out of her. That being said, the in-strip decision to have her take part in the Calgary Stampede is as much a product of Lynn's ignorance as is her decision to make Deanna and the kids fans of the ultra-adult Just For Laughs festival. Since all Lynn sees when she looks at coverage is horses and cattle, how they're treated washes right over her.

This means that she isn't expecting the clash between Becky and April that I am. Lynn might have forgotten this but I remember that the pre-crush-everyone-with-her-star-power Becky had herself quite the collection of pets. Since she's a D-list celebrity, isn't very bright and thus easy to mold into a spokes-moron, it seems to me that it's fairly likely that she's going to think that a Holstein is pet material and thus end up waving a placard in protest for, at best, the Humane Society and, at worst, PETA.

Ah, well. At least they've got a couple of decades to sort things out. The rest of the people on my radar don't. As by way of example, while I have no real idea how old Fiona Brass might be, what I do know tells me that she's probably going to end up like the man who used to own Dixie and have to surrender her beloved cat Beaumont Junior to a good home. This means that the people who ended up taking in Shiimsa can contrast the horrible people who abandoned Queenie with the nice old lady who brought BJ into their lives.

Perhaps that person will be Leah Nichols. While we know very little about her owing to her being part of the Nichols embargo, we do know that at one point, Anne had a cat. Perhaps in between refereeing battles with kids and policing Steve, she had the time to teach her child respect for life. Then again, it could be Evil Ted who's doing it. We know very little of him and he could well be a cat person.

This leaves us having to look at someone else who is fairly responsible when it comes to having pets in his life: Phil. Aside from the incident in which an elderly neighbour's barking dog drove him and Georgia nuts, he is able to coexist with pets and pet owners but seems to feel no strong need to move past the Age of Aquariums. This probably displeases Elly because it gets in the way of having it all.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
One of THE most annoying things about the strip is having to watch Elizabeth and April use age-inappropriate language for far and away too long. It irritates me to have to trudge through strips that say that it's funny and cute that a ten- or eleven-year old girl talks like she's still the frightened four year old screaming NO WANNA BAFF!!!!!!!! only to speak Generic Teenese when she becomes one of THEM or to see Lizzie go straight from childish malapropisms and baby talk to Standard English five seconds after she dismisses sight unseen the idea that Anthony could possibly be interested in her. The underlying reason that the Pattersons think that this is desirable seems to stem from Elly's irritating belief that her daughters are somehow replacements for that blasted walking doll that Phil didn't mean to break. It seems to me sometimes that she doesn't really want to raise a child as much as she wants to fuss over a doll. This belief of mine is reinforced when Elly, who's thought-bubbling in fairly awkward English in her own right, frets that Lizzie is not speaking normal English while at the same time making her sit on Momma's wap as she brussa hair.

The reason that this is a problem is that most parents tend to speak in a sing-songy tone of voice as they enunciate very carefully and streeeeeeeeeeeetch out their vowel sounds when talking to toddlers so that they might pick up the language. Not Elly. Elly tends to speak to her children in what she and Lynn assume to be the native language of infants and what normal people call stupid gibberish designed to disrupt and delay normal language acquisition so that Elly can have her little BAYBEE just that much longer. Of course, once a child turns into a teenager, Elly loses interest and the kid can start talking like everyone else she knows.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
Of course, most of why people didn't want to talk to April or even let her know what was going on during the Housening is that they feared that if she knew what was going on, something very bad would happen. Said bad thing seemed to be getting a loutish idiot purveyor of abuse porn to see that buying and remodeling the Tiny Train House and selling off the three extra lots would have been way cheaper than renting and far less disruptive than the Housening.

The reason that it was bad was that John wanted to be disrupted because he saw that waste space Stibbs selfishly kept to himself not as the perfect site for three homes but as the perfect place for his self-indulgent need to inflict his eyesore model train layout on an unhappy world. Imagine how terrible it would be if Mike had to do what he did and start from scratch; far better to give him the family farm like a good little plowhand.

That would be just as bad as simply talking to April like an adult and explaining that since the fire made Mike, Dee and the Patterspawn kinda screwy, it would have next to impossible for any of them to see moving anywhere soon. That way, he could have got her on board and not been able to grouse about selfish kids. You can see how bad that would have been.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
Of course, most of why April isn't allowed to make decisions is that the Pattersons don't think that she knows enough about the world to make good ones. One thing that you can rely on is that when Lynn needs someone to ask obvious questions that reveal abysmal ignorance of the real world, that person is always April. You don't see Lizardbreath, the Delicate Genius, JSTF or Flapandhonk asking idiotic questions despite their having a collective IQ of forty-five; the one to not know what death, gastroenteritis and plastic hip joints are is always the Martian.

As you can probably guess, I've got some problems with that deal. The first problem is that as I said last week, John and Elly seem to feel it's their job to protect their children from knowing anything about the real world. The idea seems to be "keep them 'safe' from 'terrifying' information and when they go out into the scary real world, their ignorance of How Things Work will get them so mauled, they'll be glad to move back Home Where It's Safe and gratefully support their wonderful parents."

The second problem is that when April does ask questions that John and Elly ascribe to a profound ignorance of the real world, the wrongness is informed. As an example, they wanted to hammer home the point that Mike has to freeload off of them for months on end because buying a house takes a long time; the problem is that they were speaking fluent nonsense because Mike should have had a plan for catastrophic losses. It's like how Liz had to Occupy Spare Bedroom like so much Fonzie when she should have gotten the sort of basement apartment she'd wound up in anyway upon returning home. Again, Silly April had to be told the time wasn't right....only for the right time to be when it became clear that she'd have to pay her ugly brother rent cheques. Finally, I really don't think that April is so stupid she doesn't know what a stroke is.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
As we've seen recently, Lynn likes to tell a rather annoying joke in which a character makes a lot of noise about being decisive only to turn out to be a waffling idiot. The first version of said clinker had Evil Ted try to lure poor John to the Dark Side of the Force only to be revealed as pathetically dependent on others to make up his mind for him. The problem is that her favourite butt of this non-joke is the Picky-Faced Martian Creature Princess. I can think of at least two occasions in which April complained about not having input into her day-to-day life only to go into vapour lock when asked to decide something trivial. In the first instance, John and Elly go on vacation up to a cottage up North and only bother telling April about it a few days before they leave and in the second, we have to contend with her wanting to not be treated like an imbecile who has her decisions made for her by people who do NOT have her interests at heart only to not be able to decide what to have for lunch. In both cases, the basic premise seems to be as follows:

HUM! Since April can't make a little decision like this, it only stands to reason that she can't make big decisions. That means that she's a silly child who doesn't know what's best for her and that John and Elly are right to whatever they want without worrying about an opinion she doesn't really have.

The problem is that Lynn and her fanbase ignore possibilities that don't make a defiant, hypocritical idiot out of April. First off, they ignore the very real possibility that she's subconsciously afraid of deciding things on her own. You can't live in a house wherein a simple statement that you're very sorry about missing dinner but homework comes first turns into Elly bellowing like an idiot and John threatening violence unless you apologize for having free will NOW without developing a sort of protective submissive attitude. They also ignore the very real fact that even if Elly doesn't blow a gasket or John doesn't grumble about attitudes, the two of them will overrule her because they're afraid of her. In the first instance, they had it in their stupid heads that if April knew about their vacation plans, she'd somehow whine her way into making their trip up North go away while during the Housening, the clear subcontext seemed to be that ignorant, selfish April was so fixated on having a room she wouldn't get to enjoy much longer anyway that she didn't see the dire consequences of not being treated like furniture.

This leads me to a third problem I have with how they treat April. The same people who are terrified of her learning things that scare them have the annoying habit of expecting her to be an ignorant idiot that they have to explain what strokes are only to turn around and expect her to know that Mike simply cannot afford to buy and maintain a house. Why it is that they need to be safe from her knowing what's going on around her is something I'll touch on more fully later. Suffice to say for the here and now that their expecting her to know something that they keep from her when it's convenient makes hectoring her for being stupid a rather irritating thing.

Finally, the same sort of idiots who were clearly disappointed that John didn't haul off and belt April for 'defiance' tend not to want to see that the only reason that April is being singled out for being a waffling idiot in a strip peopled with prevaricatiing clods is that they've been ordered to. The amusing thing about watching her being yapped at for being clueless for not knowing what she wanted for lunch is that most of why her life sucked is because her allegedly adult siblings couldn't make up their minds about what to do.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
It seems to me that Mira would probably see the way the Pattersons react to April's presence as a sort of indicator as to who they are as people. The Pattersons themselves do not realize this but then they don't do a lot of realizing period. As an example, Deanna has no idea that her tendency to condescend to April and to think of her as less a person with hopes, plans and dreams and more as someone that her beloved Elly gave birth to so that she could have a cook, maid, groundskeeper and nanny marks her as an arrogant twit who thinks that the world owes her a living. What would really irritate Mira is that her childish goofola son-in-law is actually a better person than her own child; he might do nothing to help her but he's the only one who sees that his 'clever' plan of running to his parents in his time of need has a side-effect he hadn't planned on. This puts him way ahead of Lizardbreath. Mira would have had to wait until the Settlepocalypse to get the whole story but sooner or later, she'd have gotten confirmation that the flighty nitwit Mike calls Sistwirp had no sympathy for anyone's concerns save her own. Liz's shrill, thoughtless 'picky-face' remark and her inability to even notice what was going on around her mark her as being the same insensitive, whiny, clueless dullard who took until 2008 to realize that Anthony has always had the hots for her. That being said, even if she did notice a problem, the dumbass would whine about how unreasonable April is for worrying about something that only affected her.

Getting a back-story on the youngest Patterson from her 'parents' would, however, be the real eye-opener. Having to listen to that mindless ape John rant witlessly about princesses and getting all pouty and angry when being told that maybe he should try to actually know who and want he's babbling on about would be all the proof one would need that John is a pontificating dunderhead who never met a stereotype he didn't like. Elly's witless hand-wringing and whining about fake apocalypses would make it obvious where Mike's misdirected sense of right and wrong came from. What it wouldn't explain is why Mike, Liz and Deanna are as mature as Peter "I don't even have life insurance" Parker.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)

As I explained yesterday and the day before, both Michael and April have something in common with one another aside from having dark hair. Both of them seem to be convinced to one degree or another that the world is out to get them. If there isn’t an evil authority figure like Mira trying to crush them, humiliate them and make them writhe in the muck as they are forced to agree that they have no right to want anything, there are traitors like Rhetta and Becky who trick them into thinking that they’re friends so that they can humiliate them and laugh at their misery. They also tend to trust people that they have no business trusting merely because said real threat to their dignity promises deliverance from their threats. In Mike’s case, it’s a wife who wants to use him as a means of outraging her mother and in April’s, it’s an asshole blathering about war-zones because she gets a cheap thrill out of bullying desperate people.

The reason that I reminded you of this is because of something else I said: the fact that they seem to get that from their dark-haired mother Elly. Over the years, I’ve flat-out said that Elly believes that the authority figures of the world want to crush her and cruelly mock her as they destroy everything she likes. This tendency was most of why she was so desperate to see the old town hall preserved. For her, it wasn’t about keeping a fine example of older architecture from getting razed for the sake of pointless change, it was about keeping the jocks from committing genocide against art, culture and literature. The poor bastards who simply wanted an up-to-date stadium have no real idea that the lady with the sandwich board thought that they wanted to rape and murder her as they leer and burn down all the art galleries and book shops but that’s the deal with her.

Of course, they’re not the only people baffled by the disconnect between what Elly’s paranoia tells her is happening and what’s really happening. Annie is still trying to figure out just what the Hell Elly meant when she said that she couldn’t be near her because she betrayed her by forgiving Steve. To her, watching a doormat who lets all manner of crooks play her like a pinball machine lecture her on firmness of character is as confusing as it is irritating.

It’s almost as irritating as having to remember that Elly still doesn’t really understand why it is April objects to Kortney. While Elly’s intellect might tell her that the thieving bitch was lying to her about respecting her, her need to be assured that she matters over-rides her conscience. It’s like how she needs to not want to listen to that awful voice that says that she’s the reason the miracle of maturity has never transformed her and that her children aren't actually trying to make her life terrible. The need to avoid blame is also why Mike avoids wanting to admit that he doesn't actually know why Martha does what she does and why April doesn't want to listen to the voice that says she's jealous of Becky and always has been. Ah, well. At least they have that voice; their fair-haired sister and father do not.


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