dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
The interesting thing about the comic strip "Sally Forth" is that its writer, a Ces Marciuliano, has made a late-summer wedding the engine currently driving the plot forward. What is more, the bride to be wants to contribute nothing to the planning of the thing but whining and passive-aggressive bitchery. If you'll allow me, I'll contrast and compare the two to see which author is better at describing a Settlepocalypse.

The Bride to Be:
Johnston: Liz is seen as someone who deserves a happy ending after being forced out into a big, scary world while being shown to be a passive lump who wants other people to live her life for her.
Marciuliano: Jackie is seen as a selfish, lazy adult child about to walk into a disaster in order to spite her sister. It turns out that this is the case.
Advantage: Marciuliano.

The Groom:
Johnston: Anthony is described as being a great guy who needs to learn to love and trust again after being mauled by an evil, ambitious career woman; the fact of the matter is that he's a sunken-chested dimwit who has to settle for a pallid little twit like Liz because he's an invertebrate who couldn't deal with a real woman.
Marciuliano: Ralph is described as being evil incarnate when it's broadly hinted that his being evil consists of being Ted McCauley with less hair.
Advantage: a tie.

The Wedding Planning:
Johnston: Liz's refusal to do anything but carp and panic is seen as pretty much a harmless eccentricity by everyone who isn't a Martian.
Marciuliano: Jackie's tendency to leave it all up to Sally only to bitch whenever her older sister comes up with an idea is seen as an aggravating act of pettiness and immaturity.
Advantage: Marciuliano.

The Wedding Planner:
Johnston: Elly is seen as a great old gal for making sure that Liz does as little as possible.
Marciuliano: Sally is seen as becoming progressively frustrated by the irritating and unreasonable demands made on her time.
Advantage: Marciuliano.

The Mother of the Bride:
Johnston: Again, Elly is wonderful because she managed to make sure that Liz stays home where she belongs. This is nuts because home is what messed Liz up in the first place.
Marciuliano: Sally and Jackie's mother is seen as a pompous, blustering pain in the arse who wants to make sure that Sally doesn't pick on Jackie like she did growing up. Since Ces has established that most of what's wrong with Sally is that she was Jackie's primary caregiver owing to parental default, this is seen as adding to our hero's woes.
Advantage: Marciuliano.

The Wedding Itself:
Johnston: What most outsiders would see as the culmination of hateful manipulation leading to a loveless sham marriage is seen as the magical happy ending Lynn needed the strip to have.
Marciuliano: Sally and Ted will be holding their tongue about the disaster that everyone who isn't Jackie, Ralph and Sally's mother sees coming lest they be rebuffed when the inevitable happens.
Advantage: Marciuliano.

The Human Cost:
Johnston: A wondrous time was had by everyone who was invited to the adult table at the reception. The Martian watching the kiddies...not so much.
Marciuliano: Sally will be depicted as feeling as if she's aged ten years...just like what would happen if it happened to you or me.
Advantage: Marciuliano.

This means that in every way that matters, Cesco Marciuliano has done the world the enormous favor of showing us how horrible a real Settlepocalypse would be.
dreadedcandiru2: (Snarky Candiru)
The most annoying part of following the strip is having to remember that the Pattersons are so blasted deluded that they don't know how repulsive they look. Like any self-respecting idiot from chick lit, a Foob sees a distorted vision of the world; said distortion is a result of the entitlement, victimism, self-righteousness and solipsism that corrodes and curdles the character of our so-called heroes. This, as I've said, makes it difficult to describe them. As by way of example, let's assume that you're a Milboroughite trying to describe them to out-of-town relatives; explaining the Settlepocalypse and Housening would require you to use the phrase "No, I'm not making that up" a whole lot. That's because most people aren't assholes and would ask the following questions:

  • What kind of rat bastard idiot would leave his wife and children on a rickety fire escape so he could rush into a burning building to save a laptop?
  • What kind of spineless idiot is she that she didn't immediately divorce him?
  • Why did his parents not insist that he get a new pad for his family as quickly as possible?
  • Why did they treat their youngest like a piece of furniture no one know what to do with?
  • What kind of freak wants to live in his parents' old house?
  • What in the bloody Hell do they mean by "Therese is jealous for no reason"? No matter where she turns, the middle child is always there acting like this other woman is a big, hateful meanie for not wanting her husband's high school girlfriend shoving her nose in where it doesn't belong!
  • Why the Hell should that child's sex life have anything to do with making her parents' lives easier; it's not as if they think that she has to pay back the money they spent on her, right?
  • Whaddaya mean, they DO think that?
  • Who do these people think they are?


It's sort of tough to answer questions like that without denting people's faith in their fellow man; about the only one that one can answer is "Why haven't people, y'know, done something about these creeps?"; the answer, of course, is "They ain't worth killing!"
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
As is fairly commonly known, the collection that had as it central focus the Big Fat Fake Wedding was called "With this ring." Unlike most collections, which only had the pointless inserts and altered dialog we'd come to expect, that one had text segments that gave us some background on why the characters did what they did and wanted what they wanted. I expect that the same will hold true for the latest collection about the Settlepocalypse. We'll learn valuable things about the characters. Things like:

- Therese was evil and crazy for not wanting to live like a Patterson.

- Evil and Crazy Mira forced Deanna into the evil and unfeminine career-path of being a pharmacist.

- Francoise is stubborn, evil and crazy for not wanting the woman for whom her father destroyed every single chance to make something of himself to control her life.

and

- why April has nothing to look forward to but earning her place in this world like all the other bad people the Pattersons know.

I can hardly wait to see how it is that Lynn tries to palm off the sordid business-deal non-proposal and tastelessly rushed wedding into something glorious and good.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
Now that Liz and Anthony are finally getting married, certain things seem obvious. The first is that Liz was finally learned to stop worrying and love bellowing at children. Gone are the days when she attempted to see the world through a child's eyes. Now that she's an adult she must put away childish things like empathy and begrudge children their youth. This way, she , Elly and Deanna may sit there drinking their coffee and complaining that children don't do what they're supposed to and act like tiny adult. This brings us to another category of humanity that refuse to be what idiot women want them to be: husbands. She can look forward to having fun feeling miserable about Anthony's being what he is instead of what she wants him to be. Her wanting to change everything about him is, of course, good because she won't really succeed and thus be a martyr; Evil Career Women who Get Things Done are evil because they get things done. We can also look forward to constant cries of poverty due to the greatest Pattersonian virtue: being stupid with money. Just as you'd wonder about a dentist with crooked teeth, you'd not know how to react to an accountant who's broke al the time. This is why Therese exists, though. Her role is to be blamed for Anthony's piss-poor spending habits because any shortfalls will be believed to be her fault. This is how she'll make trouble. In short, we've watched heroic means wasted on the mean end of making Liz into an Elly-clone. This is what Lynn calls a high note. It's what I call an atrocity.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
There are two things that are horrifyingly amazing about the Settlepocalypse: the general feeling of melancholy and the desire of the people who tell Lynn she has a camera in their house to see it as being romantic and joyous. The former is fairly easy to explain: this exercise in vulgarity is the culmination of a pattern of obsessive and destructive behavior. Liz and Anthony, while not especially liking one another, plowed through lives in an effort to be together. Since they wasted all the joy they'll ever experience on deceit, manipulation and betrayal, it seems obvious that the hoped-for union looks like the culmination of a business deal. The gushing and cooing of Kool-Aid Nation is even easier to explain: they see two established characters getting married and conclude it must be romantic despite not looking like it is. They were gratified to receive permission to ignore their eyes from the creator. This allows them to say that just because we don't see things, that doesn't mean they're not there. This is, of course, their way of saying that they don't care that Lynn is a failure. They refuse to see that we have to see all the things that happen so we know they did.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)

As we know, the current story line has Jim in hospital after having suffered a potentially fatal heart attack. This raises the question of what is the most appropriate thing to do about it. Given that the Pattersons have the unhappy tendency to zone out in the face of a genuine crisis, what would be a difficult decision for normal people occasions futile hand-wringing. Iris's exhortation that they do nothing is taken literally because they're so relieved to have a plan of action, they don't even see that she may in fact be condemning their negligence. This tells me that Liz will march down the aisle never suspecting that Jim is dying. I fear that the revelation of his passing will be greeted by either some sort of "Circle-of-life" nonsense about how he's with them in spirit or a futile rush to the hospital by the whole wedding party when there are more intelligent options. Worse still, we'll all have to read letters from people who buy into their hateful attempt to salve their consciences. This is because there are a lot of people who aren't really paying attention to what they're reading. Just as they don't see what a horrible person Anthony is, the don't see that the Pattersons consistently do the wrong thing.

dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
As we know, the Settlepocalypse has become a tawdry farce of a wedding which is a sick tribute to how vulgar and stupid the Pattersons are. From the awful color scheme, the ugly clothes and oppressively tacky decorations, it shows us how utterly devoid of class, charm and intellect they are. What makes it worse is that they refuse to acknowledge that they're responsible for the ugliness that confronts them. They bleat about how they wanted things kept simple and whine about how other people just happen to want to be part of the magic and force complexity on them. This shows that they still haven't gotten acquainted with the odd little concept called personal responsibility. Even if the hands that hold the mortgages hadn't made it clear that they should be given free stuff, it's up to them to actively say no to things they don't want. Since they didn't stop people from being part of things, they shouldn't complain about all the tawdriness.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
It now looks that what will happen is that while Liz has her Big Ugly Wedding and finally be the sun about which the other characters rotate, Jim will die with only Iris and the cardiac care team to keep him company. After the ceremony, of course, Elly might break her silence but by then it will be too late. This means that instead of being the center of attention, Liz will be upstaged by a dead man and lose out on her last chance to be the apple of everyone's eye. This is something she will not be able to cope with or forgive. Sure, she'll cry crocodile tears about not being able to say goodbye to a man she ignored in life but we know what will really inspire her rage. She'll be looking for someone to hate. The problem is that she, like her parents, cannot blame herself for the barbaric splendor that will go to waste. Everyone agrees that people forced it on them. Sure, it looks like they twisted people's arms to make them cough up a bunch of free stuff but that's not what happened. Liz isn't going to see that she let things snowball or that she chose the date to erase Therese from history because she won't allow herself to admit she screwed up; she'll pin the blame on the poor sap that made the off the cuff remark about marrying Anthraxny while Jim was alive to see it. Since everyone else is stupid too, this means that April will be the butt of everyone's anger for years to come.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
As we all know, Jim's recent heart attack is supposed to derail the Kitsch Horror Wedding somehow. Instead of having the Big Fancy Wedding of her idiot mother's dreams, Liz will suddenly realize that Family matters more than Material Goods and rush off to Jim's hotel room so as to have the simple wedding she wanted and people are supposed to have anyway. This is, of course, a Warped Aesop that's so far removed from the reality of the strip that it inspires derisive hooting instead of the praise Lynn wants. Not only does it seem obvious that Liz barely seems to be aware that Jim exists, the Pattersons are the most materialistic load of bumpkins to mar the surface of the planet. What makes this situation even more appalling is that we got so caught up in deriding the wedding planning, we overlook all the signs that Liz was going to lead a convoy of people to the Treacly Annoyance Wedding at the hospital. This tells me that as she says her I do to Anthraxny, Jim can dance off to Batiuk's Great White Void to be as one with Marian, Farley, the grandfather from Family Circus and Lisa Moore. Not only must we retch at the hokey fakeness of it all, we also have t endure the gushing praise of the Camera-in-my-living-room Squadron.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
As we all know, the day of the wedding is the twenty-third of August. This angered a lot of us because it turns out that Anthony's second marriage happens on the day that would have been his fifth anniversary had his marriage not collapsed. The message we derived from that was that the Pattersons were trying somehow to erase Therese from history. That's bad enough. What makes it all the worse is that Elly's birthday is the twenty-sixth of August. Since the Settlepocalypse is basically a great big party that celebrates Elly's owning Liz's horses, it seems sickly appropriate that it be an early birthday present to herself. If she did take note of the day, she'd probably cluck her tongue and harrumph about how the evil career woman should have chose a different day on which to put her hooks into poor innocent Anthony.
dreadedcandiru2: (DreadedCandiru2)
A while back, I speculated that in the event that Liz has any sort of problem down the line, her family will take Anthony's side owing to their own basic stupidity and selfishness. When that happens, they'll have a powerful ally in the holy cause of lionizing and cooing over a selfish and manipulative bully: his mother. As howtheduck has said, there have been signs of her presence in the background backing his desire to be loyal to the Pattersons, signs that were confirmed by the strip for the ninth of August. As we all know, Elly found that she liked Mrs Caine because of the woman's desire to bow down and worship the Holy Family of Suburbia. Her husband might want her son to stay married to the Evil Career Woman but that's because Anthony's Dad is set up as being Evil himself; she, like the people of Mtigwaki, know that he and Liz are fated to be together.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
As we're starting to see, all the free stuff Liz is getting for Elly'sher dream wedding is a gift; a gift, I might add, that was probably secured by emotional and financial blackmail on Elly's behalf. This tells me that the barbaric splendor we're seeing is costing everyone else but the Pattersons a bundle. There isn't a member of the charmed circle of Patterfriends that isn't going to have to absorb a huge financial loss so that Liz may be given a six-year-old child's idea of a fairy tale wedding. It's as if the whole purpose of these people was to smilingly cater to the Patterson's whims while getting nothing but the warm steam off of the Foob's pee in return. It should also be noted that Meredith, Françoise and Robin are getting shortchanged as well. Instead of having a summer to themselves in which they can play like other kids their age, they're forced to march to the tune of Wretched Excess. Everything in their lives must be shoved aside so that the Silly Sandwich Lady can celebrate the longed-for day when she can finally stop having to think.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
As we've seen and will continue to see, the presence of Lawrence Poirier, Token Gay, is a divisive one. His recent appearance, accompanied with a reminder of gay marriage ha split what fan base Lynn has left into those who don't care one way or another about him and those who hate it that they've been reminded that gay people exist. Since his sexual orientation is about the only thing that makes him more important than Gap-Toothed, Smiley-Faced "HOOOOO!!!!!" Guy, it seems to me that Lynn might have placed him there deliberately so we could read hate mail in Coffee Talk. This has three advantages. First, she gets to play the martyr as incensed people scream and holler at her for placing her politics in the strip when she should be putting theirs in. Second, she gets to conflate all her other critics with the lunatic fringe. Third, she has people so wound up about the issue that they forget there's a Kitsch Abomination Wedding between two pathetic losers going on.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
As we all know, a wedding is pretty much a reflection on the tastes of the bride's family. This explains why Mira and Shawna-Marie's mother were so gung-ho about things being a certain way; their reputations were on the line. Since the weddings were reasonably classy except where a Patterson did something gauche, their credibility has been preserved. What does the Settlepocalypse say about Elly and John, though? Let's review some elements that we've seen:

- The ultra-ugly lavender and teal color scheme that was chosen in the first place. Everywhere you look at the wedding venue, you've got lavender, teal or both assaulting your eyes.

- The father of the bride and groomsmen in lavender-gray tuxes with teal bow ties and cummerbunds at a daytime outdoor wedding.

- The mother of the bride in a light teal dress more suitable for attending a high school graduation.

- The flower girls in awful looking lavender-and-teal dresses.

- The bridesmaids in a pastiche of styles that have only the teal-and-lavender theme in common.

- The wedding party being driven around in six limousines.

- A wedding cake with teal and lavender frosting.

- The oppressively-tacky sounding decorations that the Settlepocalypse coven threatened.

and

- The idiotic look of satisfaction on everyone's eyes when the horror had concluded.

The only conclusion that anyone can come to after this is that the Pattersons are a bunch of crude, low-to-no-class people who have no idea in their fat heads about what's appropriate. The people who didn't point at them and laugh behind their backs after seeing John in his engineer's costume or Elly flapping and honking are gonna do it after this.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
Like all families, the Pattersons have a lot of days of the year that they must remember. They can be good days such as birthdays and anniversaries or bad such as the anniversary of someone's death but they have a mean to the Foobs that other days do not. What's more, most of them can remember when a particular day was simply another calendar day. A case in point is the first day of April; up until 1991, it was simply another day of the year. There's another day that I can think of that currently holds no meaning for the Pattersons: the twenty-third of August. After this year, it will be Elizabeth and Antony's anniversary but as it stands, it's just another late summer day. There's a problem with their not respecting this particular date, though. Through some strange coincidence, it just happens to be the day when Therese married Anthony. To a person who's always half-way assumed that the Pattersons regard her as little more than an obstacle to be removed, selecting the day she'd thought all her dreams would come true as the day the rival she believes to be plotting her ruin as the day she gets to sink her hooks into her ex would seem a deliberate insult. To do so, though, would be to malign the Pattersons unfairly; they're far too stupid to go out of their way to be hurtful. This act of nastiness is caused by one hundred percent Grade A idiocy. They were simply following someone else's suggestion. Anthony's contribution to the planning of his wedding is, sadly, the date. He clearly wants to repeal a mistake he'd made once and make the day good again.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
howtheduck made an interesting point today. As you know, she'd planned to end the strip last year only to miss her deadline generating false suspense as to who'd marry Liz. She also wanted to leave her other characters' story lines equally open-ended so as to create an audience for The Tome of Destiny. We were supposed to see the following branching-off points a year ago:

- April's garage band breaking up so she concentrate on her studies with the understanding that she will eventually marry her Twoo Wuv Gerald.

- Michael becoming a best selling author worried about becoming too big for his britches.

- Deanna balancing a career and motherhood.

- Liz and Anthony settling down to more or less become the new Elly and John.

- Jim and Iris spending their last years in an assisted living facility.

and

- John and Elly seeing Jim's poor health as a reminder that one day, one of them will have to take care of the other.

Since she gave herself an extra year, she had to find some way to force people's story lines back to the conclusion she'd decided on. To that end, we had the business last spring where April and Gerald had a spat over his touring with Evil Becky, the Blood Cargo ego-fest and more strips with Dee being gobsmacked. This is also why Jim had a second stroke. That way, his health problems would still be fresh in people's minds so they could believe in Lynn's attempts to revisit the recent past just as much as they do her rehashing the distant past.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
As you know, we've predicted that Meredith and Francoise will get into a tiff over who'll get to be the lead flower girl and that Robin will mislay the rings entrusted to his care. This, of course, will be yet another example of Lynn's most favorite plot device: presenting children as an annoyance. That being said, it's clear that the children have a different and individual take on what's going on around them than the adults. From what we've seen of her, Meredith probably views the Settlepocalypse as a great big party where she gets to wear a pretty dress. Since she's six, she's not exactly willing to share the spotlight with some timid little girl that she doesn't know that well. The fact that said baby is the daughter of the man Auntie Lizardbreath is marrying doesn't enter into her thinking; as far as she can see, it's her big day and that's that. As for Francoise, this is yet another scary part of dealing with the Silly Sandwich Lady and her family. She's afraid Liz is trig to steal her daddy, she knows the Pattersons don't feel comfortable around her and she's worried that the blond girl will be pushing her around and getting away with it. The wedding itself is going to reinforce those fears as will Liz's failure to respond in a productive manner to the child's emotional state. As for Robin, it's just some annoying thing where he's told to sit still and wear something itchy.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
As we all know, Mira and Wilf Sobinski didn't know that Mike and Deanna were already married when they unleashed the Big Sham Wedding on the world. Instead, she was meant to believe that the two of them were shacked up because Deanna had no problem with making her believe she was more progressive than she actually was. This was stupid and cruel because Mira would have been really angry that another daughter had eloped but he would have got over it. The Pattersons also make ugly fools of themselves by assuming that she never figured it out at a later date. She's no Liz to only judge by surfaces. Sooner or later, she'd suspect that she was played for a sucker. Watching Elly squirm as she insincerely approves of cohabitation would confirm that hunch. Initially, she'd blame Mike for leading Dee astray so he could make her live in squalor. Not now, though. This is because she's been made party to the plans for the Kitsch Abomination Wedding and come to the realization that Elizabeth doesn't suspect that Mike and Dee were on wedding number two. She also remembers that Elly used to like to dress Baby Lizzie like a doll and that all she cared about was the child's looks. How she felt was of secondary importance. It would then be not beyond the realm of possibility that she was steering Liz to the conclusion that she had to have a Big White Wedding to please people when, in fact, she didn't. Simply put, Liz was kept in the dark so Elly could play the varsity game of "Dress-up-Nizzie". That's bad enough. Marrying her to a divorcé so they could get a better deal on a used car would be far worse.
dreadedcandiru2: (Lady Candiru)
As we know, Liz had a fairly lousy time of it as a teenager. There were many reasons for this. First off, she had difficulties handling stress. When she wasn't acting out because of hurt feelings she was too timid to talk to someone about, she felt overwhelmed by all the details and basically shut down. At the first reverse, she immediately quit, whining about how hard everything was. Her idea of getting help from someone was to have that person do all the work for her. To her, the pride of accomplishment meant little because nobody ever really gave her credit for it. No matter what she did, her ugly brother was always there messing with her and she couldn't get him to stop.

She also had deep-seated feelings of inadequacy. Even if Mike hadn't been acting out on his own feelings of inferiority by lashing out at her, she still would have spent her youth moaning about how nobody really liked her. This is because she had an extended awkward period after years of being praised for being pretty. When the attention faded away with her looks, her self-esteem went with it. She was too preoccupied with feeling bad to notice that she had a pretty good life.

This has left us with a bitter, entitled woman who feels that everyone else has to make her wedding perfect while she just stands there in her white dress looking perfect. They should not expect thanks because her life was sooooo hard.
dreadedcandiru2: (Default)
We've all commented on how freaking implausible it is that the plans for the Settlepocalypse gelled so quickly. Here we are just weeks after Liz got of her ass and set a date and her flunkies have practically got things done for her. Why are they doing her job for her? Simple. They know the woman well enough to allow for her chief eccentricity: needing a month's warning to make a decision. They know that deep down Liz is a timid worm who can't cope with stress and freezes when things have to be done. It's easier to absorb abuse for not reading her mind than to watch her go down for the third time so April will gladly let her expiration date get checked. As for how quickly things have come together, that's even easier to explain. I'd say that in a drawer somewhere Elly had a coil notebook listing people to contact when Liz finally put everyone out their misery and got ready to live in Anthony's basement cage. Flapandhonk has a shortlist of people to threaten so she can help through this mess with as little cause for fuss as possible. Not that she'll avoid the fuss, of course.

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